Eater’s Digest: Recent Food Reading
Put Your Feet Up and Read Awhile!
Let’s welcome 2011 with some link love to recent articles and posts which deal with food and cooking. I hope you find them an enjoyable change of pace!
Civil Eats has republished an important article: New FDA Numbers Reveal Food Animals Consume Lion’s Share of Antibiotics. Whether you eat meat or not, the antibiotics fed to food animals puts all of us at risk. Overuse of antibiotics contributes to the strains of super-bacteria which are resistant to antibiotics. You can help by encouraging your Congressperson to pass legislation curbing the use of antibiotics in food animal production. I’d think that one outcome could be returning to cleaner, more natural ways of raising cattle, chickens, etc.
New York Times food writer Mark Bittman has a brief but clear and heartfelt manifesto: Chop, Fry, Boil: Eating for One, or 6 Billion. As always, he is amazed that Americans spend more time watching television (including cooking shows!) than they do cooking decent and healthful meals, and points out that knowing just three recipes is enough to make one a real cook. His conclusion makes a motto worth taking to heart:
By becoming a cook, you can leave processed foods behind, creating more healthful, less expensive and better-tasting food that requires less energy, water and land per calorie and reduces our carbon footprint. Not a bad result for us — or the planet.
The Washington Post had a recent editorial by Fred Hiatt: How did obesity become a partisan fight? Hiatt addresses the grief Michelle Obama has gotten for making childhood obesity her pet cause, especially considering it is actually a continuation of something that began under George W. Bush:
That’s why obesity is not a Democratic or Republican issue. Obama has merely extended and amplified a campaign that began under President George W. Bush; Bush’s last acting surgeon general, Steven K. Galson, made obesity a signature issue, calling it “a national health crisis . . . [that] is driving up healthcare costs and crippling the fabric of our communities.”
Commondreams.org announces that student activism is alive, well, and zeroed in on better food: Student Food Co-op Revolution on Campus: Going National in 2011! A group called CoFed is organizing a national training program for student food activists this month, and will turn them loose on both coasts and in the southwest. They’ve got some serious organizational know-how and sharp thinkers on board, so I look for this one to have some real impact.
Foie gras is unethical, right? Who in their right mind would eat the result of force-fed ducks? Ah, but before you dismiss it it further, read this incredibly informative article by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt of Serious Eats: The Physiology of Foie: Why Foie Gras is Not Unethical. He begins from an anti-foie gras stance. It may or may not change your mind, but the information is presented in a clear and fair way.
Carolyn Cope at Serious Eats gives us some practical help with lettuce prep: The Crisper Whisperer: Big Bag of Salad. Read the comments, too, for further advice.
Finally, Kenji Lopez-Alt puts out his list of Equipment: The 7 Most Essential Pots and Pans. His budget runs a little higher than mine, but I heartily agree with the kinds of pots and pans he recommends.