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The Future of Food

Food CRISPR GMO Gene Modification Agriculture

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#21
caltrek

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There is also another potential alternate protein source to fish, lobster, or crickets:

 

The case for eating California’s giant invasive rodents

 

Introduction:

 

(The Verge) Two-foot-long rodents called nutria, which can grow as large as 20 pounds, are the latest threat to California’s wetlands. But here’s the good news: they apparently taste great in jambalaya. So naturally, I wanted to try some California-grown rodent for myself.

 

These raccoon-sized rodents from South America have invaded every continent except Antarctica and Australia, and have set up camp in at least 18 US states. Now, they’ve set their beady sights on California. Over the past year, more than 24 nutria have been spotted in California’s wetlands for the first time since they were eradicated in the 1970s, according to The Sacramento Bee. Some were pregnant females, and others were just babies — a clear sign that they’re multiplying.

 

…They look tasty enough. A website called Exotic Meat Market compares nutria to dark turkey meat — and one nutria has twice as many drumsticks. But it sounds like finding the right recipe is key to making nutria palatable, according to three filmmakers who sampled nutria for their documentary, Rodents of Unusual Size. One of the filmmakers described nutria sausage as tasting “like a morgue” — but the team agreed that nutria jambalaya is delightful, according to their article for BoingBoing.

 

There are certainly plenty of dishes I could try. In Louisiana, where people are paid to trap nutria on their land, the state’s department of Wildlife and Fisheries website includes a link to recipes for nutria soups, salads, even nutria à l’orange. The site’s tagline: “Can’t beat ‘em, eat ‘em!” It’s a great idea, in theory. But at least in Louisiana, eating nutria hasn’t been enough to get rid of them. Nearly five million nutria have been removed from the state’s swamps and marshes over the past 15 years.

 

…there’s something else I discovered: nutria carry a parasite that causes something called “nutria itch.” Whatever nutria itch is, it’s something I am very content to never experience.

 

So, I guess I can change the slogan of this thread to:  "Let them eat crickets, or rodents."  

 

 

Nutria__Myocastor_coypus__in_a_partially

 

A nutria in a frozen river in Slovenia tries to look inedible, only somewhat succeeds. 

Photo by Petar Milošević/Wikimedia Commons


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#22
caltrek

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Wheat crop yield can be increased by up to 20% using new chemical technology

 

https://agrinfobank....cal-technology/

 

Introduction:

 

(Agriculture Information Bank) UK scientists have created a synthetic molecule that, when applied to crops, has been shown to increase the size and starch content of wheat grains in the lab by up to 20%.

 

The new plant application, developed by Rothamsted Research and Oxford University, could help solve the issue of increasing food insecurity across the globe. Some 795 million people are undernourished, and this year’s El Nino has shown how vulnerable many countries are to climate-induced drought.

 

The results of the study, published in Nature, detail the method based on using synthetic ‘precursors’ of the sugar trehalose 6-phosphate (T6P) – a first-of-its-kind strategy that used chemistry to modify how sugars are used by plants. Rothamsted Research, which receives strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, identified this naturally occurring sugar as being crucial in controlling how wheat uses sucrose, the main fuel generated by photosynthesis. Sucrose is key to the development of wheat grains. They identified that the more T6P that is available to wheat grains as they grow, the greater the yield.

 

Utilising the chemical expertise of Oxford University’s Chemistry Research Laboratory, a modified version of T6P that could be taken up by the plant and then released within the plant in sunlight was developed. This T6P ‘precursor’ was added to a solution and then sprayed on to the plants, causing a ‘pulse’ of T6P, which resulted in more sucrose being drawn into the grain to make starch. When tested in the lab, under controlled environmental conditions, this approach resulted in an increase in wheat grain size and yield of up to 20%.

