Tag Archives: madeline-distasio

13 So-Called Healthy Foods That Really Aren’t So Great For You

You know what’s better than sitting down in front of a big bowl of kale? Sitting down in front of just about anything else.

A cup full of razor blades? Yup. A dish piled high with rusty nails? You bet. A plate of discarded dreams? Pretty much.

Very obvious (and probably abnormal) distaste for kale aside, green stuff is good for you. If you feel lethargic, irritable, sluggish, or generally out of shape, you’re probably not getting enough of it. That being said, there are some fruits, veggies, and dishes out there that get off on masquerading as health food just to watch us squirm. Here are a few culprits that your body really wouldn’t miss if you replaced them with chocolate.*

*Don’t replace vegetables with chocolate.

1. Peas

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Okay, so here’s the deal with peas and why they’re the worst. Not only do they taste like a combination of moth balls and sadness, but they’re really not all that good for you because they’re high on the glycemic scale. High-glycemic foods have been linked to weight gain and acne. Bye, peas. Bye.

2. Bell Peppers

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Because the universe has a personal vendetta against me and wants to rip the vegetables I actually like from my weak, unhealthy hands, bell peppers contain something called solanine. Basically, this little chemical can lead to inflammation that can eventually morph into diabetes and/or heart disease. The only domino effects you can count on in life are bad ones. Remember that.

3. Frozen Veggie Burgers

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Bad news, veg friends. The frozen veggie burgers we all know and love are usually packed with highly processed soy. To enjoy veggie burgers that actually contain vegetables, try making some from scratch.

4. Coconut and Almond Milk (in Cartons)

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Because drinking dairy milk is hands down one of the weirdest things human beings do, plenty of us opt for almond and coconut milk. And that’s fine. The downside is that those of us who have made the switch also purchase our milk of choice in cartons at the supermarket. Commercial producers of the stuff have to extract a lot of it in a short period of time, which leads to the addition of artificial vitamins like vitamin D2. These artificial versions have been linked to birth defects and brittle bones.

A substance called carrageenan is also used in this process, which was determined by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be a carcinogen. We’re all screwed.

5. Margarine

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If there’s one thing that sends me into an existential crisis, it’s the fact that I have to live my life knowing that butter is bad for me. While opting for fat-free, oil-based spreads like margarine might make you feel like you’re making a healthy choice, hydrogenated oils turn into trans fats at room temperature, and those are even worse than saturated fats. Everything is horrible and happiness is an illusion.

6. Celery

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There’s no long, drawn-out explanation for why celery isn’t the best choice. It’s just kind of pointless. If your intake of nutrition-packed veggies is adequate, go ahead and make some ants on a log. If it’s not, don’t rely on these crunchy little guys to get you where you need to be.

7. Whole-Grain Bread

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Why can’t the universe just let me be great? Here I am thinking that choosing whole-grain bread over white bread at the grocery store is the best way to go, but nah, nothing works. As it turns out, many of those lying, scheming loaves are dyed versions of their paler counterparts. They also tend to contain hydrogenated oils and added sugar. I love everything! (No I don’t!)

8. Yogurt

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Because I’m apparently wearing a sign that says “please play me” on my back, most yogurt in grocery stores contains as much sugar as a candy bar. Your best bet is to go as plain as possible and add your own fruit and toppings at home.

9. Dried Fruit

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Loved by crunchy people the world over, dried fruit also has a candy-like effect on the ol’ bod. Packed with sugar and preservatives, these snacks aren’t much better for you than gummy bears. And they’re obviously not half as good, so you’re playing yourself here.

10. Agave Nectar

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While artificial sweeteners are horrible, using agave nectar as an alternative just because it’s natural isn’t any better. In fact, it contains more fructose than any other common sweetener. Things just got real sour real quick.

11. Sandwich Thins

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You can just go ahead and assume that anything that calls itself “bread” and also comes with a mile-long ingredient list probably isn’t healthy. Instead, be way too cool for your friends and eat open-faced sandwiches if you want to skip out on some carbs.

12. Egg Substitutes

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Egg substitutes will essentially help you trade a little cholesterol for way too many preservatives (and will rob you of a few key vitamins in the process). Eating a few whole eggs a week isn’t going to hurt you.

13. Wraps

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My whole world is crashing down around me. Basically, tortillas are almost always made with white flour and packed with a third of your daily value of sodium. The other issue here is psychological. Because we’re excited about cutting back on bread, we opt for crispy chicken instead of grilled. We indulge on a little ranch dressing. Those calories add up. Guess everything is a lie, folks.

