The shocking news about breeding for flavour

There's nothing new about it

My compadre Luigi linked, with scarcely a comment, to a plant breeding paper by Kevin Folta, scourge of biotech deniers everywhere.

Stripped down, what Folta and his co-author, Harry J Klee, propose is that plant breeders "can now turn to the consumer for guidance in defining critical desires,...

More this way ...

Are farm animals routinely getting antibiotics?

It seemed such a simple question

Yesterday brought a tweet with an interesting angle on a scientific development. Accompanied by a herd of stockphoto cows, John Blue of Truffle Media tweeted

"CRISPR-Cas9 used to create genetically Tuberculosis-resistant cows could be 1st #antibiotic free livestock"

Killjoy that I am, I r...

More this way ...

Peanuts and world affairs

The surprising consequences of peanuts in West Africa

The resurrection of the Carolina African Runner peanut has been greeted with joy throughout the land. 1 That it came to America with enslaved people from West Africa is undisputed; few people, however, seem interested in what peanuts were doing in West Africa in the first place, given that their ancestral home is in South America. I decided to dig a little deeper.

More this way ...

Is chicken too expensive?

Always answer a headline question "No"

Maybe you saw the recent story that a Thanksgiving dinner for 10 this year would cost $49.87, down on last year’s $50.11.

Once I’d picked myself off the floor at that price, which ignores the cost and time of preparation, not to mention potential family sturm und drang, I discovered that the main reason for the drop is that turkey is cheaper than ever. In fact, according to NPR’s version of the story, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics said "October marked the 14th consecutive month of decline for eggs, meats, poultry and fish indexes".

Which makes the New York Times' claim that You Might Be Paying Too Much for Your Chicken somewhat fishy.

More this way ...

Still enjoying foie gras

A bit more information about this "most contentious of foods"

The recent Eat This Podcast on foie gras, talking to Michaela DeSoucey, the sociologist who wrote Contested Tastes: foie gras and the politics of food, was really fun to make. Foie gras, the way it is produced, marketed and eaten is such a complex and interesting topic and Michaela DeSoucey is such a knowledgeable person that we talked for over an hour. The hard part was cutting it down to a more manageable length, and that meant that some stuff just inevitably had to be left out.

More this way ...