chef at stove graphic
C-K Food Policy Council

Eating is a necessity but cooking is an art

A mighty porterhouse steak an inch and a half thick, hot and sputtering from the griddle; dusted with fragrant pepper; enriched with little melting bits of butter of the most unimpeachable freshness and genuineness; the precious juices of the meat trickling out and joining the gravy, archipelagoes with mushrooms; a township or two of tender, yellowish fat gracing an out-lying district of this ample county of beefsteak; the long white bone which divides the sirloin from the tenderloin still in its place.
Mark Twain

To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living.
Anthony Bourdain

If you can't know your farmer, you should know the person who knows them. There should never be more than two degrees of separation between your grocer and your farmer.
Shannon Hayes

we're the first civilization that has deemed it perfectly safe to feed our kids Mountain Dew, Twinkies and Cocoa Puffs, but not raw milk, compost-grown tomatoes and Aunt Mathilda's homemade pickles - those are dangerous substances
A 5 part interview with Joel Salatin

Bad bacon is something of an oxymoron. Cook's Illustrated

If you are going to have a treat, enjoy every freakin' bite. Look at it when you eat it. Eat slowly. Don't unconsciously shovel it into your mouth. And don't consider it falling off the wagon.
Tara Grant

If you are what you eat and you don't know what you're eating, do you know who you are?
Claude Fischler, Sociologist with the French National Center for Scientific Research

People who love to eat are always the best people.
Julia Child (1912 - 2004)

While today's modern diet may provide beneficial protection from micro- and macronutrient deficiencies, our over abundance of calories and the macronutrients that compose our diet may all lead to increased inflammation, reduced control of infection, increased rates of cancer, and increased risk for allergic and auto-inflammatory disease.
Dr. Ian Myle, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

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I'm still playing with my food

My name is Rick Bradley and here I intend to share some of the recipes that have worked for me, resources I've found, sites that have inspired or interested me, and other food related 'stuff' as I come across it.

A brief resume can be found here and you can email me at

This website is my hobby in retirement. Any mention of a product or service is done so freely without remuneration or reward.

The more I play with my food the more curious I have become about it. Not only how to prepare it to best advantage but how it is grown, how it came to be what it is today, what happens twixt field and fork, and perhaps most important, what impact will it have on me? Some of this search is a direct result of the realization that we'd been feeding our cats cereal with a side of toast when they desperately needed a mouse (but that's another soapbox).
This page consists of comments about things that piqued my interest or rants about what pushed my buttons. It usually revolves around food. The remainder of the site really is about food.

The food disgust chart

Christina Hartmann and Michael Siegrist at the Technical University of Zurich have discovered that people’s disgust concerning food can be broken into eight distinct scales. Take the test here.

The Canadian cup w.t.f.

I've been tripping over the "metric cup" on recipe and conversion sites for some time now but today discovered the "Canadian cup". Both are figments of someone's fevered imagination. The foregoing nonsense is found almost exclusively on US website (and shamefully a few Canadian ones),
There are three major measurement systems in the world.

  1. Metric - Should be a no brainer but . . . Now the US public is the major holdout.
  2. Imperial - A hodgepodge of units originating in England during feudal times and fiddled with incessantly ever since
  3. US Customary - Mostly the same as Imperial but without the improvements made after they left the fold. Not widely known the 39th United States Congress protected the use of the metric system in commerce with the Metric Act of 1866 and in 1875 the United States was one of the original seventeen signatory nations to the Metre Convention,
There is no "metric cup". 250 millilitres is just that and needs no further definition.
Canadian cup which, judging by the numbers I saw, is the invention of someone who doesn't know about the Imperial system. While, while here in Canada, we're stuck with US measure for most food related measure we surely don't need this nonsense piled on..
It's a great pity that the US founding fathers hadn't listened to John Quincy Adams when he pitched the Metric system.

Food Marketing Translations
Food Translation Rules

No, there are no chickens with blue feathers

Eggs from diverse breeds

What’s the best alternative to clingfilm?

Think upturned bowls, tea towels, bamboo, wood, and always, always reuse. the Guardian

Meal kits too good to stay in business?

Recent shrinkage of the market value of most "Meal in a Box" companies reveals an inherent flaw in the model. People actually learned (or relearned) how to cook and now they can do so without the laminated cards. The Washington Post article.

Smokin turkey the right way

The people over at Traeger grills are pumped about the new page they've put up about smoking turkey legs. Figure on staying a while as there are a lot of fine looking recipes.

Soda (soft drink) taxes the longer view

After years of inconclusive data, new evidence suggests that Seattle’s soda tax is working—and it’s working really well

Does COVID cause pancakes?

CNN business reports that 2021 was an average year for maple production in Quebec, with a harvest estimated at 133 million pounds, but sales rose 21% compared to last year. Fortunately the Quebec Maple Syrup Producers have a secret stash which they've dipped into to keep those pancakes covered.'

You ate WHAT??

New clinical research indicates that a widely used food additive, carboxymethylcellulose, alters the intestinal environment of healthy persons, perturbing levels of beneficial bacteria and nutrients. These findings, published in Gastroenterology, demonstrate the need for further study of the long-term impacts of this food additive on health.

Healthy for who??

Child labor fuels your superfood. In an eye-opening piece for The Washington Post, journalist Terrence McCoy reports on the young children “toiling on the bottom rung” of the açaí industry “that connects some of Brazil’s poorest people to America’s health-absorbed elite.”

Real or artificial - the debate just changed a whole lot

Plastic bottles have been converted into vanilla flavouring using genetically engineered bacteria, the first time a valuable chemical has been brewed from waste plastic. Guardian article

Eat a credit card?? who would??

Well maybe you. The World Economic Forum reported two years ago that "new research shows you probably ingest that weight of plastic a week". Consumer Reports has a few suggestions to help you limit (NOT ELIMINATE) your consumption.

Store-Bought Rotisserie Chicken is it good for you?

Not so much says Consumer Reports. That golden-brown skin could be hiding some undesirable ingredients

Umami 15 ingredients for your pantry

Japanese biochemist named Kikunae Ikeda more than 100 years ago. In his guide to MSG, Kenji explains how the scientist, attempting to identify what exactly gave dashi—a Japanese broth flavored with kombu—its powerful savory quality, isolated monosodium glutamate (a sodium salt of glutamic acid). He coined the term umami to describe the flavor of glutamic acid and other amino acids like it.
The Serious Eats article

Mock Meat what's old is new again

In the 10th to 13th century faux meat emerged as a specific type of cuisine catered primarily to Buddhist pilgrims or visitors to monasteries as vegetarianism had been formally adopted by Chinese sects of Buddhism in the 6th century. The FOOD&WINE article.

Can we finally stop killing our milk?

Australian breakthrough is the new alternative to milk pasteurization. “Haelen” technology has been accepted as “an alternative treatment to pasteurization of raw milk” by Dairy Food Safety Victoria (DFSV). See the Food Safety News article.

And in the Rich get Richer category

Investors can now trade on and profit from California water — how might that work out? Poorly I expect. The SanFrancisco Chronicle article.

He who pays the piper, calls the tune as always.

