Rowan Jacobsen http://www.eatingwell.com/taxonomy/term/1021/all en Simply Cajun Cuisine http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/food_travel/simply_cajun_cuisine <div class="field field-type-text field-field-original-title"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Simply Cajun </div> </div> </div> <p>I was fishing with a friend one steamy early morning in southern Louisiana, when I suddenly understood Cajun food. We had glided for miles through channels in the green-gold marsh grass, then anchored our boat in a big, brackish lake. From the fishing boats I could see working the lake, I knew it must be brimming with shrimp, crabs and oysters. In between casts, I dipped my hand into the water and tasted it. It was salty as broth, brown as roux. I looked around, and in the shimmering light I had the momentary impression that I was bobbing atop a gargantuan bowl of gumbo.</p><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Rowan Jacobsen </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subtitle"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Louisiana&#039;s best chefs discuss creating the distinct southern flavors that are the essence of Cajun classics like gumbo and étouffée. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-large"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_large" width="627" height="229" alt="" src="http://bed56888308e93972c04-0dfc23b7b97881dee012a129d9518bae.r34.cf1.rackcdn.com/sites/default/files/cajun_gumbo.jpg?1345227148" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-standard"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_standard" width="308" height="308" alt="" src="http://bed56888308e93972c04-0dfc23b7b97881dee012a129d9518bae.r34.cf1.rackcdn.com/sites/default/files/MF8102_Scrivani.jpg?1345227179" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-publication"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> September/October 2012 </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-related1"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-relatedtitle1"> <div class="field-label">Related Content Title 1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Healthy Cajun Recipes to Try </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-relatedlinks1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_cajun_recipes_healthy_creole_recipes">Healthy Cajun Recipes &amp; Healthy Creole Recipes</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_catfish_recipes">Healthy Catfish Recipes</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/okra_recipes">Okra Recipes</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/food_travel/simply_cajun_cuisine#comments Rowan Jacobsen September/October 2012 Food News & Origins - Food & Travel Fri, 17 Aug 2012 18:21:11 +0000 Erin McCormick 119876 at http://www.eatingwell.com Fishing for Wild Salmon in Alaska http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/green_sustainable/fishing_for_wild_salmon_in_alaska <div class="field field-type-text field-field-original-title"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Swimming Upstream </div> </div> </div> <p>One day last July, Mike Poole stood on the bow of his 32-foot bowpicker Gussie and hauled in his net, watching dime-bright sockeye salmon flop onto the deck. Summer's saturating sunlight bounced off the glassy waters near Prince William Sound and made Alaska's jagged coastal mountains shimmer like a snow-capped mirage. Everything was white and blue and silver. Mike counted salmon. At age 52, he's fit and friendly, with grooved crow's-feet and a permanent smile etched on his face. He's been fishing the Copper River Flats for 30 years.</p><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Rowan Jacobsen </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subtitle"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Alaska’s wild salmon have been heralded as healthy, tasty and sustainable. Even better news, they’re back in record numbers. Here’s why. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-standard"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_standard" width="308" height="308" alt="" src="http://bed56888308e93972c04-0dfc23b7b97881dee012a129d9518bae.r34.cf1.rackcdn.com/sites/default/files/fishing_for_wild_alaska_salmon.jpg?1332335918" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-publication"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> March/April 2012 </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-related1"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-relatedtitle1"> <div class="field-label">Related Content Title 1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> More from EatingWell: </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-relatedlinks1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/food_news_origins/green_sustainable/how_to_buy_the_healthiest_salmon">How to Buy The Healthiest Salmon</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/food_news_origins/green_sustainable/how_alaska_mining_could_impact_wild_salmon_population">How Alaska Mining