Monsanto glyphosate in food


This 10 November 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Studies Find Monsanto’s Poison In Food Products

Lawsuits are coming together against some of the biggest food makers in the United States after repeated studies have found unsafe levels of Monsanto’s glyphosate in their products. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, and it has been shown to cause cancer in studies. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this with Scott Hardy from Top Class Actions.

New truffle species discovery in Florida, USA


This 2014 video from the USA is called Truffles in Florida.

From the Florida Museum of Natural History in the USA:

Two new truffle species discovered in Florida pecan orchards

August 23, 2018

Two new species of truffles were recently discovered on the roots of pecan trees in Florida orchards. The good news is that you can eat them — the bad news is that you wouldn’t want to.

While Tuber brennemanii and Tuber floridanum are edible “true” truffles, in the same genus as the fragrant underground mushrooms prized by chefs, their unappealing odor and small size — about 1 inch wide — will likely discourage people from eating them, said Matthew Smith, an associate professor in the University of Florida department of plant pathology and an affiliate associate curator in the Florida Museum of Natural History Herbarium.

“At least one of the species was pretty stinky and not in a good way, so you wouldn’t necessarily want to eat it”, Smith said. “These guys are small, and they don’t have these really great odors, but the animals love them.”

Smith and his team were studying pecan truffles when they found the new species.

“One of the things we wanted to do is identify the communities we find in these pecan orchards because those are the things that are going to be there naturally and those are the ones that are going to be in direct competition with the species we’re interested in trying to grow”, he said.

Arthur Grupe, lead author of the study and a doctoral student in UF’s department of plant pathology, said the team is researching another, more common pecan truffle, Tuber lyonii, potentially an important economic crop in Florida.

Valued for their pleasant aroma and taste, pecan truffles sell for $160 to $300 per pound. Pecan orchards with a high density of pecan truffles might increase farmers’ per acre profit by up to 20 percent, Grupe said.

Even though the two new truffle species might lack the appetizing qualities of more commonly known truffle species, Smith said their discovery is important and points to the significance of conservation, especially in forest habitats. “Just because you don’t see diversity easily doesn’t mean that it’s not there,” Smith said. “I guess to me it speaks to the fact that there’s really a lot we don’t know about the natural world, and it’s worth preserving so we can try to understand it.”

Smith said the newly described truffle species had likely gone undetected because animals — such as squirrels, wild pigs and other small mammals — were eating them or because they occur earlier in the year than pecan truffles.

The researchers plan to study the new species to learn more about their relationship to pecan truffles and how they compete with other truffle species for resources.

“So far, we have found these truffles mostly in Florida and Georgia”, Grupe said. “Interestingly, a collaborator in Brazil found one of these species in a pecan orchard. We suspect that it hitched a ride on pecan seedlings shipped from the U.S. I think it is a great example of hidden biodiversity.”

Smith said people tend to be more afraid of mushrooms than curious and don’t take the time to learn about them — even though new species are right under our feet.

“Fungi are understudied in general, and things that fruit below ground that are hard to see are even more understudied”, Smith said. “It’s interesting to know these things are out there. You’re walking on them all the time and they still don’t have a name — no one has formally recognized them before. I think that’s kind of cool.”

World’s oldest cheese discovery in Egypt


This video from Italy says about itself:

Farmer Follows Ancient Roman Recipe To Make Cheese – From the Milk of Endangered Goats

6 June 2018

This Sicilian farmer produces artisan vegetarian cheeses by following ancient Roman recipes. His cheese is made from the milk of endangered Girgentana goats – currently, there are only about 1300 of these goats left in the world. He uses vegetable rennet instead of animal rennet, which is taken from the stomach of the animals, which makes his cheeses purely vegetarian.

From the American Chemical Society:

World’s oldest cheese found in Egyptian tomb

August 15, 2018

Aging usually improves the flavor of cheese, but that’s not why some very old cheese discovered in an Egyptian tomb is drawing attention. Instead, it’s thought to be the most ancient solid cheese ever found, according to a study published in ACS’ journal Analytical Chemistry.

The tomb of Ptahmes, mayor of Memphis in Egypt during the 13th century BC, was initially unearthed in 1885. After being lost under drifting sands, it was rediscovered in 2010, and archeologists found broken jars at the site a few years later. One jar contained a solidified whitish mass, as well as canvas fabric that might have covered the jar or been used to preserve its contents. Enrico Greco and colleagues wanted to analyze the whitish substance to determine its identity.

After dissolving the sample, the researchers purified its protein constituents and analyzed them with liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. The peptides detected by these techniques show the sample was a dairy product made from cow milk and sheep or goat milk. The characteristics of the canvas fabric, which indicate it was suitable for containing a solid rather than a liquid, and the absence of other specific markers, support the conclusion that the dairy product was a solid cheese.

Other peptides in the food sample suggest it was contaminated with Brucella melitensis, a bacterium that causes brucellosis. This potentially deadly disease spreads from animals to people, typically from eating unpasteurized dairy products. If the team’s preliminary analysis is confirmed, the sample would represent the earliest reported biomolecular evidence of the disease.

I blogged before on still older cheese; some 5700 years before Ptahmes; made in Poland. However, that cheese seems to have been not solid cheese. So, this recent discovery in Egypt is still the oldest known solid cheese.

Analysis of fatty residue in pottery from the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia revealed evidence of fermented dairy products — soft cheeses and yogurts — from about 7,200 years ago, according to an international team of researchers: here.

Although dairy pastoralism once made Mongolian steppe herders successful enough to conquer most of Asia and Europe, the origins of this way of life on the East Asian steppe are still unclear. Now an international team of researchers has uncovered evidence that dairying arrived in Mongolia as early as 1300 BC through a process of cultural transmission rather than population replacement or migration: here.