Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

Things Are Good: Supermarket Loves Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables

Just because it’s not good looking doesn’t mean it tastes bad. Growers take their odd-looking fruit and usually sell it to juice, soup, or canneries instead of grocery store. One grocery store chain in France decided to take the produce usually rejected by consumers and make something fun out of it. This marketing synopsis covers what they did:

Intermarché launched the Inglorious Fruits&Vegetables, a film, print, poster and radio campaign, celebrating the beauty of the Grotesque Apple, the Ridiculous Potato, the Hideous Orange, the Failed Lemon, the Disfigured Eggplant, the Ugly Carrot, and the Unfortunate Clementine. Now you can eat (Read more…)

Things Are Good: LED Farms Could be the Growing Fields of the Future

As humans flock to cities and the surround them with suburban sprawl we have covered some of the most arable lands in concrete. This has caused problems of food security, access, and sustainability. Urban farming is nothing new and will continue to spread, but what about industrial-scale farming in cities?

A farmer in Japan has taken an old warehouse and modified it into an enamours and efficient farming operation using specialized low-powered LEDs.

The farm is nearly half the size of a football field (25,000 square feet). It opened on July and it is already producing 10,000 heads of lettuce (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Lore of Tea

Whoa! Down the rabbit hole I tumbled this week. I started reading about tea in several books I recently purchased. What a story. What a delight! Many hours spent between the pages absorbing culture, history, types, classifications, production, terroirs and marketing.* I’ve read bits and pieces about tea before; mostly history and cultural notes; some […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: A Cup of Dragon Well

Legend has it that, in the Qing Dynasty, Qianlong (1711-1799 CE), the grandson of the Emperor Kangxi, went on a holiday to the West Lake district, in the Hangzhou area of Zhejiang province, China. He stopped at the Hu Gong Temple, nestled under the Lion Peak Mountain (Shi Feng Shan). There, he was presented by […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: May and June Breads

The past month I haven’t done as much baking as usual – just been too busy to do much, plus I was away for a long weekend holiday in Toronto. So June saw a mere two loaves baked. I made a few others in late May, however. The two most recent loaves were a poolish-levain […]

The Common Sense Canadian: David Suzuki: Time to save bees and ban neonic pesticides

Neonic pesticides “pose a serious risk of harm to honey bees and other pollinators,” a new study warns.

Bees may be small, but they play a big role in human health and survival. Some experts say one of every three bites of food we eat depends on them. The insects pollinate everything from apples and zucchini to blueberries and almonds. If bees and other pollinators are at risk, entire terrestrial ecosystems are at risk, and so are we.

New report slams neonic pesticides

Well, pollinators are at risk. And we know one of the main causes of their alarming death (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The Food Babe and other nonsense

She’s been called the “Jenny McCarthy of food.” That’s not a compliment and should warn anyone with half a brain to beware of her. She’s a New Age wingnut helping turn the public from science to superstition. She’s also been described as the “latest quack making a name for herself on the Internet by peddling pseudoscience” […]

Trashy's World: Greekonwheels

In Ottawa – timing sux. Don’t recommend. Seriously. 1.5 hours on a Sunday night. #poorservice #noexcuses #takeout #ottawa (0) Trashy, Ottawa, Ontario

The Common Sense Canadian: Leaked emails reveal old plan to plow ALR, disdain for First Nations

Former Agriculture Minister Pat Pimm is drawing fire for racist comments about First Nations

Read this May 28 Globe and Mail story by Justine Hunter and Mark Hume on a series of emails involving former Liberal Agriculture Minister Pat Pimm and Energy Minister Bill Bennett, revealing longstanding plans to open up the Agricultural Land Reserve to the energy industry. Bill 24 was passed in the Legislature yesterday, amid fireworks over the emails, which also attacked First Nations for standing int he way of the plan – drawing fire from native leaders.

…NDP agriculture critic Nicholas Simons said leaked e-mails demonstrate the ministers behind Bill (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Failure and Redemption

The past month has seen the rise, fall and rise again of my bread making efforts. Mid-month, in April, I was having some success making sourdough breads and was looking at trying some experiments with herbs and other ingredients. Maybe look at other specialty breads, too. But late in the month I tried a cheese […]

The Common Sense Canadian: Corky Evans: How YOU can help save the ALR in 5 min

Former BC Environment Minister Corky Evans (Photo: RichardHughes.ca)

An Open Letter to Almost Everybody:

My name is Corky Evans. I garden and farm in the Kootenays of B.C. Many years ago I was the Minister of Agriculture.

I do not understand popular culture or electronic communication. I have not learned to do Facebook. What I have been told is that when people find something interesting from someone they trust, they send it on to other people and in this way it is possible to engage more people, faster, than ever before.

I have decided that this technology that (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Still hot and getting hotter

It’s hard to believe it’s been more than a decade since I last updated my web page on hot sauces, and about 15 since I first wrote it. My, how times flies. So many years, so many hot sauces since then. I’ve been a hot sauce aficionado for much longer than that, though. Most of […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Random grumblings for a Sunday afternoon

Why can’t I buy Yorkshire Gold tea in town? I can buy Barry’s tea, from Ireland, and Morse’s tea packaged in Nova Scotia locally. As well as other brands. Surely someone can bring in Yorkshire Gold… Barry’s tea is nice: a bit on the robust side, which we like, but the tea bags could use a […]

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Beach

Boogie boarded today in the Pacific. The water was very cold but I went in a couple times.

