News for September 7, 2011

News Today includes stories about Nourish Short Films, Factory Farm Horrors, Tim Gunn, Saffron, Shark Fin Ban, Drought Simulator, Cadmium, Thailand Canine Bust, Australian Live Animal Exports Ban, Bad Restaurant, Eating Insects, Culinary School, Morels, Farming, Honey, Greatergood.org, International Fund for Animal Welfare, gastropub, Cork, Seasonal Affective Disorder, kitchen gadgets, Vegan Mac ‘N Cheese, Monsanto, Working, Mushrooms, Eggplant Sandwich, Meatless Monday, Chimpanzees, Elephant Abuse,  Farmed Animals, environmental crisis, Birth Control, Saying Yes, Diabetes Prevention, Diet, Eat Your Veggies, Hybrid Fruit, Sunflower Seed Pesto,  and Recipes.

Chimps used in experiments, entertainment and the pet trade need your help. Tell the government to give chimpanzees full protection under the Endangered Species Act!

Nourish Short Films DVD

Just in time for back-to-school, Food Day, and the fall harvest season, we’re pleased to release Nourish Short Films, an engaging collection of 54 bite-sized videos about the story of your food.

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TV Details Factory Farm Horrors

Courtesy of our friends at PETA Germany, TV viewers in that country learned how birds are routinely mistreated and neglected by Wiesenhof (the leading German poultry brand) when the ARD network aired a program that included undercover footage from PETA Germany’s investigation of a Wiesenhof turkey farm. The sizable audience saw workers as they kicked and threw turkeys, birds thrown roughly into cages, animals who fell off trucks, and other abuses. And this was hardly a fluke—last year, another PETA Germany investigation found similar nastiness at a Wiesenhof chicken farm.

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‘Runway’ Designer at Wrong End of the ‘Gunn’

Of all the reasons why Project Runway is turn-off-the-phone-and-lock-the-door must-see television, the inimitable Tim Gunn, whose superb taste is surpassed only by his kindness, is at the top of the list. On last week’s episode, Gunn, ahem, shot down designer Josh Christensen when he tried to use real fur. That wasn’t about to fly with PETA’s 2009 Man of the Year, who promptly told Christensen to part with the pelt, saying, “We’re fur-free.”

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Saffron versus Aricept

The spice saffron was compared to donepezil (Aricept), a leading drug treatment for slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease cognitive impairment.

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Shark Fin Ban Passes: California Legislature Sends The Bill To Gov. Brown

California’s Legislature sent Gov. Jerry Brown a bill seeking to ban the sale, trade or possession of shark fins on Tuesday, over the objections of two senators who called the measure racist because the fins are used in a soup considered a delicacy in some Asian cultures.

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Drought Simulator Helps Develop Hardier Crops

Felix Fritschi likes to damage plants. He’s no vandal. The plant scientist and his colleagues at the University of Missouri are using a new device to deprive plants of water in an effort to better understand how they’re affected by drought. The researchers hope their work will help develop drought-resistant crops for use by farmers.

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Cadmium In Jewelry: Target & Gap Agree To Stop Using Toxin

Major national retailers, including Target Corp. and Gap Inc., have agreed to all but eliminate the toxic metal cadmium in jewelry and other accessories they sell.

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Thailand Canine Bust: Police Arrest Two For Smuggling Dogs To Vietnam

Thai authorities have arrested two men who tried to smuggle 120 dogs to Vietnam to be sold for human consumption, police said Tuesday.

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Australian Live Animal Exports Ban: GRAPHIC Footage Released

Graphic footage of live cattle and sheep being slashed in Turkey slaughter houses was released in a push to ban live animal exports in Australia.

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5 Signs You’ve Picked a Bad Restaurant

As the high season for restaurant openings returns this fall, there will be a whirlwind of unfamiliar dining options hungry for business. Pork belly and meatballs will fly, but keep alert and you can avoid the most tragic meals. Here’s when to back away.

