The industrial age has exposed people to numerous chemical contaminants, but the ancient tradition of feasting on wild boar did as well. When carrying out routine food-inspection tests on wild boar meat, German researchers detected unusually high levels of a previously unknown substance from a class of halogenated compounds that typically persists in the environment and the food chain. Further investigation revealed the suspicious compound is made by a mushroom that boars delight in, the researchers report in an upcoming Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The team concludes that humans have likely been exposed to this contaminant for as long as they’ve been eating wild boar, an ancient practice that continues today. —Rachel Ehrenberg
Warming shifts forest’s carbon stores
Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.