Everything You Need to Know About Cooking with Blood

The Nordic Food Lab's innovative approaches to a culinarily neglected ingredient

Back in 2008, renowned Danish chef René Redzepi and restaurateur Claus Meyer, now known to foodies as the masterminds behind the four-time world’s best restaurant Noma, opened a peculiar test kitchen in Copenhagen. The Nordic Food Lab, as they called it, was a space for chefs to experiment with the weird, new, and taboo in a way they never could in a working kitchen. Ever since, they’ve scored headlines with reports on cooking with fermented grasshoppers, pheasant essence, and even beaver anal glands. But perhaps no report they’ve issued has garnered as much attention and consternation as the one released this January by then-Food Lab intern Elisabeth Paul on how to substitute blood for eggs.

Blood-based cooking has certainly been a part of Western cuisine since the time of ancient Greece, when blood sausages were mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey. And in all likelihood, people have used animal blood for sausages, soups, pastes, or drinks since the first animal slaughter. But sometime in recent history, we forgot how to use blood. The ingredient grew so taboo that even Scottish chef Nick Nairn vomited on television at the site of a bowl of cooking blood.

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Up in the arctic, life struggles to thrive. A rocky and frigid landscape supporting little more than meager shrubs, grasses, and some berries in the summer, it’s proven too hostile for more than a few animal species that have specially evolved to polar environs. Yet despite the harsh conditions, thousands of years ago human beings managed to etch out a life for themselves in the snows. These peoples’ ability to live in these regions is mostly due to a diet that to most of us seems narrow and anemic, but in truth has proven itself one of the most robust and healthy in the world.

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It’s time to incorporate sustainability issues into the way we eat as a country.

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Why the Homeless Need Their Pets

According to a new study, those on the street and their animal companions are better off together.

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It’s not uncommon for people passing a homeless person with a dog on the street to voice sympathy for the animal and derision for the human. Often based on the assumption that a homeless individual is just using a pet for warmth or to guilt people into giving them money, it’s easy to argue that people who can’t take care of themselves could be subjecting animals to deprivation and risk. This skepticism is so baked into society that some people apparently consider it acceptable to cut the leashes of homeless people’s animals as they sleep, taking them to a better life. Authorities regularly sweep homeless camps, picking up animals, or grill homeless people for proof of animal ownership they may not have and few pet owners would ever keep on their person.

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Don’t F*ck With Our Eagles

Everyone knows that eagles are awesome. But someone or something is killing our national birds.

Image by Petr Kratochvil via publicdomainpictures.net

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