During the last couple of years a group on Twitter has attempted to get people talking about where their food comes from by promoting a movement called food thanks. They encourage you to add a food thanks twibbon or avatar to your profile picture for Facebook or Twitter, and Tweet or blog about your #Foodthanks.
Express your gratitude to those who prepare food.
This Thanksgiving season, we encourage you to use social media to show just how thankful you are for the food we all enjoy every day. In doing so, we will also be thanking those many people and industries who bring food to our tables. Tweet, blog…spread #FoodThanks!
There is so much for us to be thankful for as we look forward to the big American feast day tomorrow. It takes an army of people to grow and ship and prepare all the ingredients that go into a typical Thanksgiving meal. For us the Thanksgiving tradition starts today (Weds.) with our annual pre-Thanksgiving pizza dinner. When it come to pizza there is a farmer to thank for growing the wheat for the dough, the farmer who grew the tomatoes for the sauce, the dairyman who raises and milks cows for the cheese, the pork farmer and cattle rancher for the sausage and pepperoni, and the lab technician who grows the yeast to make the dough rise. Wait? What was that? A lab technician?
That’s right yeast an ingredient in bread, dough, beer and wine is not considered to be farmed because it is grown in big vats without the help of photosynthesis. Yeast is classified in the kingdom on fungi. They are eukaryotic micro-organisms. (I had to look it up)
An organism whose cells contain complex structures enclosed within membranes.
That didn’t help me much in understanding this ingredient from a lab. So looking deeper I found out that yeast is a chemoorganotrophs.
Chemoorganotrophs are organisms which use organic compounds as their energy source. These organic chemicals include glucose and acetate. All animals are chemoorganotrophs, as are fungi, protozoa, and some bacteria.
Hey guess what I a chemoorganotroph too!
Yeasts grow by eating sugars. When they eat sugar they give off carbon dioxide which gives rise to the pizza dough or bread and adds carbonation to beer and wine. To grow yeast for commercial use they start with a pure culture and add it to a mixture of water and nutrient (fructose, glucose, dextrose) from potatoes, beets, or sugar cane in gradually larger batches. This process is called fermentation. After being fermented the yeast is separated by centrifuge, cleaned and prepared for shipping. (this is an extremely simplified explanation of yeast production see here for a more through one: Bakers Yeast Production.)
Growing yeast may not be farming as we’re use to thinking about it, but it is similar. You start with a seed, in this case cultures, add it to a growing medium, give it nutrients, allow it time to grow and reproduce, then harvest, clean and process for the consumer. Sounds like farming to me even if it happens inside a building and the “farmers” wear white lab coats, and goggles instead of blue jeans and John Deere hats.