Articles by Culinate staff

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Drought now, high food costs later?

The national drought may be bleak at the supermarket

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The stunningly cold weather in the Midwest and the Northeast has gotten plenty of press this winter. But the longer-term news story is the severe drought affecting the western half of the country.

It’s especially brutal in California — which, given that state’s diverse and intensive farming economy, is bad news not just for eaters in the U.S. but worldwide. Since California farmers rely on irrigation, farmers are currently postponing or canceling their early-spring crops. And ranchers are selling off their cattle, since the state’s grasslands have already gone brown.

Milky matters

Is organic whole milk really better for you?

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Whole milk, at least, has more healthy fats than nonfat dairy.

Egg storage

Washing and chilling may not be so smart

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America vs. the rest of the world.

A radioactive West Coast?

More fearmongering and debunking about Fukushima radiation

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Russ Parsons and Deep Sea News are annoyed.

The end of the GMO era?

Even Monsanto appears to be backing off

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Nobody knows the end of the GMO story yet.

Photography dioramas

A universe of enormous food

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You might remember The Star Wars Cookbook, a gag gift from 1998 that featured hilarious dioramas of vintage “Star Wars” action figures arranged in landscapes of, say, cinnamon rolls (with Princess Leia and her matching hairstyle, natch).

Now National Public Radio has discovered a similar art project out of Paris, in which two photographers (Pierre Javelle and Akiko Ida) arrange tiny figurines within a world of gigantic food. There are firefighters dousing a fire of hot chile peppers, polar bears waterskiing between marshmallow icebergs, and an earnest team of construction workers plumping dried raisins back into lush grapes.

Bonus: a video titled “The Ballad of Minimiam in the Land of Milk.”

Cooking basics

New Year’s tips from Russ Parsons

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Seven techniques for everyone.

Gluten, sugar, and fat

Three popular bugaboos

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How bad are they?

Trends takedowns

Food-blog tropes and tics

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Food writers discuss which trends they dismiss.

Alcohol-free

The possible benefits of abstaining

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But not many benefits in supplements.

Sugar permutations

The sweet stuff has many roles

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Addiction, science, GMOs, and health.

Fraud at the farmer’s market

Tips for spotting scams

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How local is your local market?

The year in food

A look back at 2013

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Three roundups.

Food-bank donations

What they really need

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Plenty of folks like to spend Christmas Eve giving back instead of shopping. They volunteer at soup kitchens or homeless shelters or food banks. If you’re among this crowd, here’s a quick list of 10 things food banks really want. Hint: It’s not another bag full of canned beans.

Rather, it’s things like spices and chocolate — items that really help in the kitchen, but which you might not think to donate. And, of course, it’s non-food items, such as diapers, feminine products, and socks.

Nothing like a warm pair of socks for spreading some holiday cheer.

The antibiotics future

Will the FDA get them out of our meat?

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Or will we succumb to the superbugs?

Chicken and pork

Speeding up and skipping out

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Federal plans to hasten processing and halt inspections at chicken and pork plants.

Antibiotics, dwindling?

The FDA looks into soap

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And more animals are being raised without antibiotics.

Year-end cookbook roundups

Last-minute gift ideas

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Books from 2013 and before.

Going undercover

And getting into trouble

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Ag-gag laws make things tough for journalists and activists.

Rest in peace

Saying goodbye to influential chefs

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And a thank-you to a special cookbook.

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