Korean BBQ, written by award-winning chef Bill Kim, explores sweet, sticky, tangy flavors of Korean-American BBQ. Partnering with fellow author Chandra Ram, Kim presents 80 recipes that have been tailored to make them accessible to any home cook. Kim was born in Korea but was raised in the American Midwest. The result of that upbringing was a melding of the […]
Imitation crab—also known as “krab,” “kay-rab,” “fake crab,” and “krab sticks”—is a mixture of fish (usually Alaska pollock) and starch that has been shaped and colored to resemble the leg of a crab. It’s basically the lunchmeat of the sea, and it can be surprisingly tasty. (I used to eat it straight from the package,…
On Monday, while most media were still digesting President Donald Trump’s extraordinary travels abroad, the White House quietly named a long-time pesticide executive as chief scientist for the US Department of Agriculture.
If approved by the Senate, Scott Hutchins will be the third major player from Dow Chemical’s pesticide/seed division to hold a high post in Trump’s USDA.
If approved by the Senate, Scott Hutchins will be the third major player from Dow Chemical’s pesticide/seed division—now known as Corteva, after Dow’s 2017 merger with DuPont—to hold a high post in Trump’s USDA. Back in April, the administration tapped Ken Isley, a 30-year Dow Agroscience/Corteva veteran, to lead the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. In October 2017, another former Dow man, Ted Mckinney, was confirmed by the Senate as undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs. McKinney had served for 19 years on Dow Agroscience’s government affairs (read: lobbying) team.
Hutchins, the USDA’s presumptive new chief scientist, has been with Dow Agrosciences and later Cortvea since earning a Ph.D. in entomology from Iowa State University in 1987. His most recent title is global leader of integrated field sciences; before the DuPont merger, he served as global director for crop protection research and development at Dow AgroSciences. “Crop protection,” of course, means pesticides—a category that includes bug killers (pesticides), weed killers (herbicides), and fungus killers (fungicides).
In his role as chief scientist—formally known as undersecretary for research, education, and economics—Hutchins would set the agenda for the USDA’s $2.9 billion research budget.
His nomination is the latest step in what has emerged as a remarkably active relationship between Team Trump and the company formerly known as Dow Chemical. After the 2016 election, Dow donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee. In March 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency reversed an Obama administration plan to ban a widely used Dow Agroscience pesticide called chlorpyrifos, a potent neurotoxin that has been shown to stunt kids’ brain development—weeks after EPA director Scott Pruitt met privately with Dow CEO Andrew Liveris. In June that year, the Department of Justice approved Dow’s megamerger with former rival DuPont. Corteva, the agriculture unit of Dow-Dupont, is a massive player in both the US and global pesticide markets.
A flight attendant has revealed the truth behind “unhealthy” plane food in a Quora post.
The food is apparently prepared 12 hours — or even days — before departure.
Eggs are often made of a mix of actual egg and “other substitutes.”
Spices, salts, and fats are added to make the food taste less bland.
Even fruit isn’t a safe option, according to the post.
Unless you’re lucky enough to travel in first class, most of us don’t expect fine dining on a flight — but it turns out we might be better off not eating anything on-board at all.
Industrial agriculture is one of the most unsustainable practices of modern civilization. The “bigger is better” food system has reached a point where its real costs have become readily apparent. Like water running down an open drain, the earth’s natural resources are disappearing quickly, as industrialized farming drives air pollution, water pollution, deforestation, rising carbon emissions and the depletion, erosion and poisoning of soils.1
The long-term answer, however, lies in the transition to sustainable, regenerative, chemical-free farming practices, not in the creation of food manufacturing techniques that replace farms with chemistry labs, which is the “environmentally friendly” alternative envisioned by biotech startups and its chemists.
The conventional meat industry in particular has been shown to have a deleterious influence on our environment and climate, giving rise to a number of efforts to bring animal replacement products to market. Impossible Foods and its meatless, “bleeding” burger2,3,4,5 is one among several such inventions, and it’s a perfect example of an answer that may well create more hazards than it solves.
Meatless ‘Bleeding’ Burger — Epitome of Fake Food
Contrary to lab grown meat,6 the meat substitute created by Impossible Foods contains a mix of wheat, coconut oil, potatoes and “heme,” the latter of which is derived from genetically engineered (GE) yeast. Impossible Foods was founded in 2011 by Pat Brown, a Stanford University chemist.
