Summary of “How the vegan food trend made a star of the pungent jackfruit”

Thousands of miles from this tropical forest habitat, in food trucks in Los Angeles, vegan eateries in London – and now even at Pizza Hut- jackfruit consumption is surging among diners looking for an ethical alternative to meat.
Jackfruit is renowned for its meaty texture but the cumbersome fruit comes in many guises, I learned in the hills around Kochi city, at the farm of VA Thomas, Kerala’s one-man jackfruit encyclopedia.
For lunch, Thomas served us dry jackfruit, dehydrated jackfruit pieces, fresh jackfruit and boiled jackfruit mashed with turmeric and grated coconut.
Food researchers are trumpeting the potential for jackfruit to become a staple crop on a warming planet.
“The thing about jackfruit is that it’s huge – one of the biggest tree fruits in the world,” said Danielle Nierenberg, president of the Food Tank, a Washington DC-based food study institute.
In May 2018, the Kerala government declared jackfruit the state’s official fruit, with the winning slogan: “Jackfruit is the best fruit. Its fruit has innumerable good qualities.” It is now being processed into ice-cream, crisps and juices.
He signals for a waiter, who brings a plate of fish fried in batter made with one-quarter jackfruit flour.
Another study, to be presented in Rome in April, claims the use of diabetes medication fell in Kerala during jackfruit season last year, when the government was heavily promoting the consumption of its new state fruit.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Bananas Have Died Out Once Before”

In the United Kingdom, one in four pieces of fruit consumed is a banana and, on average, each Briton eats 10 kg of bananas per year; in the United States, that’s 12 kg, or up to 100 bananas.
Bananas are one of the oldest known cultivated plants, but were first grown in the United States in the 1880s, by entrepreneurs involved in early plantations in Jamaica.
As advances in transportation and refrigeration shortened the time it took to bring bananas to market, they rose in popularity, cleverly marketed as a grocery staple, a fruit for the whole family.
While these new bananas were filling a growing Western appetite, Cavendish suffered from the same flaw that brought down Gros Michel: monoculture.
Plantation bananas are sterile and produced via cloning; baby banana plants sprout from the base of adult banana plants, identicals in miniature of the adjacent giants they will soon become.
Perhaps most terrifyingly, this problem isn’t limited to bananas.
The same way bananas are facing an epidemic, so is agriculture at large.
As things stand, it is time to admit we don’t pay enough for bananas.

The orginal article.

Summary of “why Spaniards are living longer”

Markets such as the Mercado de Maravillas – which have long flourished across Spain – could be one of the main reasons why Spaniards are on course to overtake the Japanese to become the longest-lived people in the world.
According to a study published this week by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, people in Spain will have an average lifespan of 85.8 years by 2040, while those in Japan will lag ever so slightly behind on 85.7 years.
Fernando de la Fuente, who has run a fruit and veg stall in the Mercado de Maravillas for 47 of his 61 years, was not at all surprised that researchers think Spain’s famous Mediterranean diet plays a major role in longevity.
Over recent years, life expectancy in Spain has been approaching that of top-tier countries such as Japan, Switzerland, Sweden and France.
“The generations now reaching old age in Spain are doing a bit better than other generations did in other countries. We can say that the new generations of old people coming through now are a bit better and so will last a bit longer.”
“Like other Mediterranean countries, Spain really values that family richness: the bonds of family; the closeness of family. It’s not the only thing – nor the most important thing – but I think it goes some way to explaining the differences between Spain and other countries. It’s a bonus. If you live better, you end up living longer.”
“Genetic makeup is very important when we’re talking about extreme longevity – people who are going to live for 100 years,” said Borrás.
Dr Jeroen Spijker, a research fellow at the Centre for Demographic Studies at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, said that Spain’s universal free healthcare system was helping people to live longer than in other countries.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The banana is dying. The race is on to reinvent it before it’s too late”

TR4 only affects a particular type of banana called the Cavendish.
There are more than 1,000 banana varieties in the world, but the Cavendish, named after a British nobleman who grew the exotic fruit in his greenhouses on the edge of the Peak District, makes up almost the entire export market.
No banana has become as ubiquitous as the Cavendish, which accounts for 47 per cent of all global production of the fruit.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, this amounts to 50 billion tonnes of Cavendish bananas every year – 99 per cent of all global banana exports.
Europe and America’s banana of choice was the Gros Michel – a creamier, sweeter banana that dominated the export market.
Faced with no other choice, the major banana firms switched production to their backup banana: the Cavendish.
“There are big areas that no longer have any plants at all.” The fungus, which can live undetected in the soil for decades, enters banana plants through their roots and spreads to the water- and nutrient-conducting tissue within, eventually starving the plant of nourishment.
In the eyes of the EU, there was not much difference between Dale’s transgenic bananas and a CRISPR-edited banana after all.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Do You *Really* Need to Wash Fruit Before You Eat It?”

