Sam Murray, who captured this curious footage, happened upon this western grey kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus) tucking into a penguin on the beach at Cape Le Grande national park, located east of Esperance, WA in March 2013.
“We were walking down to the beach in the late evening before sunset, and we noticed a group of five or six kangaroos gathered on the beach. We started towards them and all the others were quick to hop away, but not this smaller one,” Sam says.
“He was really quite focussed on what he was doing. Even when we got to within a metre and a half of him, he wouldn’t stop eating.”
Kangaroos sometimes eat meat
Professor Graeme Coulson, a zoologist at the University of Melbourne, explains that “All living macropods appear to be gentle herbivores. They [generally] lack the equipment to capture and kill other animals, or the digestive system to handle a meaty diet.”
While penguins aren’t a typical kangaroo snack, Graeme says that “Australia once had carnivorous macropods. The largest of these was Propleopus oscillans, which stood up to 2 m tall and had teeth that were well adapted to eating meat. This ‘killer kangaroo’ went extinct tens of thousands of years ago.”
While this footage may strike many as peculiar, Professor Tim Flannery, an expert mammalogist, says “This is unusual, I admit, but most herbivores will eat some protein if it’s available. Tree kangaroos will eat birds and even cows will chew on a bone.”
Graeme also recognizes that known herbivores are not all strict vegetarians. “White-tailed deer in the USA have been reported stealing trout from a fishing camp and removing nestlings from nests hidden in prairie grassland. Captive macropods are known to eat a wide range of foods, including chicken and lamb chops. This western grey kangaroo was simply taking advantage of an easy meal,” Graeme says.
Archive for the ‘Food’ Category
Posted by Xeno on March 5, 2014
Posted by Xeno on February 28, 2014
Footlong fans breathed a sigh of relief at the beginning of February, when sandwich chain Subway announced that it was removing azodicarbonamide — a chemical used in shoe rubber and yoga mats — from its bread.
Though the World Health Organization has said that the chemical is safe for human consumption, some studies have suggested it could be linked with asthma and skin and respiratory problems. And when the chemical is baked, it forms another chemical that has been linked to cancer in animal studies, CBS News pointed out. A series of popular petitions circulated by blogger Vana Hari, who runs the website FoodBabe.com, have also argued the case that its efficacy as a “bleaching agent” in bread just isn’t worth the potential health hazards.
It’s been well-established at this point that azodicarbonamide is a relatively common ingredient in processed foods. But a newly released study by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit, suggests that azodicarbonamide is far more common than we may have realized. EWG pored through the ingredient lists of more than 80,000 common grocery foods in an attempt to figure out which products contained the chemical. And they found it in nearly 500 items sold under 120 different brand names. …
As a food additive, azodicarbonamide is used as a flour bleaching agent and an improving agent. It reacts with moist flour as an oxidizing agent. The main reaction product is biurea, a derivative of urea, which is stable during baking. Secondary reaction products include semicarbazide and ethyl carbamate. The United States and Canada permit the use of azodicarbonamide at levels up to 45 ppm. In Australia and Europe the use of azodicarbonamide as a food additive is banned.
Posted by Xeno on February 24, 2014
Jiroemon Kimura the man who lived longer than any other man in recorded history attributed his robust health to waking early in the day, watching his food portion sizes (a regular breakfast of rice porridge and miso soup), reading the newspapers and watching parliamentary debates on TV.
There may be something special about those red beans with rice. “For his last birthday, he dined on grilled fish, steamed rice and red beans, a Japanese tradition on special occasions.” – (link)
I think Mr. Kimura was eating Sekihan (Japanese Azuki Beans & Rice). Was he growing his own food? He retired in 1962 at age 65 after 40 years as a postman and was then a farmer until age 90.
