All posts tagged: Sustainability

Food and our Future – starting 8th of August

UNEP offers free online courses to teach everybody essentials of modern pressing issues. For example: what is a food system? Why do we have to think about food in its systematic context ? And, how can this help sustainability? Currently, a new free online course was added to their future learning platform for which they collaborate with the Stockholm Environmental Institute – online classes will start on 8th of August. The course focuses on South East Asia and explains how food security can be ensured here despite a growing population, and PRESSING environmental needs. It definetely makes you a more concious eater, cause  – guess what – what we eat every day actually has an environmental impact… Certificates of participation can be earned! Check out the course here!  

Vivace caviar is bancrupt

Some time ago I wrote about Vivace caviar, a company by a former professor of mine that tried to produce caviar in a fish-friendly way. They went bankrupt.  Apparently, the costs of the running production were too high per month, and the sales too low. And, of  course, they earned tons of criticism for their bankruptcy. For example, other sturgeon farmers found the production conditions of vivace faulty – apparently, one could taste that in the resulting caviar eggs (which indeed tasted different). Moreover, harvesting eggs several times from a sturgeon is not a complete novelity – such practices are common already in Russia. Professor Köhler’s patent for hardening the eggs after harvest added only a little bit of extra improvement to the process. Moreover, they were very ambitious – potentially too ambitious – they wanted to start production with 5 tons caviar per year, even though they sold at higher prices than the rest of the market… In any case, the story is a bit more complicated than that of course, so read it …

A little Science bite: coffee is valuable

And precisely every bit of it is a treasure!! In fact many people believe that you cannot even awaken without coffee (see picture 83 on this list for example). However, at the moment it is common practice to only collect the beans and throw away the cherries – “a waste”, said Rudi Dieleman.  And, he founded a business based on everything you can make from these cherries. This includes: dietary fibers, pectin, antioxidants, cellulose and red colouring agent. They say so, it is only the start – here is their TedTalk!

Attention cows: Muufri is entering the market!

At the moment, you still may not. It is a start-up (three cofounders) from University College Cork (Ireland) that want to bring artificial dairy milk on the market. Why? Because there are so many issues about current milk production: think about animal mistreatment, environmental concerns and human health threats concerning industrial production of cow milk. The good news is: cow milk is a simple product. It is composed of only 6 major proteins and 8 sugars. Muufri expressed these proteins in yeast and only had to tinker with their composition in order to gain the right flavour. Their product is supposedly healthier than normal cow milk; it has less of milk side products (hormones, cholosterol, too high lactose levels) that may be a health concern for humans. The company hopes to enter the market in three years: good luck with it!! And, we will stay tuned 😉 If interested, visit their website at: http://muufri.com/

Eat luxurious caviar and save the sturgeon: Vivace Caviar!!

A former professor of mine, Dr. Angela Köhler, set up this company producing caviar without killing the sturgeon. They started business this summer and already got some press-attention. Well, I think it is still worth-wile to spread the word a little bit more. Check out their business at: http://vivacecaviar.de/ Her company is very distinct from any other aquaculture caviar production. As the sturgeon is not killed when retrieving the caviar, the acquaculture raised fish may be reintroduced into the wild, if one day this is necessary to replenish wild populations. For the consumer her method is a very luxurious experience. The older the sturgeon the bigger and tastier the fish eggs. In fact, when you buy a dose of caviar from vivace, it says on the packaging how often the sturgeon has already given eggs. After harvest eggs are treated with male semon extract in order to harden the eggs shell. Even though it is unusual for any caviar lover, it is very favourable for the taste and texture. And, last but not least, her aquaculture …

On the spotlight: natur-pflege.ch (how to make money with goats that like to chew grasses meanwhile helping to save the world a little bit)

The idea is actually easy to explain: One of the negative effects of current trends in industrialized agriculture is, that the number of races and bloodlines hold as lifestock is decreasing. To prevent the decrease in genetic diversity and to prevent imbreeding (with all its potential physical consequences for the animals), old livestock races should be preserved. The only question remaining is: “can you built a business on this ground?” Yes, you can! In fact, a Swiss, Michael Dieterle, is already doing it (http://www.natur-pflege.ch/wsb/pages/willkommen/impressum.php). And, its is pretty straightforward: Old livestock races tend to be better in eating wild plants than industrial livestock races. As efficiency in meat production was the primary goal for the breeding of modern industrial livestock races, they are often accustomized to eating processed food. In contrary, old races will eat everything they can find on a meadow, heath etc. Thus, they are ideal when it comes to mowing the lane. In fact, they are even better than machines (when it comes to environmental friendliness). The irregularity with which they do their job, …