mfioretti: food*

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  1. Average land use area needed to produce one unit of protein by food type, measured in metres squared (m²) per gram of protein over a crop's annual cycle or theaverage animal's lifetime. Average values are based on a meta-analysis of studies across 742 agricultural systems and over 90 unique foods.
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  2. To suggest—as SJWs always do—that Mexicans and other minority entrepreneurs can't possibly engage in cultural appropriation because they're people of color, and that we're always the victims, is ignorant and patronizing and robs us of agency. We're no one's victims, and who says we can't beat the wasichu at their game? And who says Mexicans are somehow left in the poor house by white people getting rich off Mexican food? Go ask the Montaños of Mitla how they're doing. Last year, they reopened a long-shuttered banquet hall, and the next generation is introducing new meals and craft beers. They cried about Bell's appropriation of their tacos all the way to the history books.
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  3. the whole Juicero phenomenon is really symptomatic of how misguided and removed nutrition is becoming, and it’s all based on the presumption that eating well and eating right somehow takes a lot of time and effort. The Soylent hype is based on this. But this approach simply removes people further and further away from the reality of the food they eat. It comes in a closed, pristine package, the contents of which aren’t even visible. It erases the fact that food grows in the soil and feeds on the soil, it’s part of our ecosystem and part of our culture. I think this concept of food as an abstraction, not tied to the reality of the earth or the labour that goes into it, is what promotes conspicuous consumption and a disregard for our common environment. For me, it’s actually the opposite of mindful nutrition.
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  4. You probably don’t cook with it at home, but the odds are good that you’re eating carrageenan. Made from seaweed, carrageenan is used as a thickener, stabilizer, and emulsifying agent to keep the ingredients in many soft, creamy, and liquid products from separating. (Think: nondairy milks, salad dressing, ice cream, cottage cheese, sour cream, chocolate milk, etc.). Food manufacturers also say it helps increase shelf-life.

    Now, after years of debate about the health risks associated with the additive, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will soon decide whether to continue allowing carrageenan in organic food. In fact, it will be a hot topic when the agency’s National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meets in St. Louis later this month.

    Not surprisingly, the companies that make and use carrageenan say it’s safe. But many food safety advocates say the science on carrageenan’s potential to cause gastrointestinal inflammation and other adverse heath effects raises serious concerns.
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  5. Silicon Valley has just the thing for you. For a fee, more than a dozen well-funded startups will overnight you a box with a simple recipe and all the ingredients, even perishable stuff like meat, precisely measured and ready for the pan.
    These "meal kit" services exist to deliver the thing we miss about cooking—the thrill of transformation with fire—while stripping away much of the drudgery.

    These "meal kit" services, as they're known, exist to deliver the thing we miss about cooking—the thrill of transformation with fire—while stripping away much of the drudgery. "Throw a dart," and you can find a company catering to just about any food preference, says Brita Rosenheim, founder of a consulting firm focused on food-related tech companies. In addition to big names like Blue Apron, there's Sun Basket, catering to paleo and gluten-free tastes, and Purple Carrot, whose vegan kits are fronted by home cooking champion Mark Bittman. Chef'd woos the starry-eyed with recipes by culinary celebrities. Even Bittman's former employer, the New York Times, is getting into the game. As part of a new partnership with Chef'd, fans of the Times food section can order meal kits based on recipes ripped from the pages of the "paper of record."

    Venture capital firms—eager to disrupt the trillion-dollar US food economy—are drenching the space with cash.
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  6. “There are two basic ways to reduce nitrogen emissions from European agriculture,” said Potocnik, who was environment commissioner under Jose Manuel Barroso until 2014. The Slovenian is now co-chair of a UN body on international resources.

    The first way is to reduce emissions per unit of product, i.e. per piece of meat, dairy product, or egg. The second one is to reduce consumption.

    “The first one is the one which we are normally focussing on in our policy life. Why? It's easier. It's not contagious,” noted Potocnik.

    “The second one is problematic, because it's addressing people's dietary choices and has major consequences also on the structure of European agriculture. That's why nobody is pretty much from the policy trying to address it,” he added.

    But dietary changes would have great effects.

    According to the authors, if all Europeans cut their meat consumption in half, this would result in 43 percent lower ammonia emissions, 31 percent lower nitrous oxide emissions, and 35 percent lower nitrate emissions - that is if the cuts are accompanied by a reduction in European livestock, and not a shift to exports.
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  7. A third of all food produced is wasted. 842 million people are starving. We have lost 75% of our biodiversity. In the US there are 8 times more antibiotics sold for industrial farming than to hospitals. Cancers and other health issues are booming. There are less and less nutrients in food. Climate change threatens the future of our planet. There are 400 dead zones in the ocean, with no marine life left. Food packagings contribute to that 7th continent made of waste, in the middle of the ocean. 370 000 farmers commit suicide every year using pesticides. … So one must ask the question: isn’t the food system broken?
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  8. In a perfect world, supermarkets would not exist as they do: the model that they operate on necessitates waste on a tremendous scale. But if you’re worried about waste, or just want to save a few dollars, dumpster diving is a great way to start getting involved.
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  9. A new report envisions a nightmare scenario in which just three climate change-driven disasters could lead to global food shock, resulting in food riots as the price of basic crops skyrockets and stock markets experience significant losses. The risk assessment, which was produced by insurer Lloyd’s of London—with support from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and vetted by academics from a number of institutions—shows just how close humanity may be to catastrophic collapse by mid-century unless significant changes are made to slow global warming.

    The scenario posited in the report looks at what would happen if there were three simultaneous disasters; specifically a heat wave in South America, an explosion of windblown wheat stern rust pathogen across Russia and a particularly strong El Niño southern oscillation cycle—all perfectly plausible events given current climate trends. The impact of this would be enough to cripple global food security.

    Specifically, the model estimates that this would cause wheat, soybean and maize prices to quadruple, with rice prices increasing by 500 percent on 2007/08 levels, as wheat and rice production declines by 7 percent, maize production falls by 10 percent and soybean production by 11 percent. Food scarcity would cause riots to break out in Latin America, North Africa and the Middle East, and the EU stock market would fall by 10 percent, while the US markets would fall by 5 percent, creating significant global instability and political unrest. A model created by Anglia Ruskin University’s Global Sustainability Institute in light of the report finds that “In this scenario, global society essentially collapses in 2040 » as food production falls permanently short of consumption.”
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  10. "We ran the model forward to the year 2040, along a business-as-usual trajectory based on ‘do-nothing’ trends — that is, without any feedback loops that would change the underlying trend.

    "The results show that based on plausible climate trends, and a total failure to change course, the global food supply system would face catastrophic losses, and an unprecedented epidemic of food riots.

    "In this scenario, global society essentially collapses as food production falls permanently short of consumption."
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