Azuki beans are a good source for a variety of minerals. They are rich in soluble fiber which lowers bad LDL cholesterol, low in calories and fat, they have healing properties for kidney, bladder and reproductive functions. The bean has diuretic effect to strengthen kidneys and may act an effective cure for urinary dysfunction and bladder infections. The presence of plant estrogens in these beans has been credited in breast cancer prevention by reducing body estrogen levels. The beans are high in protein (~25%) and easy to digest.
Azuki beans, 1 cup (230g) (cooked, boiled)
Total Fat: 0.23g
4.6 mg of Iron (~25% RDI)
119.6 mg of magnesium (~30% RDI)
1.223 g of potassium (~25 % AI)
4.0 mg of zinc (~25% RDI)
278 µg of folic acid (~70% RDI).
I’m going to try to grow some here in California. I was glad to hear that they are somewhat drought resistant.
Climatic requirements. Seeds do well during frost-free periods, with cool nights. The plant is reported to be somewhat drought resistant. Adzuki beans have similar requirements to soybeans or drybeans.
Propagation and care. Adzuki is a short-day plant that does not grow well in waterlogged soil. Information from the University of Minnesota recommends treating the seeds for fungi, insects and bacteria before planting. Adzuki beans emerge more slowly when the soil is 50 to 55�F. In Minnesota, the best planting time is between May and June. A good plant population is 105,000 plants per acre (25-35 pounds of seed). Plant seeds in rich, loamy soil, to 1 inch deep. Plants should stand 2 to 3 inches apart. Recommended row spacing varies from 12 to 18 inches, or 18 to 30 inches. Neutral to alkaline soil is required for maximum N fixation, and a medium to high soil test level of P and K should ensure adequate fertility levels and the best crop yield. Fertilize seedlings when they are 4 to 5 inches high and again when the flowers start to form pods. Moisture should be ample and at a consistent level. Uneven ripening is characteristic of adzuki beans. Expect mature pods, brownish in color, with slightly yellow and completely green pods on the same plant. Adzuki beans will fix nitrogen but require innoculation with a Rhizobium strain specific to this crop.
White mold, bacterial stem rot, and other bean diseases may affect adzuki beans. A good rotation program, furrow rather than overhead irrigation, use of disease-free seed and a spray program can help prevent these diseases. Most adzuki varieties are susceptible to a number of aphid borne viruses that attack legumes, including curly top virus.
Harvest and postharvest practices. To harvest as green beans, pick the adzuki pods when the beans are faintly outlined in the pod. Picking every 5 to 6 days is usually sufficient. In California Adzuki beans will mature in less thatn 120 days for use as dry beans.
Growers can cut and windrow adzukis in the morning to allow drydown and combine later in the day, or direct combine the beans with a grain header or row crop headers. Pods shatter very easily, especially if the harvest is delayed until late in the season or the day. To decrease losses, use slower speeds, open the concaves, and harvest only during appropriate hours. The entire plant, including dry pods, can be harvested and stacked in a dry, well-ventilated place for drying. Complete drying occurs a week or two after harvesting. After drying, shell the beans and store in refrigerated, air-tight containers.
Pest and weed problems. Adzuki beans compete poorly against weeds. Seed quality is critical to early vigor. Choose a location with light weed pressure and rotary hoe 7 to 10 days after planting. Cultivate the beans when the primary leaves are fully developed, and if necessary, 10 to 20 days later. …
Another important tip seems to be this: eat less!
So what does the world’s oldest man eat? The answer is not much, at least not too much. Walter Breuning, who turned 113 on Monday, eats just two meals a day and has done so for the past 35 years. “I think you should push back from the table when you’re still hungry,” Breuning said. At 5 foot 8, (“I shrunk a little,” he admitted) and 125 pounds, Breuning limits himself to a big breakfast and lunch every day and no supper. “I have weighed the same for about 35 years,” Breuning said. “Well, that’s the way it should be.” “You get in the habit of not eating at night, and you realize how good you feel. If you could just tell people not to eat so darn much.” – link
I love food too much. Would you rather eat all you want and be happy and comfortable … and die 20 years earlier? There is no solid evidence yet in primates that reducing calories will make you live longer, but there are hints. Azuki beans, which are low in calories, make it easier to accomplish calorie restriction with adequate nutrition (CRAN) because they give healthy levels of protein, vitamins and minerals. Do they taste good?
