Genetically modifiedcrops have still not found flavour favour in the UK. This may be due in part to the famous British sentimentalism. We’re OK with Dolly the Sheep, but we look askance at Peter the Potato.
Not so in other parts of Europe.
Amflora is a strain of potato that is authorised for the likes of glue or paper-making, but not human consumption. Principally becauseit tastes more like glue than potato.
Development began in the mid-1980s, at the beginning of the revolution in biotech foods. A Swedish farmers’ cooperative, Lyckeby, one of Europe’s biggest starch producers, was searching for potatoes with high starch content to supply the starches it sells for manufacturing paper, textile finishes, glues and other products.
So, maybe tinkering with genes doesn’t improve the flavour.
In the best traditions of Hammer horror movies, the next step should surely be to strap the hapless potato down to a table and
harness the power of a Transylvanian thunder storm.
Scientists from Obihiro University, in Japan, found that simply giving spuds an electronic shock makes them more nutritious by generating more antioxidants, which have been shown to combat heart disease and cancer.
They believe the technique, which created enough stress to trick the vegetable into producing antioxidants, could one day turn spuds into one of nature’s ”superfoods”.
”We knew from research done in the past that drought, bruising and other stresses could stimulate the accumulation of beneficial phenolic compounds in fresh produce,” said Dr Kazunori Hironaka, who led the study.
The “torture chamber” for spuds. Scientist say zapping them with electricity makes them healthier.Photo: PA
As if it wasn’t enough to torture the vegetable, they have to play tricks on it as well.If it turns out that potatoes are sentient beings, then scientists may suddenly find themselves being put on a list.
While it may fairly be said that potatoes are not counted amongst the more ihtelligent forms of life, perhaps there is some proof that, if the shapes and sizes to which they grow are any indication, they may have a sense of humour.
The Biggest Potato in the World – Photo: Brad Wakefield/SWNS
This prize potato, grown by Peter Glazebrook, tips the scales at a whopping 8lbs 4oz (3.76kg), smashing the previous world record by 9oz.
The vegetable, Peter’s Kondor variety, was put on show on Friday at the National Gardening Show in Shepton Mallet, Somerset.
According to many accounts, Tony Blair’s memoirs would appear to be the political equivalent of a Stephen King horror story. It probably depends on your point of view, but this reviewer didn’t see anything ghostly in it.
Sadly, the memoirs did not reveal any exhortations that Gordon Brown may have made to the GB Public to back his fiscal policies by smoking and drinking in order to increase revenue.
On the contrary, figures released today by the British Beer and Pub Association
showed a 6% decline in 2009, the fourth annual decline in five years.
The association said UK drinkers were now consuming 13% less alcohol than in 2004, below the EU average.
Indeed, the emphasis of New Labour was usually on urging citizens to adopt healthier lifestyles.
Or at least not such sleazy ones.
Interesting, then to contrast this with the tactics of a true left-wing politician.
Alexei Kudrin, Russia’s Finance Minister, has called for increased consumption of tobacco and alcohol in a bid to lift the state’s revenues.
It’s a position that’s sure to spark debate in the country. “If you smoke a pack of cigarettes, that means you are giving more to help solve social problems,” commented Kudrin. “People should understand: Those who drink, those who smoke are doing more to help the state,” he continued.
Such a partying policy should be applauded. So let’s light up and get lit up.
And to start things going – I’ll provide the glasses;