It might not surprise you to hear that research funded by the food industry flatters the food industry. Examples abound: That study on how cranberry juice can prevent urinary tract infections? Bankrolled by the cranberry growers’ co-op. Those findings about pasta’s link to lower obesity? Financed by the world’s largest pasta producer. And the recent experiment that found eating nuts might significantly increase “orgasmic function and sexual desire”? Big Nut picked up the tab. Read the whole article in The Counter


"I begin with the proposition that eating is an agricultural act. Eating ends the annual drama of the food economy that begins with planting and birth. Most eaters, however, are no longer aware that this is true. They think of food as an agricultural product, perhaps, but they do not think of themselves as participants in agriculture. They think of themselves as 'consumers.'"
Wendell Berry

Who knew a foot long was dessert?

According to the Subway Ireland website, the chain's six-inch and footlong subs are available on six different kinds of bread, including nine-grain multi-seed, Italian white bread, Italian herbs and cheese, nine-grain wheat, hearty Italian, and honey oat. And, according to the country's Supreme Court, all six varieties are too sugary to legally be called "bread" at all. The story in Food & Wine.

The food timeline from 17,000 BC

Ever wonder how the ancient Romans fed their armies? What the pioneers cooked along the Oregon Trail? Who invented the potato chip...and why? So do we!!! Food history presents a fascinating buffet of popular lore and contradictory facts.

Avocado oil is booming. Most of it is rancid.

Before you pop for that pricey bottle of avocado oil consider this

University of California, Davis, researchers tested 22 commercially available samples of extra virgin, virgin, and refined avocado oil for quality and purity. The authors also extracted their own avocado oil as a baseline for the pure product. They discovered that 82 percent had gone rancid before their expiration date, or had other, cheaper oils mixed into the bottle. In three instances, bottles labeled as avocado oil actually contained a different oil entirely.
The Counter article

When the going gets tough - watch your back

How Big Plastic Is Using Coronavirus to Bring Back Wasteful Bags. Mother Jones article.

Plastic munching bugs?

Scientists create mutant enzyme that recycles plastic bottles in hours. The Guardian article

What colour are your eggs.

Once again I heard the 'brown chickens lay brown eggs' nonsense, this time from no less a personage than J. Kenji López-Alt. Will this ever die? The the German Langshan which ranges from all black to all white with a lot of grey in between lays brown eggs. The Derbyshire Redcap is brown with a bright red crest and produces white eggs. For future reference Egg Shell Colour Chart by Breed of Hen

Beer and bagels or croissants and butter?

If you're a brown rat it all depends on where you live. The Guardian article.

Coal down; corn, wheat, soy, and people up, waaay up

Coal down. 570 million bushels. That’s how much additional corn, wheat, and soy farmers were able to harvest between 2005 and 2016, as nearby coal plants were decommissioned across the country, an amount equivalent to half a single year’s typical harvest. According to a feature in Anthropocene Magazine, new research has drawn a connection between higher crop yields and the ongoing transition away from coal-derived energy. Scientists suspect the link is due to air pollution: The gasses that electric coal facilities emit can have a “choking effect” on plants, reducing their ability to ward off pests and disease. Humans have benefited, too. Scientists also estimated that reduced coal-related air pollution saved about 26,610 lives in that same period.

What if they left out the chicken and no one noticed?

The fast-food chicken nugget, a paragon of processed food, is finally poised to transcend its animal origins The EATER article.

Why vegan junk food may be even worse for your health

Tofu contains omega 3 but it is a type that is not as active as animal sources. Plant-based sources contain a type of omega 3 called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). For our bodies to be able to do anything particularly useful with ALA, we need to convert it into eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). However, humans are not particularly well equipped to do this. It is DHA that is responsible for the much-celebrated brain boosting properties of omega 3, while EPA has been linked to reduced symptoms of depression. Both are found in high quantities in fatty fish oils. The BBC article.

Truth in Advertising
Eat your bowl

South African startup Munch Bowls has created a biodegradable bowl made from wheat, which you can eat as part of your meal. The bowls are vegan, can hold hot soup for up to five hours and have a shelf life of 15 months, according to the company. The CNN article

No more brown bananas?

Hazel Technologies makes a product that extends the shelf life of all sorts of produce — avocados, cherries, pears, broccoli — by slowing the chemical process that causes decay. Chicago Tribune article, company website.

PFAS go to Hollywood

PFAS have become ubiquitous, used in the manufacture of carpeting, cookware, computer cables, and even those fancy plant-fiber takeout bowls but they still haven't really registered with most people even though don’t biodegrade and have been linked to serious health effects. That may be about to change as they're going to starr in their own movie.

On November 22, theaters in select cities will host the first public screenings of Dark Waters, a live-action legal thriller that dramatizes fluorinated chemicals’ toll on communities and the environment. It’s produced by Participant Media, a studio with a reputation for films that shape the public discourse, including An Inconvenient Truth (2006), Food, Inc. (2008), and Spotlight (2015). As with many of Participant’s flagship productions, Dark Waters will be paired with an intensive awareness campaign, which kicks off this week.

AGEs not just on your face but in your food

Advanced Glycation End products. Are we getting closer to the causes of many of the infamatory diseases that aflict us? The Post and Courier article.

American meat is it safe?

Critics worry about food safety as federal meat inspectors face work overload, burnout. THE NEW FOOD ECONOMY article.
And Food Safety News is currently posting this notice on all related articles

At this time, the credibility of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is not to be trusted. Both agencies have shown a reckless disregard for the public’s right to know, and their reliability going forward remains suspect.
The explanation.

Cottage Cheese best to worst

The Cornucopia Institute rates Cottage Cheese.

FDA Romaine Tests Find No Worrisome Bacteria ~ Well, almost none

Consumer Reports points out that 'if you don't look you don't find'

A comparison of the healthiness of packaged foods and beverages from 12 countries

Canada is at the top of the salt pile but second lowest on sugar. The George Institute for Global Health analysed more than 400,000 food and drink products from 12 countries and territories around the world. The survey highlights the high levels of sugar, saturated fat, salt and calories/kJ in many of our favourite food items. The whole nine yards can be found at obesityreviews

Nibbled on a credit card lately?

Well the good news is that you don't have to. Seems we're eating that much plastic every week without the effort. Bisphenols, phthalates, and styrene top the list of known and doubtless unknown compounds lurking in our bodies. While you can't escape Consumer Reports does have some suggestions to minimize the amount of micro plastics that we consume.

Oops You found what in your genes?

We're so damn smart. Seems that an outfit named Recombinetics was using CRISPR to make Holstein dairy cows a little more perfect. While they may be smart it seems they are not very careful. Essentially, they cross-contaminated a cow(s) with antibiotic-resistant lab material. Global search and replace in the gene pool bites back. THE NEW FOOD ECONOMY article.

Compostable food containers likely making soil and water quality worse

Compostable food service containers have made a place for themselves in green concious eateries but now we find that they come with baggage, a lot of it. All molded fiber bowls contain PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a broad class of more than 4,000 fluorinated compounds that do not biodegrade naturally in the environment. THE NEW FOOD ECONOMY article. A week later and it got a lot worse.

Plant blood gets FDA approval

Have we forgotten the contribution that overly processed food made to the sorry state we're now in? THE NEW FOOD ECONOMY article

Bipartisan bill on food expiration labels could cut many tons of food waste

The US House and Senate have matching bills which would go a long way in cutting food waste. Do you suppose they can get their shit together for once? THE NEW FOOD ECONOMY article.