 

The study also demonstrated that application of the precursor molecule could enhance plants’ ability to recover from drought, which could ultimately help farmers to overcome difficult seasons more easily in the future.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#23
caltrek

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Wheat: Kansas Researchers Use Gene-Editing Technology for Improved Varieties

 

https://agfax.com/20...oved-varieties/

 

Introduction:

 

(Agfax) Kansas State University researchers say their work to improve genes in wheat varieties using a gene-editing technology is another positive step toward global food security.

 

“Food security and the food supply is one of the main issues in the world’s future,” said Eduard Akhunov, professor of wheat genetics and pathology. “With the increasing population size and a decline in the amount of land available for growing crops, we really need to intensify agriculture in a sustainable way.”

 

Akhunov and his colleagues are working with gene editing, a technology developed five years ago which can be used to modify with high precision any gene in a living organism. Their work with wheat is featured in the inaugural issue of the CRISPR Journal, which was released in mid-February.

 

CRISPR-Cas9 technology, introduced in 2012, is a simple yet powerful tool for editing genomes, the complete set of genetic material present in a cell. Akhunov said it allows researchers to easily change DNA sequences, creating new variants of a gene with improved properties, or fix known defects in a gene.

 

“You can consider CRISPR-Cas9 to be like molecular scissors that can make changes very precisely in a particular place of the genome,” Akhunov said. “Using this tool, you can selectively modify any part of a genome to improve genes controlling major agronomic traits.”

eduard_akhunov_wheat_researcher_kansas_s

Eduard Akhunov, Kansas State University professor of wheat genetics and pathology


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#24
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New Study: Eat Your Strawberries Before Climate Change Wipes Them Out

 

https://www.motherjo...ifornia-yields/

 

Introduction:

 

(Mother Jones) With its year-round sunshine and vast tracts of fertile land, California is one of the jewels of US food production, providing a third of the nation’s vegetables and two-thirds of our fruits and nuts. As the climate warms, can we continue to take this $50.5 billion bounty for granted? 

 

That’s the question posed by a team of University of California researchers in an eye-opening new paper published in the journal Agronomy, in which they digest recent research to “document the most current understanding on California’s climate change trends in terms of temperature, precipitation, snowpack, and extreme events such as heat waves, drought, and flooding, and their relative impacts” on the state’s agriculture. 

 

They address these topics one by one, and the results are hardly comforting to US eaters.

 

 For one thing, the scientists found, a temperature change of just a few degrees is “closely related to yield reductions” in some of the most cherished California crops: almonds, wine grapes, strawberries, walnuts, freestone peaches, and cherries. Avocado production could plummet by the middle of the century. Because of fewer winter chill hours, by the end of the century, the paper suggests, only 10 percent of the Central Valley will remain viable to grow fruits like apricots, kiwis, peaches, and nectarines.

 

03062018_strawberries.jpg?w=990

danny4stockphoto/Getty Images


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#25
caltrek

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Don't like the idea of eating rodents and insects?

 

 Well, there is always that old favorite: Beef.  Except...

 

Large-Scale Animal Agriculture Is Threatening Rural Communities. Congress Is About to Make it Worse.

 

 

Introduction;

 

(Mother Jones) Residents of tiny Lone Jack, MO, are fighting a proposal by a local ranch to expand its feedlot from around 600 cows to nearly 7,000. It is the latest in a series of communities pushing back against a national trend toward concentrated animal agriculture.

 

All those cows, local opponents say, would introduce health and environmental hazards that would affect residents of the small town, which sits on the outskirts of Kansas City. The fight comes several counties in Missouri fend off concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), and as local and federal governments are considering legislation that would deregulate the agriculture industry.

 

Missouri has seen a rise in hog CAFOs in the past several years, says Tim Gibbons, an organizer with the Missouri Rural Crisis Center. That expansion includes several farms owned by Pipestone, a farm management company that has locations across the upper Midwest. “The cattle operation in Johnson County is sort of an anomaly,” Gibbons says. “We haven’t seen anything like that recently.”

