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Morning photo: Markets

Yummy food, people watching … what more could you want?

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Sorting apples at the market in Brignoles, France.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO —Some people seek out museums and statues when they travel, and that’s fine. I’ve been known to visit a museum or three. But if it ever came down to a choice between a museum or wandering through a farmers market, the market would always win out. It’s not just because I love food. Markets are just great places to pick up the vibe of a town and to watch locals go about their business. It’s fun to see who’s going home with asparagus stalks hanging out their handbag, and to watch people sniff stinky cheese, or poke melons to find the ripe one. It’s also good to connect with the people who grow the food you eat. Finally, there’s no better place to stock up with a few good snacks for the next leg of your trip. Today’s photo set is themed for the popular #FriFotos Twitter chat, so upload your own market pics, tag them and join in the fun. I’m looking forward to seeing some pictures of markets that I’ll maybe visit on one of my next trips. Continue reading

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Environment: GMO battle heats up with worldwide protests

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Activists have set May 25 as a wordwide day of action to raise awareness about genetically modified food issues.

Colorado joins in with demonstrations across the state

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Activists today (May 25) will try to raise awareness about what they perceive as the dangers of genetically modified foods with a series of worldwide marches and protests under the #OccupyMonsanto banner.The rallies include events across Colorado, from Denver to Grand Junction. The Denver protest at the State Capitol starts at 11 a.m. and is scheduled to continue until 4 p.m.

A worldwide list of events is posted at this Facebook page.

Grassroots opposition has been growing the past few months since Congress passed what’s been called the Monsanto Protection Act, which appears to gives the U.S. Department of Agriculture at least temporary authority to ignore court rulings on whether it’s OK to plant genetically engineered crops. Read this NPR report for more details on the congressional action. Continue reading

Health: Pre-ordering school meals leads to healthier eating

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It’s hard to resist a tater tot when you’re hungry, but pre-ordering meals at school can lead to healthier choices.

Study in New York shows significant change in food choices

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Not long after reporting that bite-sized fruit pieces spur healthier eating at school, Cornell researchers have released new findings suggesting that pre-ordering food would also help improve the dietary habits of school kids.

The study builds on the conventional wisdom that shopping for food while hungry can lead to unhealthy choices. According to the scientists, hungry people are especially sensitive to sights and smells of foods that will satiate, but may lack in nutrient content. Continue reading

Congress tackles genetically modified food labeling

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Have your veggies been genetically modified? Some members of Congress think you have the right to know.

Citing overwhelming public support, lawmakers introduce measures that would require the FDA to modernize its labeling standards

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — The battle over labeling of genetically modified food is once again in Congress, where pending bills in the House and Senate would help consumers be able to make more informed choices about their diet and purchasing decisions.

U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR)this week introduced the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act in the House; a companion measure in the Senate got a bipartisan introduction from by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CO) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

“Despite the prevalence of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in grocery stores and prepared foods, it remains difficult if not impossible for consumers to determine if the foods they eat contain GMOs,” Polis said. “This labeling bill is about empowering consumers: consumers can choose to eat or not eat GMOs, or to pay more or less for GMOs. I believe consumers have a right to know what they are eating so they can make their own informed food choices. I am proud to be working toward more informative food labels.” Continue reading

Morning photo: Dishin’

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Nothing like a little deep-dish apple pie!

Nothing like a little deep-dish apple pie!

FRISCO — It’s been a few weeks since I joined in the #FriFotos Twitter chat, but when I saw that this week’s them was “dishes,” I couldn’t resist. I’m just one of those annoying people who likes to take pictures of food and share them. It bugs my family a little bit, but for me, it adds one final touch to the creative process of cooking, and it also helps me decide what to make for dinner sometimes, as in when I’m scrolling through my iPhone camera roll and I suddenly see something yummy and say to myself, “It’s about time to try that again!” To join in, upload you own favorite “dish” pictures, tag them with #FriFotos, then sit back and enjoy the show. Continue reading

Morning photo: Foodscapes

Seasonal goodies

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New potatoes and asparagus have been on sale recently at Safeway. Together, they make a fine vegetarian meal, and it’s an early season staple and classic in farmhouse restaurants in central Europe. Just boil and serve with some melted butter.

FRISCO — Stepping back from landscapes for a short food interlude today … Continue reading

Study confirms prehistoric cheese-making

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Chunks of Swiss cheese. Photo via Wikipedia and the Creative Commons.

Researchers analyze fatty acids extracted from pottery found in northern Europe

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Along with being a choice gourmet item for foodies, cheese has been a staple in many cultures around the world for centuries, as a transportable and digestible dairy product.

New research shows that cheese-making probably pre-dates previous estimates by quite a while. After analyzing fatty acids extracted from unglazed ceramic pottery, scientists say prehistoric people in northern Europe were making cheese as long as 7,000 years ago.

“Before this study, it was not clear that cattle were used for their milk in Northern Europe around 7,000 years ago,” said Mélanie Salque, a PhD student from the University of Bristol and one of the authors of the paper. “However, the presence of the sieves in the ceramic assemblage of the sites was thought to be a proof that milk and even cheese was produced at these sites<” Salque said. “Of course, these sieves could have been used for straining all sorts of things, such as curds from whey, meat from stock or honeycombs from honey. We decided to test the cheese-making hypothesis by analysing the lipids trapped into the ceramic fabric of the sieves,” she said. Continue reading

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