Welcome once again for another week's round-up of eco-foodie news, tips, links & recipes. Each week I glean tasty bits from the various blogs & sites I follow outside of the Kos-verse and bring them together here for your perusal. If you have a good tasty bit to share let us know about it in the comments!
What is this?
Vertical farming is an old idea. Indigenous people in South America have long used vertically layered growing techniques, and the rice terraces of East Asia follow a similar principle. But, now, a rapidly growing global population and increasingly limited resources are making the technique more attractive than ever.
Bad Food? Tax It, and Subsidize Vegetables Mark Bittman in the NYTimes
Rather than subsidizing the production of unhealthful foods, we should turn the tables and tax things like soda, French fries, doughnuts and hyperprocessed snacks. The resulting income should be earmarked for a program that encourages a sound diet for Americans by making healthy food more affordable and widely available.
Some advocates for the poor say taxes like these are unfair because low-income people pay a higher percentage of their income for food and would find it more difficult to buy soda or junk. But since poor people suffer disproportionately from the cost of high-quality, fresh foods, subsidizing those foods would be particularly beneficial to them.
Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assessed the food intake of nearly 30,000 children between 1977 and 2006 using four surveys. They found that children are consuming 179 more daily calories now than they were in the late 1970s -- and that the increase is driven mostly by food eaten outside the house.
(h/t to Patric Juillet) Fears rise over French "killer seaweed" that left 15 wild boar dead
The carcasses of five wild boar were discovered on a beach in Brittany yesterday, reigniting fears that "killer" seaweed, generated by farm pollution could pose a threat to human health on the north Breton coast this summer.
Studies have concluded that the weed, though present naturally, has been prompted to swell to gigantic proportions by the nitrogen flowing into estuaries from intensive pig and cereals farms in central Brittany.
"People are always saying that Africa needs to feed itself. It can't do that if the Chinese and the Saudis are taking up the best land for production for food," Danielle Nierenberg, director of Worldwatch's Nourishing the Planet project, told Reuters.
The International Food Policy Research Institute reports that 15 million to 20 million hectares of land in sub-Saharan Africa have been purchased by foreign investors between 2006 and mid-2009.
The United Nations has estimated that the number of Kenyans who will need food aid because of drought will rise to 3.5m by September.
More than 11m people are going hungry in an area that covers parts of Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia.
'The most affected districts are in northern and northeastern Kenya, where food insecurity is expected to reach crisis levels in August and September,' said Aeneas Chuma, the UN's Humanitarian Coordinator for Kenya.
You can read more Dkos discussion and coverage of this issue in boatsie's recent diary here.
2011 Meat-Eaters Guide to Climate Change
This brochure from the Environmental Working Group is a guide to reducing your impact through reducing your meat consumption and guiding you to better ecological choices for when you do choose to eat meat. You can download and print the PDF or order full color brochures at the link. And beach babe in fl has a diary up with lots of snippets from the guide here: They Moved The Cheese
It's in the works. Along with SenesTech, a biotech company that specializes in "humane animal population management," Arizona scientist Dr. Loretta Mayer has developed Chemspay, a doggy contraceptive that is administered once orally or via injection, and induces menopause in an animal. In trials conducted between 2004 and 2008, the drug significantly reduced the number of eggs in test dogs, thus rendering them unable to have puppies.
Executives from Wal-Mart, Walgreens, SuperValu and other stores joined Michelle Obama at the White House on Wednesday to announce a pledge to open or expand a combined 1,500 stores in communities that have limited access to nutritious food and are designated as “food deserts.”
Walgreens, the Illinois-based retailer with more than 7,000 stores, pledged to reach 4.8 million people in such areas by turning 1,000 of its locations into “food oasis stores” that will sell fruit, vegetables and other groceries that they do not typically stock.
Wal-Mart said it would open or expand food sections in 275 to 300 stores by 2016, employing an estimated 40,000 people. SuperValu, which owns many regional grocery chains like Jewel-Osco and ACME, will open 250 new Save-A-Lot stores in five years.
And for a nice counterpoint to the above:
But, Michelle, Walmart IS a "Food Desert"
It’s wonderful that our First Lady wants to eliminate food deserts in low-income neighborhoods but enabling corporations built on exploitation like Walmart is not the way to go about it.
A much better way might be to discourage further usury of the people in these areas outright; then to invest to repair infrastructure, to create local land use opportunity, to educate local food business people to grow, process and sell “good food” independently, and to invest with appropriate low-interest loans.
Home & Garden
Now, more than 2,000 retailers across the nation stock Big Green Eggs, the brand of ceramic kamados that Mr. Fisher eventually developed, with sales, he said, growing by more than 20 percent every year for the past two decades.
More than a dozen competitors have entered the market, latching onto a customer base that proselytizes as well as cooks. Sometimes known as Eggheads, devotees are sold on manufacturers’ claims that kamado grills light faster than other grills, require less charcoal and hold and distribute heat more evenly, and that meats cooked on them are more moist and succulent.
Futoran began brewing up batches of beer soap for Internet sale nearly four years ago and began selling her wares at local stores in May. Her Soap Dreams revenue has surpassed the soap-making supply business that augmented her income, allowing her to ditch a part-time job.
Just as beer can be flavored with berries or malts, she's manufacturing more than two-dozen types of bars, such as Irish Moss and Tobacco, Cardamom, Bergamot Charcoal, Dirt and Dragons Breath, Coffee Grounds and Guinness.
"Luckily, because of the supply shop," she said, "I can use any kind of scent I want and it's a lot more fun that way. I hope in the future to narrow it down to about 12 or so (scents)."
Soap Dream products are available at www.soapdreams.etsy.com and the supply shop at www.saharassupplies.etsy.com.
Quinoa: the perfect picnic grain 2 lovely recipes for quinoa based salads: one with black beans and grilled zucchini and one with summer fruits.
Perilla is actually the term for a number of different species of plants in the mint family. The Japanese use shiso, which is smaller and mintier than the broad, rounded perilla leaves favored by the Koreans.
The flavor of perilla, grassy with notes of anise or licorice, is pleasing like any other herb. The real advantage is their size. You can do more with the bigger leaves than just chop them up and use them as a garnish (though doing so is perfectly acceptable and delicious).
And that is our weekly plateful of tasty bits! Thanks for stopping by!