 

The cattle farm, Valley Oaks, promotes its beef as “locally raised,” and has said its expansion would bring 50 to 100 jobs to the region. But Lone Jack residents say the company is pursuing a form of agriculture that will deplete the natural resources of the area. “This is not a farm,” says Karen Lux, an organizer with Lone Jack Neighbors for Responsible Farming. “This is an animal factory.”

 

Lux says that “there’s so many” concerns with the feedlot, including manure application, groundwater pollution, air quality and odor. Valley Oaks is proposing to raise its herd size to 6,999 animals—one animal short of the number that would require the ranch to comply with state odor 

 

 

03212018_feedlotdhughes9.jpg?w=990

 

dhughes9/Getty

 

The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#26
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The Science About Eating Out That Will Scare You Into Cooking Your Own Dinners

 

https://www.motherjo...ur-own-dinners/

 

 

 

Introduction:

 

(Mother Jones) Americans are increasingly putting their money where their mouth is—and eating out more than ever before. Back in 1970, Americans only spent 26 percent of all their food expenses at restaurants or cafeterias. In 2014, that number rose to 44 percent. Today, about half of the country reportedly “hates” cooking and more than half of total US food dollars is spent at restaurants, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

 

Now, a new study published Wednesday in the journal Environment Internationalsuggests that Americans’ habit of eating out could be costing us more than a portion of our paychecks. It turns out, eating outside the home—at restaurants, fast-food joints, and cafeterias, including delivery and take-out—is correlated with higher body levels of phthalates, a ubiquitous class of chemicals linked to all sorts of ailments including reduced semen qualitydiabeteslower IQ, and cancer.

 

Phthalates aren’t intentional food additives; they’re a group of chemicals mixed with plastics to make them more flexible, but they can also leach into our food, research suggests, through contact with products like plastic containers, food-handling gloves, and processing equipment.

 

Conclusion:

 

…The somewhat good news is that phthalates only last in the body for about a day, unlike other contaminants that can get into our food. (For example, as we’ve written about before, a chemical called PFOA takes years to leave the body.) The issue is really their ubiquity and the near-constant exposure many people have to phthalates. But, in theory, if changes were made to “remove phthalates from the food supply tomorrow,” says Varshavsky, we’d see a near-immediate drop in phthalates in people’s bodies.

 

If we remove the source of exposure, phthalates should go away, which is not what you can say about many chemicals out there,” she concludes. Until then, maybe those leftovers don’t look so bad.

 



The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#27
TranscendingGod

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Everyday it is more and more obvious that we need an alternative to plastics. 


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The growth of computation is doubly exponential growth. 


#28
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Hmmm....I wonder what cannabis would do to the taste of crickets?

 

The Edibles Market Is Exploding. You Can Bet Big Corporations Are Watching.

 

https://www.motherjo...s-are-watching/

 

Extract:

 

With big corporations likely to join the edibles game, the market is in for some big changes, (David) Downs told me. Here’s what you need to know:

You can put cannabis in almost any kind of food.  

 

“The main active ingredient in cannabis is THC. It’s a molecule. It’s extremely small. It’s extremely potent. And it’s generally pretty lipophilic, which means it likes fats and it can dissolve in alcohols. You’re going to see this molecule be put in all manner of products now that you can manufacture these things legally.” 

 

First-time users are flooding the edibles market. 

 

“A lot of people don’t want to smoke cannabis, don’t have a lot of experience with it, and don’t want to smoke anything.”

 

“Smoking has fallen out of favor here in California: We’ve slashed the smoking rates in California by 90 percent in some age groups, like teenagers. It’s obviously one of the biggest public heath victories of the last couple generations. With that context, edibles seem like a really good entry point into cannabis.” 

edibles-3-30-18.jpg?w=990

 

Edibles on display at a California marijuana dispensary

 Brian Cahn/ZUMA


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#29
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This New Study Is Further Proof That Going Vegan Is the Best Thing You Can Do for the Planet

 

https://www.alternet...do-planet-video

 

Introduction:

 

(Alternet) A groundbreaking study by Tulane University and the University of Michigan published in Environmental Research Letters found that meat, dairy and egg consumption is responsible for nearly 84 percent of food-related greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.

