Posts Tagged ‘food’

Are Natural Foods Natural?

Most US packaged foods labeled ‘natural’ have GM ingredients – report

Non-profit finds that while ‘organic’ products lack GM ingredients, many cereals, chips and infant formula contain them

Three tomatoes grown from genetically modified seeds. Photograph: Alamy

A majority of US packaged foods labeled as “natural” and tested by Consumer Reports actually contained a substantial level of genetically modified ingredients, according to a report issued Tuesday by the non-profit product testing group.

Consumers are being misled by the “natural” label, said Urvashi Rangan, executive director of Consumer Reports Food Safety and Sustainability.

Consumer Reports said it had conducted a survey of more than 80 different processed foods containing corn or soy, the two most widely grown genetically engineered crops in the United States, to determine whether labeling claims for GMO presence were accurate.

While foods labeled as “non-GMO”, or “organic” were found to be free of genetically modified corn and soy, virtually all of the foods labeled as “natural” or not labeled with any claim related to GMO content contained substantial amounts of GMO ingredients, Consumer Reports said.

GMOs were present in breakfast cereals, chips and infant formula, the group said.

Source: TheGuardian Read more

Make you Fink on Friday

Creepy crawlies

Creepy crawlies

There have been suggestions recently that we may have to look for other food sources like insect and creepy crawlies.

The idea doesn’t appeal to me one little bit.

But, the Chinese and other Asian countries do.

Grub’s up: maggots and crickets on menu at Britain’s first ‘pestaurant’

Rentokil crawls into street food arena with cheesy worms, insect lollipops and pigeon burgers, specially farmed for intrepid diners

An insect pick’n’mix bag at Rentokil’s Pestaurant, in London. Photograph: Jonathan Hordle/Rex

David Cross started out studying the behaviour of the American cockroach, moved on to managing the population of the great spruce bark beetle, before finally settling on a career exterminating flies, cockroaches, spiders, wasps, ants, moths, fleas and woodworm. Ask him his least favourite pest and he looks blank.

He’ll admit, however, to a particular affection for the flour beetle (“it’s something that you develop a bit of respect for”), and “rats and mice will always be posing some interesting and quite complex challenge for you”.

Everything has its limits though, and for the head of Rentokil’s technical training academy, the plain roasted buffalo worms were proving a step too far. “Yeah, I’m not so keen on them. If you are just eating the dry insects you can get a bit of exoskeleton stuck in the back of the throat. You need a drink of water after that.”

Lunchtime in the City, and a pop-up with a difference: Pestaurant, run by Britain’s best-known extermination brand, which aims to interpret the popularity of street food in its most literal sense. On the menu: salt & vinegar crickets, plain roasted locusts, crispy BBQ mealworms and something called an “early bird breakfast pie”, featuring six sausages, eight rashers of smoky bacon and “30g bamboo or buffalo worms”.

A Pestaurant chef shows off their sweet chilli pigeon burgers, garnished with cheddar cheese mealworms. Photograph: Jonathan Hordle/Rex

The stall may have been temporary, but several of the key ingredients, it turned out, are Rentokil regulars. Mealworms, favourites of pet reptiles and fish, can also cause serious infestation problems for flour mills and grain producers, and even for those unfortunate homes that already have a bird population. Crickets can also be a domestic problem, though happily, said Cross, only certain types will occupy a building in numbers.

The company also finds itself regularly engaged in a battle against pigeons which, minced in a burger with venison, bacon and sweet chilli, were proving a particularly hot draw at the city centre stall. (One of the weapons open to pest controllers, if nets and spikes prove ineffective, is to coat surfaces with a “chilli-based gel” which sticks to their feet, and sounds barely less appealing than any number of local chicken takeaways.)

But the dishes on offer were “absolutely not” the fruits of the company’s labours, said Cross quickly — the burgers were of finest wood pigeon, while the bugs had all been farmed specifically for human consumption.

By 1pm, a small crowd of lunch-hour diners was hovering, some giggling nervously, some ostentatiously picking fingerfuls of tiny bugs with the texture of puffed rice and gulping them down, many simply heading for the free pigeon burgers, which didn’t sound too scary, surely?

“Mmm, how nice does that look?” said Alex Campbell, picking up a plain roasted cricket, just big enough for its legs and wings to be clearly discernible. Did he think so? “No, it looks absolutely disgusting.” He gulped it down confidently. The verdict? “Tastes like nuts to be honest.”

Insect lollipops at Pestaurant. Photograph: Jonathan Hordle/Rex

“I like the buffalo worms,” said Peter Hannah, judging them “kind of crispy, a little salty, not a lot of flavour”

Source: TheGuardian Read more

Opinion:

Thanks, but no thanks.

Change the World Wednesday – 11th Jun

Got coffee, raring to go!

Can’t eat a football – image: BBC News

Tomorrow is the kick off for the FIFA World Cup. Half of Brazil is excited, the other half complaining/protesting about the costs of a one month sports event while social services are left to starve.

Dilma Rousseff was on TV last night with a damage control presidential message.

I love the world cup, but the thing that disappoints me is there is no effort in promoting awareness nor solutions to the world’s chaotic environmental issues when you have the largest TV audience in the world as a captive audience. I consider this to be a major failing of FIFA.

Lots of big fat juicy worms

Lots of big fat juicy worms

As a part of last week’s CTWW, I turned over the compost heap. I didn’t find anything to transplant, but I do have a wonderful crop of worms, big fat juicy ones.

