16th 10 - 2014 | no comment »

Insect Eating Gains Another Advocate

Count Norwegian chef René Redzepi among those who think insects could help solve world hunger. He points out the properly prepared insect dishes are considered delicacies in many parts of the world.

Redzepi has earned a reputation as an innovative and experimental chef. He runs a Michelen two-star restaurant, Noma known for reinventing traditional cuisines. The eatery has won four “Best of the Year” awards in international competitions and it was the best meal Brian Torchin and I ate on our Europe trip. So the man has some credentials for considering what people eat.

According to National Geographic, 99 countries around the world have bugs as part of the national diet. It turns out even tiny insects can provide a healthy amount of protein. Insect advocates point out that large-scale farming of insects for food would take less land and create fewer waste products than raising cattle, sheep or pigs currently does.

The idea of putting more insects on the menu, or entomophagy, has drawn some criticism. Many species play a vital role in fertilization for plants. If human demand began to reduce native bug populations it could have disastrous consequences for the lifecycles of domestic crops and wildlife. While not related to insect harvesting a declining population of honeybees in North America has caused concerns among farmers who rely on the bees to pollinate their crops.

7th 10 - 2014 | no comment »

Diner Lets Customers Decide What To Pay for Meals

While it may be somewhat unorthodox, one diner’s strategy to see what people will pay for meals is certainly interesting. In Gaston County, North Carolina, Just Cookin restaurant has recently adopted a new menu strategy, pay what you want.

Owner Dana Parris says she’ll leave the matter to god, and allow customers to pay what they feel the meal was worth. Whether or not we’ll see any Michelin star restaurants follow suit remains to be seen. But somehow I don’t expect that anytime soon.

But Jared Haftel keeps telling me I don’t know what I’m talking about. And that this could end up being a massive business boost for her. So far that’s true, as Parris says Just Cookin’s income has tripled since making the change.

I guess people really are generous.

6th 10 - 2014 | no comment »

Red Bull to Provide $13 Million in Class Action Settlement

If you drank a Red Bull within the past 10 years, you might just be able to receive a settlement in the amount of $10 (about 4 cans’ worth!).

To settle a class action lawsuit against them, regarding claims of false advertising, Red Bull has decided to settle for the sum of $15 million. Red Bull, however, denies any wrongdoing, stating that the settle was for reasons of financial security. In an email to Bevnet, Red Bull stated:

“Red Bull settled the lawsuit to avoid the cost and distraction of litigation. However, Red Bull maintains that its marketing and labelling have always been truthful and accurate, and denies any and all wrongdoing or liability.”

Allegations of false advertising stem from a series of Red Bull advertisements, which touts a superior blend of energy-boosting ingredients, including Guarana and Taurine. With these ingredients, the plantiffs contend, Red Bull falsely boasted that the energy-boosting capabilities of Red Bull were far greater than that of your average cup of coffee.

These claims, however, are now being argued as entirely false, and the plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit have provided a number of studies from publications such as the New York Times and the European Food Safety Authority Journal. These studies have conclusively found that the only ingredient in the soft drink that actually provided energy-boosting qualities is caffeine.

When Red Bull is compared with far more inexpensive options solely in terms of caffeine content, it is sorely lacking. A cup of coffee, in fact, contains more.

While Red Bull denies all this, it has stopped making the controversial claims in recent advertisements.

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