The number of Americans dropping meat is growing, albeit at a small rate. According to an online poll conducted by The Vegetarian Resource Group, three percent of U.S. adults indicated they never eat meat, poultry and fish/seafood. About one-third to one-fourth of those vegetarians (one percent of the U.S. adult population) also never eat dairy, eggs and honey, and are classified as vegan. Additionally, eight percent of the respondents say they never eat red meat.
These numbers are up from a 2006 poll in which 2.3 percent of Americans classified themselves as vegetarians, with 6.7% not eating red meat.
In addition to the TVR poll, a survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association found that meatless/vegetarian dishes will continue to grow in 2010. Of the 1,854 American Culinary Federation chefs surveyed on trends in the industry, meatless/vegetarian entrees came in number 11 in the â€śMain Dishes/Center of the Plateâ€ť category, and vegan entrees ranked 13, with 52% and 48% respectively.
The big winner? Locally Grown Produced ranked number 1 in Top 20 Trends.
via The Vegetarian Resource Group
How’s this for a shocking twist? Tomatoes, long thought to be peaceful delicious denizens of our vegetable gardens, may actually be a giant red threat to insects. Scientists say that the tomato and potato are among 325 new species suspected of harboring an appetite for flesh, including the potato, ornamental tobacco plants and petunia flowers. (Ed note: I always knew petunias were up to no good.)
Unlike more obvious carnivorous plants, like the Venus Fly Trap, tomatoes do not have the physical means to digest their victims. Instead, they ensnare small insects in sticky hairs on their stems, wait for them to fall to the ground dead, and absorb the nutrients via their root system. Self-fertilization! From UK Telegraph,
It is thought that the technique was developed in the wild in order to supplement the nutrients in poor quality soil â€“ but even domestic varieties grown in your vegetable patch retain the ability. The killer plants have been identified as among a host of species that are thought to have been overlooked by botanists and explorers searching the worldâ€™s remotest regions for carnivorous species.
The number of carnivorous plants is thought to have been underestimated by up to 50 per cent and many of them have until now been regarded as among the most benign of plants.
Said one researcher, â€śWe may be surrounded by many more murderous plants than we think.”
via UK Telegraph
Thanks to Stephen von Worley at Weather Sealed, we now have a pretty decent visual of how fast food chain McDonald’s dominates our country. Worley mapped the 13,000+ locations of McDonald’s across the lower 48 states — presenting a beautiful, but depressing look at the density of the Mickey D’s empire. From his report,
“For maximum McSparseness, we look westward, towards the deepest, darkest holes in our map. There, in a patch of rolling grassland, loosely hemmed in by Bismarck, Dickinson, Pierre, and the greater Rapid City-Spearfish-Sturgis metropolitan area, we find our answer. Between the tiny Dakotan hamlets of Meadow and Glad Valley lies the McFarthest Spot: 107 miles distant from the nearest McDonaldâ€™s, as the crow flies, and 145 miles by car!”
Note to self: Move to Dakota.