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Old Posts, Renewed

18 Dec

Here are some most posts, taken from the Archives, that are worth reading for the first time or revisiting for all the good times you had the first time. Enjoy.

Deconstructing Obama’s Speechwriting

Do we need another Ferdinand Pecora to put the rich on trial?

Bittman on our diets, our world, and out future

Dating during a recession


Lessons from watching people eat

19 Aug

Frank Bruni, a NYT’s food critic, passes on to his readers some of the lessons he has learned from dining and wining the last five years. Some of his guests do some wHining of their own:

“My pork loin is much, much better,” she proclaims, with a resounding emphasis on the word “my” and no hint of recognition that the loin wasn’t her pick: the critic randomly assigned it to her.

While others have some interesting (i.e. hypocritical) cardinal rules they live by when it comes to selecting their fuel:

My friend K. swore off veal, citing her sorrow for calves that would never grow to be (slaughtered) steers, but she ate young chicken and the littlest of lambs. She also ate foie gras, though animal rights advocates have protested the treatment of the ducks used to make it more vociferously than they have the lot of those calves.

As a vegetarian, I often hear people say they are also “vegetarians,” even though they still eat chicken and fish…Sure.

To each their own.

Levity: Where the Wild Things Are bento box

17 Jun

In case you have an extra hour or two to prepare your lunch:

Pepsi Ads Revisited

11 Jun

Worth a look (and a thought). From Adbusters:

Most Dangerous Food Book on the Market

24 May

Who ever said green peas weren’t controversial?  

Washington State University has removed, essentially banned, Michael Pollan’s Ominivore’s Dilemma from their reading list for incoming freshmen. They claim it has to do with the budget, but they already had 4,000 copies bought and ready to distribute.

Some people cry fowl (yes, I went there):

But some people on the campus say that the university faced political pressure after selecting the book. “What we were told is that when the committee picked The Omnivore’s Dilemma, because of the politics of the agriculture industry, we would not be having a common reading, and that President Floyd decided that this was not a battle he wanted to wage,” said one person who had knowledge of the program and asked not to be named because of fear of job loss.

Jeff Sellen, an instructor at the university who sat on a committee in charge of implementing the reading program, says members of that panel were told “we could not call it a ‘common reading.'”

“I think that was important because it would be less official and would maybe fly underneath the radar,” he says. “It was obvious that it was political.”

He says that there was never a substantial budget for events around the book—certainly not enough to bring in Mr. Pollan as a speaker—so he dismisses the idea that there was a financial rationale for the changes in the program.

Mr. Pollan’s incisive criticism of agro-conglomerates might have had something to do with the drop. Goes to show how nothing is above politicking.

Quick Meals and Obesity

6 May

Quite possibly one of the most interesting graphs I have seen this year. From The NYT Economix blog:

Conclusion: When it comes to your meals, be European. Take your time, prepare rather than buy pre-made, and make eating a social event. (US and Mexico are just screaming for attention in this graph, aren’t they?)

Bittman: Our Diets and Our Planet

3 May

After the release of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, Fast Food Nation, and In Defense of Food, food politics has become an increasingly well-researched and popular topic. Assessing the context of our food and rethinking how we approach it has raised eyebrows and gained legions of converts within the last decade or so.

Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food, has a pithy piece of advice for anyone trying to figure out how to live well, eat well, and love food again: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” This has become an “Om” in the food politics community; it is the equivalent of the golden rule to those advocating more conscious eating. Underneath the food politics umbrella you have the slow food movement, the organic movement, the mindful eating movement, the raw food movement, to name some of the most prominent, each with their own ideology. It is often hard, however, to translate their somewhat esoteric hymns.

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