WU reader Nicole Cushing would like to alert us to a new piece of fiction of hers that seems designed to click with our sensibilities. She tells us, "HOW TO EAT FRIED FURRIES is set in a world where farmers raise furries as livestock."
Scientists have a history of accomplishing what was once thought impossible, be it walking on the moon, splitting the atom or alleviating pain and disease. But now they may have discovered something that will eclipse all that has come before; scientists are on the verge of making chocolate better! A team lead by Dr. Siela Maximova from Pennsylvania State University has pieced together the genetic code of the cacao tree, and not just any cacao tree but the Criollo variety that is widely recognised to produce the very best chocolate. Because of its poor disease resistance, Criollo is almost entirely ignored in favour of hybrid varieties that yield more – if inferior – beans, but Maximova et al hope their work will enable the development of new, elite strains of cacao (News.com.AU).
Meanwhile, here is someone who is taking the chocolate maker’s art way too literally. Jean Zaun of Fredericksburg in Pennsylvania uses a mixture of dark and white chocolate, food colouring and confectioner’s glaze to recreate famous works of art, including the frames, in a deliciously edible form. Her subjects have included the works of Van Gogh, Munch and Da Vinci, as well as a portrait of Ozzy Osborne commissioned by his wife. While the chocolate artworks are edible, Zaun believes they should be souvenirs rather than snacks. “They are meant to be consumed by the eye, not the stomach.” Zaun Explained (Daily Mail).
And the misuse of materials won’t stop there, at least not if Dr. Peter Eisner of the Fraunhofer Institute gets his way. Concerned that meat consumption is both unhealthy and bad for the environment, Dr. Eisner has started looking for ways to supplement or replace animal products with vegetable equivalents. His first success is a milk substitute derived from lupins that can even be used to make cheese, meanwhile co-worker Daniela Sussmann has extracted a protein from the seeds gives low-fat sausages more of the sensation of their unadulterated competition. Eisner reckons that our ever growing appetite for meat could one day be disastrous, arguing that the resources needed to produce 1 kilo of meat could instead yield 80 to 100 kilos of fruit or vegetables (Softpedia).
Rumination is the practice of bringing food back up from the stomach after it's been swallowed, rechewing it, and then swallowing it again. When cows do this, it's called "chewing the cud." When humans do it habitually, it's considered to be an eating disorder. The Wikipedia article on Rumination Syndrome tells us:
The disorder has been historically documented as affecting only infants, young children, and people with cognitive disabilities (where the prevalence is as high as 10% in institutionalized patients with various mental disabilities). Today it is being diagnosed in increasing numbers of otherwise healthy adolescents and adults, though there is a lack of awareness of the condition by doctors, patients and the general public.
But in an article by Johns Hopkins psychiatrist Leo Kanner, "Historical Notes on Rumination in Man" (Medical Life, 45, 1936) we learn a strange factoid. Kanner writes:
It is, indeed, a curious fact that not less than fourteen physicians are known to have been habitual ruminators. This is especially interesting in the light of the statistical evidence of the extreme rarity of this condition.
Kanner's list of ruminating physicians begins with a 17th century medical student who reported that rumination was "sweeter than honey and accompanied by a more delightful relish." The most famous name on the list is the 19th century French physician Edouard Brown-Séquard who developed a rumination problem after conducting a series of self-experiments in which he repeatedly swallowed a sponge and tried to vomit it back up.
Kanner's list was written in 1936, so it's possible there are now more ruminating physicians that could be added to it. Why physicians would ruminate in greater number than members of other professions, I have no idea.
Sorry for posting another video from the same people so soon, but I couldn't resist. I can understand how a bird in a bird in a bird in a bird in a bird in a pig might not be appetizing to many people, but I think everyone can enjoy this video. It answers the age old question, "What if I made Sushi with bacon instead of seaweed?" Enjoy.