Video: London Vegetable Orchestra

Playing “The Bare Necessities” using instruments made with vegetables.

Watch video at You Tube (1:18 minutes) . . . . .

China’s New Dietary Guidelines Could Be Good News For The Climate

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Jeremy Deaton wrote . . . . .

Chinese food has fans around the world, but in China it’s creating a problem. A recent study found obesity and other diet-related diseases are skyrocketing.

Recently, the Chinese government took a major step to reverse that trend by issuing a new set of dietary guidelines.

While dietary experts will weigh in on the nutritional aspects, buried in the pages is a recommendation with potentially huge implications for climate change.

The Chinese Ministry of Health is urging citizens to limit meat and egg intake to 200 grams daily. They are advising individuals to eat more fish and chicken and less red meat. Currently, China’s per capita meat and egg consumption amounts to around 300 grams per day, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. (National Geographic put together a detailed, interactive country by country breakdown of these data.)

While widespread adoption of a protein-rich, Western-style diet is fueling a surge in diet-related ailments, increased meat consumption among China’s burgeoning middle class is also a big contributor to climate change.

It’s difficult to predict what effect the new guidelines will have on global warming. That depends on a number of variables — how many people follow the recommendations, the proportion of red meat versus fish and poultry consumed, etc. Also, because many Chinese people currently consume less than recommended maximum amounts, not every individual will necessarily eat less meat.

That being said, here is rough idea of how the recommendations might impact global carbon emissions.

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If every man, woman and child followed the guidelines, meat and egg consumption in China would be reduced by about a third. According to the U.N., as of 2005, livestock accounted for the equivalent of 445 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions there annually. Using the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator, cutting those livestock-related carbon emissions by a third would have roughly the same effect as taking 93 million cars off the road.

These are back-of-the envelope calculations, but they get at the order of magnitude of the potential change. China’s new dietary guidelines, if followed by the population, could dramatically reduce the food-related greenhouse gas emissions of the world’s biggest polluter.

Similar measures have been met with resistance in the United States. Last year, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommended Americans eat less red meat and avoid processed meat products like hot dogs and beef jerky. In the final draft of the U.S. dietary guidelines, the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services lumped in red meat with fish and poultry, contrary to the advice of the committee.

Source: Climate Progress

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Rosemary-Rubbed Duck Breast with Apricots


3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 (3/4-pound) duck breasts, skinned and halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup champagne or white wine vinegar
5 apricots, quartered


  1. Combine the first 4 ingredients. Rub the rosemary mixture over duck. Cover and chill 2 hours. Rinse duck with cold water; pat dry.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add duck, and cook for 5 minutes on each side or until done.
  3. Remove duck from pan. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  4. Combine the granulated sugar and vinegar in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Cook until thick and amber-colored (about 5 minutes).
  5. Add apricots. Reduce heat, and cook for 1 minute or until the apricots begin to soften.
  6. Cut duck diagonally across the grain into slices. Serve with caramelized apricots.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Cooking Light Magazine

In Pictures: Ramens of Asian Noodle Shops in America

Sun-exposure Sensor

Nidhi Subbaraman wrote . . . . .

MC10, the Lexington maker of peel-off, stick-on wearable sensors that cling to skin like tattoos, has announced the first product to emerge from its partnership with L’Oreal, the world’s largest maker of cosmetics.

“My UV Patch” measures UV radiation from the sun and is MC10’s second commercial product, following the Reebok CheckLight, a sensor-embedded skullcap worn by athletes to measure the intensity of impacts to the head.

The UV patch “looks like a second skin,” said Guive Balooch, global vice president of L’Oreal Technology Incubator. L’Oreal is testing the product with plans to begin selling it later this year, the two companies are expected to announce Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The companies did not disclose the price.

Shaped like a heart and thinner than a strand of hair, the patch won’t beep a warning if you’ve been in the sun too long. Rather, a dye on the surface changes color with increasing sun exposure. The patch is paired with a smartphone app that reads the color change, then tells wearers how their exposure compares to levels deemed healthy.

The patch is waterproof and can be worn up to five days, according to the company. It will also work when slathered with a layer of sunscreen.

Source: The Boston Globe

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