The Waning Days of Summer…

The endless and carefree days of summer are quickly waning !  As you may have noticed, these past couple of blog posts have been short and sweet so that I can focus on preparing to go back to school!  But have no fear, there are plenty of awesome surprises planned for the fall of 2013 at Project Lunchbox!  Stay tuned for easy ways to give your lunchbox a “face lift” and be on the lookout for the unveiling of a new type of post, “Ingredient Spotlights” which will highlight the latest and greatest super foods!

I hope that you enjoy the quote this week.   As always, I would love to hear your thoughts!  I hope that everyone has an amazing start to school, and a year full of fun and adventures!

“The ninety-nine cent price of a fast-food hamburger simply doesn’t take account of that meal’s true cost–to soil, oil, public health, the public purse, etc., costs which are never charged directly to the consumer but, indirectly and invisibly, to the taxpayer (in the form of subsidies), the health care system (in the form of food-borne illnesses and obesity), and the environment (in the form of pollution), not to mention the welfare of the workers in the feedlot and the slaughterhouse and the welfare of the animals themselves.”

-Michael Pollan

Until Next Week… Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie 🙂

Eat Your Veggies (Read Here to Find Out Why!)

As promised last week, here’s another of my favorite quotes.

“There are scores of studies demonstrating that a diet rich in vegetables and fruits reduces the risk of dying from all the Western diseases; in countries where people eat a pound or more of vegetables and fruits a day, the rate of cancer is half what is in the United States.”

-Michael Pollan

Yes, you read that correctly.  ALL Western diseases… so eat your fruit and veggies!

Until Next Week… Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie 🙂

Anna Lappé and Food MythBusters

This week, I wanted to get the word out about an upcoming film from Anna Lappé & Food MythBusters, which will be released this coming fall.  After watching the teaser, it is my understanding that the goal of the film is to uncover and unmask the processed food industries’ commitment (and obsession) with advertising their products throughout a child’s lifetime.  According to Anna Lappé, these so called big food companies spend approximately $2 billion per year on advertising directed at kids and teens.  Ms. Lappé states that these big food companies hope to create a sort of “cradle to grave” advertising campaign so that kids will become addicted to their products for a prolonged period of time.  Below, you’ll find the movie trailer.  Please let me know what you think of it!

Until Next Week… Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie 🙂

Code Name ‘Googleburger’

Think the Google Glasses are mind boggling?  You ain’t seen nothing yet.  Sergey Brin, one of Google’s ultra rich co-founders, financed the research and ingenuity put forth in creating and preparing the world’s first “cultured beef” burger (note:  although he’s providing financial backing, this is not a Google project).  The artificial beef patty was on display in London just a couple of days ago, and it has recently been unveiled that the “experiment” cost more than $360,000… cha-ching, cha-ching!  Throughout the process, Brin has taken the opportunity to reflect upon how conventional meat is grown in this country, and he has commented on how the growing world population is inevitably going to affect the environment and our food supply.  In a video statement, Brin explained: “There are basically three things that can happen going forward – one is that we can all become vegetarian.  I don’t think that’s really likely.  The second is we ignore the issues and that leads to continued environmental harm and the third option is we do something new” (McDermott).

And this new thing presented itself in the form of a “cultured beef” burger, constructed by Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University, which is located in the Netherlands.  The first step in this process is extracting cells from cows, in this case, two cows living on organic farms.  One sample of cells originated from a Blanc Blue Belge cow’s muscle, and the other originated from a Blond Acquitaine cow’s muscle.  In order to extract these cells, a biopsy is performed on the animals.  After that, the cells sit in a nutrient broth where they are left to multiply.  Next, the substance is pulled and stretched out, and finally the strips of meat are combined with other ingredients to “burgerize” this non-traditional burger.  Added to the strips of meat were ordinary ingredients like breadcrumbs, egg powder, salt, and then some not so ordinary ingredients like saffron and red beetroot juice.  These final two ingredients were added to alter the appearance of the meat and make it look more appetizing and appealing to possible consumers (McDermott).

Creator Mark Post expressed his delight with his own invention: “I think it’s a very good start — it proved that we can do this, that we can make it. We are basically  catering towards letting beef-eaters eat beef in an environmentally ethical way.”  However, others weren’t so hopeful about the future of this artificial meat.  Nutritional scientist Hanni Rutzler said “I was expecting the texture to be more soft… I know there is no fat in it so I didn’t know how juicy it would be.  It’s close to meat. It’s not that juicy. The consistency is perfect (but) I miss salt and pepper!” (McDermott).

It will be interesting to see if this type of food engineering will change how the world eats in the future.  Who knows, maybe in a decade or so, these very same “cultured beef” burgers will be on sale at your local grocery store.  Or, perhaps the interest, funding, and support will quickly die out… people will be resistant to a change that is unnatural.

Finally, financial donor Sergey Brin, had this to say about his experiences with the ‘Googleburger:’  “Some people think this is science fiction – it’s not real, it’s somewhere out there. I actually think that’s a good thing” (McDermott).  Do you think that this type of food engineering is a good thing, or is it something that should stay in fantasy novels?

Until Next Week… Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie 🙂

Works Cited

McDermott, Nick; Reilly, Rachel; and Woollaston, Victoria.  “‘At least it tastes of meat!’: World’s first test-tube artificial beef ‘Googleburger’ gets GOOD review after it’s eaten for the first time.”  DailyMail.  5 August 2013:  Web.  Associated Newspapers Ltd.  6 August 2013. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2384715/At-tastes-meat–Worlds-test-tube-artificial-beef-Googleburger-gets-GOOD-review-eaten-time.html>