Just to prove that this blog isn’t quite dead yet, here are a couple of articles for last month. The first of these is a popular story that has been passing around the net a lot recently. It’s about a scientist’s efforts to make meat fit for human consumption from human feces. The other one is a detailed look by Babbage of The Economist at how Bitcoin works. It’s a new virtual currency that been attracted the attention of economists around the world.
The first article is from Digital Trends and introduces us to Mitsuyuki Ikeda of Japan who has managed to develop steaks that are made from proteins that come from human excrement. Many commentators described the process as eating shit but that isn’t really correct. What the scientists have done instead is to use sewage mud as a base on which to grow bacteria. These bacteria turn out to have high protein content, which can be extracted and processed into an artificial steak. It supposedly tastes like beef.
Continue reading Recent Interesting Science Articles (June ’11)
By now, I suspect that almost everyone will have seen the videos of burgers and fries from McDonald’s taking a suspiciously long time to rot. The suggestion is that McDonald’s packs tons of chemicals and artificial preservatives in their products to prolong their shelf life, incidentally also making them very harmful to eat. The Burger Lab, a food blog who was also behind a massive effort to deconstruct the precise composition of McDonald’s fries and make them at home, has punched a hole in this theory.
After an extensive series of tests, he finds that, yes, McDonald’s burgers do indeed take much longer to rot than other burgers, but the reason isn’t due to chemical preservatives. It is primarily due to the large surface area of the burger compared to its volume, causing it lose moisture rapidly. Since the meat is sterile to begin with, this makes it very hard for mold spores in the air to establish a foothold. To further prove his point, he performed another experiment in which the burger was stored in a plastic bag designed to retain moisture, and found that the McDonald’s burger does indeed rot normally in this case. Check out his extensive blog post for more details.
Spotted this on the Quartertothree forums. Gamer Grub, performance snack food for gamers! Available in four flavours (“Action Pizza”, “Strategy Chocolate”, “Racing Wasabi” and “Sports PB&J”) and laced with special health supplements designed to make gamers better at playing games! All that, and be edible without forcing the player to stop playing too! Ok, all of that is bunch of crock but at least the manufacturer’s website lists all the talking points with a healthy dose of tongue-in-cheek humour.
This is nothing more than a novelty gag item, but give the creator props for daring to try something so wacky!