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Our food system under threat by decline in biodiversity
According to an UN study, the future of our food system is in danger. That’s because the plants, animals and micro-organisms that are the bedrock of food production are in decline. If these critical species are lost, the report says, it "places the future of our food system under severe threat". Because of pollution, climate change and land-use changes, biodiversity is decreasing. How bad is this threat and what can we do about it? The UN report is the first such study of its kind, using date gathered in 91 countries by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It says. Biodiversity is the diversity of plants, animals and other organisms that provide us with food, fuel and fibre. It includes pollinators like bees, that provide essential services, and worms, mangroves, sea grasses and fungi which work to keep soils fertile and purify the air and water. Biodiversity in a  sustainable way Many of the species that support food and agriculture are under threat or declining. While species friendly policies are increasing, they are not growing quickly enough, scientists say. Around a thousand wild food species, mainly plants, fish and mammals are decreasing in abundance. "Biodiversity is critical for safeguarding global food security, underpinning healthy and nutritious diets, improving rural livelihoods, and enhancing the resilience of people and communities," said FAO's Director-General José Graziano da Silva. "We need to use biodiversity in a sustainable way, so that we can better respond to rising climate change challenges and produce food in a way that doesn't harm our environment." A smaller number of foodstuffs to feed a growing population According to the study, the world is relying on an ever smaller number of foodstuffs to feed a growing population that's expected to rise to around ten billion people by 2050. Of the 6,000 plant species cultivated for food, just nine account for 66% of total crop production. The world's livestock production is based on around 40 species with only a handful providing the vast majority of meat, milk and eggs. The scale of threat to food The lack of biodiversity can leave food production much more vulnerable to shocks, such as outbreaks of disease and pests. The new study highlights a number of examples where the loss of biodiversity is impacting people's lives and diets. The Gambia says that large losses of wild foods have forced communities to turn to industrially processed foods to supplement their diets. Several countries including Ireland, Norway, Poland and Switzerland report declines in bumblebees. In Oman, the loss of pollinator populations due to extreme heat associated with climate change has seen the decline of wild food, including figs and berries. There are several causes for biodiversity loss, such as pollution, population growth and urbanisation and climate change. Other significant drivers of biodiversity loss are overexploitation and overharvesting and changes in land and water use and management. How countries fix the decline The report highlights a number of what it terms "biodiversity friendly practices" that are on the rise. Some 80% of the countries reporting say that they follow one or more of these approaches. Some examples: in Argentina, some 560,000 home gardens and 12,000 school and community gardens have been created and are providing food for an estimated 2.8 million people. In California, farmers are now allowing their rice fields to be flooded after harvest instead of burning them, opening 111,000 hectares of surrogate wetlands and open space for 230 bird species. Farmers in Ghana are planting cassava plants on field margins which produce huge amounts of nectar, attracting bees and other species, leading to higher yields. While these are lauded, the problem according to the FAO is that these changes aren't happening quickly enough. "It is very positive to see that countries are adopting more and more practices that contribute to sustainable food production across the globe. However, sometimes increased adoption is coming from a very low starting point." What you can do As an consumer, you have an enormous power to drive change. Buy sustainably grown products from farmers markets, or boycott foods that are seen to be unsustainable. In the report, it came out strongly that the role of citizens are of an enormous importance. Cover photo by:   Hamish Secrett https://www.whatsorb.com/category/food
According to an UN study, the future of our food system is in danger. That’s because the plants, animals and micro-organisms that are the bedrock of food production are in decline. If these critical species are lost, the report says, it "places the future of our food system under severe threat". Because of pollution, climate change and land-use changes, biodiversity is decreasing. How bad is this threat and what can we do about it? The UN report is the first such study of its kind, using date gathered in 91 countries by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It says. Biodiversity is the diversity of plants, animals and other organisms that provide us with food, fuel and fibre. It includes pollinators like bees, that provide essential services, and worms, mangroves, sea grasses and fungi which work to keep soils fertile and purify the air and water. Biodiversity in a  sustainable way Many of the species that support food and agriculture are under threat or declining. While species friendly policies are increasing, they are not growing quickly enough, scientists say. Around a thousand wild food species, mainly plants, fish and mammals are decreasing in abundance. "Biodiversity is critical for safeguarding global food security, underpinning healthy and nutritious diets, improving rural livelihoods, and enhancing the resilience of people and communities," said FAO's Director-General José Graziano da Silva. "We need to use biodiversity in a sustainable way, so that we can better respond to rising climate change challenges and produce food in a way that doesn't harm our environment." A smaller number of foodstuffs to feed a growing population According to the study, the world is relying on an ever smaller number of foodstuffs to feed a growing population that's expected to rise to around ten billion people by 2050. Of the 6,000 plant species cultivated for food, just nine account for 66% of total crop production. The world's