TED Talks About Sustainability, Agriculture, Gardening, and (duh) Food

I have mixed feelings about TED Talks. I think they can be generally inaccesible because of ticket prices and locations (that problem is being addressed via YouTube videos, which is an improvement). I think they can be a bit biased (I have yet to find anything aruging for genetically engineered foods). I also think they cater towards a more “educated” set of people (I also think “educated” is relative). I find that some speakers are just flat out super pleased with themselves.

However, I also think they’re interesting. I think it would be an interesting experiment to use the talks in schools to facilitate discussions in class. I think it would be interesting to show one to your family to make holiday dinners even more tense (but at least the arguments are less personal). I think they make you think.

Here are a couple that I’ve watched recently that I have my own opinions about. I won’t share them because, let’s be honest, this isn’t the place for my opinions. But you might like some of them. Or hate some of them. It’s up to you and your brain.

Jennifer 8. Lee hunts for General Tso (If you watch any of these, watch this one. It’s fantastic.)

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A Discovery and An Apology

Oh goodness.

I’ve been really busy. I don’t want to make excuses, but have you ever noticed how when it rains, it pours? Well, I’ve got some good rain going on. Jobs, blogs, twitters, and facebooks galore. But today I’m going to get back to what I love. This blog, right hurr.

So please forgive my inactivity. It shall be remedied.

This is not what I've been doing. I would never drink a Bud Light.

While I will be posting the conclusion to Goat’s Milk and It’s Cheesy Story in a few days, I wanted to share this first. It’s my dream museum.

It’s the Museum of Food and Drink in New York City.

Here is the museum’s mission, as posted on their website:

“The Museum of Food and Drink is a private, nonprofit, corporation dedicated to educating its visitors about the history, culture, production, commerce and science of food. The museum’s goal is to become the country’s best food educator -an establishment that encourages a well-rounded understanding of what we eat and why we eat it. This is a museum everyone can and should appreciate: Food is culture, and The Museum of Food and Drink shows why.”

This is exactly what I dream my blog will be one day. I’m jealous that they were much better at wording their intentions than I was.

I’m excited about this. The museum isn’t open yet, but they’re getting themselves ready for it. They want themselves to be the Smithsonian of food. I want them to be, too.

Keep eating and asking, my friends.


Goat’s Milk and It’s Cheesy Story: Part II

DISCLAIMER: This post is information and science heavy and probably a little overwhelming. However, interspersed are pictures of baby goats being adorable, as well as some great Photoshops (if I do say so myself), a la my wonderful Lebrongoat. So take a minute to scroll through and check out the pictures and, if you are intrigued, take a read too.

Ah, milk. So vital to cheese making.

I found pages and pages of information on milk’s mythological and symbolic significance. First and foremost, it was “the essence of the mother goddess” (Andrews, 147). The mother goddess is depicted in many forms, most commonly a tree, woman, or cow. In each one she nourished kings, gods, and even the land with her milk.

Prehistoric depiction of the Mother Goddess - Venus of Willendorf (24,000-22,000 BC)

The tree form often has female attributes, i.e. numerous breasts. In an African legend, the tree provided milk to a tribal chief’s daughter so that she could feed her brother. A Scottish-Gaelic tale tells of a milk-giving tree that provided the Milk of Wisdom.

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By The Way: Philly Science Fest

After missing the first Philly Science Festival event I planned on going to (following directions – not my strong point), I made certain to get to Modified last night. It was a look at GMO’s and the future of food.

This was actually used in one of the PowerPoints. I thought it was hilarious.

Like most of the people there (I can make this assumption based on the questions asked after each panelist spoke, which may or may not be making an ass out of me), I expected the event to be a lecture against GMO’s. What it actually was was a wake up call. It focused on the lack of scientific evidence that GMO’s are harmful.

That was the first half. The second half was the ethical questions that usually make up the argument against them. The whole thing made me rethink my feelings about GM food. I’ll definitely be doing a post about them. Eventually.

I’m writing about it to point out the importance of attending events such as the Science Festival. It pushes you to think. Expand your horizons a little. Dive into some knowledge based clichés.

That being said, I’m totally looking forward to eating cheese and finding out how microbes play a role in the cheese making process at Di Bruno Bros tonight. My brain needs some recovery time.



Keep eating and asking, my friends.


Some Events I Missed

I was reading through all the events and I realized I missed some on my short write-up yesterday (shame on me!). Here they are:

Monday, April 18, 7pm – Drinking and Thinking: An Introduction to Biomedical Ethics

This one isn’t about food, but it’s being hosted at the South Philly Tap Room. Biomedical ethics refers to controversial medical situations such as genetic testing, end-of-life decision making, and embryonic stem cell research. Dominic Sisti, PhD will be presenting a lecture on the history and future of the topic. No reservations are required and it’s free. And the South Philly Tap Room is a great place to spend a little time. Here’s a link to the PSF event page.

Monday, April 18, 6pm – What Genomics Can Tell Us About Everyday Behaviors and Why These Behaviors Can Change

A mouth-full, right? This one isn’t specifically about food either, but it covers the subject of eating, along with biological rhythms, sleep, addiction, stress, and depression and how these behaviors can change. If you’re interested in the biological reasons of why we eat, it might be a good place to start. It’s a collaboration between the Penn Genome Frontiers Institute and the Franklin Institute and takes place in the Franklin Theater at the Institute. It’s free, but requires reservations. Here’s the link to the UPenn event description as well as a link to the PSF descritpion.

Tuesday, April 19, 6pm – An Electronic Nose

This is another collaboration between the Monell Center and the University of Pennsylvania. It’s a discussion about how nanotechnology can stimulate the smell receptors in the nose. No reservations are required and it’s free. It’s takes place at the Irish Pub on Walnut in Center City. Here’s the event link with directions.

My Exciting Discovery: Philadelphia Science Festival

Philadelphia is having its first ever Science Festival! April 15 – April 28!


Some of you may already know about it, but I didn’t. Boy, am I excited. I am a big science enthusiast, even if I’m not very good at it. In fact, it’s a dream of mine to be an elementary school science teacher. At least it was until I realized that I’m not as scientifically inclined as I would need to get through the schooling.


The most exciting part is that food science has a few featured events! And you’d be so right in thinking I’m about to list them all here and tell you what they’re about.

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