The Airship: Literary Bars & Restaurants IRL.
BBC: France’s silent tea revolution.
Ah, grow a pair. Drink PG Tips. I dip mine for at least 50 dunks, then steep for five or six minutes. I like strong tea.
DiscoverMag: Study proves cat bacon just as tasty as pig bacon.
“The high cost of swine production has caused producers of processed meat products to seek alternative sources of bulk meat. The objective of this study was to compare the nutritional values and taste acceptance of processed cured bacon produced from readily-available feline sources to that of traditional porcine bacon.” Some are going to hate me for posting that. [It is a joke, people.]
Modern Farmer: The Joy of Cooking Invasive Species.
“Kudzu, feral pigs, bullfrogs and burdock are just a few of the foods in the invasivore repertoire. These pests are all edible and some are considered delicacies in their native land. Invasivores seek to re-frame these species as an ethical food choice and have a slew of nifty slogans for the cause, like ‘Eating Aliens’ and ‘Eradication by Mastication.’” Ahem. Deadfood.com, too. The ‘French Fried Skunk’ recipe’s pretty entertaining (‘skim off scum …’).
Paris Review: Shad Season.
“Shad and shad roe used to be a common spring meal up and down the Eastern seaboard. Nowadays, it is the purview of traditionalists and evangelical seasonal eaters. If you are neither, it is still the kind of edible time machine that is worth seeking out when you can.”
Discover Magazine: What’s In Your Gut?
“I signed up online, paid $99 and received a kit in the mail with a small tube and two swabs to take my choice of a stool, skin or saliva sample. I logged my diet for a week, entered the data on the project’s website and then mailed off my stool sample. Eight months later, I got my results: A single page of candy-colored graphs compared my guts with those of the average participant. Like all participants’ results, my data, minus identifying information, will be added to an open-source database as part of the Earth Microbiome Project ”
Paris Review: Ovid’s Ancient Beauty Elixirs.
“The rumors are true: it’s Publius Ovidius Naso’s 2,057th birthday. You can score some points with the classicists in your life by mentioning this in casual conversation, especially if you toss in a reference to the Metamorphoses.”
365/2: 077. Morning dinner prep; stew.
EspressoSmith: Whiskey Barrel Coffee.
Oh my. But the price! Xmas. Maybe.
SciAm: Spice Imports Carry Lots of Filth.
Yum, yum. Bugs, poop and mold. The ‘rodent filth’ column makes me twitch, living here in hantavirus/plague country.
Guardian.UK: New York homeless shelters housing record-high 53,000 people per night.
“The report blames the city’s homeless crisis on a combination of factors. It cites the ‘disastrous homeless policies’ implemented by then-mayor Michael Bloomberg; the city’s worsening housing affordability; and the growing income inequality gap.” Hard to believe it could be worse than the ‘80’s. The Franciscans did particularly good work in the ‘80’s. Their website. What I used to do, going out to lunch, was to swing into a McD’s on my way back to the office and buy a ‘Happy Meal’ and hand it to a random homeless individual. I was never ‘attacked’, never insulted, always thanked.
LRB: Bee Wilson reviews ‘Farmageddon’ and ‘Planet Carnivore’.
Medium: How We Make Chocolate.
An ad, really, but an interesting one.
Guardian.UK: Animal protein-rich diets could be as harmful to health as smoking.
“The apparently harmful effects of a high-protein diet might be down to one or more other substances in meat, or driven by lifestyle factors that are more common in regular red meat eaters versus vegetarians.” Needs more research. From my reading, IGF-1 is the likely culprit, but research conflicts over whether protein from red meat is a direct influence. Dairy intake is pretty unequivocal. Plant-based proteins may actually reduce IGF-1. The elephant in the room is livestock supplementation; rBST gooses the IGF-1 in dairy products; jury’s out on meat itself. It would be very interesting to see them repeat this with organic foods. Overall, the studies need to be targeted better; comparing to smoking is purely to generate a knee-jerk reaction.
Later: Others noted the sensationalist, misleading nature of these stories.
The Big Picture: Your Broccoli Is Way Too Thirsty.
Rice, and orchards, are the biggest users of water … by a long, long stretch. This infographic is misleading.
SciAm: 1,000-Year-Old Teeth Reveal Diet and Disease.
“Your mouth is like a battlefield of bacteria.” I had garlic in my meal yesterday; I woke up to Waterloo this morning.
The Economist: Banana diseases - Yes, we have no bananas.
“Modifying the Cavendish is another, perhaps quicker, approach. Scientists at the UN and the International Atomic Energy Agency have bombarded plants with gamma rays; three of the resulting mutants have shown resistance in the laboratory to Black Sigatoka.” I’ll raise a hand here to point out, non-GMO crops are often created via chemical or radiation mutation. You’d suspect it would raise as big a stink as GM, but no.
Real Shit - Organic Manure For Urban Farmers.
Offered, sans comment.
Blok Knives: A professional handmade Chef’s Knife.
Mother Jones: Could This Baker Solve the Gluten Mystery?
You know, there’s a really great book that shortcuts all of this. The Breads of France. But use a baking stone, use a reliable thermometer in your oven, be sure to monitor your water temps while mixing, and keep records of what you do. I can’t enjoy gluten containing breads; please - enjoy them for me.
SciAm: “Gluten Sensitivity” May Be a Misnomer for Illnesses to Various Wheat Proteins.
Mine is not celiac; however, my sensitivity requires avoidance of all wheat, barley, etc. products. Total bummer going out to restaurants, I have to tell you. Knowledge among establishments is growing, not fast enough. The derision factor - the fact too many non-sensitives are making a joke of the whole thing - makes it all the more difficult. I’d like the FDA or someone to put a basic set of rules in place before an establishment can advertise GF products. Separate prep surface. Sourcing of GF ingredients. That sort of thing. If you’re going to do it, do it right, so we can trust the wares.
365/2: 027. Coffee.
I am an unrepentant cinnamon fiend.
Slate: Coffee in France is terrible - Why can’t the French brew a good cup of coffee?
“If you think Paris is the capital of farm to table, think again. In fact, in a recent survey, one-third of French restaurants acknowledged serving frozen products that they had simply reheated.” Quelle disaster!
Giz: Why a Small Pennsylvania Town Is the Mushroom Capital of the World.
designboom: peleg design squeezes gulping yolkfish to separate eggs.
A little gross, but still cool.