If you need me, you can find me in the kitchen eating my feelings (and I won’t be using a wrap to find sweet, edible relief).

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/not-so-healthy/

Feeling Sick? Don’t Rush To The Doctor — Try These At-Home Remedies Instead

As temperatures continue to drop, cold and flu season will creep its way into our lives and wreak havoc on our minds, bodies, and moods. And you know what’s even worse than being sick? Having to see a doctor. How do adults even do that? I still have no idea. Using sick days is bad enough, but using sick days to sit in a doctor’s office surrounded by equally sick people is the absolute worst.

So if you have to use a sick day or two, you should at least be able to convalesce in the comfort of your own home. Luckily for us, there’s a whole host of at-home remedies out there that will help you kick those cold and flu symptoms in no time flat!

1. Whip up a hot toddy.

If you’re part of the over-21 crowd, this piping-hot mixture of tea, honey, and a little bit of booze can work wonders. Brew your favorite herbal tea, add a teaspoon of honey to the mix, and throw in a shot of your favorite whiskey or bourbon. Beyond that, all you’ll need to do is hunker down on the couch, turn yourself into a blanket burrito, and binge-watch your life away. This concoction will take care of any soothing or decongesting that you might need.

2. Sleep with wet socks on.

This might seem like a comically bad idea, but sleeping with wet socks on can actually help ease fevers and relieve decongestion by drawing blood to the feet. First, warm your feet with hot water, and then dip a pair of cotton socks in cold water. Put some dry wool socks on over the wet ones, and go to sleep. By the time you wake up, the socks will be dry, and you’ll feel better.

3. Whip out the frozen peas.

This one’s pretty straightforward. Use a bag of frozen peas as an ice pack and apply it to your sinuses to relieve pain and pressure. Doing this is much less awkward than fumbling with a baggie full of ice cubes.

4. Gargle saltwater.

Gargling saltwater helps loosen up mucus, relieve pain, and fight bacteria. You could also make this part of your daily routine when you’re healthy, since it can help prevent future respiratory infections.

5. Make some lemonade.

Even though summer is long gone, enjoying a glass of lemonade while you’re sick can help detoxify your body, aid in digestion, and drive away cold and flu symptoms. Add two to three teaspoons of honey to your mixture of lemon juice, water, and lemon slices. Whisk it all together and enjoy!

6. Dab some VapoRub under your nose.

Instead of slathering this all over your chest, try dabbing a small amount just under your nose. It’ll help you breathe more easily, and it can even impart a numbing effect on noses that have been rubbed raw by tissues.

7. Indulge in a hot shower.

It’s common knowledge that steam can help decongest, so get your butt off the couch and hop in the shower. If you don’t want to dive all the way in, fill a bowl with hot water, drape a towel over your head, lean over the bowl, and breathe deeply through your nose for 10 minutes.

8. Take (or eat) plenty of vitamins.

Everyone knows that vitamin C intake is key in fighting colds, so taking supplements and eating foods that are rich in vitamin C is a good idea. A few more that you should stock up on are foods and supplements that contain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, ginseng, and zinc.

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9. Prop your head up.

Even if you’re not into sleeping with a ton of pillows, elevating your head can do wonders when you’re battling the flu. You want to keep fluids from running back into your sinuses, so elevation will keep things moving in the right direction.

10. Grab yourself a neti pot.

More fluids in your nose might be the last thing you want, but using a neti pot to drain sinuses can be extremely helpful. Mix a pinch of salt and a pinch of baking soda into eight ounces of water. Hold one nostril closed while tipping your head and pouring some liquid into the other nostril. Release, let the fluid drain, and repeat on the other side.

11. Stuff your face (with the good stuff).

I get it. Eating a dozen donuts while watching four seasons of your favorite show seems really appealing when you feel like garbage. What you should be eating, however, is a bunch of healthy foods like blueberries, bananas, brown rice, bell peppers, onions, and mustard (separately, of course). White foods like sugar, dairy, and starch can actually suppress immune function, making you stay sick for even longer.

(via Little Things)

I don’t know about you, but all of those options sound way better than paying the doctor a snot-filled visit. You’ll know what to do the next time you get sick, and you’ll also be able to give out better advice than telling people to rest and drink fluids.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/at-home-flu-remedies/

10 Dangerous (And Expensive) Skin Care Myths That We Need To Leave Behind Forever

Whenever a new beauty trend hits the scene, I’m first in line to buy every product in sight.

