Algae, the sustainable superfood

Hi folks,

I tried algae for the first time – except for kombu algae and similar, which I used to eat while living in Japan. I tried organic algae hand-harvested on the West coast of Irland – so they write on the label.

Are you wondering about the taste? It is… ehm… peculiar. I didn’t dislike it though. In my opinion, the taste resembled much that of seafood – seafood towards the harbour O.0

It all comes down on how you combine them – see below under “How do I eat algae”.

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Image courtesy of ALGA-NET

Why shall I eat algae?

Because they are a kind of food as for now produced in an ultra sustainable way and they are super nutritious. For example, 100g of algae contains on avarage 200% of the RDA of Vitamin B12, 480% of the RDA of calcium and 241% of RDA of magnesium. In fact, they are a superfood. And if you are a real Green Addict like me, you’d like to think of where your food comes from and you’d strive to eat as local as possible. Contrary to many superfoods praised by numerous health coaches, this superfood is currently available in Europe, so it does not have to travel long before hitting your table.

How do I eat algae?

Put it on the top of your soup or in the salad, instead of croutons. They are dried and crunchy, which makes it a nice texture contrast. Try it on fresh peas homemade soup… it blends in the flavor very well!

Good luck with your experiments in the kitchen,

GA

PS: I bought wild organic algae called “Atlantic Carragheen”, or “Chondrus Crispus”. I found them at the bio supermarket NaturaSì.

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OMG So much plastic! How to avoid packaging excess

During my time living in Copenhagen I was a member of an organic local veggie association. Every week I used to go pick up my “dose” of vegetables taking with me a canvas bag, filling it up with potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garlic, salad, beetroots – and again a lot of potatoes, beetroots, potatoes, beetroots, potatoes, beetroots… well, that’s what they eat over there :).

Although we are not lacking similar veggie group purchasing in Italy (es. Cortilia in Milan), I didn’t get the chance to become a member of any of those yet. But I think today I will take action against it, as I was completely shocked at seeing the enormous amount of plastic is used in packaging in supermarkets. I mean, I knew it before… but today I looked down to the cart and…

It kind of hurt my eyes…

And my heart. Think about how much petroleum, processing energy, CO2 emissions, transportation costs, toxins and mould on our food we can save, just by avoiding packaged fruits & vegetables.

Next time you are at the grocery store… Think about this post. Let’s make a change together!

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“Sorry if we used plastic for packaging, but please do recycle it” – What?! Are you kidding me? Of course I will recycle it.

That’s the least I could do, but you, dear producer, should just stop filling up my house, my fridge and my cabinets of it. You and I, we both deserve to nurture ourselves – and leave on a cleaner, healthier Planet.

Fruits & Veggies tracker – post your organic eating #foodporn

How often are images of fresh veggies and healthy food published online, compared to junk food alluring pics? Let’s revert the trend! Eat organic F&V, take a nice shot and show the world!
Video casted from http://www.foodpornindex.com/

The smart communication initiative created by Bolthouse Farms will be showcased next month at the Partnership for a Healthier America’s summit, with keynote speaker Michelle Obama.

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Dining with Høkasse, the taste of slowcooking

A few days ago we organized a dinner with friends to try out Høkasse, the slowcooking appliance that doesn’t require energy at all while cooking. Slowcooking is a well-known cooking technique to chefs and gourmands, yet not commonly used by regular people. With our rushy lifestyle, how on earth can we have time to slowcook for 5-6 hours?? Surprisingly enough, it’s pretty quick to cook with the Høkasse… actually I think it’s quicker than regular cooking on the stove!

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My friend V. and I decided to do our first experimento on a Sunday. In the morning we went to have breakfast together and grocery shopping. We got home aroud midday and we cut vegetables and prepared the meat for the Ossobuco recipe. We put the pot with meat and vegetables on the cookstove for only 10 minutes, unitl well heated up. Then we put it straight into the Høkasse, closed the lid and… Forgot about it! 🙂 We enjoyed our free time for the rest of the day until we enjoyed our delightful slowcooked meal in the evening!

You have to try out the experience yourself! You’ll be surprised by the lovely newly harvested taste of vegetables, meat and potatoes when cooked in the Høkasse

 

Green Addict cooks an eco-dinner for friends

What I have been doing today: cooking!