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European Commission Offers $4.3 Million Prize To Encourage People To Eat Insects

This was the summer of insects in the food world. Dana Goodyear wrote a piece on entomophagy — insect eating — in the New Yorker, Daniella Martin wrote one here on HuffPost Food and Angelina Jolie said her children eat crickets “like Doritos.” So far, the activity has been mostly rhetorical — people have been giving lip service to the ecological benefits of eating insects, but not that many people have actually been converted.

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Culinary School Grads Claim They Were Ripped Off

Food enthusiasts have been enrolling in culinary school in growing numbers, lured by dreams of working as gourmet chefs or opening their own restaurants.

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Foraging for Morels

As a Minnesotan, Morels are prized. Having been defeated this year in my home state and Iowa, left with only 1 mushroom to share between many, Washington was a chance for revenge. We went out with author and forager Langdon Cook — into the Eastern Cascades, many miles up the mountains and to a “burn zone.” These much coveted spots are the birthing place of mountains of morels. Burn zones are where many of the morels sold across the nation come from, we were lucky enough to have a lead. We learned the ins and outs of this western version of a Minnesota treasure.

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Should Every Restaurant Have A Farm? No. But, It’s Not A Bad Idea.

Meet George Weld, the owner/chef of Egg, a friendly, neighborhood restaurant in Brooklyn, New York focusing on farm-to-table southern cuisine. At Egg, the word “comfort” isn’t taken lightly, and diners who want a taste of the South done authentically and simply know to come, and keep coming back here. They’ve got homemade buttermilk biscuits & gravy, heaping servings of the tastiest grits, juicy fried chicken, Carolina kale, pulled pork, hot ham, pimento cheese and, of course, eggs, lots of eggs. Up until three years ago, the restaurant worked closely with local farmers to provide the fresh produce featured on their seasonal menus. Now, they are able to provide almost all the vegetables they need for their dishes from their own 6-acre farm, Goatfell Farm, located 2.5 hours from the restaurant in upstate New York – a personal, passion project that George had been thinking about for many years.

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GM Honey: E.U. Court Puts Limits On Genetically Modified Honey

Honey that contains traces of pollen from genetically modified crops needs special authorization before it can be sold in Europe, the European Union’s top court said Tuesday, in a judgment that could have widespread consequences on the bloc’s policy on genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

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Welfare Organization Awarded

Greatergood.org has recently granted its millionth dollar in donations to the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

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Why you can learn to cook without culinary school

Whether it’s dreams of opening their very own bakery, being the next ‘Top Chef’ or simply wanting to brush up on their knife skills, a growing number of the food-obsessed continue to flock toward culinary school – some straight out of high school, some swapping out their suits for chefs’ whites midlife in hopes of a more savory lifestyle.

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Long live the gastropub and to hell with the Good Food Guide snobs

How very high-handed of The Good Food Guide, the foodies’ bible, to systematically remove the word “gastropub” from its pages. The G-word has been banned altogether from the 2012 edition of the guide, thrown into the outer darkness like a bruised plum or iffy oyster.

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Why Cork Is the Most Amazing Material in the World to Keep Your Wine Tasty

There’s a reason the screw cap hasn’t dominated the wine stopper industry: Cork still kicks the ass of stamped aluminum for the good stuff-and not just for nostalgia’s sake. This is what keeps our evening libations from turning sour.

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Start Preparing Now to Avoid the Effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder

For many people (especially those of us in the northern hemisphere) September is the beginning of fall, and with the fall months come the winter blues, or worse, Seasonal Affective Disorder. The time to start prepping for those dark and gloomy cold-weather days is now, before the sun and warmth are gone completely.

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Restaurants want a piece of food stamp pie

The number of businesses approved to accept food stamps grew by a third from 2005 to 2010, U.S. Department of Agriculture records show, as vendors from convenience and dollar discount stores to gas stations and pharmacies increasingly joined the growing entitlement program.

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More retailers say yes to food stamps

More retailers are accepting food stamps, as a record number of consumers are turning to government aid to pay for groceries.