 

Scientists analyzed the effects of more than 300 foods and the diets of 16,000 Americans. They found that only 20 percent of Americans, those who eat the most animal products, make up 46 percent of diet-related emissions overall on an average day.

 

Plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, cereals and grains, and nuts and seeds, make up a mere 3 percent of diet-related emissions. Legumes were found to be the least harmful to the planet, with pulses accounting for just 0.3 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

 

“Reducing the impact of our diets—by eating fewer calories and less animal-based foods—could achieve significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the United States,” said Martin Heller, a researcher at the University of Michigan. “It’s climate action that is accessible to everyone, because we all decide on a daily basis what we eat.”

 

This is hardly the first time eating animal products has been deemed harmful to the planet. Last year, the Alliance of World Scientists, a group of 15,000 scientists from 184 countries, concluded that humans must change their behavior and switch to a plant-based diet to prevent environmental destruction.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#30
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The Banana As We Know It Is Dying...Again

 

http://blogs.discove...e/#.WpceVpPwZBw

 

Introduction:

 

(Discover) The bananas your grandparents ate were different than the ones you eat today. And the bananas your grandchildren know will probably be entirely different as well.

For the moment, we are in the age of the Cavendish, a banana cultivar that accounts for 99 percent of imports to the Western world. But the Cavendish is in trouble. Like its predecessor the Gros Michel, the Cavendish may soon pass from our lives, potentially taking with it an entire industry.

 

At the heart of the conflict is the sturdy little fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense; it infects and kills banana plants and, since the banana industry relies so heavily on one species, it is spreading steadily across banana-rich Southeast Asia and into Australia and the Middle East.

 

The awkwardly long scientific name is because it is only one of several strains of the pathogen, also known as Panama disease. The current epidemic is a close cousin to the variety of Panama disease that nearly ended the banana industry entirely in the mid-20th century.

 

Today, Tropical Race 4, or TR4, is taking down the Cavendish. The mid-20th century menace was Race 1, which ravaged banana plantations in Central America, home to most commercial operations, beginning in the early 1900s. By 1960, it was ubiquitous in the region.

shutterstock_501426466.jpg

Credit: Shutterstock


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#31
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I read a news today saying Canada and Germany have launched the insect energy bar. Sooner or later we'll all eat insects because of its high nutrition and sustainable development. 



#32
caltrek

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^^^^Possibly.

 

Giant Hog Farms Are Fighting for the Right to Keep Polluting. The Trump Administration Is on Their Side.

 

https://www.motherjo...-on-their-side/

 

Introduction:

 

(Mother Jones) If you enjoy bacon or ham, chances are you’ve eaten pork from North Carolina, where about 16 million hogs—10 percent of the US total—are raised each year. The great bulk of that production takes place in a handful of counties on the state’s coastal plain—places like Baden County, home to more than 750,000 hogs but only 35,000 humans. Recently, a federal jury awarded more than $50 million in damages to 10 plaintiffs who live near one of the factory-scale hog operations.  

 

The hog facility in the case, which raises hogs under contract for Murphy Brown, a subsidiary of China-owned pork giant Smithfield, is called Kinlaw Farm. Here’s a Google Earth image of it:

screenshot-2018-05-03-16-46-18-copy.jpg

 

 

Those white buildings in three clumps of four are hog barns. A typical barn holds around 1,000 hogs. The brownish splotches are open-air cesspools known as lagoons, which store manure from all those animals before it’s sprayed on surrounding fields. I’ve been near operations like this, and the stench is blinding—pungent gases like ammonia and hydrogen sulfide permeate the air. In addition to revulsion, these gases can trigger ill health effects in neighboring communities, including eye irritation, chronic lung disease, and olfactory neuron loss.

