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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

The Living On Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of

Facts about... Jell-O!


RUDOLPH: It's Living on Earth. I'm John Rudolph.

(Music up and under)

RUDOLPH: It jiggles, it wriggles, it's fun to eat and it's 100 years old. This year marks the centennial of Jell-O. Now putt your Jell-O down for a minute. The gelatin needed to manufacture all those wiggly green, yellow, and red cubes is made by soaking cowhides and pigskins in an alkaline solution. The gelatin is extracted by boiling the swollen skins. In 1989 environmentalists filed suit against the Jell-O plant in Woburn, Massachusetts, claiming tons of byproduct being dumped each day exceeded legal limits by 500%. Those byproducts, animal fat, grease, and oil, polluted Boston Harbor. The company eventually agreed to pay a quarter million dollar fine. And for this week, that's the Living on Earth Almanac.



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