Thursday, September 25, 2014

#VeggieDag Thursday. Quick Links for September 2014.

VeggieDag Thursday
VeggieDag Thursday is an occasional Thursday post
on issues of an animal-free diet, ecology, and the environment.


Quick links for August 2014

  • 24 September 2014:
    "There is a tentative sign of hope for the mass migration of monarch butterflies, whose numbers dropped to their lowest level ever last year. The head of Mexico's nature reserves, Luis Fueyo, said the first butterflies have been seen entering Mexico earlier than usual this year. Fueyo said it is too early to say whether butterfly numbers will rebound this year from a series of sharp drops, but noted 'this premature presence could be the prelude to an increase in the migration.' "
    —Via Real Clear Science.

  • 23 September 2014:
    "Rare earths are a hot commodity—they’re vital to securing solutions for the world’s energy concerns, with energy-saving applications in wind turbines, solar cells, and so much more. And with China tightly clenching the purse-strings to more than 90% of worldwide production of rare earths, some countries are eager to secure their own sources of the precious materials. [...] Now a student team from the University of Houston is also working to help supply the United States’ own rare earth stream from a different source. The team is commercializing a novel and proprietary method to recycle rare earths neodymium and dysprosium from waste electronics."
    —Via The American Ceramic Society.

  • 23 September 2014:
    Presidential science adviser John Holdren counters the arguments against climate change promulgated by members of the United States House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Jon Stewart, host of the Comedy Channel's Daily Show, analyzes the exchange.
    —Via Salon.

  • 18 September 2014:
    The C&O Canal Park was created sixty years ago, winding 184 miles from downtown Washington, D.C. to rural Cumberland, Maryland.Five million people a year visit the canal, making it the ninth most popular park in the nation. In 1971, President Richard M. Nixon signed legislation to make the site a national historic park. Then Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas was instrumental in its preservation.
    —Via Washington Post.

  • 18 September 2014:
    Ten wildfires are burning nearly uncontrollably over 111 square miles in California. Fueling the fires is California's ongoing historic drought. On Thursday, Governor Jerry Brown declared a state emergency in El Dorado and Siskiyou counties, where the King Fire and another wildfire burned wide swaths of land and destroyed homes.
    —Via CNN

  • 17 September 2014:
    "The artificial sweeteners that are widely seen as a way to combat obesity and diabetes could, in part, be contributing to the global epidemic of these conditions. Sugar substitutes such as saccharin might aggravate these metabolic disorders by acting on bacteria in the human gut, according to a study published by Nature."
    —Via Scientific American

  • 14 September 2014:
    A Wisconsin utility plans to add an additional charge to customers who produce their own solar energy and sell it back to the grid.
    —Via Climate Progress.

  • 10 September 2014:
    "The Awful Reign of the Red [un]Delicious Apple. How the worst apple took over the United States, and continues to spread."
    —Via The Atlantic.

  • 9 September 2014:
    The great tomato debate: to refrigerate or not to refrigerate. Serious Eats says yes, refrigerate, and has the data to prove it.
    —Via Serious Eats.

  • 9 September 2014:
    Greenhouse gases hit record high in 2013, according to World Meteorological Organization. "The volume of carbon dioxide, or CO2, the primary greenhouse gas emitted by human activities, was 396.0 parts per million (ppm) in 2013, 2.9 ppm higher than in 2012, the largest year-to-year increase since 1984, when reliable global records began."
    —Via Reuters India.

  • 5 September 2014:
    France's 'top chef,' Michelin-starred cook Alain Ducasse reopened his Parisian restaurant by ditching duck, veal and steak for largely vegetarian dishes. His three-star restaurant at the luxury Plaza Athénée hotel now features a largely organic produce menu. "The chef has not gone as far as to declare his restaurant vegetarian – fish, seafood and some meat will still be served – but Ducasse has got what he calls 'naturalité' (naturalness). 'The planet has increasingly rare resources so we have to consume more ethically, more fairly.' "
    —Via The Guardian.

  • 3 September 2014:
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued new regulations that could effectively forbid the sale of raw-milk cheeses, both imported and domestically produced. "Roquefort — France’s top-selling blue — is in the agency’s cross hairs along with raw-milk versions of Morbier, St. Nectaire and Tomme de Savoie. [...] The limits for nontoxigenic E. coli were cut from 100 MPN (most probable number) per gram to 10 MPN. These are bacteria that live in every human gut; they are typically harmless and we coexist happily. But the FDA considers them a marker for sanitation: If a cheese shows even modest levels of nontoxigenic E. coli, the facility that produced it must be insufficiently clean."
    —Via Janet Fletcher (in the Los Angles Times). Fletcher is the author of several books on cheese.



  • Use the oven to make the second-best tomato sauce "you've ever tasted." (Your grandmother's, of course, was better.)
    —Via Serious Eats.

  • The caustic chemistry of pretzels and Maillard reactions. How to cook a proper pretzel using lye or baking soda.
    —Via NPR Food.

  • Pickled peppers - no canning required. "A briny, crunchy, brightly colored snack."
    —Via Kathy Barrow aka Mrs. Wheelbarrow.

  • Vegan 'Cream' of Tomato Soup.
    —Via YFGF.

  • Recipe for poutine with vegetarian gravy.
    —Via Flourishing Foodie.

  • Scorched and Skewered Fruit Salad. "Grilling enhances fruit’s flavor by caramelizing it, and skewers provide an easy way to cook and present it."
    —Via Washington Post "Smoke Signals" .

  • Why the name VeggieDag Thursday? Here.
  • Read all the posts: here. Follow on Twitter with hashtag: #VeggieDag.
  • Suggestions and submissions from chefs, writers, and home-cooks welcomed! Contact me here.

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