Korean skin care? Way ahead of you. SPF serum? Sign me up. As a true junkie, I pride myself on knowing what’s up, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get sucked in by fads that fail to do a whole lot in the results department.

And that’s mainly because most of us, beauty addicts or otherwise, buy into a whole host of myths that have no evidence to back them up aside from word-of-mouth advice. Let’s take a look at the ones we need to ditch.

1. Myth: Lavender is great for calming irritated skin.

Fact: While that statement in itself is not false, here’s where adding lavender to your routine gets tricky. Although the soothing properties of lavender can calm redness, the plant can also make your skin photosensitive. That doesn’t bode well for anyone looking to spend time outside, especially when beach weather rolls around. To avoid burning and further damaging your skin, slather on some serious SPF if you use these creams, oils, and serums.

If you want to learn more about the pros and cons of using lavender-laden products, check this out.

2. Myth: You should never use oils or rich lotions on oily skin.

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Fact: As someone with an oily face, I can tell you that stripping your skin is never the answer. In fact, using harsh, drying cleansers and toners can actually trick your skin into producing even more oil. A good beauty routine starts with moisturization, so don’t be afraid of anti-aging oils and creams. Just use them sparingly. After a while, your skin will balance itself out. It can only do that if it’s healthy and nourished.

3. Myth: Eating too much of any junk food will make you break out.

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Fact: The association between all junk food and breakouts is a little too general. Instead of pointing the finger at every indulgence, blame high-glycemic foods. Treats falling into this category often contain refined sugars and carbohydrates, which cause inflammation. Studies have linked inflammation to breakouts, so that’s why zits appear after binging on stuff like pizza.

You can find more information about high-glycemic foods and their relationship to acne here.

4. Myth: All products labeled “hypoallergenic” will work for sensitive skin.

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Fact: Much like the term “organic” has turned into an unregulated mess in grocery stores, the term “hypoallergenic” tricks consumers with sensitive skin into thinking that products labeled as such will not cause irritation.

According to the folks at Paula’s Choice, “We’ve seen hundreds of products that are said to be good for sensitive skin that contain seriously problematic ingredients like fragrances, which are capable of triggering allergic breakouts or sensitive skin reactions.” Be on the lookout for ingredients like alcohol, menthol, and camphor. For further details, follow this link.

5. Myth: Using products from the same line will yield better results.

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Fact: You can chalk this up to clever marketing, people. While every brand under the sun claims that there’s a special relationship between ingredients in products from the same line, you can save some serious cash by doing your research. If you love an expensive lotion but can’t afford the serum that supposedly goes along with it, check the ingredients and look for them elsewhere on sites like Amazon and Dermstore.

6. Myth: Facial exercises can prevent and counteract the signs of aging.

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Fact: According to Dr. Frederic Brandt, the mastermind behind Dr. Brandt Skin Care, “The muscle contractions used in facial exercises can actually contribute to wrinkling.” Just think about how smile lines form. Over the course of a lifetime, those pesky parentheses on either side of your mouth become permanently etched into the skin. Repeatedly performing the same facial exercises can have similar effects.

7. Myth: Natural ingredients are always better than synthetics.

Fact: There’s a reason why businesses like LUSH (which is an amazing brand, by the way) do so well. They give consumers the option to swap out harsh synthetics for natural alternatives. The researchers at LUSH know exactly which processes their ingredients need to go through to make them safe and effective. For that reason, not all natural products are created equal. Citrus juices and coconut oil, for example, can actually harm and irritate your skin if they’re not processed correctly.

To learn more about which natural ingredients will actually help your skin, check out the LUSHopedia.

8. Myth: It’s best to use products that contain collagen and elastin.

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Fact: While all those claims about bioengineered collagen and elastin penetrating the skin and fusing with the collagen you already have sound great, they don’t hold up on a molecular level. The fact of the matter is that the particles found in these products are way too big to penetrate the skin, let alone bind with pre-existing collagen.

9. Myth: High-end products are way more effective than anything you could possibly find at the drugstore.

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Fact: According to most experts, the active ingredients in anti-aging products across the spectrum are pretty much the same. Even if concentrations of these ingredients in drugstore products are lower, you’ll still get similar effects over time. (And while we’re at it, I’d like to point out that no anti-aging lotion is going to make you look like you just had a facelift, even if you spent a small fortune on it.)