A primary ingredient in the Impossible Burger is GE soy leghemoglobin, which releases a heme-like protein when broken down. This protein is what gives the plant-based patty its meatlike look, taste and texture, and makes the patty “bleed” when cooked.
While the company refers to it as “heme,” technically, plants produce non-heme iron.7 Heme iron only occurs in meat and seafood. A main difference between heme and non-heme iron has to do with their absorbability. Plant-based non-heme iron is less readily absorbed.
This is one of the reasons why vegans are at higher risk of iron deficiency anemia than meat eaters. Moreover, while soy leghemoglobin is found in the roots of soybean plants, the company is recreating it using GE yeast. As explained on the company website:8
“Heme is exceptionally abundant in animal muscle — and it’s a basic building block of life in all organisms, including plants. We discovered how to take heme from plants and produce it using fermentation … We genetically engineer yeast to make a key ingredient: heme. The process allows us to produce the Impossible Burger at scale with the lowest achievable environmental impact.
We start with the gene for a protein called leghemoglobin, a heme protein that is naturally found in the root nodules of soy plants … We add the soy leghemoglobin gene to a yeast strain, and grow the yeast via fermentation. Then we isolate the leghemoglobin, or heme, from the yeast. We add heme to the Impossible Burger to give it the intense, meaty flavor, aroma and cooking properties of animal meat.”
Possible Risks of the Impossible Burger
While the meatless patties are now sold in nearly 2,000 restaurants across the U.S., questions remain about its long-term safety for human health. Friends of the Earth, an environmental activism group with an international following, has pointed out that we do not yet know enough about the health effects of eating this kind of fake meat, and that its speedy market release is foolhardy at best.
In its report “From Lab to Fork: Critical Questions on Laboratory-Created Animal Product Alternatives”9 released June 2018, Friends of the Earth calls for more stringent safety assessments, regulations and labeling requirements. Dana Perls, a Friends of the Earth food and agriculture campaigner, told Bloomberg,10 “We need real data. People have been clear that they want real, truly sustainable organic food, as opposed to venture capitalist hype which could lead us down the wrong path.”
The report highlights a number of health and safety concerns and environmental impacts hidden beneath “climate-friendly” claims. It also points out the lack of substantiation for “clean meat,” “animal-free,” “plant-based” and “sustainable” claims. As reported by Bloomberg:11
“Friends of the Earth has raised concerns about ‘heme,’ the protein derived from genetically engineered yeast that Impossible Foods said gives the burger its faux meatiness. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has asked for more “direct” evidence of safety as well as more testing on allergens, as reported by The New York Times12 last summer.
‘It needs to be done by a third party,’ Perls said of testing heme, with research ‘on long-term health implications.’ Impossible Foods said a panel of experts it hired has twice determined the substance to be safe, in 2014 and 2017.”
GRAS Designation Is Often Meaningless When It Comes to Novel Ingredients
To those familiar with how the system works, however, the hiring of “a panel of experts” to confirm safety brings little to no comfort. As explained in my 2015 article, “Flawed GRAS System Lets Novel Chemicals Into Food Supply Without FDA Safety Review,” a company can simply hire an industry insider to evaluate a brand-new ingredient, and if that individual determines that the ingredient in question meets federal safety standards, it can be deemed “generally recognized as safe” or GRAS, with no further independent third party evaluation being required.
That’s what happened here.13 The fact that Impossible Foods hired and paid for the panel members to do the GRAS evaluation of Impossible Burger’s key ingredient, soy leghemoglobin made from GE yeast, is reason enough to take the safety claim with a grain of salt. As noted by U.S. Right to Know (USRTK) reporter Stacy Malkan:14
“The three food researchers who wrote the expert panel report that Impossible Foods submitted to the FDA — Joseph Borzelleca, Michael Pariza and Steve Taylor — are on a short list of scientists the ‘food industry turns to over and over again’ to obtain GRAS status …
[A]ll three served on the Phillip Morris Scientific Advisory Board, according to a 2015 investigation by the Center for Public Integrity [CPI], ‘The Misinformation Industry: Food safety scientists have ties to Big Tobacco’15 … ‘[C]ritics of the GRAS system say Borzelleca is emblematic of a system that is rife with conflicts of interest,’ CPI reported.”