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Whip out these kitchen gadgets to whip up a quick meal

Now that the school year has begun and we’re back to chauffeuring to and from soccer and band practices, it’s hard not to wish for a magic wand in the kitchen. Until that appears, we’ll have to settle for some new tools that make food prep easier and faster.

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Recipe: Vegan Mac ‘N Cheese

Try my vegan and all-natural recipe for comforting mac ‘n’ cheese that both kids and adults can enjoy! You can use Barilla mini Piccolini noodles, or any mac ‘n’ cheese-friendly pasta shape.

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Monsanto Biotech Corn Not Killing Pests, Research Finds

Scientists sounded the alarm years ago, but now their predictions appear to be an encroaching reality: Monsanto’s biotech corn is showing signs, they say, that it no longer repels the pests it is engineered to kill.

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All Work and No Pay: The Great Speedup

You: doing more with less. Corporate profits: up 22 percent. The dirty secret of the jobless recovery.

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Unsanitary Conditions at Herb, Mushroom Operation

An Oregon produce repacking operation for fresh farm and wild mushrooms and herbs, as well as some specialty products, is doing business under some insanitary conditions, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says.

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Succulent Pulled-Eggplant Sandwich

Using a low-heat, long-cook method with eggplant is worth the wait. In this sandwich, the eggplant is so tender that it practically falls apart. Paired with some crisp tempeh-bacon, tapioca-cheese, veganaise, fresh basil leaves and tenderized kale, your lunch guests will be begging for seconds.

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Field of broken dreams

Since the 1970s, there have been two very different sets of rules for young workers in this country: one that applies to teenage agricultural workers, and one for everyone else.

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Global Meat Sales Drop As Meatless Monday Movement Rises

The international Meatless Monday movement is making an impact! A recent report by the trend tracking group Euromonitor International has found that meat free meals are more common now than ever before, thanks in large part to meatless movements around the globe.

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Should Captive-Bred Chimpanzees Have Full Endangered Species Act Protection?

In a move that’s probably long overdue, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced last week that it will conduct a status review to determine if captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) should be reclassified from “threatened” to the more protected status “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

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L.A. Residents Unite Against Elephant Abuse

On a hot Labor Day weekend, Los Angeles–area residents showed their warm hearts by turning out in droves to speak out against notorious elephant abuser Have Trunk Will Travel’s (HTWT) elephant rides at the L.A. County Fair. Then, as the first demonstration was wrapping up, another wave of people came to protest, so fairgoers were treated to back-to-back demonstrations.

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Hundreds of New MFA Transit Ads Give Farmed Animals a Voice in the Windy City

Hundreds of thousands of daily commuters and visitors traveling in and around the Chicago area are being challenged to look at their food differently, thanks to Mercy For Animals’ newest pro-vegetarian ad campaign. Over 250 ads, strategically placed on train platforms, on the outside of buses, and in the interiors of buses and trains as well, are causing Chicagoans to consider the plight of farmed animals when sitting down to eat.

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Othering the Animal: Interconnections Between Movements

“No one is free when others are oppressed.” That poignant saying is proudly touted on a banner that Mercy For Animals has been marching behind at gay pride events throughout the country for many years. It’s a stark reminder to those in the gay community that their issues are part of a continuum. And a reminder to everyone that animals are on the agenda.

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“This Addiction is Going to Kill Us in the End”: Clark Strand’s Twelve Step approach to our environmental crisis

What will it take to restore us to ecological sanity? In his “Green Bodhisattva” columns that have appeared in Tricycle, Clark Strand has attempted to answer this question by adapting the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous to our environmental crisis. Step by step, one per issue, he has outlined the first third of the path over the last year. But because there is no time to waste on the matter, the remainder of the Twelve Steps will appear here on tricycle.com. Over the next twelve weeks, Strand will explain the path in its entirety. For those of you who might have missed the “Green Bodhisattva” columns in the magazine, we’ll begin today with the first step.

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Conservatives Step Up Attacks On Public Funding For Birth Control

These days, more and more voices are opposing the provision of birth control for its own sake.

