Digest: Breastfeeding campaign exposé, pet food history lesson, SciAm food issue

Wow, can't remember the last time the Digest was short enough for one post. The media seems to be taking Labor Day Weekend off.


starThe most SOLE food of all: A few years ago, in an attempt to raise the nation's historically low rate of breast-feeding, federal health officials commissioned an attention-grabbing advertising campaign to convince mothers that their babies faced real health risks if they did not breast-feed. It featured striking photos of insulin syringes and asthma inhalers topped with rubber nipples. Too bad the formula industry got the campaign watered down to pablum. (Washington Post)

Subsidies and supersizing: The first installment of a six-part Harris News Service series examining the effects of farm subsidies on rural Kansas. Jon Bailey, director of research and analysis at the Center for Rural Affairs, is quoted as saying that the massive scale of federal farm payments further perpetuates an ever-increasing growth in the size of farms, allowing the largest farms to bid up the price of land, hike rents and expand operations. (The Parsons Sun)

Pet food diaries: The NYT Sunday Magazine has a big feature on pet food — its history in the U.S. and how the formula has changed over the years. According to Marion Nestle — whose follow up to "What to Eat" is called "What Pets Eat," not "What Toto Eats" as we had dearly hoped — the latest pet-food movement “is grass roots, and it is a combination of the so-called good, clean, fair movement, the slow-food movement, the locally grown movement and the farm-animal welfare movement. These social movements are about changing the industrialized food system...This will place enormous pressure on standard industrialized pet-food companies to say where their stuff comes from.” (New York Times)

Of labs and abs: September's Scientific American is a special issue focusing on “Food, Fat and Famine." We've been carrying it around on our commute for a week unopened (the New Yorker food issue came first), so we're just going to have to give you these un-Digested summaries to the online versions sent in by tipster Scott. In “Eating Made Simple,” Marion Nestle recaps how to wade through a sea of conflicting diet advice. In “Can Fat Be Fit?”, Paul Raeburn examines how popular books have questioned the ill effects of being overweight — and concludes they are probably wrong. “This Is Your Brain on Food” looks at what neuroimaging reveals about chocoholics — and what they have in common with drug addicts. Get the issue; it's on stands now.

Is that a bushel in your hedgerow?: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall on harvesting blackberries and maximizing their pleasure. (Guardian)

What a gourd idea!: Grow your own loofah. (TreeHugger)


Yo, central Ohioans: Tomorrow, get thee to the Ohio Green Living Fayre Labor Day at Richard Jensen’s Flying J Farm in Columbus. Sounds awesome, and the proceeds from the event will be given to the Ohio Education Farm and Food Association (OEFFA) and Simply Living of Columbus. (The Free Press)

Newish blog for your bookmarks: Thanks to Jenni for calling our attention to Organic To Be, a group blog started in May by some farmers and organic-food cookbook authors, including Jeff Cox ("Organic Cook's Bible," a must-have). In this post, "contrray farme" Gene Logsdon discusses how commercial breeds of chickens have had the hatching instinct all but bred out of them, and how the appearance of the chick named Uno was quite a triumph for his flock.

What's the beef: Jay Porter, from the San Diego restaurant The Linkery — who really should have been on Grist's Top Green Chefs list but just isn't enough of a household name…yet — discusses the three types of meat we eat in America: commodity meat, branded meat, and pastured or traditional meat. (Casing the Joint)

Like "warm gummy bears in your pocket"?!?: Incanto chef and "head to tail" enthusiast Chris Cosentino gives two recipes for cooking cox combs. Where to get them, he doesn't say. (Offal Good)

Eating out, locally: Our favorite blogging pig farmer, Walter Jeffries, puts on his town clothes and goes to dinner at the Chef's Table, a fancy restaurant in Montpelier, Vermont. The chefs want to talk to him about pastured pork — and to his surprise, they were serving his that night. Too bad Walter says, in this comment on a Digest, that he can't possible ramp up production enough to supply them yet. (Sugar Mountain Farm)

2 Responsesto “Digest: Breastfeeding campaign exposé, pet food history lesson, SciAm food issue”

  1. Gailtrail says:

    Well, what a healthy treat! You certainly cover the beat! I especially loved hooking up with Organic To Be and Gene Logsdon! I'll have to chew on the NYT Sunday Magazine feature on what Pets Eat. A lot to digest.

    Thanks for you good work.

  2. kareng says:

    Just found this.  I have started to write about food in Columbus and notice the limit of activity.  Are you still active with writing?