Could Impact the Wild Salmon Population</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/delicious_canned_wild_salmon_recipes">Delicious Canned Wild Salmon Recipes</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/food_news_origins/green_sustainable/fish_and_shellfish_6_to_eat_6_to_avoid">Fish and Shellfish: 6 to Eat, 6 to Avoid</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/food_news_origins/green_sustainable/the_wild_salmon_debate">The Wild Salmon Debate</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/green_sustainable/fishing_for_wild_salmon_in_alaska#comments Rowan Jacobsen March/April 2012 Recipes & Menus - Seafood Wed, 21 Mar 2012 13:19:22 +0000 Penelope Wall 76610 at http://www.eatingwell.com Spotlight on 5 Sustainable U.S. Shellfish Farms that are Getting It Right http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/green_sustainable/spotlight_on_5_sustainable_us_shellfish_farms_that_are_getting_it_right <div class="field field-type-text field-field-original-title"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Digging Dinner </div> </div> </div> <p>On a foggy summer day, I walk the cobbly edge of Totten Inlet, a narrow estuary at the southern tip of Washington's Puget Sound. It's low tide, and the flats are an endless bed of greenish oysters. Tiny jets of water arc to and fro from clams spitting beneath the ground. I'm walking on a living beach, one of the prized growing areas of Taylor Shellfish Farms. Across the inlet, workers are harvesting the market-sized oysters. Others are digging with hand rakes for clams. "My family arrived in the Puget Sound region by covered wagon in the 1880s," says fourth-generation owner Bill Taylor.</p> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Rowan Jacobsen </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subtitle"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> What&#039;s not to love about healthy and succulent farmed mussels, clams and oysters? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-standard"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_standard" width="308" height="308" alt="" src="http://bed56888308e93972c04-0dfc23b7b97881dee012a129d9518bae.r34.cf1.rackcdn.com/sites/default/files/clams.jpg?1303480280" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-publication"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> May/June 2011 </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-related1"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-relatedtitle1"> <div class="field-label">Related Content Title 1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Related Articles </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-relatedlinks1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/healthy_cooking/healthy_cooking_101/shopping_cooking_guides/buyers_guide_to_shellfish">Buyer&#039;s Guide to Shellfish</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/food_news_origins/green_sustainable/fish_and_shellfish_6_to_eat_6_to_avoid">Fish and Shellfish: 6 to Eat, 6 to Avoid</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/healthy_cooking/healthy_cooking_101_basics_and_techniques/how_to_shuck_an_oyster">How to Shuck an Oyster</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/videos/how_to_shuck_oysters_video">How to Shuck Oysters Video</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-related2"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-relatedtitle2"> <div class="field-label">Related Content Title 2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Healthy Shellfish Recipes </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-relatedlinks2"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/mussels_salsa_verde.html">Grilled Mussels with Salsa Verde</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/Italian_mussels_pasta.html">Italian Mussels &amp; Pasta</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/miso_clam_soup.html">Miso Soup with Clams &amp; Spinach </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/oysters_hog_wash.html">Oysters on the Half Shell with Hog Wash</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/oysters_mignonette_sauce.html">Oysters on the Half Shell with Mignonette Sauce</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/oysters_rockefeller.html">Oysters Rockefeller</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/red_curry_clams.html">Red Curry Clams</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/spicy_barbecued_oysters.html">Spicy Barbecued Oysters</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/thai_barbecued_oysters.html">Spicy Thai Barbecued Oysters </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/healthy_cooking/cooking_for_two/easy_shellfish_dinners_for_two">Easy Shellfish Dinners for Two</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_seafood_recipes">Healthy Seafood Recipes and Cooking Tips</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/green_sustainable/spotlight_on_5_sustainable_us_shellfish_farms_that_are_getting_it_right#comments Rowan Jacobsen May/June 2011 