Saturday, October 05, 2013

Batch of links

- I’ve always hated the term “natural flavorings” on ingredient lists, because it’s so vague it’s meaningless. Here’s one example of what it could mean (and one more reason I always buy real vanilla, not beaver butt).

- Why calorie counts are wrong – I’ve never been one to count calories anyway, but this shows how ridiculous the whole thing is.

- Is Food Writing Important?, by Michael Ruhlman. I think I may have posted this already, but a friend sent me the link recently and I enjoyed reading it, so here it is (again).

- Jennifer Esposito says it’s getting harder for celiac sufferers to avoid gluten, and I agree with her. I also think there needs to be better legislation about this.

- I read in Time that there’s a London bar called Redemption that doesn’t serve alcohol, just mocktails (and vegetarian fare). Which actually sounds really appealing to me. Even more startling, though, was that there’s a vegan strip club in Portland, Oregon (where else could it be, really?), AND that they’re opening a second location.

- The Modern Farmer celebrity vegetable chart pairs celebrities with vegetables. Some of it is mean, most of it is funny.

- Why Generation Y yuppies are unhappy – a great explanation. And on a related note, some advice from Bill Watterson (he of Calvin and Hobbes fame), along with a post by The Bloggess with her reaction to the video An Interpretive Dance For My Boss Set To Kanye West's Gone. (The follow-up video is here, since there are two sides to every story.)

- An essay that asks whether we should grant some people a free pass to be immoral just because they are artists, particularly when measuring a young girl’s worth to that of a great man.

- Also, an 8-year-old girl got a sexist children’s book removed from a store, and I think she’s awesome.

- NYC basic tips and etiquette.

- A demonstration of projection-mapping on moving objects. Phrased like that, it sounds really boring, but you have to watch the awesome video.

- Did you see this awesome Man of Steel $20 coin from the Royal Canadian Mint? There are also $15 and $75 versions.

- An illustrator draws faces and lets her 4-year-old daughter draw the bodies. The result is adorably weird art (you can even buy prints).

- My sister insisted that I watch some of Louis C.K.’s stand-up comedy, and it turns out I think he’s really funny! Here’s why he won’t let his kids have cellphones (and joke aside, I’m with him on this, though I wouldn’t resort to banning modern technology).

- Jimmy Kimmel does it again: Obamacare vs. the Affordable Care Act (or why this thing just hasn’t been explained properly to the American public). In the same vein, a significant chunk of Louisiana Republicans blame Obama over Bush for the government’s poor response after Katrina (and almost half aren’t sure which of the two to blame).

- A Tumblr blog full of rescued pets.

- And finally, emergency compliments for when you’re feeling insecure.


Anonymous said...

I do feel a need to comment on the castoreum link.
Although it was originally isolated from beavers, that does not necessarily mean that it must continue to be extracted from beavers. Vanillin for example is found in orchids, but can also be chemically synthesized from basic staples of most chemistry labs (as we all did in organic chemistry 2 in CEGEP). With a better lab, it is possible that the constituent chemicals of castoreum could be manufactured in a similar way.
On the other hand, annual consumption is remarkably low (300 lbs or so per year, compared to several million lbs of vanillin), so it is possible that it may come from natural sources.

Amélie said...

Actually, I didn't go to CEGEP, so I never made vanillin. But I've had some really bad artificial vanilla, though, or vanilla extract that was made from the orchid but had a whole bunch of unnecessary stuff added (including water and sugar, both of which are/can be natural, and there were in greater quantities than the vanilla).

My point was that anything extracted from a beaver's butt is obviously natural, and yet that's really not what we think we're eating when we see the words "natural flavorings" on an ingredient list!