An edible "second skin" to preserve fruits and vegetables

Founded with a grant from the from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Apeel Sciences is a California-based startup that's developed a thin "second skin" for fruits and vegetables to preserve them for longer periods. Avocados coated with Apeel will soon hit shelves in Europe. From Technology Review:

The thin coating is made from the pulp, peels, and seeds of other fruit and vegetables. These are turned into powder, which gets mixed with water and then applied to produce by spraying, dipping, or brushing. It's then left to dry. This “second skin” acts like a barrier, slowing down loss of water and exposure to air, the main factors that lead to food spoiling. A lemon that might stay fresh for one month could stay fresh for two or more once it’s been treated with Apeel. And because it’s just made from fruits and other plants, it’s also edible.

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British Prime Minister "scrapes mould off jam and eats what's underneath"

The Telegraph reports that Theresa May saves money by scraping mold off preserves and eating the untainted remains.

The prime minister’s admission emerged during cabinet meeting discussions on how to reduce food waste. Ms May is said to enjoy cooking, and has a particular penchant for jam, even giving a jar to Melania Trump as part of a hamper in 2017.

The cabinet meeting was at the centre of controversy on Tuesday as some government insiders complained afterwards that Brexit had not featured heavily enough in discussions.

On the contrary, there has never been a cabinet discussion more clearly about Brexit.

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Netherlands court strikes down Dutch grifter's patent claim over Ethiopia's ancient staple grain teff

Teff is one of the oldest grains to have been cultivated, a staple for so long that its original cultivation date is lost to history and can only be estimated at between 1000 and 4000 BCE; it is best known as the main ingredient in injera, the soft pancakes that are served with Ethiopian meals. Read the rest

White chocolate is technically not chocolate

Chocolate contains cocoa solids, except when it is white.

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China legalizes eating a pufferfish bred to be nonpoisonous

Chinese fish farms have successfully bred seven generations of Takifugu rubripes and ten generations of Takifugu obscurus that lack the gene that causes normal specimens of these pufferfish species to produce a deadly toxin that means near-instant death for anyone who eats a fish whose poison has not been completely removed during preparation. Read the rest

Of pasta and patents

According to the Encyclopedia of Pasta, there are hundreds of pasta shapes. At Smithsonian, Elizabeth Chu and D. Lawrence Tarazano of the US Patent Office look at relatively recent machinery to crank out the floury forms. From Smithsonian:

The various shapes can be categorized based on the means by which they are formed: by hand, rolled into sheets, or extruded. For each pasta making method, there have been a number of inventions to ease and mechanize the process.

Pastas formed by hand have been the most difficult to replicate by machine because of the complexity of the actions done by hand. Cavatelli, gnocchi and orecchiette, for example, are made by rolling pasta dough by hand into a long snake shape, cutting it into equal sized dough pieces, and dragging the dough to form a cup like shape. With cavatelli and gnocchi, the dough is dragged against a fork or grooved surface with a thumb to form a curled dough piece in the shape of a hot dog bun; the only real difference between the two is the dough. Gnocchi is made from a dough containing eggs, flour and cooked potatoes, whereas cavatelli are typically made from an eggless semolina wheat dough. Orecchiette, Italian for “little ear,” are made by dragging the dough pieces against a flat surface using a small spatula or knife, followed by a little hand shaping to round it out.

Italian inventors Franco Annicchiarico and Adima Pilari, who received U.S. patent no. 4,822,271 on April 18, 1989 for “an improved machine for manufacturing short cut varieties of Italian pasta (orecchiette, etc.),” developed a machine for making these cupped pastas.

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Enjoy delicious Tyson rubber nuggets while you can

Tyson Foods has recalled 36,000 pounds of chicken nuggets due to the presence of "rubber" in them.

The Food Safety and Inspection Service was alerted to the issue Tuesday after Tyson received consumer complaints about "extraneous material, specifically rubber" in the product, the agency said in a statement. There haven't been any confirmed reports of illness or adverse reactions from eating the chicken nuggets, but federal health officials say some products may be in consumers' freezers. People are warned against consuming them.

Here's a guide to finding Tyson's nutricious rubber nuggets.