Recipes & Menus - Seafood Food News & Origins - Green & Sustainable Fri, 22 Apr 2011 13:26:56 +0000 Sarah Hoff 17232 at http://www.eatingwell.com I’m Sorry, Michael Pollan http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/people_perspectives/good_reads/im_sorry_michael_pollan <div class="field field-type-text field-field-original-title"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> I’m Sorry, Michael Pollan </div> </div> </div> <p>I am a granola-eating, free-range-chicken-chasing, broccoli-hugging foodie. I recoil from junk food like vampires shun sunlight. You’d think me the ideal audience for <i>Food Rules</i>, Michael Pollan’s latest megaseller, which consists of 64 “straightforward, memorable rules for eating wisely.” But <i>Food Rules</i> awakened strange feelings in me. As I paged through the book, being advised “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food” (#2), I felt a big finger wagging at me. This was not having the intended effect.</p><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Rowan Jacobsen </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subtitle"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Author Rowan Jacobsen takes on Michael Pollan&#039;s &quot;Food Rules.&quot; </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-standard"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_standard" width="310" height="310" alt="" src="http://bed56888308e93972c04-0dfc23b7b97881dee012a129d9518bae.r34.cf1.rackcdn.com/sites/default/files/Rowan-Jacobsen-photo-310.jpg?1283268411" /> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_standard" width="308" height="308" alt="" src="http://bed56888308e93972c04-0dfc23b7b97881dee012a129d9518bae.r34.cf1.rackcdn.com/sites/default/files/dandelion_greens_salad.jpg?1283268089" /> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_standard" width="310" height="310" alt="" src="http://bed56888308e93972c04-0dfc23b7b97881dee012a129d9518bae.r34.cf1.rackcdn.com/sites/default/files/flower_dandelion_310.jpg?1283207736" /> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_standard" width="310" height="310" alt="" src="http://bed56888308e93972c04-0dfc23b7b97881dee012a129d9518bae.r34.cf1.rackcdn.com/sites/default/files/burger_web.jpg?1282160401" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-publication"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> September/October 2010 </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-related1"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-relatedtitle1"> <div class="field-label">Related Content Title 1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Related Links: </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-relatedlinks1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/food_news_origins/food_news/10_food_rules_you_should_follow">10 Food Rules You Should Follow</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/food_news_origins/food_news/the_future_of_food_predictions_from_michael_pollan">The Future of Food: Predictions from Michael Pollan</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/blogs/food_news_blog/are_happy_meals_really_a_problem_celebrity_chef_jamie_oliver_does">Are Happy Meals really a problem? Celebrity Chef Jamie Oliver doesn’t think so...</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/people_perspectives/good_reads/im_sorry_michael_pollan#comments Rowan Jacobsen September/October 2010 Food News & Origins - People & Perspectives Wed, 18 Aug 2010 19:31:43 +0000 Erin McCormick 16295 at http://www.eatingwell.com Mexico's Sustainable Avocado Mecca http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/green_sustainable/mexico_s_sustainable_avocado_mecca <div class="field field-type-text field-field-original-title"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Avocado Heaven </div> </div> </div> <p>On a jade-tinted hillside in the lush southwestern Mexican state of Michoacán, Chef Rick Bayless held up an avocado as if it were sacred. He halved the avocado around its equator with a penknife, which is how growers check for ripeness, and discovered that this particular specimen was spot on. He could tell by the way the bright-green flesh near the skin paled to yolk-yellow near the pit. An avocado that is green to the pit will taste grassy, he told me. If it’s yellow at the core, it’ll be creamy as custard, rich as ricotta.</p><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Rowan Jacobsen </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subtitle"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Growing avocados in Mexico and delicious recipes to try. