Newly founded Dutch company Mosa Meat wants to see lab grown meat in supermarkets in five years’ time. One of the owners of the company, Dutch researcher Mark Post of Maastricht University, was behind the growing of pieces of muscle in a lab, claiming that synthetic meat could reduce the environmental footprint of meat by up to 60%. The original lab meat cost 290,000 euro to produce.
Together with Dutch food expert Peter Verstraate Mosa Meat plans to sell lab meat for 10 to 20 euro a kilo, a price that would go down if this ever become a reality and a consumer habit. A select group of people tasted the lab meat in London in 2013 and you can watch a short video on how that went. English chef Richard McGowan prepared burgers, and not Heston Blumenthal as initially suggested. The critics were positive about the taste of lab meat.
“I think most people just don’t realise that the current meat production is at its maximum and is not going to supply sufficient meat for the growing demand in the next 40 years, so we need to come up with an alternative,” Post explains.
Headquartered in Utrecht, Dutch frozen fish company Iglo is looking for a new Kapitein Iglo (Captain Iglo). It’s a real job with requirements and everything. From 1967 to 1998 well-known British actor John Hewer was the face of Captain Birdseye, as it’s either Birdseye or Iglo depending on where you buy the products in Europe. German taxi driver Gerd Deutschmann played the captain from 2008 until his death in 2012.
There’s never been a Dutch captain and since there’s no time like the present, Iglo wants someone to hand out fish sticks, sail around a bit and show up at sea-related festivals. However, it doesn’t say they want a man because that would be illlegal as women are technically allowed to apply as well, if they feel like wasting their time that is.
The job vacancy cleverly uses the Dutch word ‘gastheer’ (‘male host’), which automatically excludes women the same way ‘gastvrouw’ (hostess) always excludes men. On a darker note, wouldn’t a Dutch captain be expected to be Caucasian? One could argue that the captain should look the same as he (not she) always has, so then you’d get an older white man with a full white beard. The vacancy says “candidates of all ages may apply”, which is odd because technically you can’t exclude anyone based on age unless the salary is such that it fits the complicated ageist EU rules of paying younger people less and older people more in certain roles. In other words, they’ve overtly omitted specifying a man or a skin colour, which means women and non-Caucasian can apply and waste their time, but they have no problem telling us they’d be willing to pick a younger man by highlighting something that’s already a legal given. It smells a bit fishy.
If you’re casting a Dutch film and you need a Russian gangster type, you can then specify you want a man who looks Russian, is bad ass and 30 without any bad feelings. In this case, why don’t they just come out and say that Caucasian and male would be preferable? My money says the winner is going to be a man as white as the inside of a fish stick.
Noord-Brabant student singers Grenzeloos Gek have made the news with their carnival song ‘Vluchtelingen uit Aleppo’ (‘Refugees from Aleppo’). They can’t sing on key and dance around a touchy subject, but so far they’ve not caused any actual controversy except for fueling the annual carnival lovers vs. carnival haters ping pong online.
Here’s a rough translation of the chorus:
“Refugees from Aleppo, over the mountains so high
Refugees from Aleppo, farmers, bakers and biologists
They’re coming here for four days of beer.”
It’s about a bunch of white male Dutch students drawing attention to themselves with a sub-par song using a ripped off melody and a hot topic. It’s about drinking beer and having fun and singing as flat as a carnival beer. The song amusingly implies that refugees drink beer when in fact a lot of them probably don’t and didn’t flee for their lives for a few watered down carnival beers with frat boys. I’m still wondering if this would have worked with a bunch of white Dutch girls: depending on their looks, they’d been written off or tolerated because of them.
The 24oranges tree is the same every year, but decorated slightly differently. I found it years ago abandoned on Queen’s Day (now King’s Day) in a big blue IKEA tote bag and it does the job just fine. This year it has candy canes I bought in the UK (not a Dutch thing) and some baubles made by friends.
Today’s menu is wild mushroom stew Bourgignon, which means red wine is involved, and home made almond shortbread cookies. Oh, and the fantastic French cheese that someone brought from France and left me to eat upon returning to France for the holidays, you know who you are.