Faux-Guac say it ain't so

The fake guacamole recipe is nearly identical to standard taqueria guacamole. Tomatillos, cilantro, garlic, jalapeño are the core ingredients, but the tender summer variety of Mexican squash usually sauteed in guisado form stands in for the avocado. The fake guacamole gets its creaminess thanks to the oil used to blister the jalapeño that emulsifies the rest of the ingredients.

Putting pigs in the shade: the radical farming system banking on trees

A farm in Portugal is showing how the ancient art of silvopasture – combining livestock with productive trees – may offer some real answers to the climate crisis. Too little, too late? Almost certainly but we all need a little hope. Guardian article

MSG and the Chinese-Restaurant Syndrome
It's back GMO wheat found in the wild AGAIN

Monsanto's mid 90's GMO wheat program was officially terminated in 2004 and sales were never allowed in the US. Well on 2019/06/07 the USDA confirmed discovery of the plants growing in an unplanted field in Washington state, the fourth such incident. Someone please pick up a history book and see how badly we've fared every other time we've accidentally introduced plants (or animals) into a new environment. Futurism article.

Red meat bad - white meat good or was it the other way, or no way

Contrary to popular belief, consuming red meat and white meat such as poultry, have equal effects on blood cholesterol levels, according to a study published today in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. ScienceDaily article.

After Monsanto Indigo?

Monsanto lusted after control of agriculture from seed to harvest. Indigo will make them look like pikers by controlling everything from the seed being delivered to the farm right through to the harvest being delivered to just the right customer. It's really easy to see the advantages to all concerned, at least if all concerned are mega businesses. Scale down to family farm level and it gets a little fuzzy. Looking into the future and the degree of control invested in one company gets downright scary.
This is shaping up to be a cradle to grave proposition and damn few of those are ever good for those not collecting the tariffs. There are fortunes to be made so the rest of us will just be collateral damage.
THE NEW FOOD ECONOMY article holds out a little more hope than I do.

Highly processed food - early death

As if we needed more proof two separate teams in France and Spain link heavily processed food like ready meals and ice-cream to early death. Guardian article.

Yogurt and sauerkraut are good for us and it seems we're hardwired that way

Researchers at the University of Leipzig have discovered that humans and great apes possess a receptor on their cells that detects the good stuff. ScienceDaily article.

Out of sight, out of mind the earthworm suffers even more than the bees

Perhaps if they were cute . . . But they're not and the decline of worms rarely makes the news. Guardian article

First honeybees now bumblebees

Bumblebees are critical for some of our favorite foods and their numbers are rapidly declining. The UC Riverside article.

Why won’t consumers listen?

Suppliers don’t dictate the rules about how things are produced. Buyers do. This is about as basic as it get but many people in agriculture seem to think they're exempt. Article in THE WESTERN PRODUCER.

World Health Organization has dropped its endorsement of the EAT-Lancet Commission’s planetary health diet

Gian Lorenzo Cornado, Italy’s ambassador to the United Nations

A standard diet for the whole planet, regardless of the age, sex, metabolism, general state of health and eating habits of each person, has no scientific justification at all.
While most of us would take that to be common sense it seems that more than a few ostensibly smart people need to have it explained to them.

Why is Chicken so Cheap The Economist
Big Ag could it be (gasp) good for us?

Of course it could - if it wanted to. Therein lies the rub.
But wait. There may be hope as this article from THE NEW FOOD ECONOMY about the 2015 acquisition of Niman Ranch by Perdue Farms paints quite a rosy picture. Is it really this good? I sure hope so!

I suppose it's better than pink slime but . . .

Building starch backbones for lab-grown meat using Lego pieces? PennState News

Food fraud more lucrative than narcotics?

Well we already knew about phoney olive oil, and fake honey but oregano?? Seems that 25% of all oregano is adulterated, often with strawberry leaves. If the berries just topped the dirty dozen again what would be on the leaves? Fortunately Chris Elliott at Queens university, Belfast is on the hunt for the bad guys.

EWG's 2019 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™
Good enough to eat? The toxic truth about modern food

A team of epidemiologists – based at Tufts University and led by Professor Dariush Mozaffarian – has been seeking to map the healthiness, or otherwise, of how people eat across the entire world. (This is a measure of the quality of food, not the available quantity.)

The 10 countries with the healthiest diet patterns, listed in order with the healthiest first, came out as: Chad, Mali, Cameroon, Guyana, Tunisia, Sierra Leone, Laos, Nigeria, Guatemala, French Guiana.
Meanwhile, the 10 countries with the least healthy diet patterns, listed in order with the unhealthiest first, were: Armenia, Hungary, Belgium, USA, Russia, Iceland, Latvia, Brazil, Colombia, Australia.
The Guardian article.

Frankenfish are coming for you

On Friday, 2019/03/09, the Food and Drug Administration lifted an import restriction effectively clearing the way for AquAdvantage, the first GMO salmon, to come to market. THE NEW FOOD ECONOMY article. As of mid 2017 Canadian supermarket chains do not plan to sell GM fish with the exception of Longo's who are blaming it all on Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Eating roadkill makes roads safer?

It does in Idaho where reporting of salvaged animals helps to inform the location of safety barriers and animal control devices. THE NEW FOOD ECONOMY article.

Organic or conventional produce which to buy (and why)

This Jen Review of safe/not so much produce consists of the usual suspects but also has some additional country of origin information that I've not seen before (Mexican kale is slightly safer than US and Canadian cukes are best of all)

Lab grown "meat" is coming can it deliver on all, or any, of it's promises?

WIRED takes a look at the science behind the promised emission reductions in the long term. I expect I'll stick to my grass fed burgers.

Plant based beverages - healthy or hind teat?

Somewhere and everywhere in between of course. Plant-based beverage are derived from a variety of sources, including nuts, seeds, legumes, and cereal grains. As with anything which is extracted, much is left behind in the process so you will almost always be better off with the original nut or seed. All of them have little extra tidbits to try to make them almost as good as milk (they aren't). Some of the organic brands are quite good, the conventional stuff is best left on the store shelf.
Bottom line, drink real milk (preferably raw) and eat those nuts and seeds as snacks and such.
A link to Cornucopia’s upcoming report and the accompanying scorecard will appear here in the near future.

Ham-wrapped bananas drizzled in cheese sauce - and other corporate excesses

Did anyone ever really like Jell-O before it fueled the congealed salad craze? A new book by Christina Ward shows how ad campaigns and corporate recipes conjured beloved American food traditions out of thin air. THE NEW FOOD ECONOMY article

Pink slime is back and now its presence doesn't even have to be disclosed

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) determined in December that pink slime can be labeled “ground beef”. THE NEW FOOD ECONOMY article.

A taste for fat may have made us human

Our early ancestors acquired a taste for fat by eating marrow scavenged from the skeletal remains of large animals that had been killed and eaten by other predators. From Science Daily.

He who pays the piper calls the tune, as always

A January 31st, 2019 article in THE NEW FOOD ECONOMY by Kate Cox H. Claire Brown reports that academics across the country say agribusiness has outsize influence on their research.