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-standard"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_standard" width="308" height="308" alt="" src="http://bed56888308e93972c04-0dfc23b7b97881dee012a129d9518bae.r34.cf1.rackcdn.com/sites/default/files/garlic_guacamole_recipe.jpg?1267216806" /> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_standard" width="310" height="310" alt="" src="http://bed56888308e93972c04-0dfc23b7b97881dee012a129d9518bae.r34.cf1.rackcdn.com/sites/default/files/avocado_cover_ma10_310.jpg?1267198691" /> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_standard" width="310" height="310" alt="" src="http://bed56888308e93972c04-0dfc23b7b97881dee012a129d9518bae.r34.cf1.rackcdn.com/sites/default/files/rick_bayless_310.jpg?1267484626" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-publication"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> March/April 2010 </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-related1"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-relatedtitle1"> <div class="field-label">Related Content Title 1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Healthy Avocado Recipes from Rick Bayless </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-relatedlinks1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/vegetarian_tortilla_soup.html">Vegetarian Tortilla Soup</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/chipotle_beef_potato_salad.html">Beef &amp; Potato Salad with Smoky Chipotle</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/guacamole_bar.html">Roasted Garlic Guacamole with Help-Yourself Garnishes</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/avocado_ice_cream.html">Avocado Ice Cream</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/healthy_cooking/healthy_food_guide/avocados">Avocados Healthy Food Guide</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-related2"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-relatedtitle2"> <div class="field-label">Related Content Title 2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> More on Sustainable Eating </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-relatedlinks2"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/healthy_cooking/healthy_cooking_101/shopping_cooking_guides/green_choices_produce_buyer_s_guide">Green Choices: Produce Buyer’s Guide</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/food_news_origins/food_news/are_we_paying_a_price_for_seedless_clementines">Are We Paying a Price for Seedless Clementines?</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/food_news_origins/green_sustainable/if_you_love_this_fish_help_save_it">If You Love This Fish, Help Save It!</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/food_news_origins/organic_natural/what_makes_a_better_chicken">What Makes a Better Chicken</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/green_sustainable/mexico_s_sustainable_avocado_mecca#comments Rowan Jacobsen March/April 2010 Food News & Origins - Green & Sustainable Thu, 25 Feb 2010 00:38:12 +0000 Penelope Wall 15580 at http://www.eatingwell.com The Importance of Bees to Our Food Supply http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/green_sustainable/the_importance_of_bees_to_our_food_supply <div class="field field-type-text field-field-original-title"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> ...or Not to Bee </div> </div> </div> <p>One day early last spring, Ed Olson’s life got much harder. A few weeks earlier, Olson, a commercial beekeeper, had delivered 200 of his 500 hives of honeybees to an almond orchard in Arbuckle, California. There, the honeybees would do their part buzzing up and down rows of fragrant, flowering trees, helping to make California’s Central Valley the almond capital of the universe. Like more than 100 of our food crops, almond trees will set fruit only if their flowers are cross-pollinated between two different varieties.</p><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-author"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Rowan Jacobsen </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subtitle"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> If honeybees disappear, they’ll take some of our healthiest foods with them. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-standard"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_standard" width="310" height="310" alt="" src="http://bed56888308e93972c04-0dfc23b7b97881dee012a129d9518bae.r34.cf1.rackcdn.com/sites/default/files/honey_310_1.jpg?1272913105" /> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_standard" width="225" height="225" alt="" src="http://bed56888308e93972c04-0dfc23b7b97881dee012a129d9518bae.r34.cf1.rackcdn.com/sites/default/files/5897pork.jpg?1251484759" /> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_standard" width="225" height="225" alt="" src="http://bed56888308e93972c04-0dfc23b7b97881dee012a129d9518bae.r34.cf1.rackcdn.com/sites/default/files/5901cookie.jpg?1251484776" /> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_standard" width="225" height="225" alt="" src="http://bed56888308e93972c04-0dfc23b7b97881dee012a129d9518bae.r34.cf1.rackcdn.com/sites/default/files/5899salmon.jpg?1251484764" /> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_standard" width="225" height="225" alt="" src="http://bed56888308e93972c04-0dfc23b7b97881dee012a129d9518bae.r34.cf1.rackcdn.com/sites/default/files/5900cake.jpg?1251484771" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-publication"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> March/April 