PREVIOUSLY: Enjoy delicious Perdue wood nuggets while you can Read the rest

Enjoy delicious Perdue wood nuggets while you can

Perdue has recalled 60,000 pounds of chicken nuggets due to the presence of "wood" in them.

The 22 ounce packages of frozen “PERDUE SimplySmart ORGANICS BREADED CHICKEN BREAST NUGGETS GLUTEN FREE” with “Best By: Date 10/25/19” and UPC Bar Code “72745-80656” represented on the label were produced October 25, 2018.

Here's a guide to finding delicious wood nuggets. Read the rest

#TacosForTeachers: crowdfunding to feed LA's teachers as they strike against privatization and austerity

Teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District (America's largest district) are walking the picket line this week in the pouring rain, demanding an end to the billionaire dark-money backed privatization movement that funnels public education funds to the shareholders of racially segregated, underperforming charter schools. Read the rest

Chuck Wendig, Apple Reviewer

Chuck Wendig isn't just a fine novelist, he's also got a discerning sense of what distinguishes good apples from bad, and what elevates apples to true greatness. Read the rest

Court strikes down Iowa's unconstitutional ag-gag law

"Ag-gag" laws -- which ban the collection of evidence of wrongdoing on farms, from animal cruelty to food-safety violations -- are a sterling example of how monopolism perpetuates itself by taking over the political process. Read the rest

McGingerbread Hell: bakers celebrate McMansion Hell with delicious monster houses

Last month, he amazing architecture-snark criticism site McMansion Hell (previously) announced gingerbread house contest to create "the most nubtastic, gawdawful gingerbread McMansion in all of McMansion Hell!" Read the rest

Zombie Dancing Squid!

I hate to yuck you out before the holidays …

… and I really love Japan …

… but this is just gross.

It’s a Japanese delicacy called “Katsu ika odori-don.”

The squid is deceased when the dish is served. A little soy sauce and he appears to return to life; in other words, a zombie.

Yuki, one of my friends in Japan, assures me that "dancing sashimi" such as this is delicious, and one of the reasons food is eaten this way is to ensure its freshness. Varieties including shrimp and octopus, in addition to squid. But if I saw this in a restaurant, I would run screaming out the door.

And here it is with lobster.

And this is the one that will give you nightmares!

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Medieval peasant food was frigging delicious

Hollywood would have you believe that if you lived during medieval times and didn't have the good fortune to be born into a noble family, you were forced to survive by eating thin soup, gruel and the occasional rabbit. In this video, the good folks at Modern History TV set the record straight. Read the rest

Disgusting Food Museum coming to Los Angeles

Sweden's Disgusting Food Museum is opening a touring exhibition in Los Angeles's Architecture and Design Museum. The exhibit runs from December 9 to February 17. "What we find disgusting has to be learned -- it's purely cultural," says curator/psychologist Samuel West. This is a fine opportunity to taste foods you've been curious about, like fermented shark, durian, maggot-infested cheese (above), bull penis (seen below), or mouse wine (also below). From CNN:

...American favorites such as root beer and Jell-O salad sit in the museum alongside fried tarantula and cooked guinea pigs. "If you give root beer to a Swede they will spit it out and say it tastes like toothpaste, but I think it's delicious," he notes...

While many food-related "museums" of late have mostly just been opportunities for novel selfies, West is adamant that the Disgusting Food Museum is there to help people learn and think critically, not just to pose for photos. The downside? "One of my worries that it will start stinking in here," West says.

Also see posts about Samuel West's previous Museum of Failure here and here.

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Wild tricks advertisers use to make food look appealing

Even though now I know how it's done, that food still looks so damned delicious. (via Kottke)

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Make: a gingerbread house zoetrope

Andrew Salomone writes, "I work as a preparator for The George Eastman Museum at the Kodak founder's historic estate in Rochester, NY. It's the world's oldest photography museum and has an extensive collection of early photographic and moving image objects, like zoetropes. The house itself is a local landmark and has put on an annual gingerbread house display for decades. This year, a couple of my colleagues and I decided to make a gingerbread house zoetrope and then wrote a tutorial about it. Read the rest

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