Branko will again have a Top 10 list of this year’s favourite stories before the end of the year. Thanks for the comments, the likes and following us on Twitter. We’ll try and be more present on instagram (if only we could toggle between accounts!) in 2016 and we’ll keep uploading great Dutch pics on Flickr.
Happy Holidays, and for anyone who is working, have a good day and take care!
– Light peanut butter with a whopping 451% (!) more sugar than normal peanut butter.
– A small dessert of which half of it is air.
– Apple juice diluted with water and passed off as half as sweet.
– Cranberries that have a layer of syrup on them, sold as superfood.
– Children’s cookies “full of nutrients”, but with tons of sugar in them.
And two others with misleading labels that finally have less to do with hidden sugars and more to do with not enough proper product. I voted for the cranberries, which seems like the biggest con, but the cookies and peanut butter are right up there.
A young couple recently decided to have a romantic dinner at McDonald’s in downtown Rotterdam. The manager was very relaxed about it and let the couple use the table cloth, candles, plates and utensils they brought with them. “It looked like a fancy picnic”.
Sure people stared and yes the manager snapped a picture for social media. You just know this is going to happen again somewhere soon.
Trying to smuggle alcohol into Saudi Arabia where it is illegal carries serious consequences if we believe the media. Smugglers have tried to disguise 48,000 cans of Heineken as Pepsi cola ones using crafty stickers. We could also flog the makers of Heineken, but that’s just a pipe dream.
Just this week an elderly British man living in Saudi Arabia was released from jail after spending one year in a cell for making homemade wine. More than 230,000 people had signed an online petition calling for the British Prime Minister to intervene to stop Mr Andree from facing 350 lashings, a punishment the man would probably not have survived after battling cancer and being asthmatic.
In the Netherlands, a song by Jaap Visser once told us that in fact ‘Heineken is a hard drug dealer’ and makes a great argument for banning it.
Heineken wrecks everything
Leidseplein, your marriage
Heineken is a hard drug dealer
The hospitals are full
With victims of alcohol
Heineken is a hard drug dealer
Don’t let yourself be cheated
Don’t let yourself be fooled
Heineken is a hard drug dealer
And if the stadium is violently destroyed
Heineken sits sanctimoniously at home
Counting his money
Trade union federation FNV said the aim of the stunt was to launch a petition calling for better working conditions in the food and hospitality industry.”The industry’s turnover has gone up for the eighth quarter in a row, but the personnel have not benefited,” the union said.
British furniture chain Seats and Sofas, which also has outlets in the Netherlands, got ‘pwnd’ with a ‘Trojan’ cake, and a song and dance. In the video below we learn that the company is well-know for advertising the price of a sofa and then in very small print adding instalments that makes the couch twice the advertised price, effectively misleading shoppers.
The Dutch and Belgian pranksters called both Dutch and Belgian shops to ask if the advertised price of 499 euro on a sofa was correct and both said yes, failing to mention the fine print story. And not reading the fine print is what bites this one shop in the arse in this video.
Although in Dunglish, the subtitles are enough to understand the prank that has been played on the furniture giant. And the video is a delight to watch: Seats and Sofas can’t be arsed to read fine print or read a situation for that matter.
Beer, broads and a bacon sandwich! Watch the video to hear more festive alliterations.
Someone recently told me that not a month goes by in the Netherlands without a food scandal and had collected a list of articles specifically about meat scandals over a period of two years: horse meat passed off as beef, bad fish, sick fattened chickens, and so on. And then there’s the fact that most good reasons to come to the Netherlands have absolutely nothing to do with food, which makes you wonder why the relationship with food here is not a happy marriage.
At an agri-food event like the World Expo Milan 2015 that showcases food from around the world and attracts a huge amount of visitors in its five month stint, you would want your country to put its best food forward. The Dutch pavilion at the expo was fined 3,000 euro by the Italians for serving rotten food that was improperly stored, which included dozens of kilos of rotten meat and bread that was stored in bin bags. That was someone’s idea of street food, which is a shame because the Netherlands has some decent street food at events.