Market vegetables

Boring. But jazz them up with some indulgent names and we're more likely to eat them, according to a Stanford study. PICTURE: Peter Wendt/Unsplash 

Carrot, peas, squash. All sounds a bit boring right? Well, researchers at Stanford University in the US have found that people are more likely to eat vegetables if the names are jazzed up with the addition of words like 'dynamite', 'caramalised' and 'sizzlin'. The study used four categories to describe vegetables - 'basic' (for example, "green beans"), 'healthy restrictive' (for example, “light ’n’ low-carb green beans and shallots”), 'healthy positive' (for example, “healthy energy-boosting green beans and shallots”), and 'indulgent' (for example, “sweet sizzlin’ green beans and crispy shallots”). Surprise, surprise, those with the 'indulgent' sounding names proved most popular among diners, both in terms of selecting vegetables and in terms of the quantity eaten. Drizzled, buttery Brussels sprouts anyone? 

Still talking vegetables and anyone who's watched the film, The Martian, knows that potatoes helped sustain Matt Damon's character while he was trapped on Mars. What they may not know is that now China wants to attempt growing the humble spud on the moon to prepare for the day when it needs to be done on Mars. Potato seeds will reportedly join with silkworm larvae inside a small cylindrical "mini ecosystem" which will be established on the moon as part of the Chang'e-4 mission to be launched next year. If successful, experts believe the ecosystem experiment will be a major step forward in ultimately putting humans on Mars.

A human toe - which has apparently been the key ingredient in rather gruesome "Sourtoe Cocktails" at a Canadian hotel - has been stolen. Police in Canada have reportedly launched an investigation into the theft of the severed digit which first became part of the drink at the Downtown Hotel in Dawson City, Yukon, more than 40 years ago. The original toe - which has been replaced several times after being, ugh, swallowed (the last time was in 2013) - had apparently belonged to a run runner who'd had the frostbitten toe amputated in the 1920s and then kept it pickled in a jar in his cabin. Discovered still in the jar some 50 years later, it was then brought to the Downtown Hotel and so a drink - made with whiskey plus the toe - was created. More than 100,000 people have apparently joined the Sourtoe Cocktail Club since - to do so, they must touch the toe to their lips when drinking. Ugh.