Categories
technology

Orion Live Web Event: Nanotechnology: Panacea or Pandora’s Box?

I recently got information about a live web event on January 15th that explores the topic of nanotechnology.  I have heard mostly about nanotechnology in terms of medical devices, but this “particles” are regularly added to our food, clothing, and personal care products.  Questions are emerging from this since despite very little being known about their impact on our health or environment.

Nanotechnology is used in sunscreen to make the creams transparent, in creams to deliver an ingredient like Vitamin E.  I also read that milk is a natural example of nano technology, since very small particles of protein are suspended in water.

In the current issue of the magazine Orion, writer Heather Millar visits a team of scientists at Duke University that is currently studying the implications of the use of this new technology.

In the article in Orion she writes:

“The use of man-made nanoparticles has spread into almost every area of our lives: food, clothing, medicine, shampoo, toothpaste, sunscreen, and thousands of other products. Regulatory structures, both here and abroad, are completely unprepared for this onslaught of nanoproducts, because nanoparticles don’t fit into traditional regulatory categories.”

The implications and ethical issues of nanotechnology will be discussed by Millar and a team of experts on January 15, at 4 p.m. Eastern/1 p.m. Pacific, and is a free web event.  It is free to register, and there is an opportunity to ask questions after the presentation.


Image Source:
www.nanoandme.org

Links:

Orion- Nanotechnology: Panacea or Pandora’s Box – Web Event

www.nanoandme.org

 

Categories
Food

Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook – Making a Comeback and a Vegan Version

This year a historical Betty Crocker book was republished called the Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook.  I know about the book because I somehow ended up the publisher’s email list, and I got a email about the book for every week until I took the time to get off the list.

It did perk my interest about the excitement about the republishing of the book, so I did a little reading about it.  The cookbook came out in the 1950’s, and the title made cooking sound easy, and the color photos were helpful for new cooks to follow.

Some of the recipes in the book include Pigs in the Blanket, Mock Duck, Emergency Steak, and Chicken Tomato Aspic (note:aspic is like a meat jello.)  There also are lots of cookie recipes, and a Home Front macaroni recipe that was developed during World War II to help families stretch their meat.

After I got the email about this book week after week, I almost ordered it – but since I have a restricted diet, I could  not bring myself to pay the  $20-30 dollars that the book was priced at.

In looking up the book, I found someone that did a unique project, of cooking every recipe in the book, but making each recipe into a vegan version.  The project inspired by the Julie and Julia movie, and the woman behind the project got the Betty Crocker Picture cookbook, and worked to “veganize every recipe.”

The project was called “The Betty Crocker Project,” and each recipe cooked was written about and posted on the project website.  From what I can tell from the website, most of the recipes were made.  Some recipes I checked out include Baby Olive Garlic Knot,  a Chicken Skillet Dinner, and a Maple Glazed Holiday Roast.

The project inspired a new cookbook that is available for presale, called “ Betty Goes Vegan” which has recipes inspired by the Betty Crocker Cookbook, and also many original new recipes.

Image Source:
The Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook – Rodale Books
The Betty Crocker Project

 

Links:

The Betty Crocker Project

The Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook – Rodale Books 

Categories
Food Font

Food Font Design Tool : an Update from Development

Recently a couple of messages have come in from people who are excited to use the Food Font design tool and do events in the future.  Some people also have been asking when it will be ready to use.

Food Font is an interactive art project where people can make alphabets out of food, take pictures of each letter, and later use these and other food alphabets in a fun, free, interactive online design tool. The project supports dialogue and builds community around food, health, and sustainability. Currently the design of the interactive design tool is underway.

One person contacted us last week and wrote, “I am so excited about the launch of the design tool! I\’m a community nutritionist and am forever trying to make flyers look interesting, so this will be a fantastic way to do that! Thanks so much for doing this. I think I might pull my camera out and try and make some food letters out of Christmas food!”

