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Monthly Archives: May 2016

What We’re Reading: Ancient Beer in China, Taobao Villages, and a Meat Tax

beerA 5,000-year-old recipe for beer has been discovered in China. (Wall Street Journal)

Every week we’ll round up the latest in Chinese food news and more.

CHINA FOOD NEWS

A look into why the China Food and Drug Administration still faces major food safety scares despite repeated reforms. (South China Morning Post)

Starbucks is opening its first international Roastery and Reserve Tasting Room in Shanghai by late 2017. (Xinhua)

Farm-to-table goes online: Chinese farmers are bringing their business to Taobao in hopes of regenerating the rural economy. (China Dialogue)

& RELATED

A UN expert calls for a tax on meat production to slow consumption and environmental damage. (The Guardian)

Farming—particularly for meat and dairy products—is blamed as the main culprit for Europe’s air pollution. (China Dialogue)

Is it sugar, or “evaporated cane juice”? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it’s the same thing and to call sugar ‘juice’ is misleading. (NPR)

Sorry, there’s nothing magical about breakfast. (New York Times)

Missed last week’s roundup? You can find all of our What We’re Reading weekly roundups here.

Last Chance: Wrapping up Wrap Wednesdays at Hunter Gatherer Anfu

hunter gatherer wrap wednesdays

If you haven’t had the chance to enjoy our BOGO Wrap Wednesdays special, hurry—tomorrow will be the last chance you’ll have to buy a wrap and get the second wrap free to share with a friend. Hunter Gatherer at Anfu Road is wrapping up the Wrap Wednesdays specials to make way for an exciting Gather & Go menu with new Real Food salads, wraps, parfaits, and more.

As we turn over a new leaf to our menu, we’ll be discontinuing all of our current wraps and salads at Anfu Road by the end of this week. Stay tuned for when we unveil our newest Real Food menu on Saturday!

What We’re Reading: Fake Jellyfish, Healthier Eats, and the Meaning of “Natural” Food

blooming-apricot-valley-yili-china-1Breathtaking images of China’s gorgeous Apricot Valley in bloom in the country’s northwest region. (Bored Panda)

Every week we’ll round up the latest in Chinese food news and more.

CHINA FOOD NEWS

China is ditching Western fast food joints for healthier options. (Quartz)

A tonne of fake jellyfish made from chemicals has been seized in Huzhou; over 10 tonnes were sold before the culprits were caught. (ABC)

Pork prices in China are at record levels, as demand outstrips dwindling supply. (Financial Times)

The annual South China Sea fishing ban has begun in a bid to ensure the sustainability of the fishing industry. (China Daily)

& RELATED

Food for thought: An interesting look at what “natural” food really means. (NPR)

In the race to create super-crops, a discovery that old-fashioned breeding may be better than GMOs. (Nature)

China’s desertification is swallowing up farm soil and causing problems for the rest of the world. (The Conversation)

Missed last week’s roundup? You can find all of our What We’re Reading weekly roundups here.

How to Pack the Perfect Healthy Picnic

15075317405_c9db910664_bPicnics combine two of our favorite things: nature and food. Eating outdoors is a great way to celebrate the warmer weather, and we want to help you pack the perfect healthy picnic to take on your trips. Whether you’re going on a road trip with friends or spending a lazy Sunday in the park with family, a well-stocked basket with Real Food is essential to keeping everyone nourished and energized. We’ll share some of our favorite tips for packing a delicious and nutritious basket as well as a few limited time Real Food Deals on some of our most popular brands perfect for a healthy picnic.

Continue reading How to Pack the Perfect Healthy Picnic

Why ‘organic’ doesn’t always mean delicious

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If you’ve ever grown your own food, you know that it’s not enough to just grow organic. The magic behind delicious tasting Real Food starts with healthy, well-nourished soils. Hunter Gatherer’s farmers take soil biology very seriously and regularly mix together nutrient-rich compost recipes to keep our farms’ soil microorganisms happy, healthy, and thriving.  Keep reading to learn why soil health and composting is so important for flavorful Real Food, your health, and the environment.

Continue reading Why ‘organic’ doesn’t always mean delicious

Let’s Be Real

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“Use of chemical pesticides per hectare in China is almost three-folds greater than in developed countries” – Neurological Effects of Pesticide Use among Farmers in China, Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 Apr.

Unsettling isn’t it? Unfortunately, scary facts like the one above are a dime a dozen in China, and after a while, it’s easy for the mind to blur those disturbing figures into background noise. Shocking stats better serve as social media fodder or marketing hooks than genuine calls to action or inquiry. Read. Gasp. Share. Move on. This is very true of issues long-term in nature, and especially true of problems we can’t see…like pesticides.

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But shouldn’t we pay better attention to what we put in our bodies? Why are we so comfortable with not really knowing our food and how it affects our bodies? …Our families? …The environment? Are buzzwords like “healthy,” “organic” or “sustainable” good enough at face value to earn our trust? Food fuels our brains and our bodies. It is one of the most essential elements in determining our general wellbeing. Perhaps we should be more scrutinizing in choosing what we eat.

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Let’s take a look at pesticides. The problem of pesticide misuse is vast and difficult to comprehend. A simplified snapshot of the situation shows that pesticides in China are 1) toxic, 2) overused and 3) difficult to regulate. As a result, we are confronted daily by harmful chemicals that end up on our plate and are invisible to sight, smell and taste.

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Why are pesticides overused in China?

Overuse of pesticides in China is largely an issue of education. There is a general misconception among farmers that pesticide input and crop output have a positive linear relationship (more pesticides = more crops). The same belief extends to chemical fertilizers. However, this is simply not true. At a certain point all pesticide use leads to is an increase in pollution, not yield, which is harmful to public health and the environment.

To be fair, this is not often due to negligence or ill intent on the farmer’s part. Part of the reason is because no alternative model has been presented to reverse the harm being done. It’s also because we, the consumer, have not sufficiently raised the alarm. It’s no secret that our land is eroding and that exposure to agricultural chemicals is linked to neurotoxicity in humans. These two problems just happen to be long-term and out-of-sight, and therefore easy to overlook.

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At Hunter Gatherer we’re making every effort to tackle the whole issue and to bring the safest, most delicious food to you and your family. This is what we mean by seed-to-table. We do the growing, harvesting, sourcing, and cooking, because we believe it’s the right thing to do. And we hope to show other farmers and restaurants in our community that it is possible, in hopes that they will follow suit. We’re here to Grow the Pie, to encourage positive change. We hope to raise the bar and make our customers demand more from the industry, and more from us. And we want others to compete with us in doing the same.

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The best thing we can all do is to ask the difficult questions. Let’s share behavior, not statistics. Change is both top-down and bottom-up. If we all start demanding safer, chemical-free food, it will happen. Join us and Celebrate Real Food.

Celebrate Real Food.

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