Posted by Xeno on February 24, 2014
New York grocery chain said it never had a rodent complaint before a 96-year-old Long Island man claimed he found a dead rat baked into his birthday cake.
King Kullen bakery said in a written statement this weekend that it had recalled everything from the shelves of its bakeries, which are located inside its grocery stores.
“Product has been removed from the bakery and the premises has undergone a thorough inspection,” the statement said. “There are no known safety or rodent issues in this bakery.”
But Neil Gold said there was at least one rodent issue. His aged uncle Joe allegedly got a rude surprise last week at his birthday celebration when he noted his German apple ring cake had a somewhat ratty taste to it.
“He said, ‘It doesn’t taste right,’” Gold told WABC-TV in New York. We flipped it (the cake) over and seemed to be a rat’s tail.”
The Gold family lawyer, Ed Yule, told WABC he suspected someone tampered with the cake and will turn it over to New York state officials for further investigation.
via King Kullen pulls bakery products after rat found in birthday cake – UPI.com.
Happy 96th birthday, Mr. Neil Gold. Life is like that, isn’t it? If I was the judge hearing your case, I’d say the King Kullen store, if found responsible after an investigation by the health department, owes you free groceries for life. Then you should really get ‘em back by living to 116 like Jiroemon Kimura did! Best wishes.
Posted by Xeno on February 20, 2014
Nestlé is recalling certain varieties of Hot Pockets after learning they’ve potentially been stuffed with “diseased and unsound animals.”
The company is voluntarily pulling the product from the shelves as part of a massive USDA recall of 8.7 million pounds of meat processed by Rancho Feeding Corp. The meat in question, per the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, is “unsound, unwholesome or otherwise are unfit for human food and must be removed from commerce.” According to Nestlé, a “small quantity” of that meat may have made its way into the Hot Pockets produced at its California facility.
The affected products are Hot Pockets brand Philly Steak and Cheese in three different pack sizes, and Hot Pockets brand Croissant Crust Philly Steak and Cheese in the two-pack box (more details on the specific batch numbers here). Other flavors — Ham & Cheese, Meatballs & Mozzarella, Bacon Cheddar Cheese Melt, etc. — are safe. …
Posted by Xeno on February 16, 2014
Blood glucose monitors are used to measure the amount of glucose in blood, especially of patients with symptoms or a history of abnormally high or low blood glucose levels. Most commonly, they enable diabetic patients to administer appropriate insulin doses. The availability of home-use glucometers, as opposed to clinical-use equipment, has greatly improved the quality of life of such individuals. However, such monitors require a blood draw through finger pricks for each test, which causes pain and inconvenience. Each test also requires a new test-strip, contributing to the recurring cost of such a device.
> Optimum insulin dosage, however, requires frequent/continuous monitoring of blood glucose, and currently available glucometers do not address this requirement. Continuous monitors do exist, but they need to be implanted under the skin, causing trauma while being implanted, and they need to be replaced every week. An alternative exists in non-invasive blood glucose monitors. This article introduces an architecture that uses Near Infrared (NIR) spectroscopy to determine blood glucose levels based on transmittance spectroscopy on the ear lobe. Using various body parameters, such as tissue thickness, blood oxygen saturation, and a linear regression-analysis based calibration system, an accurate and real-time architecture is proposed. An example implementation using full analog, digital, and mixed signal capabilities of a programmable system-on-chip, the PSoC-5LP controller from Cypress, is given as well.
I’d really like a non-invasive device to show my blood sugar. What’s the hold up? Is the FDA stalling to protect the US junk food industry?