According to the FDA, the research included in the company’s GRAS notification (which is voluntary) was inadequate and could not, in fact, establish safety. Importantly, the company’s assessment of allergenicity was lacking. However, as permitted by GRAS rules, Impossible Foods simply withdrew its voluntary GRAS notification and began marketing its meatless burger without the FDA’s official blessing.
How Environmentally Friendly Are Meat Substitutes?
According to Friends of the Earth, sustainability claims need to be backed up by a full environmental impact assessment, starting with the product’s creation and ending with its disposal. Meat substitutes often require water, chemicals and fossil fuel inputs, and in that respect, differ little from conventional agriculture.
According to an Environmental Science and Technology study16 published in 2015, lab-grown meat where the meat is cultured from stem cells actually requires more energy than conventional agriculture. As explained in the study’s abstract:
“Cultured, or in vitro, meat consists of edible biomass grown from animal stem cells in a factory, or carnery. In the coming decades, in vitro biomass cultivation could enable the production of meat without the need to raise livestock.
Using an anticipatory life cycle analysis framework, the study described herein examines the environmental implications of this emerging technology and compares the results with published impacts of beef, pork, poultry, and another speculative analysis of cultured biomass.
While uncertainty ranges are large, the findings suggest that in vitro biomass cultivation could require smaller quantities of agricultural inputs and land than livestock; however, those benefits could come at the expense of more intensive energy use as biological functions such as digestion and nutrient circulation are replaced by industrial equivalents.
From this perspective, large-scale cultivation of in vitro meat and other bioengineered products could represent a new phase of industrialization with inherently complex and challenging trade-offs.”
As noted by Perls, “We’ve had the experience of watching the environmental impacts of some food products, and we really can’t afford to create more unsustainable food systems that take us in another wrong direction” — which is precisely what the fake meat industry is doing, and in more ways than one. Aside from the fact that it doesn’t appear to have any regenerative capabilities that would benefit the ecosystem, there’s also the issue of health effects.
Ultra-Processed Foods Linked to Increased Cancer Risk
A number of studies have highlighted the risks of ultra-processed foods, showing they raise your risk of cancer, and the more ultra-processed foods you eat, the greater your risk.17,18,19,20 In one, which included nearly 105,000 participants followed for an average of five years, an average of 18 percent of their diet was ultra-processed, and each 10 percent increase in ultra-processed food raised the cancer rate by 12 percent, which worked out to nine additional cancer cases per 10,000 people per year.
The risk of breast cancer specifically went up by 11 percent for every 10 percent increase in ultra-processed food. While sugar and unhealthy fats are key staple ingredients suspected of causing these effects, there’s reason to believe fake meat might have a similar impact, for the simple fact that the human body is not designed to process fake meat. Never in the history of mankind has GE yeast been a major part of our diet.
Research21 has also linked poor diet to an increased risk of cardiometabolic mortality (death resulting from Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke). According to the authors, suboptimal intake of key foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and animal-based omega-3, along with excessive consumption of processed foods such as processed meats and sweetened beverages accounted for more than 45 percent of all cardiometabolic deaths in 2012.
If processed meat (as opposed to unprocessed meat like steak) is a well-established contributor to cancer and ill health, what assurances do we have that lab-created GE yeast-derived meat substitutes are going to be any safer, let alone an actual boon to our health?
Angered by the apparent distrust expressed by folks concerned about the introduction of fake meats, Impossible Foods chief communications officer Rachel Konrad accused critics of being “anti-science fundamentalists” spouting “preposterous propaganda,”22 and that Friends of the Earth has a “total disregard for science, facts and reality.”23
Defender of Toxins Runs Propaganda Machine for Fake Meats
ACSH is the “science experts” the fake meat industry is now relying on to spread the gospel of cruelty-free, environmentally sound meatless meat, which alone should set off warning bells among those familiar with tobacco and chemical industry PR tactics.
Inexplicably, ACSH is still being treated as a reputable information source by mainstream media, despite the fact that health, environmental, labor and public-interest groups have urged media outlets to stop publishing ACSH content25 — or at least require that it be identified for what it truly is: a corporate front group.
In an EcoWatch commentary, Malkan points out how Impossible Foods is trying to manipulate the public discussion by redirecting you to its own carefully vetted sources, all of whom are well-recognized spin-masters for toxic industries:26
“Instead of enduring the bias of Bloomberg, Konrad tells us, we should take heart in the rise of Mark Lynas, a promoter of GMOs and pesticides who communicates inaccurate information about science, according to scientists and food experts.
