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Wolf

We've Lost Nearly All of Our Wild Foods -- What Happened? And What Are We Missing?

foraging
© n/a
Fish are the last wild food that most of us will eat.

A few days from now, a single bluefin tuna will make international headlines when it sells for an ungodly amount of money -- perhaps more than $100,000 -- at Tokyo's Tsukiji market. And while the high price of the first bluefin of the year will be extraordinary, the rarity, and thus the prestige and high pricetag of bluefin in general, provides a clue to humans' dietary history. Once upon a time, wild foods were a regular and beloved part of the American diet. Today, the American epicure might dine on foraged mushrooms and ramps, but for many of us, fish are the last wild food we eat. What happened? And what are we missing?

Georgia Pellegrini, a chef who has worked in elite restaurants in New York and France, decided to answer this question for herself when she set out to hunt her own food. As her new book's title implies -- Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time -- she entered into a masculine realm in which she was often the only woman. Pellegrini traveled across the United States and even England, hunting everything from squirrel to elk. As much as she stands out as a woman, she also stands out among the local and sustainable food movement. (An anthropologist recently pointed out that the local food movement "has been reticent to embrace hunting as an integral part of sustainable eating.")

As a chef, Pellegrini focuses on her meal's flavor more than many other sustainable food writers. At one point, while contemplating pulling the trigger to shoot a javelina, Pellegrini says, "I wonder if I had to work hard enough for this. I wonder if I had to exert myself enough... Then I wonder how javelina taste."

Attention

Ship aground off Italy; 3 bodies found, 69 missing

Image
© AP
Divers searched the submerged part of a luxury cruise liner that went aground off Italy's coast in case any of 70 people unaccounted for might be trapped inside, a coast guard official said Saturday, as passengers described a delayed and terrifying evacuation.

Three bodies were recovered from the sea after the Costa Concordia ran aground off the tiny island of Giglio near the coast of Tuscany late Friday, tearing a 160-foot (50-meter) gash in its hull and sending in a rush of water.

One of the victims was a Peruvian crew member, a diplomat from the South American country said, adding that a Peruvian woman was also missing. The ANSA new agency identified the other two fatalities as French passengers, but didn't cite a source.

Passengers described a scene reminiscent of Titanic, saying they escaped the ship by crawling along upended hallways, desperately trying to reach safety as the lights went out and plates and glasses crashed. Helicopters whisked some survivors to safety, others were rescued by private boats in the area, and witnesses said some people jumped from the ship into the dark, cold sea.

Heart - Black

Kathleen Edward, Girl Taunted Online While Battling Huntington's Disease, Dies

The 9-year-old Michigan girl taunted on Facebook by neighbors while she suffered from a terminal disease died Wednesday, according to WXYZ-TV.

Kathleen Edward of Trenton, Mich., died from Huntington's disease, the same genetic degenerative brain disorder that took her mother's life in 2009.

Back in late 2010, 33-year-old Jennifer Petkov, who lived on the same block as Kathleen's family, allegedly began cyberbullying the little girl.

On a Facebook page under Petkov's name, there were images of Kathleen's mother, Laura, in the arms of the Grim Reaper and Kathleen above a set of crossbones. Neighbors also accused Petkov and her husband Scott of building a coffin, putting it on their truck and driving past the Edward home, honking the horn.

Light Saber

CyberbullyJennifer Petkov Says 'I'm Sorry,' Wishes to Move On

'It just seems like no matter how quiet I stay that I'm still being accused of doing things that I'm not doing,' the Trenton woman, who used Facebook to post doctored photos of a dying girl, told Patch in an exclusive interview last week.

Jennifer Petkov says she is sorry, and she has a big regret.

Petkov, of Trenton, first made national news in October 2010 when she posted on Facebook photographs she doctored of a 7-year-old girl dying of Huntington's disease and her mother, who died as a result of the disease in 2009.

Though no criminal or civil charges were filed against Petkov for posting the Facebook photos, the story blew up in local and national media. A follow-up story Trenton Patch ran on June 23 was read by about 1 million people.

In the photos, the face of the girl, Kathleen Edward, was superimposed onto a skull and crossbones, and her mother, Laura Edward, 24, was being embraced by the grim reaper.

"The entire world thought I was this evil child-hater, child-taunter," Petkov told Patch in an exclusive interview last week at a restaurant in Trenton.

Attention

Revealed: Doctors Routinely Cheating Exams in Uncovered Scandal

X-Ray
© Natural Society
Utilizing an extensive data bank of answers recorded by those who have taken the test, radiology doctors around the nation from prestigious and little-known programs alike have been cheating the exam system for a very long time. With exam officials openly admitting that the cheating has been going on for a 'long time', the information sheds light on the fact that many radiology doctors may actually be completely unqualified to be dosing up patients with damaging radiation.