Posted by Xeno on February 3, 2014
Roundup is the Monsanto herbicide that is touted as the cornerstone of GMO food crops. Monsanto claims these crops are genetically engineered to withstand heavy spraying of Roundup.
There are several key lies associated with these claims – but a new one has surfaced.
A study to be published this month indicts Roundup and, in fact, the general class of insecticides and herbicides. On what grounds? When they’re tested for safety, only the so-called “active ingredients” are examined.
The untested ingredients are called “adjuvants,” and they are said to be inert and irrelevant. But the new study concludes this is far from true. The adjuvants are actually there to INCREASE the killing power of the active ingredient in the herbicide or insecticide.
Safety tests don’t take this into account. “Active ingredients” are already toxic, but the adjuvants ramp up their poisonous nature even higher.
And the worst offender is Roundup.
Here are key quotes from a January 31 article at GM Watch, “Pesticide approvals misleading – and Roundup most toxic of 9 pesticides tested.”
“Pesticide formulations as sold and used are up to 1000 times more toxic than the isolated substance that is tested and evaluated for safety.”
“Roundup the most toxic of herbicides and insecticides tested.”
“…the complete pesticide formulations as sold and used also contain additives (adjuvants), which increase the pest- or weedkilling activity of the pesticide. These complete formulations do not have to be tested in medium- and long-term tests – even though they are the substances to which farmers and citizens are exposed.”
“This is a serious defect of the regulatory process, according to a newly published study by the team of Professor Séralini (Mesnage et al. 2014, Biomedical Research International). The study found that for eight major pesticides (out of a total of nine analyzed), the commercial formulation is up to 1000 times more toxic than the active ingredient assessed for safety by regulators.”
“The study was carried out in vitro on three types of human cells.”
“The study produced another surprise outcome. Roundup is often claimed to be a benign herbicide that is widely used in public spaces and by home gardeners as well as by farmers. Yet the researchers found it was by far the most toxic of all the herbicides and insecticides they tested.”…
I want a pocket spectrophotometer or some other small personal device to analyze foods before we take a bite. I’d also like visible meters for what my body needs the most at any given moment. For example, is my systemic zinc level low or high? An attempt to do this is hair mineral analysis, but I have some doubts about the diagnostic value. Still, it seems like a step in the right direction.
Posted by Xeno on January 22, 2014
[Billionaire Bill Gates] writes: ‘I am optimistic enough about this that I am willing to make a prediction.
‘By 2035, there will be almost no poor countries left in the world. (I mean by our current definition of poor.)
‘Almost all countries will be what we now call lower-middle income or richer.’
Gates said around 70 per cent of countries will have a higher per-person income by 2035 than China does now. Nine out of ten countries will be above today’s average income levels in India in two decades time, the tech mogul also claims. …
Despite his optimistic take on the world, Gates admits that inequality will exist in every region. However he admits that some countries will be held back by war and politics, citing North Korea as an example. Geography will also hinder certain nations like the landlocked states of central Africa.
Today, China’s income per person has increase by eightfold and India’s has quadrupled; Brazil’s has gone up five times and Botswana has seen an incredible 30-fold increase in earnings.
The Gates report points out that although the percentage of very poor people has dropped by more than half since 1990, there is still one billion people existing in extreme poverty.
With a lot of work still to do, Gates nevertheless says that there are improvements for people across the world which are undeniable.
He writes: ‘There is a class of nations in the middle that barely existed 50 years ago, and it includes more than half of the world’s population.’
The foundation is committed to improving the lives of people in Third World countries. Bill Gates has donated $28 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which funds projects across the world in agriculture, education and health.
For example, across Africa, the Gates’ foundation provides vaccine delivery and treatments for HIV, malaria and polio along with family planning and agricultural development.
According to a report by Oxfam this week, Gates and the other 84 richest people in the world now have as much money as the 3.5 billion poorest put together.
Cool. Go Bill, go. Just handing over wealth is not the answer, you have to build infrastructure, teach new ways, and then we can sell computers to a billion more people. … But first, people need food, water, shelter, jobs… And what about ending war while we are at it?
