Friday, October 22, 2010

Stem Sells

The supermarket's now selling brussel sprouts still-on-the-stem. It's a pretty clever marketing tactic - makes people think they're fresh off the farm.* 

You know how they've started selling tomatoes on the truss? It used to be a standard breeding trait to make sure the tomatoes came off the truss cleanly (stems can pierce stacked tomatoes). And now some varieties are bred to keep them on...

*Plus it's fun, which I won't argue with!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cabbage Shortage!

The Economist reports a major shortage of cabbage that is causing political unease in South Korea. The populace is apparently starting to freak out a little as the cost of a head of cabbage surpasses $10 (more expensive than pork!). Cabbage is eaten daily as the much-loved national dish, Kimchi. This excellent food is made by fermenting cabbage anaerobically in brine and plays a central role in Korean food culture.*

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Holland Infographics

I just got back from Wageningen, NV.* The Netherlands is a very wet country, but we had excellent weather and I had a lot of fun meeting everyone at the headquarters. And such a cool town! Same population size as Ithaca or Davis, but with a denser downtown, older buildings and a much more bike-friendly infrastructure...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

GM corn helps farmers who don't use it

Everyone's been waiting for long-term studies of GM crops - and now we have one!

The European corn borer was accidentally released in the U.S. in 1917. In recent years, it's managed to cost farmers $1 billion each year. Transgenic Bt corn was introduced in 1996, largely in order to deal with this pest. Thanks to the enthusiastic adoption of farmers, over 60% of U.S. corn now contains the borer-killing Bt gene...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Indians love their new rice!

Indian smallholder farmers are adopting a new, improved rice variety at an "unprecedented" rate.


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