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Cooking outside the comfort zone: green tomatoes

In the world of science, there's something called "publication bias," which recognizes that studies with positive results are more likely to be published than studies with negative ones. I suspect there is a similar bias in the world of food blogging: a blogger is much more likely to spend time writing a...

Cooking outside my comfort zone, Part 2: Fresh chickpeas

Last week, I vowed to escape my farmers market rut and cook outside my comfort zone in honor of National Farmers Market Week Aug 1-7. Farmers markets are spreading like (edible) weeds around the country. There were 5,279 as of 2009 by the USDA's count, up 13 percent from the previous year. The new figures...

Richmond has a farmers market on wheels

The meals on the bus go round and round: In Richmond, Virginia, Mark Lilly has transformed a 1987 diesel school bus into a mobile produce market called Farm to Family, which also has a CSA program. The interior is really cool looking -- what a great idea for recycling an old vehicle. (Blog on Interior...

Living on Earth looks at sargassum seaweed and Brazilian soy

The July 16 episode of Living on Earth had two interesting food-related pieces, each accompanied by a transcript and MP3 download: The wide sargasso seizure: The first covered sargassum seaweed, the primary vegetation that collects in the Sargasso Sea, an area of calm waters in the Atlantic Ocean. Most of...

Cook outside your comfort zone in honor of National Farmers Market Week

It's the height of summer, and the tables of farmers markets around the country are overflowing with firm-fleshed, scarlet tomatoes; bunches of fragrant basil; and -- depending on where you live -- juicy stone fruits, avocados, and more. Such bounty makes it easy to celebrate National Farmers Market Week...

“Sugar is sugar is sugar” says Coke to Honest Tea

Sweet talk: In early 2008, Honest Tea sold a minority stake, for $43 million, to Coca-Cola. As this interesting NY Times Small Business article notes,  meshing the two companies' sensibilities has not always gone smoothly. In particular, Coke objected to Honest Kids product packaging trumpeting "no...

McDonald’s may be sued for Happy Meal toys

Shrek drek: Do inexpensive plastic toys lure children--or their parents--into making unhealthy food choices? The Center for Science in the Public Interest believes they do and is threatening to sue McDonald's if the company doesn't stop using toys to promote its products. "DreamWorks is the supplier of the...

Survey explores why Americans garden, but not why they don’t

[Update 6/24/10: corrected heading for column 2 in table] With a terrible economy and lots of coverage of gardening in the mass media, more and more Americans are growing food in home and community gardens. According to a 2009 survey, almost a third of American households intended to grow food that year, a...

Why Anthony Bourdain thinks Jamie Oliver is a hero

Kid-food confidential: Anthony Bourdain may love foie gras, loathe Alice Waters and vegetarians, and enjoy tipping other sacred sustainable-foodie cows, but a recent excerpt from his new memoir, "Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook" reveals that he's two grassfed-beef...

Supreme court ruling not techically a victory for Monsanto after all

Hype haymaker: "The sustainable agriculture world is abuzz today with news of the Supreme Court's ruling regarding an earlier lawsuit, brought by alfalfa farmers, that sought to stop any planting of Monsanto's genetically engineered Roundup Ready alfalfa seed. While the press coverage heralds the ruling as...

Q&A with John Scharffenberger: First wine, then chocolate, and now … tofu?

Before founding the chocolate company for which he became famous, John Scharffenberger made California sparkling wine. In both cases, he was one of the first Americans to find success in what had been a European-dominated market niche. (Fun fact: Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev used his bubbly to toast...

The USDA looks at local food

Every now and then, newspapers print an article that makes it seem like locavores are running the U.S. food system, throwing our weight around, causing Big Ag to cower in corners. If only we had even a small fraction of that power...  In reality, the local food movement is  a tiny piece of the nation's food...

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