Posted by Xeno on January 20, 2014
The Obama administration announced last week that it expects to approve corn and soybeans that have been genetically engineered by Dow Chemical company to tolerate the toxic herbicide — 2,4-D. They are planning this approval despite the fact that use of this herbicide is associated with increased rates of deadly immune system cancers, Parkinson’s disease, endocrine disruption, birth defects, and many other serious kinds of illness and reproductive problems.
Weed ecologists are unanimous in warning that approval of these crops will lead to vast increases in the use of this poisonous chemical. Researchers at Penn State say that in soybeans alone, planting of crops resistant to 2,4-D would increase the amount of 2,4-D sprayed on American fields to 100 million pounds per year — four times the current level. The researchers predict a cascade of negative environmental impacts, and add that the increasing use of the herbicide would actually worsen the epidemic of superweeds it is intended to address, by causing weeds to become resistant to multiple herbicides.
A coalition of 144 farming, fishery, environmental and public health groups have asked the USDA not to approve the 2,4-D resistant crops. Citing studies that predict dire consequences to both human and environmental health, they add the concern among farmers that 2,4-D would drift onto their property and kill their crops, causing serious economic damage in rural communities.
No problem, just stop eating anything you don’t grow yourself and you’ll be fine.
Posted by Xeno on January 16, 2014
This Nordic “grog” predates the Vikings. It was found buried in tombs alongside warriors and priestesses, and is now available at liquor stores across the United States, thanks to a reconstruction effort by Patrick McGovern, a biomolecular archaeologist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and Delaware-based Dogfish Head Craft Brewery.
“You’d think, with all these different ingredients, it sort of makes your stomach churn,” McGovern, the study’s lead author, told LiveScience. “But actually, if you put it in the right amounts and balance out the ingredients, it really does taste very good.”
Drink of the ancients
McGovern began the journey toward uncovering the ingredients of ancient Nordic alcohol decades ago, when he began combing through museums in Denmark and Sweden, looking for pottery shards that held traces of old beverages. But in the mid-1990s, the technology to analyze these chemical remnants just wasn’t available, he said.
More recently, McGovern and his co-authors re-examined the remnants with modern tools. They analyzed samples from four sites, two of which were grave sites in Sweden and Denmark. The oldest of these sites dated back to 1500 B.C. — more than 3,500 years ago. The oldest sample came from a large jar buried with a male warrior in Denmark. The other three came from strainer cups, used to serve wine, found in Denmark and Sweden. One of the strainer cups came from a tomb where four women were buried. One of the women, who died at around age 30, clutched the strainer in her hand.
Beer brewing goes back at least 10,000 years, and ancient humans were endlessly creative in their recipes for intoxicants. Studies of pollen content in northern European drinking vessels suggested the ancient residents drank honey-based mead and other alcoholic brews. But the exact ingredients were not well understood. Ancient texts written by Greeks and Romans proved that southern Europeans were among the first wine snobs — these authors dismissed Northern beverages as “barley rotted in water.”
In fact, Nordic grog was a complex brew, McGovern and his colleagues found. The ingredients included honey, cranberries and lingonberries (acidic red berries that grow in Scandinavia). Wheat, rye and barley — and, occasionally, imported grape wine from southern Europe — formed a base for the drink. Herbs and spices — such as bog myrtle, yarrow, juniper and birch resin — added flavor and perhaps medicinal qualities.
The oldest sample, which was buried with a male warrior, was an anomaly. The jug found in that grave contained only traces of honey, suggesting that the occupant went to his grave with a jar of unadulterated mead. Because the warrior had well-crafted weapons in his tomb, he was likely of high status. Pure mead was probably a drink for the elite, because honey was expensive and scarce, the researchers reported online Dec. 23 in the Danish Journal of Archaeology. …
I don’t drink but I’m curious to try this.