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News to Chew | 2009 | May

News to Chew

Taking a bite out of the world of food and food news

Archive for May, 2009

Amuse bouche: A taco isn’t a taco…

May 30, 2009 By: admin Category: Amuse Bouche

Amuse bouche: A taco isn’t a taco if it doesn’t have cotija cheese on it. It is the benchmark to which taco shacks should be graded.


Learning to make sushi at…Shedd Aquarium?

May 30, 2009 By: admin Category: Food News

OK, this just sounded weird  when it came across the NTC news desk: the Shedd Aquarium is offering up a class on how to make sushi – you know, like slicing up those pretty fishies that you spent admiring through the glass at the aquarium. Seems like after spending your time educating your guests on the fragile nature of the sea’s creatures, you maybe wouldn’t want to issue them a knife and let them go at it.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Shedd offers up this sushi class periodically, but it isn’t an exercise in brazen hypocrisy.

It’s a part of our Right Bite program that we have been conducting for 10 years,” said Kassia Perpich, the Shedd’s sustainable-seafood coordinator, who teaches about the damage that popular eating habits do to the world’s oceans. The Shedd’s program urges people to instead eat seafoods that remain plentiful in the wild. A chef from Plitt Seafood Co. will demonstrate how to prepare the Japanese dish of raw seafood, using Alaskan salmon and Dungeness crabmeat.

Oh, OK. We get it. Learn to respect the food you’re consuming and make responsible choices. But it still seems a little weird, the setting and all. Kinda like going to the San Diego Zoo to learn how to cook exotic game. Just a little…creepy. But the intention is good. We guess.

Just some news to chew on.

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Space Station Water: Tastes Like Piss

May 22, 2009 By: admin Category: Food News

Tastes like piss water. It typically is a derogatory way to describe derision for weak beer. But now, the astronauts of the International Space Station are saying it – and liking it! Because on Wednesday, May 20, three crew members took sips of recycled sweat and urine in a major milestone for the lab complex.

Really. They drank piss. Pee. Tinkle. Station commander Gennady Padalka, flight engineer Michael Barratt, and Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata held a brief toasting ceremony, touching drink bags, and sipping recycled water for the first time since laboratory analysis confirmed its purity and cleanliness.

Former space station science officer Donald Pettit told Barratt “we’re getting ready to toast some of yesterday’s coffee here with you guys.”

“That’s great to hear,” Barratt said. “We’re really fat with coffee up here, which is great for me, so we’re going to be drinking yesterday’s coffee frequently up here, and happy to do it…Here’s to all of you who made this happen.

The recycling system takes the combined urine of the crew from the toilet, moves it to a big tank, where the water is boiled off, and the vapor collected. The rest of contaminants — the yucky brine in the urine — is thrown away, said Marybeth Edeen, the space station’s national lab manager who was in charge of the system. When six crew members are aboard it can make about six gallons from urine in about six hours, Edeen said.

Reminds us here at News to Chew of the classic Miller Lite beer commercial: “Less filling! Tastes great!”

Heck, we say, bottle it up, slap on a fancy label and say it’s from natural, uh, sources from outer space and NASA can fund their projects on the water income alone.

Just some news to chew on.

Toss your lunch: refrigerator stench sickens 28 office workers

May 13, 2009 By: admin Category: Food News

So, chances are you’ve worked in an office or workplace with a common refrigerator to keep your lunch or leftovers. And chances are that very refrigerator didn’t get cleaned out very often and started cultivating new strains of mold and aromas. Even so, it’s a wonder your co-workers would continue to put edible foodstuff in the fridge only to see it become inedible.

But an AT&T call center in San Jose takes the cake in grossness. Sickeningly. Literally.

The stench from the office refrigerator became so bad that a worker decided to take the initiative and clean out the grimy fridge (the offending food items have yet to be identified). And that’s when all hell broke out. Using cleaning fluids like 409 or Lysol, the stench combined with the cleaners caused a chemical reaction that brought the building to its knees.

According to a report from the San Jose Mercury News:

It finally became so unbearable that the San Jose Fire Department’s hazmat team was summoned to the North First Street office complex just before lunchtime…In the end, 325 AT&T employees poured out to a parking lot that was the company’s designated evacuation site. A total of 50 firefighters and 18 emergency vehicles raced to the scene. Seven employees, who were vomiting or complaining of nausea, were treated at area hospitals…Twenty-eight people with functioning noses had to be checked out by paramedics after they were overcome by fumes.

The best part? The worker who caused all the retching because of her good intentions to clean the mess wasn’t even affected – she can’t smell because of nasal surgery to treat allergies. Really.

Just some news to chew on.