Is that fish wearing a Halloween disguise? »
Who comes first? »
It’s true that vegetarians and omnivores sometimes hit it off, and it’s even more true that the modern American family is full of competing picky eaters. But as Lois Smith Brady recently noted in an essay about romance, incompatibility in the kitchen is a dealbreaker for many couples.
“In marriage and relationships, even on first dates, someone’s diet has become like their clothes or religion. It tells you something about how they feel about the planet, their bodies, their communities and their children,” wrote Brady. “Whether you are vegan, eat dessert, are willing to drive hours for blue eggs from a favorite farm, eat loudly or silently, read the labels on food or ignore them, tip well or try to sneak out without tipping — it all can convey how adventurous, generous, fussy, lonely, considerate or strange you might be.”
And sometimes you might even break up over garlic.
Three squares instead of six snacks. »
Next Monday, October 24, is Food Day — a day dedicated to supporting “healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way.”
The national event, promoted by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest, will include thousands of local events — including festivals, parties, dinners, conferences, website contests, breakfast giveaways, and even a bicycle tour — all in the service of greater food awareness and policy reform.
Food politics everywhere. »
Recording just how bad our children’s food can be — and trying to improve it. »
And a new report condemns offshore fish farms. »
Alas, it’s not a reality yet, but a handheld gadget that can scan and detect allergens in food may soon be available to consumers. Developed by Knegadesign, the tool picks up “the presence of milk, eggs, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, peanuts, soy or wheat, the eight items that account for 90 percent of food allergies.” And, presumably, keeps allergic folks from eating the wrong foods.
The U.S. is behind the rest of the developed world. »
The term is confusing and misleading. »
Former television anchor Dan Rather now hosts a show on HDNet called "Dan Rather Reports," featuring investigative news stories. The show recently tackled the ongoing mystery of why honey bees are dying in such great numbers, and fingered pesticides as the culprit.
Vegan MoFo is short for October = Vegan Food Month. »
You know, you gotta hand it to the New York Times style editors in the subversiveness department. In a recent issue of the paper’s style magazine, hiding between the interview with a Dutch supermodel and the tips on shopping (or not) in Jerusalem, the staff stashed a wacky little article about Tuscarora corn.
Writer Verlyn Klinkenborg’s breezy little piece sums up the history of corn — from Native American creativity through modern GMO dominance and now back to heritage seed — in a few brief pages, and included tips on where to stay and eat if, you know, you feel like touring New York’s corn country. Go, seed savers!
What sorts of things do Americans — as opposed to Big Ag — really care about on the farm? »
On the Atlantic’s website, farming advocate Lisa M. Hamilton recently reported on the so-dubbed Brown Revolution, in which restoration of natural systems — healthy grasslands, marshes, and the like — is the foundation of better farming. (The philosophy is also known as holistic management.)
Bison, for example, co-evolved with their grassland homes. So, writes Hamilton, contemporary ranchers should treat their herds less like livestock and more like wild animals:
Rather than simply turning cattle into a pasture, these ranchers conduct them like a herd, concentrating bodies to graze one area hard, then leaving it until the plants have regenerated. The effect can be tremendous, with benefits including increased organic matter in the soil, rejuvenation of microorganisms, and restoration of water cycles.
The full article (with accompanying photo essay) digs deep into the rural culture of the West, trying to suss out whether America’s ranchers and farmers will really change their work habits en masse. Maybe, maybe not.
Regular Culinate contributor Twilight Greenaway has a new gig as Grist’s food editor. Her food-politics reporting so far has included stories on the agricultural exploitation of teenage workers, the dirty secrets of the organic-strawberry industry, and the importance of farmland conservation.
Most inspiring might be her article about converting shipping containers into grocery stores. The idea is a blend of a mobile mart and a permanent grocery: you can put one pretty much anywhere, and operate it as long as you want. The prototype — put up by Stockbox Grocers — opened recently in Seattle. Will a new kind of mini-mart be opening soon in a parking lot near you? Stay tuned.
The fourth annual issue of the New York Times Sunday magazine dedicated entirely to food and drink came out yesterday.
Mark Bittman’s precise yet passionate introduction is a manifesto for better eating, while Michael Pollan’s answers to reader questions include his takes on such topics as genetically engineered food and organic food.
Here’s just one takeaway from Bittman: “There is the personal, and there is the political. As well as you might feed yourself and your kids, the food ‘system’ is still out there, stuffing some people and starving others, poisoning the earth and the air, destroying cultures everywhere.”
A father’s legacy
The vegetarian-cooking pioneer
Barbecue, tamales, cocktails, and more
Good on everything