It was the first shift in my new house. In the dorm where I live there’s a tradition about foodclub (Madklub). Every night somebody is in charge to cook for the other rommates (about 20 people). When my turn came, I couldn’t think of a menu but green! I took inspiration from my favorite blog against foodwaste Ecocucina and had a veggie based dinner – even though a bit of meat was there. Vegetables were purchased at KBHFF, the cooperative providing fresh seasonal products from local organic farmers.

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Extra quality Italian gelato in Villasimius (Sardinia) at Chiccheria

Spending my holidays in Sardinia, I found the best gelato shop ever. 🙂

Don’t even need to mention how delicious is their ice cream, they have an incredible range of tastes, a different special one every day, and a lot of fantasy in their creations….

Are they eco? Of course, best quality for the people means good for the environment.

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They minimize production waste, they are able to save 60.000 liters of water every year and most of their suppliers are local. In addition, they explore the surrounding to find typical plants and products of the region to get inspired for new tastes. For example, Cannonau wine and Pecorino cheese from Sardinia, Lavander and Honey from Maremma, and fresh Lemongrass and Ginger collected on a trip to Bali.

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Gelato is the traditional Italian way of doing ice cream. The founder Manuele Presenti, head of the Chiccheria international school of ice cream, comes from a family of pastry chef and he puts the same over-accuracy and passion in preparing every taste.

If you come around Villasimius (Sardinia, Italy) or Marina di Grosseto (Tuscany, Italy) don’t miss out a visit to Chiccheria!

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Cool beer at the beach

I am in love with summer sunsets at the beach…  Especially with a cool beer on the side. Save energy and enjoy the natural cooler. Awesome results!

Apparently, what I tried out with my gluten-free beer, became soon a fashion at the beach!

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PS: have you noticed the unique design of the jacket I’m wearing in the picture above? It’s one of my favorite, from the Italian eco-fashion designer Ecologina.

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PPSS: the natural cooler works better and faster if you use it with organic juices/beers/drinks instead of sugar-artificial flavors packed Bacardi 🙂

Why giving up with sugar in your diet?

I’ve heard people saying “sugar is a poison for the body” and this kind of stuff, but as I don’t really suffer from diabetes (yet!), why should I bother in giving up with sugar?

3 reasons for doing it

1. Watch this brief docufilm published today on The Guardian about sugar crops in Cambodia supplying 90% of European market.

2. As the last book from the from the American author Moss explains, Salt Sugar and Fat are dangerous for our healt, especially when mixed together in processed food.

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3. Sugar is addictive, like the more you have the more you want of it. Sugar is also the main responsible of those annoying ‘holes’ you feel in your stomach when you are starving. The expectation should be no sugar no starving any more.

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My small change

Avoiding completely sugar is not easy, as drinking bitter coffee and herbal tea won’t save us. Sugar is already added to most of the beverages we like to enjoy, especially in the summertime – juices, fizzing drinks, lemonades, milkshakes, etc – and both in sweet and salted baked products we buy.So my suggestion would be

AVOID SUGAR

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and USE DATES INSTEAD…!

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To have an overview of the different existing types of sugar read here.

To have an overview of the alternatives, just look around you and dare experiment in your kitchen!

A debate about degrowth

I’ve been working so far at the organization of the webinar Which economic model for a sustainable growth? by Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition. Webinars – also known as BCFN Talks – are short yet well-structured debates following talk show TV format moderated by very well prepared Alex Thomson from Channel 4 News. The event went online on live streaming at BCFN website, but it is possible to watch registered video later here.

On April 5th BCFN hosted a debate about sustainable economic growth inviting three experts in economics and social sciences, expressing individual’s different opinion on the topic. The debate started from the question “what are the limits of the traditional model based on economic growth?”.

Philippe Aghion, Professor of Economics at Harvard University, went crazy about innovation: innovation can solve all kinds of problems. On the other hand, Peter A. Victor, Professor of Ecological Economics at University of York and author of the book Managing without growth, remarked the unavoidable limits to growth due to limited resources on this planet. Finally activist and writer Raj Patel (@Raj Patel) gave priority to food and the occupy movements happening worldwide.

If you are interested, please follow this link to have more info and express your opinion through social media tools interaction. Do you think degrowth means reducing personal money and comforts?

Thank you for stopping by. Follow me on Twitter @ecoSFL.

