Monday, March 29


My friend introduced me to this site which has various interesting articles about pretty much everything under the sun. The section for Food is very interesting. Also, this site is littered with amazing information graphics so be sure to look out for those.

Here are a few articles worth reading and related to what we have been discussing so far:

Here's a debate about people discussing if meat should be eaten or not.

For interesting info graphics, here's one of every fast-food burger in america:

Also, here's a simple list that shows how each food is using energy:

Here's putting food production for Manhatten specifically in a silent film:

And in one of the quiz 7 questions on why a salad costs more than a big mac, here's a neat graph that shows you why:



Sunday, March 28

Walmart vs. Wholefoods???!

I recently heard that Whole Foods' new competition is Walmart.  This may be seen as a good thing for those who couldn't afford organic food before, but how is this going to effect the organic food industry?  Could this be some start of a shift in food accessibility or just another instance of greenwashing?

Saturday, March 27

weird food - Japan

Calpis Water, Onomichi, Hiroshima-ken. Try saying "Calpis Water" ten times in rapid succession. Mmm...mmm, nothing can quench a summer thirst like half a litre of chilled bovine urine. Quite wisely, this product is sold overseas as "Calpico Water". This product is similar to Pocari Sweat and Post water.

Lotte Coffee, Japan. A coffee-flavoured chewing gum that leaves your breath coffee-fresh.

Potato Chips, Japan. "Winter's Potato Chips: Creamy Stew Flavour". Every month in Japan, a multitude of new snack foods are born only to tragically die before their best-before dates a few weeks later. This is yet another one of them. While being somewhat creamy, they don't taste anything like the cream stew pictured. It's more like a sour cream and onion chip minus the sour and the onion.

Relief Chocolate, Japan: a Disney branded laxative?

Potato Chips, Japan. "American Burger Flavour". Every month in Japan, a multitude of new snack foods are born only to tragically die before their best-before dates a few weeks later. This is one of the more interesting ones.

Wasabi Choco, Japan. The text on the right reads: "Is it sweet? Is it spicy? A new chocolate sensation!" You've got white chocolate in my Japanese horseradish! You've got Japanese horseradish in my white chocolate!

by Jee Ah Yoon

Workplace Turmoil, Stress And Obesity Linked By Rochester Study

Workplace Turmoil, Stress And Obesity Linked By Rochester Study

"A new study that provides a snapshot of a typical American workplace observed that chronic job stress and lack of physical activity are strongly associated with being overweight or obese..."

Read the full news report HERE

Jee Ah Yoon

Saturday, March 20

What do Pepsi, the NFL and Truvia (another artificial sweetener disguised as a healthy alternative to sugar) all have in common?

The desire to maintain a positive image and make more money, of course.

Isn’t it ironic that the multi-million-dollar companies that are most part of the problem like to pretend that they’re part of the solution. This website outlines Pepsi's large social media based "goodwill campaign" from this past SuperBowl.

I also found it interesting that both Pepsi and Coca Cola are using the FDA approved Truvia , an artificial sweetener manufactured from Stevia, the naturally occurring and highly beneficial herb that coincidentally has not been able to receive FDA approval.

"Truvia(TM), AKA RebianaĊ½ is an abbreviation for Rebaudioside A, one of the many sweet-tasting compounds in Stevia. Rebaudioside A has the least bitter after-taste of all compounds in natural Stevia, that’s why the Coca Cola Company, faced with mounting consumer pressure to remove Aspartame from their products got it rushed to FDA approval."


Friday, March 19

COFFEE LUWAK, World's most expensive coffee from Palm Civet Dung!

COFFEE LUWAK, World's most expensive coffee from Palm Civet Dung.

When I grew up in Indonesia, I heard the myth about this special coffee that going through natural fermentation inside Palm Civet guts and its result as fine, rare and expensive coffee waste in Civet's dung. Then I found out that it wasn't a myth, though I never have a chance to taste it myself. Related to what we learn in class, I'm not sure why the cost is so expensive, is it because the cost of travel distance or because the limited source of Civet population itself. Overall, it still worth to try this unique taste!

