Hong Kong Baker’s Protest-themed Cake Disqualified from International Contest

Christy Leung, Phoebe Zhang and Kathleen Magramo wrote . . . . . . . . .

A Hong Kong baker’s protest-themed cake was disqualified from an international cake competition in Britain after a contestant from mainland China lodged a complaint about the message it carried.

The baker from 3rd Space Cafe in Sheung Wan received an email on Saturday from Cake International, organiser of the event in Birmingham, which said the entry had been removed from the competition area. The Post has seen the email.

“The content and message behind the cake has been viewed as offensive and [it] led to complaints from attendees, therefore the decision has been taken to withdraw it from the competition,” it said.

An employee from the cafe said they were “surprised that the British organiser would give in”.

“There are many artworks around the world that talk about different social problems or even politics,” he said.

The employee said the baker, who did not want to be named, had joined the competition to fulfil her cake art aspirations and to “express her deepest concerns over what happened in her home”.

The giant square cake featured a sugarcrafted black bauhinia, a dozen yellow helmets, umbrellas, and a Guy Fawkes mask – symbols of Hong Kong’s ongoing anti-government protests, which were sparked in June by the now-withdrawn extradition bill.

There was also a sugarcrafted protester wearing a black shirt, goggles and a yellow helmet, while an umbrella also featured in the middle of the cake along with the slogan “Five demands, not one less”.

But Cake International cited an entirely different reason on its Facebook page for disqualifying the entry from Hong Kong. It said the cake was “oversized”.

It cited the rules of the contest: “No part of the exhibit can overhang the allowed area. Oversized exhibits will be disqualified.”

According to the rules of Cake International on its webpage, all dummy cakes and exhibits must be on a board between 1.27cm and 3.81cm (0.5 to 1.5 inches) in thickness.

The size of the disqualified entry could not be verified by press time. But the organiser’s Facebook post instantly drew sharp reactions from many Hongkongers.

One comment read: “Thank you for allowing China censorship to spread to the whole world.”

Another said: “If someone is threatening to damage a cake, you … ban them, not ban the cake.”

The cake also drew wide media attention after its removal from the competition. Cake International’s Facebook post addressing the disqualification received nearly 5000 “angry emoji” responses.

Many people also wrote messages of support on 3rd Space Cafe’s Instagram page, such as: “You are the number one in my heart already.”

Another contestant at the event, Chen Yao from Zhejiang province on the mainland, confirmed to the Post that she had filed a complaint with the organiser about the entry from Hong Kong.

“We are actively asking the organiser to disqualify this item, because whether we win or not, we cannot let this happen,” Chen said in a video clip she posted on popular Chinese social media platform Weibo on Friday.

The 3rd Space entry was disqualified the next morning and withdrawn from display by the afternoon.

Chen told the Post the competition should be “purely based on cultural expression and art skills”.

“We can exchange skills, culture and insights. We can have different opinions. But it is unacceptable to allow people with ulterior political motives to create art under the guise of ‘freedom’, ” she said.

Commenting on it, an employee from 3rd Space said: “I am not surprised that people from mainland China might feel offended as the movement has been named the ‘Hong Kong independence’ movement, though none of the five demands of the Hongkongers has anything to do with that.”

Source: SCMP

Orange Ginger Garlic Beef


1-1/2 lbs lean beef, cut into thin strips
5 pieces dried orange peel or 2 tsp orange zest and 2 tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
7 or 8 broccoli florets
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar or Chinese black vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp dark soy sauce
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups vegetable oil for deep frying
3 tbsp grated ginger root
1 tbsp minced garlic


  1. Spread beef on a baking sheet lined with paper towels and allow to dry thoroughly in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, soak orange peel (if using) in 2 tbsp warm water for 5 minutes or until just soft. Drain, reserving liquid. Set aside.
  3. Blanch broccoli in boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Set aside.
  4. In small bowl, combine sugar, vinegar, orange peel liquid or orange juice concentrate, salt and soy sauce. Mix well and set aside.
  5. In a plastic bag, toss beef with cornstarch until thoroughly coated.
  6. In a wok over medium-high heat, heat oil until just smoking. Fry beef in batches until crispy golden brown, about 3 minutes.
  7. With a slotted spoon, transfer beef onto a paper towel and keep warm.
  8. Drain all but 1 tbsp oil from wok. Add orange peel or zest, ginger root and garlic. Cook, briefly to extract flavors. Add vinegar-soy sauce mixture, bring to a boil and cook until the sauce becomes caramelized and syrupy in appearance.
  9. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
  10. Add beef, stir-fry to coat with the sauce.
  11. Serve immediately, garnished with broccoli florets.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: New World Chinese Cooking

The NaSu Burger

Andreas Herzig wrote . . . . . . . . .

Vegan products should be all about being natural and sustainable!

The trend to vegan meat replacers has two drivers – personal well-being and sustainability. At FST, as manufacturer of sustainable and natural functional ingredients from food waste, we automatically look more at the sustainability aspect of veganism.