 

As Leah Douglas recently noted in a Mother Jones piece, all 10 of the plaintiffs in the case are black. This isn’t surprising, because in North Carolina, “people of color are 1.5 times more likely to live near a hog CAFO than white people.”

 

If you play around with Google Earth, you can find several residences within a half-mile of the site. That’s not unusual—a recent analysis of satellite data by the Environmental Working Group found that around 160,000 North Carolinians, representing more than 60,000 households, live within a half-mile of a hog confinement or a manure pit. 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#33
caltrek

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Should ‘superspawners’ stir up fisheries management?

 

https://www.sciencem...ries-management

 

Introduction:

 

(The Verge) There is no fertility clock for fish. Unlike in mammals, the reproductive ability of most female fish just keeps increasing as they age and grow—bigger fish produce more and more eggs. In many species, the fecundity gains can be especially impressive, creating what might be called “superspawners” that produce disproportionately large numbers of offspring, a new study finds. But these reproductive giants aren’t getting enough protection under fishing regulations, the authors suggest.

 

Some fisheries scientists disagree with that conclusion. But the finding is “a perfect reminder that in order to rebuild fish stocks and prepare them for global change, we have to increase the proportion of large fish,” says Rainer Froese, a marine ecologist at the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany, who was not involved in the study.

 

It’s been known for decades that fish fertility generally increases with size. A cod that is 70 centimeters long, for example, can produce eight times as many eggs as a younger fish half its size can. But it’s been hotly debated whether larger females are especially important for keeping fish stocks healthy. Most of the models used to manage fisheries assume, because of a lack of comprehensive evidence to the contrary, that the most important factor in sustaining a healthy stock is the total amount of spawning fish, regardless of whether it’s a lot of small fish or the same tonnage of big ones.

 

There are exceptions: For a few species, such as certain Pacific rockfish, detailed research has shown that big females produce even more eggs than predicted by their size. In addition, some kinds of old females produce extra-nutritious eggs so these offspring are more likely to survive. Many researchers worry about these matriarchs because they are relatively rare and, if killed, it can take a long time for younger fish to mature and replace them. Climate change is also a concern, as fish tend to be smaller when water temperature rises, making bigger females more valuable.

 

Dustin Marshall, an evolutionary ecologist at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, wondered how common these disproportionately fertile females might be among marine fish. He and his colleagues compiled data on size and number of eggs for 342 species across various taxonomic groups.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#34
Ewolf20

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^^^^Possibly.

 

Giant Hog Farms Are Fighting for the Right to Keep Polluting. The Trump Administration Is on Their Side.

 

https://www.motherjo...-on-their-side/

 

Introduction:

 

(Mother Jones) If you enjoy bacon or ham, chances are you’ve eaten pork from North Carolina, where about 16 million hogs—10 percent of the US total—are raised each year. The great bulk of that production takes place in a handful of counties on the state’s coastal plain—places like Baden County, home to more than 750,000 hogs but only 35,000 humans. Recently, a federal jury awarded more than $50 million in damages to 10 plaintiffs who live near one of the factory-scale hog operations.  

 

The hog facility in the case, which raises hogs under contract for Murphy Brown, a subsidiary of China-owned pork giant Smithfield, is called Kinlaw Farm. Here’s a Google Earth image of it:

screenshot-2018-05-03-16-46-18-copy.jpg

 

 

Those white buildings in three clumps of four are hog barns. A typical barn holds around 1,000 hogs. The brownish splotches are open-air cesspools known as lagoons, which store manure from all those animals before it’s sprayed on surrounding fields. I’ve been near operations like this, and the stench is blinding—pungent gases like ammonia and hydrogen sulfide permeate the air. In addition to revulsion, these gases can trigger ill health effects in neighboring communities, including eye irritation, chronic lung disease, and olfactory neuron loss.

 

As Leah Douglas recently noted in a Mother Jones piece, all 10 of the plaintiffs in the case are black. This isn’t surprising, because in North Carolina, “people of color are 1.5 times more likely to live near a hog CAFO than white people.”