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Is the Glass Half Full? Saying Yes Might Make You Healthier

We all know a certain type of person — we can see them coming down the hall from 100 yards away. They have an electric cord coming out of their torso with the plug tightly coiled in their right hand. They hope to plug into you and suck out all the positive energy they can. When I see them heading toward me, I usually duck into a patient room or laundry closet. Unfortunately, they may not realize their pessimistic and cynical attitudes are not only bad for their health but may eventually kill them.

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Diabetes Prevention: Study Highlights 5 Things To Lower Your Risk

Would you be willing to change one aspect of your life — such as eating healthier or exercising more — if you knew it would reduce your likelihood of developing diabetes? Would you make two, three or five lifestyle changes to bring down those chances even more?

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Can We Say What Diet Is “Best”?

One recent study demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet is better than a low-fat diet at improving a wide array of cardiac risk factors. Another showed that the Portfolio Diet is superior to a low-fat diet at lowering serum lipids. But then again, very low-fat, plant-based diets have been shown to cause regression of atherosclerotic plaque, to prevent cardiac events and to modify gene expression in a manner that should lower cancer risk.

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A Cool Way to Eat Your Veggies

It’s hard not to be deeply envious of a woman who earns her living tasting ice cream. But while most of us would be content to spend each day shoveling in rocky road by the bucketful, Jeni Britton Bauer, the founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, puts a bit more thought into her work.

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Corner stores push fruit and veggies over candy as North Philadelphia kids go for it

WHEN MARILYN Valerio and her brother Nelson bought The Right Choice grocery in North Philly two months ago, they found that along with just about every chip, candy and soda known to man, former owners Irene and Rassedell Choice had introduced fresh fruit snacks to neighborhood children.

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In the Search for Perfect Fruit, Breeders Create Odd, New Hybrids

The Zaigers own Zaiger’s Inc. Genetics in Modesto, Calif., one of country’s few commercial fruit breeders specializing in hybrid fruits. Next month, they will decide whether to grant any of the farmers who tasted their pluerry, named for its mix of plum and cherry, at a sampling last week the exclusive rights to grow the new fruit and sell it to supermarkets across the country.

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Epic Live Comedy is Awesome

Because my own meaningless life has been hectic, I’ve been remiss in telling you about the amazing Will Franken’s latest live comedy opus, “Second Sandwiches.” If you’ve seen Will, you’ll rush to get your tickets now. If you’ve not, you’re missing a rare kind of genius. Do your brain a fave and go to The Purple Onion in San Francisco this Saturday night.

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O-Me-Goodness! All about Omegas & Sunflower Seed Pesto

Before becoming full Vegan I was consuming fish as a source of protein and Omega fatty acids. Admittedly I was nervous, fish was sort of my security blanket I guess. When I stopped eating fish I was a little freaked. Protein wasn’t the issue, really I was a little concerned about Omegas. I had the bright idea to take my AOR supplement but then I remembered..fish oil! What to do?!

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soy curls & margaritas

Portland’s had a weirdo summer all right. I blocked out most of the spurts of humidity (shades help), but it seems like it’s back with a vengeance for my goddamn birthday. I don’t plan on doing much today besides waiting to see if my second sibling remembers to call and imbibing on a refreshing cocktail or two, so I suppose I’ll manage.

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“Don’t Overthink That”: Another Farmer Responds to My Recent Atlantic Piece

My article on the psychology of factory farming has touched a nerve. Here’s another response I got from a rancher:

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About James Lucas


James has been a graphic designer for over 18 years and owns Wave Hound Surf Shop. James started Doylestown Movie Fans, who meet once a month to see movies at the County Theater in Doylestown, PA. He and his wife Chris started Bucks County Vegan Supper Club in 2009, whose members meet once a month to have a vegan potluck dinner. They are currently working through the Veganomicon cookbook, which inspires experienced and recent vegans to try new recipes. James is proud to support Farm Sanctuary and The Surfrider Foundation.

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