Here are some of the best food stories we came across this week:
- Bomb Sniffing Technology Used to Detect Ripe Produce – The same lab at MIT’s Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies that developed dog-level ultra-trace-sensing equipment for detecting the chemicals used in bombs is now being used to sniff out the chemical vapor signatures of ripe produce by measuring the trace amounts of ethylene gas being emitted, thus reducing food waste for grocers and other retailers.
- First Global Standards for Salmon Farming – A consortium of scientists, environmental agencies, governments and commercial fishing executives has developed the first set of universal standards for salmon farming. The process took eight years and a great deal of discussion and research. It entails 100 fish-farming standards, from the construction of cages to antibiotic use. These standards would allow certified aquaculture farms to use a label on packaging declaring the fish A.S.C. Certified.
- “Big Organic” has Become Unnatural – Has the organic movement become a victim of its own success? Organic food has become a wildly lucrative business for Big Food and a premium-price-means-premium-profit section of the grocery store. The industry’s image — contented cows grazing on the green hills of family-owned farms — is mostly pure fantasy. Or rather, pure marketing. Big Food, it turns out, has spawned what might be called Big Organic.
- Researchers Plot Roadmap for Protein-Induced Satiety – A study published in Cell has mapped out the complex chain reaction of signals that travel from the gut to the brain to cause feelings of satiety in the body after a protein-rich meal. It found stimulating certain receptors in a major blood vessel connected to the gut enhances food intake, while blocking them suppresses food intake; the researchers hope to use the data in the battle against obesity.
- Eating Smaller Pieces of Food Effects Consumption – A study presented at the conference in Zurich for the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior found that in college students and rats, after consuming food cut into smaller pieces, later calorie consumption decreased by about 25%. Some speculate eating smaller pieces tricks the mind into believing the body has consumed multiple portions.
Photo courtesy of Wonderlane.