Introducing the Sunion, an Onion That Doesn’t Make You Cry When You Chop It

If you’ve ever had to chop an onion, you probably know that it’s one of the most annoying cooking experiences. It just fills your eyes with tears and, apart from wearing goggles, there’s not too much you can do about it. Scientists and farmers have been working on a solution to this problem for decades, and they’ve apparently come up with a tearless onion.

Called the “Sunion”, this new vegetable is the result of a natural cross-breeding program that’s been going on farms in Nevada and Washington since the 1980s, which should put consumers worried about genetically-modified produce at ease. It’s supposedly a sweet, mild-tasting onion that doesn’t leave that strong, pungent aftertaste, but what really sets it apart from most other onion varieties is that it doesn’t cause teary eyes when it’s chopped.

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Japanese Company to Start Selling Tear-Free Onions This Fall

Onions may be one of the healthiest, most flavorful vegetables on the face of the Earth, but they’re definitely no fun to chop. However, your days of getting teary-eyed in the kitchen may be coming to an end as Japanese company House Foods Group prepares to launch the world’s first tear-free onion to the market.

Aptly named “Smile Ball”, because it puts a smile on your face rather than make you cry, this new type of onion is the result of two decades of research. In 2002, House Foods Group scientists published a paper in which they hypothesized that tear-inducing enzymes in onions could be weakened while retaining their full  flavor and nutritional value. Their research actually won an Ig Nobel Prize – an award handed out to honor achievements organizers consider unintentionally funny – but last year the company announced that their theory had finally become reality. Although the announcement mentioned that House Foods Group had no intention of producing Smile Ball onions commercially anytime soon, it appears the wonder vegetables will hit Japanese stores this fall.

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Hollywood Restaurant Grows the Food Right Next to Your Table

Lots of people are into growing their own food these days, and it looks like restaurants are trying to catch up too. Hollywood restaurant ‘Tender Greens’, for instance, is filled with vertical gardens, and everything they grow is served on the menu!

“We’ve always been interested in growing on-site,” said Erik Oberholtzer, co-founder of the California-based fast food chain. “But all of our restaurants are in high-density urban areas, so aside from a few planter boxes we thought there was nothing beyond decorative that we could ever do.”

But when Erik and the other founders started researching vertical gardens, they came across the concept of aeroponic towers from Green City Farms. These towers are basically plant-filled poles that can easily blend in, pretty much anywhere. So they decided to get some for their Hollywood location.


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The TomTato – A Plant That Grows Tomatoes above Ground and Potatoes Below

An extraordinary plant that produces both tomatoes and potatoes has been developed in the UK. Just one of these bad boys can grow more than 500 sweet cherry tomatoes above the ground, and a decent crop of white potatoes below. Aptly named ‘TomTato’, the plant is actually 100 percent natural, and not genetically modified as one would expect.

TomTato, a.k.a ‘veg plot in a pot’, was developed through high-tech grafting by Thompson and Morgan, a horticultural firm based in the town of Ipswich, in Suffolk, England. Although similar plants have been created in the UK before, this is the first time someone has managed to produce a commercially viable version.

According to Guy Barter of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), taste was a real problem with past varieties, but the TomTato seems to have hit the jackpot.

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These Jet Black Tomatoes May Look Weird but They’re Great for Your Health

The ‘Indigo Rose’ is a new, strangely-colored variety of tomato. The fruit is jet black on the outside and juicy purple-red on the inside. These colors might not sound very appealing, but black tomatoes are supposed to be very tasty, and most importantly, rich in antioxidants. Indigo Rose is a cross-breed between red and purple tomatoes, and is the latest ‘superfood’ to hit the market.

I have to admit, I never even knew that purple tomatoes exist. The modified fruit, bred by scientists in America, contain a special antioxidant called anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is responsible for fighting diseases like diabetes and obesity, and is the main pigment that lends the tomato its purple color. And when the purple tomatoes are mixed with the regular red ones, the resultant breed turns out black.

