image from Vegan Campus
Between Mad Cow, deforestation of rain forests to make way for the beef industry and now, a finding that , if you're eating meat, you're also eating feces, carnivores like us are finding a lot of reasons to switch teams.
Doctors petitioned the USDA to ensure "Feces-Free" meat or issue biohazard labels after a survey found that 84 percent of adults have no idea that the primary source of salmonella, campylobacter, E. coli, and other foodborne pathogens on poultry and meat is animal feces.
Our findings show the vast majority of Americans do not understand there are feces on meat and poultry,” says Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) staff attorney Mindy Kursban. “In fact, there’s a major disconnect in the public consciousness between the foodborne illnesses that sicken so many of us and their originating cause: animal excrement.”
[vegancampus via Buzzfeed]
We've been devouring a delightful new book, Food, edited by John Knechtel. This refreshingly Canada-centric collection of photography and writing takes a 360 degree approach to covering the endlessly fascinating subject of food -- from an essay on dining in outerspace to poetry about overeating -- this collection does not limit its scope on our favorite topic. We love the results of this hodgepodge of food writing.
One of the highlights was the discovery of an essay by one of our favorite food bloggers, Debra Soloman of Culiblog. She describes the public eating/activist art project, Fallen Fruit. The project began as a mapping project. David Burns, Matias Viegener, and Austin Young created comprehensive guides to all the public fruit trees in the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Echo Park, Hancock Park and Silver Lake. Santa Fe has been mapped for public fruit trees too.
Since we're currently obsessed with West Coast living, this project scores another point for the West.
Check the Fallen Fruit site regularly to find out when the next Public Jam will take place.
We ask that the citizens bring along home-grown or public fruit and any clean, empty glass jars. At the end everyone left with a jar of communal jam. Even those arriving empty handed left with jam. We made radical and experimental jams, like basil guava or lemon pepper jelly. We discussed the basics of jam and jelly making, pectin and bindings, as well as the communal power of shared fruit and the liberation of public fruit. Vats of fun for all!
Why are bananas curved?
The new book, Do Cats Have Belly Buttons, answers useless trivia questions like:
Why are bananas curved?
Bananas grow on tall trees in big bunches around the top of the trunk. Their curving shows how efficient nature is. Their shape means they can fit very closely together, which allows more bananas to grow around the tree - as many as 50 in a bunch.
Why does a drink fizz up when you drop an ice cube in?
In a liquid, gas bubbles are formed when they attach to a solid surface. They form especially well when placed against something rough. So, in a liquid drink there are thousands of tiny potential bubbles in the dissolved carbon dioxide jostling for position against the wall of the glass, hoping to take shape. When a rough ice cube is placed in the drink, the carbon dioxide fights to attach itself to the cube so it can shape itself as lots of gassy bubbles. It prefers the ice cube to the glass because of the roughness of the cube.
What causes the feeling of butterflies in the stomach?
These are actually small muscle contractions in the digestive tract. The gut's muscles are normally well co-ordinated - but when disrupted by stress, the body's priority is no longer digestion. So, rather than wasting vital blood and oxygen supplies on processing food, the body diverts them to the legs where they can be better used - for example, to help us run out of the way of danger. The gut is therefore shut down by the brain, leaving it with irregular rhythmic contractions.
Can chewing gum get tangled up in your intestine?
Many parents have warned their children this might happen - but it simply isn't true. Although gum can stick to shoes, bus seats, hair and pavements, it makes its way unhindered through the digestive system - passing straight through the stomach and on to the intestines. It cannot adhere to the moist and slippery walls of the gut.
[from Daily Mail via Reddit.com]
With the social obligations of summer in full force, there is little chance that we will find ourselves alone in the kitchen any time soon. That is fine with us. In the summer months, our dining area extends beyond the confines of a tiny apartment corner into the backyard. This means we get to experiment with new recipes and prepare dishes for whole troops of friends. As a result the kitchen and backyard are often filled with aspiring sous chefs and potluck contributors.
Until the weather cools and we're forced back into the claustrophobic walls, we will enjoy the quiet calm we experience when reading a new anthology about cooking and dining alone. We have been devouring the collection of essays in Alone in the Kitchen with Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone, edited by Jenni Ferrari-Adler. Contributor include Jonathan Ames, Haruki Murakami, M.F.K. Fisher, Amanda Hesser, Beverly Lowry and Laurie Colwin, to name a few. Live vicariously through the writers who remind us of the pleasures of cooking for one and dining alone.
If we had to determine the best job on the planet, a position as a globe trekking street food taster would be at the top of our list. Tom Kime, the executive chef at the Fortina Spa Resort on the island of Malta, is lucky enough to have this as one of his many jobs. He travelled to over 15 countries in Asia, South and Central America, Northern Africa and the Middle East, to sample street food for his new book, "Street Food: Exploring the World's Most Authentic Tastes (June 2007). Once we got over our bout of career envy, we allowed the beautiful photos, first person accounts and easy-to-follow recipes to transport us back to some of our favorite places to eat street food on the planet.