Tabloids report a myriad amount of news and you may have a favorite newspaper or magazine that you hope has all the news fit to print. But, alas, that may not be the case and, if so, here are a few you may have missed.
Americans in need of assistance overseas have an oasis to turn to: McEmbassy! In May, under an agreement with the US Embassy in Vienna, Austria, you need only contact the “Golden Arches” of McDonald’s for them to call a consular office. They provide a hotline manned 24/7 for that purpose. So far the agreement is only with Austria but travelers in that country have asked if it is bilateral for them if they are in need in the US. So far it is not.
An effort to curtail thousands of tons of cereal waste being used for cattle feed has borne interesting uses. The United Nations disclosed recently that food waste is endemic worldwide.
One third of the food processed for human consumption is lost or wasted, according to reports. Enter craft breweries, which have recognized that flake cereal is an important ingredient for the fermentation of beer. Black Bottle Beer of Colorado is using Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Lucky Charms and Peanut Butter Crunch for a variety of tasty beers, according to a New York Times story this year.
Prison City Beer of Auburn, New York, created a cereal-based beer that tastes exactly like the milk left over in a bowl of Cocoa Puffs, according to Bon Appetit. The breweries are not advocating “beer for breakfast,” but it certainly fills the bill as a starter for fermentation.
To the question, do any animals have fingerprints or other features by which they can be uniquely identified, the answer is yes, but for only a few selected species such as gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans. They have ridge patterns on their fingers and toes which resemble those of humans. As with humans, no two individuals with the same prints have been found. A database of stripe patterns has been collected for the largest species of zebra, Grevy’s Zebras, and is used by the Grevy’s Zebra Trust to monitor the movements of individual animals in East Africa.
A system for identifying dogs by their unique nose prints has been patented, but is not yet in use.
The ongoing scenario of plants competing with animal products as human food has come up with “today’s catch” – fish-less fish. Impossible Foods of California, the marketer of meatless hamburgers, has stated, “Plant-based fish is an environmental imperative.”
They said they base this on the billions of people who depend on seafood as their main source of protein. Fish stock is 90% depleted because of over-fishing, in many areas, according to the World Economic Forum. Whole Foods is presently selling a line of fish-less tuna made from eight plant-based ingredients. Those who have bought and tasted the product say it is great on a tuna melt. Pat Brown, CEO of Impossible Foods, said, “Consumers aren’t crying out for plant-based fish, but until they tasted beef-free beef, they weren’t crying out for plant based burgers either.”
Did you ever hear of a “fatberg”? One was found in a London sewer recently, and a slice of one weighing 820 pounds was put on display. They can weigh as much as four humpback whales, if you are keeping score. Fatbergs are formed from greasy masses of non-biodegradable matter such as wet wipes, oil, and sanitary products in old sewer systems. The museum where this fatberg was located had a spectacular increase in attendance. Look out Boston and New York, and remember the Titanic was sunk by a cold one.
Robert D. Campbell lives in Newburyport.