A quick guide to artificial sweeteners Thursday, 27 October, 2011Synthetic sweeteners—and particularly aspartame—are at the heart of a long-bubbling controversy. Are they really harmless sugar substitutes? Recent studies seem to question that claim. What about ones that claim to be based on “natural sugars”? And how do you recognize the various sweeteners in the products you buy? Product labels are far from being clear, so ABE, the Consumer Show runs you through the different categories and names of common sweeteners found in your food:
Big savings await cross-border car buyers Thursday, 20 October, 2011Price differences between Switzerland and its European neighbours have become even more exaggerated with the decline of the euro. This is especially true for certain European-made cars. ABE, the Consumer Show takes out the calculator and figures out how you can avoid being fleeced:
Raw milk cheeses survive '80s crisis (just barely) Thursday, 6 October, 2011In 1987, a listeria outbreak killed 34 people and led to the removal of Vacherin cheeses from the Swiss marketplace, leaving mountains of rotting dairy and casting a shadow over all soft cheeses—and especially raw milk. Nevermind that Swiss Vacherin was already being heat-treated at the time. Today, there’s a resurgence of interest in raw milk and raw milk cheeses. More and more people are pointing to its lifelong benefits, saying they outweigh the risks—and some experts say Switzerland’s high quality raw milk cheeses are its only hope of competing on the marketplace. ABE, the Consumer Show investigates:
Toxins in your tea kettle Thursday, 29 September, 2011Think about this as you drink your morning cup o’ tea: The kettle you boiled the water in could contain a plastic compound and synthetic hormone that’s potentially cancer causing. Controversial Bisphenol A, or BPA, has been banned from baby bottles in some countries—and France’s food safety agency issued two reports on Tuesday condemning BPA as dangerous—but authorities in Switzerland are dragging their heels over the issue, saying we’re not at risk from levels of the substance that we normally come into contact to. ABE, the Consumer Show continues its investigation: Download/Print Test Results (PDF)
Toxins in a bottle (or a can) Thursday, 22 September, 2011ABE, the Consumer Show has been investigating Bisphenol A or BPA—a controversial plastic compound and synthetic hormone that’s found in everyday plastic items—for two years now. Some research shows that it can have serious negative health consequences, but the evidence is contradictory and keeps changing. Several countries and now the EU have decided to ban BPAs at least in baby bottles, but Switzerland has not followed suit. So what’s a consumer to do?
ABE: Chemical-free packaging won't come cheap Thursday, 15 September, 2011The Consumer Show continues its investigation into potentially dangerous chemical migration from packaging into our foods. This week the team looks at what’s being done to combat it—and the solutions currently on the table are not terribly satisfying. Regular inspections and media attention have gotten some of the worst offenders pulled from store shelves on a case-by-case basis, but more comprehensive solutions are generally seen as too impractical or too pricey:
ABE unwraps dangerous food packaging Thursday, 8 September, 2011The Consumer Show team investigates the migration of potentially dangerous mineral oils and chemicals from cardboard packaging into much of the food we eat—from rice, pasta, biscuits and cereals to frozen foods. And researchers have uncovered at least one surprising culprit: recycled paper.
ABE gets rolling with electric bikes Thursday, 1 September, 2011Our new consumer show, an English translation of TSR’s popular TV programme A Bon Entendeur, kicks off with a report on electric bicycles—from the advantages climbing up those steep Swiss hills and whizzing through gridlocked city streets to one big inherent danger: speed. Plus the winners and losers as the team tests 13 e-bikes available on the market. Download/Print Test Results (PDF)
We do it everyday, and yet we don’t know why. In fact, we don’t even know what normal sleep is. Doctors regularly see patients with slumber problems, but monitoring healthy, regular sleepers behind bedroom doors is much tougher…until now. The project is called HypnoLaus, and it’s the largest normative sleep study to ever be done. WRS video journalist Amy Wong went to the sleep clinic in Lausanne to see one of the subjects get wired up.
Nepal is known more for its civil unrest and Mount Everest expeditions than its runners. However, two young Nepalese distance runners, Sudip Kulung and Bed Sunuwar, ventured outside of their home country for the first time ever to compete internationally in Switzerland. The Swissalpine ultramarathon in Davos is one the biggest mountain endurance races, spanning 78 kilometers—the distance of two marathons—and reaching altitudes of 2,600 metres. WRS video journalist Amy Wong followed the two men as they raced against the odds.
Last year, while shopping online for plus-sized clothing, Yasmina Morina, a native of Fribourg, Switzerland, came across Velvet d’Amour, a former Miss Plump Universe. She was inspired to apply for the beauty pageant herself, so she did—and she won. WRS video journalist Amy Wong went out to Morina’s hometown of La Roche to chat with her as she took a stroll with her two boys.
Electricity bills may be going up for the rest of us, but at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ), they’re planning to cut their heating bill by 100 percent. Researchers at the main science campus, known as Science City, are installing a new heating system that will use the ground beneath their feet to store heat in the summer—enough to keep all their buildings warm for the entire winter. WRS video journalist Amy Wong went out to Science City to see how it works.
Summer is here and opera season is officially over, but that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped singing. For the first time ever, the Lausanne Opera will be touring close to home, stopping in small towns all across the Canton of Vaud as part of their Route Lyrique. WRS video journalist Amy Wong took her opera glasses and went to speak with Lausanne Opera director, Eric Vigié.
Geneva has a crime problem. In fact, the city has the highest rate of crime in the country—more than 2.5 times that of the national average. The problem is not so much murder and assaults, but theft and drug dealing. The canton’s response to this problem is something called Operation Figaro. The goal is to have more police officers visible in problem areas. But is this a good plan, or just a marketing scheme with a fancy name? WRS video journalist Amy Wong hopped into a riot van to find out.
A grown-up restaurant guide for kids Friday, 25 June, 2010Finding a place where the kids can make a bit of noise and eat something healthy while the grownups enjoy their own meal is a tall order. But now there’s an easier way. The advertising company responsible for Loisirs magazine has come out with a guide for kid-friendly restaurants, called Le guide des restos pour petits gourmands. WRS video journalist Amy Wong put on her bib to find out more.