Archive for April, 2014

Inside the Dystopian Beauty of Big-Ag

Cultivation of young lettuce plants in southern Germany
(Henrik Spohler)

In all the talks about ecological preservation, best practices for agriculture, water use, or any other man-made troubles there’s one fact that’s often forgotten. The way we manipulate the world is always beautiful – though sometimes deadly. Though nature has its own thing going, man-made structures  – whether a field or a skyscraper – are awe-inspiring in a different way. Many photographers have tried to capture this over the years but few with such a […]

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April 29, 2014 at 2:50 pmAgriculture

Food News Fast – April 28, 2014

Food News Fast – April 28, 2014

The astounding progress of the Coalition for Immokalee Workers. [New York Times] As the drought covers more of the state, California’s farm owners and workers are close to out of a job. [NPR]   The Parnell Brothers, on trial for conspiracy after causing the peanut outbreak that killed 9 and sickened 700, will be tried together for 76 felony charges. [Food Safety News] Europe wants to set standards to make black forest ham come from […]

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April 28, 2014 at 10:45 amFood News Fast News

Crawfish – The Crustacean That Stole New Orleans

Crawfish – The Crustacean That Stole New Orleans

The memory of my first New Orleans crawfish boils exist in a haze. A montage of scenes: a tub of live crawfish crawling on top of one another, hissing, spitting and snapping. A crawfish race with a young friend (crawfish make great, if short-term, pets). Large men carrying a pot of steaming hot crustaceans to a table made of sawhorses and plywood. Plastic Mardi Gras Cups of beer and red wine. Later my mother explaining […]

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April 25, 2014 at 3:19 pmCulture

Are Scientific Studies Food’s Worst Enemy?

(Credit: Maia Weinstock)

Buy organics? You may not like what you read in the “Organic Marketing Report” published by Academics Review.  Though the organics industry has been growing by double-digits for a number of years now, few people have stopped to wonder why. Joanna Schroeder, lead researcher, focused her report on the marketing techniques that have motivated customers to pay so much more for their organic food. Isn’t the biggest driver behind low-fat food that companies make you think it […]

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April 24, 2014 at 2:49 pmCulture

Is Corn the Solution to Global Warming?

Is Corn the Solution to Global Warming?

During its peak growth, there’s one area on earth that far outstrips everything else in photosynthetic activity. No, it’s not the Amazon. Nor is it a large bamboo forest or tangle of kudzu vines. Far outshining all the rest, the growth of the US Corn Belt can literally be seen from space. NASA scientists turned their satellites toward the invisible-to-the-eye glow given off by a plant’s chlorophyll. The size and brightness of the illuminated area […]

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April 23, 2014 at 6:04 pmAgriculture

Ketchup: The Liquid That Wouldn’t Pour

Ketchup: The Liquid That Wouldn’t Pour

What ketchup-lover hasn’t cursed the horrible bottle design that makes the favorite condiment near-impossible to get out? Sometimes you want just a little on the side and accidentally empty the bottle. Other times you think you’ll get a nice thick glob on your plate and mush your food with hated ketchup water instead. I’ve often wondered why those charming glass bottles don’t get retired forever. (Hello, ketchup-gods, we’ve had plastic squeeze bottles for a while.) Yet […]

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April 22, 2014 at 3:22 pmCulture

Food News Fast – April 21, 2014

Food News Fast – April 21, 2014

A chicken-keeper in Queens clashes with neighborhood rules. [New York Times] A Nevada cattle rancher wins an armed standoff with the government. [Time] Will the Walmartization of organics lead to lower prices or just lower standards? [Civil Eats] Sous vide – the restaurant secret that cooks perfect meat every time is now available at home. [NPR] How is California’s drought likely to affect future food prices? [New York Times] What’s the deal with cheap chicken […]

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April 21, 2014 at 12:36 pmFood News Fast News

Food Fund Friday – The Fishermen of California

(Credit: Lucas Jans)

The documentary Of The Sea, directed by Mischa Hedges, is a film about the fishermen of California. Over five months, the team has travelled along California’s coast collecting stories of fishermen, seafood startups, and more. They’re currently running a Kickstarter to raise the final $12,500 needed to finish the film. They currently have a letter of interest from a San Francisco PBS affiliate and hope to air the film at festivals and community screenings as well […]

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April 18, 2014 at 12:09 pmColumns Food Fund Fridays

DIY High-Fructose Corn Syrup

DIY High-Fructose Corn Syrup

Have you ever wished you could make your own highly processed foods at home? With artist Maya Weinstein’s DIY Kit, you too can make your own high-fructose corn syrup – cornerstone of all things that are probably-not-good-for-you – at home. Weinstein settled on HFCS as a topic for her Master’s thesis at Parsons the New School for Design and quickly discovered that while the evils of the ever-sweetest sweetener abounded, no one really knew where […]

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April 17, 2014 at 12:42 pmCulture

Is Professionally Cooked Food More Likely to Cause Foodborne Illness?

Is Professionally Cooked Food More Likely to Cause Foodborne Illness?

For those of us who grew up with mediocre chefs for parents, a new study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest comes to a surprising conclusion. More people succumb to foodborne illness after eating in restaurants than from home-cooked food. CSPI’s researchers looked at data from 2002 to 2011 and found that 28,000 people fell ill from restaurant-linked illnesses while less than half that number, 12,980 people, got sick from food they […]

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April 16, 2014 at 12:10 pmNews