What’s for dinner on World Food Day?
How about a humble meal of dried termites stirred into a sukuma wiki stew? With a side of sorghum couscous?
World Food Day was invented by the U.N. in 1979 and first celebrated the next year. One goal is to promote underutilized, highly nutritious foods for the 800 million people in lower income countries who can’t easily prepare balanced meals.
We asked Action Against Hunger, a nonprofit group, to cook up a list of foods that could make a big nutritional difference. And yes, the list includes termites.
Termites, Three Ways
Yes, the same bug that could destroy the wood in your home is a highly nutritious food: 35 percent protein and a good source of calcium, iron and zinc. Termites can be dried like beef jerky and then later added into any meal for a protein boost. These bugs are typically harvested from the mounds they construct and live in, says Muriel Calo, a researcher at Action Against Hunger.
If you don’t want to take time to dry them, just toss them in a frying pan. They’re really easy to cook: termites fry in their own fat.Daniella Martin, author of Edible: An Adventure into the World of Eating Insects and the Last Great Hope to Save the Planet, also recommends tossing them with olive oil, crushed garlic and salt before baking them at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
Dip Into Green Gram
Green gram, also known as mung bean, is a high-protein legume that is native to India and is now grown across East Africa and Southeast Asia. The beans can be boiled in water until they are soft and then either pureed into a hummus-like dip or eaten as is. They can grow almost anywhere there’s a bit of soil.
Photo: An Indian groundnut vendor waits for customers. (Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images)
“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”
One of my favourite quotables. I heart this man big time.
This is one of the most interesting things I’ve read in a while. I didn’t understand a lot of it, though it is written in my native tongue. It jumped from a photo shoot with a porn star who suffers from a degenerative genetic disease to a discussion about the meaning of art to the mirroring of sociopolitical debate in Dungeons and Dragons. Just fascinating.
Sometimes a fetus can’t make it into the birth canal. Both mother and child are at risk. If you were looking to fix the problem, you probably wouldn’t call up an Argentine car mechanic.
But maybe you should.
In 2011, mechanic Jorge Odon came up with an invention using a folded plastic sleeve pumped up with air to pop the baby out — an idea inspired by a party trick Odon saw on YouTube for getting a cork out of an empty wine bottle with a plastic bag.
Odon is a star in the Grand Challenge universe. That’s the program that offers grants to people who come up with innovative solutions, often in the field of health care.
And now there’s a Grand Challenge that aims to help medical workers fighting Ebola: Design an improved protective suit. Current models are suffocating and can heat up to well over 100 degrees inside. That means they can only be worn 30 to 40 minutes at a time in the tropical heat of West Africa.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Agency for International Development announced a $5 million contest, asking innovators to develop cooler, more breathable protective gear. Proposals are welcome immediately; USAID head Dr. Rajiv Shah expects the first funding to come as early as December.
Anyone can enter, from a technology whiz to a small business owner. And, of course, auto mechanics.
And therein lies the power of the Grand Challenge — finding great ideas from perhaps surprising sources, says Wendy Taylor, director of USAID’s Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact.
To date, the challenges have resulted in more than 1,600 grants of up to $100,000 each in 80 countries.
Photo: Astrophysicist Szabolcs Marka has a radical idea: Use light as a barrier between mosquitoes and humans. He was awarded a $100,000 Grand Challenge grant by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to see if the idea really works. (Courtesy of the Gates Foundation)
Anyone can contribute a great idea to hack public health, no medical training required.
On October 14, former International Space Station Commander Chris Hadfield will be at the Museum for his Hayden Planetarium Program, You Are Here with Astronaut Chris Hadfield. He will be showing photographs he took while on the ISS, such as this image. Commander Hadfield writes: “The Richat Structure in Mauritania, also known as the Eye of the Sahara, is a landmark for astronauts. If you’ve been busy doing experiments and haven’t looked out the window for a while, it’s hard to know where you are, especially if you’re over a vast 3,600,000-square-mile desert. This bull’s-eye orients you, instantly. Oddly, it appears not to be the scar of a meteorite but a deeply eroded dome, with a rainbow-inspired color scheme.” A limited number of tickets are still available for this event.
In a war with many villains, these are the good guys. Seven days inside the life-and-death world of Syria’s first responders — the last hope for civilians caught in the chaos.