Konrad’s article also links to a column by Ted Nordhaus, who sits on the board of the parent organization of Genetic Literacy Project, a chemical industry propaganda group that attacks cancer scientists as part of its role as an ‘industry partner’ in Monsanto’s public relations strategy to protect Roundup weed killer from cancer concerns.
The false and inflammatory messaging these front groups use to promote genetically engineered foods, defend pesticides, ignore health and environmental risks and silence consumer and environmental advocates goes a long way toward explaining why the GMO industry isn’t winning consumer trust …
Impossible Foods had the opportunity to write a new story, and build trust with an open, transparent process that respects consumer concerns. They blew it. Impossible Burger’s new genetically engineered protein is new to the human food supply, and we are supposed to trust the manufacturer to vouch for its safety. But the company’s process hasn’t inspired trust.”
Industrial Agriculture Needs Major Overhaul, but Eliminating Nature Is Not the Answer
Creating patented lab-grown meat products is not about feeding the world or eliminating animal suffering. It’s about dominating billionaires looking to put patents on the food system. While many view lab-created meat substitutes as the lesser of two evils when comparing it to conventional factory farmed meat that currently dominates the market, taking nature out of the equation altogether is not the answer, especially since holistic herd management is an integral part of the regenerative agriculture equation.
When animals are raised according to regenerative agriculture, a complete ecosystem is created, one that is both healing for the land and productive for the farmers who keep it. Eating meat is not synonymous with harming the environment; it’s industrial farming practices that inflict the damage. Some also believe eating meat means ripping out more forests so animals can graze, but I’m certainly not advocating for that.
U.S. cropland is currently dominated by a two-crop planting cycle of corn and soybeans, largely for animal feed. Like concentrated animal feeding operations, these monocrops are devastating the environment, and even though they’re plant foods, are part of the problem, not the solution.
Getting rid of these large swaths of corn and soy fields, which, if you’ve ever visited one, you’ll know are chemical-laden and largely devoid of life, is key, as is reverting them back to what they were before, namely grasslands for grazing animals.
Grasslands are key to fixing many environmental problems, and herbivores are a necessary part of this ecosystem. By mimicking the natural behavior of migratory herds of wild grazing animals — meaning allowing livestock to graze freely, and moving the herd around in specific patterns — farmers can support nature’s efforts to regenerate and thrive.
This kind of land management system promotes the reduction of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) by sequestering it back into the soil where it can do a lot of good. Once in the earth, the CO2 can be safely stored for hundreds of years and adds to the soil’s fertility.
Lab-made meat substitutes do not contribute to the regeneration of our environment. In fact, by being more energy intensive, fake meats continue pushing environmental problems to the brink. If your main concerns are animal welfare and environmental sustainability, your best bet is to support and buy meats that are certified grass fed organic, raised and slaughtered under humane conditions.
The most dependable source is meat certified by the American Grassfed Association (AGA), which ensures animals were born and raised on American family farms, fed only grass and forage from weaning until harvest, have not been treated with hormones or antibiotics, and raised on pasture without confinement to feedlots. In the Midwest, the Kalona SuperNatural brand was the first dairy brand to become AGA-certified.
A monk’s belligerent responses to tourist reviews have gone viral after they were posted on Twitter.
Shingon priest Daniel Kimura commented on a number of reviews that were critical of Sekishoin Shukubo guesthouse, which is also an ancient Buddhist temple.
The guesthouse is located in Mount Kōya, near Osaka, Japan.
In an interview with The Guardian, Kimura apologized for his responses and said he needed to work on his patience.
“Yeah, it’s Japanese monastic cuisine you uneducated f***.”
Doughbies should have been a bakery, not a venture-backed startup. Founded in the frothy days of 2013 and funded with $670,000 by investors, including 500 Startups, Doughbies built a same-day cookie delivery service. But it was never destined to be capable of delivering the returns required by the VC model that depends on massive successes to cover the majority of bets that fail. The startup became the butt of jokes about how anything could get funding.
This weekend, Doughbies announced it was shutting down immediately. Surprisingly, it didn’t run out of money. Doughbies was profitable, with 36 percent gross margins and 12 percent net profit, co-founder and CEO Daniel Conway told TechCrunch. “The reason we were able to succeed, at this level and thus far, is because we focused on unit economics and customer feedback (NPS scoring). That’s it.”
