November 21, 2018

Nutrition centre tells men to eat less meat

Filed under: Food & Drink,Health by Orangemaster @ 12:57 pm


Many countries have some sort of organisation that tells folks what they should and should not be eating. As of late, the Dutch Netherlands Nutrition Centre is telling men specifically that they should eat less meat.

According to the centre, men should not eat more than 500 grams of meat a week. Women apparently eat about 400 grams, so they’re not being targeted.

With a nation-wide campaign featuring Dutch men wearing T-shirts with mostly English-language food puns, the T-shirts as well as the campaign advises men to trade in meat for legumes, nuts and eggs.

Comments on Twitter to the announcement range from ‘I’ll decide what I eat, that’s my business’ and ‘telling people to eat eggs isn’t helpful.’ The idea of the campaign is to make men more aware of getting cancer, Type 2 diabetes and strokes.


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February 16, 2016

Dutchman fined with car full of meat in Switzerland

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 12:40 pm

To save some money while on vacation, a twentysomething Dutch guy decided to bring 160 kilos of meat into Switzerland, a country that only allows you to bring a kilo with you. He could have looked it up before trying to play bluff poker with Swiss border guards.

Customs found a veritable butcher’s shop in the boot of the car: spareribs, roasted pig, steaks and cold cuts. After claiming to have nothing to declare, the guy was fined a few thousand Swiss francs. Since we like price tags, 2,000 CHF is about 1,814 euro, 3,000 CHF is 2,721 euro), which means he probably ate dry bread for the rest of his vacation.

There’s nothing wrong with the Dutch bringing cheese, drop (Dutch liquorice sweets) and coffee on vacation as comfort food, but don’t pull stunts with the Swiss – they’ve seen it all. They’re not part of the EU or the European Economic Area like Iceland or Norway, and they don’t do Schengen. They will search the shit out of your car and fine you quicker than James Bond skiing away from the baddies down the piste at Gstaad for speeding.


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December 11, 2015

Slaughtered, infected chickens now design objects

Filed under: Animals,Design by Orangemaster @ 6:24 pm


Not a month goes by in the Netherlands without some sort of animal-related scandal. Why not then be a glass hall full kind of person and take bird flu-infected chickens to create an urn, for starters?

Dutch designer Emilie van Spronsen researched that if you heat a dead, infected chicken up to 70 degrees celsius for just three seconds, you’ll kill the H5N8 bird-flu virus it has. The country has killed a lot of chickens to prevent this disease from spreading, but Van Spronsen felt like the dead chickens might be of some use. “I brought a last homage to these H5N8 bird-flu chickens by transforming them into design materials and ultimately by designing objects with the materials.” Her work was displayed in October during Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven.

The H5N8 urn was printed in 3D using a combination of ash collected from cremated chicken remains and clay, and features a spiky exterior that resembles the virus as seen under a microscope.

Back in 2009 we wrote about a book that lists 185 uses for a dead pig.

(Link and photo:

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October 30, 2015

Dutch caught serving rotten food in Milan

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 11:00 am


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.

Meat in bin bags, people.


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May 10, 2015

Restaurant for ‘nearly possible’ meat

Filed under: Food & Drink by Branko Collin @ 11:32 am


Bistro in Vitro is a fictional restaurant with an online presence.

The site shows you what can be done with lab grown meat. Why would anybody create a restaurant for food you cannot eat yet? “Before we can decide if we ever want to eat lab grown meat, we need to explore its impact on our food culture”, the FAQ says.

Some of the dishes on the menu are cubes of celebrity, in vitro ice cream (made from polar bear DNA), undead fish teppanyaki and “the grey area between a sea anemone and a sex toy”. The project clearly tries to explore what it is exactly when we say ‘meat’.

The site appears to be a continuation of the crowdfunded The In Vitro Meat Cookbook which was published in 2014 and which won a Dutch Design Award that same year.

(Illustration: screenshot of the website)

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July 30, 2013

Fake meat so close to the grill you can taste it

Filed under: Animals,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 10:02 am

The lab-produced meat we told you about earlier this year that made headlines in 2012 is now finally ready to be grilled. Professor Mark Post of Maastricht University is behind this project, which was first reported to cost about 250,000 euro, but has now been beefed up to 290,000.

A selected few will get to taste the test-tube meat made up of 3,000 layers at an event to be held in West London. Originally there was talk of letting English chef Heston Blumenthal, owner of the three-Michelin-starred restaurant The Fat Duck cook it up, which could still be the case.