livestock production is based on around 40 species with only a handful providing the vast majority of meat, milk and eggs. The scale of threat to food The lack of biodiversity can leave food production much more vulnerable to shocks, such as outbreaks of disease and pests. The new study highlights a number of examples where the loss of biodiversity is impacting people's lives and diets. The Gambia says that large losses of wild foods have forced communities to turn to industrially processed foods to supplement their diets. Several countries including Ireland, Norway, Poland and Switzerland report declines in bumblebees. In Oman, the loss of pollinator populations due to extreme heat associated with climate change has seen the decline of wild food, including figs and berries. There are several causes for biodiversity loss, such as pollution, population growth and urbanisation and climate change. Other significant drivers of biodiversity loss are overexploitation and overharvesting and changes in land and water use and management. How countries fix the decline The report highlights a number of what it terms "biodiversity friendly practices" that are on the rise. Some 80% of the countries reporting say that they follow one or more of these approaches. Some examples: in Argentina, some 560,000 home gardens and 12,000 school and community gardens have been created and are providing food for an estimated 2.8 million people. In California, farmers are now allowing their rice fields to be flooded after harvest instead of burning them, opening 111,000 hectares of surrogate wetlands and open space for 230 bird species. Farmers in Ghana are planting cassava plants on field margins which produce huge amounts of nectar, attracting bees and other species, leading to higher yields. While these are lauded, the problem according to the FAO is that these changes aren't happening quickly enough. "It is very positive to see that countries are adopting more and more practices that contribute to sustainable food production across the globe. However, sometimes increased adoption is coming from a very low starting point." What you can do As an consumer, you have an enormous power to drive change. Buy sustainably grown products from farmers markets, or boycott foods that are seen to be unsustainable. In the report, it came out strongly that the role of citizens are of an enormous importance. Cover photo by:   Hamish Secrett https://www.whatsorb.com/category/food
Our food system under threat by decline in biodiversity
Our food system under threat by decline in biodiversity
How sustainable is your diet really?
Farmer-friendly coffee. Fair trade chocolate. Hand-raised chicken eggs. Gluten-free bread rolls. Organically produced soy beans. The  food hypes are popping up left, right, and center. All of them claim to be a fairer, more sustainable and, in most cases, healthier option. Where the past decades were all about producing as much food as possible at the same time, recent years have shown a tendency towards food options that are, mildly put, somewhat more laborious. This does not even take the excessive pricing into account. An organically produced, pesticide-free cucumber for 3 euro. Or coffee made from Guatemalan coffee beans, whose farmers are given a fair price for their produce, but that will cost you 6 euro per cup (medium sized, mind you). All of this has split the Western world’s population in two camps. One of them is fiercely dedicated to only buying and eating ‘raw’ or ‘real’ food, and disapprovingly look on as their family members or friends - who belong to the other camp - exclaim that they still prefer to shop at the local hypermarket.   WHAT ABOUT THIS  FOOD THAT I AM EATING? One of the reasons for these new foods not being commonly accepted, is the major confusion that they still often bring along. It appears that food items that are perfectly healthy the one month, turn out to be devil reincarnated the next. So, should we cook with olive oil or is coconut oil the healthier choice? What about quinoa, soy beans, avocado, matcha?   The variety in diets offered just serves to underline this confusion. Should you opt for a carb-free diet, that cuts bread, pasta, cereal, chips and all kind of baked goods from your life? Or is it better to avoid all dairy products, including milk? (A food group that up to recently was listed as one of the basic food groups.) Perhaps leaving out all and any sugars would be preferable. But the paleo-diet might have a certain appeal as well, that philosophises that we should go back to the food that our ancestral caveman ate - so a lot of animal-based protein and fruits and veggies. And while it is most certainly true that our lack of ‘real’ knowledge regarding the best diet (hint: it does not exist) is limited, we are certainly not helped by the food industry. They are trying their hardest to make the task of keeping track of your daily intake nearly impossible. Food labels that should be listing the exact nutritional value and ingredients are fudged or incomplete, and advertising slogans are used that turn out to be rather misleading. IS IT REAL, ORGANIC, AND SUSTAINABLE ? So, for instance, we might think that these free-range chicken eggs that we bought do their part in giving chickens a better life. But who does actually verify whether those kind of claims are true? Who verifies whether ‘authentic Italian olive oil’ is in fact from Italy? How can you check whether an organically produced soy bean has been sustainably farmed? The real problem here is the transparency of the food chain. As long as we are not able to trace back specific products ‘to their roots’, it will be next to impossible to determine whether certain high standing claims are true. And while these doubts exist and become increasingly more pressing, customers will - partially thinking with their wallet - refuse to hand over extra money for an, in their eyes, identical item. The real added value of authenticity and sustainability is not clear. WHY THIS DOUBT HURTS THE ENVIRONMENT It is a double-edged sword. While we continue to consume foods that are harming the environment, the food items that are truly sustainably grown are hindered by this perception. And yet there should be a massive movement towards these more sustainable choices: customers must stand up and demand to know what they are eating and how this was produced.   