Now that the food shortage problem has reached the West, many people are considering growing their own vegetables in their back yards. But what can people in cities do? The answer: grow skyscraper gardens!

In the July 15th edition of the New York Times, Bina Venkataraman writes: “What if ‘eating local’ in Shanghai or New York meant getting your fresh produce from five blocks away? And what if skyscrapers grew off the grid, as verdant, self-sustaining towers where city slickers cultivated their own food?”

She quotes city planner Scott M. Stringer as saying, “Obviously we don?t have vast amounts of vacant land, but the sky is the limit in Manhattan.”

Living in an apartment tower never stopped anybody yet from cooking outdoors, on the balcony or even the roof. With the outdoor cooking season at its peak, there are even more reasons to marinade meats before grilling. New research suggests that marinating meats may decrease the cancer-forming compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCA), which are produced during grilling, by over 70%

Researchers from Kansas State University tested three commercial spice-containing marinade blends (Caribbean, southwest, and herb) on round beef steaks. The steaks were marinated for one hour and then grilled at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Food scientists found that steaks marinated in the Caribbean blend produced the highest decrease in HCA content (88%), followed by the herb blend (72% ) and then the southwest blend (57%).

Researcher J.S. Smith says, “Commercial marinades offer spices and herbs which have antioxidants that help decrease the HCAs formed during grilling.”

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