Tuesday, 4 August 2015

New Life in the Wild

A program about an incredible self sufficiency from a resourceful 25 year-old living largely in isolation out in the Appalachian Mountains.

Plant Rights

I disagree that veganism and vegetarianism reduces animal suffering.  As J.Stanton one said, "it pushes the killing to where it cannot be seen".  One look at the biodiversity of pasture, and then a consequent look at the chemically-managed, industrial, mono-cropping of machine-farmed arable land is evidence of this.

This issue of suffering however, has just got a whole lot more complex,
  • "Plants are intelligent. Plants deserve rights. Plants are like the Internet – or more accurately the Internet is like plants. To most of us these statements may sound, at best, insupportable or, at worst, crazy. But a new book, Brilliant Green: the Surprising History and Science of Plant Intelligence, by plant neurobiologist (yes, plant neurobiologist), Stefano Mancuso and journalist, Alessandro Viola, makes a compelling and fascinating case not only for plant sentience and smarts, but also plant rights."
Just as we've changed our belief that animals are 'unthinking automatons', Stefano Mancuso attempts to do the same for plants. 

His presentation on TED can he seen here:

Having lost the health argument some time ago, now the moral argument for v*nism is looking increasingly shaky.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Night Shift

Long time no post, but there isn't much more to add apart from 'live life close to the ground'.  Some of the themes covered on this blog continue to gain traction - including issues around our circadian rhythm.

The latest news item to capture my attention was this podcast on Radio4 (The Night Shift):

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

...About Fat

Another program exploring fat:

"It has long been believed that eating fat is unhealthy. But is it really as bad as people think? With recent headlines casting doubts on such fears, medic Saleyha Ahsan aims to cut through the confusion. She reveals startling new research that suggests some saturated fats might actually be good for people's health, invites volunteers to find out what happens to their bodies and minds if they stop eating it entirely, and discovers the fat hidden in seawater that could make the food of the future a lot healthier."

Monday, 2 March 2015

The Ape that Cooks

RI Lecture from 2005

  • "As the 2005 audience are still recovering from their Christmas dinners, Sir John Krebs leads them on an exploration of what food has meant to humans throughout time in his first lecture. How did we end up eating fabulous Christmas meals when our early ancestors scrabbled around for nuts and seeds? In this lecture John explores the history of food, from our earliest predecessors, through the great ‘miracles’ which completely changed our diet and the way we lived, to today’s gourmet extravaganzas.
    This 3-million-year journey takes us through the prehistory of our early ancestors, the rise of civilisation, the spread of human beings across the planet and ends with the emergence of one of the greatest science labs of all: the domestic kitchen. There we can experiment with new ways to use food in our celebrations together. "

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Clean Labels

The Food Program raises some interesting questions:
  • "For over a decade consumers have become finely attuned to E-numbers, flavourings, colourings and additives in our food. Food manufacturers have changed the way they do things in pursuit of 'clean label' - a more natural sounding ingredients list. But do we fully understand the new processes involved, the terms used and how safe they really are?

    Sheila Dillon talks to Joanna Blythman, in her first broadcast interview about her new book 'Swallow This' in which she investigates some of the processes involved in making products taste and look good and last longer and her concerns about the ingredients and the secrecy that often surrounds them. We hear reports from food development teams about how they find new ways to produce food and ask the regulators if we can be sure they're safe."

Thursday, 29 January 2015