Supermarkets and grocers must do their part in demanding accountability from their suppliers as well. The law of supply and demand will hold: once becomes known that a certain product is blatantly deceiving, and demand drops as a result of that, supply will automatically adjust accordingly. This can be the start of a beneficial vicious cycle, where food producers are forced to live up to the expectations of an increasingly more critical consumer to stay in business. GREENWASHING VS SUSTAINABILITY The true cost of certain food items is hidden under a layer of so-called greenwashing . This is a marketing strategy that actively promotes a company and/or its products as being very sustainable and authentic, while it is in fact far from this. The rise of various labels on packagings is a great example of this: only very few of those claims, like ‘organically certified’ or ‘fair-trade’ are actually certified. The remainder is nothing other than marketing slogans. In order to find out the actual costs, including the burden put on society, it is of crucial importance that the food supply chains become more transparant. Only then can we hold the producers responsible and be able to trust in the authenticity of a certain food stuff. Not only healthier for our body - but healthier for the environment, too. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/food/general
Farmer-friendly coffee. Fair trade chocolate. Hand-raised chicken eggs. Gluten-free bread rolls. Organically produced soy beans. The  food hypes are popping up left, right, and center. All of them claim to be a fairer, more sustainable and, in most cases, healthier option. Where the past decades were all about producing as much food as possible at the same time, recent years have shown a tendency towards food options that are, mildly put, somewhat more laborious. This does not even take the excessive pricing into account. An organically produced, pesticide-free cucumber for 3 euro. Or coffee made from Guatemalan coffee beans, whose farmers are given a fair price for their produce, but that will cost you 6 euro per cup (medium sized, mind you). All of this has split the Western world’s population in two camps. One of them is fiercely dedicated to only buying and eating ‘raw’ or ‘real’ food, and disapprovingly look on as their family members or friends - who belong to the other camp - exclaim that they still prefer to shop at the local hypermarket.   WHAT ABOUT THIS  FOOD THAT I AM EATING? One of the reasons for these new foods not being commonly accepted, is the major confusion that they still often bring along. It appears that food items that are perfectly healthy the one month, turn out to be devil reincarnated the next. So, should we cook with olive oil or is coconut oil the healthier choice? What about quinoa, soy beans, avocado, matcha?   The variety in diets offered just serves to underline this confusion. Should you opt for a carb-free diet, that cuts bread, pasta, cereal, chips and all kind of baked goods from your life? Or is it better to avoid all dairy products, including milk? (A food group that up to recently was listed as one of the basic food groups.) Perhaps leaving out all and any sugars would be preferable. But the paleo-diet might have a certain appeal as well, that philosophises that we should go back to the food that our ancestral caveman ate - so a lot of animal-based protein and fruits and veggies. And while it is most certainly true that our lack of ‘real’ knowledge regarding the best diet (hint: it does not exist) is limited, we are certainly not helped by the food industry. They are trying their hardest to make the task of keeping track of your daily intake nearly impossible. Food labels that should be listing the exact nutritional value and ingredients are fudged or incomplete, and advertising slogans are used that turn out to be rather misleading. IS IT REAL, ORGANIC, AND SUSTAINABLE ? So, for instance, we might think that these free-range chicken eggs that we bought do their part in giving chickens a better life. But who does actually verify whether those kind of claims are true? Who verifies whether ‘authentic Italian olive oil’ is in fact from Italy? How can you check whether an organically produced soy bean has been sustainably farmed? The real problem here is the transparency of the food chain. As long as we are not able to trace back specific products ‘to their roots’, it will be next to impossible to determine whether certain high standing claims are true. And while these doubts exist and become increasingly more pressing, customers will - partially thinking with their wallet - refuse to hand over extra money for an, in their eyes, identical item. The real added value of authenticity and sustainability is not clear. WHY THIS DOUBT HURTS THE ENVIRONMENT It is a double-edged sword. While we continue to consume foods that are harming the environment, the food items that are truly sustainably grown are hindered by this perception. And yet there should be a massive movement towards these more sustainable choices: customers must stand up and demand to know what they are eating and how this was produced.   Supermarkets and grocers must do their part in demanding accountability from their suppliers as well. The law of supply and demand will hold: once becomes known that a certain product is blatantly deceiving, and demand drops as a result of that, supply will automatically adjust accordingly. This can be the start of a beneficial vicious cycle, where food producers are forced to live up to the expectations of an increasingly more critical consumer to stay in business. GREENWASHING VS SUSTAINABILITY The true cost of certain food items is hidden under a layer of so-called greenwashing . This is a marketing strategy that actively promotes a company and/or its products as being very sustainable and authentic, while it is in fact far from this. The rise of various labels on packagings is a great example of this: only very few of those claims, like ‘organically certified’ or ‘fair-trade’ are actually certified. The remainder is nothing other than marketing slogans. In order to find out the actual costs, including the burden put on society, it is of crucial importance that the food supply chains become more transparant. Only then can we hold the producers responsible and be able to trust in the authenticity of a certain food stuff. Not only healthier for our body - but healthier for the environment, too. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/food/general
How sustainable is your diet really?
