Friday, July 18, 2014

This week's compost

1.      Japan Next-Generation Farmers Cultivate Crops and Solar Energy
‘By knowing that too much sun won’t help further growth of plants, Nagashima came up with the idea to combine PV systems and farming. He devised and originally patented special structure, which is much like a pergola in a garden. He created a couple of testing fields with different shading rates and different crops. The structures he created are made of pipes and rows of PV panels, which are arranged with certain intervals to allow enough sunlight to hit the ground for photosynthesis (Figure 1).’

I am tempted to whack a solar panel over the vegie patch at home J

2.      Is a hot dog a sandwich? An extended meditation on the nature of America
Still, there are some limits to what makes a sandwich. The presence of some form of bread alone is not criterion enough. As soon as "bread" transitions from noun to verb form it transgresses the space between sandwich and non-sandwich. Breading food does not make a sandwich, tempura offers no challenge to our understanding, and fried chicken is merely seasoned chicken. Likewise, while the flaky pastry of a Croissan'wich makes for a kind of sandwich, the same pastry baked around a steak filet does not make beef wellington a sandwich.
And, despite its possible shape, I cannot agree with my friend that the universe is a sandwich.
A thorough – nay forensic exploration of the question ‘what is a sandwich’. Hilarious, too...indeed I was at risk of choking on my banh mi.

3.      What burritos and sandwiches can teach us about innovation

...or the idiocy of food health regulations.
‘And then you have to sort of say, are burritos really a sandwich?" New York says yes, the USDA says no, and it makes a difference come inspection time. "We do not inspect closed-faced sandwiches regardless of the amount of meat in them. We inspect burritos that have meat or poultry filling," Wheeler says. The debate gets so heated that in 2006, a contract dispute over whether Qdoba Mexican Grill's burritos qualify as sandwiches went far beyond lunch — it went to trial. Expert witnesses including a chef and food critic testified, much deliberation took place, and in the end, Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Locke ruled burritos are not sandwiches.’

4.      Extreme food art J

5.      Do cookery programs really influence the way we cook

‘What is most startling about the results overall is that people are influenced by the programmes they watch. I had always suspected cookery television to be rather like Grand Designs or Changing Rooms – entertaining, certainly; instructive, maybe; but then you would switch the telly off and forget about it. If this isn't the case when it comes to cooking shows, then it would be good to see a few more programmes celebrating food's beauty, simplicity, scope and delight, and fewer that involve two men in a studio shouting at each other.’

Not sure who actually does the cooking and I have startling visions that it isn’t two men shouting at each other but one man shouting at a woman...a lot.

6.      Organic food is still not more nutritious than conventional food

‘The bottom line though is that the whole organic vs conventional food is a pointless distraction. Australians don’t eat anywhere near enough fruit and vegetables, in fact only 5.5% of adults have adequate intake of fruit and vegetables. Worrying about whether having 25% more antioxidant in organic fruit is irrelevant when we don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables in the first place, if you eat the recommended amounts of fruit and vegetables you will have adequate nutrition with sufficient vitamins and antioxidants for healthy life, the minor differences between organic and conventional foods will have no impact at all.’

But then , that isn’t why I choose to eat organic produce when I can anyway, which kinds makes the whole research redundant for me and I suspect a heap of others who choose organic too.