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Chris Hadfield
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Why We Love to Eat Cooked Meat Despite Vegetarian Alternatives

World meat demand is at an all time high, despite its lack of nutritional benefits given alternatives like beans, nuts, quinoa, and tofu.

Why We Love to Eat Cooked Meat Despite Vegetarian Alternatives

What's the Latest Development?


A team of Dutch scientists recently presented the world's first lab-growth beef patties as a potential alternative to animal protein, recognizing the dominance of cooked meat over alternatives like beans, nuts, quinoa, and tofu. Despite its inefficient use of cropland and greenhouse gas production, why do humans crave cooked meat? "As much as 95 percent of what we think of as meat's taste is actually its aroma... And the lack of strong scents is one reason why raw meat is not very appealing." In experiments, chimps, gorillas and orangutans have been clear about their preferences: Roasting, grilling, and stewing meat adds to its appeal. 

 

What's the Big Idea? 

Vegetarians and nutritionists alike tell us that meat consumption is unnecessary for a healthy diet. Too much red meat even increases the risks of contracting heart disease. It seems the smell of cooked meat overpowers our health concerns due to a chemical reaction that occurs when foods containing carbohydrates and amino acids are cooked at high temperatures. Called the Maillard reaction, this rich combination of cooked sugar and fats is responsible for the intoxicating smell of baked breads and cookies, roasted vegetables, and brewing coffee. Because the recently lab-grown beef was all protein and no fat, the Maillard reaction also explains why it didn't taste very good.

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at the Washington Post

Take your career to the next level by raising your EQ

Emotional intelligence is a skill sought by many employers. Here's how to raise yours.

Gear
  • Daniel Goleman's 1995 book Emotional Intelligence catapulted the term into widespread use in the business world.
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Just How Much Land Does the Federal Government Own — and Why?

The rough beauty of the American West seems as far as you can get from the polished corridors of power in Washington DC.

Surprising Science

The rough beauty of the American West seems as far as you can get from the polished corridors of power in Washington DC. Until you look at the title to the land. The federal government owns large tracts of the western states: from a low of 29.9% in Montana, already more than the national average, up to a whopping 84.5% in Nevada.

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Can VR help us understand layers of oppression?

Researchers are using technology to make visual the complex concepts of racism, as well as its political and social consequences.

Future of Learning
  • Often thought of first as gaming tech, virtual reality has been increasingly used in research as a tool for mimicking real-life scenarios and experiences in a safe and controlled environment.
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Russia claims world's first COVID-19 vaccine but skepticism abounds

President Vladimir Putin announces approval of Russia's coronavirus vaccine but scientists warn it may be unsafe.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced coronavirus vaccine at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020.

Credit: Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP
Coronavirus
  • Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday that a COVID-19 vaccine has been approved in Russia.
  • Scientists around the world are worried that the vaccine is unsafe and that Russia fast-tracked the vaccine without performing the necessary phase 3 trials.
  • To date, Russia has had nearly 900,000 registered cases of coronavirus.
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