And on the same day

  • Arsenic and Lead Are in Your Fruit Juice (CR article)
  • Baby Spinach Recalled After Salmonella Found (CR article)
  • 250 Tons of Gold Medal Flour Recalled Due to Salmonella Fears (CR article)
and just last week
  • McCain Foods recalls 100 million pounds of potentially listeria-contaminated product without the public noticing THE NEW FOOD ECONOMY article
and of course the biggie last year
  • Meat plant that recalled 7 million pounds of ground beef has history of “egregious” animal welfare practices . THE NEW FOOD ECONOMY article.

Taking imitation organic to the next level?

Perdue recalls 32 tons of organic chicken nuggets. Consumers reported finding wood in the product. Here's what you need to know.

Fanfare please! the shiny new Canada Food Guide has arrived.

Today (2018/1/21) Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor unveiled Canada's new food guide at a market in Montreal. It still has the familiar picture of groups of food but that's where the similarity ends. Gone are the THOU SHALT food groups and portions replaced by a more holistic emphasis on fruits and veggies, whole grain foods, protein, and sharpening food skills. Unfortunately the effects of the lipid hypothesis strongly impact the guide but, as it seems to encourage thoughtful rather than rote participation, it should be more useful in our personal journeys to healthful nutrition..

The sugar conspiracy

This Guardian article should be required reading for anyone who dispenses dietary advice or, perhaps more importantly, those who receive it.

"In the last 10 years, a theory (lipid hypothesis) that had somehow held up unsupported for nearly half a century has been rejected by several comprehensive evidence reviews, even as it staggers on, zombie-like, in our dietary guidelines and medical advice."

Organic food worse for the climate?

The study from Chalmers University of Technology (one of the very best universities in the world) concludes this due to the greater areas of land required though the only long term study comparing crop yields (Rodale) found that yields are comparable to better. Who to believe!!

What are you doing to your beans?!

Quick-soaking the beans, salting them at the beginning of cooking, and cooking in a pot without a lid, resulted in beans with great texture and a flavorful broth.
That's what the good people at epicurious have to say.

Evidence suggesting artificial sweeteners may be harmful should give us pause

Sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, cyclamate and saccharin are zero-calorie sweeteners approved in Canada. Yet recent studies have suggested that regular consumption of such sweeteners may actually contribute to weight gain and type-2 diabetes. Read the Globe and Mail article

Pantry check

Cold weather is just around the corner. Check out Stella Parks list to see if your pantry is ready for baking.

Sweet!! - but it ain't honey

Honey has attained the dubious distinction of being the third most frequently adulterated food in the world. A recent Australian study which according to it's author was "not really about particular brands, it's about looking at the persistence and prevalence of authenticity of honey" found that nearly twenty percent of the samples were adulterated, even those from Australia. The kicker here is that the test used was the 'official' test used by the government which is known to be deficient in the detection of many syrups. Similar testing in the EU found adulteration rates of 14%.
The most flagrant and probably best known case is that of Manuka honey from New Zealand and Australia where annual production is 1,700 tonnes while world sales top 10,000.
We, of course, are much more fortunate as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has determined that everything here is perfect. Right!
Bottom line - if you want real honey then go talk to the bee (or the bee keeper).

Can how you eat be as important as what you eat?

In a healthyish article on bon appétit Natalie Zises makes a case for mindful eating that's well worth the few minutes it will take to read it.

Organic farming methods favors pollinators

An extensive 3-year study from Lund University in Sweden has found that organic farming methods can contribute to halting the pollinator decline. More info

Probiotics Health or Hype

Human gut study questions probiotic health benefits.
It seems that our own microbiome determines the effectiveness of probiotics. More information.

The age of steam has arrived steam canning that is

Canning as we know it can be attributed to Napoleon as he offered a reward of twelve thousand francs in 1795 for a new preservation method, a prize claimed by Nicholas Appert in 1809. (a canning timeline)
The first steam canner (this is steam at atmospheric pressure, not a pressurized canner), designed to be attached to a steam kettle, was patented in 1889 and the devices gained popularity after the turn of the century. Steam canning was never addressed by the sundry Extension Services (chronic underfunding the most likely culprit) which came up with just about all of the canning guidelines in the world so it was never a "USDA approved practice". That changed in 2015 when a team from the University of Wisconsin completed their research and announced that, for almost all purposes, steam canning was equivalent to and to be guided by the same procedures as water bath canning (the details)
This is good news for serious home canners as it affords considerable savings in time and energy consumption. For a detailed examination of the process.

Make mine whole Milk, that is

A study, published today in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found no significant link between dairy fats and death by heart disease and stroke. Now if were only raw. Read the article

Yes! We have no bananas AGAIN!!

In the nineteen fifties a fungus killed off "Big Mike", the banana which was cultivated almost exclusively around the world. To the rescue came the Cavendish banana from England (??). Having observed how quickly the entire world supply can be eliminated we cleverly put all of our eggs into one basket AGAIN and now the Cavendish banana is in dire straits. When researchers went looking for a way out of this little mess they discovered that the only wild banana left on the planet (that we know of) is down to 5 trees on Madagascar. Read more on the BBC site

More veggies in your diet? Beware the 900 calorie salad

A salad made with 2 cups kale, 1/2 cup quinoa, 3 ounces shredded chicken breast, half an avocado, a large hardboiled egg, 3 tablespoons bacon bits, 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, and 2 tablespoons Caesar dressing can pack nearly 900 calories. Oops!
Consumers Reports produced this visual guide of typical salad ingredients to keep calories in check.

Mike Buis wants to make one new mistake every year

A recent issue of Canadian Cattleman reported on a presentation given by Mr. Buis about his adoption of 'alternative' feed methods on his 750 acre, fourth-generation farm just outside Chatham. I'm no expert but I suspect that while many of his methods may appear to be radical to his peers they would have been business as usual to his forebears. You won't need to have a cow in your back yard to find this article interesting.

Why we fell for clean eating

The oh-so-Instagrammable food movement has been thoroughly debunked – but it shows no signs of going away. The real question is why we were so desperate to believe it. The Guardian text article or podcast

The Mediterranean diet is gone region's children are fattest in Europe

According to the Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative of the WHO’s European region physical inactivity and crappy North American style diet are to blame. The Guardian article

Egg washing why is North America out of step?

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland on its Egg Washing FAQ pretty much sums up the attitude around the world:

"Getting egg washing right to avoid all these increased risks is not simple, and for that reason it is much safer not to wash them at all, but to concentrate on good husbandry, and the production of eggs that are clean in the first place."

Beans - when in doubt, soak?

Probably should be soaked unless you're absolutely sure that the beans are at most 6 months old. Of course there are exceptions and Daniel Gritzer at Serious Eats can clear up some of the mystery.

Yeast it's all so confusing

Stella Parks on Serious Eats can clear up some of the confusion. All About Dry Yeast: Instant, Active Dry, Fast-Acting, and More

Have Fruits and Vegetables Become Less Nutritious? Yes they have!

I seems that even as we discard the foods that kept us healthy we're ruining the few things we have left by depleting the soil they grow in and boosting the CO2 to make crops less nutritious 1 2.

Another big piece of France lost to the dark side Adieu Camembert

The PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) of Camembert, one of France’s oldest, most renowned cheeses, is about to be sold down the river to the dairy multinational Lactalis. Camembert is the latest of nearly half of all French cheeses (Pont l’Evêque, Neufchâtel, and Munster) lost to stupidity and greed.

The 100 most nutritious foods

All the good things that we ought to be eating.