10. Myth: Baking soda is great for exfoliating and detoxifying the skin.

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Fact: This one is particularly maddening, since beauty gurus, DIYers, and even major brands claim that baking soda is something that you should be using on your face. In fact, Biore just came out with a face wash based on the harmful trend. You absolutely should not use baking soda on your skin.

Not only is it too harsh to use as an exfoliant, but it’s also way too basic. The PH level of baking soda can throw your skin totally out of whack — so much so that you could rob your skin of its natural ability to fight bacterial infections. Click here for more details.

The fact of the matter is that everyone’s skin is different.

(via Real Simple)

What works for me might not work for you, and that’s totally fine! While it’s important to acknowledge the shortcomings of beauty fads and call out problematic myths, the pros of using lavender oil may outweigh the cons for you, or you really might break out after eating any form of junk food. Just figure out what works (and doesn’t work) for you. Before starting any new regimen, it never hurts to do some digging online and consult a dermatologist!

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/skin-care-myths/

These Stunning Japanese Cakes Are Designed With Trust Issues In Mind (Just Wait)

There are certain things in life that you just don’t mess with, and cake is one of them.

Unless you’re Vegedeco Salad Cafe in Japan, that is. What they’re creating flies in the face of everything we know and love about the undisputed champion of dessert. Instead of allowing patrons to eat their feelings with a side of buttercream frosting, they do the unthinkable by making deceptively beautiful cakes out of vegetables.

Trust no one.

A food stylist by the name of Mitsuki Moriyasu came up with the idea, presumably after giving up on life.

This princess-party-worthy confection, for example, rests on a bed of lies (and beets).

That being said, Moriyasu paved the road away from happiness with good intentions.

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Instead of dropping salads (otherwise known as edible sadness) in front of customers, she adds some visual appeal to the situation.

These counterfeit creations were such a hit back in 2015 that Moriyasu and a few restaurateurs decided to open a joint called Vegedeco Salad Cafe that’s dedicated to the distribution of this culinary crime against humanity.

Healthiness aside, I have to admit that they’re beautiful. Blast you, Mitsuki Moriyasu!

Nothing is sacred anymore, friends. To learn more about this cafe and the food designer behind its signature dish, check out Vegedeco Salad Cafe’s website and follow them on Instagram.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/salad-cakes/

5 Health Risks You Encounter Every Day Without Even Realizing It

When it comes to risk assessment, things like flights and camping trips typically come to mind.

Although the news certainly hasn’t been helping in the flying-is-awful department, your mother has probably told you a million times that you’re more likely to die doing something routine (like driving, for example) than you are to die in a plane crash.

And she’s right, but here’s the thing. Driving isn’t the only risk you encounter on a daily basis. Here are a few more modern-day activities that regularly put you in harm’s way.

1. Being a sedentary creature.

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Where am I as I write this? You guessed it. At my desk. Where are you as you’re reading this? Probably at yours. Most of us in the working world are pretty sedentary, which can lead to health complications like heart disease and diabetes down the line. While that’s probably not news to you, this might be.

Standing desks are all the rage now, and they were created with the intention of combatting all the not-so-fun stuff that comes along with sitting all day. The only downside is that there’s really no research to support the idea that standing desks make a significant difference for people with office jobs as far as health is concerned. Check out this study in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology for more details.

2. Looking down at your phone all day.

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Playfully referred to as “tech nech” and “iHunch,” the slouchy, droopy effect that comes along with looking down at your phone day in and day out can not only make you look older, but it can cause some serious posture problems. That leads to back pain and eventually to the development of an annoyingly close relationship with your chiropractor.

According to Dr. Kenneth Hansraj from New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, if you asked your neck, it’d tell you that a human head that weighs between 10 and 12 pounds feels like it weighs 60 pounds. I’m paraphrasing, but you get the idea. The fix? I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but you know those 15-year-old girls at Starbucks who prop their elbows on the table and hold their phones right in front of their faces? They’re onto something. Be like them. Bring your phone up to your face whenever possible.

3. Trusting BPA alternatives to be safe.

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Because BPA, which is found on receipt paper and in plastic bottles, was deemed unsafe, a few more scientists who were probably up to no good came up with its new cousin, BPS. Although it’s not quite as awful, BPS has been shown to trigger the production of fat cells. Not good. Basically, stick to the same guidelines that you would when it comes to avoiding BPA.

When you can, use stainless steel water bottles, warm your food up in heat-resistant glass, and throw out plastic containers that look cloudy, because they’re out to get you.

