University of North Carolina: Bird food bytes. “It all started with caterpillars. UNC biologist Allen Hurlbert has long been fascinated with small forest songbirds, many of which peck and gobble caterpillars seasonally. And it was these small packets of protein and fat — perfect for certain birds — that spurred him to create the first comprehensive database of North American bird diets….The project includes 759 species, 993 studies and 73,075 records. And it’s growing.”
BBC: Weight Watchers shares dive as people put diets on hold. “Shares in WW International, formerly known as Weight Watchers, have dived 25% after the firm said people were putting diets on hold after lockdown. The weight loss firm, which is backed by talk show host Oprah Winfrey, had 4.9 million subscribers at the end of June, down from 5 million last year.”
EurekAlert: Ever wondered what red foxes eat? There’s a database for that. “Research into the diets of a large number of the world’s carnivores has been made publicly available through a free, online database created by a PhD student at the University of Sussex. From stoats in the UK to tigers in India, users are now able to search for detailed information about the diets of species in different geographical locations around the globe.”
Discovered via Reddit: Vegan and Plant Based Cheese Resource. From the front page: “Welcome to vegancheese.co, a resource for vegan and plant based cheeses, whether you’re taking the first step in to the world of vegan and plant-based cheeses or you’re looking for a new favorite, we’re sure our discovery tool, guide, directory and news articles can help you in the right direction to vegan cheese heaven.” The site’s vegan cheese guide contains information on over one thousand cheeses. Did you know if you type the word “cheese” often enough it starts to look really weird? Cheese cheese cheese. Hmm.
Bloomberg Quint: Virus to Cut American Meat Consumption For First Time in 6 Years. “Americans are kicking their meat-eating habit, and it’s all thanks to the novel coronavirus. That’s according to researchers at the University of Missouri’s Food & Agricultural Policy Research Institute, who predict this year’s per-capita meat consumption will fall for the first time since 2014.”
(The lead picture for this story features corpses of skinned animals and might disturb you.) New York Times: Opinion: The End of Meat is Here. “Meat is embedded in our culture and personal histories in ways that matter too much, from the Thanksgiving turkey to the ballpark hot dog. Meat comes with uniquely wonderful smells and tastes, with satisfactions that can almost feel like home itself. And what, if not the feeling of home, is essential? And yet, an increasing number of people sense the inevitability of impending change. Animal agriculture is now recognized as a leading cause of global warming. According to The Economist, a quarter of Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 say they are vegetarians or vegans, which is perhaps one reason sales of plant-based ‘meats’ have skyrocketed, with Impossible and Beyond Burgers available everywhere from Whole Foods to White Castle.”
CNET: 9 vegan YouTube cooking shows you can’t miss. “Whether you prefer to get your recipes along with a heavy dose of entertainment or just want to keep it simple, there’s a vegan cooking show out there for you — whether you yourself follow a plant-based diet or not.” I am not vegan but I am trying to eat more plants. This looks like a good list but it’s missing my favorite vegan cooking show, Pick Up Limes.
Yahoo News: Social media bloggers ‘offer inaccurate or biased diet advice’. “People wanting to lose weight should stay away from bloggers on social media who claim to have the latest diet fix, researchers say. A new study presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Glasgow found that just one out of nine of the most popular UK bloggers making weight management claims actually provided accurate and trustworthy information.”
The Conversation: The Australian palaeodiet: which native animals should we eat?. “…I am studying the economic utility of several Australian animals. In other words, how much meat, fat and marrow different body parts provide. This, coupled with an analysis of the nutritional quality of the meat, will help us understand why they were selected or ignored. My “Native Bush Tucker” project focuses primarily on marsupial animals. When completed, it will be an online database to aid the study of what people ate in the past with the goal of including these meats on our modern menu.” This article contains images of dead and butchered animals which some might find disturbing.