Well it will soon be that time of year again.

I'm not referring to the frantic, and almost certainly futile, search for surfeit water (a 17th century elixir consisting of two quarts of aqua vitae, infused with damask rose water, white sugar, raisins and ambergris) to ease the transition from New Years revelry to a cold and sober January one. No indeed I'm referring to something much dearer to our hearts, the #cook90 challenge.
Can you cook 90 of the 93 meals in January? I'm going to try.

More bad news for bees and then for us

Common fungicides are the strongest factor linked to steep declines in bumblebees across the US, according to the first landscape-scale analysis. theguardian article

Snack bars - What's in your pocket?

Misleading marketing practices by food industry giants that market candy-like snack and energy bars as wholesome and nutritious along with industry-friendly loopholes in the USDA National Organic Program means that snack bar is not likely to be the healthy snack you thought you were buying. Cornucopia has a recent report and a scorecard to make sorting them out a little easier

How Turkeys Got Broad, White Breasts

The Broad Breasted Whites were bred specifically to produce maximum meat at minimum cost.

Americans consistently choose lower prices and greater quantity in their food. That the modern turkey has less flavor than its forbearers seems to be of little interest.
culinary historian Andrew F. Smith
Read the short, sad story in modern farmer.

Frankenfish coming to a store near you??

The Canadian Biotechnology Action Network recently solicited public statements from Canada’s largest grocery chains, to clarify store policy on the sale of genetically modified (GM or genetically engineered) salmon for consumers. Longo's customers are SOL and Loblaw "does not sell or actively source", whatever that doesn't mean. The others said "not now" and "not planning to" (the full list).
Now that there's an easy (a relative term to be sure) way to test fish quickly perhaps they'll move to curb fish fraud at the supplier level where it would be useful.

Sustainability Only 60 Years of Farming Left If Soil Degradation Continues

Generating three centimeters of top soil takes 1,000 years, and if current rates of degradation continue all of the world's top soil could be gone within 60 years. The Scientific American article.

Frankenfish are here · don't bother looking for the sign

Canada leads the way. There's doubtless a good reason for an American company to dump its junk food in Canada. We probably won't like the reason any better than the fish.

Organic Farming Traps Carbon in Soil to Combat Climate Change

Unbelievably the jury is still out on the value to the planet of organic farming. This study ought to help change that. I'm not holding my breath.

Our appetite for fossil fuel may be coming back to bite us in ways we never imagined.

According to some recent (and not so recent) research our profligate ways may be catching up with us faster than we ever expected. The increased level of carbon dioxide in the air is altering the way plants grow. Yeah, those plants we eat and the picture isn't pretty. Read how one mathematicians interest in biology led him to some unsettling conclusions The great nutrient collapse.

Cheese turns twenty

The Slowfood Cheese festival in Bra, Italy celebrates all things cheese, warns us of cheeses in danger of being lost, and mourns those which are gone.

The Fight for Real Cheese

Serious Eats Obsessed interview series speaks to Bronwen and Francis Percival, co-authors of Reinventing the Wheel: Milk, Microbes, and the Fight for Real Cheese
The interview tries to "provide Serious Eats readers with a small glimpse of the many subjects they tackle in Reinventing the Wheel. So we're going to do something a little different and let this interview serve as a kind of introduction to their work for readers".
You can look forward to a short series from the Percivals on some cheeses that they believe come close to their ideal.

Crazy for avocados?

The green fruit is everywhere and in nearly everything (including many truly improbable things). Its health benefits are trumpeted but little mention is ever made of the ultimate cost of getting it to your plate. Food for thought from Slow Food.

Onion tears

A bunch of smart people from Case Western Reserve University among others wanted to know precisely how onions make you cry. Well they found out and happily share that information (admittedly with a lot of 50 cent words) here. You'll still be crying over your onions but at least you'll know why.

Have you cut yourself with your knife yet?

This study found that an estimated 8,250,914 knife-related injuries required Emergency Department treatment among children and adults in the United States (US) from 1990 through 2008. That works out to 1190 per day.
While 47% of those were idiots and children playing with pocket/utility knives, fully 36% occurred in the kitchen. Perhaps it's time to invest in another layer of protection.

NAFTA calories? - yet another 'benefit' of free trade

A group of U.K. researchers who were looking for things to study looked at NAFTA, in particular everybodys favourite sweetener HF corn syrup. As cheaper HFCS flooded north the effect was clearly seen on the Canadian waistline. See all the dirty details in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (cmaj) article.

Why factory tomatoes taste like red cardboard

About 70 years ago scientists discovered how to make tomatoes a nice uniform red colour. They didn't taste as good but, hey, who sweats those little details. Read the treehugger article here or go for the geeky stuff in the Science article here

And now from the McDonalds the family dinner.

A family box of burgers, chips and coke, "made for midweek dinners, made for families"
In a recent article in The Sydney Morning Herald Paula Goodyear posits that it's the youngest countries which have suffered the most from the assault by the purveyors of junk food. Since we don't have a strong culinary tradition (and possibly because of our endless fascination with novelties) we've been lured out of the kitchen and into the drive-through. She holds out hope for us in her article but I'm not so optimistic. It was after all just this weekend that Timmies subjected the American public to the Canada 150 'poutine donut' (not available in Canada and I'm not at all sure what the message is in that).
Timmies Poutine Doughnut

Little Miss Muffet ate junket?

That apparently is the real name of the curds and whey dish from the popular nursery rhyme. But whey is no longer just waste from the cheesemaking process. Everything from whey butter to vodka. Read the foodism article.

Have you put in your two cents yet?
A Food Policy for Canada: Let's build it together
Whole wheat bread is 'healthier' Right?

Well that depends. Researchers at the Weizmann Institute conducted a comprehensive, randomized trial in 20 healthy subjects comparing differences in how processed white bread and artisanal whole wheat sourdough affect the body. The article in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Fake Olive Oil the problem is as big as ever and Italy is the worst offender

epicurious is the latest in a long line of folks looking sceptically at olive oil. Their surprising suggestion (buy from Chile or Australia) is included in this article.

How Long Fresh Produce Will Last a handy chart from FOOD52

If you stick a whole whack of fresh produce in the fridge then some of it is almost certainly going to end up as compost if you don't store it properly to start out and then use it up before is goes off. Check the whole article and get the chart.

How to save food from the fridge

How to Store Fresh Eggs

Mother Earth News experimented with various methods (including some I'd neve heard of) of storing fresh eggs, both with no refrigeration and for a long haul in a refrigerator. The short version, unwashed in the fridge. The results after seven months.

Dried beans - how old is too old?

If you find yourself cooking soaked beans for more than two hours, and they just will not soften, it may be your beans (not you). Sarah Jempal at Food52 quotes sundry experts as putting the useful life of dried beans at 2 years. She does note that a Chowhound contributor claims to have successfully cooked beans that are much older. Given the machinations that he went through one needs to remember that of the things in this life that one can do, there are many that one shouldn't. Seems to me that trying to breathe life back into old, dead beans is right up there in the not to do list.

