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Life as a give-a-shit-atarian: On loving peas, beets, and Tom Robbins

Self-identification is one of those never-ending challenges that occupy humans. Even highly self-aware people seem to spend a lot of time defending and refining their self-definition. Last week, someone proposed that people who care about climate change be known as "climate hawks." There are the endless...

I am woman, hear me store: Review of “The Complete Root Cellar Book”

Now that the farming season is winding down along with my energy levels, I find that I’m really grateful that the food preservation method I lean on most for the produce harvested at this time of year is the simple task of root cellaring. Not that I have a root cellar: I keep my living space temperatures on...

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...

Russ Parsons on ‘Four Fish’ — the one food-politics book to read

Net prophet: "There are few things in life more complicated than sorting through the various ethical implications of which fish you should be eating," writes Russ Parsons in this review of Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food, a hotly awaited new book by Paul Greenberg. "These days it seems like...

Yes we icon: SOLE food movement needs images

To mark the opening of "Water, Rivers and People (Agua, Ríos y Pueblos)," a photography exhibition about people's relationship with rivers and their struggle to protect them from destructive dams, mining projects, and other threats, International Rivers held a panel discussion with two of the exhibit's...

Contain your enthusiasm: Review of “From Container To Kitchen”

As an apartment-dweller, I know the frustration of not having enough soil to call my own for a garden. (Why do you think I garden in other people's yards?) For many years, I've had a small assembly of various-sized pots to keep some of my favorite herbs close at hand, and I've even tried growing the...

‘Top Chef’ fails school-food test, but Colicchio passes with flying colors

In Episode 2 of this season's "Top Chef," the contestants took on school lunch: the 16 contestants divided into four teams, each of which had to cook a nutritionally acceptable lunch for 50 students with a budget of only $2.60 per meal and 30 minutes to plan, 30 minutes to shop, 2.5 hours to prep, and 1...

Growing with the grain: Review of “Homegrown Whole Grains”

As you may have guessed by now, I love to bake. And since part of my self-employment now entails baking goods to sell at Local Roots, I'm keenly interested both in sourcing what grains and flours I can find locally — as well as growing what I can. Thanks to the inspiration offered by Gene Logsdon in his...

Two recipes – and lots of opinions – from ‘Farmers Market Desserts’ author Jennie Schacht

Summer fruits from the farmers market are the supermodels of the produce world. Just like Heidi Klum doesn't need makeup to be beautiful, a super-fresh White Lady peach or Seascape strawberry doesn't need extra sweetening or seasoning to shine. But given the right recipe—one designed expressly for fruit and...

Students slice and dice for a better future in ‘Pressure Cooker’ documentary

With a supervisor who doesn't mince words and likes to yell, men and women battling over hot stoves for their big chance, and a ticking clock and other on-camera conventions, Pressure Cooker could be mistaken for a prime-time reality show. But it's actually a "real" story about students in the Culinary Arts...

Michael Pollan on the rise of the food movement(s)

Pollan nation: In what is ostensibly a five-book review for the June 10 New York Review of Books, journalist Michael Pollan has an epic essay charting the emergence and character of the food movement. Or, as he puts it, "'movements,' since it is unified as yet by little more than the recognition that...

Ethicurean’s Marc interviewed on Berkeleyside

Marc my words: Ethicurean co-editor Marc Rumminger talks about which cookbook authors and local-food purveyors he admires for an interview on Berkeley Bites. His personal blog, Mental Masala, was recently named a blog with bite and featured on food rockstar Mark Bittman’s recently launched group site. Yay...

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