Friday, December 13, 2013

Batch of links

- I’ve always said that organic foods are not more nutritious than their “regular” counterparts. It looks like I was wrong: organic milk really is better.

- Why Weight?, an article with some very good reasons to use a kitchen scale. Plus a post on The Kitchn on how to train oneself to use a scale when cooking. Personally, while I see how useful a scale is, I often end up measuring things by volume because that’s how North American recipes are written out, which is probably more of a habit than anything else. That being said, I tend to weigh flour when I get to the end of the bag and can’t conveniently use my fluff-scoop-level method, even with a recipe written in volume…

- Have you heard about WikiPearls? There’s an article here and a detailed website here. It’s basically a sphere of food, like ice cream or yogurt, surrounded by a flavored shell or skin so as to make it portable. I could really go for the mango sorbet in coconut shell!

- I talked about Zero8 recently, in French, but now I can do so in English. The restaurant had to close last month, due to their rent being too high, but the owners have now undertaken what might be the largest crowd funding project in Quebec: trying to raise $250,000 to reopen, and possibly open second and third locations in the province. The Engineer and I have made a donation (about 80% of which will be returned as gift certificates; if the project fails, we get all our money back). I don’t know of any other restaurant that takes allergens and food restrictions so seriously, so I believe it is important to encourage them and I hope you’ll join in.

- On a related note, did you know there’s an app that can find gluten-free fare based on your location? It’s called Find Me Gluten-Free, and it’s free!

- Also, I wrote before about a food allergen detector, though I haven’t heard any recent development from that particular device. I did, however, read about another one: a Toronto-based company is in the process of making TellSpec. This device has a scanner and you read the results on your smartphone. It works by analyzing the contents of what it’s pointed at, so if you point it toward food, it should be able to tell you what allergens are in it. It has more holistic goals, too, so it could also tell you about environmental contaminants, for example. It should be on the market in August 2014, at a price-point between $350 and $400, though the price should gradually diminish over the coming years. Let’s hope it works!

- Broccoli’s Extreme Makeover, about a (sadly, fictional) campaign to popularize broccoli. I honestly think that, coupled with a few good recipes, this would work!

- Here’s a link to a very long article (fair warning) titled How junk food can end obesity. My friend Jen shared it, and she was right when she said it was really interesting!

- I heard about a new-to-me grocery store, Aldi, about which I’m curious. I even learned more about Trader Joe’s!

- An article about famed cookbook author Paula Wolfert, who is coping with the early stages of cognitive impairment by cooking.

- Nigel Slater’s 5 rules for the home cook, with which I agree.

- An interesting NYTimes article about the allergy epidemic. It examines the link between the environment (including the mother’s environment during pregnancy) and allergies in the population. It seems that early exposure to certain microbes actually decrease the subsequent risk of allergies to those same microbes.

- It also seems that microbes can affect our emotional state. Can you imagine if modifying one’s microbiome somehow helped treat depression?

- You know how the American Humane Association gives its seal of approval to movies, certifying that no animals were harmed? It’s apparently meaningless.

- His Day Is Done, Dr. Maya Angelou’s tribute poem to Nelson Mandela, was good to hear.

- Interactive billboards tell you where the airplane overhead is going. EVERY airport should install these!

- And on a festive note: WestJet wins Christmas, plus a 10-month-old’s Christmas wish list.

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