Are those chickens coming home to roost

Well not exactly though Americans may soon wish they were. Over two years ago the USDA approved a sketchy plan which has US raised chickens slaughtered and sent to China for processing and return to America. Just who's making money on this little scam isn't clear.
Now the big wallets in the new administration have allowed cooked chicken from Chinese raised birds to be imported. Chinese chicken has been banned in the U.S. due to sanitary and health concerns. Has that changed? Well no BUT American cow factories will now be able to sell into China, a market that has been unavailable since the mad cows of 2003. Everybody's happy, right? Article in the salt.

Food advertising - you believe it, don't you?

A recent article by Monique Potvin Kent in the Obesity Journal shows that of the billions of dollars spent advertising food fully eighty percent is spent marketing foods high in calories, fat, sodium and sugar.

Nuke your mushrooms??

A recent study by Spanish researchers published by The Information and Scientific News Service found that the nutritional properties of mushrooms are better preserved when they are grilled or microwaved.

Washing your hands I know (hope) you're doing it but are you doing it right?

Does the water need to be hot? What kind of soap? Drip dry, hot air, or towel? Answers to those questions and an instruction video on the BBC - Future site

Chicken - another good food gone bad? Why you should stop eating chicken breasts with 'white striping'.

Bigger but certainly not better. Folks who have been avoiding factory chickens have yet another reason now. Here's the AOL article and the science that it's based on.

The menu tonight? Oh, just pasta.

And half of Italy recoils in horror. Much is written about quality pasta, both fresh and dried but it is never 'just' pasta. Chef Ron James presents his take on the humble dish.

Get more from your herbs 6 Ways to Use Spring Herbs as Healthy Greens

The Food Network's Healthy Eats has some tips.

That yolk is no joke don't judge that free range egg by the colour of the yolk

A golden yolk is an indication of what the chicken ate but that doesn't mean it was good stuff. For more on egg yolks see this Food & Nutrition article.

The Metric Cup??? who knew?

I recently came across this little gem.
What Does 1 Cup Of .... Weigh?
We use a metric (250ml) cup.

Really?? What a colossal waste of time. This could have been a useful resource.

A Seismic Shift in How People Eat

With sales of core products heading south faster than a snowbird the major 'food' companies are looking for ways to save their bacon. The New York Times Sunday Review.

Triclosan is GONE!! well sort of

After diddling around since 2013 the USFDA has banned triclosan! Before you break out that bottle of bubbly the ban (when it finally takes effect) applies only to over the counter antibacterial soaps and body washes that are used with water. BUT! They are not overly concerned about the negative health impacts. Oh no they are banning it because plain soap and water are better in preventing illnesses and the spread of certain infections. Never fear though. You can still get your daily dose in your toothpaste.

Pass the parsnips

It's pretty well accepted now that SAD is doing much more than making us sad. These findings reveal that we may very well have irrevocably damaged our microbiome.

It’s easy to become obese

Meal size then and now
Why we've gotten fat in seven easy charts.

BOROUGH MARKET a 1000 years of feeding London

This is one institution not resting on its laurels. The website feature a wide range of articles and recipes. Well worth browsing.

10 Easy Ways to Eat More Vegetables Every Day

Faith Durand is the Executive Editor of The Kitchn

"The love of vegetables can be deceptive. Even though I adore Brussels sprouts and kale, I recently realized with a jolt of surprise that I don't eat nearly the amount of vegetables this love affair would suggest. Something didn't add up. To help me (and you) out, here are the top 10 tips from our readers on packing more vegetables into real-life meals and cooking."
10 Easy Ways

Why we should grow food for future generations

The world has experienced a 75 percent decrease in horticultural diversity in the past 150 years. Esther Meduna explores the causes of this decline, the risk this poses and what the average person can do to help reverse the process.

E.Coli in flour?

General Mills is collaborating with health officials to investigate an ongoing, multistate outbreak of E. coli O121 that may be potentially linked to Gold Medal flour. The official notice.

Strawberries take First Place - on the EWG’s 2016 Dirty Dozen™

Conventional strawberries this year displaced apples, which headed the list the last five years running.
Nearly all strawberry samples – 98 percent – tested by federal officials had detectable pesticide residues. The rest of the bad news.

Junk Food - bad for us and plants too

Feeding plants huge doses of fertilizer and dousing then with herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides has left us with plants lacking in many of the nutrients that Mother Nature put there - for them and for us! Read how a steady diet of fertilizers has turned crops into couch potatoes. Read the NAUTILUS article

WOOD?- - first it was cheese, now chicken

Less than a month ago wood (actually cellulose) started showing up in grated parmesan. Now it's in chicken. Not wood per se but breast-muscle tissue from some broiler flocks is hard and tough instead of tender and juicy. Looks like we found the downside to growing them big and fast. Article in Poultry Health Today

General Mills cereal sales up??

Last year General Mills reformulated seven members of its cereal line (including Cheerios and Lucky Charms) to remove all artificial colours and flavours and were rewarded with a 6% increase in sales. They've already reformulated 75% of their line and are aiming for 90% by years end. with their recent commitment to follow Vermont's GMO labelling standard nation wide one hopes that they benefit greatly from their actions.
Guess the drop in sales wasn't just because millennials had to wash a bowl.

John Oliver's Food Waste Takedown
Food waste in America (and most other 'civilized' places too).
Legislating against food waste

France was first to legislate against food waste in February. They opted for a stick. Italy seems set to join them but have opted for a carrot instead. I suppose we needn't hold our breath about it happening here.

DARK Act fails in US Senate

It seems that some US senators actually heard the calls from the public and did not support the DARK Act. Unfortunately either 44 or 49 (the early reports vary) still have their ears stuffed with Monsanto money and are flipping their constituents the bird. It's not safe to assume that the battle is won as many a dark deed has been done in amendments to other bills.

More bad news for the poor honey bee

European honeybees are being poisoned with up to 57 different pesticides, according to new research published in the Journal of Chromatography A. Golly. How do suppose that happened? ScienceDaily release.

KD is now real food? - Say it ain't so!

Last year, Kraft said that it would remove all artificial flavors, preservatives, and dyes from what it calls its “iconic Blue Box”. And it did—only it didn't tell consumers. It started selling its Blue Box mac and cheese sans the artificial ingredients in December and waited to see if consumers would notice the difference. More than 50 million boxes later, apparently no one has. takepart article.

Glyphosate - gone from the EU?

The substance which is so widely used that it is commonly found in British bread, German beer and the urine of people in 18 countries across Europe may be on the way out. It is already banned or restricted in large parts of Europe because of alleged links to health problems and now with the EU Standing Committee on Plant, Animal, Food and Feed looking ready to give it a pass for another 15 years some member states are putting on the brakes. France, The Netherlands, Sweden and Italy don't believe the research done by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). 96 prominent scientists from 25 countries wrote a letter in strong opposition to the EFSA report and nearly 1.5 million people petitioned the EU’s health commissioner for a ban on the substance, EcoWatch article.

Salmon - wild vs factory

Researchers at Oregon State University, in collaboration with the Oregon Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, found more than 700 genetic variations between farm-raised and wild salmon. The Scientific American article.

Eat less meat! - a message falling on deaf ears.

Back in 2012 a poll of 3,000 Americans revealed that 8.6 percent ate no meat in a typical meat. The same question in 2015 revealed the the non meat eaters had dropped to 7.4 percent. A small survey to be sure but are anyone else's numbers different? The NPR article.

