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Eddie Huang Goes Vegan Amidst Amazon Rainforest Crisis

Photo: May S. Young on Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Incase you’re living under a rock or somewhere off the grid like Tibet, you’ve probably heard that the Amazon rainforest has been on fire for over three weeks. In a time where climate change is a hot button issue, this news should alarm you.  The Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest, covering over 5.5 million square kilometers and producing more than 20% of all oxygen. To give you an idea of how significant 20% is, the Amazon is referred to as our planet’s lungs.  Suffice to say, it plays a major role in the fight against climate change.

There have been a reported 72,843 fires in the rainforest this year, the highest rate since Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) began tracking them in 2013. What’s really crazy about all of this is the fact that news outlets only began reporting on the fire this past Wednesday. Word of the fire set the internet ablaze as news spread throughout social media, with news outlets receiving heavy scrutiny for the three-week coverage delay.  

Photo: Unknown on Pxhere, CC0 1.0

Thankfully, information on how you can help is now reaching the masses. In addition to speaking out, one celebrity is taking it a step further in an effort to show solidarity. Announcing that he is going vegan in response to the environmental crisis, writer, host, chef and restaurateur Eddie Huang had this to say:

“After watching videos of the Amazon on fire this week, I’ve decided that this corned beef I ate at Junior’s last week will be the last piece of beef I ever eat,” he wrote on Instagram. 

As a famed restaurateur and former host of Vice’s HBO show “Huang’s World,” Huang is no stranger to eating meat. He continued, “[I love food] but I don’t love what food tv and more importantly what food has become in our culture: a drug.”

With a newfound beef with beef, he explained further, “I’m going to go vegan because it takes 20 times less land to feed a vegan than a meat eater and over 90% of the land cleared in the amazon rainforest since 1970 is used for grazing livestock, but if all of us just stopped eating BEEF it would solve huge problems.”

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After watching videos of the Amazon on fire this week, Ive decided that this corned beef I ate at Junior’s last week will be the last piece of beef I ever eat. I love beef, I love ox tails, I love Peter Luger’s, I loved growing up in a steak house cutting NY Strip on xanax. It was soothing but beef is fucking us. Actually, we are fucking ourselves on multiple levels and we need to make changes. Im going to go vegan because it takes 20 times less land to feed a vegan than a meat eater and over 90% of the land cleared in the amazon rainforest since 1970 is used for grazing livestock, but if all of us just stopped eating BEEF it would solve huge problems. Eat fish, eat chicken, eat pork until the next crisis but if all u can do now is quit beef, please do it. I know a lot of ass backwards people think vegetarianism or veganism is some uppity white girl thing to do but its not. There have been Asian Buddhist Vegetarians for thousands of years, Ital Rasta, Hindu as well, this is not some new age thing to laugh at. We are getting back to roots, healing the Earth, and ourselves. Ive eaten my last bite of meat. I wish I had planned this better and ate my mom’s ox tail soup but fuck it. There really isnt time to waste. Some things have to start today. I started to get these feelings shooting the last season of Huang’s World and fasted for 5 days because my producer David’s mom said I looked sick. She was right. The 5 days not eating fundamentally changed me and I shot the second half of the season while intermittent fasting. Ive made a lot of food videos because I love food but more than anything because food was fertile ground for exploring difference, but I dont love what food tv and more importantly what food has become in our culture: a drug. I had a really rough 2018- early 2019, got high and just ate myself to sleep watching Harry Potter a lot lol but Im getting back on my shit. Take a moment, think about it, and reexamine your relationship with food because it’ll make the Earth and ourselves very very sick if we keep abusing it.

A post shared by Eddie Huang (@mreddiehuang) on

Whether or not he sticks to his guns and truly switches to vegan, the stance alone is a powerful one. Oftentimes it takes celebrities speaking out to inspire action on a large scale and Huang’s actions are certainly commendable. You definitely don’t need to go vegan in order to help, but everyone should feel inspired to do something. It can be as simple as sharing a post. Let’s hope climate awareness continues to grow as the world comes together to save the Amazon. 

