Results for food

Below are the posts that should have something to do with 'food'.

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The life of a vending machine

Trends in Japan reports about Ryuuichi Terada of Sapporo, Hokkaido, who has been taking a picture of the same Coca-Cola vending machine nearly every day for over two years, and intensely documenting the changes.

Coca-Cola vending machine
Ryuuichi keeps track of what’s hot and what’s not

Sven Kilian-Nakamura writes:

While I laughed off the premise immediately, I soon became hooked. Not only does he take daily photos, but he compares the photos to the previous year and draws John Madden-worthy diagrams explaining the daily changes. The addition of new products, stickers, and marketing gimmicks are all there in clear detail.

Read more here.

Ryuuichi Terada’s Flickr page also shows many other Coke machines he finds on the road.

Recommended read: The Little Food Book – You Are What You Eat

I spent the last 2 weeks on a beach resort in beautiful Tunisia, doing pretty much nothing, just like I had planned.

Taking it easy on the beach in Tunisia
Taking it easy on the beach in Tunisia

Tunisia is a perfect place to relax, as long as you stay away from the Medina‘s where people will try anything to get you into their store to buy their overpriced junk. Souvenir shopping in Tunisia involves lots of bargaining so don’t be afraid to counter their offer with like a 10th of their original “special price for you my friend” offer. (Some shops have fixed prices, which is a good indication of what the “right price” would be).

Most days involved breakfast, a game of tennis, beach, lunch, more beach, dinner, entertainment. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Suffice to say I got plenty of rest and time to read some books. One particular little book I would like to share about is The Little Food Book: You Are What You Eat by Craig Sams.

The Little Food Book

Here’s a short description of what this book is about:

30,000 Americans a year die of obesity, more than the total annual toll of motor accidents, firearms, drugs and alcohol combined. The World Health Organization estimates there are 500,000 pesticide-related poisonings a year. Who controls what we eat? What happens to it before it gets to us? The Little Food Book will help you understand how by tackling the issues that affect the way we eat. Craig Sams writes with authority in this collection of mini-essays, explaining the mechanics of food production and related subjects such as organics, nutrition, hormones, pesticides and GMOs.

Do you ever really think about the food you buy in the supermarket? Where it comes from, how it was made, what’s in it?

When you get fresh vegetables and cook up a healthy veggie dish, do you know how much pesticide residue you’re eating? How about the antibiotics and hormones used to keep sick animals from dying so they can become profitable enough to be slaughtered to end up on your plate?

It seems this is one of those “people don’t know about this” issues… Then again: Obesity (not just from eating fast food, but chemical and hormone induced imbalance of our bodies), cancers, animal diseases like BSE, foot and mouth disease and avian flu. When you think about it, you just know that there is a problem with our food.

We’re messing with the food, in a way it isn’t meant to be messed with.

Just to name a few concerns:

  • Food additives: E numbers, artificial flavors (even when they call it natural flavor it’s chemical), etc. How safe are they really?
  • Intensive farming: destruction of soil for short term profit, unhealthy for both environment and consumer.
  • Genetic modification: do we even know what we’re doing here?

Unfortunately, food is big business, and when there’s money involved things tend to get messy. Organisations like the FDA are supposed to look out for consumer health interests, but it is politically outgunned because corporate campaign contributions and powerful lobbyists speak louder voice than even clearly documented science (link).

So what can we do?

Well, I’m trying to buy fresh or processed Organic foods (also called biological food in Europe).

Organic food
Organic food (and no, it’s not just vegetables)

I’m already seeing a steady increase of organic foods in my local supermarket, and I’m happy to buy it to voice my opinion (you know how loyalty cards work right?), even though it’s more expensive for most products (up to 50% even).

In my opinion governments should subsidize organic food (instead of subsidizing burgers, a burger without subsidies would cost about 3 times the price you pay now…). Healthy people benefit a country immensely, if only for the gigantic reduction in health costs.

Anyway, don’t take my word for it. Investigate! Check the labels on your food and look up what’s in it. It’s important to know vegetable fat is not the same as vegetable oil, and a bio chicken is not just a chicken with more space to run around.

Short links for August 20th, 2007

Some interesting things I bookmarked on del.icio.us on August 20th, 2007:

  • How to Use Chopsticks in Seven Easy Steps – I usually give up after three bites and grab a fork instead.
  • Free Air Conditioning – Technically it should be called a heat exchanger, we lovingly call it the water cooler, but it has been providing us with free cold air for more than 20 years now so it definitely does work.
  • Arcade Game Manuals – A collection of 1,700 arcade manuals, schematics, and general information in PDF format
  • Magazine Illusions – Are you on the cover of that magazine?