Between your mom and the Food and Drug Administration, at least a few people have probably told you to always wash your fruits and vegetables so you don’t ingest filthy germs when you eat them.
Like Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein before me, I set out to crack Watergate – only my intrepid mission involved reaching out to a few food safety experts to find out if you really need to wash your produce before you eat it.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you wash your produce to avoid food-borne illnesses like norovirus, which is the country’s leading cause of disease outbreaks from contaminated food.
You wash away physical contaminants like dirt, pebbles, insects, and other lingering debris.
Washing your fruits and vegetables before you eat them does something.
Even if you wash your produce, you can still get sick.
Washing your fruit removes some of that nasty bacteria – but not all of it.
“If you’ve got bacteria on the surface of fruits and vegetables, and you give them a wash with cold water, it removes some of what’s on the surface,” Brendan Niemira of the U.S. Department of Agriculture told LiveScience in 2010.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to keep pests out of your home”

If little creepy-crawlies are your least favorite kind of visitor, here are some tips to keep your home pest-free, the all-natural way.
You may not see them, but some of the produce you buy has fruit fly eggs on them that hatch when you get home.
More than likely the fruit flies come into your home when a door or window is open.
You probably also already know that keeping your house clean and putting away food is the best way to keep the bugs out of your home.
The only thing I’ve found that can truly keep a home roach-free, even during the dry season, is bay leaves.
The best way to keep bed bugs at bay is to never go anywhere and to never let furniture come into your home.
Wash clothes from sleepovers and trips to a hotel immediately after returning home.
Put them straight into a clean laundry bag and take them home.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Is eating natural food the same as eating what’s healthy?”

What is a ‘natural’ food product? One common suggestion is that ‘natural’ things are not made of chemicals.
Critics of natural living sometimes stress that all this focus on our ancestral, natural environment is only sentimental yearning for a past paradise that never was.
A related objection goes, we humans and all we do have always been part of our own natural surroundings; we can’t understand our natural environment as something isolated from ourselves and our creations.
What qualifies as ‘natural’ for marketers and consumers of ‘natural’ products that we eat, drink or use is more discriminating than what counts as the ‘natural’ subject matter of the natural sciences.
Does natural amount to ‘healthy’? In fact, some foods we’re designed to benefit from don’t help us stay healthy.
So ‘natural’ isn’t the same as ‘healthy’ – but is it instead the same as ‘unprocessed’? After all, the obstacle to counting table sugar as natural is that processing has extracted the sugar from the rest of what is in its plant source.
Perhaps natural is superfluous? Can’t we just say ‘whole foods’? No. Skim milk is not a whole food: the cream, which rises to the top of natural milk, has been skimmed off.
Not all foods natural to cows or birds are natural to us.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Bananas have died out once before-don’t let it happen again”

In the United Kingdom, one in four pieces of fruit consumed is a banana and, on average, each Briton eats 10 kg of bananas per year; in the United States, that’s 12 kg, or up to 100 bananas.
Bananas are one of the oldest known cultivated plants, but were first grown in the United States in the 1880s, by entrepreneurs involved in early plantations in Jamaica.
As advances in transportation and refrigeration shortened the time it took to bring bananas to market, they rose in popularity, cleverly marketed as a grocery staple, a fruit for the whole family.
While these new bananas were filling a growing Western appetite, Cavendish suffered from the same flaw that brought down Gros Michel: monoculture.
Plantation bananas are sterile and produced via cloning; baby banana plants sprout from the base of adult banana plants, identicals in miniature of the adjacent giants they will soon become.
Perhaps most terrifyingly, this problem isn’t limited to bananas.
The same way bananas are facing an epidemic, so is agriculture at large.
As things stand, it is time to admit we don’t pay enough for bananas.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Strange History of the “King-Pine””

“There is no nobler fruit in the universe,” Jean de Léry writes of the pineapple.
Charles Lamb loved the fruit erotically: “Pleasure bordering on pain, from the fierceness and insanity of her relish, like a lovers’ kisses she biteth.” Pieter de la Court professes: “One can never be tire’d with looking on it.” How did these men, and so many others, become so enraptured with the pineapple? And how have we forgotten its former grandeur?
As Fran Beauman notes in her book The Pineapple, “That it was previously unknown in the Old World meant that it was free of the cultural resonances that engulfed other fruits.” While the pomegranate suffered under the legacy of Persephone and the apple was stained by the creation story, the pineapple was, Beauman continues, “a completely blank page” onto which ruling powers could press their own meanings.
“We can get pineapples,” it seemed to relay, “And you can’t.” From then on, the pineapple became Charles II’s favorite status symbol.
A pineapple would be passed from party to party until it began to rot, and the maids who transported the pineapples placed themselves in mortal danger should they be accosted by thieves.
Pineapples disappeared from France after the 1789 Revolution, and other countries such as Spain, Portugal, and even Russia could not keep up with the UK’s heavy investment in pineapple cultivation.
As steamships began to import the fruit in greater quantities from the colonies, the pineapple’s reputation deteriorated.
After the advent of cheap canned pineapple rings and pineapple chunks atop Hawaiian pizzas, it seems difficult to believe that this most recent embrace of the pineapple’s whimsical form has anything to do with status.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Bananas vs. Sports Drinks? Bananas Win in Study”

So a few years ago, researchers at the North Carolina Research Campus of Appalachian State University in Kannapolis, began to wonder about fruits as a healthier alternative to sports drinks during exercise.
Most fruits, including bananas, are sugary and high in fructose; fructose, after all, means fruit sugar.
In a preliminary experiment, published in 2012, the scientists found that cyclists performed better during a strenuous bike ride if they had either a banana or a sports drink compared to only water.
Dole Foods, which sells bananas, partially funded both studies.
According to a statement in the study, the company did not have any involvement in “The study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript.”). The researchers asked 20 competitive cyclists, male and female, to complete a grueling 47-mile bike ride on several occasions at the campus performance lab.
In the others, they had water, but also eight ounces of a sports drink or about half of a banana every 30 minutes.
In particular, the scientists found that the riders’ blood cells produced less of a genetic precursor of an enzyme known as COX-2 if they had eaten bananas during their workout.
In the meantime, he says, for exercisers who might prefer a natural, inexpensive and neatly packaged alternative to sports drinks, “Bananas look pretty good.”

The orginal article.