Plantains With Jammy Tomatoes and Eggs

“Plantains are nutrient-rich starches that can sweeten as they cook, and, in many parts of the world, they find their way into the best stews and porridges. This recipe is based on “tomato eggs,” a dish popular in Lagos, Nigeria, and across West Africa. Tomato eggs can be made with yams or plantains, and here, firm yellow plantains work best because they hold their shape and texture while absorbing the flavors of the surrounding stew. It’s a perfect meal for days when you want something hot but not too heavy or filling. Any herbs you have on hand will work well, and the dish can be made vegan by substituting medium-firm or soft tofu for the eggs.”

-Yewande Komolafe, “Plantains With Jammy Tomatoes and Eggs.” The New York Times. August 7, 2021.

Saving for future reference.

Black Vegans

“Plant-based eating has a long, radical history in Black American culture, preserved by institutions and individuals who have understood the power of food and nutrition in the fight against oppression…Today, there are estimated to be more than a million Black vegetarians and vegans in the United States, with Black people representing the fastest-growing vegan demographic in the country.”

—Amirah Mercer, “A Homecoming.” Eater.com. January 14, 2021.

What I like about this article is that something, in this case veganism, can be a complete paradox in context. For this woman, veganism ties into a history of fighting black oppression. But, I have to admit when I think of veganism, my experience is mostly privileged whites rejecting mainstream culture either on moral, health or other grounds. Eating itself is a kind of oppression, and in some ways, veganism feels like a style of oppression. For example, the kind of vegan that won’t take public transit because axle grease has an animal component has a lifestyle that cannot be emulated by most people. Is that liberating? If so, for whom?

I found this to provide a lot of food for thought.

Ferming

Everything the body needs.

Open Questions: Will agriculture by fundamentally transformed in the next decade? And if so, what are the likely health implications?

We are on the cusp of the biggest economic transformation, of any kind, for 200 years. While arguments rage about plant- versus meat-based diets, new technologies will soon make them irrelevant. Before long, most of our food will come neither from animals nor plants, but from unicellular life. After 12,000 years of feeding humankind, all farming except fruit and veg production is likely to be replaced by ferming: brewing microbes through precision fermentation. This means multiplying particular micro-organisms, to produce particular products, in factories.”

-George Monbiot, “Lab-grown food will soon destroy farming – and save the planet.” The Guardian. January 8, 2020.

“We are on the cusp of the deepest, fastest, most consequential disruption in food and agricultural production since the first domestication of plants and animals ten thousand years ago. This is primarily a protein disruption driven by economics. The cost of proteins will be five times cheaper by 2030 and 10 times cheaper by 2035 than existing animal proteins, before ultimately approaching the cost of sugar. They will also be superior in every key attribute – more nutritious, healthier, better tasting, and more convenient, with almost unimaginable variety. This means that, by 2030, modern food products will be higher quality and cost less than half as much to produce as the animal-derived products they replace.”

-Catherine Tubb & Tony Seba, “Rethinking Food and Agriculture 2020-2030.” RethinkX. September 2019.

Map of the Food Supply Chain by County in the United States

“Food consumption and production are separated in space through flows of food along complex supply chains. These food supply chains are critical to our food security, making it important to evaluate them. However, detailed spatial information on food flows within countries is rare. The goal of this paper is to estimate food flows between all county pairs within the United States. To do this, we develop the Food Flow Model, a data-driven methodology to estimate spatially explicit food flows. The Food Flow Model integrates machine learning, network properties, production and consumption statistics, mass balance constraints, and linear programming. Specifically, we downscale empirical information on food flows between 132 Freight Analysis Framework locations (17 292 potential links) to the 3142 counties and county-equivalents of the United States (9869 022 potential links). Subnational food flow estimates can be used in future work to improve our understanding of vulnerabilities within a national food supply chain, determine critical infrastructures, and enable spatially detailed footprint assessments.”

-Xiaowen Lin, et al. “Food flows between counties in the United States.” IOP Science. July 26, 2019.

h/t Fast Company.

Food Busker’s Cult Food Stories

“There is a unique collection of dishes in the world that illicit a fervent following from their devotees. Producing almost religious veneration in their preparation and consumption, Cult Foods generate queues, make restaurants and crash Instagram. John Quilter aka Food Busker will take us on a journey to uncover the history of theses dishes. We’ll hear him speaking to friends, experts and fans to find out the whys, the wheres and the hows in an attempt to unpick the secrets to creating Cult Food. John will also attempt to make the dish himself, sharing any pitfalls, funny mistakes and successes along the way.”

Food Busker’s Cult Food Stories and RSS feed.

Eat [and Drink] Less Plastic

Drink water from your tap. Drinking water is one of the biggest contributors to microplastic ingestion, but bottled water has about double the microplastic level of tap water, according to Mason, making it a poor choice for those who want to consume less plastic. Some bottled waters have also been found to have high levels of PFAS chemicals. Mason says that unless you know your tap water is unsafe, you should opt for that over anything in a plastic bottle.”

-Kevin Lorea, “How to Eat Less Plastic.” Consumer Reports. August 13, 2019.
  • Drink water from your tap.
  • Don’t heat food in plastic.
  • Avoid plastic food containers.
  • Eat more fresh food.
  • Minimize household dust.
  • Reducing plastic pollution is going to require government intervention.

Open question: Does microplastic pollution and its effects on hormones and reducing fertility an existentional threat to the human species?