Supper last night.

Tonight was El Indio, a fish taco.

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Pseudo-patriotic madness

This is news, right from the CBC, not April Fool or The Onion: The Massachusetts House of Representatives has finally granted initial approval to a Bill naming the Fluffernutter the official state sandwich. The bill was filed in 2006 by then Representative Kathi-Anne Reinstein, in response to a motion by State Senator Jarrett Barrios limiting […]

The Common Sense Canadian: Rapper plants seeds of food security awakening

“If ferries stopped running to Vancouver Island, our grocery shelves would be completely empty after 3 days,” says food security activist-turned-rapper Jeremy Loveday. Watch his 3 min spoken word essay on the shocking state of Canada’s food security.

According to a seminal BC Ministry of Agriculture report in 2007, the province produces just 48% the food it consumes. Per capita vegetable production has fallen to half what it was in 1970.

And yet, the BC Liberal government is intent on flooding and impacting over 30,000 acres of some of the country’s best farmland for the Site C Dam in northeast BC’s (Read more…)

The Common Sense Canadian: The truth unshelled about the shrimp at the table

Shrimp farming (Photo: Jughandle’s Fat Farm).

Read this Jan. 14th article by TreeHugger about why you should stop eating shrimp, wild and farmed:

Shrimp is the most popular seafood in the United States, with Americans eating an average of 4.1 pounds per person annually. As delicious as shrimp may be, we actually should not be eating them. The process that delivers bags of frozen shrimp to your grocery store at cheap prices has devastating ecological consequences, and you’ll probably not want to touch that shrimp ring ever again after reading what’s really happening behind the scenes.

Shrimp is either (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: April’s early breads

April has begun with three loaves of bread; generally successful efforts, although there’s still some tweaking to do with the recipes. As always. But I’m encouraged to try more – and of course experiment more with recipes and ingredients. The first loaf of the latest batch was an artisan loaf made at the tail end […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Is this the end of the gluten-free fad?

  Last November, when I first wrote about the gluten-free diet fad, I bemoaned how an everyday protein, a staple in human diets for many millennia, had become demonized by the diet fad crowd. In fact, the gluten-free fad rapidly grew into a multi-million-dollar industry in Canada to accommodate that vulnerable intersection of consumer fears […]

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: The late March breads

A couple more loaves were made this month and a third will be started later this week. Both were made in the oven, not the machine, at 425F for roughly 35 minutes. Neither rose very high, but both were edible and tasty. Only about a third of the second loaf remains, so I will start a […]

The Common Sense Canadian: NASA study: Inequality will lead to famine, collapse of civilization

Hungry for change: Tunisian bread riots led to a government overthrow in 2011

Read this March 18 National Post story on a new NASA-funded study that predicts the utter collapse of human civilization will be difficult to avoid without a major course correction.

After running the numbers on a set of four equations representing human society, a team of NASA-funded mathematicians has come to the grim conclusion that the utter collapse of human civilization will be “difficult to avoid.”

The exact scenario may vary, but in the coming decades humanity is essentially doomed to some variant of “Elites” consuming (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Food Tank is a Think Tank for Food

Food Tank is a new initiative to bring attention to the complexity of food systems. They aim to educate people about how foods gets from the ground to your table – and how that process relates to the world at large. Here’s a recent release of their’s looking at the positive impact of family farmers:

Family farmers—small and large enhance biodiversity, protect natural resources, and improve local economies. The video highlights how family farmers, small and large, are using innovative agroecological practices to increase yields, improve incomes, and foster environmental sustainability. And Food Tank emphasizes how family farmers are a (Read more…)

Scripturient: Blog & Commentary: Loafing around again

Been at it again this month. Bread making, I mean. You knew that from the image, right? Several efforts so far this month and March isn’t even half-way through its course. Winter remains firmly entrenched here, and spring – or any time without a thick layer of snow – looks far away. So it’s a […]

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Oil Putting Food on Families

Pardon the Bushism. The CPC’s spin regarding the oil crowding out grain shipments by rail must be inspired by Dubya.

@saskboy @LHubich That's an odd argument. Isn't grain literally the food?— Stefani Langenegger (@SLangeneggerCBC) March 07, 2014

Elizabeth May provides some sanity on the issue.

“The current rail cars used for shipping hazardous materials are not safe. Both the US and Canadian Railway Safety Boards have ruled that the DOT111 cars are unsafe, needing upgrading and replacement.”

The insanity is underneath, from Joan Crockatt.

March 6, 2014 For Immediate Release

Oil and gas putting food on (Read more…)

Things Are Good: Decrease Blood Pressure By Simply Changing Your Diet

I love knowledge and it’s exciting that a meta-analysis in JAMA Internal Medicine has concluded that a vegetarian diet is perfect for decreasing blood pressure!Meta-analysis of research data is the assessment of a multiple research papers related to the same issue and sometimes the meta-analysis can disprove existing assumptions, in this case the meta-analysis confirms what many already thought!

Plus, researchers found that “the effect sizes are similar to those observed with commonly recommended lifestyle modifications, such as adoption of a low-sodium diet or a weight reduction of 5 kg, and are approximately half the magnitude of those observed (Read more…)