Doctors around the country have setup very complex banks of information known as 'recalls', which have been setup by doctors who have previously memorized test questions and shared them for public viewing. With each question meticulously documented and archived by radiology residents, the answers cover just about every program in the county - including highly the highly prestigious and challenging. This system makes even the most respected exam completely worthless in determining the knowledge base of the doctors.

Eye 2

Corporations Hate Taxes, So They Let the Children Pay

corporate tax avoidance
© Unknown
Two recent studies, both rather troubling on their own, are even more disturbing when the relationship between the two is considered.

The first is a study by Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) that shows tax avoidance at the state level. The CTJ study, which evaluated 265 large companies, determined that an average of 3% was paid in state taxes, less than half the average state tax rate of 6.2%. The ten states with 10 or more companies in the study all collected between 2.5% and 3.55%: Ohio, Texas, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Minnesota, Virginia, California, North Carolina, and New York.

CTJ notes that "these 265 companies avoided a total of $42.7 billion in state corporate income taxes over the three years." That's about $14 billion per year.

The second study, from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), reports that "Elementary and high schools are receiving less state funding than last year in at least 37 states, and in at least 30 states school funding now stands below 2008 levels - often far below."

Family

US: Arizona Police Investigating Woman for Violating Adultery Law

Image
© KPHO/CBS
Dave Banks wants his wife criminally charged for allegedly cheating on him.
The story sounds like the beginning of a country music narrative. He called the cops on his cheatin' wife.

In Arizona, adultery remains a class three misdemeanor, which carries the possibility of a $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

Glendale, Ariz., police told ABCNews.com they are investigating Dave Banks' claims that his wife of 17 years, Traci Banks, has cheated on him at least seven or eight times in the past 10 years.

"It's certainly much less of a reported criminal violation than a family crime or a sex crime," said Bret Coombs, a spokesman for the Glendale Police Department.

Banks reportedly had no qualms about turning in his wife, with whom he has two sons.

Bad Guys

What Happens When People Actually Fall For Those Nigerian Email Scams

Image
© Flickr: B Rosen
Just in case you needed a couple more reasons to delete that Nigerian email scam in your inbox, how about about kidnapping and the stinging international embarrassment for falling for the scam? That's what happened to a South Korean father and daughter who thought they were cashing in on tens of millions of dollars and instead had to be rescued after being held captive by a Nigerian gang.

Briefcase

EU: Debt Ratings Cut for 9 Countries Amid Euro Woes

Image
© Ian Langsdon/European Pressphoto Agency
Demonstrators from the left-wing Parti de Gauche party held signs outside the offices of Standard and Poor's in Paris on Friday.
Standard & Poor's downgraded the credit ratings of France, Italy and seven other European countries on Friday, a move that may have more symbolic than fundamental financial impact but served as a reminder that Europe's economic woes were far from over.

Another memory jog came Friday from Greece, the original source of Europe's debt troubles. Talks hit a snag between the new Greek government and the banks and other private investors that Athens hopes will agree to take losses on their debt so that Greece can avoid a default.

Together, those developments underscore that even as Europe's debt turmoil enters its third year, no clear solutions are yet in sight - despite recent signs that a new lending program by the European Central Bank might be easing financial market pressures.

Arrow Down

China: Irate Customers Pelt Beijing Apple Store with Eggs After Failing to Get iPhone 4S

Unruly Crowd Behaviour
© Minyanville
Three's a crowd!

Amidst all the controversy about the poor working conditions at the Shenzhen factory that produces its iPhones, Apple officially launched the iPhone 4S at its five mainland China stores Friday morning... only to meet with more controversy.

Like everywhere else in the world, Apple is hugely popular in China, and its stores there "are routinely mobbed for the release of new products," as the Associated Press describes. So, when more than a thousand people turned up to queue outside Apple's flagship store in Beijing for the launch of the iPhone 4S, the company was ordered by the police not to open its store to prevent unrest from breaking up.

Well, that only enraged the crowd, many of whom had waited overnight in freezing weather. When the store did not open on schedule at 7am, some in the irate crowd began pelting the store's trademark clear glass walls with eggs while others mouthed off at employees through the windows, the New York Times reports.

Worth noting is that many of the hundreds who had queued overnight were migrant workers. They were hired by scalpers, who aimed to purchase the coveted phones to resell at jacked-up prices. For a pee of 100 yuan (or $16), migrant workers were bused in to the Beijing store the night before to stand in line.

When the police instructed Apple not to open the store and cordoned off the area with yellow tape, these workers were especially frustrated, because they would now only get a food allowance of 10 yuan after waiting overnight in harsh conditions.