Wired’s version of the next food revolution

From Weasel Food by
April 7, 2009

I’m probably a little late on this, since it was published October 2008, but did anyone else catch it (I couldn’t find it in a search of Culinate’s archives)? Some amazingly talented graphic artist produced some unique visualizations of food statistics in Wired Magazine.

I love the data, but I’m not sure what they’re advocating. Since this is a tech magazine, they obviously favor scientific solutions, some of which I wholeheartedly agree with (e.g., sound soil and water conservation strategies with real-time data from remote sensing), and others I’m not too sure about, such as global food supply chain management.

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My Struggle with Mise en Place and Other Sins

From Weasel Food by
March 28, 2009

This is a confession, of sorts: I don’t do mise en place. Have I sinned?

I have watched cooking shows since I was 12 or 13 (for those of you counting, that’s like 20 years). In that time I’ve seen more tiny prep bowls filled with just the right amount of this or that than I can count. TV chefs seem to have everything so together, and then, just when the ingredient is needed in the recipe, BAM! It goes right in, right on time. Genius.

Why can’t I do this? Why can’t I take the time to prep each of my veggies, spices, herbs, separating them into neat piles of just the right, measured amount? It would be so convenient! So much less flying around the kitchen grabbing what I need as cooking progresses. So much more time to talk and drink. Instead I am never at ease, always having to wash, peel, chop, dice, toss at the last second. Sometimes, I find I didn’t even have something I needed--too late!

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DISCLOSURE: I’m the “spouse”!

From Weasel Food by
March 21, 2009

Until we joined this meat CSA, I had been avoiding pork for about 4 years because of the brutality of slaughter operations. I know that this is an issue for more than pigs, but I saw one too many documentaries several years ago, and I can’t get the image of live, conscious, screaming pigs hanging by one hind leg from an overhead conveyor belt. We can buy our meat with confidence in the grocery store if we are concerned with quality of life issues for the animals: free range, natural feed, antibiotic use, etc. But if we’re also concerned about the unnecessary, prolonged suffering inflicted on livestock at the slaughterhouse (and on the trip from farm to processing plant), then we’ve got a problem... because I’ve never seen a “humanely slaughtered” label.

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For the love of meat...

What would you pay?

From Weasel Food by
March 21, 2009

It’s 5:30 Wednesday evening, just after work. I’ve been anticipating this moment for a week. I am the designated dealmaker. Eighty dollars cash from the ATM. I meet my dealer in the parking lot who’s working out of the back of a nondescript white van. I hand over four twenties, nothing but small talk between us. He walks away and comes back with a red and white Igloo cooler. I open it to check the contents. Everything is in its place. Others are beginning to gather around me. I make my exit before things get too heated...

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