Food for the brain and for the table
The Basalt Regional Library in Colorado loans books and seeds
Books help us growing knowledge, just like seeds help growing food.
This is the simple but effective basic concept upon which the Basalt Regional Library in Colorado has set its innovative project. To each registered user they not only loan good books, but also a bag of seeds of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers to grow.
The project is connected to a double aim, i.e. getting the loyalty of readers and protect the genetic biodiversity of seeds. This kind of loan has a relevant environmental and cultural value. Once seeds have been sown and the plants have been grown, after having harvested the fruits, the farmer-readers bring back to the library new seeds, selected among the strongest plants. Each new generation of seed derives from a natural adaptation of the species to the local weather.
And the new bag of seeds, as indicated by the name of who produced it, is then given to another reader of the library.
It is a virtuous cycle aiming at promoting agriculture in an arid a difficult area like the Colorado desert, involving all the readers of the library who have the opportunity to become farmers and supporters of biodiversity.
Pantone colour charts become a kitchen tool!
New food trends match colour and ingredients
Food, design, colour: food lovers are fond of “Food Pantone”, i.e. the search for the perfect match between food and colour.
“Pantone Pairings”, i.e. Pantone-based matching, is the brilliant project by the artist David Schwen from Minneapolis, transformed some of is favourite food pairings into complementary colours Pantone, coupling two samples and transforming them into the most famous colour identification and standardization system in something unusual for the world of food. His favourite pairings are bacon and eggs, cake and ice cream, spaghetti and meatballs, wasabi and soya.
Alison Anselot created the picture series “Pantone Food”, in which natural single colour of food corresponds to the Pantone digital colour: this photographer managed in creating elegant and intense images of strawberry pies or a salmon tartare, saffron rice bowls or green spaghetti, always with a perfect gastronomic point of view.
Also the French designer Emilie Guelpa, from the food blog Griottes, felt in love with Pantone, since she developed for the urban gastronomic magazine “Fricote” a tasty series of “Pantone-Tarts”, recreating the most famous Pantone colours. Using fruit and vegetables, candies and sweets, placed on white -iced puff pastry marked with the corresponding Pantone, Emilie enhanced the chromatic and gourmand aspect of food.
Fashion and air quality
Colour-changing clothes can measure rain acidity thanks to natural anthocyanin pigments
Can a garment provide us with useful indications about the healthiness of the air we breathe? After the success of green fabrics obtained from milk or bamboo, of eco-leather and recycled-plastic yarns, a brand new collection of original hypersensitive to rain pH clothes is under the spotlight.
Dahea Sun is the Korean designer, graduated at the Central Saint Martins College in London, specializing in Art and Design, who invented the elegant project-collection “Rain Palette”.
Sartorial clothes representing a simple, poetical, and effective approach to the problem of air quality. Thanks to the development and use of a series of natural anthocyanin pigments, water-soluble pigments obtained from fruit and vegetables (red cabbages, aubergines, blackberries), Dahea’s clothes change their colour with the change in air quality after the rain.
Ultramarine blue, for example, halfway between blue and purple, becomes pink when the pH decreases and blue when it is neutral. The effect is fascinating: who wears the garment (and who is watching it) can obtain real time data about the environmental situation. A creative approach for raising consumer awareness about air pollution through a visual input.
New cosmetics and treatments betting on eco-sustainable beauty
Apple, lime, blueberry, kiwi fruit, and coconut: these fruit varieties are not only good to the palate but also for the skin.The use of fruit in cosmetics is not something new, but there are new and original organic fruit-tasting well-being trends, which ban the use of parabens, sulphates, and colorants and support an eco-sustainable and fair trade chain.
Fruit-based face masks, massage oils, creams, make up products, and scrubs exploit the properties of vitamins and mineral salts, stimulating microcirculation and cell regeneration, and enhance environmental protection.
The Brazilian line of cosmetics “Brazilian Fruit” exclusively uses natural ingredients like lime, guarana, pitanga, açai and maracuja from Amazonia, grown with environmentally sustainable techniques, for tropical body lotions and foams.
The French company “Terre d’Oc” only uses organic products coming from fair trade, like the perfumed coconut butter from Bali, for velvety and shiny lip-glosses.
The historic brand “Body Shop” protects the Earth by reducing the packaging of its products, using eco-sustainable wood and renewable energy, beside promoting the shower-bath line “Earth Lovers”, 100% biodegradable, water melon aroma.
Latest-trend cosmetics or house-made remedies (like the apple face mask obtained by whipping a raw apple with a stewed carrot and putting everything on the face for ten minutes, for purifying the skin) completely awake the senses, for a perfumed and eco-sustainable moment of relaxation.
Food colours: good tasting and good thinking!
Yellow, red, green… colours actually influence our food habits
Why does a cup of hot chocolate make us feel cuddled and a strawberry cake is more tempting if served on a white dish? Colour and food are deeply connected. Our sight plays a major role in taste perception and provides a sort of mental preview of the different flavours. Some foodstuffs are considered more acceptable than others due to their colour shade. This is an ancestral defence mechanism which acts at the unconscious level, influencing our mood and our hunger and surfeit feeling.
The wave length of the red colour strikes the human eye. Warm, exciting, it enhances hunger and the metabolism. This is why many fast foods choose red furnishings and red food products like meat, wine, ripen tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, cherries, and red apples provide a feeling of happiness and surfeit every time they are consumed.
Yellow is sunny and energetic. According to some experts, it is the perfect colour for greedy people, because it is associated to naturally sweet ingredients such as honey cakes, bread crust, saffron, and egg yolk by the subconscious.
Green is connected to nature and freshness. Green food products like salad, oil and vegetables are perceived by our brain as regenerating and pleasant at first sight.
Blue and purple are calming and refreshing colours. Lemon-based sparkling soft drinks bottled in blue containers, for example, are perceived as more refreshing than others, and blue/purple food products like black grapes, blackberries, raspberries, and plums enhance psychological relaxation.
White conveys an idea of pureness and simplicity. White foodstuffs, like milk, mozzarella cheese, yogurt, cheese, or rice are mentally felt as healthier, more nourishing and detox.