"Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask: what's for lunch?"--Orson Welles
There's been a lot of food and politics in the news lately. If you're inclined not to buy into the 'dangers' of Michelle Obama's organic garden, then you may be interested in two new documentary films that feature food, politics and a lot of passionate people who are challenging the industrial food system, one farm at a time.
We just read this article by Marion Nestle on The Atlantic's food site, and it brings up the (hotly debated) question of how important it is to buy local. Should we avoid produce that's traveled thousands of miles to reach us? Or is it more important to support sustainable farms and fair working conditions, no matter where they're located? Nestle shares an interesting statistic, plus the one thing we all should absolutely be doing...
Regular pasteurization we can understand and even get on board with to a certain extent. Since the vast majority of our milk is still pooled from several different sources, it makes sense to take some health precautions. But ultra-pasteurization? What's that all about?
Every week, we like to bring you our favorite bits and nibbles from Evan Kleiman's radio show, Good Food. This last episode was chock full of information on cooking morels, how you can justify a second breakfast, and the real deal on what's going on with the bill HR 875 being discussed in Congress right now...
We missed this article in The New York Times over the weekend, but reader mschatelaine gave us the heads up in our most recent Open Thread. The story is about one company's mission to help customers connect with the farmers who grow and harvest their food. It's not only educational for us as consumers; it also holds companies accountable. More eyes on the source equals fewer shortcuts and unhealthy practices (we hope).
Did you catch Alice Waters on 60 Minutes last week? If not, it's definitely worth taking a 10-minute coffee break (ok, 12-minute, but we won't tell) to watch this interview!
We loved the peak into the kitchens at Chez Panisse and got a kick out of Waters feeding the camera men spicy Mexican tlacoyos. (Note to self: Find a tlacoyos recipe!) We're familiar with Waters' background and the movement she spearheads, but it's always good to hear it again.
Did you see the news yesterday about a kitchen garden at the White House? Michelle Obama is breaking ground today on a new White House kitchen garden, which reportedly will be filled with organic seeds and seedlings and fertilized with compost from the White House kitchens. That last nugget of information nearly sent us into spasms of joy: the White House composts? Excellent!
What do you think about this new garden? Do you think it will prompt other Americans to plant their own backyard vegetable gardens?
If you are a meat eater, then you may have wrestled with this question (or at least wondered about the wording) before. What's the deal with grass-fed beef? It's a subject we've written about it briefly before, including a one-minute tip on how to cook it, but we think it's worth revisiting. Because buying grass-fed beef makes a big difference in the quality of the meat you're getting and the impact you're making on the environment.
Let this post serve as warning for one of the more disturbing phenomena we've heard in awhile: MPC. It may sound like an acronym for the newest in digital music technology, but it actually translates to "milk protein concentrate." It's a powdered, manufactured product with a super-high protein content that increases yield in dairy production. It was originally developed to be a key component of glue and other non-digestible products.
For years, it's gone largely unnoticed, sneaking its way into all kinds of foods, from baby formula to snack foods. And what's more is that your tax dollars are supporting its existence.
Cheese-wise, this is significant because foods that are made with MPC can still be sold as dairy products. But thanks to New York State Senator Darrell J. Aubertine, a former dairy farmer, this practice may finally change.