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#foodbeast FOODBEAST Health Restaurants Sustainability Technology

A Dosa-Making Robot Is A Highlight At This Modern Indian Restaurant

This past May Dalup Modern Indian opened on 350 7th Avenue in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood. Featuring a pan-Indian menu developed by Bravo’s Top Chef alum Dave Martin, patrons are invited to create their own personalized korma bowls — or as Dalup calls them, “karma bowls.” With a focus on lighter and more modern versions of traditional Indian cuisine, each bowl includes your choice of base — biryani rice, long grain brown rice or citrus and tomato freekeh — and choice of dairy and gluten-free curry. Nat Loganathan, an owner of Dalup, has this to say:

“Born and raised in Southern India and now long time New Yorkers, we wanted to create a warm and welcoming eatery offering modern Indian cuisine. We wanted to keep the authentically bold flavors, but focus on making it light and fresh with everything prepared in-house.”

Dalup has its sights set on delivering consistency in food quality and operations. To achieve this, Dalup makes creative use of specialized equipment to bake their Naan bread and grill their kebab-style meat, which includes chicken, pork and lamb. One of the most interesting things Dalup has done is incorporate a custom robotic dosa machine that makes dosas à la minute. Yes, robots are indeed taking over. With technology playing a major role, Dalup also donates proceeds to Girls Who Code, a national none-profit organization whose mission is to close the gender gap in technology.

Dalup uses locally sourced meats and produce, housemade dough, spice blends, and supports sustainable and socially responsible production. So if you’re looking for tasty and healthy indian food with a robotic twist, Dalup Modern Indian may be the right fit for you.

 

Photos: Dalup Modern Indian by Simmer Group
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Food Policy Health Plant-Based Sustainability

Plant-Based Chicken Nuggets Are Coming To School Cafeterias Nationwide

When kids across the United States walk into their school cafeterias to start the 2019-2020 school year, many may find plant-based chicken nuggets as a brand new meal option.

Photo courtesy of Don Lee Farms

Don Lee Farms, one of the top three suppliers of protein for school lunch programs, is adding the vegan chicken substitute to its offerings. They serve most major and many small school districts in the United States, with the total they supply numbering in the thousands. Their decision to start incorporating plant-based nuggets came as both an option for sustainability and cost. “In most cases, our price for these items are at or below what chicken nuggets cost schools today,” president Donald Goodman said in a statement.

These nuggets are apparently comparable in taste and texture to real chicken nuggets, and give schools a plant-based option kids already love that is more environmentally friendly and even cheaper than meat. Given how important it is for vegan replicas to become cheaper than the real thing, the fact that a processed meat like chicken nuggets has a cheaper plant-based substitute now is monumental.

Schools will be able to purchase the plant-based nuggets to add to their cafeteria menus starting this summer.

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Hit-Or-Miss Kitchen Gadgets Sustainability Technology

This New Cooler Is Powered By The Sun, So Forget About Those Soggy Ice Bags

Summer is finally on its way, which means you probably have a few beach days or barbecues in the works. (Hooray, warm weather!) Before you pack your old cooler with soggy bags of ice, check out the GoSun Chill. It’s a solar-powered cooler that doesn’t require any ice at all (seriously), which means you can pack your frozen goods without squeezing them into piles of melting cubes. Yup, that means you can kiss the days of wet food and overflowing coolers goodbye.

The GoSun Chill was announced on May 7 by GoSun, the company behind those solar cookers you know and love. Similar to GoSun’s ovens and grills, the Chill can be powered by the sun. Yes, that means you won’t have to stop at the grocery store for three bags of ice on your way to the beach. Instead, you can charge up your GoSun Chill cooler using solar energy.

Thankfully, charging the GoSun Chill is really easy. TBH, there are a few ways you can do it — but I’ll start with the solar option. (That’s the point, isn’t it?) According to GoSun, the cooler’s Lithium Powerbank (which powers the device) can be charged with a solar table or a solar panel. Thankfully, both devices come with the purchase of a GoSun Chill, which means you can pick whichever one is more convenient for you.

Once your Powerbank is charged, it’ll run your cooler for up to 14 hours in 80-degree weather. So, yes, it’s safe to say that your beers will stay cold (even during those long, steamy beach days).