Many other startups in the on-demand space missed that memo and vaporized. Shyp mailed stuff for you and Washio dry cleaned your clothes, until they both died sudden deaths. Food delivery has become a particularly crowded cemetery, with Sprig, Maple, Juicero and more biting the dust. Asked his advice for others in the space, Conway said to “Make sure your business makes sense — that you’re making money, and make sure your customers are happy.”
Doughbies certainly did that latter. They made one of the most consistently delicious chocolate chip cookies in the Bay Area. I had them cater our engagement party. At roughly $3 per cookie plus $5 for delivery, it was pricey compared to baking at home, but not outrageous given SF restaurant rates. From its launch at 500 Startups Demo Day with an “Oprah” moment where investors looked beneath their seats to find Doughbies waiting for them, it cared a lot about the experience.
But did it make sense for a bakery to have an app and deliver on-demand? Probably not. There was just no way to maintain a healthy Doughbies habit. You were either gunning for the graveyard yourself by ordering every week, or like most people you just bought a few for special occasions. Startups like Uber succeed by getting people to routinely drop $30 per day, not twice a year. And with the push for nutritious and efficient offices, it was surely hard for enterprise customers to justify keeping cookies stocked.
Flanked by Instacart and Uber Eats, there weren’t many ripe adjacent markets for Doughbies to conquer. It was stuck delivering baked goods to customers who were deterred from growing their cart size by a sense of gluttony.
Without stellar growth or massive sales volumes, there aren’t a lot of exciting challenges to face for people like Conway and his co-founder Mariam Khan. “Ultimately we shut down because our team is ready to move on to something new,” Conway says.
The startup just emailed customers explaining that “We’re currently working on finding a new home for Doughbies, but we can’t make any promises at this time.” Perhaps a grocery store or broader food company will want its logistics technology or customer base. But delivery is a brutal market to break into, dominated by those like Uber who’ve built economies of scale through massive fleets of drivers to maximize routing efficiency.
In the end, Doughbies was a lifestyle business. That’s not a dirty word. A few co-founders with a dream can earn a respectable living doing what they care about. But they have to do it lean, without the advantage of deep-pocketed investors.
As soon as a company takes venture funding, it’s under pressure to deliver adequate returns. Not 2X or 5X, but 10X, 100X, even 1,000X what they raise. That can lead to investors breathing down their neck, encouraging big risks that could tank the business just for a shot at those outcomes. Two years ago we saw a correction hit the ecosystem, writing down the value of many startups, and we continue to see the ripple effect as companies funded before hit the end of their runway.
Desperate for cash, founders can accept dirty funding terms that screw over not just themselves, but their early employees and investors. FanDuel raised more than $416 million at a peak valuation of $1.3 billion. But when it sold for $465 million, the founders and employees received zero as the returns all flowed to the late-stage investors who’d secured non-standard liquidation preferences. After nearly 10 years of hard work, the original team got nothing.
Not every business is a startup. Not every startup is a rocket ship. It takes more than just building a great product to succeed. It can require suddenly cutting costs to become profitable before you run out of funding. Or cutting ambitions and taking less cash at a lower valuation so you can realistically hit milestones. Or accepting a low-ball acquisition offer because it’s better than nothing. Or not raising in the first place, and building up revenues the old-fashioned way so even modest growth is an accomplishment.
Investors are often rightfully blamed for inflating the bubble, pushing up raises and valuations to lure startups to take their money instead of someone else’s. But when it comes to deciding what could be a fast-growing business, sometimes its the founders who need the adjustment.
Lyndsey Thomas is a down-to-earth, witty blogger who writes about lifestyle, being a mum, and all things travel-related. She lives with her family in Yorkshire and blogs about life up’t North, as well as her adventures across the pond. We’re delighted to have her share her St. John’s experience with us. Find out more about her on girlaboutyorkshire.com
My eyes darted back and forth as I stood on the edge of the most easterly point in North America. Scanning the North Atlantic Ocean with anticipation – eager to see a glimpse of a humpback whale breeching in the icy waters. And then all of a sudden, there it was, a spurt of air and water, and then a long shiny black spine slicing up the water and immersing itself back under the black of the ocean.
