Food Links, 29.05.2013
1. Hunger in Malawi. | 2. Photographs of what families around the world eat in a week. | 3. German brewers object to fracking. | 4. The growing, global backlash against Monsanto. | 5. Fifty ways to close a food bank. (And the crisis in UK food banks.) | 6. ‘In the United States, domesticated bee populations have reached a 50-year low and keep dwindling.’ | 7. The revival of the Scottish beer industry. | 8. What is chicken fried steak? | 9. The mold which caused the Irish potato famine seems to have been eradicated. | 10. George Orwell makes tea, in a trench, in the Spanish Civil War. (Thanks, Joshua!) | 11. In praise of chickpeas. | 12. On Chardonnay. | 13. A banana-themed quiz in honour of the return of Arrested Development. | 14. Tamale Spaceship. | 15. Rainbow cheesecake.
Oh, I love the Arrested Development banana quiz! Even though it would appear that I know squat about bananas.
Re those amazing Hungry Planet pics – I’ve seen an interview with Peter Menzel, the photographer. One picture that’s not on the Bored Panda site you linked to is of a family in Greenland. They are by far the least healthy of the lot. They basically eat only meat (penguin, seal, whale, etc) and processed non-perishable food that’s brought in from Denmark. Nothing grows there, so they don’t eat any fresh food. I mean, not even a potato! And in the interview, Menzel said that the father in the picture, since the time of the photo, had suffered a major heart attack, and he’s in his early forties. A lot of people I know are fans of carb-free, high-protein diets at the moment, but the fact that Greenlanders’ life expectancy is so low attests to the link between animal fats/cholesterol and circulatory issues, for me, at least.
And the Irish potato famine – our tour guide in Dublin told us that the famine was caused by the English stealing all their potatoes and exporting them back in England. Could this mold be a conspiracy cooked up 150 years after the fact? 😉
Thanks for your comment!
That’s absolutely fascinating about diets in Greenland. Two things: firstly, I’ve just finished reading this http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/nov/02/sea-iceland-sarah-moss-review about living in Iceland for a year. It also discusses Icelandic diets – traditionally meat- and fat-heavy – in relation to health issues and life expectancy. Secondly: one of the (many) problems with the paleo diet is that it ignores that the people who ate it died very young, partly because of their diets were so limited. Our ancestors ate what they did not out of choice – not because they had some kind of strange knowledge of what was good for them – but as a result of what was available.
And as to potatoes – alas! Your guide was telling porkies. Ireland was actually a major exporter of wheat during the famine. The people who starved couldn’t afford to buy bread – which was available in abundance. For me, that’s what makes the famine so incredibly tragic.