Grad school has been crazy y’all. I’m SO thankful for the things I’ve learned (oceanography, genetics, bioinformatics, etc.) and discovered about myself (that I really like coding and am not so jazzed about teaching). Conferences and workshops have given me the opportunity to travel (to the UK, Germany, and the far corners of the U.S.) and connect with new people (shout-out to the Phytonerds!). However, in the pursuit of constant productivity, I’ve let the things that keep me happy and motivated fall by the wayside… it’s this masochistic cycle, in which I believe that I’ll somehow be more productive if I deprive myself of the things that I enjoy. The sheer joy of metagenetic gut content analyses can only keep you going for so long, so it’s my New Year’s resolution to be less “productive” with the aid of the following activities. So, I’m counting on you—dear internet friends and acquaintances—to keep me accountable! Continue reading “7-ish Resolutions”
I am currently getting organized and taking stock of my goals and priorities as I plan out a summer of oceanography research. Let’s do the same for food! There are several dishes that I’ve been wanting to try my hand at, but keep putting on the back burner for one reason or another. Maybe I’ll finally get to them this year if I make a tidy little buzzfeed-style list…
For this blogging project I had hoped to obtain fresh, locally-farmed seaweed, but this task proved much more difficult than expected! Dried sea vegetables are already available at most natural foods stores (for a pretty steep price) but fresh sea vegetables (undehydrated) are a rarity. However, the dried products that I worked with for all of these blog posts rehydrated quite nicely and apparently suffer little to no nutritional loss as a result of the drying process. We won’t be finding fresh sea vegetables in the produce section of every grocery store until there is a larger demand from consumers for these products. Join the cause and become a sea vegetable pioneer in your own kitchen! Continue reading “Eat Your [Sea] Vegetables! Sustainable Farming (Kelp DESSERTS)”
The old adage that one can have “too much of a good thing” is supported in spades by a phenomenon that is plaguing many waterways around the world. Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous are integral to the healthy functioning of marine ecosystems, but are often raised to unnaturally high levels by human activities such as agriculture, lawn-fertilization, and sewage treatment. This overloading of nutrients into a body of water is called eutrophication. This environmental affliction is unpleasant for both humans and animals alike, and can even have lethal effects. As a result of eutrophication, many waterways suffer from harmful (toxic) algal blooms as well as hypoxia: a low-oxygen state in which few organisms can survive.
How do we combat this menace? Limiting nutrients at the source is one strategy—for example, using less or organic fertilizers would reduce the amount of nutrient runoff associated with agriculture and lawn-care. A second strategy is to clean up the problem downstream by using up these excess nutrients through the cultivation of seaweed! Continue reading “Eat Your [Sea] Vegetables! Fighting Eutrophication (Alaria recipe)”
Seaweed (a.k.a. sea vegetables) is an informal catch-all term used to describe multicellular algae species, that—you guessed it—come from the sea! Seaweeds can be classified as red, brown, or green varieties. Most species attach themselves to the ocean floor, while a few species float freely near the ocean surface. Most seaweed growth occurs along coastlines where water depths are shallow enough for sunlight to reach seaweeds anchored to the seafloor. Seaweed is a vital part of the ecosystem in which it grows, acting as a source of both food and shelter for other organisms. With a little encouragement from chefs (and Oprah?) I hope that seaweed will soon become a vital part of the American diet!
Seaweed offers many health benefits, and some even argue that we should be eating seaweed in every meal! A simple google search on the health benefits of seaweed will yield a multitude of websites and peer-reviewed journals eager to inform the public about this underrated “superfood”. This label appeals to a health-conscious audience, but likely repels all others. If you belong to the latter category but are open to an easy entry point, then I invite you to try Dulse!
Seaweed has been unnecessarily limited to the realm of east-Asian cuisine, making only rare appearances in the average American’s diet as sushi or miso soup. In this series of posts I am hoping to introduce you—dear reader—to a few varieties of sea vegetables, including some unconventional ways to use them. There are many benefits associated with the culinary use of sea vegetables for both humans and the environment, so let’s get ‘em on our plates! Continue reading “Eat Your [Sea] Vegetables! Cooking Beyond Nori (Laver Recipe)”
I was just thinking about strategies for survival in a zombie apocalypse… no idea why… maybe it was something I saw on TV today? Never hurts to be prepared!
If you’ve ever seen The Walking Dead then you know that bullets and canned goods are as good as gold. Both are critically important, but only one is edible!
FYI, If someone tells you to “eat lead” then I’m pretty sure they’re not inviting you to sit down for a nice bowl of lead shavings…
The following recipe utilizes canned/pantry goods and is tremendous for situations when I not-so-soberly offer to cook dinner for friends or am on the run from yuge hordes of zombies.
2016 left a bad taste in my mouth. However, the new year is an opportunity to cut loose from negativity and move on to better things. You know what else leaves a bad taste in my mouth? McGriddles.
I love the concept of the McGriddle: a breakfast sandwich enclosed in syrup-y pancakes (made by McDonald’s). The syrup, however, is highly problematic: although the bursts of sugar are momentarily pleasant, the shame of fake maple syrup-consumption lingers for hours afterwards… and physically lingers as a nasty chemical film on my teeth until my next meal or teeth-brushing. Please tell me I’m not the only person who experiences the icky mouth-feeling? The shame part might be specific to my Vermont-roots! Continue reading “Buttermilk Biscuits: The Real Deal”
We just booked tickets for our (annual?) trip back to Taiwan! Just look at how excited we are!
If you are at all familiar with Taiwanese culture, then you know that skipping breakfast is a grave error. For about $2.00 USD you can expect a diverse meal of meat in dough, veggies in dough, and… bread in dough? Continue reading “Maple Soymilk: Blending Taipei and Vermont”
Where did the last month go? Oh right…
“Of course, some of us are happy with the outcome of the presidential election, while others are surviving on cupcakes and bourbon.”
– Stephen Colbert on the Late Show 11/23/2016
If, like me, you find yourself in the latter category then I highly recommend that you go back to my blog post on bourbon-chocolate-pecan cupcakes! I’m sure that this is what Stephen was actually referencing when he made that comment…
On to my actual topic for this blog post: this year’s CSA (Community Shared/Supported Agriculture) season has come to a close. It actually ended a couple of weeks ago but we still have a mountain of winter squash to get through. Somewhere in that last month I was so overwhelmed by a combination of schoolwork and the overflowing abundance of vegetables. I just kind of shut down and stopped using the produce altogether, hoarding winter squash at the weekly pickup because I knew that they could last for months.