Food FYI: Dying cows, old cookbooks and a welcome addition
Did you get one of those Facebook flashes a week or so ago claiming that a special genetically modified grass in Texas had started producing cyanide gas, which was killing hundreds of cattle? The estimable ag blog Grist tracked down the real story. In the first place, the grass in question was a conventional hybrid, not a GMO. And although it did produce poison -- prussic acid, or hydrogen cyanide -- that was a natural plant response to severe drought conditions, not the result of any chemical company shenanigans. Still, too bad for the cows.
SAGA OF THE AGA, REVISITED
Remember that British couple who while renovating their home discovered a hidden, fully equipped early 20th century kitchen? There was a passing mention in a couple of the stories about an old cookbook that was part of the trove. Food historian Cynthia Bertelsen found a copy of the book and wrote about it on Gherkins & Tomatoes.
Popular Berlin-based food blogger (and upcoming author) Luisa Weiss left her thousands of fans hanging last month when she wrote that she was tired of waiting for her pregnancy to end. For weeks, no news (though Facebook friends were kept updated). Finally, on Tuesday morning she announced to the rest of the world, posting a photo of baby Hugo. Cute little rascal.
-- Russ Parsons
Illustration: From "Ideal Cookery Book" by Margaret Alice Fairclough, first published in London in 1908 by George Routledge and Sons, Limited