Unmasking France’s Violent Wine Extremists


You raise a glass of French wine and you think of the winemaker. You probably imagine someone with sun-soaked wrinkles, his hands as knotty as the vines he tends, sort of a knowing Mother Earth look about him. Maybe you picture him walking the vineyard, gently grazing his thick, worn knuckles against tender green leaves, cupping a cluster of violet-purple grapes, thinking of the vintage to come. Everything’s gorgeous. The sun is shining. He’s fine. You’re fine. You take a sip of his wine and he leaves his vineyard to go set an importer’s office on fire.
He is not fine. He’s a member of the Comité Régional d’Action Viticole. Also known as CRAV. A Languedoc-based French wine terrorism organization. Yes, there is absolutely such a thing.

vinepair.com

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18th Century Britain's Great Culinary Breakthrough: Mushroom Ketchup


Halfway through the process of making traditional mushroom ketchup, the dark and leaking fungi looked like a rotting puddle of chunky bog. Chopped, salted generously, left to sit for 24 hours, the pile of portobellos had given up their juice. After the first hour, the mushroom chunks were sitting in a shallow pool of brown liquid. Now they were bathing in it.
It seemed unlikely that this marshy mixture would lead to anything tasty. It was even harder to believe that this was the forebear of today’s sweet, sharp and gloopy tomato ketchup.

atlasobscura.com

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The price of LEDs is falling so fast it’s profitable to farm in a New Jersey nightclub


US agriculture has reached a tipping point: It’s now possible to buy greens grown indoors for the same price as those farmed in California fields thanks to the falling price of LEDs.
New Jersey-based AeroFarms is shipping arugula, kale, and spinach from a farm inside a former Newark nightclub to grocery shelves around New York City. Local ShopRites sell five ounces of AeroFarms’ greens for $3.99, the same price as EarthBound, an organic grower in California.

qz.com

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Genmais 1507 vor Zulassung in Europa


Pattsituation im EU-Rat - Entscheidung liegt somit bei der Kommission

Brüssel/Wien - Es ist eine sensible Frage für Konsumenten, die Bauern und die Politik. Und es ist ein klein wenig paradox: Im EU-Parlament gab es eine Mehrheit gegen den Genmais 1507 und voraussichtlich auch im zuständigen EU-Ministerrat, der heute abstimmt (abstimmen sollen die fachfremden Europaminister, weil ein Treffen der Agrarminister im Jänner ausgefallen ist, Anm.). Dennoch darf die gentechnisch veränderte Maissorte Pioneer 1507 aller Wahrscheinlichkeit nach demnächst in Europa angebaut werden.

derstandard.at

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Monsanto Is Going Organic in a Quest for the Perfect Veggie


In a windowless basement room decorated with photographs of farmers clutching freshly harvested vegetables, three polo-shirt-and-slacks-clad Monsanto execu­tives, all men, wait for a special lunch. A server arrives and sets in front of each a caprese-like salad—tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, lettuce—and one of the execs, David Stark, rolls his desk chair forward, raises a fork dramatically, and skewers a leaf. He takes a big, showy bite. The other two men, Robb Fraley and Kenny Avery, also tuck in. The room fills with loud, intent, wet chewing sounds.

wired.com

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Will Monsanto Become The NSA Of Agriculture?


Monsanto is best-known for its controversial use of genetically-modified organisms, and less well-known for being involved in the story of the defoliant Agent Orange (the company's long and involved story is well told in the book and film "The World According to Monsanto", by Marie-Monique Robin.) Its shadow also looms large over the current TPP talks: the USTR's Chief Agricultural Negotiator is Islam A. Siddiqui, a former lobbyist for Monsanto. But it would seem that the company is starting to explore new fields, so to speak; as Salon reports in a fascinating and important post, Monsanto is going digital:

Monsanto spent close to $1 billion to buy the Climate Corporation, a data analytics firm. Last year the chemical and seed company also bought Precision Planting, another high-tech firm, and also launched a venture capital arm geared to fund tech start-ups.</p>

techdirt.com

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Vorsicht vor Mineralöl in Nussschokolade


Mineralöl in Adventskalendern hat vergangenes Jahr für Furore gesorgt, jetzt droht Nusschokolade ein ähnliches Schicksal: Die Stiftung Warentest hat in vielen Tafeln Spuren von Mineralöl gefunden.

In Nussschokolade steckt laut der Stiftung Warentest oft Mineralöl. Die Tester haben in einer Untersuchung in fast allen geprüften Tafeln sogenannte aromatische Mineralöle nachgewiesen. Diese stehen zum Teil unter Krebsverdacht. Das Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung rät, die Stoffe in Lebensmitteln zu vermeiden. Die Substanzen stammen vermutlich aus den Verpackungen. Außerdem fanden die Warentester in allen 26 Schokoladen die als weniger kritisch geltenden gesättigten Mineralölfraktionen, berichtet die Zeitschrift „test“ (Ausgabe 12/2013).

focus.de

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5 Ways Monsanto Wants to Profit Off of Climate Change


Global warming could mean big business for controversial agriculture giant Monsanto, which announced last week it was purchasing the climate change-oriented startup Climate Corporation for $930 million.

Agriculture, which uses roughly 40 percent of the world's land, will be deeply affected by climate change in the coming years. In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted that warming will lead to pest outbreaks, that climate-related severe weather will impact food security, and that rising temperatures will hurt production for farms in equatorial areas.

motherjones.com

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Giant mushroom found in Polish forest


A massive mushroom has been found in a forest in north-western Poland.

The boletus, which weighs 3kg and has a diameter of 40cm, was found in the Bydgoszcz forest by a man from Ciechocinek.

bbc.co.uk

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Pasta-maker in hot water as rival posts pro-gay imagery on social media


Spaghetti wars have broken out in Italy as rivals of the world's leading pasta-maker were this weekend taking full advantage of a row over homophobia to promote their own pro-gay credentials.

Bertolli Germany has been posting pro-gay imagery on its social media feeds, pushing the slogan "Love and pasta for all" and encouraging the re-emergence of a 2009 advert that featured a male customer in a pasta restaurant falling for a handsome waiter.

theguardian.com

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First lab-grown hamburger gets full marks for 'mouth feel'


All it took was a little butter and sunflower oil and, in less than 10 minutes, the world's most expensive burger, grown from muscle stem cells in a lab, was ready to eat.

"I was expecting the texture to be more soft," said Hanni Rützler of the Future Food Studio, who researches food trends and was the first to get a taste of the synthetic beef hamburger at a lavish event in London on Monday that bore more resemblance to a TV set than a scientific press conference.

theguardian.com

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5 Surprising Genetically Modified Foods


By now, you've likely heard about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the controversy over whether they're the answer to world hunger or the devil incarnate. But for right now, let's leave aside that debate and turn to a more basic question: When you go to the supermarket, do you know which foods are most likely to be—or contain ingredients that are—genetically engineered? A handy FAQ:

motherjones.com

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