From tech to farming

Remember Stewart Lundy, my former student who helped me with the technical side of my blog?  He has now embraced farming.  But what a farm!  He is doing cutting-edge local, sustainable, organic farming.  He is raising heirloom vegetables, chickens, ducks, rabbits, bees, and “rare pigs.”  People are driving an hour and a half just to buy his eggs.  He is attending to the microbes in the soil, restoring minerals to the soil, and applying all kinds of other sophisticated techniques to make all of this work.

You have got to scroll through his site and see the pictures of what all he is doing:  Perennial Roots – Accomac, VA – Farm, Food & Grocery | Facebook.

Contact him from the site if you want to order a pig (either as food or as a pet) or get in on any of this other stuff.  [Read more...]

In vitro meat

Researchers in London served the first hamburger patty that came not from an animal but from genetic engineering.  Those who sampled it which consisted of protein generated from cattle stem cells, said that it tasted “almost like meat.”  Yum, yum.

But many people are heralding the development as the beginning of a new era in food.  No more need we kill animals.  No more will livestock operations pollute the land.  We will be able to generate cheap food for all.   Read about it after the jump, whereupon we will consider the implications. [Read more...]

Taxing calories

In yet another example of using taxes to control people’s behavior, it is now being proposed (not by lawmakers so far) to battle obesity by taxing food based on its number of calories. [Read more...]

Bee summit

Back in 2007, about three different servers ago when this blog was with World, I wrote a post entitled The Rapture of the Bees.   Honeybees were disappearing, which is a major concern, since they are so important in the pollination of crops.  Since then, I’ve read several pieces that purportedly solved the mystery of why that’s happening, but I guess there is still controversy over the causes, and the problem remains.  Thanks to Pete Muller, who sent me an account of a “Bee Summit” sponsored by pesticide-maker Monsanto.

Some are blaming pesticides for the die-off of bees, while others are blaming a kind of mite that preys on bees and that presumably could be controlled by. . . pesticides.  Anyone want to guess what the diagnosis will be from the Monsanto summit?  Or from environmentalists?  Notice how science, though supposedly objective, is not free from conclusion-shaping presuppositions. [Read more...]

Food as the new rock ‘n’ roll

Odd and questionable–but unintentionally amusing–cultural commentary from Chris Richards in the Washington Post:

Over the past decade, we’ve seen the rise of the foodie class and decline of the record industry. Are the two related? When did we start talking about new food trucks instead of new bands?. . . .

Today’s gastronomical adventures provide the thrills that rock-and-roll used to. New restaurants appeal to our sense of discovery. Our diets can reflect our identities, our politics. For fans of thrash metal and/or live octopus sashimi, food is a way to sate cravings for the maximal, visceral and extreme. [Read more...]