How sustainable is your diet really?
Wine unplugged
The age of the Bordeaux drinking wine snob is dead, the wines du moment are unfiltered, untamed and a reflection of their terroir. Read on for an introduction to natural wine.    If you are into wine, you’ve probably heard about ‘vins nature’ or ‘natural wine’, the unplugged version of wine as we know it. Whereas conventional wine may use up to 60 different additives (!) to improve the aroma, taste and drinkability, natural wines use none. It is wine made from grapes and only grapes. The revival of natural wine Some people consider natural wine as how wine was once meant to be. Before the industrial revolution all wines were natural wines. About 30 years ago French wine maker Marcel Lapierre took over the family domaine from his father in the Beaujolais and noticed a big difference in the traditional methods of winemaking within his family compared to what students were taught at the academy. Inspired by Jules Chauvet – a viticultural prophet who in the 1950’s, upon the rise of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, first spoke out for ‘natural wine’, harkening back to the traditional methods of the Beaujolais – Lapierre spearheaded the so-called ‘Gang of Four’, a group of four winemakers that called for a return to the old practices of viticulture and vinification: old vines in a healthy vineyard, not using synthetic herbicides or pesticides , harvesting late and by hand, rigorously sorting to keep only the healthiest grapes, adding none or minimal doses of sulphur dioxide, and no adding of sugars or acids at all. The methods Lapierre and his gang used were as revolutionary as they were traditional. What began with just this handful of French winemakers is now a global movement, having spread to Italy, Spain and, more recently, South Africa, New Zealand, the United States and even Japan – the latter being one of the biggest markets for natural wine. When local consumption of French natural wine peaked in 2000, Japan was reportedly consuming 75 percent of the total volume produced. If it weren’t for the Japanese demand many small French wineries would not have survived. In Tokyo’s trendiest neighbourhoods natural wine bars were mushrooming – followed by their hipster counterparts in Europe and the USA. Honest and unspoiled Driving forces behind the European success were avant-garde restaurant Noma in Copenhagen and former Hibiscus in London, whose sommeliers were amongst the first to give natural wines a leading role in their funky wine-and- food pairings. Elaborating on his choice not to include the grand lady of the wine world on their menu, Pontus Elofsson, Noma’s former wine director, said: ‘Bordeaux is probably the biggest chemical factory in Europe. They use lots of chemicals in the vineyards and in the cellars, and to do that is to move away from reflecting terroir in an honest, unspoiled way.’ Natural wine is now making waves with a new generation of, mostly young, drinkers who are not prejudiced and can’t be bothered with the big traditional names; they rather drink a pleasurable, unpretentious wine and that, opposed to any mass-produced bottle, has been produced in harmony with nature – chemical-free and with a flavour imparted by the natural environment in which it is produced, including soil, climate and topography. Wines in which the purity of the grape is preserved. No interventions This all may sound simple, yet is anything but. Wine is considered “natural” when it is produced with minimal intervention – nothing added, nothing removed. No chemicals or artificial fertilizers are used on the vines, the grapes are handpicked, there is no manipulation of flavour, no filtering and no colour agents used in the winemaking process. Natural wine extremists believe you should add absolutely nothing at all, yet more ‘liberal’ winemakers believe a tiny bit of sulphite is sometimes needed to make the wine more drinkable; this makes their wines, strictly speaking, not natural. Confusing, isn’t it? The stipulations needed to be certified as ‘organic’ say that no chemicals can be used to grow the grapes, but chemical and technological manipulations are allowed during the winemaking process. Biodynamic winemakers take it even a step further, incorporating lunar cycles, astrological influences and ideas about a vineyard as an ecosystem. The grapes are grown following the farming principles of Rudolf Steiner, after which the winemaker may still decide to manipulate the fermentation. Image by: Maja Petric This means that both organic and biodynamic wine can be produced naturally, but don’t have to be. A warning is in place here: today a lot of producers are using the organic or biodynamic stamp as a quality stamp, yet there are a lot of shitty organic and biodynamic wines. The label ‘ organic ’ for a supermarket wine in Europe simply means that a few pesticides have not been used, but the wine may still be (and is often) produced commercially and on a large scale. Passionate winemakers The absence of an official certification and rules for natural wines means that the makers need to rely on their gut feeling, knowledge of the land and years of dedication. Whoever wants to fully control the outcome, better choose a different job. In her book Natural Wine: an introduction to organic and biodynamic wines made naturally Isabelle Legeron, former sommelier at Hibiscus, writes: ‘Natural wine is a continuum, like ripples on a pond. At the epicentre of these ripples, are growers who produce wines absolutely naturally – nothing added and nothing removed. As you move away from this centre, the additions and manipulations begin, making the wine less and less natural, the further out you go. Eventually, the ripples disappear entirely, blending into the waters of the rest of the pond. At this point the term ‘natural wine’ no longer applies. You have moved into the realm of the conventional.’ Let’s drink! Don’t let yourself be put off by the cloudiness of an unfiltered wine. According to insiders it’s these murky movements at the bottom that illustrate each bottle of natural wine is a living and breathing thing. Neither expect one of those full-bodied, fruity wines that carry the promise of a hangover. The absence of sulphites drastically diminishes your chances of a headache in the morning, and the taste is nothing like conventional wine. Most natural wines have an earthy flavour, are more yeasty than fruity and have a high acidity, which you may like or not. This earthiness pairs well with simple flavours and pure ingredients such as fish and grilled or fermented vegetables. Look for a local wine bar or restaurant serving natural wines and ask the sommelier to advise and surprise you. One thing is for sure: natural wines are as natural as it gets, and a tasty and earth-friendly choice for anyone who is up for something funky. Cover image by: Nacho Dominguez https://www.whatsorb.com/category/food
The age of the Bordeaux drinking wine snob is dead, the wines du moment are unfiltered, untamed and a reflection of their terroir. Read on for an introduction to natural wine.    If you are into wine, you’ve probably heard about ‘vins nature’ or ‘natural wine’, the unplugged version of wine as we know it. Whereas conventional wine may use up to 60 different additives (!) to improve the aroma, taste and drinkability, natural wines use none. It is wine made from grapes and only grapes. The revival of natural wine Some people consider natural wine as how wine was once meant to be. Before the industrial revolution all wines were natural wines. About 30 years ago French wine maker Marcel Lapierre took over the family domaine from his father in the Beaujolais and noticed a big difference in the traditional methods of winemaking within his family compared to what students were taught at the academy. Inspired by Jules Chauvet – a viticultural prophet who in the 1950’s, upon the rise of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, first spoke out for ‘natural wine’, harkening back to the traditional methods of the Beaujolais – Lapierre spearheaded the so-called ‘Gang of Four’, a group of four winemakers that called for a return to the old practices of viticulture and vinification: old vines in a healthy vineyard, not using synthetic herbicides or pesticides , harvesting late and by hand, rigorously sorting to keep only the healthiest grapes, adding none or minimal doses of sulphur dioxide, and no adding of sugars or acids at all. The methods Lapierre and his gang used were as revolutionary as they were traditional. What began with just this handful of French winemakers is now a global movement, having spread to Italy, Spain and, more recently, South Africa, New Zealand, the United States and even Japan – the latter being one of the biggest markets for natural wine. When local consumption of French natural wine peaked in 2000, Japan was reportedly consuming 75 percent of the total volume produced. If it weren’t for the Japanese demand many small French wineries would not have survived. In Tokyo’s trendiest neighbourhoods natural wine bars were mushrooming – followed by their hipster counterparts in Europe and the USA. Honest and unspoiled Driving forces behind the European success were avant-garde restaurant Noma in Copenhagen and former Hibiscus in London, whose sommeliers were amongst the first to give natural wines a leading role in their funky wine-and- food pairings. Elaborating on his choice not to include the grand lady of the wine world on their menu, Pontus Elofsson, Noma’s former wine director, said: ‘Bordeaux is probably the biggest chemical factory in Europe. They use lots of chemicals in the vineyards and in the cellars, and to do that is to move away from reflecting terroir in an honest, unspoiled way.’ Natural wine is now making waves with a new generation of, mostly young, drinkers who are not prejudiced and can’t be bothered with the big traditional names; they rather drink a pleasurable, unpretentious wine and that, opposed to any mass-produced bottle, has been produced in harmony with nature – chemical-free and with a flavour imparted by the natural environment in which it is produced, including soil, climate and topography. Wines in which the purity of the grape is preserved. No interventions This all may sound simple, yet is anything but. Wine is considered “natural” when it is produced with minimal intervention – nothing added, nothing removed. No chemicals or artificial fertilizers are used on the vines, the grapes are handpicked, there is no manipulation of flavour, no filtering and no colour agents used in the winemaking process. Natural wine extremists believe you should add absolutely nothing at all, yet more ‘liberal’ winemakers believe a tiny bit of sulphite is sometimes needed to make the wine more drinkable; this makes their wines, strictly speaking, not natural. Confusing, isn’t it? The stipulations needed to be certified as ‘organic’ say that no chemicals can be used to grow the grapes, but chemical and technological manipulations are allowed during the winemaking process. Biodynamic winemakers take it even a step further, incorporating lunar cycles, astrological influences and ideas about a vineyard as an ecosystem. The grapes are grown following the farming principles of Rudolf Steiner, after which the winemaker may still decide to manipulate the fermentation. Image by: Maja Petric This means that