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How much food does your household go through in a week? What are your go-to family meals? And how much do you spend on food? You can get a glimpse of how others answered these questions in Oxfam’s new photo series, which depicts people from around the globe with one week’s food supply for their families. Building on an idea that originated with 2005′s Hungry Planet: What the World Eats , the new images feel especially timely now, when reports about half of the world’s food going to waste vie for space with news about rising global food prices .
Click to embiggen. Do you ever wonder how many vendors at your local farmers market are really local? Cameron Reed did.
The First Amendment to the Constitution, which tops our Bill of Rights, guarantees — theoretically, at least — things we all care about. So much is here: freedom of religion, of the press, of speech, the right to assemble and more. Yet it’s stealthily and incredibly being invoked to safeguard the nearly unimpeded “right” of a handful of powerful corporations to market junk food to children. It’s been reported that kids see an average of 5,500 food ads on television every year (sounds low, when you think about it), nearly all peddling junk.
Photo by Laura Billings. Andrew Zimmern, host of the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods , eats some pretty strange dishes. Now, he wants you to do the same in the name of saving the world:
Since the dawn of space travel, scientists have approached the problem of human survival in such a hostile environment from two opposing angles: adapting the environment to humans, or vice-versa. The former approach has provided most of the solutions so far: spacesuits and spaceships shield humans from extreme temperatures and radiation, and one day, greenhouses may allow earth's crops to grow on Mars . But, out on the fringes, big thinkers such as Manfred Clynes, who coined the word cyborg more than 50 years ago , and Craig Ventner, famous for sequencing the human genome, have wondered whether it might not be more effective to just re-design humans —using drugs, technology, and, most recently, genetic engineering—so that we can survive in space. Ventner is experimenting with engineering synthetic bacteria that could repair damaged DNA or help astronauts absorb nutrients more effectively, and then introducing them into the human microbial biome .
Stop exercising, eat as much as you want ... and still lose weight? It sounds impossible, but UC Irvine and Italian researchers have found that by blocking a natural, marijuana-like chemical regulating energy metabolism, this can happen, at least in the lab. To create this hypermetabolic state, UCI pharmacology professor Daniele Piomelli and colleagues engineered neurons in the forebrains of mice to limit production of an endocannabinoid compound called 2-AG. All mammalian brains contain 2-AG, which the researchers believe helps control the activity of forebrain neural circuits involved in energy dissipation . As a result, these modified mice ate more and moved less than typical mice but did not gain any weight, even when they were fed a high-fat diet.
Here’s a solution to our ever-growing plastic problem: package food and beverage items in edible packaging that’s actually good enough to eat. Dr. David Edwards, a professor at Harvard, is working on it. After creating Breathable Foods and an energy capsule , Edwards moved on to WikiCells, an edible packaging technology. The WikiCells project began a few years ago when Edwards collaborated with French designer François Azambourg on an edible bottle that uses nature’s "natural packaging" as an inspiration for more artificial packaging. Says Edwards: "The notion [of Wikicells] is that you are englobing liquid, foam, or something else in a soft membrane held together by food particles that are being connected by electrostatic charges to each other and to a small amount of natural polymer."
Treating sugar as an addiction, Bart Hoebel demonstrates withdrawal, binging and brain chemistry changes in rats. PRINCETON (US) —Scientists now have proof why those sugar cravings are so hard to ignore. New evidence suggests sugar can be addictive, wielding its power over the brain in a manner similar to drugs like nicotine and cocaine.
Milan 2010: designer Hafsteinn Juliusson of Iceland and Italy presented flavoured paper snacks in Milan last week. Called Slim Chips, the snacks are made of edible paper with organic colours and flavours in peppermint, blueberry and sweet potato. See all our stories about Milan 2010 in our special category . Here's a tiny bit of text from Juliusson: Slim Chips are good and they contain no calories.
Korean designer Jihyum Ryou reimagines food storage without a fridge. In his project ‘Save Food From The Fridge’ Ryou uses traditional word-of-mouth knowledge and everyday objects to preserve food in an eco-friendly way, without the use of a fridge to keep the food fresh. “Observing the food and therefore changing the notion of food preservation, we could find the answer to current situations such as the overuse of energy and food wastage.” Ryou wrote on his website.
Lab-grown burgers will be served up in October Link to video: Lab-grown burger to be served up in October Lurking in a petri dish in a laboratory in the Netherlands is an unlikely contender for the future of food . The yellow-pink sliver the size of a corn plaster is the state-of-the-art in lab-grown meat , and a milestone on the path to the world's first burger made from stem cells . Dr Mark Post, head of physiology at Maastricht University , plans to unveil a complete burger – produced at a cost of more than £200,000 – this October. He hopes Heston Blumenthal, the chef and owner of the three Michelin-starred Fat Duck restaurant in Berkshire, will cook the offering for a celebrity taster as yet unnamed.
While sunlight contains all colors, the dominant type of chlorophyll in plants only needs purple light to function. This simple fact has big implications for the future of farming. Crops planted in soil, of course, depend on the sun, while commercial greenhouses use white light to grow their crops. All that extra red, green and yellow energy is wasted on the plants.