4. Not getting enough vitamin D (or getting it the wrong way).

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We’re so much more careful about sun exposure now than we were even five years ago. We slather on sunscreen because cancer and wrinkles aren’t cool. The only downside is that not much is known about how that affects vitamin D absorption. While experts tend to agree that being outside, even with sunscreen on, will still give you a little jolt of vitamin D, many suggest talking to your doctor about taking a supplement. Relying on sun exposure alone isn’t going to get any of us where we need to be, and lack of vitamin D over an extended period of time can lead to bone-density issues.

5. Diving head-first into internet dieting fads.

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Three words: Consider the source. Because we all live online now, diet fads headed up by so-called experts abound on the internet. Because our bodies are complex machines, we need to make sure that they keep functioning as such. So much of what’s seen online is about taking foods away, but make sure you’re not missing out on key nutrients by stripping your diet down to nothing. Spoiler alert: You won’t find one actual medical professional or nutritionist touting juice cleanses as being good for you.

By drastically changing your diet every time a popular fad comes along, you’re actually putting your health at risk. Any change, even if it’s a largely positive one, is a stressor, and the stress factor is only increased when you drop everything to adopt the latest trend. Basing your diet plan around what’s trending on Instagram can lead to serious physical and psychological consequences.

While none of these act quite as swiftly as the horrific tragedies we see on TV, these modern-day health risks should not be ignored.

(via Huffington Post)

We’re living in a world ruled by instant gratification, but our everyday behaviors can have lasting effects in the long run. You might not feel your neck aching for your phone’s sake yet, but you certainly will when you find yourself in a doctor’s office wishing you’d just looked up every now and then.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/modern-risks/

These 20 Pictures Prove That Doug The Pug Is All Of Us

If you’ve ever spent any amount of time online, you’ve probably come across a cute little guy by the name of Doug the Pug. By living a life that’s enviable by both puppy and human standards, this nugget has made quite a name for himself.

With almost two million followers on Instagram, it’s clear that Doug the Pug is here to stay, so what’s his secret to achieving Internet glory? Well, it could be his undeniable charm…or it could be his uncanny resemblance to us as we try (and often fail) to be our best selves. Don’t believe me? These photos prove beyond reasonable doubt that Doug the Pug is all of us.

1. He knows that Sundays are for being dead to the world and generally useless.

2. He will wear blankets as clothes until livable temperatures melt this wintery hellscape.

3. He doesn’t actually know what to do with children.

4. He’s amazing at abiding by his New Year’s resolutions…for 24 hours.

5. He’s a best-selling author. Just kidding. That’s not us at all.

6. His mantra is simple: “Pizza is love. Pizza is life.”

7. He knows that drinking an entire bottle of wine alone on a Wednesday is totally fine, no matter what your mom (or neighbor, or sister, or best friend, or spouse) says.

8. He warms the frozen tundra of his soul with bathwater and alcohol.

9. His favorite coping mechanism is being Beyonce.

10. He self-identifies as a burrito.

11. He knows that every day is an existential crisis just waiting to happen.

12. He sees vegetables for what they really are: edible sadness.

13. He can’t bake even a little bit.

14. What he can do, however, is eat for days on end if necessary.

15. He views laziness as a lifestyle choice.

16. He knows true love when he sees it.

17. He ignores the fact that he’s being crushed by crippling debt when payday rolls around.

18. When it comes time to procrastinate, he goes to desperate lengths.

19. He hides behind his shades so he can’t see the haters.

20. He knows that bad things happen to good people.

What did I tell you? The only way that Doug the Pug could be more like us is if we all became confusingly cute and gained millions of followers on social media. Don’t worry, though. We have that crippling debt situation on lock.

For an added dose of cuteness, be sure to follow Doug on Facebook and Instagram!

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/doug-the-pug/

This Talented Mom Goes To Epic Lengths When She Wants Her Son To Eat His Veggies

Like most parents, Laleh Mohmedi has trouble getting her child to eat his veggies.

After all, what’s so fun about munching on carrots when cookies exist? It’s that fun factor that her little guy, Jacob, felt was lacking whenever she laid out plates full of whole grains, fruits, and veggies.

For that reason, Mohmedi now taps into her creative side to give her son the healthy foods he needs. By turning avocados, whole-grain waffles, bell peppers, and so many more healthy staples into works of art, this crafty mom is able to introduce Jacob to the wonderful world of nutrition while blowing his mind (and everyone else’s) in the process. That’s how her Jacob’s Food Diaries Instagram account was born. Check out some of her cutest creations below!

