In Pictures: Fried-egg Art

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Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients

3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
2 cups water
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 Tbsp curry powder
4 lemon slices, for serving

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
  2. In large pot, heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium heat, add garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add cauliflower, water, broth, and 1/4 tsp salt. Reserve a couple of florets of cauliflower for garnish, if desired. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, until cauliflower is tender.
  4. Stir in lemon juice. Puree soup in batches in blender or with handheld immersion blender. Keep warm.
  5. Toss chickpeas with 1/4 tsp salt, curry powder and remaining oil on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes, or until crispy.
  6. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with chickpeas and (optional) reserved cauliflower florets. Drizzle with additional olive oil and serve with lemon for seasoning.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Alive magazine

Video: Foraging a Wild Lunch

When most of us are hungry for lunch, we pick up supplies at the grocery store or stop by the nearby cafe with the best lunch specials. Nick Spero? He heads into the wilderness.

Watch video at You Tube (3:35 minutes) . . . . .

Cheap Eggs Are Ruining the Cage-Free Movement

Shruti Singh wrote . . . . . .

The great American egg glut keeps claiming victims, among them millions of hens that won’t be moving anytime soon into lodgings spacious enough for what they lay to be called “cage free.”

This was supposed to be a golden-goose designation, after the likes of McDonald’s Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. pledged to switch to eggs from birds able to actually spread their wings. Farmers stepped up to provide cage-free products, but buyers haven’t materialized in the anticipated droves, or anything close.

“It’s been bad,” said Marcus Rust, chief executive officer of Seymour, Indiana-based Rose Acre Farms Inc., the second-largest U.S. egg producer. It spent $250 million over four years to upgrade conditions; today about 20 percent of its hens are cage free. And now, Rust said, “we are shutting our construction program down.”

The whole industry is slowly climbing out of a period of losses, which sets up a sort of chicken-and-egg predicament: Many farmers are too strapped at the moment to build facilities they may need in a few years, when — some skeptics say if — big buyers make good on their cage-free promises.

Few “are in a hurry to make the transition,” said Jesse Laflamme, CEO of Pete and Gerry’s Organics in Monroe, New Hampshire. Farmers aren’t sure which way to turn or how fast. “It’s going to be turbulent.”

Price Gap

The cage-free revolution looked big not long ago. Eggs from hens that aren’t so cooped up taste better by some accounts. They’re also a salve for shoppers interested in more-humane treatment of the animals that stock supermarkets. A cage-free bird isn’t exactly allowed to run wild in the open but does get more room. At Rose Acre, she has 144 square inches of space, while a squeezed sister in a traditional setting is confined to 67. Consumer sentiment seemed clear.

Then came the glut, and now the regular variety is too darn cheap for many to resist. A dozen cage-free large browns cost as much as $2.99 in the Midwest last week, for example, while a carton of Grade AA white conventionals went for as little as 39 cents, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

That “higher-price gap,” as Cal-Maine Foods Inc. CEO Dolph Baker called it, has cut into specialty-egg demand. The company, the largest U.S. egg producer, said earlier this month it is adjusting its cage-free output accordingly.

The egg oversupply built up after the 2015 avian-flu outbreak killed tens of millions of chickens, sent prices soaring and spurred aggressive restocking. At the same time, some producers started expanding hens’ living quarters. A California law that year required eggs sold in the state to be laid by chickens whose confinement allows them to lie down, stand up, extend their limbs and turn around. McDonald’s and Wal-Mart said they’d aim to make the cage-free shift by 2025. Others in the business of acquiring wholesale eggs set similar goals.

McDonald’s, Disney

Some pledgers, such as food-service providers Sodexo Inc. and Aramark, are well along the way to completely converting to cage-free for eggs in shells in the U.S., according to the advocacy group Compassion in World Farming. It said in a recent report that others, including Marriott International Inc. and Walt Disney Co., haven’t made public how they’re progressing. McDonald’s, which buys around 2 billion eggs every year in the U.S., is on track to meet its 2025 mark, the company said.

Eggs purchased in the U.S. by Disney’s parks, resorts and cruise line are cage-free, the company said in response to questions from Bloomberg. Wal-Mart declined to comment, and Marriott didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The cage-free population may continue topping demand through at least 2020, according to government and industry estimates. By 2026, the U.S. would need some 223 million cage-free hens to meet all the commitments, up from less than 50 million now. The cost to get there could be more than $4 billion, said Sam Kaufman, director of pre-construction services for Summit Livestock Facilities, which built some of Rose Acre’s bigger barns.

The producer, which started turning a profit in September after 15 months in the red, is finishing work on these types of barns in Indiana and Arizona and mothballing another Arizona project, Rust, the CEO, said. Then it’ll wait, for as long as it takes. “We are going to be in a holding mode until retail pays a warranted price.”

Source: Bloomberg

Good Lifestyle Choices Add Years to Your Life

Change your lifestyle, change your life span.

That’s the claim of a new study that found not smoking, watching your weight and continuing to learn new things could help you live longer.

And genes play a part in the lifestyle choices people make, according to researchers at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

“The power of big data and genetics allow us to compare the effect of different behaviors and diseases in terms of months and years of life lost or gained, and to distinguish between mere association and causal effect,” researcher Jim Wilson said in a university news release. But this study didn’t prove that lifestyle choices cause life span to shorten or lengthen.

For the study, scientists analyzed genetic information from more than 600,000 people in North America, Europe and Australia to determine how genes affect life span.

For example, certain genes are associated with increased alcohol consumption and addiction, the study authors explained.

Smoking and traits associated with lung cancer had the greatest effect on shortening life expectancy. The researchers determined that smoking a pack of cigarettes each day over a lifetime leads to an average loss of seven years of life.

But the good news was that smokers who quit the habit lived as long as people who never smoked, according to the report.

The investigators also found that body fat and other factors linked to diabetes reduce life expectancy. For every excess 2.2 pounds a person carries, life expectancy is cut by two months, the findings showed.

People who are open to new experiences and who have higher levels of learning also tend to live longer, the researchers said. Every year spent studying beyond school added almost a year to a person’s life span.

Wilson and colleagues also found that differences in a gene that affects blood cholesterol levels can reduce life span by around eight months, and differences in a gene linked to the immune system can add about half a year to life expectancy.

The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.

Source: Health Day


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