SciAm: Farmers Say GMO Corn No Longer Resistant to Pests.
“Seed companies say they warned Brazilian farmers to plant part of their corn fields with conventional seeds to prevent bugs from mutating and developing resistance to GMO seeds.” That’s a short-term solution at best.
Ancient Origins: Archaeologists recreate Elixir of Long Life recipe from unearthed bottle.
“Loorya enlisted researchers in Germany to track down the recipe in an old medical guide, which revealed that the potion contained ingredients such as aloe, which is anti-inflammatory, gentian root, which aids digestion, as well as rhubarb, zedoary, and Spanish saffron – ingredients still used by herbalists today.”
SciAm: Farmers Fight Explosion of “Superweeds”.
“We have had numerous calls about poor control of Palmer amaranth with glyphosate this year.” Nature’s escalating the battle again.
Later, related: Happened to run across this, from 2010, when filing the above. Interesting that “Monsanto, which once argued that resistance would not become a major problem, now cautions against exaggerating its impact. ‘It’s a serious issue, but it’s manageable.’”
Past Horizons: Prehistoric tooth plaque provides dietary insight.
“The researchers found ingestion of the purple nut sedge in both pre-agricultural and agricultural periods. They suggest that the plant’s ability to inhibit Streptococcus mutans, a bacterium which contributes to tooth decay, may have contributed to the unexpectedly low level of cavities found in the agricultural population.” If you trace Google search term use, “purple nut sedge” is going to transition from being ‘nuisance’ to being a paleo food fave. Mark my words.
NPR: Hottest Burger In Britain Burns 2 Journalists.
“After taking just one bite - one bite - the men experienced severe stomach cramps, and lost feeling in their hands.”
Authority Nutrition: Are Nitrates and Nitrites in Foods Harmful?
Another compound that gets health foodies crazy. You can just skip to the bottom about bacon, if you want.
Dissent: Prison to Table - The Other Side of the Whole Foods Experience.
“It’s not clear what shocked people most about the report in Fortune that Whole Foods Market sells goat cheese and tilapia prepared with prison labor — the horrendous exploitation of prisoners for a base rate less than one-tenth of Whole Foods’ starting wage, or the fact that even after paying prisoner-workers sixty cents an hour, that tiny wheel of goat cheese still costs upward of seven dollars. Whichever reason it was, for many the story disturbed the experience that Whole Foods carefully cultivates for its customers.”
Powered by Osteons: Lead Poisoning in Rome - The Skeletal Evidence.
“Did lead poisoning cause the fall of the Roman Empire? Probably not.” You know what’s funny? Look up “Roman lead pots” on Google. You won’t find many - at least, I didn’t. Lead-glazed ceramics, yes. Lead-riveted and lead-stapled metals yes. But no pure “lead pots”. I think historians need to be a bit more specific when writing about the circumstance. The amount of infusion from a lead glaze is not the same as a pure ‘lead pot’.
West Coast whisky stones.
Why buy a manufactured item? Why not use authentic Scottish stones?
Archaeology News Network: Study provides first direct evidence of plants in Neanderthal diet.
Guardian.UK: Controversial Seralini study linking GM to cancer in rats is republished.
“Republishing data that was faulty in the first place in study design and analysis does not provide redemption. Furthermore, it is now possible to publish almost anything in open access journals” Oh, lordy. I still maintain, a site that requotes this study sans caveats will not be linked from *my* blog.
PLOS Biology: Moving beyond the GM Debate.
Whether you are pro- or con-, this is a powerful piece.
FirstWeFeast: How Coffee Became the Hottest Accessory (Literally) in Men’s Fashion.
“Thinking about how to take your coffee isn’t as simple as adding cream or sugar anymore — now, you have to consider what to wear while drinking it.” Personally, I think more about *where.* I don’t enjoy coffee in a mass-market noisy coffeeshop. I prefer the out-of-the-way, empty restaurant … with sidewalk tables.
The Atlantic: How Americans Got Red Meat Wrong.
“In other words, meat eating went down just before coronary disease took off. Fat intake did rise during those years, from 1909 to 1961, when heart attacks surged, but this 12 percent increase in fat consumption was not due to a rise in animal fat. It was instead owing to an increase in the supply of vegetable oils, which had recently been invented.”
Birmingham Mail: Birmingham food artist turns pizza dough into Terracotta Warriors.
TastefullyOffensive/Tumblr: Breathtaking view of the Milky Way, from the surface of Mars.
Traditional Aceto Balsamico of Monticello: Barrel-Aged Balsamic.
A client just mentioned this to me. The conditions in Monticello, NM are apparently even better for the creation of fine balsamic vinegar than those in Modena, Italy. If you’re in the Truth or Consequences area, it would be worth the side trip!
The Atlantic: Breakfast Cereals to Get More Expensive, Thanks to Climate Change.
Seriously, you want me to panic over Frosted Flakes? The ‘staff of life’, bread, is more important on a worldwide basis, and just as under threat.
Messy Nessy Chic: The Great Parisian Waiters Race.
SciAm: Coffee Rust Battle Intensifies.
“The current coffee rust outbreak is the worst in Latin America’s history. It is estimated that production will fall by as much as 15-40 percent in the coming years.” Hmmm. Should we stockpile? Discuss.
Guardian.UK: Rate of US honeybee deaths ‘too high for long-term survival’.
“Honeybees are dying off at too high a rate to guarantee their long-term survival, even though fewer were lost last winter, a US government report said on Thursday.” Based on the recent research - stop using neonicotinoids - immediately.
Later: Amazes me. Many supposedly non-thintelligent sources are titling their posts on this with the second part (‘fewer were lost’) as “good news”, and bloggers I admire are relinking them without a second’s consideration. Postmodern? Post-truth. This is not good news - this is a warning. “The ship’s not sinking as fast as it was previously.” Optimism at the cost of survival?
RealClearScience: Are You Really Gluten-Intolerant? Maybe Not.
My wife’s gone low FODMAP. Perhaps I should, too.
Italian Ways: Pesto, from Genoa to the world.
ArtDaily: One of the oldest Cognacs tops Bonhams Whisky Sale.
“The auction’s top lot and front cover catalog highlight, a 1762 vintage Gautier that is one of the oldest authenticated cognac vintages known, experienced spirited bidding amongst an international clientele, eventually selling to an online bidder from Poland for a final price of $59,500.” I’ve told a story about old cognac before.