2009 </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-related1"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-relatedtitle1"> <div class="field-label">Related Content Title 1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Related Recipes </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-relatedlinks1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/almond_honey_butter_cookies.html">Almond &amp; Honey-Butter Cookies</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/almond_crusted_pork_with_honey_mustard_dipping_sauce.html">Almond-Crusted Pork with Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes_menus/menus/chicken_with_honey_orange_sauce">Chicken with Honey-Orange Sauce Menu</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/recipes/flourless_honey_almond_cake.html">Flourless Honey-Almond Cake</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recipes/honey_soy_salmon.html">Honey-Soy Broiled Salmon</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-related2"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-relatedtitle2"> <div class="field-label">Related Content Title 2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Related Articles </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-relatedlinks2"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/blogs/food_news_blog/where_have_all_our_bees_gone">How to eat to save our bees</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/food_news_origins/green_sustainable/healing_with_honey">Healing with Honey</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/food_news_origins/seasonal_local/building_a_healthy_food_system_in_rural_america">Building a Healthy Food System in Rural America</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/blogs/health_blog/can_honey_make_you_healthier">Can honey make you healthier?</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>One day early last spring, Ed Olson’s life got much harder. A few weeks earlier, Olson, a commercial beekeeper, had delivered 200 of his 500 hives of honeybees to an ­almond orchard in Arbuckle, California. There, the honeybees would do their part buzzing up and down rows of fragrant, flowering trees, helping to make California’s Central Valley the almond capital of the universe. Like more than 100 of our food crops, ­almond trees will set fruit only if their flowers are cross-pollinated between two different varieties. Like tiny farmworkers, honeybees carry the pollen from one tree to another as they forage. Corn, wheat, rice and other grains rely on wind to spread their pollen. But honeybees pollinate much of the other stuff that adds color to our plate and vitamins and antioxidants to our diet. They give us blueberries, apples, berries, cherries, melons, grapefruit, avocados, squash, broccoli, carrots, onions, and more. If it lowers cholesterol, improves eyesight or turbocharges the immune system, it was probably fertilized by a bee. A surprising amount of our well-being rests on those tiny striped backs—and on the beekeepers who haul 2 million hives from crop to crop every year, renting them out for pollination.</p> <p>When Olson had checked the Arbuckle hives the previous fall, they had been some of his strongest. The more bees in a hive, the more pollinating power it has and the more a farmer will pay to lease it. But now, as Olson, with the lanky frame and graying mustache of an Old West gunslinger, approached the first group of 24 colonies, he sensed something was off right away. There weren’t many bees flying. It was a shimmering spring day in northern California and sunshine was glazing the soft pink rows of budding ­almond trees: perfect flying weather for a honeybee. Olson cracked open the top of the first hive, looked inside, and immediately his stomach sank with disappointment: no bees. It was a “dink”—the beekeeping term for a colony that has died or dwindled. Just like that, he was out $200, the pollination fee for a strong hive.</p> <p>Every commercial beekeeper finds a few dinks each spring, and Olson hoped this first hive had been an anomaly. Then he opened the second hive and felt a little ill. Another dink. Then he opened the third and fourth and cursed to himself. By the time he had opened all 24 colonies, he was in shock. There was plenty of honey in the hives, but the strong colonies that had filled those boxes two months earlier had dwindled to almost nothing. In 25 years of professional beekeeping, he’d never seen anything like it.</p> <p>By anyone’s standards, Ed Olson is an excellent beekeeper (but he asked that his real name not be used). He feeds his bees specially formulated, high-protein patties to keep their strength up and carefully monitors his hives for the presence of diseases or parasites. He does everything right. Yet it seemed he had just been hit with the mysterious syndrome called Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD. In the winter of 2006-2007, CCD killed 32 percent of America’s honeybees. The next winter, another 36 percent—more than a million hives—died.