Many of the meat alternatives in the market focus a lot on being meat look-alikes and feel-alikes. A lot of brainpower has gone into how to best mimic meat products. In our view this misses the point of veganism or flexitarianism completely. People trying to avoid meat for sustainability reasons do not necessarily want to eat something that mimics meat. What’s more, the processing steps required to make plant protein look and feel like meat eat into the sustainability advantage of a vegan meal vs meat.

It is this very aspect that drove us to come up with our own vegan burger patty – The NaSu Burger. Funny Name – yet is describes exactly what we have done. We have created a fully natural and sustainable burger patty using a lot of our sustainable vegetable fibres and oil meal flours. In addition we use millet as grain to enable us to do completely without soy and wheat proteins. Not using soy is helping our environment (look at the fires in Brazil right now) and avoiding wheat makes The NaSu accessible to coeliacs. Millet delivers calories and a lot of nutrients in a very efficient way.

Even though we never tried to make a meat analogue, The NaSu looks a lot like meat and has a very similar bite thanks to the grains and proteins used. The product comes as a dry blend to which water and vegetable oil is being added at the point of production. This makes transport more sustainable compared to shipping finished patties from a few central factories. The NaSu can be frozen without loss of quality.

Source: Linkedin

Egg Yolk: An Unlikely Aid for Wound Healing

Egg yolk is high in nutrients that can enhance wound healing, such as zinc and protein.

In the past, eggs have gotten a bad rap, and many people avoid the yolk specifically due to warnings of high contents of cholesterol. However, despite decades of back-and-forth arguments over whether this food is good or bad for people’s health, the medical community has largely come to an agreement: When eaten in moderation, egg yolk provides great health benefits, and recent studies have shown that it can even improve wound healing.

As the Mayo Clinic reports, one large egg contains around 186 milligrams of cholesterol all within the yolk. However, eating eggs does not cause a substantial negative effect on blood cholesterol compared to trans and saturated fats. With that in mind, people of good health should eat no more than seven eggs per week to maintain good heart health (though those with diabetes should consult a clinician before including eggs in their diet).

When it comes to wound healing, the great benefits of egg yolk come largely from its high content of zinc, as the North Carolina Egg Association points out. This element not only assists in the production of new tissue but also strengthens the immune system, which can help defend the body against infection. Egg yolk is also abundant in protein, which is essential to cellular development and the creation of new tissue.

Egg yolk as a topical oil

Eating eggs isn’t the only way to obtain these healing benefits. A study published in the Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal examined the effect of egg yolk oil when applied to healing wounds on participants recovering from third degree burns. The results showed that the application of yolk oil on burns led to faster healing time and less scarring. While further studies to demonstrate just how this oil contributes to healing are still necessary, the findings suggest that yolk oil may someday be a common part of wound care.

Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care supplies to patients, delivering to both homes and long-term care facilities.

Source: Advanced Tissue

Study: Common Early Sign of Cardiovascular Disease Also May Indicate Cancer Risk

Jay Furst wrote . . . . . . . . .

A Mayo Clinic-led study involving 488 cardiac patients whose cases were followed for up to 12 years finds that microvascular endothelial dysfunction, a common early sign of cardiovascular disease, is associated with a greater than twofold risk of cancer.

The study, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, finds that microvascular endothelial dysfunction may be a useful marker for predicting risk of solid-tumor cancer, in addition to its known ability to predict more advanced cardiovascular disease, says Amir Lerman, M.D., a Mayo Clinic cardiologist and the study’s senior author.

“The study demonstrated that noninvasive vascular function assessment may predict the future development of cancer,” says Dr. Lerman, who is director of cardiovascular research at Mayo Clinic. “More studies are needed, but assessment of vascular function potentially may predict individuals at risk.”

Microvascular endothelial dysfunction involves damage to the walls of small arteries in the heart, which affects their ability to expand and limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood. Hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes are among the causes, and symptoms of dysfunction include chest pain. The condition is treatable but difficult to detect.

The study reviewed the cases of 488 patients who underwent microvascular endothelial function assessment at Mayo Clinic between 2006 and 2014. The noninvasive procedure, called reactive hyperemia peripheral arterial tonometry, measures blood flow to the fingers during blood pressure inflation and release.

Dysfunction was defined as a tonometry index at or below 2, and the median follow-up period was six years. Of 221 patients identified as having dysfunction, 9.5% were diagnosed with solid-tumor cancer during the follow-up period. This compared with 3.7% of patients who had a tonometry index above 2. The findings were consistent after adjusting for age, gender, coronary artery disease and other factors.

The association between microvascular endothelial dysfunction and cancer was independent but more prominent among men and in patients with factors such as hypertension, significant coronary artery disease, smoking and obesity.

“This abnormal vasoreactivity should alert clinicians not only to the risk of cardiovascular disease but to malignancy, as well,” Dr. Lerman says. “This risk prediction appears to precede the development of disease by more than five years.”

Patients with microvascular endothelial dysfunction tend to have other health issues, as well, and that may have drawn more medical attention to these patients, resulting in higher levels of incidental detection of cancer, according to the study. Whether improvement in dysfunction translates into a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer remains to be determined.

“Similarly, the mechanism underlying the association between microvascular endothelial dysfunction and cancer needs to be defined in future studies,” Dr. Lerman says.

Source: Mayo Clinic

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