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plant sex in silico

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]
posted by kliuless on Mar 8, 2014 - 52 comments

Maple Syrup Revolution: New Discovery Could Change the Business Forever

"In October 2013, Drs. Tim Perkins and Abby van Den Berg of the University of Vermont’s Proctor Maple Research Center, revealed the findings of a study at a maple syrup conference in New Brunswick, Canada that sent waves through the industry. In 2010, they were studying vacuum systems in sap collection operations. Based on the observation that one of the mature trees in the study that was missing most of its top was still yielding high volumes of sap, they hypothesized that the maples were possibly drawing moisture from the soil and not the crown. Previously, they had presumed that the sap dripping from tap holes was coming from the upper portion of the tree. But, if the tree was missing most of its crown then, they surmised, it must be drawing moisture from the roots. ... They realized that their discovery meant sugarmakers could use saplings, densely planted in open fields, to harvest sap. In other words, it is possible that maple syrup could now be produced as a row crop like every other commercial crop in North America." [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Jan 23, 2014 - 102 comments

Hygienic and Scientific Cooking

"....many a tragic episode in family life is superinduced by the baleful influence of a tortured stomach. Mighty is the hand that holds the ballot-box, but mightier is the hand that wields to advantage the pepper-box, the salt-spoon, and the sugar-shaker." read the entirely of Maud C. Cooke's, Breakfast, Dinner and Supper; or, What To Eat and How To Prepare It (1897) online and enter a world of home remedies, large scale recipes, sound advice, leftover wizardry, squirrel stews, scientific digestion, and horrible things done to vegetables.
posted by The Whelk on Jan 17, 2014 - 12 comments

Wired food science

Eater.com 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 - 18 comments

Dramatic Lactose Intolerant Sobbing

"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 - 158 comments

Culinary Tech

Polyscience is a company at the cutting edge of culinary technology. [Previously]
posted by lemuring on Feb 26, 2013 - 20 comments

Mo’ honey, mo’ problems

The world of honey trading is a murky one, riddled with smuggling and fakery. But honey detectives are on the case! And they have a new, powerful weapon: a laser tool designed by the European Space Agency to measure carbon on Mars that has been re-purposed to detect fake honey. (Via) [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Feb 18, 2013 - 59 comments

Everything is Dinner

Micro-Macro, an animated short film that visualizes the nested scales of the physical universe (a la the Powers of Ten) using stop-motion-animated food. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jan 29, 2013 - 4 comments

Where are the flying cars? I was promised flying cars. I don't see any flying cars!

Global Trends 2030 Alternate Worlds is the latest quadrennial report from The US National Intelligence Council (NIC). (Report: PDF / Talking Points: PDF.) Similar to its predecessors, '2030' attempts to predict 'alternate visions of the future.' An official blog discusses their speculations. The Atlantic Council has published a "companion publication": "Envisioning 2030: US Strategy for a Post-Western World." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 11, 2012 - 21 comments

Coronet Instructional Films

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, popularity, 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 - 41 comments

F*ing magnets, how do they work?

Magnetic resonance images of fruits and vegetables. And more MRI of more foods. Another 3D rendering of a broccoli MRI. [more inside]
posted by sararah on Oct 4, 2012 - 20 comments

Bird Brains

Staying_On-Topic in r/intelligentanimals posts a huge number of links explaining why Corvids (crows, ravens, magpies, etc) are amazing.
posted by The Whelk on Aug 26, 2012 - 33 comments

The Food Riots of 2013

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 - 49 comments

What's in our food?

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 - 4 comments

Nathan Myhrvold

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 - 31 comments

"Take the death off the table."

The Billionaire Who Is Planning His 125th Birthday. Also: The Die-Later Diet [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 6, 2011 - 66 comments

The Imagination Diet

To Eat Less, Imagine Eating More
posted by morganannie on Dec 13, 2010 - 41 comments

Why does airline food taste so bland?

Why is airline food so often tasteless? It looks like there are many factors, and even the background noise in the cabin affects people's perceptions of taste. [more inside]
posted by philipy on Oct 14, 2010 - 52 comments

"...endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved."

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 - 54 comments

Tastes like Fred Astaire!

A user on food blog TheKitchn asks "Why do frog legs jump and dance when salted?" The answer? Unused ATP in the muscle cells. [more inside]
posted by phunniemee on Jul 9, 2010 - 27 comments

Break out the calipers

Reverse Engineering McDonald's French Fries Although not good for you, one dedicated man determines how you can make them at home, and improves on the recipe.
posted by zabuni on Jun 6, 2010 - 90 comments

Mushroom Sex

"People who use sows to hunt for truffles often find it hard to prevent a sex-crazed animal from eating the truffle she has found and may lose fingers in the attempt." (via) The NYT on decoding the genome of the Périgord Black Truffle . Attempts to make truffles cheaper and more accessible in the past have been met with some resistance.
posted by The Whelk on Mar 30, 2010 - 32 comments

Joe Pastry

Joe Pastry doesn't do cake porn, but he's very fond of cake history and baking science. Recently, Joe wrote a heavily critical review of home-baking folk hero Rose Levy Beranbaum's latest book. Her response was to call him up and smooth things over herself. Also, Rose on cookbook photography/publishing and on writing technical, encyclopedic books for an amateur niche audience. [more inside]
posted by Evstar on Feb 10, 2010 - 15 comments

Calories are delicious

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 - 82 comments

Diet Trend Smackdown--and no winners?