The entire point of making fake meat is of course to feed more people by slaughtering less animals. Boffins believe that the stem cells from one cow can produce a million times more meat that just killing it and grilling it. Then again, you need to kill some more cows to get the stem cells, but that’s par for the course.

Getting the planet to change their eating habits while incessantly pushing junk food made of barely fit for human consumption pink slime is an epic fail. Using guilt, shame or other negative emotions to reach a positive outcome is the recipe for epic fails, and if I hear another bunch of moralistic ecological crazies come up with eating worms and insects outside of the context of peoples in the world who traditionally do such things, I might think violent thoughts. Therefore, it seems logical but not ideal to make fake meat to mirror what so many people eat in this day and age and that’s unfortunately meat-related junk food.


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March 20, 2013

Talking junk food won’t stop anyone from eating meat

Filed under: Animals,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 10:01 am

Much like the scary warnings on cigarette packs, this short film by Dutch director Louis van Zwol made for Mercy for Animals, an American non-profit animal rights organisation that promotes vegetarianism, probably won’t dissuade anyone from eating meat.

However, the idea of your junk food (they could have used a proper steak, no?) telling you their war stories is far fetched, but well made. In this case, a Dutch frikandel that apparently speaks British English and looks like they smoke two packs a day just doesn’t want to be eaten. To me it’s junk food nobody should eat anyways, not a decent cut of meat whose worthiness could be argued by an Argentinian. It would be like using fries to make a point, instead of a healthy salad.

I’ve recently started to eat less meat for sports reasons and the best way to get me to continue to do that is to give me nice recipes, restaurant tips and a tomato plant for my balcony this summer, not silly films aimed at waspy male students that can’t be bothered to feed themselves properly before going out binge drinking.

I challenge any filmmaker of these kinds of films to make a film without using gross and graphic pictures as a shock tactic. Would you dissuade girls from getting pregnant by using graphic footage of childbirth? I doubt it.


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February 5, 2013

Lab-grown meat a success, cooking it up is on hold

Filed under: Food & Drink,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 2:04 pm

A year ago we told you about a lab in Maastricht that was growing synthetic meat, which was really expensive to make and should have been ready to grill in the fall of 2012.

The long-awaited lab-grown meat is now a reality, but researcher Mark Post wants to have at least two pieces of meat before he does any grilling, which again could take many more months. The goal is to have the two pieces of meat prepared by English chef Heston Blumenthal, owner of the three-Michelin-starred restaurant The Fat Duck in the UK who is very much into molecular-level cooking.


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February 21, 2012

Lab produced meat ready to grill this autumn

Filed under: Animals,Dutch first,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 11:45 pm

It’s white, probably taste bland and has cost 250,000 euro to make: it’s laboratory grown meat as proof that it can be done. Considering the future demands for meat due to population increase and a higher cost of living in parts of the world, trying to grow meat sounds like a good idea.

Some estimate that food production will have to double within the next 50 years to meet the requirements of a growing population. During this period, climate change, water shortages and greater urbanisation will make it more difficult to produce food.

Professor Mark Post’s group at Maastricht University in the Netherlands has grown small pieces of muscle, and claims that synthetic meat could reduce the environmental footprint of meat by up to 60%.

It seems to me that eating less meat or none at all is easier and way cheaper than all of this, even for meat eaters. Nobody has to eat meat every day, and vegetarian alternatives don’t have to be of a lesser status than actual meat. And why a burger? That’s so junk food like.


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March 15, 2011

‘Organic farming can be deceiving’

Filed under: Animals,Food & Drink,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 4:11 pm

When it comes to environmentally friendly products, we tend to collectively think that they’re automatically better than conventional products without even checking. The media and marketing play on these warm and fuzzy feelings all the time, which tends to be echoed by people whose need to believe always seems to outweigh checking the facts. Yes, these are nasty generalizations and yes, I too want to believe, but I don’t — yet.

After an aquaintance had posted an ‘I’m better than you because I eat less meat’ blurb on a mailing list, I promptly responded with our posting on producing meat is actually less damaging to the environment than producing cotton T-shirts. I’ll bet you she still buys cotton T-shirts.

However, I do agree that the video linked below seems to gloss over the issue of pesticides and other interesting comments the farmers were trying to make, but the deception is real: organic products have their own issues and according to everything I have read from several countries as an ordinary consumer, they are very often the same or only slightly better than conventional products.

And yes, killing animals is still killing animals, I got that part.

Watch the short video report: ‘Organic meat not better for the environment’.

(Link: Radio Netherlands)

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