Up to 90 percent of beer ingredients are wasted (and not the good kind of "wasted"). So ReGrained is making some of that spent beer grain into beer-flavored, nonalcoholic granola bars. Because you definitely drink beer for the flavor.
The San Francisco-based company adds local ingredients -- such as Ghirardelli Chocolate, NOM -- and the end result is Chocolate Coffee Stout or Honey Almond IPA bars. Which sound pretty amazing, surprisingly.
In the United States, approximately 200 million barrels of beer are consumed each year, with an average of 6 billion pounds of grain used by the brewing industry. Needless to say, that is a lot of grain! While some of the larger breweries are able to offload their leftover grain to farmers who can compost it for fertilizer or feed to livestock, others simply hire someone to haul away their waste like garbage.
Everyone loves Sriracha hot sauce, right? Foodies love Sriracha! Cooks love Sriracha! Babies love Sriracha! This dog loves Sriracha! That webcomic I can't stand loves Sriracha! The only people who don't like Sriracha are me (I'm a culinary nincompoop who can't handle spice) and people who live near the Irwindale, Calif., Huy Fong Foods factory, where Sriracha is produced and bottled.
Irwindale residents are complaining that the factory is releasing a smelly, irritating gas (like you when you eat too much Sriracha! Hey-ooooo I'll show myself out). Eyes are burning and watering all over the L.A. suburb, and the city is now filing suit against Huy Fong to get the factory to shut down production while it comes up with a plan to stop macing the entire town.
McDonald's is killing the Dollar Menu, so the staff at Thrillist panicked, bought everything on it, and combined the whole thing into one giant McMonstrosity. Because there's no way you could get a better sandwich for $6 than one composed of two burgers, a chicken sandwich, a side salad, a yogurt parfait, and a cookie.
Then, secure in the knowledge that their hideous progeny was "basically ... a diet food" due to the addition of salad and fruit, they actually ate it.
Richard Jefferson was talking fast, too fast for me to take notes. He was trying to explain what’s wrong with our food system, and what to do about it, but there was too much to say, and we'd already stretched the lunch hour past its breaking point. He kept moving forkloads of salad toward his mouth, but the food couldn't swim up the cascade of words. It always ended up back on his plate.
Jefferson talks this way because he’s passionate, and because he’s a polymath. He was on the team of public scientists that created the first transgenic plants (one day before Monsanto did it). He invented a genetic marker that earned him notoriety in the field. Then he became an intellectual property expert and created a framework for open-source biological invention. Now, he’s trying to radically transform the entire system of innovation to make it more inclusive and local: He wants a system that empowers farmers in Africa to invent their own solutions, rather than looking to multinational corporations for fixes.
This sounds like it falls somewhere on the spectrum between shooting at the moon and tilting at windmills, but he's been able to persuade some serious funders -- the Gates Foundation, the Lemelson Foundation, and others -- to back him.
“The real problem with GMOs is not about science, it’s about business models,” he said. Actually, he said, the problem isn’t limited to GMOs: The real problem is that the people who need new solutions most, like farmers in developing countries, are isolated in a system that discourages ground-level innovation. Instead, we have a small group of companies in rich countries, with a stranglehold on patents, designing all the solutions to fit their own business models. This system works primarily to bring in money for these companies, to maintain their privilege, and to exclude competition.
Michael Skinner didn’t start the experiment with the hypothesis that he’d find a connection between the insecticide DDT and obesity.
“We didn’t expect to find that,” he said. “In fact, the frequency of obesity really came as a surprise.”
Skinner, a scientist at Washington State University, wanted to take a close look at the way DDT affected inheritance. So his team injected DDT into pregnant rats and watched first their children, and then their grandchildren (or is it grandrats?). It was only in the third generation, the great-grand-rat, that they saw it: Fully half of these rats were obese. The implication is that the same thing could be happening with humans.
If you don't happen to remember the brief scene in Napoleon Dynamite ("this tastes like the cow got into an onion patch"), you might never have heard of competitive milk tasting. But it's a real thing, and while we're probably stretching a little by calling it a hot trend, Modern Farmer profiles one high school team that rose from the ashes four years ago and is now making it to national competitions. Are we seeing some kind of milk tasting resurgence?
At the Future Farmers of America convention, which runs Oct. 28-Nov. 2 in Louisville, Ky., high schoolers are competing for awards up to $1,000 by tasting cups of milk doctored with things like blood, garlic, salt, vinegar (for rancidness), and pennies (for an "oxidized" flavor).
How much do you really know about those peanut butter puffs or vanilla granola you’re spooning into your mouth? Not much and who cares, right? Well, Mental Floss wants to drop some knowledge into your bowl with a history of the breakfast staple. Here are the tastiest morsels:
1.Cereal was godly
“More than a century ago, Christian fundamentalists invented cereal to promote a healthy lifestyle free of sin,” according to Mental Floss. (What breakfast is sinful? Cinnabon? Probably Cinnabon.)
If you have an image in your head when you think "plow," it’s probably a moldboard plow: a deep cutting edge that swoops up and out into a curved wing, the moldboard. As the plow moves forward, it lifts the earth and flips it, inverting sod into neat lines of corduroy.
The point of plowing is to kill. It wipes out perennial plants and buries seeds deeply enough that they’ll never have a chance to grow. There’s something beautiful about the plow and its action of bringing linear order to the chaos of a weedy field. But there’s nothing natural about the act. Nature only rarely turns the land upside down -- only during disasters.
As a result, soil organisms have not evolved to thrive in this kind of tillage. Soil ecosystems, made up of insects and worms, microbes and fungi, are arranged according to depth and chemical needs. For instance, many soil microbes near the surface need oxygen, but oxygen is toxic to others that live deeper down. This ecosystem responds to being turned upside-down the same way a rainforest would: It falls apart. In the process, soil erodes, waterways are polluted, and greenhouse gases are released.
Monsanto and its competitors advertised herbicide-tolerant transgenic plants as a solution to this problem. Instead of plowing, you could use chemicals to deal with the weeds. Genetic engineering would lead to a boom in no-till farming, company representatives said.
Is that what actually happened? There are indeed farmers around the world who have embraced no-till farming because herbicide-tolerant corn made it easier. But judging from the statistics, most low- or no-till farmers in the U.S. are more like Brian Scott.
The U.S. government has been getting out of the food-inspection game in recent decades, replaced by a for-profit inspection industry that's rife with conflicts of interest. The risks of that arrangement became evident with America's deadliest food-borne disease outbreak in almost a century.
In 2010, Primus Group food auditors visited a Colorado melon farm run by brothers Ryan and Eric Jensen. The company told the farming brothers how to install a new cooling system. In 2011, the inspectors returned and gave the flawed new system, which violated federal guidelines, a "superior" safety report.
Within a year, 33 cantaloupe consumers had died painful deaths after being infected with Listeria monocytogenes, a type of bacteria that was harbored by the brothers' fruit. Federal investigators concluded that the installation of the new cooling system was a fatal flaw.
After four generations, the brothers' farm has been sunk by lawsuits filed by victims and their families. Now the Jensens are striking back against the flawed inspection system with a lawsuit of their own. The Denver Post reports:
The lawsuit filed against Primus Group, a food auditing company based in California, is rare — even in an industry in which favorable audits have preceded the most notorious national food outbreaks.