food

Oscillator

Tag archives for food

Microbial Landscapes

The Harvard Microbial Sciences Initiative Graduate Consortium hosted a fun workshop during the January term where students learned about microscopy by taking some amazing pictures of food microbes. The images taken with the scanning electron microscope of sauerkraut, kombucha, and some stinky cheeses show beautiful and complex landscapes made by and of microbes. Sauerkraut is…

Food for Thought

Industrial food production separates us from our food, increasing the distance from living thing to food product. As factories continue to import corn and export almost everything we eat, writers like Michael Pollan urge us to eat “real” food, and projects like the Slow Food movement have gained over 100,000 members who strive to preserve…

Designer Foods

There’s a neat article in the Guardian today about designing new foods with genetic engineering and biotechnology. Food, science, and design are intertwined from how we grow our food to how we eat it, from microwavable dinners to three-star molecular gastronomy at El Bulli. Designers like Oron Catts and James King who explore the possible…

Seedlessness

Thanks to some informative comments on my post about figs and wikipedia my knowledge of botany is slowly improving and my admiration of figs steadily increasing. Many species of figs are pollinated by symbiotic wasps, but there are other fig varieties that develop edible, seedless figs through a process called parthenocarpy. A dominant mutation in…

Edible Symbiosis

A delightful lunch conversation about fruits introduced me to what may be my new favorite symbiotic relationship! Figs are not actually fruits but a mass of inverted flowers and seeds that are pollinated by a species of tiny symbiotic wasps. The male fig flower is the only place where the female wasp can lay her…

Science is cooking done in a lab. Mixing carefully (or not so carefully) measured components, heating, cooling, observing phase transitions, exploring the behavior of animal and plant proteins, exploring the properties of different chemicals, slowly changing variables to optimizing procedures. Often, feeding bacteria has a lot in common with feeding people, and I have to…

A recent New York Times article tells us that what many people call food allergies are actually simple intolerances, and that allergies are being dangerously overdiagnosed. What is a true food allergy, and what can be done to fix them besides banning peanuts from schools and avoiding foods that make us itchy? Allergies are caused…