FDA to Begin Testing for Glyphosate Residue - 40 years too late

FDA has not routinely looked for glyphosate in its pesticide chemical residue monitoring regulatory program in the past because it was too hard and expensive. (No I didn't make that up) How many years do you suppose they'll be able to draw out the preparations.
In the meantime CFIA sits twiddling its collective thumbs waiting to be told what to think.

Sugar - the elephant in the kitchen
Chewy cheese?? grate your own parm

So your store-bought parmesan cheese is made with wood pulp. Is that so bad? theguardian article.

Salt - so many experts!

An analysis of scientific reports and comments on the health effects of a salty diet reveals a polarization between those supportive of the hypothesis that population-wide reduction of salt intake is associated with better health and those that were not. In all, 54 percent were supportive of the hypothesis; 33 percent, not supportive; and 13 percent inconclusive. ScienceDaily article.

Real grass-fed certification - in Great Britain

The Pasture for Life Certification Mark, operated by the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association (PFLA), has been approved by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), the official UK government body responsible for patents, designs and trademarks. Why? "Customers don’t want another marketing promotion, they want the real deal and the Certification Mark delivers just that". Article in FARMINUK

Entomovectoring - working with nature?

What if, instead of crop dusters blanketing fields with chemicals, you could use bees to deliver a precise dose of a treatment directly to the plants that need it? TakePart article.

Goodbye Monsanto?

Washington State University researchers have concluded that feeding a growing global population with sustainability goals in mind is possible. Their review of hundreds of published studies provides evidence that organic farming can produce sufficient yields, be profitable for farmers, protect and improve the environment and be safer for farm workers. The Science Daily article.

Benzoxazinoids - no it's not another nasty plot by Monsanto

Certain medicinal plants and green cereals have previously been found to contain benzoxazinoids (BX for short) but it was a revelation that they are also found in ripened rye and other wholegrains. Not only that -- scientists from Aarhus University also found BX in the final baked bread and other wholegrain products. More on ScienceDaily

A present to Canada from MacDonald's

The Keep Calm, Caesar On salad (with dessing) )has 730 calories, 53 grams of fat, and 1,400 milligrams of sodium. More than a Double Big Mac! We should all be thankful that MacDonald's is so nice to us.

Biodiversity in foods what there is left

Globally, 95 percent of our calories now come from 30 species. Three-fourths of the food we eat comes from 12 plants and five animal species. The Splendid Table article.

Raw Milk - the voice of reason in Michigan??

A group of 13 individuals — made up of farmers, academicians, healthcare professionals and regulatory officials — have been quietly working together over a six-year period to find common ground with lawmakers. Their report can no longer be found here but there is still an article in Modern Farmer.
It's not often that I hope actions south of the border have an influence here but . . .

Farm to Table - do we have it all wrong?

Dan Barber explores the future of the Food to Table movement in a presentation at Edible Media meeting.

What if you only drank soda.
International Year of Pulses

Facts about pulses you might not know. FAO article.

Monsanto Bt cotton high yields of virtually unsalable product

After only 6 years the nation of Burkina Faso has begun a complete phase-out of the crop, citing the inferior lint quality of GM cultivars. They're also suing Monsanto for $260 million as compensation for their losses. The Ecologist article.

Maple Syrup - SUPERFOOD pass the pancakes!!

Scientists from the University of Rhode Island have discovered Canadian maple syrup may have similar health benefits of superfoods, like berries, tea, red wine and flax seeds.
The researchers found 54 compounds in the sweet stuff, more than double the amount previously discovered. And many of these compounds have antioxidant properties, which act as anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory agents.
Curiously this is old news, 2011 in fact. One would have thought that a superfood that tastes this good would have a lot more fanfare. See The Globe and Mail article.

EU's Test for Endocrine Disrupters Threatens $4.8B in U.S. Food Exports

USDA worries that screening of 700 chemical substances for endocrine disrupting properties could lead to trade disruptions. Official US comment.
As always the US government doesn't give a rats ass about the people who will be consuming those endocrine disrupters as long as the money keeps rolling in.

How to Decipher Egg Carton Labels-

With fast food companies and retailers falling over each other trying to capitalize on the move to cage free eggs it will become even harder for the consumer to pick out the real McCoy. The Humane Society of the United States has published this handy sheet of words commonly used and misused in describing eggs.
How to read an egg label
This of course is American. Canadian retailers do not appear to give a rats ass about hens.

Yogurt Health food to Junk food

A new report, Culture Wars: How the Food Giants Turned Yogurt, a Health Food, into Junk Food, issued by The Cornucopia Institute, accuses Dannon, Yoplait, Chobani and other major marketers of misleading parents, who are looking for healthier foods for their families, into purchasing yogurts loaded with sugar and containing a myriad of questionably safe artificial sweeteners, colors and emulsifiers.
Meanwhile General Mills and Danone have their panties twisted because Chobani is taking advertising potshots at their use of artificial sweeteners and preservatives. General Mills went so far as to say:

"The statements made by Chobani in their latest attempt to sell more yogurt are inaccurate and misleading, and we don't think consumers appreciate that kind of approach."

That ought to earn them the pot and kettle award.

The Anthropocene Time to bend over and kiss it goodbye?

The evidence for a new geological epoch which marks the impact of human activity on Earth is now overwhelming. Science Daily release.

Campbell Labels Will Disclose G.M.O. Ingredients Is this the first big crack in the wall?

Campbell Soup breaks from its rival food companies to disclose the presence of genetically engineered ingredients in its products. 2016-01-08 NY Times article

The researchers successfully found evidence to support their hypothesis - AGAIN!!

That frightening statement came from a study on 'healthy' eating.
Will we never learn?
The recent history of food is littered with examples of brilliant researchers who knew all of the answers and had the data to prove it. Hindsight, of course, has proven that none of them could see the forest for the trees and their bloody minded pursuit of "THE TRUTH" has led mankind into devastating health experiments on a global scale.

A foie gras parable Dan Barber's foie gras epiphany

Foie gras is much maligned in most of the world due to the force feeding (gavage) of the birds, a technique introduced by the Egyptians 2500 years ago. However one Spanish farmer is producing exquisite foie gras without gavage in the goose paradise built over generations on the family farm. Watch the TED talk.

Kissing Hershey takes the GMO sugar out of kisses

In response to consumer pressure the Hershey company has decided to make its kisses from cane sugar rather than the mix of beet and cane it used to use. Beet producers plan to counter this threat with more words which unfortunately is all they have left since they threw out all of the good beet seeds in their haste to kill more plants with RoundUp. Read the Cornucopia article.

Chickens running free? not so much

The egg industry is feeling the same kind of pressure with major customers like McDonald's, Dunkin' Donuts, General Mills and Nestle switching to 'cage-free' eggs. While the hens may no longer be in cages their living conditions are still only barely short of appalling. Read the Cornucopia article.

U.S. Congress scraps Contry Of Origin Labels

And in Ottawa the powers that be were babbling like true Conservatives.

International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland and Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay both welcomed the passage of the legislation, calling Friday "a great day for Canada."

In a pigs eye. It is true that a few hundred, perhaps even a few thousand will profit by this. For millions of Canadian consumers who would like to have our own COOL laws it's just the first message that this new lot will sell us down the river as fast as the sleazebags we just got rid of.
Tell them what a good job they're doing (or not as you wish). Minister Freeland and Minister MacAulay

Gassy cows- hungry soil??