both organic and biodynamic wine can be produced naturally, but don’t have to be. A warning is in place here: today a lot of producers are using the organic or biodynamic stamp as a quality stamp, yet there are a lot of shitty organic and biodynamic wines. The label ‘ organic ’ for a supermarket wine in Europe simply means that a few pesticides have not been used, but the wine may still be (and is often) produced commercially and on a large scale. Passionate winemakers The absence of an official certification and rules for natural wines means that the makers need to rely on their gut feeling, knowledge of the land and years of dedication. Whoever wants to fully control the outcome, better choose a different job. In her book Natural Wine: an introduction to organic and biodynamic wines made naturally Isabelle Legeron, former sommelier at Hibiscus, writes: ‘Natural wine is a continuum, like ripples on a pond. At the epicentre of these ripples, are growers who produce wines absolutely naturally – nothing added and nothing removed. As you move away from this centre, the additions and manipulations begin, making the wine less and less natural, the further out you go. Eventually, the ripples disappear entirely, blending into the waters of the rest of the pond. At this point the term ‘natural wine’ no longer applies. You have moved into the realm of the conventional.’ Let’s drink! Don’t let yourself be put off by the cloudiness of an unfiltered wine. According to insiders it’s these murky movements at the bottom that illustrate each bottle of natural wine is a living and breathing thing. Neither expect one of those full-bodied, fruity wines that carry the promise of a hangover. The absence of sulphites drastically diminishes your chances of a headache in the morning, and the taste is nothing like conventional wine. Most natural wines have an earthy flavour, are more yeasty than fruity and have a high acidity, which you may like or not. This earthiness pairs well with simple flavours and pure ingredients such as fish and grilled or fermented vegetables. Look for a local wine bar or restaurant serving natural wines and ask the sommelier to advise and surprise you. One thing is for sure: natural wines are as natural as it gets, and a tasty and earth-friendly choice for anyone who is up for something funky. Cover image by: Nacho Dominguez https://www.whatsorb.com/category/food
Wine unplugged
Wine unplugged
Asparagus! The white gold.
Asparagus. White golden food of spring You know that spring really has started when the asparagus reappear everywhere. You will not find the white gold more pleasant than now. The ancient Egyptians and Romans already appreciated this special vegetable two centuries before Christ. A timeless classic in the kitchen. Read, buy, cook and enjoy! Asperages as food starts it's rich history in Egypt Did you know that the first signs of asparagus consumption have been discovered in a pyramid in Egypt? The Romans also liked it, as is evident from a knife found in Woerden (Netherlands) in 2003 with an image of an asparagus on it. After the fall of the Roman Empire, this vegetable disappeared from the low countries again. Only since the 17th century have they been reared in France and some other Western European countries. In the Netherlands large-scale asparagus cultivation has been taking place since the 19th century. Especially Limburg is known for it. Medicinal effect from Asparagus Already in ancient times, the asparagus was given medicinal effect. She was used as a medicine against bee stings , heart problems, dizziness and toothache. Asparagus was also often used as a urinary agent or laxative. With the knowledge from now on we also know why: the asparagine amino acid asparagine does indeed stimulate kidney function. Because of its strong taste, asparagus fits perfectly in a low-salt diet: you do not have to add anything.  Shapes and sizes of this  miracle food Did you know that in addition to the white and green asparagus, there is also a purple variety? The white ones have grown under the ground and kept out of the light while green and purple asparagus have seen the sun. The purple you hardly ever see, while you can now buy green asparagus almost all year round. These are grown mainly in southern Europe. Our favorite remains the good old white asparagus. How do you know if you are buying good? Asparagus is divided into classes according to thickness and appearance. In general, the thicker the better. Note that there are no cracks or brown spots (rust) on it. If you see that, you better ignore it. Buying Asparagus: what should you pay attention to? The asparagus season is relatively short, in the middle of Europe about two months. Harvesting takes place from the second Thursday of April until the end of June. You can now buy asparagus at any supermarket or greengrocer, but often directly from the grower. You can check the freshness of the asparagus yourself in two ways. One: just push your fingernail into the bottom of the asparagus. The spot where the asparagus was cut should not feel woody. Two: rub the asparagus against each other. If they make a soft, squeaky, melodious sound, they are fresh. Storing and preparing of asparagus Asparagus must of course be nice and juicy. When buying, make sure that no cracks or brown spots are visible. At home, store your asparagus in a sealed plastic bag or covered with a wet tea towel in the refrigerator. You can keep them fresh for a day or three. Before you start cooking them, you have to peel the asparagus first. You do that with a special asparagus knife or a peeler. You do not want a badly peeled asparagus on the table, which is stringy and tough. Cooking goes best in a special asparagus pan, in which the asparagus is cooked standing so that the heads do not get under water. Tip: throw the peels in the pan at the asparagus for an optimal taste. Depending on the thickness they are cooked in 8-10 minutes. Let’s eat! Asparagus salad with lemon mayonnaise, watercress and pistachio What do you need for a asparagus salad? 