Exclusive Awesome Photos: Penguins And Seals In Antarctica! »
My aunt and uncle, who wish to remain anonymous, recently took an incredible trip to Antarctica and snagged some insanely cool pictures of Antartic animals! Enjoy, and let’s all be grateful for amazing aunts and uncles!
I have no words for the glory that is these images. Who wants go to Antarctica together while it’s still frozen?!
My Life as a Turkey! Anyone seen it?? »
Has anyone seen My Life as a Turkey? It’s a documentary about this guy, Joe, who raises wild turkeys from hatchlings to adulthood. My friend Staci sent me an email about it last night and was all, “OMG AMAZING!!” but then also, “I didn’t see the whole thing.” STACI! Anyway, the full thing is on PBS’s Nature site, so uh, anyone want to watch it and tell me whether or not to tell Staci to watch the whole thing?
I just love the guy who does the voice over. “And became their turkey mother,” is probably my favorite. Or, ”The journal Joe kept of his life as a turkey ultimately became a book.” SO THAT’S HOW YOU GET A BOOK DEAL! Someone bring me a bowl of turkey eggs, I can do this. Also, I’ve got a feeling that this documentary is chock full of quotable tidbits. I wonder if Joe eats turkeys? Or did? Or still does? Also, does he successfully learn to talk turkey? Because I’m dying over here.
Here’s Joe and one of his turklets:
One more thing, when I was in Sea Ranch last year, I saw some wild turkeys flying and that shit was amazing. They are so fat! And yet they get major air! It gives me hope.
Eat less meat: Science says so! »
A study in Nature this week gives you a new round of paintballs to shoot at the non-vegan world in your mission to convince people that flesh-licking is for zombies. Basically, the researchers asked, “How the hell can we possibly feed the 9 billion people we’ll have on this planet by 2050?!?! FUCK!!!”
In a tiny little nugget of optimism, they found that it actually might be possible to do such a thing, IF we change a lot about how we deal with agriculture on this planet. That’s a huge if.
The team, from four different countries, looked at farm data and satellite images and probably went cross-eyed and bonkers and needed glasses from all the number-crunching.
They found that we could double food production AND reduce environmental impact, for only three easy payments, act now because this offer won’t last, if we:
- Stop clearing land for agriculture: We have enough land, we need to use it better.
- Catch the rest of the world up to the “developed” world in terms of crop yields (god help us, is that really a good idea?).
- Use fertilizer and other chemicals in a smart and frugal way.
- Stop throwing so much food out (a third of all food right now!).
- EAT LESS MEAT.
YES! The scientists actually say that moving toward plant-based diets will help end world hunger. According to one of the study’s authors, three-quarters of the world’s agricultural land is devoted to raising livestock, either for grazing or for growing feed.
So put that in your quiver. It’s not like scientific conclusions sway many minds (see: climate change), but it’s nice to know we’re right, you know?
I grew mushrooms, and you can too! »
Look what I made! It’s oyster mushrooms, growing out of a box, and heading straight for my belly!
The box, as you may or may not be able to tell from my crappy, grainy photo (sorry) is a kit from Back to the Roots. The kit is pretty rad and makes growing fungus on top of your refrigerator a miraculous joy instead of just a gross accident, like it normally would be.
The whole thing started right at U.C. Berkeley in 2009, when a pair of students figured out they could become rich and famous by selling people kits to grow mushrooms on coffee grounds.
I first encountered these kits in an earlier iteration for sale at Berkeley Hort in mid-2010. I bought one for my man for his birthday, but you had to collect your own coffee grounds and we only drink a little coffee, so that took forever. By the time we had enough, the mushroom spore/coffee mixture had molded; it was a messy disaster.
Fast-forward to this year’s VegFest Colorado in Boulder, which I will remind you is 1,250 miles from Berkeley. Lo and behold, there was a Back to the Roots booth! This stuff had gone global (or at least regional)! I told the lady at the table about my sad, gloppy failure, and she was totally puzzled. See, now the kits come pre-loaded with coffee grounds (they come from Peet’s), and is much fancier and easier. She gave me a free one so I could try again and write this review.
Well, VegFest lady, it took me forever but I have tried, and I have conquered, and I say to the pink dinosaur-loving masses, go grow thee some mushrooms!
Step 1 involves slitting open the bag of mushroom spores (white) and coffee grounds (black) and soaking them in water for 24 hours. The water turned all dark like coffee; it was kind of gross, but not really that bad.
Next, you put the bag back in the box, put the box in a spot with indirect light, and keep the whole thing moist by misting it twice a day. For nearly a week, it looked like NOTHING was happening. Then BAM, it was like super-speed.
See all those little shroomies poking out on the right of the opening? I’d leave for a few hours, and when I came back, they would be noticeably bigger. Every time! It was like The Peanut Butter Solution. SO COOL!
I harvested a batch and they were tasty. I’m going to see if more grow, then I’m going to flip the kit over and open the other side and do it again. I’ll update if there’s more news. Home-grown mushrooms. Love ‘em.