I held my breath, praying for it to reappear. Seconds later it resurfaced. The immensity and power and the incredible noise it made as it sprayed water from its blowhole. There it was… my first humpback whale encounter just ten minutes outside the city of St. John’s at Cape Spear, the most easterly point in North America. This was one of several whale encounters that I was to witness over my three days in the city of St. John’s.
Cape Spear – blogger’s own photo
Views from The East Coast Trail – blogger’s own photo
The Canadian province of Newfoundland & Labrador claims to be one of the most spectacular whale-watching places in the world. Between May and September I was told that one can expect to see 22 species of whales, including the minke, sperm, pothead, blue, orca, and the world’s largest population of humpbacks, all of which feed on capelin, krill and squid along the coast.
My experience was a huge ‘WOW’ moment and my feet were firmly on land… I can only begin to imagine how mind-blowing it is for those who get up close and personal with these majestic mammals on a boat tour, sea kayaking right by them, or even snorkelling with, in some cases, all 70ft of them! What’s more, you don’t have to travel for miles in a hire car or on a coach trip to tick a whale encounter off your bucket list – you can do it right here in St. John’s.
St. John’s – The San Francisco of the East Coast
Perched on the steep slopes of a small harbour with a rainbow of colourful wooden Victorian-era houses known as jellybean rows lining the steep streets, my first observation was that this Canadian city on the Island of Newfoundland on Canada’s east coast has all the makings of a miniature San Francisco.
Jellybean Rows – blogger’s own photo
With a population of a little over 100,000, St. John’s is more small-town than big-city. But then visitors don’t come here to indulge their love of shopping in huge department stores or to be dazzled by bright lights and towering skyscrapers.
The Battery – St. John’s Harbour – blogger’s own photo
Bergs and Bars
In fact, there are no skyscrapers – well certainly not of the concrete kind. But hike up to Cabot Tower on Signal Hill, the city’s most prominent landmark about a mile from Downtown St. John’s, and from April onwards, marvel at Mother Nature’s skyscrapers – 10,000 year old icebergs travelling down the North Atlantic Coast from Greenland, some as high at 80 meters!
Watching the icebergs migrate down Iceberg Alley – Bloggers own photo
Watching the icebergs migrate down Iceberg Alley – Bloggers own photo
View from Signal Hill looking out over the Atlantic Ocean – blogger’s own photo
View from Signal Hill looking over the city – blogger’s own photo
There’s not that many places less than a five-hour flight away from the UK that have captured my heart like St. John’s. The City’s rather ordinary name certainly doesn’t do it justice. It doesn’t have the air of sophistication and pizzazz that other celebrated Canadian cities such as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver radiate, but the ‘ordinary’ stops there. St. John’s is the other side of ordinary.
The San Francisco similarities continue beyond the steep streets and row-upon-row of colourful wooden Victorian-era houses. Just like San Fran, St. John’s has a cool, vibrant creative arts scene that’s resulted in so many of the buildings’ exteriors flaunting Banksy-style murals, and buskers lining the streets, filling the city with song. Even the letterboxes on houses across the city are artistic and colourful.
Letterboxes on houses across the city – blogger’s own photo
Murals – Outer Battery – blogger’s own photo
Busker on the corner of George Street – blogger’s own photo
George Street in Downtown St. John’s claims to have the most bars per capita in the whole of North America. With a striking similarity to Dublin’s Temple Bar, and just as crazy, this little epicentre of partying is packed with live music venues, cocktail bars, tradition Newfoundland Irish pubs and late night clubs and is in full swing seven nights of the week.
My ‘Tuesday’ night experience continued well into the wee hours, I made (quite a lot) of new friends, was Screeched In (Google it!) and I vaguely remember trying to attempt a Michael Flatley routine, which ended in quite an applause from the locals.
George Street – blogger’s own photo
The Other Ireland
Irish traditions are evident everywhere. Many Newfoundlanders are of Irish descent. Their family names, their features, their colouring and the predominance of Catholics in and around St. John’s, the Irish music and their accents. Newfoundland is often referred to as ‘The Other Ireland’.
Blogger’s own photo
The city’s unique energy derives from a colourful patchwork of Irish heritage, hospitality and warmth, Mother Nature, the city’s wild positioning on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and a deep-rooted sense of fun and a relaxed attitude towards life.
Food Glorious Food
In the three days I spent in St John’s, I was lucky enough to dine in some of the city’s best restaurants to include The Merchant Tavern in downtown St. John’s and Mallard Cottage in the picture-perfect village of Quidi Vidi.
