Showing all entries for food

Jan 10, 2012


There's no zealot like a convert

tags: food, ftw

For 41 years I did not, would not, tried to but could not, eat sushi. Everyone I knew was like: OMG, sushi is the greatest food evar, what is wrong with you, were you raised by wolves or something? Well, or something, but that's another story. No, it just felt weird in my mouth. The nori was chewy and the rice was sticky and it was always like I had too much food in my mouth. Also, let's be honest, I seriously lack chopstick skills. There was just nothing fun or comfortable about eating this food.

I used to know this manager dude guy, let's call him Jabba, and whenever you took him to dinner, especially if ribs were involved, you basically had to put a garbage bag over him because OMG there was BBQ sauce and rib particulate matter everywhere. And you'd be sitting at the table with him, hiding behind your napkin, trying not to cry - with laughter AND sadness. That's kinda what it was like taking me to a sushi bar. Edamame flying everywhere, rice all over my face, how do you eat this stuff? CAN SOMEONE PLEASE GIVE ME A FORK?

And then, I don't know what happened. Well, yes I do, it's the fault of an adorable 4 year old. WHO EATS SUSHI. And has amazing chopstick skills. She lent me a pair of her training chopsticks (purple giraffe, if I remember correctly), and someone handed me a plate of avocado sushi, and I was suddenly propelled into an alternate universe where OMG, sushi is the greatest food evar!

So for 41 years I didn't eat sushi and then in the last 7 months I've basically been obsessed with it. All that to say I had sushi for lunch today. And for dinner a few days ago. And we'll see what the week brings... I'll tell you what though, right now, the wasabi is doing wonders for my cold. Seriously, I'm not happy til the tip of nose tingles. And bonus points if I can make tears spurt out my eyes.

Jun 15, 2011



tags: food

Mar 4, 2011


Bittman on Soup

Bittman's latest column, Creamy, Brothy, Earthy, Hearty, isn't just about soup, it's about improvisation, which is a kitchen skill I envy. Some people can just open the pantry, grab things, and make something wonderful; I am not exactly one of those people.

I don't really improvise, I substitute, and it's usually for reasons like: he won't eat onions, or she won't eat mushrooms, or I would rather eat any bean in the known universe other than a pinto bean. That is to say, I generally rely on a recipe for a starting point, and from there I tinker. Honestly, the only thing I (sort of) made up recently was Orange Tofu and the reason I was inspired to try it is because I still have about 104,208 jars of the Photon Jelly (orange marmalade, minus the marmalade part) that I made last year, and I've got to do something with them. And I say sort of made up because it wasn't so much made up as it was mashup - as in, I started with a couple recipes and combined the parts I thought would go together. In my defense, it turned out pretty good.

In any case, Bittman doesn't provide recipes, instead he breaks soup up into categories, and then gives some basic instructions, along with a few variations. The object of the exercise is to come up with your own variations, which I will certainly have to try. The column is a good starting point, and he's got a follow up on his blog with a few more suggestions.

Do let me know if you come up with anything tasty!

Feb 7, 2011


US Department of GMO

tags: food, wtf?
A little more than a week ago I posted about the new food labels, and in the comments someone wondered how long it would be until organics became corrupted by economics. Um, how about now?

Just last week, the USDA granted non-regulated status to Monsanto's GMO alfalfa. Big deal, you don't eat alfalfa, right? Except you do if you eat beef or dairy. So what's the problem? Well, GMO foods can't be certified organic under USDA guidelines. Now if you're thinking that organic growers don't use GMO seeds, you're correct, but the problem here is that cross pollination is inevitable. See where I'm going with this? At some point there won't be any non-GMO alfalfa which means no organic alfalfa, which means no organic beef or dairy. Well, until the USDA decides to redefine what organic means.

The USDA is apparently on a tear, because last Friday they deregulated Monsanto's GMO sugar beets too. If you're wondering what's up with the love affair between the USDA and Monsanto, I suggest you look no further than Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, aka Monsanto's Buddy.

In other news, chocolate is now a fruit. I'm sorry, did I say fruit? I meant super fruit. The first line of that article should tell you everything you need to know: When researchers at the Hershey Center for Health & Nutrition...

You know what I find most funny about this? And no, it's not that there is a Hershey Center for Health & Nutrition (I wonder if it includes dental). The funny part is that just 4 years ago Hershey lobbied the FDA to change the definition of chocolate. They wanted to substitute partially hydrogenated vegetable oils for cocoa butter in addition to using artificial sweeteners and milk substitutes. In other words, they wanted to make not-chocolate but still call it chocolate. Now, they want to make chocolate and call it a super fruit. I can't wait to see what kind of new food label they'll put on their chocolate super fruit bars.

Jan 25, 2011


Per Serving

tags: food, rant

This article in yesterday's NYT kinda makes me laugh. Honestly, I don't know where to begin, with the idea that proposed food labeling could be so confusing that one might think ice cream is good for you, or that ice cream, and not lack of moderation + lack of exercise + who the hell even knows what is in processed food, is what is bad for you.

The food industry isn't about food, it's about marketing food. That's why the picture on the front of the package looks like art compared to what is actually inside the package, and the ingredients on the back are in 3 point type. They don't want you to know what's in your food, they just want you to buy it.

My favorite part though, is this:

The F.D.A. has said it was interested in a British labeling system using a traffic signal logo to show favorable (green) and unfavorable (red) nutrient content. Industry, however, has resisted such a display, which it fears might drive away consumers.

Drive them where?

I can't lay this entirely at the feet of the food industry. People could make better food choices if they wanted to. They could educate themselves about where their food comes from, and how it's made, if they wanted to. They just don't want to. This applies as much to people who buy open and heat food as those who think free range chickens are actually free.

People are so far removed from where their food comes from, and the food industry really, really likes that. So if the administration wants to do something useful, I propose this for the new labeling system: if it contains actual food, you can label it FOOD, otherwise you have to call it what it is: CRAP.
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