Category Archives: food

The fake meat revolution is here! Fast food chains like Burger King are now selling a new breed of vegan burgers, created in a lab to taste (and even bleed) like real beef – but can they possibly be good for you?

Few things in life are as simple – or as pleasurable to eat – as a burger.

That first bite, the rich, meaty and slightly charred flavours, mixed with smooth, salty cheese, the sharpness of onion and the tang of veg and sauce.


Lab-grown ‘clean’ meat could be on sale by end of 2018, says producer

…In vitro animal products, sometimes referred to as “clean meat”, are made from stem cells harvested via biopsy from living livestock, which are then grown in a lab over a number of weeks…

…Chicken nuggets, sausage and foie gras created using the technique could be served in restaurants in the US and Asia “before the end of 2018”, (Josh Tetrick, CEO of clean meat manufacturer JUST) told CNN.

But public perception and a reluctance to diverge from traditional farmed meat still represent considerable hurdles for the clean meat industry to overcome, he said.

…one recent study revealed one third of Americans would be willing to eat clean meat regularly or as a replacement for farmed meat.


Cat Bento Boxes

When one reflects on one’s life, does one ever ask what is missing? Is it wealth? Meaning? A bento box in the shape of a cat?

If you said cat-shaped bento boxes, you’re in luck:

Offered by Tokyo-based Oriental Foods, these cat-shaped bento boxes measure 16.5 centimeters (6.5 inches) long and have two tiers, so that you can keep your rice separate from the rest of your lunch.


Veganism A Protected Right in Ontario

God help us:

A new Ontario policy may pave the way for all kinds of moral and ethical beliefs to be protected as a human right — even veganism.

In its report released Dec. 10, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) updated its definition of “creed,” which until now was generally considered a synonym for religion.

“Creed may also include non-religious belief systems that, like religion, substantially influence a person’s identity, worldview and way of life,” the commission said.

Advocacy group Animal Justice counts the new policy as a win for those whose belief system revolves around doing no harm to animals.

Ethical veganism is “now one step closer to being protected under Ontario human rights law as a form of ‘creed,’” the group said in a statement last month.


Korean Parents to Blame For Obese Children, Says Study

Well, of course. Cram schools (hogwans, if you will), long schedules, little parental guidance and introduction to the Western diet will do that:

Parents are entirely to blame for the obesity of their children, an explosive study suggests.

The Korean Society for the Study of Obesity said that 22.4 percent of children who do not eat dinner with their parents are obese, while the rate among kids who sit down to a family dinner is just 5.1 percent.

The KSSO said this is the first-ever study linking childhood obesity with the living patterns at home.

Childhood obesity in Korea rose steadily from 5.8 percent in 1997 to 9.6 percent in 2012. The number of children and teens with diabetes surged from 15,100 in 2005 to 21,300 in 2013.

The KSSO studied nutritional intake from 2009 and 2013 and analyzed data on 3,281 children between six and 11 and their parents, as well as surveying 1,000 parents of elementary schoolchildren this year.

It concluded that mothers who consume more than one carbonated drink a week increase the risk of obesity in their children 1.6 times. Also, families that eat out more than 5.5 times a week consume 204 kcal a day more than families that stay in.

Kim Dae-jung, a doctor at Ajou University, said, “The problem is that children who do not have dinner with their families often eat fast food, which is high in calories and low in nutrition, and don’t get enough exercise after their meal.”

Chung So-chung at Konkuk University Medical Center said, “If children eat alone, they don’t acquire a proper taste and only want salty, sweet or spicy foods. Eating together as a family is not just important from a purely nutritional point of view but also impacts what children learn about food.”


Maybe You Don’t Win Friends With Salads

There’s one food, though, that has almost nothing going for it. It occupies precious crop acreage, requires fossil fuels to be shipped, refrigerated, around the world, and adds nothing but crunch to the plate.

It’s salad, and here are three main reasons why we need to rethink it.