Quidi Vidi Village – Photo by Lyndsey Thomas
An incredible eclectic mix of cuisine in many restaurants across the city marries a blend of Irish, Scottish and Aboriginal recipes with ingredients from land and sea to include favourites such as moose meat and codfish.
I tucked into everything from a fruits-de-mer for one on a platter the size of a dustbin lid, to deliciously meaty cod tongue. Mouth-wateringly fresh cod tacos, delicious roasted cod with bacon lardons and of course salt cod.
Fruits de mer at The Merchants Tavern – blogger’s own photo
There’s a lot of cod. But then this is the cod fishing and salt cod capital of the world. There’s also a lot of everything else and if, like me, you like to eat, and you like to eat well, you won’t be disappointed.
Lunch at Mallard Cottage – blogger’s own photo
The dessert table at Mallard Cottage – blogger’s own photo
If the spending-money can stretch to it, book well in advance to secure your table at the highly praised Raymonds. A harbour-view restaurant in the downtown that has recently garnered multiple awards and accolades including Canada’s best new restaurant.
Hike and Dine
The world-class East Coast Trail stretches 265km from Cape St Francis (north of St John’s) south to Cappahayden along the Avalon Peninsula. It can be explored as day hikes or a thru-hike, stopping in villages along the way with B&B and Vacation Home Rental accommodations and camping parks nearby. The 9km path between Cape Spear and Maddox Cove near Petty Harbour is a beautiful return day hike (18km in total) from St. John’s and it got me back to my hotel in St. John’s with plenty of time to freshen up before I tucked into a wonderful meal in one of the city’s many superb restaurants. I had three delicious courses, all of which I thoroughly deserved after such an energizing and energetic day of hiking alongside the wild North Atlantic Ocean.
I think it’s safe to say that there are very few cities so close to the UK where a short break can include such a multiplicity of encounters and experiences – maybe only Reykjavik? Then maybe St. John’s is the new Reykjavik? Just without the extortionate price tags.
From London, the flight time to St. John’s is only around five hours and 40 minutes, and with a time difference of just 3.5hrs, it’s a great short break destination.
St. John’s is just a 10 minute taxi ride from St. John’s International Airport and it costs $25 CAD (approx £14 for a one-way trip)
I travelled to Cape Spear with McCarthy’s Party on a half-day private guided tour of the Greater St. John’s area. Andrew my guide and chauffeur, and co-owner of McCarthy’s Party collected me from my hotel in Downtown St. John’s and tailored the tour to my interests to including the best places for urban and wildlife photography. This is a great way to get to learn about the history of St. John’s, in the comfort of a luxury vehicle and with some fabulous Irish/Canadian humour along the way. Private tours can be tailored to your interests and range from a few hours to multi-day tours.
For whale watching and iceberg viewing boat tours and kayaking trips from St. John’s, contact O’Brien Boat Tours. (Bay Bulls) or Iceberg Quest in St John’s)
I stayed at The JAG Hotel in Downtown St. John’s. A fabulous luxury boutique hotel that has been designed around the theme of Rock and Roll.
Do not disturb signs for the hotel room doors at The JAG Hotel – blogger’s own photo
The average cost of a local bottle beer on George Street is around $4 CAD (approx £2.50).
For full peace of mind, book your St. John’s city break with Canadian Affair.
A 5 night city break with flights and hotel included starts at just £794 per person.
Who says that enjoying popsicles needs to end when you grow up? Whoever does say that is full of bologna!
Thank goodness there’s a lot of people who think that boozy popsicles should be a thing that we do. Often. From margarita popsicles to red wine popsicles, there’s something for every responsible adult who would like to enjoy an alcoholic treat on a hot summer day.
Rep. Linda Sanchez renewed calls for a “generational shift” in the House Democratic leadership.
Sanchez made the comments weeks after a 28-year-old primary challenger ousted House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley.
WASHINGTON — As more insurgent Democrats make their way into the party, sometimes upending key figures in the leadership like the recent ousting of one member, one ranking Democratic congresswoman is maintaining her position for a “generational shift” in the party’s brass.
In a meeting with reporters on Wednesday, California Rep. Linda Sanchez said Democratic leadership needs to change its structure to be more inclusive of younger members of the conference.See the rest of the story at Business Insider