 

 

If you play around with Google Earth, you can find several residences within a half-mile of the site. That’s not unusual—a recent analysis of satellite data by the Environmental Working Group found that around 160,000 North Carolinians, representing more than 60,000 households, live within a half-mile of a hog confinement or a manure pit. 

 

 

5 more years man, 5 more years.



#35
caltrek

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525e0d3d-3bef-4028-9a42-79f548616486-ori


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#36
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Spring-Onion Chickpea Pancake with Spicy Sautéed Chard

 

https://www.motherjo...-sauteed-chard/

 

Introduction:

 

(Mother Jones) On a trip to Los Angeles about a year ago, I started seeing savory chickpea pancakes everywhere: first as an appetizer at the tiny, excellent Silver Lake restaurant Mh Zh; then, served as a simple dinner in the home of some friends in Glendale, while their young children held court.

 

It’s called socca—a delicacy native to the Provence region of France and to the Ligurian coast of Italy (homeland of pesto), where it’s known as farinata or torta de ceci. There’s a similar dish in the Gujarat region of India called pudla. As my friends demonstrated, making this delicious pancake is dead simple.

 

Socca is gluten-free, vegan, and loaded with protein from those pulverized chickpeas. 

 

The only unusual ingredient is chickpea flour (also known as garbanzo bean flour or besan), typically available in health-food or South Asian stores (and if not, can be mail-ordered). Once you’ve snagged some, you’re always a few steps away from a crowd-pleasing, versatile main dish, with no more effort necessary than stirring up a batter and figuring out a nice topping. For those who care about such things, socca is gluten-free, vegan, and loaded with protein from those pulverized chickpeas. 

 

We’ve been making it ever since those LA encounters, guided by recipes from the excellent vegan cookbook author Gena Hamshaw and American-in-Paris kitchen master David Lebovitz. The basic formula is chickpea flour, water, salt and olive oil. Following Provence tradition, Lebovitz spikes his socca batter with cumin and serves the dish plain, “with an apéritif before dinner.” I like to add a little sautéed onion to the batter and serve slices topped with sautéed vegetables for a deeply satisfying meal.

You can keep it simple and go with a plain batter and no toppings, or add flavorings to the batter and/or elaborate sauces and toppings at the table. The possibilities are endless. For a light recent supper, here’s what I did. 

20180509_chard.jpg?w=990

Milana Benedek/Getty


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#37
funkervogt

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525e0d3d-3bef-4028-9a42-79f548616486-ori

 

Counterpoint: 

 

 

For one thing, the linkage of local farming to efficiency and sustainability is dubious. The locavore obsession with reducing food-miles has been roundly debunked as a false economy that may actually worsen carbon emissions. That’s because the high-volume, long-haul food transportation perfected by industrial agriculture is fantastically more energy-efficient than the low-volume, short-haul shipments of locavore distribution systems.

http://observer.com/...-of-locavorism/



#38
kjaggard

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there is a lot of misleading info going around. Grains are a terribly inefficient  and not particularly good food crop and use so much land, fertaliser and water that I would get rid of those before I got rid of chickens and eggs. And on that note they lump beef, pork and dairy in the same group with chickens and eggs. Poultry and eggs are actually a great option, as they can be fed on food scraps, eat crop destroying insects, provide fertalizers, supply eggs for years, and are a meat supply. Their water and feed needs are low and pound for pound a better option than wheat. and they can also be fed with the same insects we can eat and some we can't. They are sized like a house cat and well domesticated.

 

and herd animals have actually been found to be good for the environment. The problem isn't meat. It's the assembly line production of it that we have adopted.


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#39
caltrek

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^^^Interesting points.

 

Food Delivery's Untapped Opportunity

 

https://techcrunch.com/2018/05/16/food-deliverys-untapped-opportunity/

 

Introduction:

 

(Techcrunch) Investors may have already placed their orders in the consumer food delivery space, but there’s still a missing recipe for solving the more than $250 billion business-to-business foodservice distribution problem that’s begging for venture firms to put more cooks in the kitchen. 