"People lose weight if they lower calories, but it does not matter how." According to recently published study in the New England Journal of Medicine, "For people who are trying to lose weight, it does not matter if they are counting carbohydrates, protein or fat. All that matters is that they are counting something." [more inside]
posted by mecran01 on Apr 5, 2009 - 98 comments

Hervé This: the man who unboiled an egg

Hervé This, dubbed the "Father of Molecular Gastronomy", is also known as the man who unboiled an egg.
posted by Lush on Feb 16, 2008 - 19 comments

The Anatomy Of Taste

Yummy Science. 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 - 17 comments

doctor delicious and molecular gastronomy

Carbonated watermelon. Gelatin spheres with liquid centers. Broths and sauces whipped into foams. When the world's best chefs want something that defies the laws of physics, they come to one man: Dave Arnold, the DIY guru of high-tech cooking. Want to turn your kitchen into a science lab? Check out 25 extreme kitchen gadgets. Related, previously on Mefi: molecular gastronomy.
posted by madamjujujive on Oct 10, 2007 - 51 comments

"What Makes Us Healthy", or "Was Woody Right"

"Sleeper":
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 - 11 comments

Cheers | Prost | Gayola | Na zdraví | Skål | Slainte | etc.

Multicultural toasting as an accoutrement for Gunther Anderson's guide to making liqueurs at home [ Principles | Science | Materials | Example recipe | and more... ]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 19, 2007 - 10 comments

Earthlings

Earthlings (1 hr 35 min Google video) is "a feature length documentary about humanity's absolute dependence on animals (for pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and scientific research) but also illustrates our complete disrespect for these so-called 'non-human providers.'" Also in three parts on YouTube.
posted by homunculus on Jun 24, 2007 - 71 comments

MegaFeeders

Obesity: Epidemic or Myth?
posted by Gyan on Nov 16, 2005 - 54 comments

Science of Cooking

Science of Cooking guide resource
posted by Gyan on Feb 27, 2005 - 8 comments

Inkjet sushi

Inkjet sushi - Some argue the kind of molecular gastronomy created by chefs like Moto's Homaro Cantu sucks the soul out of gourmet dining. Others turn it into better cooking for the unwashed masses, while still others turn it into a science project for the kids.
posted by AlexReynolds on Feb 3, 2005 - 21 comments

FoodExpert-ID Chip

"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 - 15 comments

Great Mammon's Organisms

Is the GM Food Business trying to nobble independent scientific inquiry? Scientists on the UK Government's GM Science Review Panel, say they have been threatened and bullied to provide pro-GM opinions.
(Meanwhile Tony Blair is reigning in his zeal for GMO's, it seems for entirely political reasons.)
posted by Blue Stone on Aug 25, 2003 - 7 comments

The HRE was neither holy nor roman, talk amongst yourselves (about GMOs)

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 disagree.
posted by turbodog on Jul 21, 2003 - 58 comments

Science in the kitchen.

Science in the kitchen. It's more star trek then home-ec, the cooking of Blumenthal and the legendary Ferran Adria from El Bulli, brings the chemistry set into the kitchen. Egg and bacon ice cream anyone?
posted by ciderwoman on Mar 31, 2003 - 6 comments

The Twinkies Project:

The Twinkies Project: "Tests With Inorganic Noxious Kakes In Extreme Situations." Kids, do try these at home.
posted by brownpau on Aug 30, 2002 - 15 comments

Where are your limits?

Where are your limits? Inspired in part by mikhail's earlier post on the gelatin used in Guinness (and Bass), for those with voluntary diet restrictions (kosher, halal, vegetarian, etc.), what unexpected choices have you faced? Does it go beyond food? Toothpaste? Collagen injections? Silk? Buying a car with leather seats? A used car with leather seats?
posted by NortonDC on Mar 18, 2002 - 59 comments

Reports of the peanut's demise are greatly exaggerated.

Reports of the peanut's demise are greatly exaggerated. Efforts to counter the declining consumption of peanuts seem to be working, the National Peanut Board has announced. Sometimes you should feel like a nut.
posted by tenbroeck on May 14, 2001 - 5 comments

"GMO free" labelling set to become illegal in the US?

"GMO free" labelling set to become illegal in the US? "The U.S. regulatory system is a model around the world because it is grounded in science, not superstition or uninformed emotion." So says the president of a biotech lobby group. Ahem.
posted by holgate on Jan 18, 2001 - 20 comments

fast(er) food in so-cal.

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 - 10 comments

Although this is dated,

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 - 0 comments

Ah, Peeps, those resilient little birds. This is a neat site on basic Peep science.
posted by tdecius on Oct 12, 1999 - 0 comments

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