I was happy to see that I have two out of three pretty plants in my yard. My chillies and passionfruit; they do make wonderful displays.

I must take issue with Small on a comment in her ‘Final Thoughts’, “made me wonder, not for the first time, why we (society) choose ornamental plants and trees over varieties which provide food.” I think we have to look beyond pretty/ornamental, and look at what these non-food bearing plants do. While they may sap the ground of nutrients, do they also not provide composting material? Thus, returning to the ground what they have used. Think about all those leaves you rake up every autumn, wonderful for the compost heap; and then you grow veges. Do they not pander to the bees to make honey and feed birds like humming birds? I think that ornamental plants and trees do have their place in the scheme of things, maybe not direct food, but in the long run.

Click the banner for the full post

On with this week’s CTWW.

Reuse!

This week, before placing items in either the recycle or trash bin, see if you can find new uses for them. For example, an empty ketchup bottle could be used to dispense pancake batter onto the griddle. An old cooking pot or tea kettle could become your newest planter. Got some empty medicine bottles? Fill them with coins and keep in your car for toll booths or times when you need a few pennies. The idea, this week, is to find a use for things which might otherwise be thrown away.

I do that, I try to find a use/repurpose for everything. It is the core of my life; and not only at home.

Even as I walk along the streets, I scour for something that I can reuse or repurpose.

Here’s some examples:

Two sewer pipe off cuts found near a construction site

Two sewer pipe off cuts found near a construction site make a bench

 

What's holding up my tomatoes? An old broom handle

What’s holding up my tomatoes? An old broom handle

 

My old stove is now my work bench and garden storage

My old stove is now my work bench and garden storage

 

Repurposed bricks in the kitchen

Repurposed bricks and small jar in the kitchen

So I do, I do it all the time, it’s an addiction, I’m incorrigible.

…maybe I should go to meetings 🙂

 

 

Satireday on Eco-Crap

Just wondering…

Satireday on Eco-Crap

twinkieseeds

Deeply Disturbed by this

Free vitamins for all under-fives advised by chief medical officer

Dame Sally Davies says rise in rickets points to need for vitamin handouts to curb illnesses linked to vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin pills. Up to 40% of children in Britain are reported to be lacking sufficient vitamin D, obtained naturally from the sun and oily fish. Photograph: Tony Stone

All under-fives may be offered free vitamins on the NHS in an effort to curb the rising tide of illness, such as rickets, linked to them getting too little vitamin D.

Dame Sally Davies, the government’s chief medical officer, wants ministers to consider extending the offer from low-income families to all children under the age of five.

She has asked the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to investigate whether giving all children in that age group vitamins A, C and D, in the form of drops or tablets, would be cost effective.

Davies said the return of rickets, and the implication of vitamin D in other ill-health, meant that offering every family with under-fives free vitamins was necessary.

Read more

Read more

Opinion:

I am deeply disturbed by this attitude to fix all with pills.

How about forcing parents to feed their children correctly, forcing parents to get their kids outside in the sun?

Society should be weaning itself off medication, not making sure that more is taken.

To me this suggested programme has all the hallmarks of ‘more pills – more profit for the drug companies’.

It’s disgusting that we are turning our kids into ‘vitamin junkies’ for the sake of bigger companies getting bigger. This is criminal!

 

Change the World Wednesday – 16th Oct

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This weeks challenge is a little difference from Small’s normal CTWW challenges, but nevertheless an important one.

This week please consider human rights as it relates to the environment. A good place to start is by reading The Human Right to A Safe and Healthy Environment.

 

THEN …

Leave a comment below or write a post discussing our environmental rights, whether or not they are being realized and how we, as individuals, can help maintain or realize them.

Generally, our human rights are being stiffled by governments and corporations.

My immediate thought on reading the challenge was health and the right to know what we are eating, drinking and putting on our bodies.

Many countries have laws relating to product labelling, just as many countries don’t.

We have the right to know.

To know if:

The food products we buy are made with GMOs so that we can make an informed decision as to whether that product will be a part of our diet, or not

The product contains some form of additive, preservative, sweetener that may or may not be prejudicial to our health.

The product contains some agent or chemical that is considered to be cancer causing or harmful in any other way.

Advertising about products is the truth, and not just something the companies would like us to believe.

Frankly, there is so much bullshit out there that people are confused, and as a result cannot make informed decisions.

The public are bombarded with dubious evidence from company sources, that are seriously at odds with independent assessments.

Governments should be mandating that companies cannot use in-house, biased information for their products, but must be, by law, compelled use to independent testing and reports by specialists that are not chosen by the company.

The use of professionals, doctors, veterinarians, dentists, nutritionists, etc to endorse products needs to be banned. These people will tell you that black is white for money. It’s bullshit! Professionals making claims about any product should be held accountable, struck off, if their views are contrary to independent evidence.

Lobbying should be banned, as it contravenes the basic human right to know the truth.

opposelabellingCompanies need to be banned from political donations because some of the biggest are the worst; for example the First World is up in arms over the rate of the morbidly obese, yet one of the greatest culprits is the soda industry, but because they collectively donate billions, governments aren’t interested in the problem and fob it off elsewhere.

Governments have lost sight of the fact that they represent THE PEOPLE, they have become self-serving entities whose only interest is the next election. The people themselves have lost sight and keep putting the same fools into government.

If we want to claim our human rights, we have to change the paradigm, because the current one IS NOT WORKING!

Until we take back control we will continue to be abused by the very people that we have elected to ensure our human rights.

It is our right to know!

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