Durante i mesi scorsi ho lavorato all’organizzazione del webinar Quali modelli economici per una crescita sostenibile? presentato dal Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition. I webinar, chiamati anche BCFN Talks, sono dei format che seguono i canoni dei talk show televisivi per realizzare dei brevi seminari/dibattiti online fruibili gratuitamente in diretta live streaiming dal pubblico in tutto il mondo. La moderazione è stata affidata al valido Alex Thomson, giornalista televisivo di lunga esperienza del canale britannico Channel 4 News.

L’incontro del 5 aprile era dedicato al confronto sugli schemi economici possibili in futuro in un’ottica di stabilizzazione, partendo dalla riflessione sulla situazione attuale: ” quali sono i limiti di un’economia basata sul modello della crescita costante?”

Philippe Aghion, professore ordinario di Economia dell’Università di Harvard, ha puntato tutto sull’innovazione, che nel bene e nel male riuscirà sempre a risolvere i problemi dell’umanità, come ha fatto finora. In totale contrasto la posizione di Peter A. Victor, professore di Economia Ecologica presso l’Università di York in Canada e autore del recente libro Managing without growth (non tradotto in italiano), che ha posto l’accento sull’evidente finitezza delle risorse del pianeta e sulla necessità di domandarci dove ci porta l’innovazione, qual è il suo vero valore ovvero fino a che punto ne abbiamo bisogno (fino a dove si può arrivare? Il beneficio che ne traiamo è superiore alle risorse impiegate per arrivarci?). Infine l’attivista  e scrittore Raj Patel (@Raj Patel) ha contestualizzato la prospettiva sullo sfondo delle proteste popolari di Occupy Wall Street e sull’estrema iniquità della distribuzione della ricchezza (e del cibo) globale.

Potete seguire tutto il dibattito qui ed esprimere la vostra opinione sui canali sociali del BCFN.

Grazie per l’interesse! Seguitemi su Twitter @ecoSFL.

[Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition]

#F27 • It isn’t a GMO code

27 febbraio, 30 nuovi tweet #F27 ogni minuto, da diventar matti a star dietro all’hashtag. E’ il giorno della protesta globale di Occupy Big Food, movimento nato 6 mesi fa a Zuccotti Park, superflua precisazione, sull’onda di Occupy Wall Street. Cosa succede di importante in questa giornata? Non si tratta di un gruppo di contadini che manifestano per chiedere appezzamenti e sussidi. E’ molto di più: il gruppo di contadini si ritrova e si unisce insieme ai cittadini di tutto il mondo che vogliono fronteggiare Lei, l’unica, la grande, la sproporzionata, l’irriducibile Monsanto, l’azienda che ha il monopolio – come dico io – sul pre-food, ovvero su ciò che esiste prima di diventare cibo processato. Cosa fa di male questo colosso? Non è una presa di posizione assoluta contro le bio-tecnologie (ci sono metodi e metodi che approfondirò più avanti), ma un problema di ordine filosofico, sebbene molto pratico. Le sementi OGM, essendo create in laboratorio, non sono portatrici di vita: la loro sterilità le fa cadere al confine con il mondo inorganico. La grande massa dei coltivatori allo stremo delle condizioni (fisiche ed economiche) è costretta a dipendere dal gigante dello smercio mondiale per l’acquisto di nuove sementi ad ogni raccolto – ad un prezzo finalizzato al profitto di chi le produce, come insegnano le elementari leggi economiche di monopolio. Non voglio parlare dei problemi che la produzione e il consumo di alimenti geneticamente modificati provocano alla salute umana e all’ambiente. Vorrei solo gridare, perchè sentano, dall’atra parte dell’oceano, che io sono con loro.

February 27th, 30 new #F27  tweets every minute. All day long – I was going crazy following the hashtag.  It is the big day, the Global Occupy Big Food day – the movement started in New York 6 months ago and spread already over the country and overseas. Why is this so important? It’s not about a bunch of farmers gathering together asking for land and subsidies. Actually they are gathering together (also with dwellers) to face the Big one, the giant of pre-processed-food industry: the Monsanto company. What’s wrong with it? It’s just the most powerful genetically modified seeds producer. Why a seed producer is said to be powerful? After all, seeds grow up naturally. But not if they have been in the lab before being planted. GMO plants cannot reproduce themselves, as they are not part of the “organic world”, they don’t disclose life as Mother Earth would do. Hence, farmers are put in the need to buy them season after season, crop by crop, at more and more expensive price set by big corporations. Don’t even mention GMO related health diseases and environmental harm… Supporting Occupy Big Food!

[Follow the stream via TumblrTwitterThe official blog]