1 kg of asparagus salt sugar piece of mace 2 tbsp mayonnaise 1 tbsp yogurt 1 lemon salt pepper 1 forest watercress peeled unsalted pistachio nuts How do you make the asparagus salad? Peel the asparagus from the head all the way down and cut 2 cm from the bottom. Put them up with cold water, salt, some sugar and the mace. Bring them to a boil and cook until tender for about 12 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave it in the cooking liquid and allow to cool. Mix the mayonnaise with the yogurt and squeeze out the lemon. Add more salt and pepper if desired. Chop the pistachio nuts. Halve the asparagus into oblique pieces. Divide them with a piece of watercress on plates. Spoon the mayonnaise over it and sprinkle with coarsely chopped pistachio nuts. https://www.whatsorb.com/food/simple-diet-tweaks-for-a-better-planet-and-a-healthier-you
Asparagus. White golden food of spring You know that spring really has started when the asparagus reappear everywhere. You will not find the white gold more pleasant than now. The ancient Egyptians and Romans already appreciated this special vegetable two centuries before Christ. A timeless classic in the kitchen. Read, buy, cook and enjoy! Asperages as food starts it's rich history in Egypt Did you know that the first signs of asparagus consumption have been discovered in a pyramid in Egypt? The Romans also liked it, as is evident from a knife found in Woerden (Netherlands) in 2003 with an image of an asparagus on it. After the fall of the Roman Empire, this vegetable disappeared from the low countries again. Only since the 17th century have they been reared in France and some other Western European countries. In the Netherlands large-scale asparagus cultivation has been taking place since the 19th century. Especially Limburg is known for it. Medicinal effect from Asparagus Already in ancient times, the asparagus was given medicinal effect. She was used as a medicine against bee stings , heart problems, dizziness and toothache. Asparagus was also often used as a urinary agent or laxative. With the knowledge from now on we also know why: the asparagine amino acid asparagine does indeed stimulate kidney function. Because of its strong taste, asparagus fits perfectly in a low-salt diet: you do not have to add anything.  Shapes and sizes of this  miracle food Did you know that in addition to the white and green asparagus, there is also a purple variety? The white ones have grown under the ground and kept out of the light while green and purple asparagus have seen the sun. The purple you hardly ever see, while you can now buy green asparagus almost all year round. These are grown mainly in southern Europe. Our favorite remains the good old white asparagus. How do you know if you are buying good? Asparagus is divided into classes according to thickness and appearance. In general, the thicker the better. Note that there are no cracks or brown spots (rust) on it. If you see that, you better ignore it. Buying Asparagus: what should you pay attention to? The asparagus season is relatively short, in the middle of Europe about two months. Harvesting takes place from the second Thursday of April until the end of June. You can now buy asparagus at any supermarket or greengrocer, but often directly from the grower. You can check the freshness of the asparagus yourself in two ways. One: just push your fingernail into the bottom of the asparagus. The spot where the asparagus was cut should not feel woody. Two: rub the asparagus against each other. If they make a soft, squeaky, melodious sound, they are fresh. Storing and preparing of asparagus Asparagus must of course be nice and juicy. When buying, make sure that no cracks or brown spots are visible. At home, store your asparagus in a sealed plastic bag or covered with a wet tea towel in the refrigerator. You can keep them fresh for a day or three. Before you start cooking them, you have to peel the asparagus first. You do that with a special asparagus knife or a peeler. You do not want a badly peeled asparagus on the table, which is stringy and tough. Cooking goes best in a special asparagus pan, in which the asparagus is cooked standing so that the heads do not get under water. Tip: throw the peels in the pan at the asparagus for an optimal taste. Depending on the thickness they are cooked in 8-10 minutes. Let’s eat! Asparagus salad with lemon mayonnaise, watercress and pistachio What do you need for a asparagus salad? 1 kg of asparagus salt sugar piece of mace 2 tbsp mayonnaise 1 tbsp yogurt 1 lemon salt pepper 1 forest watercress peeled unsalted pistachio nuts How do you make the asparagus salad? Peel the asparagus from the head all the way down and cut 2 cm from the bottom. Put them up with cold water, salt, some sugar and the mace. Bring them to a boil and cook until tender for about 12 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave it in the cooking liquid and allow to cool. Mix the mayonnaise with the yogurt and squeeze out the lemon. Add more salt and pepper if desired. Chop the pistachio nuts. Halve the asparagus into oblique pieces. Divide them with a piece of watercress on plates. Spoon the mayonnaise over it and sprinkle with coarsely chopped pistachio nuts. https://www.whatsorb.com/food/simple-diet-tweaks-for-a-better-planet-and-a-healthier-you
Asparagus! The white gold.
Asparagus! The white gold.