To keep up with Laleh Mohmedi’s culinary adventures, be sure to follow her on Instagram!

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/jacobs-food-diaries/

This Artist Creates Something Beautiful Out Of The Absolute Last Thing You’d Expect

Although food sanitation laws are, of course, developed with safety in mind, putting them into practice often culminates in piles and piles of discarded meat.

Unfortunately, as long as the demand for protein products remains as high as it is worldwide, this will continue to pose a problem for the food industry. As artists tend to do, one Netherlands-based creator by the name of Isaac Monté decided to take artful action against this source of waste through a series called “The Meat Project.”

By decellularizing discarded meat from local supermarkets, he creates a stunning medium with which he produces vases and light fixtures that are so refined and delicate, they belie their building blocks upon first glance.

Decellularization is a process used in labs that focus on tissue regeneration research.

When raw meat is put through this process, it loses all cellular content.

The end result is a collection of malleable white strips that almost mimic the appearance of marble when they dry down.

“By applying this technique,” he writes, “I am not only changing the look and shape of meat, but above all, its meaning.”

And the series is atypical on all accounts, not just in regard to material and production.

The inspiration behind his designs is actually Escherichia coli, which is the bacteria that drives protein products off of grocery store shelves.

By reimagining discarded materials, artists like Isaac Monté encourage us to reimagine the ways in which we use these products before our only option is to throw them away.

To learn more about this artist’s life, work, and studio, be sure to check out Atelier Monté’s website.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/the-meat-project/

This Photographer Roams The Streets To Honor One Of Life’s Most Amazing Bonds

When it comes to relationships, some are stronger than others. We find different forms of companionship in different people, and even if relationships don’t last forever, they all leave their respective marks. But one kind of bond leaves a mark that can’t be replicated.

It’s easy to think about the relationships between people and their dogs in black-and-white terms, but they’re usually far more complex than that. Conventional thought dictates that humans are the caretakers in these scenarios, but our dogs often care for us just as much in return. That is exactly what inspired photographer Robert Stoetzel to capture the exchange that happens between humans and the dogs that stand by them every day. Through a project called Human + Hound, Stoetzel celebrates that bond in the best way.

“It’s interesting to hear how people came to find their dogs and learn how they’ve changed each other’s lives,” he writes. “People are their truest, happiest selves when they’re with their dogs, and I love being able to capture that!”

When he runs into people and their canine companions, he asks them to talk about what makes their best friends so special. Whether simple or profound, their comments speak volumes about how powerful these relationships can be.

“Ghost is 9 months old. I’ve had him since he was 4 months old. He was never going to be small!”

Muhammad + Ghost — Midtown Manhattan

“Major’s the gallery greeter! Everyone knows him.”

Mo + Major — Louisville, Kentucky

“We’re best buds!”

Emily, Allan + Frankie — Time’s Square, Manhattan

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“He teaches me how to be patient all the time, since he’s still a baby and we’re learning together.”

Betty + Little Bill — NoHo, Manhattan

“He’s 11 years old, and he just got back from Spain and Italy.”

Greg + Oscar — Williamsburg, Brooklyn

“I started dressing him up mainly to keep his feet from getting dirty, but then he got used to it.”

Ryan + Shaggy — Union Square, Manhattan

“I just moved here from Florida a year ago, away from my immediate family. I still get really lonely sometimes, so I decided to get myself a dog! He’s been with me for about 5 months now, and he helps me with the loneliness.”

Yair + Cooper — West Village, Manhattan

“These kids crack me up! I can barely get off the ramp before they’re on the board and ready to go!”

Suzanne + Claire & Edie — Bellport, New York

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“He’s an 11-year-old Australian shepherd, beagle, husky mix. We come down to the beach because the exercise is good for him. It’s good for all of us!”

Dennis + Joey — Bayhead, New Jersey

“Bean is my best friend, my boss, my rock. He’s the inspiration behind both of our brands, and he lights up my life every day with his wiener dog ways!”

Claire + Bean — Williamsburg, Brooklyn

“She loves the snow. She won’t even walk on the sidewalk. She likes to check out every footprint!”

Susan + Lucy — Williamsburg, Brooklyn

“He saved my life while dealing with a bad separation.”

David + Hopper — Manhattan

So who’s really caring for whom? Sure, we feed them, rub their bellies, and view them as family, but they do way more for us than meets the eye.

If you want to hear a few more Human + Hound stories, be sure to check out Stoetzel’s website. For regular updates, follow the project on Instagram!

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/human-and-houd/