 

Stock prices for Sysco and US Foods, the two largest food distributors, are up by more than 20 percent since last summer, when Amazon bought Whole Foods. But, these companies haven’t made any material changes to their business model to counteract the threat of Amazon. I know a thing or two about the food services industry and the need for a B2B marketplace in an industry ripe with all of our favorite buzz words: fragmentation, last-mile logistics and a lack of pricing transparency.

 

The business-to-business food problem

 

Consumers have it good. Services such as Amazon and Instacart are pushing for our business and attention and thus making it great for the end users. By comparison, food and ingredient delivery for businesses is vastly underserved. The business of foodservice distribution hasn’t gotten nearly as much attention — or capital — as consumer delivery, and the industry is further behind when it comes to serving customers. Food-preparation facilities often face a number of difficulties getting the ingredients to cook the food we all enjoy.

Who are these food-preparation facilities? They range from your local restaurants, hotels, school and business cafeterias, catering companies, and many other facilities that supply to grocery markets, food trucks and so on. This market is gigantic. Ignoring all other facilities, just U.S. restaurants alone earn about $800 billion in annual sales. That’s based on research by the National Restaurant Association (the “other NRA”). Specific to foodservice distribution in the U.S., the estimated 2016 annual sales were a sizable $280 billion.

 

How it works today

 

Every one of these food-preparation facilities relies on a number of relationships with distributors (and sometimes, but rarely, directly from farms) to get their necessary ingredients. Some major national players, including Sysco and US Foods, mainly supply “dry goods.” For fresh meats, seafood and produce, plus other artisanal goods, these facilities rely on a large number of local wholesale distributors.

wavefood.jpg?w=730&crop=1


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#40
caltrek

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On legumes:

 

 

A plant that could save civilization, if we let it

 

https://thebulletin....-we-let-it11826

 

Introduction:

 

(Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists) Within decades, the changing temperature will have a negative effect on agriculture and by extension food security. A 2010 World Bank report, Development and Climate Change, forecast that climate change would depress agricultural yields in most countries by 2050, assuming current crop varieties and agricultural practices remain the same. Countries in Africa, South America, and South Asia will be particularly hard hit, with the United States adversely affected as well. (Canada and Russia may be able to grow more crops than they currently do, if arctic soils are fertile enough for large-scale agriculture.)

 

Reducing carbon emissions would be one way to stop global warming, but efforts to do so have run into economic, technological, and political obstacles.

 

But plants do something similar, albeit temporarily, capturing carbon dioxide after it has entered the atmosphere. Through photosynthesis, a type of carbon fixing, they pull in more than 860 gigatons of carbon dioxide each year from the atmosphere, storing it in their leaves, shoots, and roots. Unfortunately, much of the carbon dioxide is re-released back into the atmosphere when the plants—annual crops such as rice, wheat, and maize—are harvested or degraded by bacteria, fungi, or animals. (NASA’s three-minute video “A Year in the Life of Earth’s CO2” visualizes a computer simulation of the effects of photosynthesis on carbon dioxide levels during spring and summer months in the northern hemisphere.) Perennials—plants that live year after year—provide a potential strategy to combat climate change by storing carbon dioxide longterm in their roots. (Trees do this too, which is one of the many reasons cutting down forests is so deleterious to the environment.)

 

One scientist has a promising idea to solve two major problems at once—removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and feeding people and animals—by breeding a “super plant.” But her project, urgent though it is, might be unnecessarily slow for political reasons. Due to concerns about political opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs), she has chosen to genetically alter plants the old-fashioned way, through selective breeding, rather than through a newer, faster technology, the gene-editing tool CRISPR.

food-3295345.jpg?itok=EiKbeg-u


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Food, CRISPR, GMO, Gene Modification, Agriculture

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