Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Trashy Oceans, MEG Machines.

This morning GMA introduced a boat called the Plastiki which is made from plastic bottles. The idea is to sail it to the garbage dump in the Atlantic Ocean which I wrote about once before. Due to the currents in the ocean all the garbage is being collected in one great big dump in the middle, forming a huge island of waste products, many of which are plastic. Apart from this being a bad problem, fish are now being caught with plastic inside their bellies and it is thought the chemicals might be leaching into their flesh meaning that when you get the fish on your plate, you might well be eating some of these chemicals. As Sam Champion said, someone needs to take responsibility for cleaning up this mess. It seems to me it needs to be an international consortium. They are also researching the rest of the oceans to see if this is happening elsewhere. Fish for dinner anyone? There is an interesting site where you can click on various topics to do with this subject and you can pick up tips on how to help solve the problem. One of the first seems to me to stop drinking things, especially water, from plastic bottles which are not biodegradable.
Another interesting segment was about a young woman with seizures (60 a day) who was examined under a brand new MEG machine which pinpointed the exact area of her brain causing the problem enabling doctors to excise that exact area. The point of this story, to me, is that this very new MEG (Magnetoencephalography) brain scan can pinpoint such small areas of problems in the brain that it might be useful for many other things, Alzheimer's, autism and stroke for instance. Read the article here At present there are only about 50 of these machines in the US, I don't know if there are any in Canada and I don't know about the rest of the world. They will not be used a great deal as many problems can be pinpointed by existing technology, but in those cases where the problem is deep seated in the brain, the MEG can spot it more easily. To me it is fascinating technology and I would like to know what it can do for other illnesses as well as for seizures.
Are you going to watch the Super Bowl this weekend? I am not really interested in the game, but I love the ads at half time, they cost millions and are usually well worth watching. Eating Well have recommended a bunch of recipes for your Super Bowl party - you can even eat them if you aren't having a party LOL. This is one which you can just throw into your slow cooker and forget til you need it.
Flemish Beef Stew From EatingWell: February/March 2006
For this slow-cooker interpretation of Carbonnades Flamandes, a Flemish stew made with beer, if you can't find a brown ale, use a strong, dark beer (but not a stout). 8 servings
Ingredients •4 teaspoons canola oil, divided •2 pounds bottom round, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch cubes •3/4 pound sliced cremini, or white button mushrooms •3 tablespoons all-purpose flour •2 cups brown ale, or dark beer •4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces •1 large onion, chopped •1 clove garlic, minced •1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard •1 teaspoon caraway seeds •3/4 teaspoon salt •1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper •1 bay leaf
Preparation 1.Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add half the beef and brown on all sides, turning frequently, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker. Drain any fat from the pan. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and brown the remaining beef. Transfer to the slow cooker. 2.Return the skillet to medium heat, add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until they give off their liquid and it evaporates to a glaze, 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the mushrooms; cook undisturbed for 10 seconds, then stir and cook for 30 seconds more. Pour in ale (or beer); bring to a boil, whisking constantly to reduce foaming, until thickened and bubbling, about 3 minutes. Transfer the mushroom mixture to the slow cooker. 3.Add carrots, onion, garlic, mustard, caraway seeds, salt, pepper and bay leaf to the slow cooker. Stir to combine. 4.Put the lid on and cook on low until the beef is very tender, about 8 hours. Discard the bay leaf before serving. Nutrition Per serving : 272 Calories; 9 g Fat; 3 g Sat; 4 g Mono; 72 mg Cholesterol; 17 g Carbohydrates; 27 g Protein; 2 g Fiber; 359 mg Sodium; 609 mg Potassium 1 Carbohydrate Serving Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 3 lean meat Tips & Notes •Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3; cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day before cooking.
Have a great day

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