As a step toward cutting our carbon footprint, we’ve started to become more conscious about what we eat, and cutting back on meat, especially beef, is one big step. But it also means thinking about where your food comes from. If you stop eating meat but you’re munching fruit that’s been transported 8,000 miles by an oil-powered freighter, it might not be so climate-friendly. These are part of our regular talks at the dinner table, and it all leads to more awareness and change. Austrian supermarkets and food producers help inform these conversations with labels showing the origins of various items, and organic almost goes without saying. As often as possible, we buy produce, and wild mushrooms, from a regional farmer who comes to town once a week. The best foods of all come from a backyard garden, like the luscious strawberries and grapes that grow at our friends’ house in Lower Austria. And wild food isn’t bad either, when you can get it. Blackberries off the vine? Yes, please!
There is still some scientific debate about whether global warming is increasing the number of jellyfish on a global scale, but most of the new research seems to weighing in on the “yes” side.
Degraded, oxygen-poor water and other factors are combining to make parts of the sea less habitable for fish, but more suitable for slimy hydrozoans. And while jellyfish have been desirable as a food in Asia for quite a while, the rest of the world is not on board, maybe because of the gristly texture jellyfish acquires with processing. Continue reading “Food for the 21st century: Jellyfish chips?”→
For a few weeks each summer, usually in early to mid-July, farm fields in Lower Austria come alive with the poppy bloom. The flowers are planted for their tiny black seeds that are a popular ingredient for a wide variety of baked products in this region of the world. Sometimes they’re simply sprinkled atop braided rolls, but they really shine when they’re ground and mixed into a sweetened paste to fill pastries. The fields in this set are all near the small town of Ottenschlag, and it’s well worth visiting if you happen to be near Vienna this time of year.
A five-year effort trying to help America’s schoolchildren eat healthier meals will come to an abrupt end, as the Trump administration seeks to make America fat again by rolling back parts of healthy school lunch programs championed by Michelle Obama under the guise of local control.
The previous standards were adopted as part of the Obama administration’s campaign against childhood obesity. It was supported by public-health and environmental organizations.
Nominally, the announcement by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue gives schools more flexibility in addressing guidelines on whole grains, salt and flavored milk-based drinks, but what most of the mainstream media missed in its coverage of the story is that it’s really about favoring the large corporations that provide food service operations at school cafeterias. Continue reading “Trump wants to make America fat again”→
Citing widespread support among American consumers, Campbell’s has announced it will label products that contain genetically engineered ingredients.
“We are operating with a ‘Consumer First’ mindset. We put the consumer at the center of everything we do,” Campbell’s president and CEO Denise Morrison said in a prepared statement that was distributed to employees.
“That’s how we’ve built trust for nearly 150 years. We have always believed that consumers have the right to know what’s in their food. GMO has evolved to be a top consumer food issue reaching a critical mass of 92 percent of consumers in favor of putting it on the label,” Morrison said. Continue reading “Food: Campbell’s to support mandatory GMO labeling”→
New dietary guidelines point out health benefits reducing red meat consumption
For the first time, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a new set of dietary guidelines calling on Americans — especially men — to cut back at least a bit on consumption of red meat.
The new guidelines were greeted as a positive step by environmental groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council, which said in a release that cutting meat consumption is not only good for public health, but benefits the environment by reducing climate and water pollution from the meat industry.
Even in mid-November, the markets of southern France were bustling with vendors and shoppers all jostling over a fine selection of goodies for those pre-holiday season meals. Its not all that far from the Provence to areas where certain types of produce can grow nearly all year round, and the tangerines from North Africa were among the best I’ve ever had, while other market stalls feature more local and seasonal fruits and veggies like persimmons. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a market day in France without a slice of fresh-baked apple tart.