Archive for the ‘food’ Category

US Government: ‘Eat More Pizza!’

February 17, 2014

US Government: 'Eat More Pizza!'

13 percent of Americans eat pizza each day (no, not the same 13 percent …). That’s a lot of people and lots of calories, saturated fat, and sodium, too.

And Uncle Sam helps. The USDA runs a “dairy checkoff program” though small assessments on milk sales to processors, raising hundreds of millions of dollars annually. The funds are turned over to Dairy Management, Inc. (DMI) to encourage public demand for dairy products. U.S. fluid milk consumption is down, but cheese eating is way up, and 25 percent of that cheese is melted on pizza.  DMI has a partnership with Domino’s Pizza, America’s 2nd largest retailer of pizza-like objects, and paid Domino’s $35 million over the past 3 years to develop and market cheesier pies.

Read about it here:

“How the U.S. government spends millions to get people to eat more pizza,” Brad Plumer, Washington Post blog

“USDA reports on pizza consumption and on dairy checkoff program initiatives to increase pizza demand,” Park Wilde, US Food Policy blog

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Eating & Cooking

February 3, 2014

Michael Pollan addressed the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) about a simple way to eat healthy without a rulebook or fad diets. Video of his lecture is here, but the short animated excerpt above is more fun.

Illustrator: Kerry Hyndman for Damn Fine Media.

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Groundhog Day

February 2, 2014

Groundhog Day
It’s February 2nd, time to monitor Marmota monax and dream of winter’s end. Whether or not you believe in woodchuck weathermen, one thing is certain: you can’t have groundhogs if you want a backyard full of fresh garden veggies.

Groundhogs (aka woodchucks, whistlepigs, and marmots) are insecto-vegetarians and confirmed locavores. If you plan to plant this spring, harvest those hairy beasts now. Celebrate Groundhog Day with critter cuisine.

Serving suggestions:

Woodchuck au Vin

Canadian Fried Woodchuck

Groundhog Pie

Woodchuck Recipes from Michigan (Oriental Groundhog,Waco Groundhog in Sour Cream,Woodchuck Stew, Woodchuck Meat Loaf)

More groundhog lore and recipes here and here.

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Big Cheese Day at the White House

January 27, 2014

Big Cheese Day at the White House

In 1835 New York dairy farmer Thomas Meacham sent President Andrew Jackson a 1,400-pound wheel of cheese as a gift. It aged in the Entrance Hall of the White House for two years. On January 29, 1837 the President, as was the custom, invited the public to a reception in the East Room and offered a choice refreshment: Cheese. Hungry citizens finished the entire cheese in two hours, but its fragrance lingered in Entrance Hall for some time.

At 9:00 PM on January 29, 2014, the day after he delivers the State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama has invited the public to a virtual Big Block of Cheese Day. There’s no free cheese, but White House officials will respond to questions in real time via  Twitter Facebook Tumblr Instagram  and Google+ Hangout  (hashtag #AsktheWH). Whether this is a good idea or not remains to be seen, but it sure seems like White House staffers learned about Andy Jackson’s big cheese from the West Wing TV show:

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Canada Bans Marmite

January 25, 2014

Canada Bans Marmite

Canada has banned imports of Marmite – not because it’s made from British brewery waste, but because it’s artificially fortified with vitamins to back up dubious health claims, and food spreads in Canada aren’t allowed such fortification.

The stuff was imported by Brit Foods, a Canadian retailer specializing in British comestibles. The yeasty brown gunk is an iconic UK product, a cherished symbol of the Empire to which Canada once belonged. We have not been able to determine if the Marmite ban endangers Canada’s membership in the Commonwealth.

To avoid the appearance of favoritism in the upcoming independence referendum, Canada also banned imports of Scotland’s Irn-Bru, a ghastly orange-colored soft drink and symbol of modern Scottish identity. That color is supplied by Ponceau 4R, a pigment derived from coal tar which, unlike clubbing baby seals to death, is prohibited in the Great White North.

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Influential Burger

January 25, 2014

Influential Burger

“The now-iconic square patty—which debuted in 1921 at the first White Castle in Wichita, Kansas—was the first burger to spawn a fast food-empire: by 1930, White Castle had 10 U.S. locations. But more importantly, the restaurant’s emphasis on cleanliness—facilities were white and customers could watch their burger meat being ground through a window—helped quell fears that all ground beef was as unsanitary as the stuff depicted in Upton Sinclair’s best-selling The Jungle, which was released in 1906. Its success paved the way for the great American burger obsession.”

– Sarah Begley, “The 17 Most Influential Burgers of All Time,” TIME Magazine (links added)

Related:

“Slider (sandwich),” Wikipedia

White Castle website

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Burrito-Making Robot

January 13, 2014

Burrito-Making Robot

Those 36,000 Redbox DVD rental kiosks have been joined by the Burrito Box, a stand-alone, automated burrito-generating device. Say “saludos, señores” to our new robot overlords.

The first two Burrito Boxes are in Los Angeles where, as everyone knows, it’s so damn hard to find burritos. The touch-screen kiosks dispense $3 hot burritos in 60 seconds, presumably cooking them with heat generated by the blaring music videos on their screens during that minute. The five options of Evol “all-natural” burritos are 3 bucks a pop with additional charges for guacamole, sour cream and Tabasco sauce.

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Kale

January 10, 2014

Kale

Kale. It’s a Superfood. It’s BIG. It’s everywhere, right?

“But what do the data say about how much kale is actually around? The U.S. Department of Agriculture started tracking the production of kale in 1997, and the closest proxy for consumption we have is something called “disappearance”: imports plus production minus exports. By that metric, divided by population, we arrive at the amount of kale the United States absorbed per capita ….”

“Kale was so much bigger in the 1990s,” Lydia DePillis, Washington Post blog (must-see graphs!)

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Original photo by Evan-Amos via Wikimedia

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Velveeta Crisis

January 8, 2014

Velveeta Crisis

“America may be facing a Velveeta shortage,” warns Schuyler Velasco:

“The crisis comes to us courtesy of AdAge, which contacted Velveeta-maker Kraft foods after rumors surfaced that inventory of America’s favorite cheese-like substance was becoming low in grocery stores on the East Coast due to a possible production issue. ‘Given the incredible popularity of Velveeta this time of year, it is possible consumers may not be able to find their favorite product on store shelves over the next couple of weeks,’ Kraft spokeswoman Jody More wrote AdAge via e-mail. ‘Our retail customers are aware of the situation and we expect it to be a short-term issue.’”

– “Velveeta shortage threatens to make the Super Bowl less cheesy,” Schuyler Velasco, Christian Science Monitor

More:

“Velveeta shortage: No queso for the Super Bowl?”  Jenn Harris, Los Angeles Times

“Cheesy shortage: Kraft says Velveeta running low,” Bruce Horovitz, USA Today

“Kraft warns of a Velveeta shortage,” Fox News

“Kraft could face a cheesy meltdown with Velveeta shortage,” Aimee Picchi, CBS Moneywatch

“Cheesepocalypse nears as Kraft runs low on Velveeta,” Aaron Pressman, Yahoo Finance

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-ito

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length

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Animal Welfare in North Korea

January 3, 2014

Animal Welfare in North Korea

Folks in North Korea might be feeling a bit peckish these days, but they sure do treat their puppies well. Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un is reported to have killed his uncle and fed his body to 120 hungry dogs.

Or maybe not ….

Update:

“North Korean execution by dog story likely came from satire,” James Pearson, Reuters

 “Story about Kim Jong-un’s uncle being fed to dogs originated with satirist,” Jonathan Kaiman, The Guardian

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-iqR

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length

 

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