Tag Archives: food

Vegetarian? I bet these stories sound familiar!

First of all I would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy and creative 2013! As you may have noticed it has been a while, however I came across a (to me) very funny article on BBC News Magazine and wanted to share it with you. The article “20 of your tales of vegetarian woe” (BBC, 2013) is a collection of different experiences and stories of vegetarians travelling across the world! 

I have been vegetarian for quite a while (14 years or so) and have experienced the difficulties but also funny situations when ordering food abroad. Not every country is that familiar with vegetarians and I can imagine how hard is must be to understand such thing when eating meat is so obvious. I must say that, throughout the years of being a vegetarian, a lot has changed. I also noticed that, even when it seems like a restaurant does not have any vegetarian dishes on the menu, they are most of the time willing to prepare something without meat after all, especially for you. In fact, these have always been delicious meals that made my carnivore friends jealous! Yet, I have also experienced holidays with the unavoidable fried cheese (see photo below) and big salads, night after night. Still, I have always been very appreciative of whatever dish they prepared for me, as I think it is great that they have all been open to the needs of their customers and to try something new.

Fried Cheese

Retrieved from: Easteuropeanfood.about.com (2012)
vegetarianVSmeat

Retrieved from: Usahitman.com (2012)

Anyway, enough about me and my experiences of eating vegetarian abroad, the article I mentioned at the beginning of this blog is worth having a look at by clicking here.

Do you have any awkward, funny, difficult or very good experiences with ordering food as a vegetarian or with a specific diet across the globe? I am very curious to hearing about them!

Madelon

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Every student’s dream: Mould-free bread for 60 days

Don’t we all recognize the problem of buying bread and not being able to finish it before it gets mouldy?  As a student, I have this problem pretty often. The only solution is to keep it in the freezer and defrost a slice per time you need one. But what if your bread can stay mould-free for 60 days?! Isn’t that every student’s and single’s dream? Apart from saving money and not having to frost and defrost your bread everyday, mould-free bread would be the perfect solution  to a big part of customers’ food waste as 32% of loaves purchased in the UK thrown out as waste when they could be eaten, according to figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs McGrath, M. (2012). Does this solution sound unrealistic to you? American company Microzap doesn’t think so.

Zapping the bread in a sophisticated microwave should do the trick. The company claims it could also be applied to turkey, vegetables and fruits. The laboratory is based on the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock. The machine that kills the mould spores has raised interest by many bread manufacturers, however the popularity among the average customer might be disappointing  It is expected that treating the loaves with this machine will increase the costs of bread and at the end of the day, it’s all about the money. Especially in regards to the average customer.

Chief executive Don Stull mentioned another worry, which is that customers might be hesitant with buying bread that will last for 60 days. “We’ll have to get some consumer acceptance of that,” he said. “Most people do it by feel and if you still have that quality feel they probably will accept it.”(Stull, D. 2012. cited by McGrath M.). A picture of the magical machine can be found in the slideshow below.

_64477956_img_4839Easter_Breaddiscarded-fresh-bread-006broodschimmel

Sources: fantom-xp, BBC &  dwotd

What do you think? Would you buy bread treated in a laboratory that will last for 60 days?

Source information, citations and picture: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20540758 

Madelon

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Eating insects: The most sustainable and healthy option?!

Eating ecologically, eating sustainably, eating healthy… Sometimes you just don’t know what you’re  allowed to eat these days. I would like to discuss a combination of all three,  which The Guardian considers to be the food of the future: Insects.

During our fieldtrip to exhibition “De Etende Mens” in Eindhoven, The Netherlands we already got familiar with this matter as a part of the exhibition was devoted to future foods and insects. We were all a bit sceptical about the idea as we couldn’t imagine ourselves eating grasshoppers and maggots, but maybe we just need to get used it? I couldn’t help but thinking of Disney’s Lion King, when ‘Simba’ adapts to his new friends and forces himself to eat insects and after that actually quite likes them… Maybe we all need a Lion King-moment to get used to something new?

As you may know, eating insects isn’t that strange in countries such as Thailand where fried spiders and centipedes are available on local markets and restaurants. A very sustainable and healthy  choice, since insects can be multiplied easily, only a minimum of space and resources are needed and has a very low carbon emission. Furthermore most insects contain 40 to 70% protein, which is much more than e.g. sweet corn with only 10%. So why are we not eating it then? One of the reasons might be that insects are not that common in e.g. Europe, since at least 24% of all eatable insects live in Asia, 38% in Africa and only 2% in Europe (Duurzaaminsecteneten, 2012).

I must admit that I don’t think that I will be eating insects in the near future and I’m not expecting you to do so (unless you’re from one of those countries where it’s part of daily life of course!), however maybe we should try to get used to the idea and not creep out when hearing about it or seeing it? Therefore, I included a few pictures of the exhibition ‘De Etende Mens’ and other pictures of eatable insects for you so you can see and decide for yourself what you think! I also included a few pictures of the insect scene from the Lion King, to remind you of that scene in case it didn’t ring a bell just yet!

 

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Sources pictures: Walt Disney & The Guardian (2012)

Click here for a list list of eatable insects.

Enjoy!

Madelon

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Where does your food come from?

