DAILY ESSENTIALS | 19 SEPTEMBER 2013

HOW TO EAT ON NATIONAL TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY
Jesse Rhodes | Food and Think | Smithsonian

From a food standpoint, a pirate’s life was problematic. Being at sea and without easy access to major seaports meant that there was rarely a steady supply of food and hunger was a regular aspect of day-to-day living. Much of their lives were spent on board a ship, and perpetually damp conditions put normal pantry staples such as flour and dried beans at high risk of mold. Climate also presented preservation problems: if sailing in warmer regions of the world, such as the Caribbean, keeping fresh fruits and meats was near impossible. Fresh water was also difficult to keep during long sea voyages because it could develop algae scum. By contrast, alcohol would never spoil, making beer and rum the preferred preferred beverages. Rum, in addition to being consumed straight up, was used along with cinnamon and other spices to sweeten stagnant water and make grog. Dried meats and hardtack, a relatively shelf-stable biscuit, were regular parts of a pirate’s diet, although the latter was frequently infested with weevils.

SLIDESHOW: THE SAD STATE OF SCHOOL LUNCH IN THE U.S.
HuffPostTeen
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The photos come to us from the youth nonprofit DoSomething.org, who have asked teens to share photos of their school lunches throughout the month of September. The full gallery is on the Do Something site, and users can vote to “toss” or “eat” each photo.

As demonstrated by the cringe-worthy images above, it’s an effective campaign idea — and the nonprofit plans to use the data gathered to create a “heat map” of school lunches in the U.S. Their goal is to raise awareness of the sad state of nutrition in public schools.

JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED: MED STUDENTS TEAM WITH CHEFS
Kristen Goulray | The Salt | NPR

For the past few weeks, the culinary arts students at University in Providence, R.I., have been working with some less-than-seasoned sous chefs.

One of them, Clinton Piper, may look like a pro in his chef’s whites, but he’s struggling to work a whisk through some batter. “I know nothing about baking,” he says.

Luckily, he’s got other qualifications. Piper is a fourth-year medical student at , and he’s here for a short rotation through a new designed to educate med students and chefs-in-training about nutrition.
Johanna Terron, 14, has lost over 20 pounds over the past year. She receives a prescription for fruits and vegetables from her pediatrician at Lincoln Hospital.

“I think it’s forward thinking to start to see, to view food as medicine,” he says. “That’s not something that’s really on our radar in medical education. But with the burden of disease in the United States being so heavily weighted with lifestyle disease, I think it’s a very, very logical next step.”

HEY CHIPOTLE
David Hayden | Farming America

2)You portray meat being processed and coming straight out of factories. Where do you think your meat comes from? I’m a meat scientist and have been in PLENTY of “Factories” that produce YOUR products. That’s right, farmer John isn’t killing and processing your meat on the family farm, it’s all coming from a factory. So please don’t act like just because you carry an “All Natural” label your products are exempt from processing.

3)And then there’s this;
chipotle-chicken

Really Chipotle, what is this? Are you simulating farmers pumping hormones into their chicken so they grow big and fat? Let’s talk about that for a second; hormones are ILLEGAL, so since they are illegal, they are NOT used in poultry production. My family raises commercial poultry, and let me tell you, there is no “shot giving” to any of those animals. I couldn’t imagine giving 100,000 birds an individual shot. THIS DOESN’T HAPPEN.

GM FOOD FIGHT: WHY THE GATES FOUNDATION WANTS TO MAKE RICE GOLDEN
Tom Paulson | Humanosphere

“We fully expect golden rice will continue to be a lightning rod in this debate,” said Alex Reid, a spokeswoman for the Gates Foundation on its agricultural programs. The Seattle philanthropy supports research into a variety of GM crop technologies as one of many options aimed at improving agricultural productivity and utility in poor communities, Reid said, but their spending on GMOs remains less than 10 percent of the entire agricultural program budget. She noted that the Gates Foundation has spent about $2 billion on agriculture since adding that to its humanitarian portfolio in the mid-2000s. The most recent annual report, Reid said, put agriculture spending at more than $370 million in 2011 (with the golden rice project getting about $10 million).

Support for golden rice research also comes from the Rockefeller Foundation and the US Agency for International Development.

“If it turns out to be safe an effective, we would support it,” she said. “For now, we just see it as one of many options. We would describe our position on this as ‘technologically agnostic,’ meaning we are neither for or against GM crops. We just want to use what works.”

GOLDEN RICE NOT SO GOLDEN FOR TUFTS
Martin Enserink | Science

A study in which Chinese children were fed a small amount of genetically modified rice violated university and U.S. federal rules on human research, according to a statement issued yesterday by Tufts University in Boston, whose scientists led the study. Tufts has barred the principal investigator, Guangwen Tang, from doing human research for 2 years and will require her to undergo training in research on human subjects.

In August 2012, Tang and colleagues published a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showing that golden rice is a promising source of vitamin A in Chinese children aged 6 to 8 years old. The study ignited a media firestorm in China a few weeks later, after Greenpeace issued a statement claiming that the children were used as “guinea pigs” and labeling the study a “scandal of international proportions.” Three Chinese collaborators who initially denied involvement in the study, according to media reports, were punished for their participation in December, following an official investigation in China, and parents of the children received generous financial compensation from the Chinese government.

. . . The reviews found no evidence of health or safety problems in the children fed golden rice; they also concluded that the study’s data were scientifically accurate and valid. Indeed, Souvaine’s letter to the USDA stresses that the results “have important public health and nutrition implications, for China and other parts of the world.”

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About Marc Brazeau

Free lance cultural attaché. Writing at REALFOOD.ORG.

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