France becomes the first country to ban foodwaste

A few months after it was proposed, the law was approved in December and it’s now official.

Is pizza really like crack? A rhetorical question for the media

Here we go again. A new study which investigated so-called addictive effects of food got picked up by the media with moronic headlines. The study in question found similar pharmacokinetic properties (e.g. concentrated dose, rapid rate of absorption) between highly processed foods and drug of abuse. The most rewarding food was found to be pizza, but in fact the researchers found cheese is actually the proxy. Apparently, cheese contains a concentrated amount of a protein known to bind to opiate receptors in the brain. Unsurprisingly, here are some of the headlines we’ve seen since: “Cheese really is like crack: Study reveals the food triggers the same part of the brain as drugs” (Daily Mail) or “Cheese really is crack. Study reveals cheese is as addictive as drugs” (LA Times). It goes without saying that cheese is not crack, and such headlines could be actually demeaning to crack addicts.

New enzyme could be used as an insulin alternative, to treat diabetes and obesity

University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) scientists have identified a new enzyme that could protect the body from toxic levels of intra-cell sugar. When there is too much sugar in the body it gets processed to glycerol-3-phosphate, a buildup of which can damage internal organs. The team behind the study proved that G3PP is able to extract excess sugar from cells.

Nestle’s cocoa linked to child slavery

The world’s largest food and water producer will be sued for allegations that it used child slaves to harvest cocoa beads in the Ivory Coast in Africa.

Study finds why New Year’s resolutions to lose weight fail

Throughout our hunter-forager days, humans have developed a subconscious urge to over-eat and became less and less psychologically equipped to avoid obesity, especially during the winter months, a University of Exeter study recently found.

A pocket-sized gadget uses spectroscopy and tells you what’s inside food

One of the most exciting gadgets we’ve seen at CES this year comes from a French startup called DietSensor, which collaborated with an Israeli company called Consumer Physics. Their latest product called SCiO is a pocket-sized device that uses near-infrared spectroscopy to tell you how many carbs or calories are found inside your food.

NASA wants to grow potatoes on the red planet. Just like Mark Watney from ‘The Martian’

Scientists want to grow potatoes on Mars to study crop resilience in the face of climate change. Brilliant or stupid?

Trying to lose weight? (of course you are) — fish oil to the rescue

The fatty acids in fish oil have been proved to help with a wide range of conditions, with WebMD detailing benefits ranging from improving the health of the heart and circulatory system all the way to fighting dyslexia, kidney disease and improving your child’s IQ. Now, scientists from the Kyoto University found that feeding fish oils to lab mice made them gain considerably less weight than their fish-less counterparts.

How feeding pigs with leftovers can save the rainforest

In 2001 a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in the United Kingdom was traced back to a farmer that illegally fed uncooked waste to his pigs. It left the country’s agricultural industry in tatters — over 10 million sheep and cattle were killed in an effort to contain the disease. Later that year EU legislators banned the use of human food waste (or swill) as pig feed, a decision that is now coming under a lot of fire from disgruntled livestock farmers and the scientific community.

Climate-Smart Agriculture Explained

Task force on Extreme Weather and Global Food System Resilience estimated that due to a rise in the world population from 7.3 billion to 9 billion in 2050, food production will need to increase by more than 60 percent. This implies cutting waste and growing more food per square meter than we do today. Modern tools, genetically modified crops and efficiency measures can help meet this goal, but not if the effects of climate change offset any incremental improvements. Any effort aimed at securing the food supply in the future must account for climate-smart practices. This is explained in a recently released video by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N.

Japan resumes whaling despite international ban

The island nation has recently announced that it will resume whaling operations in the Antarctic Ocean with the purpose of collecting “scientific data.” The decision was met with outrage and heavy criticism by other countries and conservation groups.

China builds massive cloning factory to feed its people

A massive, 200 million yuan (over $31 million) commercial animal cloning facility will be built in the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area with the sole purpose of cloning China’s cattle.

18th century alternatives for Thanksgiving recipes

Today, the world seems split into two different parts: some people devouring dramatically large pieces of turkey, and the other ones that simply don’t care about Thanksgiving. But no matter what category you fall into, it’s a good time of the year to enjoy some good food. With this in mind, I thought I’d share some fine recipes from the

Men ate almost twice as much when they dined with women

We all know that men like to impress the fairer members of our species, and this permeates into almost everything we do: we want to drive the shiniest car on the block, crack the funniest jokes 24/7 and write for ZMEScience so we can impress the ladies at parties. In essence, no matter how unlikely it is to actually impress, if a man has a choice between doing something and doing that something over the top so he can show off to women, you can bet your right arm he’s gonna do the latter.

Good quality breakfast linked to better performance in school

Cardiff University public health experts have discovered a powerful link between a pupil’s breakfast quality and their performance at school. The study – the largest to date looking at how nutrition influences school performance — recorded the breakfast habits of 5000 pupils aged 9 through 11, and their results in the Key Stage 2 Teacher Assessments 6-18 months later.

Orphan gene boosts the protein levels of crops

A recent study from Iowa State University shows how a gene, found in a single plant species so far, can increase protein content when grafted into the DNA of staple crops. Their findings could help improve a huge variety of crops and improve nutrition in developing parts of the world, where available sources of protein are sometimes limited.

Eating sweets with every meal may help your memory

Scientists at the Georgia State University, Georgia Regents University and Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center found that the brain uses sweet foods to form the memory of a meal. The paper shows how the neurons in the dorsal hippocampus — a part of the brain that is critical for episodic memory — are activated by consuming sweets.

Astronaut food: what astronauts eat in space

Many of you reading this hope to one day be able to explore outer space; the thrill of discovery, entwined with the peace and solitude that only the silent void can provide. It’s awesome stuff, I’m completely on board. But as it usually goes, great adventures come with great sacrifices.

Just one energy drink can pose significant health risks

A single energy drink can alter your health significantly, and consuming energy drinks regularly can be absolutely devastating.

A futuristic garden that lets you grow food at home just raised $230,000 on Kickstarter in 4 days

Let’s try again: Imagine you could grow your food at home, year-round, using a futuristic aquarium/garden system!