Factory farming conditions and antibiotic-resistant pathogens emerging as a result of them pose an existential threat to humans in the form of zoonotic diseases. Why it’s time to produce and consume food more thoughtfully.
Shiitake mushroom, elixir of life
The Shiitake (Lentinus Edodes) is a variety of mushrooms native to the Far East.
The Shiitake (Lentinus Edodes) is an edible mushroom native to the Far East which was consumed in Ancient China even before the spread of rice cultivation. It was also one of the main ingredients of Japanese cuisine for centuries. Its name is composed by the Japanese words Shii (oak tree) and Take (mushroom), because it is grown on the dead logs of these trees. For some time it is cultivated even in Europe, but it is more easily available dry in organic shops.
It might seem only an exotic variety of mushrooms, but actually the Shiitake has special extra-nutritional qualities as well as a great flavour and a moderate calorie count due to its amount of protein (296 kcal/1238 kJ per 100 g of dry product). No coincidence that it is part of the East’s culinary tradition, which has always associated flavour with healing properties: during the Ming Dynasty this mushroom was called elixir of life.
But which are the medicinal properties of the Shiitake? Although many cultures attribute to mushrooms magical (especially psychotropic and hallucinogenic) powers, the Shiitake has long been studied at universities worldwide because some of its components have proven effective in treating some cancers (leukemia and breast cancer), in reducing cholesterol levels in the blood, in stimulating the immune system and in tackling viruses. Some of its phyto-extracts, moreover, are employed in cosmetics for the production of anti-ageing creams.
As Nico Valerio reported in his book “L’alimentazione naturale” (Oscar Mondadori), eating 90 grams of these mushrooms daily for a week helps lower cholesterol levels by 12% in healthy people and neutralize the damage caused by massive intake of saturated fat.
In short, its many benefits make us hope that the Shiitake culture spreads in Europe too.
The world of cinema recognises the link between food choices and the climate crisis by offering vegan menus for awards season events, including at the most important of them all: the Oscars.
Let’s look at the reasons behind the growth of veganism in India, as a small yet vocal section of the population turns towards this diet and lifestyle in the largest milk producing country in the world.
In an increasingly uncertain world, we need food production systems that can cope with dramatic climatic variations, provide nutritious diets, and build the resilience of communities and landscapes.
Mint has many health benefits, but in food it’s often accompanied by artificial green colourings. Instead, Galatea has created a green mint ice cream in a completely natural way.
We’re talking about Galatea, a company that produces semi-finished products for artisanal ice creams using high quality ingredients, natural colouring, excluding thickeners and hydrogenated fats, respecting the environment and supporting the less fortunate.
The mad rush to fake food, like fake meat made with genetically-modified soy, ignores the importance of the diversity of our foods and culinary cultures. It’s a recipe to accelerate the destruction of the Planet and our health.
Like with all foods, the quality of an ice cream can be discerned by reading its label. An expert explains how to do this, and tells us how their company steers clear of chemicals, using only natural ingredients to produce an excellent and “free” ice cream.
Quality ingredients, no artificial colouring and hydrogenated fats. These are the main features of a great ice cream. But what makes an ice cream parlour “good”, i.e. sustainable?