This Week: Ancient water = ancient habitat?
In the News: Methane on the menu in the Gulf of Mexico?
If you teach a group of monkeys that blue corn tastes yucky, they switch to pink corn. What happens when a monkey raised to detest pink corn enters the group? You might be surprised!
Drafts of two hefty food-safety regulations are released. What are the fundamentals of ensuring safety in the giant American food system? Where is the room for improvement? Who will (and maybe should) escape regulation?
Think you can get away with an occasional high-fat junk food chow-down? A new study confirms that a single meal can harm your arteries. Eating the same number of calories in a Mediterranean-diet meal is benign or beneficial to the arteries.
Cheesemaking is older than Homer’s Odyssey, but questions remain. Which bacteria make the best cheese? Must low-fat cheese taste like cardboard? Why is small-producer, “artisan” cheese becoming so popular? Why does one cheese taste different than another.
As a new conversion of soy protein into a meat-like material reaches the market, we also look into meat grown, cell by cell, in lab dishes. Could in vitro meat be in your future, and would that solve ethical, health and environmental problems?
Native agriculture could be a sophisticated response to a challenging environment. What were the secrets of permaculture, companion cropping and corn farming? Could these techniques contribute to modern farming?
Could soil help? One-third of soils are degraded. In fighting desertification, erosion and nutrient loss, some soil-restoring techniques solve multiple problems.
Fish contamination was rare after the giant oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, with levels of dangerous hydrocarbons well below “levels of concern.” But nobody looked systematically at heavy metals, the Gulf still has a lot of oil, and the many different hydrocarbons may have unpredictable impacts.
Coffee’s not just a mood-boosting addiction: That complex chemistry could help with diabetes, dementia, heart disease, cancer.
Urban farms are sprouting in the most unlikely places. Advocates say they help with nutrition, obesity and job training. They build community and help immigrants assimilate, cut energy usage, and cool the planet. But does the reality match the claims? Food is flowing, but what’s new with farming in the city?
Fruit flies have a signaling pathway that helps them choose protein or carbohydrate, depending on the situation. The switch, which is also implicated in aging and cancer, exists in a wide variety of animals, including you. Does a new study explain why so many cultures eat rice and beans?
People have been controlling fermentation for at least 9,000 years. What were the ancients brewing, and how did alcohol change society?
Happy Thanksgiving! We celebrate eating — and food. Hungry: Is that your “food clock” ringing? Why does a fruitfly need to smell? How does bitter taste to you? And could eating MSG make you fat?
After World War II, the “green revolution” sparked an explosion in farm output in developing countries. With soaring food prices and spreading food riots, what can we learn from the green revolution?
Using a chemical reaction that changes color when specific chemicals are present, a new “dipstick” may detect spoilage better than the human nose.