Salad vegetables are pitifully low in nutrition. The biggest thing wrong with salads is lettuce, and the biggest thing wrong with lettuce is that it’s a leafy-green waste of resources. …

Salad fools dieters into making bad choices. Lots of what passes for salad in restaurants is just the same as the rest of the calorie-dense diabolically palatable food that’s making us fat, but with a few lettuce leaves tossed in. Next time you order a salad, engage in a little thought experiment: Picture the salad without the lettuce, cucumber and radish, which are nutritionally and calorically irrelevant. Is it a little pile of croutons and cheese, with a few carrot shavings and lots of ranch dressing? …

Salad has unfortunate repercussions in our food supply. Lettuce has a couple of No. 1 unenviable rankings in the food world. For starters, it’s the top source of food waste, vegetable division, becoming more than 1 billion pounds of uneaten salad every year. But it’s also the chief culprit for foodborne illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control, green leafies accounted for 22 percent of all food-borne illnesses from 1998-2008.

In conclusion, here is a recipe for Thai Beef Salad.

It has beef in it, so…


The Colossal Hoax of Organic Agriculture

Consumers of organic foods are getting both more and less than they bargained for. On both counts, it’s not good.

Many people who pay the huge premium—often more than a hundred percent–for organic foods do so because they’re afraid of pesticides. If that’s their rationale, they misunderstand the nuances of organic agriculture. Although it’s true that synthetic chemical pesticides are generally prohibited, there is a lengthy list of exceptions listed in the Organic Foods Production Act, while most “natural” ones are permitted. However, “organic” pesticides can be toxic. As evolutionary biologist Christie Wilcox explained in a 2012 Scientific American article (“Are lower pesticide residues a good reason to buy organic? Probably not.”): “Organic pesticides pose the same health risks as non-organic ones.”


I almost by accident purchased organic celery recently. Celery has next to 0 nutritional value, other than the toxic chemicals it has absorbed so natch I ditched the organic crap for the real thing.


Rapid groundwater depletion threatens Pakistan food security – officials

Pakistan-village-deep-wellPakistani villagers pull water from a deep well. Overpumping of groundwater has depleted the water resources of Pakistan and many other nations around the world. Source.

Until recently, Ghulam Mustafa made a living growing sugarcane, rice, barley and wheat on his 10-acre farm in Punjab province.

But these days he is struggling. The water available in wells in the area is dwindling, and the cost of pumping it to his crops is rising. Like many other farmers in the area, Mustafa, 51, now plans to cultivate only half his land and leave the rest for his livestock.

“The groundwater level in our area has gone down around 15 to 20 feet in the last five to six years,” he said. “And unfortunately it continues to decline each year.”

Across Punjab province and two districts of neighboring Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, groundwater supplies are depleting at 16 to 55 centimetres (6 to 21 inches) a year, according to a study carried out by the International Waterlogging and Salinity Research Institute (IWASRI), part of the Pakistani government’s Water and Power Development Authority…


Niger – where women average nearly 7 kids in their lifetime – says 2.5 million are suffering food insecurity

Children in Niger. Source.

More than 2.5 million people in Niger are suffering from food insecurity because of a shortfall in the cereal harvest due to bad weather and crop pests, the agriculture minister said Saturday.

“A survey conducted since December 2014 indicated that 15.7 percent of the population, or 2,588,128 people, are in a situation of food insecurity, including 410,297 in severe insecurity,” Maidagi Allambeye told MPs.

The situation has been aggravated by the presence of some 200,000 refugees who had fled attacks by Boko Haram and other militants.

Food insecurity in the poor Sahel country, which is plagued by recurring food crises, is linked to a cereal deficit of more than 230,000 tonnes at the end of the 2014 crop year, he explained…

Total fertility rate in Niger = 6.89 according the CIA World Factbook. It is the highest in the world.  The country is largely Muslim (total population is about 17.5 million).


Saudi firm, Bunge to buy majority stake in Canadian grain handler

TORONTO/RIYADH – Saudi Arabia’s state-owned agricultural investment firm and U.S. grain trader Bunge Ltd will buy a controlling stake in Canadian grain handler CWB in a bold move by the Gulf state to secure food supplies.

G3 Global Grain Group, a joint venture of Bunge and Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Co (SALIC), said on Wednesday it will buy a 50.1 percent stake in CWB for C$250 million ($201 million).

The remaining stake will be held in trust for Canadian farmers with G3 having an option to buy them out after seven years. Farmers owned an equity stake in CWB, formerly known as the Canadian Wheat Board, until the government stripped it of its Western Canadian grain monopoly in 2012.

Saudi Arabia began scaling back its domestic wheat-growing program in 2008, planning to rely completely on imports by 2016 to save water. SALIC was formed in 2011 by late King Abdullah to secure food supplies for the kingdom, mainly through mass production projects and foreign investment…

h/t Marvin