Budding food policy wonkette. This is a stew photos, news articles, recipes, and short posts by your truly on topics ranging from healthy school lunches to international food aid. Keeping the conversation fresh and players honest.

Buen provecho!!


Posts tagged food


Plant These To Help Save Bees: 21 Bee-Friendly Plants. Learn more here!

The industry isn’t conducive to keeping women in the kitchen. For all the reasons that it’s hard, this isn’t an industry that’s figured out how to get mothers back into the kitchen. The hours are hard, and there are no benefits, like insurance and 401(k)s. It’s not a long term industry.
Chef Amanda Cohen on women in the restaurant industry. Also related: Yesterday, Mother Jones’ Tom Philpott asks why we ignore lady chefs. (via fritesandfries)
If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with them - the people who give you their food give you their heart.
Cesar Chavez (via squaremeal)

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recalled thirty furloughed employees on Tuesday to work on the multi-state salmonella outbreak.

So far, nearly 300 people in 18 states have been sickened with the pathogen, which causes fever, cramps, diarrhea, and in severe cases, even death. About 42% of the people infected have had to be hospitalized, about double the normal rate, and the salmonella strain involved is resistant to many antibiotics, making it more dangerous. 

The USDA identified the source of the outbreak as contaminated raw chicken from Foster Farms and said that the products were distributed in supermarkets in Washington State, Oregon, and California but illnesses have been reported in Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin. On the company website, Foster Farms wrote that it does not plan to issue a recall on its poultry products. The company writes that the spread of salmonella can be eliminated by properly handling and cooking of raw poultry.

Mother Jones reports that government-shutdown-mandated furloughs may have hampered the CDC’s response to the outbreak, since the lab and molecular detection work that links far-apart cases was not being done. Individual states can use their own resources to pinpoint the source of contaminated food, but they won’t have access to federal government databases.

Many consumer groups have been lobbying the USDA to change the way salmonella outbreaks are handled so that the government can force recalls, arguing that more dangerous strains of salmonella resistant to antibiotics have emerged in recent years.

Consumers who are buying chicken should simply avoid any brand sold with the following plant numbers: P-6137, P-6137A and P-7632. The number can be found on or underneath the packaging label.


Scientific American: Pretty Soon, We’ll All Be Eating Insects

The Scientific American has published a list of seven insects people across the world might be eating in the not-too-distant future. It’s no secret that there are benefits to eating insects, both for human health and the environment, but global population growth is what many experts say will make it so that we can no longer overlook the (potentially) tasty food that’s crawling and writhing all around us.

Among the seven insects listed are some more obvious ones, like the chapulines grasshoppers found throughout Oaxaca, which some claim are made up of more than 70 per cent protein. There’s also the witchetty grub, a staple of the aboriginal diet in Australia (“When eaten raw, the grubs taste like almonds; when cooked lightly in hot coals, the skin develops the crisp, flavorful texture of roast chicken”) and mopane caterpillars, which contain more than five times the iron of beef and whose harvesting is a multi-million dollar industry in Africa. Nearly all of the insects listed in the roundup contain staggering nutritional values.

Eating insects has been the subject of two talks at MAD, one from Alex Atala at MAD1 and another from the Nordic Food Lab at MAD2. Most recently, back in May, the Nordic Food Lab received additional funding to expand their research into the subject “Deliciousness as an argument for entomophagy.”

For the full list of seven insects, visit the Scientific American. Because the article doesn’t have photos, the above gallery includes images of all seven. 

News Roundup! Thursday October 3, 2013

  • The latest United Nations report on food security estimates that 842 million people—that’s twelve percent of the world’s population—are suffering chronic hunger (Reuters).
  • This government shutdown has the potential to be devastating, especially in regards to our food system. Programs that have been closed until further notice include; nutrition programs that help low-income mothers with new children buy healthy food, programs monitoring of air pollution and pesticide use, food safety checks for certain products, clinical research programs, health hotlines, the CDC’s flu program. The USDA warns that “a lengthy hiatus would affect the safety of human life and have serious adverse effects on the industry, the consumer and the Agency” (CivilEats and Modern Farmer).
  • Some good news for our food system (yes, finally!) and California cities and counties eager to encourage community gardens and small-scale farms! Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed a piece of legislation that will allow municipalities to lower the assessed value—and property taxes—on plots of three acres or less if owners pledge to dedicate them to growing food for at least five years. A breakdown of the bill can be found here (LATimes).