Another person who helps markets organize activities and community events wrote,”  I have been the manager for the Vashon Island Farmers Market for the past year, and in that capacity was always looking for food education opportunities, especially one that is as engaging as this I will figure out a way to organize a FOOD FONT day for our summer season (when the variety of foods is at its greatest.)”

The official launch date for the Food Font interactive tool is Winter 2013.  An exact date?  There is currently not one, since development time can vary.  I can report that the design document that outlines all functions and visual componants of the tool is in the work.  This tool is then given to the programmer that we are working with – who then does the programming and assembly of the tool.

With my Winter break, I am able to dedicate more time to the project, so I will be posting some in-progress images as they are in the works.

Just imagine, by this time next year everyone will be able to send, print, and post holiday messages out of food!

Links:
www.foodfont.com 

Categories
Art Environment

Oyster Beds in the East Bay – Daniel McCormick at the Headlands

I recently got an update from the Headlands Center for the Arts, a artist residency center located in Sausalito, CA.  I was an artist in residence at the Headlands in 2005, and it is interesting to learn about current projects and events.  This year a new Alumni New Works program was created, where past artists in residence could apply to do a project for a month.

One of the recipients of this program is Daniel McCormick, who is an environmental artist.  In his recent projects, he has collaborated with scientists, conservation organizations, and regional regulatory commissions to create sculptural pieces that improve watersheds and locations of water.

McCormick is a former student of James Turrell and has a degree in environmental design from UC Berkeley.  Some of his past work has been in the form of woven basket forms made of green willow and found materials that are placed in eroded gullies and on the banks of rivers.

These sculptures are designed to “fit into the curves of the streams and gullies where they fill with leaves and twigs, collecting sediment that would otherwise suffocate the salmon and steelhead eggs in their spawning areas.”

At he Headlands, he will be installing some innovative San Francisco Bay native oyster beds throughout the East Bay Regional Park System and Merritt Lagoon.   By adding oyster beds, it is a way to help restore the bay’s ecosystem.  Oysters have to be grown in the top third of the water, where there is sunlight and oxygen.  After being installed, oyster beds need to be serviced in order to prevent algae growth which can kill the oysters.  Project updates will be posted on his website.

Image Source:
http://www.headlands.org 

 

Links:

http://danielmccormick.blogspot.com/

 

Categories
Food

Cheesy Nachos and a Yogurt Fruit Plate – A Lunch Date at a Grade School

Earlier this month, I was able to go to my niece and nephew’s grade school and meet them for lunch.  This was the second time I have met them for lunch at their school.  Each time I go, I have fun meeting their classmates, being the visitor at the table and I also get to learn more about school lunches, at least at their school.

Coming to the school lunch is kind of like being a minor celebrity; everyone asks who you are and also asks you to open their packaged food.  My niece and nephew usually pack a lunch, but if there is something they want to get on the lunch menu, they buy the school lunch.  The day that I visited, both my niece and nephew bought the school lunch.  My nephew, who had the earlier lunch, got the Cheesy nacho and beef, and ate a big pile of nachos with meat and cheese, and also had an apple.  He must have passed on the cucumber cup that was part of the lunch.  Last year when I visited, it also happened to be a Cheesy nacho lunch day.  This year, his Cheesy nacho lunch seemed like a more appropriate in size for a kid, and also the side of French fries had been replaced with the green vegetable choice.

My niece also got school lunch, and was excited to get the Fruit and yogurt plate that was an option this day.  She ate a yogurt, orange slices, and some graham cracker snacks.

I later spent a little time reading about the provider of their school lunches, which like all school lunch program has to meet the federal nutrition standards.  One new food choice that their lunch program has done is add a new “Balanced Choice” lunch, which has a lunch that is no more than 200 total calories, is no more than 35% calories of fat, and has no more than 35% of sugar for any packaged foods.  They also now have lowfat milk, and smaller portioned juices.

Overall, it seems like the school lunches at the school are more healthy, but you can still get your fill of chocolate milk (but now it is fat free milk.)

 

Links:

www.chartwellsschools.com/