Waste is delicious,  why would we throw away  distorted fruit and vegetables
In a supermarket in Wageningen (the Netherlands) is the first so-called 'waste shelf'  The initiative is very good. Too much food is thrown away, sometimes only because it does not look so good and is therefore not sold. While it tastes just as good. A third of all food is wasted, a scientist at Wageningen University told me two years ago. I did not think that was acceptable, because food is not meant for, "says the supermarket owner. A lot of things play a role: too many products, or fruit and vegetables that do not look good and are therefore unsuitable for sale. Supermarkets also participate in this. Locally we have no influence on it, but that does not mean that we can not do anything. In this way the food bank receives products from us that are about the date every day. Delightful Together with organizations such as CSR Netherlands - the national organization for corporate social responsibility - the supermarket owner went to work. He came into contact with 'Wastes is Delightful', a platform of entrepreneurs who process food that would otherwise be lost. They now supply, among other things, cider of "not completely cool fruit", oyster mushrooms grown on coffee grounds and soap from orange peels. The waste shelf, a special cupboard, was difficult to realize. Some suppliers thought that a price wafer was sufficient. However, the supermarket works with barcodes. And all ingredients must be mentioned on the packaging. That was not always the case. Deformed cucumbers For the time being, the shelf is a test. For half a year. The intention is that we continue it. It would be nice if we could simply place the products between the others, just like the fair trade articles. At the vegetable department there are already crooked cucumbers next to straight, plastic-packed co-workers. They do not look. The image that the consumer has is that a cucumber should be right. It does not matter for the taste, you do not notice any difference in the salad. "Both variants cost 98 euro cents. According to MVO Nederland, more supermarket entrepreneurs will place a ‘waste shelf’ later this spring. The supermarket is satisfied with the first turnover. Students The shelf has been there since Friday and was officially presented on Tuesday. At least 200 customers have already bought something out of it. The iced tea of ​​saved fruit, the soup of slightly too small tomatoes and the beer of old bread are doing well. Here in Wageningen, with a university that gives a lot of attention to food, we are well on the shelf. Students generally opt for good and healthy food, so no bags of chips. And that special beer is still hip found. I also notice that in society there is a growing awareness that things will not work out well if we continue with the same waste behavior with our planet.  A customer, takes a can of vegetarian soup with beans from the shelf. This is a fun action. It's good that food waste is being tackled. That the soup is comparatively slightly more expensive does not bother her. By: Jan Kras
In a supermarket in Wageningen (the Netherlands) is the first so-called 'waste shelf'  The initiative is very good. Too much food is thrown away, sometimes only because it does not look so good and is therefore not sold. While it tastes just as good. A third of all food is wasted, a scientist at Wageningen University told me two years ago. I did not think that was acceptable, because food is not meant for, "says the supermarket owner. A lot of things play a role: too many products, or fruit and vegetables that do not look good and are therefore unsuitable for sale. Supermarkets also participate in this. Locally we have no influence on it, but that does not mean that we can not do anything. In this way the food bank receives products from us that are about the date every day. Delightful Together with organizations such as CSR Netherlands - the national organization for corporate social responsibility - the supermarket owner went to work. He came into contact with 'Wastes is Delightful', a platform of entrepreneurs who process food that would otherwise be lost. They now supply, among other things, cider of "not completely cool fruit", oyster mushrooms grown on coffee grounds and soap from orange peels. The waste shelf, a special cupboard, was difficult to realize. Some suppliers thought that a price wafer was sufficient. However, the supermarket works with barcodes. And all ingredients must be mentioned on the packaging. That was not always the case. Deformed cucumbers For the time being, the shelf is a test. For half a year. The intention is that we continue it. It would be nice if we could simply place the products between the others, just like the fair trade articles. At the vegetable department there are already crooked cucumbers next to straight, plastic-packed co-workers. They do not look. The image that the consumer has is that a cucumber should be right. It does not matter for the taste, you do not notice any difference in the salad. "Both variants cost 98 euro cents. According to MVO Nederland, more supermarket entrepreneurs will place a ‘waste shelf’ later this spring. The supermarket is satisfied with the first turnover. Students The shelf has been there since Friday and was officially presented on Tuesday. At least 200 customers have already bought something out of it. The iced tea of ​​saved fruit, the soup of slightly too small tomatoes and the beer of old bread are doing well. Here in Wageningen, with a university that gives a lot of attention to food, we are well on the shelf. Students generally opt for good and healthy food, so no bags of chips. And that special beer is still hip found. I also notice that in society there is a growing awareness that things will not work out well if we continue with the same waste behavior with our planet.  A customer, takes a can of vegetarian soup with beans from the shelf. This is a fun action. It's good that food waste is being tackled. That the soup is comparatively slightly more expensive does not bother her. By: Jan Kras
Waste is delicious, why would we throw away distorted fruit and vegetables
Food

The production and distribution of food has always been a challenge when it comes to sustainability. Food waste is still a big problem and a substantial source of greenhouse gasses. Let us provide you with inspiring stories and possible solutions to this food related conundrum.

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