Black tomatoes were first bred by Professor Jim Myers at the University of Oregon, during a graduate study about the health benefits of tomatoes. When they discovered that purple tomatoes contained anthocyanin, which also provides color to blueberries, they decided to cross them with some wild red ones. Eventually, they came up with a black strain.


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Fibonacci-Shaped Romanesco Broccoli Is the World’s Most Visually Stunning Vegetable

Put mathematics and broccoli together and you have the two most hated things of my childhood. And that’s exactly what the Romanesco Broccoli is all about. But now that I’m an adult, I find that I’m actually able to appreciate the intricacy of this rare vegetable. The broccoli takes the form of a fractal – a complex geometrical shape that looks almost the same at every scale factor. So each broccoli is made up of smaller florets that mimic the fractal shape to perfection, which in turn are made of even smaller florets of similar shape… and this goes on and on to the tiniest florets.

If you break off a floret from the main head, it looks like a mini-version of the broccoli with its own mini florets. No matter which part of the fractal you zoom into, it will look like an identical version of the bigger picture. It’s fascinating to think that something like this naturally occurs in nature, let alone on a vegetable. A detailed pattern that goes on repeating itself is rare and certainly a thing of beauty.

The Romanesco Broccoli is nothing short of a mathematical marvel, reminiscent of the Fibonacci series – a sequence of consecutive numbers that add up to the next number. Like: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, and so on. So how can a broccoli imitate a series of numbers? Simple. On closer inspection, the Romanesco is revealed to have a spiral starting from the center point. All the smaller florets are arranged around this spiral. In essence, this is the Fibonacci spiral – a series of arcs with radii that follow the Fibonacci sequence. If you count the number of spirals in each direction, they will always be consecutive Fibonacci numbers. A math lesson on a vegetable – isn’t that amazing?


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21-Year-Old Woman Has Never Eaten a Piece of Vegetable or Fruit

Faye Campbell, of Suffolk, UK, has been exclusively eating junk food for the last 16 years. While most women would probably have serious weight problems by sticking to this eating habit, Faye is actually regular-sized and weighs just 9 stones and 12 pounds (a bit over 62 kilos).

The woman doesn’t just avoid eating fruit and vegetables, but also avoids thinking about it, as the mere thought of putting produce anywhere near her mouth makes her nauseous. “The thought of eating vegetables or any sort of fruit makes me physically sick,” Faye says. Well, actually, she is more tolerant to fruit, as long as it comes in the form of a juice or soft drink.  Without any fruit, vegetables or homemade meals, Faye’s daily diet consists only of chips, pizza, toast, cheeseburgers and basically any type of junk food you can imagine.This affects her family life the most. “It’s got to the point where I’d be happy to sit in the lounge with a pizza, while they sit in the kitchen with their roast – it has become a normal routine for us now,” the English woman complains. Apparently, even the smell of vegetables and homemade meals is intolerable for this fussy eater, who admits that “if mom is cooking a roast dinner with vegetables, I have to go in to a different room because I can’t stand the smell. Sometimes I have to open all the windows to get rid of it”. Faye’s love life has also been affected by her strange eating habits, as romantic dinners can only take place in fast-food restaurants. “Once, a guy booked a lovely Italian place but we ended up in McDonalds because I couldn’t face eating anything on the menu,” she says.


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Talented Japanese Chef Makes Edible Star Wars Art

Okistugu Kado, a sushi bar owner from Osaka, Japan, creates detailed vegetable sculptures, inspired by movies like Star Wars.

Okitsugu, Oki to his friends, decided to combine his passion for cooking with a talent for carving and the result is nothing less than impressive. The talented chef spends countless hours carving all kinds of fruits and vegetables and putting them together with bamboo skewers and toothpicks to create popular Star-Wars characters. Why Star Wars? Well, he admits he’s always been a big fan of the franchise and he’s even part of a Japanese group that calls itself the Jedi Order.

