Think you want authentic Italian pizza? Think again

Pizzas

Could Italy's famous wood-fired pizzas be hazardous to your health?

Claus Ableiter/Wikimedia Commons

Italy is in an uproar after a TV news investigation reported that the country's pizza is dangerous — as in could hurt your health.

The investigation by the Italian current affairs show, Report, was focused on the iconic pizza town of Naples. An "eco-toxicologist" discovered that because pizza ovens are rarely, if ever, cleaned out, the combustion of wood can lead to carcinogens accumulating on the floor and walls of the oven, before being transferred to pizzas. What's more, many Italian pizzerias are replete with poor hygiene, substandard ingredients, toxic fumes and carcinogenic chemicals. 

The last thing you might expect from pizza in Italy is poor ingredient quality, but the investigation found premade pizza crusts, imported tomatoes and adulterated olive oil. The Telegraph has more on this investigation, including the reaction of the pizza industry — which says the concerns are overblown.

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Street brawls, Australian-style

You might think of Kangaroos as cuddly creatures from Australia that carefully protect their young in pouches. You won't think of them that way again if you watch a video taken on a suburban street in New South Wales and shared with The Guardian.

During mating season, male kangaroos can get downright deadly with one another. If another male shows interest in a female that a male kangaroo has been tracking, there's a fight. And their confrontations look like boxing matches, with a twist. In the video, two kangaroos punch at each other, then grapple, balance on their tales and kick at each other.

In fact, their feet, with claws, are the weapon of choice — so powerful they can crush bone with a single kick. Yahoo has some background on kangaroo brawls in Australia. 

Fan of Uniqlo clothing? You'll want to read this story

Uniqlo has been praised for bringing Japanese-style clothing and cheap prices to the world. The store is particularly popular, as we told you previously, with people who are shorter and smaller than the average American. But there's another side to Uniqlo that is not as rosy. It's the conditions faced by its workers in Japan, China and the US.

PRI's The World reports that former employees call the company's working environment militaristic and some even compare it to being on a slave ship. Uniqlo's US CEO says the company's reputation for high-quality clothes at low prices comes with trade-offs. Perfection requires discipline. "We are a team. Our brand is a function of how well our team represents our brand. To that extent, it’s not a free for all," says CEO Larry Meyer. A former employee says that Uniqlo is known as a "black" — or evil — company in Japan.

Southern China gets another strong earthquake

The southern Chinese Yunnan province has been hit with several deadly earthquakes this year — the latest came on Tuesday night. Chinese officials called it a 6.6 magnitude quake, while US officials pegged it as a 6.0 magnitude temblor.

At least one person is reported dead and 19 people are injured, though that number is expected to rise as first responders get a better handle on the situation. According to the South China Morning Post, the area was hit by dozens of aftershocks, causing additional damage and leading some people to flee their homes out of fear they might collapse. The earthquake was centered in Jinggu county, southwest of the provincial capital of Kunming and near the borders with both Thailand and Laos.

An Italian researcher makes gluten-friendly wheat that could change the world of gluten-free products

People with celiac disease often go through life avoiding any product that contains gluten — an essential part of wheat and wheat flour. That means most regular pastas, pizzas and baked goods are off-limits. Now, an Italian scientist has created a variety of wheat that not only contains much lower levels of gluten — just one-tenth — but the remaining gluten is altered to be safe.

PRI's The World spoke with Carmen Lamacchia, the inventor. She says the remaining gluten has been changed so it doesn't provoke the immune response that makes celiac disease so difficult. Some celiac sufferers are skeptical, but not companies in the prepared food industry. They're already beating down her door, wanting access to the new wheat.

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Weather around the world

India is gearing up for its first tropical cyclone of the season. A tropical depression has formed over the Bay of Benghal and is expected to be named Cyclone Hudhud and then hit the Odisha coast by Sunday, according to the Times of India. If the storm forms as expected, it will prolong the monsoon season by about a week.