The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 03.07.07


Flying wasabi and cloned cows sour my milk

So you are flying around in space and you have the munchies. What to do?

Why, reach for the sushi and wasabi of course. Or you could have some Mutter Paneer (Indian curried cheese and peas) with basmati rice. It gets lonely up in the space station and a poor astronaut has to keep fueled on a variety of freeze-dried meals.

Not content with your garden-variety NASA snacks, our space venturers are now allowed to pack small treat packages of favorite food items. Vacuum sealed, of course.

The problem is that one must not spill the contents or floating disasters may occur.

This is exactly what happened on a recent mission when a powerful sushi condiment became weightless in the cabin.

If you are going to release something toxic into a controlled environment far from home do not let it be the dreaded Wasabi, that green Japanese horseradish we all love or love to hate.

It turns out that the flying wasabi threatened the air quality of the flight cabin and almost fried some key navigational components en route. If anything can be a national threat to high technology then Wasabi would be an ideal weapon apparently.

On a related note, it seems Rachel Ray will be the first Food Network star chef to have one of her meals served in zero gravity on a future mission.

As technology continues its quest for world domination, we now can be thankful for cloned meats via cloned hoofed creatures.

In the US, the government may approve meat and milk from cloned animals by year-end while it "conducts further studies." Government scientists say that there is virtually no difference between clones and conventional cows, pigs, or goats and that "meat" providers are simply responding to the needs of consumers.

I'd like to know who exactly conducts studies that say we want cloned food and why. Don't we have enough of the real thing already and why the @#$! would I want to drink milk from a fake moo?

Some 67 respondents of respondents in a recent survey about cloned food products stated their mistrust, disgust, and bewilderment about the concept.

What's next? Cloned organics?

What kind of government allows such practices? It is even more disconcerting that the same percentage stated they would buy cloned meat and milk if the US government declared it safe. The world is coming to an end for farmers and good local products, I tell you.

All this news just makes me want to make a great homemade soup from locally grown organic chicken and veggies. Fortunately, at least here in Canada for now, we can still get some.

This soup will not only temper a cold and help with flu but also stave off invading food scientists with bad intentions too hopefully.

Organic Chicken Soup with an Asian twist

One whole organic chicken
4 liters water (enough to cover chicken)
1 onion cut in quarters
2 green spring onions sliced for garnish
3 garlic cloves
1 tsp sesame oil
1 inch of ginger root grated
2 teaspoons sea salt or Japanese soy sauce
1 pound or 450g new potatoes
4 large carrots cut in one-inch slices
2 stalks celery cut in one-inch slices

Combine chicken, water, onion, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and salt or soy sauce in a large stockpot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour skimming off oil and fat as needed.

Test chicken with a fork to determine when it is tender and fully cooked.

Remove the chicken and shred it, removing bones, fat, skin, and gristle.

Strain chicken broth and keep warm.

Add vegetables and chicken to broth and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are done. Sprinkle a few sliced green onions in each bowl before serving.