Tag: agriculture

UMD, Flying Dog Brewery Join Forces on a Hops-Growing Research Project

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The craft beer and “buy local” movements sort of go hand in hand, right? A new partnership between the University of Maryland and Flying Dog Brewery aims to bridge those two crazes, right down to the very hops used to make some of our favorite beers.

Maryland Farms Are Going (Mostly) Antibiotic Free

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Antibiotic free is becoming a prized descriptor in the food industry. The General Assembly gave the whole state the label.

Baltimore County 4H Fair

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4H county Fair

catch of the day fish (2)It’s just not summer without a visit to a county fair. Even (or maybe especially) for city slickers, a trip to the county fair is a reminder of all that’s wholesome, joyous, and a little bit dirt-stained. It’s a perfect place to take the kids for the day—with all manner of livestock there for the ogling and petting. The whole family can watch (or take part in) agriculture-related competitions—one of the grand traditions of any county fair thanks to 4H. If you don’t exactly have a prized hog you’ll be showing, or if your backyard zucchini doesn’t look like it’s going to tip the scales as a record breaker, you can always win at the cake auction—or PP&B Bingo.

This Week in Research: Put Some Dog Food in That Chemo; Early Agriculture

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Chemotherapy is one of the most popular cancer treatments, but it’s also known for its many side-effects. Eighty percent of those using common chemo drug Taxol have to deal with peripheral neuropathy, a kind of nerve pain that can persist throughout a lifetime. But Johns Hopkins researchers have found one particular chemical that seems to prevent the nerve degeneration that causes peripheral neuropathy. And that chemical is a popular dog food additive called Ethoxyquin.

A Place at the Table

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AA028655Award-winning Baltimore poet Jane Satterfield describes a certain kind of personal fulfillment in food, well chosen.

As I opened the door of the restaurant anchoring a rehabbed grist mill in a gentrified section of town, I paused to breathe in the herbs’ woodsy scent, the smell of roasting meat, and a whiff of yeast escaping the fired-up brick oven. I’m out of my kitchen for the evening, absolved from the happy duty of family dinner, not here to see and be seen like the lively crowd of hipsters in bright skinny jeans and aggressive eyewear who hover at the bar’s edge, martinis in hand.  What mom on an evening out doesn’t smile at the memory of being that young, that free?

Homemade Treats on the Maryland Ice Cream Trail

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We’re all different:  some of us prefer mint chocolate chip; others opt for vanilla every time. But if there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that ice cream is a good thing — and that more ice cream is an even better thing. Which is why the Maryland’s Best Ice Cream Trail, the first farm-based ice cream trail in the country, is the best thing we’ve heard about this week.

Maryland is First State to Ban Arsenic in Chicken Feed

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This feels appropriate, considering the recent research about all the creepy chemicals our chickens are eating:  Maryland is just about to become the first state in the U.S. to ban arsenic in chicken feed.

You may be wondering why anyone would feed a chicken arsenic in the first place. (Unless, say, the chicken was in an Agatha Christie novel, and had just come into a large inheritance.) But while arsenic is certainly a poison — and has been shown to contribute to diabetes and heart disease — it’s also used to fight parasites in animals.  The arsenic-containing drug roxarsone, manufactured by Pfizer, also promotes blood vessel growth, which can make meat appear pinker and plumper. Purdue and McDonald’s both refuse to feed it to their chickens. Canada and the European Union prohibit it as well.

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