Courtesy of GoSun

The Lithium Powerbank can also be charged with an AC Adapter (aka a wall outlet), which leads me to my next point. If you’d rather bypass the whole “solar” part, you can use an AC Adapter or 12 Volt Cord to plug your cooler directly into your outlet or car. That way, you won’t need a charged Powerbank to run your mini fridge.

Even so, using the Lithium Powerbank sounds like a pretty convenient option. In addition to powering your GoSun Chill, the Powerbank can be used to charge cell phones and laptops (thanks to its convenient USB ports). Therefore, if you need a quick charge during your camping trip, go ahead and use the Lithium Powerbank after cooling down your Chill.

Courtesy of GoSun

If you want to give the GoSun Chill a try, you can order one for $479 on Indiegogo. However they probably won’t be shipped until August 2019 — so plan your summer beach days accordingly.

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Sustainable Farming Could Help Bluefin Tuna Populations Rally While Satisfying Sushi Lovers

The most popular fish that we eat are often the ones that get overwhelmingly overfished around the world. Such is the case for the bluefin tuna, whose fatty pink flesh has made it a prized gem for sushi and sashimi lovers. So coveted, in fact, that single bluefin tuna have sold for millions of dollars in Japan.

As a result of its popularity and demand, the bluefin population is now at a dangerously low amount that it may never recover from. However, $800 million worth of it is still consumed annually, further putting the entire species at risk of extinction.


Photo: Marc Kharrat//Foodbeast

One might think that farming is a potential solution to help the bluefin tuna, but unsustainable management and environmental concerns from fish waste have produced more problems than solutions in that regard. However, Tokyo trading giant Mitsui & Co. (Mitsui) is looking to rectify that issue. They’ve developed a new form of sustainable tuna farming that could satisfy sushi lovers while letting populations in the wild recover without a massive environmental strain.


Photo courtesy of Mitsui & Co.

To discover this process for ourselves, the FOODBEAST team followed a single fish raised by Mitsui from birth to sashimi. From a laboratory and farm in Southern Japan to a California sushi restaurant, we were able to see how the fish was raised, treated, fed, cared for, slaughtered, broken down, and served.

It’s an eye-opening process that shows just how much TLC goes into raising each tuna, and you can view it in its entirety in the above mini-doc.


Photo: Marc Kharrat//Foodbeast

With Mitsui supplying the tuna to restaurants around the world and New York-based seafood distributor Mark Foods, Inc. supplying the tuna in the U.S., this new sustainable practice could help change the future of tuna farming as we know it, and may one day help get tuna off of the endangered seafood list. It’ll definitely help us eat this sustainable tuna with the conscience that we’re helping save their wild populations by doing so.


Created in partnership with Mitsui & Co

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Drinks Entrepreneurship Sustainability Technology What's New

Eco-Friendly Tea Drops Dissolve Straight Into Hot Water, No Tea Bag Required

As everyone is looking to be more eco-friendly on a day to day basis, one spot to look at that you may not be thinking of is your tea bags. As more than half of all Americans are drinking a cup every day, that adds up to a lot of plastic, which is used to seal each bag of tea leaves.

While there are biodegradable packaging solutions and metallic loose leaf tea infusers you can use, one of the more creative solutions comes in what can be best described as miniature tea bath bombs.

Created by Tea Drops, these unique products dissolve into your hot water in mere moments. They come in different flavors, including turmeric or cardamom, and one is good enough to make an 8-12 ounce mug of strong, aromatic tea.

These come in a compostable packaging, which helps cut down on the traditional plastic and environmental footprint tea bags have. While there is still some waste involved, on average, you’re looking at cutting your waste down by 20-30% compared to conventional tea bags. That, and you don’t have a leftover wet bag of leaves to toss in the trash or get in the way of your sipping either.

You can purchase packs of the Tea Drops for $10, each one containing 10 of the mini bath bombs. That comes out to about a dollar per cup, which is 2-3 times more than the cost per tea bag in a package you can pick up at somewhere Target. Still, for the flavor, environmental awareness, and convenience these come at, it’s not too drastic of a price difference.

Tea Drops are available on the brand’s website, but can also be found in local and natural retailers across the nation.