It seems that some soils are capable of neutralising more methane than cattle can produce from the same land. This phenomena has been know for some time but reaserchers in Australia have only recently begun to quantify the process. Of course the cattle do have to be on pasture. The Australian Dairyfarmer article.

A Cure Exists For Antibiotic-Resistant Infections. just not here!

Bacteriophages ("bacteria eaters"), commonly called phages, are viruses that infect bacteria but not humans. Found in water, soil, and even your digestive tract, phages dwell wherever bacteria are found because they rely on them to reproduce. Cocktails of phage viruses can kill a bacterial infection in the human body with remarkable accuracy, taking out only the infiltrators and leaving important populations of "good" bacteria intact—unlike the blunt tool of antibiotics, which tend to wipe out a wide swath of good bugs and bad. Prevention article, worth the read.
So why do we have superbugs?

Naturally occurring phages, which are highly diverse and can't be patented

Show me thw money honey. SSDD

Food Waste Scorecard better? in some ways - good? not really

In January, launched our food waste campaign, and started quizzing visitors about their food waste habits. They found some interesting trends. Here are a few of the results;

Monsanto recent shenanigans may be backfiring

In 2009 Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini and associates published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology (FCT) results of his long term study of the effect on rodents of GMO corn. The professor was immediately assailed by every drone that Monsanto could activate and accused of being everything but a scientist. Later the mentioned journal hired a Monsanto flunky to vet all further biotech articles and soon thereafter retracted Séralini's paper along with Brazilian study proving Monsanto's Bt corn insecticide starter genes do not disintegrate in mammalian stomachs but survive intact to harm mammals blood cells. Read more:
Well what goes around, comes around. The flunky has been shown the journals door along with the former Editor in Chief. Moreover the Parisian High Court has indicted the former chairman of France's Biomolecular Engineering Commission (BEC), for “forgery” in a libel trial that he lost to Prof Séralini. Read more:

Monsanto - crimes against humanity

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA), IFOAM International Organics, Navdanya, Regeneration International (RI), and Millions Against Monsanto, joined by dozens of global food, farming and environmental justice groups announced today that they will put Monsanto MON (NYSE), a US-based transnational corporation, on trial for crimes against nature and humanity, and ecocide, in The Hague, Netherlands, next year on World Food Day, October 16, 2016.

Chris gets the boot

Boston Common Press announced on 2015/11/16 that founder Christopher Kimball had been shown the door (said announcement couched in suitable wuss words here). He will still host the 2016 cooking shows but I expect that just means they don't want to spend more money when they have all those episodes in the can. I never was a big fan of the man and I'm sure that the organization will continue to produce good content for at least a little while before the bean counters deep six the whole thing. Just a little sad to see someone driven out of his own creation. Life's a bitch!

Thus spake COSTCO frankenfish be gone!

The second-largest retailer in the world is now one of more than 60 U.S. supermarket chains rejecting the laboratory fish. Despite FDA approval (2015/11) consumers and retailers are not jumping on the frankenfish bandwagon.

Global Energy Balance Network he who pays the piper . . .

Coca-Cola was less than hands off with the anti-obesity group it funded. They even fretted about the logo being too Pepsi blue.

Bread Is Broken

Industrial production destroyed both the taste and the nutritional value of wheat. One scientist believes he can undo the damage.

Everything in moderation another old chestnut down the tubes?

Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University studied the data from 6,814 participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and concluded that diet diversity may be linked to lower diet quality and worse metabolic health. The article.

Ontario Milk Wars on Again - 2015/09/29

Looks like Public Health in Ontario will be dipping into our pockets for a few more millions to persecute anybody who dares to produce raw milk. On 29/09 minions of the York Public Health Unit (note that this unit is not a real health unit but a creature of the municipality) attempted so seize all of the raw milk product being distributed to members of a co-operative. Those present restricted them to taking samples as they didn't have cause to seize. There are more shenanigans afoot as someone "known to the police" has installed surveillance cameras on public roadways but the police chief says "there is no criminal intent and that should be the end of it". The local council doesn't know what's going on and and actually said that they don't want to. The local MP and MPP (good Conservative candidates standing up for the farmer folk!!) are way to busy for constituency work. Looks like another installment of Bureaucrats Gone Bad. Article in The Bovine
2015/10/03 - well that didn't take long. Today agents of the Ministries of Natural Resources, Agriculture and Food, and Finance raided Michael Schmidt's raw dairy farm. Also invited to the party were police and the dairy farmers of Ontario. An urgent appeal over social media soon brought a throng of supporters. In the face of so many witnesses and recording devices the minions of government soon decided that they really didn't have any right to the articles which they had scooped. Everything was unloaded from the trucks and they departed. Friday is the traditional day for bureaucratic skulduggery as it might escape attention after the weekend. I expect that they've learned their lesson and the next attack will come in the wee hours of the morning when supporters are harder to rally and phone cameras are not as effective. Nacht und Nebel. Article in NaturalBlaze.
2015/10/08 - "Today West Grey Police charged Michael Schmidt with theft and mischief in connection to surveillance cameras that were found along Concession 2 near Glencolton Farm, just outside of Durham.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry officials admitted to Schmidt on Friday, during a standoff at Glencolton Farm, that they installed the cameras." as reported by
It's hard to recall at times like this that the MNRF is constantly whining (probably justified) about not having enough money to fulfill its own mandate but here they are pissing away precious resources spying on the general public.
Stay tuned for more tawdry tales.

U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacates EPA's approval of the neonicotinoid insecticide sulfoxaflor.

The Court concluded that EPA violated federal law when it approved sulfoxaflor without reliable studies regarding the impact that the insecticide would have on honeybee colonies. Ontario no longer stands alone in North America so lets hope the The Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency is paying attention.
Story on EarthJustice.

Ractopamine Never heard of it you say?

We all know that growth hormones aren't allowed in pigs but it seems there's been a little wink, wink nudge, nudge going on here. The not quite a hormone, ractopamine has been quietly being used here (here being North America, not the civilized world) since 1999. Some customers (like say China) can get their factory pork ractopamine free. The rest of us, not so much!
If David Maren, founder of Tendergrass Farms has his way that could soon change.

How Safe Is Your Ground Beef?

Consumer Reports posed the question. The report is bad and worse if you like your burgers less than well done.

Where bread began

A group of Israeli researchers recently used 12,500-year-old conical mortars carved into bedrock to process wild barley to produce 'proto-pita'. The news release.

Ketchup when Heinz doesn't cut the mustard

Ketchup or catsup, is a table sauce. Traditionally, different recipes featured ketchup made of mushrooms, oysters, mussels, walnuts, or other foods, but in modern times the term without modification usually refers to tomato ketchup.
It seems that that sugary confection peddled by Heinz worldwide (with great success) just isn't up to snuff in Israel. The paltry 21% tomato paste in the Heinz product comes nowhere near the 41% required by Israel. Heinz will be attempting to bully Israel into backing down. Good luck with that one!

Golden Rice and other GMO, in an article lamenting the current state of scientific journalism, notes:

An article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition purportedly showing that genetically engineered Golden rice is an effective vitamin A (beta-carotene) supplement has been retracted amid ethics concerns.

It seems that the GMO steamroller has more than its share of shaky (at best) science and no small measure of smoke and mirrors. The full article.

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