Wednesday, March 17

Kosher Song


The School Lunch Project

A teacher is fed up with school lunches. She has decided to take on a year long project - to eat school lunches like the kids in her school do everyday for the year 2010.

This project is to raise the awareness of how the food children are eating in their schools is affecting their well-being and success in school.

This is her blog that she updates daily. Other than showing what she eats, she also has guest bloggers come on and post what other teachers eat at their own schools.

I think it's also good to be aware of not just young school kids but even college students' meals and what they have chosen to eat. Many students in our school actually don't know how to cook. Currently the Residential College in the dormitories has set up some cooking classes in their curriculum but that only reaches to a small group of students.

I think a great way to teach people to cook is to have cooking gatherings and start a Jamie Oliver Food Revolution! A Jamie Oliver Food Revolution is where you teach a recipe to someone you know and they have to pass that recipe on to someone else. Like Pay It Forward but there's food involved so you know it'll be good!

- Cleo

Monday, March 15

The Charcuterie Underground

Last year, the Chicago Reader ran this story about "underground" meat which operates outside the eye of the USDA, which prevents independent processors to sell meat as retail unless it is prepared in a licensed commercial facility. With the local food movement growing, E & P Meats have no problem finding a client base - people want meat that is "made by hand".

"It's no longer scary to know what's in your sausage," says Erik [of E&P]. "It's just pork shoulder and about five spices."

Really interesting (and a little drool-worthy) article, which brings up the food safety legislation that independent producers have to deal with, when the regulations are written for industrial production.

- Stephanie

Saturday, March 13

Pig farmer - insider

Hey again!

This week in class we watched about cow/meat farmers, and how meat is processed.
and it reminded me of this episode from This American Life. In their season 1 dvd of This American Life, Ira Glass talks about Pork/pig farming, and how pigs are fed to be eaten. The pigs are without immune systems and can grow exponentially. It's crazy.

Here is a short clip of the show.

I own it on dvd if anyone wants to watch the full episode!


book review: Foods That Harm, Foods That Heal

Hey class,

I highly recommend this book, "Food That Harms, Food that Heal"

You can get yourself a used copy on amazon for a penny.
but the knowledge you get from reading this is priceless.

It is a A to Z guide to basic food and health knowledge. It is well organized and has lots of sample case study to help breakdown complicated ideas..butter or margarine: which is better?

It's a fun and easy read!

Click on this link to the amazon page:


Are penguins getting cold?

I was very surprised to come across this article AND picture on I was thinking, why? Is he cold? Maybe he will be the warmest of all, or, if its a female, her baby/egg may stay very warm under her coat. I have to admit, I am still a little suspect about the picture- its just so crazy!


Friday, March 5

lettuce persuade you

A current PETA campaign in India, this woman wearing a dress made of lettuce says "Let Veganism Grow on You"

(taken from the BBC News service)


Potato Famines vs. All-You-Can-Eat

Denny's made a big PR slip week in advertising their all-can-eat fries and pancakes offer as in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the end of the Irish Potato Famine.

Given that was an event in which it is estimated some 1 million people died and upwards of two million more left the country, especially for Canada and the US, it is no surprise a large Irish-American Facebook movement is seeking a boycott of the restaurant chain.

This fascinating flash interactive video aimed towards kids takes you through the social, economic, and agricultural context for the famine, including the land rental system that farmers were burdened under.

The odd and ironic contrasts of this Denny's commercial in pointing out too little to eat then and there, and too much to eat here and now is interesting to consider, especially given the complex causes of the famine itself in terms of ecology: initiated by a potato blight (a parasite taking evolutionary advantage over the monocropping of potatoes there), which itself was a part of the emerging modern food system of reliance on fewer crops....

Monday, March 1

Male Frogs Turning Into Female Frogs

A pesticide weed killer, called Atrazine, which is used in the Midwest for corn fields, can possibly "castrate" male frogs and turn some males into females, according to this CNN article. Its frightening to know that this pesticide is effecting the levels of hormones in frogs enough to turn a male into a female and by doing so, greatly disrupting their ecosystem . Makes you wonder what these pesticides may be doing to us....

Radiolab Podcast/ chimps, bonobos!

check out this podcast about communication with one particularly bright primate. I think it ties in nicely with what we are reading and talking about!