Fake Honey

Tests Show Most Store Honey Isn’t Honey:

More than three-fourths of the honey sold in U.S. grocery stores isn’t exactly what the bees produce, according to testing done exclusively for Food Safety News.

The results show that the pollen frequently has been filtered out of products labeled “honey.” The removal of these microscopic particles from deep within a flower would make the nectar flunk the quality standards set by most of the world’s food safety agencies.

The food safety divisions of the World Health Organization, the European Commission and dozens of others also have ruled that without pollen there is no way to determine whether the honey came from legitimate and safe sources.

read more…

cell phones kill bees ?

Albert Einstein once said that if the bees disappeared, “man would have only four years of life left”.

image by flickr user "MOEVIEW is Aaron Molina"

today i was directed to an article in inhabitat, which explains that a new study out of switzerland has found that cell phone signals confuse bees and can cause them to suddenly die. it goes on to say that while we’ve known for years that the world bee population is dramatically declining, we didn’t really know why. until now. (well, actually see the note below)

image by flickr user mhall209

this actually shouldn’t be quite a new revelation (but it clearly could stand some further awareness and action!) when i googled “bees and cell phones” the first result is a 2007 (that’s 4 years ago mind you) article from The Independent which talks all about the theory that cell phone signals disrupt a bee’s navigation system.

while the (2007) Independent article says,

Now a limited study at Landau University has found that bees refuse to return to their hives when mobile phones are placed nearby. Dr Jochen Kuhn, who carried it out, said this could provide a “hint” to a possible cause.

apparently this most recent swiss study is claiming the “hint” is much more of a “reality”
since the article explains,

Led by researcher Daniel Favre, the alarming study found that bees reacted significantly to cell phones that were placed near or in hives in call-making mode. The bees sensed the signals transmitted when the phones rang, and emitted heavy buzzing noise during the calls. The calls act as an instinctive warning to leave the hive, but the frequency confuses the bees, causing them to fly erratically, and then suddenly die! The study found that the bees’ buzzing noise increases ten times when a cell phone is ringing or making a call – aka when signals are being transmitted, but remained normal when not in use.

now, i don’t think most people put their cell phone inside bee hives, but science does seems to be trying to tell us something.

if cell phones really are the problem, and we (most probably) can’t stop people from using cell phones, and we really really need bees to keep pollinating our crops so we can continue to eat, what are we left to do??

note: thanks to one reader (see comments), according to the actual study (found here: http://www.kokopelli.asso.fr/documentation/favre.pdf) there is no mention of cell phone signals actually killing bees, nor does it claim that this is the reason for the declining bee population. it does say, however, that bees are sensitive to pulsed electromagnetic fields generated by cell phones, that they cause observational changes in bee behavior, and that this is reason enough to further study the issue.


check out another bee related article on this blog: The Bee Crisis

which has a link to the trailer of the film Queen of the Sun which is also posted below:

casu marzu – sardinian maggot cheese

currently banned in the EU, casu marzo is made from pecorino cheese (made from sheep milk) that is left out so that for 2 -3 months the cheese is swarmed by flies. coincidentally the flies then lay their eggs in the cheese. then the eggs hatch and the larva start eating. and digesting. the combination of cheese, flies, larva, and digested cheese are the reasons for the case marzu’s unique taste and texture. (and to be clear it is served with the live maggots still inside.)

check out casu marzu on Gordan Ramsey’s The F-Word

Fresh, Local, Indie Food Rave; it’s “Civil Disobedience on a Paper Plate”

from carlah
via NYT

it’s an underground, night time food market that lets people get into eating and selling really good food, without the hastle of a permit. how? by becoming a “club” instead of a market. lucky for everyone, it’s free to join.

the article tackles many side of the idea; DIY meets locavores, underground movement, the realization that we need to make money to keep doing what we love to do, direct sales from chefs to consumers and growers to buyers, “cottage food” and culinary start ups.

full story here.

The underground market seeks to encourage food entrepreneurship by helping young vendors avoid roughly $1,000 a year in fees — including those for health permits and liability insurance — required by legitimate farmers markets. Here, where the food rave — call it a crave — was born, the market organizers sidestep city health inspections by operating as a private club, requiring that participants become “members” (free) and sign a disclaimer noting that food might not be prepared in a space that has been inspected.