Ricola- wait, I mean E.coli. The USDA had just found another 370,000 pounds of tainted meat in addition to the 75,000 they’ve already found. If you live in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington or Wyoming you may want to check it. (San Jose Mercury News)
Good diet fuels athletes- vegetarianism is growing. Around one in four college students ask for a veg meal at dinner time. But what about nutrition for athletes? (Miami Herald)
Pesticides slow plant growth- a good (albeit technical) article on how pesticides actually slow down the growth rate of plants. P.S. it’s probably not good to eat the stuff either (ScienceDaily)
Whole Foods - Wild Oats merger, not happening?- The FTC is suing to stop it. Why? Because they don’t want Whole Foods to corner the market on organic and natural food. But wait, what about all the big grocery chains that are also carrying most of the same stuff? (NYtimes via Ethicurean)
Slow food elitism- food snobbery around high quality food? Can only rich people with time on their hands enjoy slow food? (grist)
Meat without the animals- dream come true or stomach turning? Dutch researchers are working to create meat in the lab. (reuters)
This comes from Popular Mechanics magazine,
Written by Ian Christe, published in the March 2007 issue
Who needs animals? It’s only a matter of time before lab-grown meat turns into the oink-less BLT.
It sounds like a sci-fi nightmare: giant sheets of grayish meat grown on factory racks for human consumption. But it’s for real. Using pig stem cells, scientists have been growing lab meat for years, and it could be hitting deli counters sooner than you think.
Early attempts produced less-than-enticing results. Then, in 2001, scientists at New York’s Touro College won funding from NASA to improve in vitro farming. Hoping to serve something, well, beefier than kelp on moon bases and Mars colonies, the scientists successfully grew goldfish muscle in a nutrient broth. And, in 2003, a group of hungry artists from the University of Western Australia grew kidney bean-size steaks from biopsied frogs and prenatal sheep cells. Cooked in herbs and flambéed for eight brave dinner guests, the slimy frog steaks came attached to small strips of fabric — the growth scaffolding. Half the tasters spit out their historic dinner. (Perhaps more significant, half didn’t.)
Today, scientists funded by companies such as Stegeman, a Dutch sausage giant, are fine-tuning the process. It takes just two weeks to turn pig stem cells, or myoblasts, into muscle fibers. "It’s a scalable process," says Jason Matheny of New Harvest, a meat substitute research group. "It would take the same amount of time to make a kilogram or a ton of meat." One technical challenge: Muscle tissue that has never been flexed is a gooey mass, unlike the grained texture of meat from an animal that once lived. The solution is to stretch the tissue mechanically, growing cells on a scaffold that expands and contracts. This would allow factories to tone the flaccid flesh with a controlled workout.
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