breaks down Wired
's new food issue, which includes David Chang's essay called "The Joy of Cooking With Science"; Alton Brown on the science behind real-tasting fake chicken, and a piece on umami (recently on AskMeFi
posted by Room 641-A
on Sep 18, 2013 -
"During the most recent ice age, milk was essentially a toxin to adults because — unlike children — they could not produce the lactase enzyme required to break down lactose, the main sugar in milk. But as farming started to replace hunting and gathering in the Middle East around 11,000 years ago, cattle herders learned how to reduce lactose in dairy products to tolerable levels by fermenting milk to make cheese or yogurt. Several thousand years later, a genetic mutation spread through Europe that gave people the ability to produce lactase — and drink milk — throughout their lives. That adaptation opened up a rich new source of nutrition that could have sustained communities when harvests failed." - The Milk Revolution - how a single mutation expanded (some) of humanity's diet. (Nature.com)
posted by The Whelk
on Aug 2, 2013 -
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films
were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating
, preparing for being drafted
, and shyness
, as well as to children on following the law
, the value of quietness in school
, and appreciating our parents
. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health
, what kind of people live in America
, how to keep a job
, supervising women workers
, the nature of capitalism
, and the plantation System in Southern life
. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives
as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Nov 1, 2012 -
Researchers at the New England Complex Systems Institute
say they've uncovered a pattern that triggers riots wherever it's found. What is that pattern? The price of food
. When it rises to a certain level, social unrest & violence are soon to follow. According to their calculations the food price index is due to peak in August of 2013, assuming no corrective action is taken. The original paper is here
posted by scalefree
on Aug 21, 2011 -
My Life with Science, Art and Food
: "Using scientific laboratory photo equipment, I journey over the surfaces of both organic and processed foods: my own favorites and America’s over-indulgences. The closer the lens got, the more I saw food and consumers of food (all of us!) as part of a larger eco-system than mere sustenance." [more inside]
posted by bwg
on Jul 22, 2011 -
Then, coming on six o'clock, Mr. Myhrvold, the former Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft and an inventor with hundreds of patents to his name, came in, wearing chef's whites, and ushered us into dinner. Boy, people eat early around here, I thought. Little did I know I would be eating non-stop for the next three hours. (previously: 1,2) [more inside]
posted by Trurl
on Jun 28, 2011 -
Our minds boggle at how the wolf could become the chihuahua, the Saint Bernard, the poodle and the Komondor
. Artificial selection was likewise responsible for transforming the humble wild mustard plant Brassica oleracea
into cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and the breathtaking fractal Romanesco
, all in the span of a few centuries. [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator
on Aug 23, 2010 -
The Neuroscience of McGriddles:
Evolutionary biology offers hypotheses about why we enjoy eating. "When you eat at McDonald's, a big part of the pleasure comes from the fact that the food is sustenance, fuel, energy. Even mediocre food is a little rewarding."
posted by silby
on Jul 23, 2009 -
. Researchers unravel the complex combination of physical and emotional reactions that influence our perceptions of what tastes good. Once upon a time, flavor research was a matter of asking housewives to munch a few potato chips... Now it's about providing an exceptional flavor "experience." And as scientists learn to exploit the ways we perceive flavor, food manufacturers will be able to refine their products to appeal to us as individuals. Welcome to the world of personally tailored mass-produced food.
posted by amyms
on Nov 5, 2007 -
Dr. Melik: This morning for breakfast he requested something called "wheat germ, organic honey and tiger's milk."
Dr. Aragon: [chuckling] Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties.
Dr. Melik: You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or... hot fudge?
Dr. Aragon: Those were thought to be unhealthy... precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.
Dr. Melik: Incredible.
Has anything changed?
posted by caddis
on Sep 19, 2007 -
"A single test can now reveal the presence
of meat from any of 32 different species in food samples, enabling a wide range of important questions to be answered. These include whether chicken has been bulked up with beef or pork extracts; whether expensive albacore tuna is really cheap skipjack tuna; whether rats, mice or even bits of people fell into the mincer when your burger was being made..."
posted by taragl
on Mar 4, 2004 -
Today the British government
released a major report
on the safety of genetically modified foods. According to New Scientist
, "existing genetically modified crops and foods pose a 'very low' risk to human health and are 'very unlikely' to rampage through the British countryside", but others
posted by turbodog
on Jul 21, 2003 -
fast(er) food in so-cal.
looks like we'll all be able to get our big macs a whopping 15 seconds faster at orange county drive throughs. why haven't they done this *inside* their stores, where it usually takes the cashier at least a minute to do the math, after the people in front of me spend 3 minutes digging through their pockets/wallets/purses to find their money and change.(disclosure: i was once a mcdonald's cashier)
posted by mmanning
on Jan 28, 2000 -
Although this is dated,
it is still interesting. The long-story-short is someone left some spam out on a plate to see if would ever decompose. This person also left out other items for comparison. Check out the archived experiments for past projects and notes.
posted by mathowie
on Oct 13, 1999 -
Ah, Peeps, those resilient little birds. This is a neat site
on basic Peep science.
posted by tdecius
on Oct 12, 1999 -