39-year-old Oki has been carving vegetables for the last 15 years, and he has a background in ice-sculpting, as well. So far he’s created dozens of vegetable sculptures, and even though some take him over 10 hours to complete, he claims that doesn’t bother him because when he’s carving he forgets about time. Darth Vader, Yoda, R2D2 are just some of the famous Star Wars heroes he’s carved and served to his guests, over the years. If you fancy a taste of Star Wars veggies, head over to Okitsugu Kado’s Minayoshy restaurant, in Osaka. In the meantime check out more of his work here.

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A Giant iPhone 5 Made from Various Fruits and Vegetables

Tired of waiting for the official release of Apple’s iPhone 5, the guys at TopFruit.com decided to create their own version, from fruits and vegetables.

It’s rumored Apple will release its next generation iPhone this September, but that was just too long a wait for the guys at TopFruit, who decided to create their own smartphone out of what they know best – fresh fruits and vegetables. If this organic version of the iPhone 5 is anything to go by, the real phone will be one sweet piece of hardware, literally.

And in case you were wondering, apples were used in the making of this delicious model.

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The Weird Art of Dimitri Tsykalov

Dimitri Tsykalov is one of the few artists out there who don’t discriminate between carnivores and omnivores, he creates art for both. The truth is this Russian artist just likes to experiment with a variety art mediums.

In “Meat”, one of the most disturbing art projects I’ve ever seen, Tsykalov  took a bunch of naked models and fitted them with weapons and armor fashioned from bloody pieces of meat. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to be covered in nothing but chunks of red meat, but I’ll bet those models took some really long showers after the photo shoot.

His unique skulls, carved in fruits and vegetables, are not as shocking as his experience in the world of meat, but the level of detail and the unconventional medium draw just as much attention. Read More »

Ju Duoqi – The Queen of Vegetable Art

Using vegetables of all shapes and sizes, Chinese artist, Ju Duoqi, recreates famous masterpieces, like The Last Supper, or Mona Lisa.

Ju Duoqi first started working with vegetables in the summer of 2006, when she spent two days peeling a few kilograms of peas, before stringing them on a wire and transforming them in a skirt, a top, a headdress and a magic wand. This was her first experience with vegetable art, and it was called Pea Beauty Pageant.

In the years that followed, Ju Duoqi spent a lot of her time going to the vegetable market, picking them up and placed them in different positions, to see which ones made them more interesting. She discovered the different colors and textures of vegetables offered a rich source of imagery. And frying, boiling, drying, pickling or letting them rot made them even more interesting. The artist realized she no longer needed models for her artworks, as the vegetables could easily be used as models and props alike.

The Chinese artist decided to restage La Liberte Guidant le Peuple, using only vegetables, and called it La Liberte Guidant les Legumes. She used rotting ketchup for blood, potatoes as soldiers and rotting vegetables as background. She went on to create the vegetable art masterpieces you see below.

Ju Duoqi hardly ever leaves her home, and when she does she rarely travels for over 15 km, so she created her vegetable art for all women who love their home. She considers it an environmental way of bringing art and life together.

via ParisBeijing Photo Gallery

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Vienna Vegetable Orchestra – Playing with Food and Making Music

The Vienna Vegetable Orchestra makes unique organic music, using instruments made from vegetables.

Pepper trumpets, leek violins, celery bongos, cucumberphones, pumpkin drums – these are just a handful of instruments used by the Vienna Vegetable Orchestra to entertain audiences everywhere, with their organic music. This one-of-a-kind music group was born when its current members were students. At first they started playing vegetable instruments, as a joke, but quickly realized they might be on to something, and took their work more seriously.

The dozen members of the Vienna Vegetable Orchestra carve their instruments themselves, using whatever vegetables are available, at the location of their performance. After 12 years of making vegetable music, the group has learned what type of vegetables sound better in every country, judging by a range of factors, such as temperature and water content.

The Vienna Vegetable Orchestra needs 70 kilograms of fresh vegetables for every concert, and three hours to carve the instruments they use. But their music wouldn’t exist without modern technological equipment, like amplifiers or sophisticated microphones. Combined with the squeaking of cucumbers, crackling of cabbage leaves and banging of aubergines, they create a hypnotic type of music, described as something between techno music and whale songs.

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