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So exactly how much food DO we throw away?

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Posts

  • Rhan9Rhan9 Registered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    A good point on this, many oranges you get at a store are artificially dyed with a known carcinogen to make them more appealing. They are allowed to do so because you "don't eat the peel".

    So make sure you know your fruit if you happen to use orange zest in anything.

    That seems like it should be a highly illegal practice. There are many applications for orange peel, so yes, you DO eat the peel in some recipes.

    fugacity
  • VishNubVishNub Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    I'm highly skeptical of that one.

    "Citrus Red 2 is listed as an IARC Group 2B carcinogen, meaning that it is "possibly carcinogenic to humans".[5] However, it does not penetrate the orange peel into the pulp.[citation needed]"

    "Substances, mixtures and exposure circumstances in this list have been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as Group 2B: The agent (mixture) is possibly carcinogenic to humans. The exposure circumstance entails exposures that are possibly carcinogenic to humans. This category is used for agents, mixtures and exposure circumstances for which there is limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and less than sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. It may also be used when there is inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity in humans but there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. In some instances, an agent, mixture or exposure circumstance for which there is inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity in humans but limited evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals together with supporting evidence from other relevant data may be placed in this group. Further details can be found in the IARC Monographs."

    So when you say known...

    VishNub on
    Steam = VishnuOwnz
    Dota2 = Glitchmo
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    I've been shocked at how much more quickly things go bad on the west coast (sticking things in the refrigerator is a joke. It'll go moldy as fast as it would've gone moldy on the plains if you had it sitting on the counter), so my food waste has been exceptionally bad over the last few months. I think maybe 3/4s of the groceries I've bought wound-up in the compost. :/

    On the brighter side, tossing food into the garbage is actually illegal here. All food has to be put into a compost bin, which is then picked-up and shipped off to a commercial composting facility. It's still waste, definitely, but at least it's being reconstituted into fertilizer / bio-fuel.

    With Love and Courage
  • ShadowhopeShadowhope Baa. Registered User regular
    VishNub wrote: »
    I'm highly skeptical of that one.

    "Citrus Red 2 is listed as an IARC Group 2B carcinogen, meaning that it is "possibly carcinogenic to humans".[5] However, it does not penetrate the orange peel into the pulp.[citation needed]"

    "Substances, mixtures and exposure circumstances in this list have been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as Group 2B: The agent (mixture) is possibly carcinogenic to humans. The exposure circumstance entails exposures that are possibly carcinogenic to humans. This category is used for agents, mixtures and exposure circumstances for which there is limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and less than sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. It may also be used when there is inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity in humans but there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. In some instances, an agent, mixture or exposure circumstance for which there is inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity in humans but limited evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals together with supporting evidence from other relevant data may be placed in this group. Further details can be found in the IARC Monographs."

    So when you say known...

    While I am skeptical about it being a carcinogen, I am not skeptical about the fact that dyes are used on a regular basis with regards to food to make it look right to consumers. Take Canthaxanthin in fish feed, to make sure that the fish look to be the right color. While it's probably safe (probably; the exposure needed to produce known noticeable effects on humans that could be directly linked to the substance would be immense, but less noticeable unknown effects are possible), it's still something being added to food with no purpose other than to increase customer satisfaction in food presentation.

    Dinosaurs were made up by the CIA to discourage time travel.
  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    So if there is no known or at least proven risk, shouldn't it be up to consumers to choose if they want the less visually appealing fish?

    Arguing that the visual appearance of food is of no purpose to consumers seems like something that needs a citation. Our visual perception of food does have an impact on how appealing it is. It may be different for different people, but I want my food to look good.

    spacekungfuman
  • VishNubVishNub Registered User regular
    The point is that that attitude leads to all of the things we then complain about in big agro - heavy use of pesticides, GMOs, etc...

    The easiest solution is to just change your preconceptions of what food should look like. The lumpy tomato tastes just the same as the perfect round one, especially if you're just cutting it up and throwing it in a salad or sauce.

    Steam = VishnuOwnz
    Dota2 = Glitchmo
  • ShadowhopeShadowhope Baa. Registered User regular
    zagdrob wrote: »
    So if there is no known or at least proven risk, shouldn't it be up to consumers to choose if they want the less visually appealing fish?

    Arguing that the visual appearance of food is of no purpose to consumers seems like something that needs a citation. Our visual perception of food does have an impact on how appealing it is. It may be different for different people, but I want my food to look good.

    You've pretty much nailed one of the three competing philosophies when it comes to that.

    A) We as consumers should be free to choose if we want better looking/tasting food, and it's our choice whether or not we'll take potential health risks with substances never proven to be dangerous.
    B) We as consumers should be protected from suppliers putting in additives that may potentially be dangerous, and it should be up to the suppliers to prove that there's no risk. Alternatively/additionally, governments can and should strictly enforce standards regarding what can and cannot go into food.
    C) Meh. What's for supper?

    Dinosaurs were made up by the CIA to discourage time travel.
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    zagdrob wrote: »
    So if there is no known or at least proven risk, shouldn't it be up to consumers to choose if they want the less visually appealing fish?

    Arguing that the visual appearance of food is of no purpose to consumers seems like something that needs a citation. Our visual perception of food does have an impact on how appealing it is. It may be different for different people, but I want my food to look good.

