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!
And this week's mystery gadget:
What is this? (and hint for those of you that read this regularly, we actually discussed this item in a previous Tasty Bits!)
First off I just want to say how amazing the Dkos participation was in this past weekend's 48 for East Africa blogathon! Of course we know this is an ongoing crisis and I've had links to articles in previous Tasty Bits that forecast things will only get worse.
Washington - Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Biden, has led a U.S. delegation to the Horn of Africa to mobilize a global response to the region's worst drought in more than 60 years, which the United Nations estimates has left at least 12.4 million people in urgent need of food, water and medical care.
To demonstrate U.S. support for agricultural development in the region, Biden visited the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute in Nairobi and met with Agriculture Minister Sally Kosgei. U.S. officials say that, as a result of severe drought, the Horn of Africa faces widespread crop failure, livestock mortality and increased food prices.
The United Nations says Somalia has been hardest hit by the crisis, with famine now affecting five regions across the country and threatening to spread. The U.S. Agency for International Development estimates that more than 600,000 Somalis have fled to neighboring countries, many "walking hundreds of miles to refugee camps in search of food and water" in a migration that has put additional strain on drought-affected areas of Kenya and Ethiopia.
I know many have already helped but just in case some of you out there can spare any more here is the donation info:
Federal officials said they turned up a dangerous form of salmonella at a Cargill Inc. turkey plant last year, and then four times this year at stores selling the Cargill turkey, but didn't move for a recall until an outbreak killed one person and sickened 77 others.
To understand the USDA's quashing of a report it had earlier commissioned, published, and praised, you first have to understand a key aspect of industrial-scale meat production. You see, keeping animals alive and growing fast under cramped, unsanitary conditions is tricky business. One of the industry's tried-and-true tactics is low-level, daily doses of antibiotics. The practice helps keep infections down, at least in the short term, and, for reasons no one really understands, it pushes animals to fatten to slaughter weight faster.
To shed more light on the impacts of food price spikes, Oxfam has created an interactive map of Food Price Volatility Pressure Points. This map shows the impacts of price spikes in some of the countries where food prices have complicated the lives of poor people and offers a chance to take action on to help address price volatility.
Under pressure from right-wing bloggers who blindly associate Ramadan and Muslims with terrorism and burqas, Whole Foods has sent an email to its stores across the United States in which it specifically tells stores not to promote Ramadan this year.
Despite a statement from the Anti-Defamation League that Whole Foods and its Ramadan promotion aren't vaguely anti-Semitic, the association between a holiday that represents a time of patience, humility and charity for Muslims across the world and Jihadist terrorism is apparently so strong with a small, vocal minority that Whole Foods has capitulated to these people -- who surely can't represent the chain's larger demographic -- and buried its former Ramadan promotions as if they were a dirty secret.
Click through to the article to see an update with a comment from Whole Foods in response. I felt copying it here would be too close to violating fair use terms.
Previous research has explored the connection between obesity and chewing, with mixed results. Several studies have found eating faster and chewing less are associated with obesity, while others have found no such link.
In the current study, the team found a connection between the amount of chewing and levels of several hormones that "tell the brain when to begin to eat and when to stop eating," said co-author Shuran Wang in an email.
If you are a fan of Kossack Translator and his Pique the Geek series you may recall his recent diary on yeast. Here's some interesting news regarding the little beasties and our planet's evolution:
Yeast Get By On Almost No Oxygen
Yeast cells probably don't resemble their earliest relatives much (the briny oceans hardly crawled with Belgian microbrews). But the basics of steroid assembly also don't seem to have changed a lot over 2.4 billion years, Waldbauer says. Like many other modern microbes, yeast start with the carbon from several molecules of glucose, then tack on nine or more oxygen molecules to make a single steroid.
The team bathed yeast in liquid bubbled with tiny puffs of oxygen, discovering that the cells can patch together steroids at oxygen levels that would make even the stingiest animals choke. That is, about one molecule of oxygen gas for every 30,000 normally floating around in water today, Waldbauer and colleagues report online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He estimates that pre-Great Oxygenation Event oceans may have held more than four times that amount.
Part of the problem with cheese is that it takes a whole lot of milk to make a tiny bit of cheese. About 10 pounds go in to make the average pound of hard cheese. And that milk, generally speaking, comes from a cow that we all should know by now is emitting a fair amount of methane (as well as manure and other gasses). Add in the gasses and waste associated with feeding that cow to get that milk and you've got yourself quite the the footprint. And before you start running off to stock up on sheep or goats milk-based cheeses we should probably point out that they aren't much better.
The annual report indicates a total of 7,175 farmers markets operate throughout the United States as more farmers are marketing their products directly to consumers than ever before. Last year, the USDA reported that 6,132 markets were operating across the country.
Home & Garden
Catnip Tea Is a Natural Sedative and Digestive Aid
Perhaps our pooties have been trying to enlighten us all along?
Stuffed Berries: easiest summer dessert ever
Yum, this is genius for us non-baker types! Hull and fill strawberries with no-bake cheesecake filling and then roll in graham cracker crumbs? Awesome!