Harvard EdX Course: Science and Cooking

If you’ve ever wanted to take a class at Harvard, here’s your chance! Harvard is offering an online EdX version of its popular course "SPU27x: Science and Cooking - From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Physics." Class starts October 8th and registration for the course is FREE.

During each week of the course, Ferran Adrià and other top chefs will reveal the secrets of some of their most famous culinary creations—often right in their own restaurants. Alongside this cooking mastery, the Harvard instructors will explain the science behind the recipe. Other guest instructors include David Chang, Wylie Dufresne, Dave Arnold, and Harold McGee.

Register for “Science and Cooking” at EdX

Signal boost!


Above, the full video of chef Roy Choi’s presentation at MAD3. In it, Choi addresses the poverty, crime, and hunger plaguing parts of Los Angeles.

Choi talks about the genesis of his now-famous Kogi BBQ truck, which was the chef’s effort to bring accessible, tasty food to areas with more liquor stores than grocery shops. “Why do I say all these things at a food conference?” asks Choi. “We’re not the richest people on the planet, but when a chef talks, people listen.” He calls on chefs to use their platforms to help out those their restaurants may not normally reach: ”Why don’t chefs start opening food carts? Why don’t chefs work with their investors so that when they open a restaurant, they do something for the hood?”

Watch above for the full story, and stay tuned for an interview with Choi to post on the MADFeed tomorrow. 

Check out this incredibly haunting marketing campaign Chipotle released earlier last week.

Both the game and film depict a scarecrow’s journey to bring wholesome food back to the people by providing an alternative to the processed food that dominates his world. The film is set in a spooky, fantasy world where all food production is controlled by fictional industrial food giant Crow Foods, run by evil crows.

"The crows control the scarecrows," says Crumpacker. "It’s a parallel of the industrial food system in the U.S., which is upside down."

The Crow Foods factory is staffed by scarecrows who have been displaced from their traditional jobs on the farm and are now relegated to working for the crows by helping them maintain their unsustainable processed food system.

Feeling all the feels.

(Finally) Hump Day! September 18, 2013


  • Could the frequent use of antibiotics, both to treat human sickness and encourage animal growth, be having unintended consequences on our health? This article pulls together a bunch of different studies on the microorganisms populating your gut…and how that diversity—or lack of diversity—might be tipping the scales, literally (CivilEats).
  • Did you know that an Odwalla has more sugar than five Krispy Kreme donuts? (MotherJones).
  • "If wearing a four-finger ring, carefully place it on a side table before starting to cook" is just one of the many hilarious instructions that can be found in 2 Chainz recently released album + #MealTime cookbook (Grubstreet).
  • The Atlantic covers Michelle Obama’s new public health campaign that refuses to talk about public health, “Drink More Water” (The Atlantic).
  • It was recently determined by Tufts University that a golden rice study in China violated ethical rules when researchers cut corners when it came to notifying parents and regulatory authorities about the details of the study…the details being that researchers were feeding children genetically modified rice. Not a good look (NPR).

News Roundup!

September 11, 2013

Hunger & Lunches

  • Feeding America launched Hunger Action Month this September and they’re encouraging people to wear orange, volunteer at local food banks, write to their Congressmember to support SNAP, and experience food insecurity “personally” by living on the average food stamp allotment of $4.50/day. Given that hunger is a symptom of poverty, which is a result of unemployment/underemployment/low wages, don’t you think it’s weird that anti-hunger advocates have remained silent on the fast food workers’ strike? The reason is part of a larger, systemic problem within the charitable industrial complex. Good points via (CivilEats).
  • That “Kids Hate Healthy School Lunches” story from the Associated Press got it all wrong. An healthy school lunch advocate untangles the misinformation mess (BeyondChron).
  • Meanwhile, Texas passes a law to keep junk food in schools (CivilEats). 

State of the Land

  • Tragedy of the commons: The real reason Kansas is drying up one of the U.S.’s greatest groundwater resources. Hint: It has to do with farming (Grist).
  • Jessie Lopez De La Cruz, one of the most important women in the farmworker movement, passed away at 93 last week (Huffington Post)

Healthy Miscellany 

  • Marion Nestle’s New Book: “Eat, Drink, Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Food Politics” (Civil Eats).
  • E-cigarettes are really taking off with young whippersnappers and health officials are looking to start regulating sales (NYTimes). 
  • A new medication to make obesity healthier. Not kidding (LATimes).
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