Plenty Of Food For All

Bread

I remember as a teenager visiting, on occasion, the Catskill Mountain hotels for the holidays and watching not only the enormous amounts that people seemed to order and eat, but also the huge amounts that simply went uneaten and was discarded.

Taste from this dish…don’t like it, throw it out. Try that food…but your not in love with it either, into the trash as well. Like a smorgasbord or food orgy to end all others. 

Honestly, the waste from such hubris is disgusting especially with world hunger unbelievably still topping 925 million people or 1 in 7 worldwide. 

Bloomberg BusinessWeek (21 December 2012) reports that in India alone villagers average only about 2,000 calories a day–when less than 2,400 qualifies for government food aid. And “half of all children younger than three years old in India weight too little for their age; [and] 8 in 10 are anemic” (i.e. do not have enough healthy red blood cells).

Despite the mass poverty and corruption hindering people getting enough healthy food around the world, BBC News (30 November 2012) cites incredible statistics that “the average American family throws away 40% of the food they purchase–which adds up to $165 billion annually.” 

However, not all the food being thrown out is because of people acting like–I’ll just say it–like pigs, but because if not eaten right away, food spoils.

Food spoliage affects the taste, smell, and appearance of food and the pathogens involved can make people sick. So some food–not fresh anymore–really needs to get discarded. 

Now Texas Tech University has invented MicroZap a microwave technology that functions to pasteurize food so it stays fresh longer.

For example, MicroZap can kill mold spores in bread in about 10 seconds. Thus, normal bread which goes moldy after 10 days, can stay fresh instead for 60 days–and at the “same mold content as it had when it came out of the oven.”

MicroZap can also be used on eggs and meat to improve food safety by killing E. Coli, Salmonella, and Listeria. 

An additional benefit to MicroZap is that food manufacturers may not need all the additives and preservatives that get mixed in, as well as the other chemicals used to mask the taste of them. 

 Further uses for MicroZap include the washing and drying of clothes in hospitals, nursing homes, day care centers, and fitness centers to sterilize them and even kill superbug MRSA (in excess of 99.999%).

The application of microwave technology to food safety and to sterilizing laundry is exciting not only from the perspective of reducing illness and infection, but also in terms of cutting waste and reducing hunger and malnutrition. 

If we can cost-effectively deploy this technology to improve safety and reduce waste, and then redistribute food to those in genuine need, we can feed the world with the food we already have at our fingertips–and there can be plenty of bread for everyone. 😉

(Source Photo: Minna Blumenthal) 

You Are What You Eat–Check It Out

Food_fat

So I went to get my flu shot this week and I ended up getting an education.

Sitting on the table in the health unit was this Fat Facts by Health Edco.

It compares the calories, fat content, and cholesterol of your “favorite foods.”

From grilled chicken sandwiches to tacos, hot dogs, french fries, breakfast burritos, and the double cheeseburger–look at that last one, makes me glad it’s not Kosher. 😉

You can visibly see the “thick and slow moving” saturated fat at the bottom (ugh!) and the clearer, cleaner, unsaturated fat above it.

The volumes of this stuff that people are putting in their bodies and blood is mind-boggling when you see it like this–up close and personal.

Makes you think twice about what you eat–or it should.

Have a happy weekend–eat healthy!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

That’s The Last Straw

Special

Our daughters and granddaughters are special.

They deserve to be protected from sexual predators, such as those that spike drinks and take advantage of their unknowing victims.

I was so pleased to learn about a new Anti-Date Rape Strawto help prevent this.

The straw developed by Israeli inventors tests drinks for common date rape drugs.

If the dangerous drugs are present, then the straw changes colors or becomes cloudy–providing a crucial early warning sign to those who might otherwise be drugged and sexually assaulted.

We now have greater awareness of the prevalence of sexual abuse, especially by people we know and trust–such as dating partners, sports coaches, teachers, and even clergy–so we must remain ever vigilant.

We need to teach our daughters that they are beautiful and special and to protect themselves–and not to think that “it can’t happen to me.”

With these special straws, our daughters can be better prepared, aware, and hopefully safer.

I can see the potential growth and application of this technology to protecting government and private sector leaders, dignitaries, and other VIPs from potentially ingesting–intentionally- or accidentally-tainted food or drink.

With a straw, eating utensil, or even toothpick like device that tests for the presence of dangerous pathogens and contaminants, we can provide a critical safeguard and prevent eating and drinking harmful elements.

Potentially, these types of devices–maybe connected to an smartphone–could be used to provide other important measures and readings of food–such as ingredients, nutrition, and calories–of the actual servings we are about to eat.

This technology has incredible potential to help us not only eat safer, but also healthier.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)