Salad, Alien made out of vegetables

Till Nowak’s Salad is a digital rendition of Alien made out of vegetables. (currently Till’s site won’t load…)

It was shown at the Emerging Technologies of Siggraph 2007.

Salad by Till Nowak
Salad by Till Nowak (click for larger image)

From Laughing Squid:

Till Nowak modeled twelve digital vegetables in 3ds Max using classical polygon modeling techniques. Photographs of fresh vegetables were used for the texturing process. Most of the vegetables started with a cylinder primitive and needed around 30 minutes of work. The modeling was easy – it was much more difficult to find the right places and orientations to build a monster with it.

This piece of digital art is Till’s tribute to Giuseppe Arcimboldo and H.R. Giger, but done in 3D Studio Max instead of using paint and brushes.

Link via Boing Boing

Optimus Prime Cake

Related: , , , Posted in random posts on Aug 02, 2007 - comment 0 comments

Some lady wanted to do something special for her husband’s 30th, so she ordered a huge Optimus Prime cake from a local Nashville cake shop.

She writes:

The thing is the size of a toddler (and I’m sure has more calories ^_^). It has brownie dirt complete with fondant grass and the body is made of cake and rice crispy treats.

Sweet cake! Check the Flickr page for another image, with her husband in the picture so you can see how big this cake really is.

Link via Boing Boing

PC EZ-Bake – a personal mini-oven for your computer

Related: , , , , Posted in random posts on Jul 26, 2007 - comment 0 comments

Think of something that doesn’t have anything to do with computers, and you’ll probably find there’s some gadget for it anyway.

Take this PC EZ-Bake oven. It’s a mini-oven that fits in a 5 1/4 inch drive bay, so now you can bake cakes without leaving your computer.

PC EZ-Bake oven
PC EZ-Bake oven – your computer will be baking like an oven, no really

From ThinkGeek:

Now the computer savvy among us can relive the fun of having your very own personal mini-oven with the PC Ez-Bake oven! It fits in a 5 1/4″ drive bay and plugs right into your power supply with the included Molex connector. Also included is “PC Ez-Cook”, the open-source oven controller software with hundreds of easy and creative recipes for your PC Ez-Bake oven, and even a fuzzy-logic cooking control system to precisely measure the doneness of your cake, cookie, or cheese souffle. The PC Ez-Bake oven can even be used to cook your Pop Tarts, Bagel Bites, or any tiny or flat food.

Can you see the technician’s face when this guy brings in his computer with cheese souffle all over his components? “I just made some caffeinated meatloaf and thought I’d try the cheese souffle, but it didn’t come out right…”

Link via Boing Boing

Rice paddy paintings

Related: , , , Posted in random posts on Jul 24, 2007 - comment 0 comments

Pink Tentacle reports about amazing works of art created from rice fields.

36 Views of Mount Fuji
36 Views of Mount Fuji

From the article:

Each year, farmers in the town of Inakadate in Aomori prefecture create works of crop art by growing a little purple and yellow-leafed kodaimai rice along with their local green-leafed tsugaru-roman variety. This year’s creation — a pair of grassy reproductions of famous woodblock prints from Hokusai’s 36 Views of Mount Fuji — has begun to appear (above). It will be visible until the rice is harvested in September.

The residents of Inakadate have been drawing pictures with rice since 1993. Check Pink Tentacle and this site for more rice paintings.

Link via Boing Boing

Funny Shaped Japanese Watermelons and Cucumbers

Related: , , , , Posted in random posts on Jul 13, 2007 - comment 1 comment

Have you ever found some oddly shaped vegetable in the supermarket? Sometimes fruits and vegetables come in funny shapes naturally, sometimes they’re specifically grown that way.

Funny Watermelon
Funny Watermelon faces

From PingMag:

There’s one thing you just have to enjoy in Japanese summer, and that are watermelons. Imagine mom saying “Kids, the watermelon is ready!” And “I’m coming, mom!” A big round watermelon being cut open on a table… BUT! Japanese watermelons are no longer round! Today PingMag shows off our favourite watermelon collection and gives a bit of insight into plant breeding.

Another vegatable that comes in different shapes is the cucumber. It is put into a heart-shaped container and allowed to grow, creating the Heart stick.

Star and Heart shaped cucumbers
Star and Heart shaped cucumbers

Link via core77