Everybody knows that food is produced on farms and while driving through the countryside everybody has seen the vegetables on the land, but have you ever imagined that those are usually not the products you buy in the supermarket. That the products you buy often are imported from the other side of the world?

The products that you see above: Milk, sugar, asparagus, cucumber, apple and pepper have travelled for about 35.000km to end up in your shopping cart.

One reason for this is that the products from Peru, Argentina or other countries are simply cheaper than the ones produced in the Netherlands or Europe. But that is not the only reason. The Netherlands is a crowded country and simply is not big enough to produce food for the entire population. Therefore people are becoming quite inventive.

Vertical gardens, roof gardens, community farming? Have you heard about these terms before? These are all new ways of farming and using spaces such as the roofs and sides of a building. You can even start farming on your own balcony.

Next to that instead of a playground in the neighborhood, you see more and more community gardens where the neighborhood grows its own vegetables.

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All of this is becoming more of a trend. People are more aware of biological food, the impact it has on the environment to import these products.

So just a tip! Grow some tomatoes on your balcony and contribute to the scarcity of food! Not convinced yet? It will also save you money!

Nicole

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Taking care of your body!

Eating healthy is a trendy topic and has been for the last decade. But what is the right way to do it? Eating healthier if often connected with losing weight, a common misconception. Nevertheless, nutritionists come up with one diet, program or product after another that suggest you to eat less, to not eat carbon hydrates or sugar anymore, eat more proteins or just chew on a carrot and a bit of lettuce. But is this really the key for eating healthier? I don’t think so! Therefore, I did a little research into what is and will give you some insight into some alternative lifestyles concerning ‘eating healthy’ today.

A lifestyle that has been developing for the past few years is mindful-eating. This is a method based on the principle of mindfulness where you learn how to deal with your eating habits differently. It is not about what you eat, it is about how and why you eat. You do this by bringing more attention to your food; from flavours, to colours, to feelings of satisfaction and being full. By doing this, you break through patters and routines such as finishing your plate while you actually already have had enough. One can practice this at home or join one of the many available workshops throughout the country. True believers of this principle claim that you learn how to make better choices, eat less and enjoy food more! For more information, check out the website of the ‘Center for mindful eating’: http://www.tcme.org/

Another lifestyle that caught my attention is not yet defined by a name but more by the principle of ‘cooking without packs, bags and cans’. This principle all evolves around going back to basics; cooking without using packs, bags or cans to make a meal, soup or sauce. This ‘returning to the roots’ cooking has evolved from the fact that easy-help packages, bags and cans for cooking often contain too much salt, sugar, colour agents or other nutrients that are not healthy. Back in the day, when people were cooking without these fancy products, problems such as obesity and overconsumption of salt hardly existed. But since cooking has become a difficult and time consuming activity in our modern day society several individuals and organisations are tying to change this attitude for the health of our society. As an example, check out the website of Karin Luiten, the author of the book ‘Koken  met Karin: zonder pakjes en zakjes’, for more information and recipes: http://www.kokenmetkarin.nl/home/index.html (unfortunately only in Dutch).

And for the real cook fanatics, who are interested in learning more about a different way of healthy cooking, get ready for a cressperience. The innovative Dutch company ‘Koppert Cress BV’has changed the way of cooking for many professional and amateur chefs around the world, as they use cresses and micro-vegetables to create amazing flavours.
Cresses and micro-vegetables are sprouts that are rich of vitamins A, C and minerals such as calcium and iron. Due to this company, many have begun to understand the value of these small plants and flowers as they contain the same nutritional values as normal vegetables. Recipes, articles and places for workshops can be found on the following website: http://koppertcress.com/

Are you convinced or inspired by any of these lifestyles? Let us know!

Tessa.

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How to save the world by changing your diet

Today I would like to focus on food, on Veganism and Vegetarianism to be specific. There are many advantages and reasons for Vegansim and Vegetarianism that have convinced me years ago to change my diet, one of them is sustainability.

As some of you might know, the food consume of the human race is at it’s peak. Different studies have shown, that if we keep on consuming in this scale, by 2050 the amount of two more planets will be needed to feed everyone. As you can see: a big dilemma, unless we discover those two planets within the next 38 years.

Luckily, today Bridge was presented with the solution to this problem: The Dutch Weed Burger. A plant based burger with a very unconventional main ingredient: seaweed. This is what it looks like:

The Dutch Weed Burger

This short video is a trailer about the making of The Dutch Weed Burger and it’s two inventors:

You might wonder now: who are these two crazy Dutch people and how did you find them?

To “celebrate” the Dutch sustainability day, Lisette Kreischer, known for Veggie in Pumps and several cook books and her partner in crime, the film maker Mark Kulsdom, presented the concept of  their new veggie burger. The presentation was inspiring, entertaining and informative and actually convinced the non Vegetarian members of Bridge to try out this mysterious super burger. Conclusion: DELICIOUS!

The Bridge members enjoying The Dutch Weed Burger

If you would like to know more about  The Dutch Weed Burger or Lisette Kreischer you should check out these links:

www.dutchweedburger.com

www.lisettekreischer.com

Mark and Lisette are currently on tour through the Netherlands to promote, explain and illustrate the importance of sustainability in food and the advantages of vegetarianism and plant based diets. If you get the possibility you should try to see them, taste their burger and get inspired. Enjoy! SH

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