</p> <p>“At first I was in denial,” Olson recalled. “Then I just felt weak and had to lean against my truck. A year’s hard work for naught!” Olson wound up losing all 50 hives that had overwintered in one particular bee yard. That’s bad enough, but it pales next to some operations. Adee Honey Farms of South Dakota, the largest beekeeping business in the country, lost 28,000 of its 70,000 hives. That’s about a billion bees gone missing. “It’s off the charts,” said Bret Adee. “It’s not a sustainable thing, what’s happening now.”</p> <p>At first it looked as though the United States was the sole sufferer of CCD, but the rest of the world quickly reported losses also. “The situation for bees in Europe is no better than for bees in North America,” says Bernard Vaissière, a pollination specialist with the French National Institute for Agricultural Research. A report issued last August by the European Food Safety Authority estimates that the UK lost about 30 percent of its honeybees in 2007, while Italy lost 40 to 50 percent. Whatever is taking down bees has gone global.</p> <p><strong>A Sweet Deal</strong></p> <p>A hundred million years ago, as dinosaurs were cruising the savannahs and munching on ferns, pines and each other, bees and plants hammered out the details of a deal that has been benefiting the rest of Earth’s denizens ever since. Until that time, plants had used the wind to disseminate their pollen. But wind pollination is like Internet spam: you need to send a million packets to find one receptive target. So sometime in the Cretaceous Period, one group of plants decided to start MapQuesting each other instead. Why rely on the fickle wind when bugs could carry pollen directly between two plants? The trick was in getting the couriers’ attention.</p> <p>Until then, plants had spent several hundred million years trying to discourage animals from eating them. Toxins, spikes and bitter-tasting leaves were the order of the day. Now, in a startling about-face, these new plants decided to make themselves as appealing to animals as possible. They created beguiling shapes, colors and odors to snag passersby and offered up delicious nectar punches free to all. When the bugs—and, later, birds, bats and butterflies—dropped by for their morning sip, they’d get sticky pollen all over their hairy bodies and inadvertently deliver it to the next café. The flower was born. And fruit was soon to follow.</p> <p>Not many things out there want to be eaten. Talk to your basil all you want before you pick it; it’s still a bad day for the basil. And if you’ve ever watched a hare tuck its ears back and turn on the afterburners, you know that the name of the game of life is don’t get eaten. But not for the flowering plants: they eagerly offer nectar, pollen, fruits and nuts. They want to keep us healthy and enthusiastic so that we’ll keep spreading their seeds around the planet. (And when it comes to providing these services, we humans are the only species that’s been nearly as helpful as the bees.)</p> <p>In evolution, this arrangement, where two species cooperate to the benefit of both, is called mutualism. And if you’ve ever wondered why fruits and vegetables have so many compounds in them that keep us healthy, wonder no more. The plants that have prospered are the ones that give animals (including us) what they need—antioxidants, vitamins and fiber that are critical to our health. And the successful animals (including us) are the ones that thrive on what the plants have to offer.</p> <p>What a fantastically beautiful arrangement. And what a shame it would be if we blew it by forgetting that honeybees have always been a part of the team.</p> <p><strong>A Mystery Disease</strong></p> <p>We can’t say for certain that Olson’s bees had CCD, because we still don’t know what CCD is. We just know what it looks like, and it looks like Ed ­Olson’s experience in the almonds that spring: hives that had been in superb condition suddenly depopulate, with the adult bees disappearing from the hive until all that’s left is honeycomb filled with young bee larvae and honey.</p> <p>Theories abound about what is causing CCD. Cell phones were an early suspect, based on nothing more than the results of one mistranslated German study of cordless phones. Genetically modified crops were another rumored culprit, despite studies showing that bees thrived on GMO corn. Neither of these proved true. Other causes that do seem to be associated with collapsed colonies include pesticides, newly introduced viruses, fungi and poor colony nutrition. Congress has earmarked a few million dollars for research to get to the heart of the problem, but the money has yet to start trickling out, and results are years away. The bees might be able to wait that long, but we can’t.