    Fish isn't so much the issue as vegetables and fruit. Vegetables and fruit these days are very fresh, and last a long time, and look great but often in the supermarkets they taste like crap because Americans shop based on appearance not taste. An ugly tomato will almost always taste better than a perfect round red one because an ugly tomato will be bred for flavor, not how spherical it is and how well it stands up to stacking.

    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
  • redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    tbloxham wrote: »
    zagdrob wrote: »
    So if there is no known or at least proven risk, shouldn't it be up to consumers to choose if they want the less visually appealing fish?

    Arguing that the visual appearance of food is of no purpose to consumers seems like something that needs a citation. Our visual perception of food does have an impact on how appealing it is. It may be different for different people, but I want my food to look good.

    Fish isn't so much the issue as vegetables and fruit. Vegetables and fruit these days are very fresh, and last a long time, and look great but often in the supermarkets they taste like crap because Americans shop based on appearance not taste. An ugly tomato will almost always taste better than a perfect round red one because an ugly tomato will be bred for flavor, not how spherical it is and how well it stands up to stacking.

    As I understand the thing with tomatoes, it's actually that they are designed to all 'ripen' at the same time. This is basically accomplished by getting of a compound that causes some of them to ripen early and unevenly. This makes harvesting much simpler and predictable, which is great from an industry point of view, but unfortunately that compound that causes them to be unpredictable is also what causes the to taste good. So, like, it's not entirely about appearances, there is also a huge increased efficiency angle in growing shitty, watery tomatoes that never really fully ripen.

    This machine kills threads.
  • zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    And those tomatoes that taste great don't last nearly as long on the shelf. The tomatoes that aren't uniform in size and shape tend to get bruised and battered more than ones that fit nicely into the shipping container. Thus, more rotten or ruined tomatoes, more thrown away. More waste.

    Since there is more waste and the process is less efficient, you need larger hothouses in the winter that take more energy to heat, or you need to deliver those tomatoes from Chile by 747 instead of shipping container because they don't last long enough to put in a reffer container and ship the weeks it takes to get to the US.

    I suppose we could just either pay $8.00 / heirloom tomato in winter or go without...but I'd rather have the less optimal tomato in the off season and eat heirloom tomatoes in the summer than go half the year without them. Crappy tomato is almost always better than no tomato...unless it's crappy rotten because of no shelf life.

    Tradeoffs, ya know?

    spacekungfuman
  • fugacityfugacity Registered User regular
    redx wrote: »
    tbloxham wrote: »
    zagdrob wrote: »
    So if there is no known or at least proven risk, shouldn't it be up to consumers to choose if they want the less visually appealing fish?

    Arguing that the visual appearance of food is of no purpose to consumers seems like something that needs a citation. Our visual perception of food does have an impact on how appealing it is. It may be different for different people, but I want my food to look good.

    Fish isn't so much the issue as vegetables and fruit. Vegetables and fruit these days are very fresh, and last a long time, and look great but often in the supermarkets they taste like crap because Americans shop based on appearance not taste. An ugly tomato will almost always taste better than a perfect round red one because an ugly tomato will be bred for flavor, not how spherical it is and how well it stands up to stacking.

    As I understand the thing with tomatoes, it's actually that they are designed to all 'ripen' at the same time. This is basically accomplished by getting of a compound that causes some of them to ripen early and unevenly. This makes harvesting much simpler and predictable, which is great from an industry point of view, but unfortunately that compound that causes them to be unpredictable is also what causes the to taste good. So, like, it's not entirely about appearances, there is also a huge increased efficiency angle in growing shitty, watery tomatoes that never really fully ripen.

    By designed, do you mean "designed" by nature, i.e. evolved, or designed by plant breeders? Normally I'd think tomatoes would ripen in batches since you'd have different animals travelling different directions and separate feeding and "dispersal" activities would get the plant's seeds into a wider range of potential germination locations. I don't actually know if tomatoes have been breed to effect uniformity of ripening.

    But what I understand usually happens for non-local tomatoes is that none are picked ripe. Instead, all the tomatoes are picked green and shipped with ethylene, which makes the tomato turn red. The fruit looks ripe but it's basically a red unripe tomato. Some breeds are further breed to be especially firm for shipping purposes, weather/pest resistant, and other production factors. Taste isn't usually considered since people have largely be trained away from the taste of fresh local produce.

    Unless you really need a sliced tomato, I'd think you're most likely better off going with a canned tomato since they're usually less concerned about appearance than flavor (since it's in a can anyway).

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    These days, there's basically 2 types of tomato plants: determinate and indeterminate

    Determinate basically flower and fruit all in one go and then die.
    Indeterminate flower and fruit just all over the place and keep going till the frost kills them.

    Determinate, I believe, were bred for farming since "dump all your fruit in one go" is better for farming.
    Indeterminate are just "normal" plants.

    This is what I remember from growing tomatoes on my balcony.


    Anyway, most tomatoes are picked unripe because they are picked in places where tomatoes don't really have a "season" and need to be shipped long distances to the store. If you want fresh tomatoes and it's not tomato season, go with canned unless the texture will wreck what you are making. (like, a sandwich or something) Canned is always picked fresh.

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