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Your-Vegetarian-Kitchen.com's "Veg-E-Zine", Issue #005 Honey Bee Special
June 08, 2008
Late Spring 2008
Thanks to everyone for the continued support and feedback of Your Vegetarian Kitchen!
In this issue:
YVK Book Club
Skinny Bitch in the Kitch
The follow-up to
bestselling diet guide Skinny
cookbook orders readers to toss out all their meat, eggs and dairy, and
make room for nutritional yeast, seitan and something called "Bragg's
Liquid Aminos" (although soy sauce will do in a pinch). The authors'
philosophy is simple but rigid: in order to be skinny, one must also be
vegan (and, preferably, willing to give up coffee and white sugar). Not
to despair-the svelte can eat all the tofu-based fake meat and cheese
they want, and follow it up with dessert-alikes such as Bitchtastic
Brownies or Cheezecake. For the most part, recipes are easy and
inoffensive; while a "Chicken" Parmesan Panini will fool nobody, other
offerings, like Japanese Soba Noodles with Steamed Vegetables
are perfectly satisfying. But to enjoy this cookbook in full, a reader
must be content to be addressed (repeatedly) as "bitch," as in, "Who's
a boring old fart now, bitch?" Confusingly, there's no nutritional
information for any of the recipes, nor is there any information on the
specific dietary needs of vegans-apparently, you'll need to buy
Freedman and Barnouin's first book for that. (For those who haven't
tried, switching to a vegan diet is difficult even with a proper guide;
this book's complete lack of support should make it a real bitch.)
Nutrition, January/February, 2008
November 19, 2007
New look and feel
New Your Vegetarian Kitchen Mall (online)
Speaking of products and resources that are available to support your diet and lifestyle. Our online mall is loaded with specific hand picked items that we feel will benefit you the most.
Click HERE to view the online mall
Last Flight of the Honeybee?
The Guardian, UK, May 31, 2008
Dave Hackenberg's bees have been on the road for four days. To reach the almond orchards of California's Central Valley, they pass through the fertile plains of the Mississippi, huge cattle ranches and oilfields in Texas, and the dusty towns of New Mexico on their 2,600-mile journey from Florida. The bees will have seen little of the dramatic landscape, being cooped up in hives stacked four high on the back of trucks. Each truck carries close to 500 hives, tethered with strong harnesses and covered with black netting to prevent the millions of passengers from escaping. When the drivers pull over to sleep, the bees have a break from the constant movement and wind speed, but there's no opportunity to look around and stretch their wings.
Their final destination is some two hours north of Los Angeles. As the sun begins to fade over the vast, flat terrain, the convoy slowly snakes through orchards filled with row upon row of almond trees stretching as far as the eye can see. Every February, the valley plays host to billions of honeybees as trees burst into blossom, blanketing the landscape in a soft, pinkish hue which extends to the horizon.
The sandy loam and Mediterranean climate are perfect for the cultivation of almonds, but that's where any comparisons to picturesque orchards of Spain or Italy end. Here, there are no verdant weeds, wild flowers or grass verges to please the eye, just never-ending trees that form what looks like an outdoor production line.
In the cool hours after sunset and before sunrise, more than one million hives are unloaded at regular intervals between the trees by commercial beekeepers such as Dave Hackenberg, who have travelled from the far corners of the US to take part in the world's largest managed pollination event. The mammoth orchards of Central Valley stretch the distance from London to Aberdeen, and the 60 million almond trees planted with monotonous uniformity along the 400-mile route require half of all the honeybees in the US to pollinate them - a staggering 40 billion.
By February 16, National Almond Day in the US, the trees are usually covered in flowers and humming with the sound of busy bees. Attracted by the sweet nectar that each flower offers, the bees crawl around on the petals to find the perfect sucking position. As they do so, their furry bodies are dusted with beads of pollen. As they fly from blossom to blossom in search of more of the sweet energy drink, they transfer pollen from the male part of the flower to the female part, and so fertilise it. Not long afterwards, the plant's ovaries swell into fruit, which by late August turn into precious, oval-shaped nuts.
Without this army of migrant pollinators paying a visit for three weeks every year, the trees would fail to bear the almonds that are California's most valuable horticultural export. Last year, they earned the state more than $1.9bn, double the revenue from its Napa Valley vineyards. Moreover, 80% of the world's almonds now come from this pocket of the planet. But the supply of almonds in confectionery, cakes and packets of nuts is now threatened by a mysterious malady that is causing honeybees to disappear.
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