</p> <p>“That’s the crux of CCD,” says Olson. “The bee population can eventually recover from disease losses, but American agriculture depends upon gypsy beekeepers to provide the spark of pollination to start the engine of food production.” About 35 percent of the food we eat—$15 billion worth of produce in the United States and $215 billion worldwide—would not exist without pollinators. Once we had thousands of native insects that provided all our pollination needs, but habitat destruction and the ever-increasing size of industrial farms have put most of our crops out of reach of wild bugs. The only way to bring pollination to these plants is to truck it in, and the honeybee is the only pollinator that will endure such a domesticated lifestyle. Unfortunately, it remains to be seen how many beekeepers can endure their mounting economic losses. “Bees can be replaced relatively quickly,” says Olson; “out-of-business beekeepers can’t.”</p> <p><strong>Turning the Tide</strong></p> <p>Despite the dire situation, there are some encouraging signs that we are starting to head in the right direction. Many beekeepers believe pesticides known as neonicotinoids are responsible for CCD. In the United States, neonicotinoids are widely used for everything from crops and golf courses to flea and termite control. Last August, the Natural Resources Defense Council sued the EPA for refusing to disclose the studies done before approving a leading neonicotinoid in 2003. In September, Italy became the fourth European country to ban neonicotinoids. So far, the evidence against the neonicotinoids is mixed, but the fact that four countries would take such a radical step, simply to protect their honeybees, may mean that a paradigm shift is under way. Beekeepers themselves are becoming more leery of conventional agriculture and are favoring pollination contracts with organic farmers—a move that may encourage more farms to go organic.</p> <p>But the number-one source of pesticides in beehives is the beekeepers themselves, who add pesticides to their hives in an effort to control parasitic mites. That, too, is starting to change, as natural methods of mite treatment, as well as mite-resistant strains of bees, become available. For years, organic beekeeping was rare be­cause of the chemical mite treatments; now it’s starting to look like it will one day be the rule, at least among hobbyists.</p> <p>And oh the hobbyists! Beekeeping has been declining in popularity in the United States since World War II, but in the past year, thanks to the attention brought by CCD, the ranks of new beekeepers have swelled to the point that beekeeping schools have had to turn applicants away and beekeeping suppliers have run short of both gear and bees. “There is a tremendous increase in the sale of beekeeping equipment,” says Steve Forrest, owner of Brushy Mountain Bee Farm in North Carolina, one of the country’s leading suppliers. “It’s just staggering.” But that’s a good problem to have. It means that bees have regained a place in our collective psyche that they haven’t occupied for generations. They are no longer icky insects to be feared for their stingers (most stinging is done by yellow jackets) and are, once again, our ancient partners in the practice of growing good food.</p> <p>You could take Bee Movie as a sign that we’re starting to appreciate bees, but that movie didn’t even get the gender right. Sorry, Jerry, but 99 percent of the bees in a hive—and all of the workers—are female. One sign that we are on the right track came when Häagen-Dazs announced that because 40 percent of its ice cream flavors wouldn’t exist without bees it was donating $250,000 to honeybee research and launching a new flavor, Vanilla Honey Bee, to support the cause. The Almond Board of California, too, has been extremely supportive. When the other fruit, nut and vegetable companies are ready to pony up, we’ll know we’re on the road to ensuring the fertility of our farms and fields.</p> <p>In the end, Ed Olson managed to save his almond farmer from ruin. He desperately called his beekeeper friends and finally found one who had a few dozen hives that weren’t spoken for. Olson trucked these hives into the almond orchard. A stretch of warm, sunny weather arrived just in time, the bees flew all day every day, and the grower managed to set a record crop. The story was the same throughout the San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys: the weather saved the almonds. There probably hadn’t been enough bees to cover the need, but perfect conditions gave the available bees extra flying hours and they managed to pollinate all the trees.</p> <p>As the pollination starts this spring, beekeepers and almond growers alike are holding their collective breath. They know that all it will take is a good storm or two to upset the balance and break the sweet deal.</p> <p><em>Rowan Jacobsen is the author of A Geography of Oysters (Bloomsbury USA, 2007), a 2008 James Beard Award winner, and Fruitless Fall: The Collapse of the Honey Bee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis (Bloomsbury USA, 2008).</em></p> </div> </div> </div> http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/green_sustainable/the_importance_of_bees_to_our_food_supply#comments Rowan Jacobsen March/April 2009 Food News & Origins - Green & Sustainable Fri, 21 Aug 2009 17:52:00 +0000 Sarah Hoff 10265 at http://www.eatingwell.com