Monsanto Is Going Organic in a Quest for the Perfect Veggie - "The lettuce, peppers, and broccoli—plus a melon and an onion, with a watermelon soon to follow—aren't genetically modified at all. Monsanto created all these veggies using good old-fashioned crossbreeding, the same technology that farmers have been using to optimize crops for millennia. That doesn't mean they are low tech, exactly. Stark's division is drawing on Monsanto's accumulated scientific know-how to create vegetables that have all the advantages of genetically modified organisms without any of the Frankenfoods ick factor." [more inside]
"Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are." -- Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin [more inside]
Neal Stephenson has been working with the free online culinary school ChefSteps, including aiding in the design and construction of something called a Gaggle Roaster, and filming this video slicing fruit (and a water bottle) in slow motion with a sword.
Hope withers on the vine. A look at daily life among the produce workers in Mecca, California.
Butt nuts. Muffin fruits. Cashew apples. Jaboitcabas. Kinbaran. Miracle fruit (whose extract, miraculin, has been banned as a food additive by the FDA.) Bignays, gourkas, sapotes, mombins, langsats, and jaboticabas. The semi-ferocious rat-tailed papaya (parody.) [more inside]
FruitAndVeggieGuru – everything you need to know about the delicious fruits and vegetables you enjoy. Answers about how to lower your cholesterol or how to prepare asparagus. You’ll find loads of background and variety information, nutrition specifics, serving sizes, preparation ideas and care and handling tips.
Surreal photographic Foodscapes by photographer Carl Warner. Strawberry hot air balloons, towers of cheese, potato boulders, green pea boats on seas of salmon, spice roads, and sugar beaches populate these intricate and luscious scenes. More dishy foodscapes (the plate rainbow = ♥!) and other wonderful visual tricks at his Flash site in the "Fotographics" section (look for the fabulous forest of boots and the white cotton winter wonderland!). [more inside]
It's mango season in India! Thanks to a new agreement, Americans will be able to partake in the joy of Indian mangoes, but in the meantime, there are plenty of ways to enjoy a Florida mango. Get creative with recipes, try one with chili powder or salt and pepper (and no, MTV, it's nothing sexual), buy the mango lover in your life a splitter, or make a wish at a mango tree. (Hint: try South Florida.) Just don't eat (or burn) the leaves!
The little bug eats the bigger bug, and "[i]t's bad news for beekeepers, farmers and anybody who likes to eat." An invading parasite imperils the American honeybee -- and your fruit basket. In only six months "40 percent to 60 percent of the bees nationwide have perished". And "that, in turn, hampers production of about one third of the human diet, including almonds, apples, strawberries, cherries, blueberries, sunflowers, melons and cranberries."
Watermelon carving - a gallery of intricate work and eclectic subjects. In Thailand, there is a tradition of elaborately carving fruit and vegetables, especially when preparing foods for royalty or as part of festivals such as Loi Krathong. This gallery offers some pictorial instructions; books, tools, and sample instructions are also available from the Temple of Thai.
The tiny Picture Book Of Foods is an invaluable resource for true foodies everywhere. Learn where many of your favorite foods really come from. There are also growing secrets, educational cross-sections, and recipe tips. And pancakes.
Chanthaburi Fruit Fair "These vibrantly colorful parade floats are perishable wonders of the world, awesome scenes and statues and designs all decorated almost entirely with thousands of tropical fruits and many vegetables too." Slideshow here. The photographer, Shunyam Nirav, also operates the excellent Durian Palace website with additional Chanthaburi info and great Durian galleries, even Durian poetry. Thailand is also known for their exquisite fruit carving.
Going bananas. The only fruit to ever appear on a Velvet Underground album cover (not to mention the title of a J. D. Salinger short story) may be on its way to extinction. Facts: I) total disappearance could occur within a decade; II) bananas are the staple diet for half a billion people and III) current genetic tampering mean that, even if the fruit doesn't quite disappear, it will taste and look different (Guardian article here). Feeling nostalgic already? Visit the stylish Banana Museum or give someone you love the Enchanted Banana of Happiness (not what you're thinking). first link via Fark
While Americans celebrate history by eating (I have two cookouts to attend tonight), take a look at history you can eat. The Garden State Heirloom Seed Society is trying to make sure we don't lose the thousands of varieties of vegetables and fruit developed over the years.