Archive for ‘Food’

04/02/2012

The Daily Caller let a lobbyist for the food industry write an op-ed for them.

Pink slime: because at least you're not eating cockroaches.

Surely you’ve heard something of the “pink slime” that supermarkets around the country have begun removing from all their ground beef? McDonald’s has also seen fit to remove the stuff from its burgers after the public found out what it was. If you don’t know what it is, it’s what they call the leftovers from the cow which were not fit for human consumption after they are made fit for human consumption. How do they take these previously unusable scraps which were used for dog food and cooking oil and turn them into hamburger meat?

“Heat them, spin them in a centrifuge to separate the tiny particles of meat from fat, then treat the product with a puff of ammonium hydroxide gas to kill bacteria.”

When people heard that their hamburgers were filled with ammonia-treated, centrifuged, and heated meat bits, they got kind of grossed out. A backlash started. Supermarkets and fast food restaurants decided to stop using the “pink slime.” This was bad news for pink slime producers, though (one of the just filed for bankruptcy), so many lobbyists for the food industry started to push back. Where can a powerful lobbyist for the food industry go to defend the substitution of ammonia treated leftovers for real beef? The Daily Caller, it turns out. The argument?

“But just because something is ‘gross’ doesn’t make it bad. Plenty of cultures eat bugs, which are good protein sources. Walk into a restaurant in China and you might find some congealed duck blood or chicken offal. There’s a reason blood sausage, a European favorite, has the name it has.”

Don’t worry, America. People around the world eat bugs, the least you could do is accept that the food industry will sell you meat treated with ammonia without telling you. And if you’re ever really worried that the food industry might putting stuff in your food that you don’t want without your knowledge, the conservative website The Daily Caller is more than willing to let those industry apologists tell you to not freak out and try some roaches. I hear they’re high in protein.

04/01/2012

Swedish in-city greenhouse innovation.

A mockup of an in city, massive greenhouse which would grow food for citizens.

The greenhouse will serve as a regenerating food bank, tackling urban sprawl while making the city self-sufficient. Plantagon predicts that growing these plants in the city will make food production less costly both for the environment and for consumers, a key shift as the world’s population grows increasingly urban—80 percent of the world’s residents will live in cities by 2050, the United Nations estimates. ‘Essentially, as urban sprawl and lack of land will demand solutions for how to grow industrial volumes in the middle of the city, solutions on this problem have to focus on high yield per ground area used, lack of water, energy, and air to house carbon dioxide,’ Plantagon CEO Hans Hassle says.”

This is a fantastic idea. Huge, in city, multi-platformed greenhouses. I’m not a fan of how it could be exploited by massive companies, but if the people growing the food in the city are part owners of their work and not just slaves to corporations like Monsanto, it provides a market for small farmers to grow fresh food to be sold locally. Sustainability and innovation should drive the next several decades of city building.