{weekend reading} NATIONAL EDITION

No recipes this week as I did a Super Bowl recipe roundup & link love post on Friday. I have updated it with more recipe links if you wanna take another looksie. Happy Reading! -Christina

First link will go to Michael Kilpatrick. Who is Michael Kilpatrick? An up & coming farm owner, Kilpatrick Family Farm, who began building his empire in his late teens. You can read all about the farm in our post that documented Amanda, Sarah & my visit to the farm this past July. We link to the the farm all the time because, well, Michael feeds our families. Alexis & I had fall shares and now both have winter and early spring shares. He is a weekly constant in our lives. Well, he has written a post that EVERYONE should read, no matter if you live in Upstate New York or California, as it is a voice of a young farmer who made choices about what organic means. To truly be organic. Its a history lesson on farming in the United States and what our country “Organic Certified” means. A terrific read.

If you didn’t know already Mark Bittman retired his Minimalist column and joined the Op-Ed paged and created a new column ‘On Food’ for the New York Times. He debuted BOTH this week to huge success. His articles were re-posted, Facebook’ed, Tweet’ed and discussed all over the place. Bravo Bittman! Like I said in my piece, Goodbye Minimalist Hello…, I think Bittman will have amazing success rallying the troops behind food systems issues due to his everyman approach. His ‘On Food’ column already has three posts, and I believe that one of them is a recipe or at least his musings about a recipe. His first Op-ed piece, which also made it into the actual newspaper, A Food Manifesto for the Future, has over 400 comments and again, has made a huge splash this week. What is there to say about this piece? Its a terrific overarching piece of writing on how our food system needs to change. A MUST READ. Period.

On the same subject, Mark Bittman did an interview with Civil Eats.

I hadn’t been updating this story for a few weeks and look what happens. I guess Jamie Oliver finally received admission into the Los Angeles Public Schools for the past two weeks, filming at West Adams Preparatory High School in central Los Angeles and now he is permanently banned from future filming. Los Angeles Times has ALL the details. Meow-cat fight!

Here’s a (hilarious) update to the Taco Bell 35% beef class action lawsuit story.  Taco Bell has come out swinging with an “Thank you for suing us” Ad Campaign and a video from the President, both claiming that there beef is 100% beef with seasonings and spices, just like you make at home. Ahhhhhhh right.

Dr. Marion Nestle reacts to her {brief} appearance on an episode of The Colbert Report during a spoof (serious news reporting) about Walmart’s new healthy food initiative. Oh and she links to her interview on NPR.

The new “trenta” size at Starbucks holds more liquid than your stomach’s capacity. I believe I reported on that part already… Well, now the size has been released into the wild (various Starbucks stores about the nation) and next comes… you betcha…a video! Yup, someone made a video showing that the trenta size holds an ENTIRE BOTTLE OF RED WINE (on Eater). Get your caffeine on peoples. Word Up Starbucks.

I think the LA Times has wonderful food stories, and this one is no different. An interesting read about the craft beer popularity going global.

In a story that I wanted to write soooo badly, but couldn’t find one single store up here with the “food” product, is Digiorno’s Frozen Pizza AND Frozen Cookie Dough in ONE BOX! Holy crap! Why didn’t I think of that. Put them both in the oven at the same time, on top of each other… wait a minute. Anyways, this “food” disaster has been very popular on the food blogs during the past two weeks. I’ve scoured multiple grocery stores and have yet to find this gem. I only find the “breadsticks & pizza” version. Darn. Francis Lam at Salon.Com has the super-hilarious (scary) story. Curiously, if you click on the Digiorna link, the pizza/cookie dough product isn’t on their product list…hummmm

Back to serious news, as I reported last weekend, genetically modified alfalfa was approved for planting. I have a few important posts to share as this issue is complicated and serious. First, Maria Rodale, of the Rodale Empire and many other famous food people like Michael Pollen, have all signed a statement against the approval. Huffington Post has the exclusive. Secondly, Stoneyfield President, Gary Hirshberg, published a long and detailed letter on the company’s website. Thirdly, Dr. Marion Nestle has something important to say; explaining the politics behind this subject. Finally, a WONDERFUL, clearly written and concise article by Samuel Fromartz “Why You Should Care about Genetically Modified Alfalfa”. A must read.

On the same subject, genetically modified crops, in a semi-breaking news story, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday night that “The Agriculture Department, trying to avoid a shortage of U.S. sugar, said Friday it would allow U.S. farmers to resume planting the widely used genetically modified version of the sugar-beet plant that a federal judge has effectively banned.Breaking a court order- whoa. After a quick search in my “Google Reader” -poof- Tom Philpott, of Grist, is already on the case and has an article up on this crazy turn of events.

Reuters has a short article on the record pricing of U.S. meats making dining tables “leaner”.

Lastly, the biggest food story of the week happened on Monday. The USDA announced their  “2010 Dietary Guidelines” (happens every 5 years). .Download the guidelines here. Anyways, from quickly reading through the document and online, the guidelines are the step in the right direction. Of course the government is in a tricky spot; they have to advocate US agriculture both nationally and for global export; so they are not going to come out and say “STOP eating X or Y or Zebra”. What they did instead is tell us what to eat more of; whole fruits, whole vegetables, whole grains=whole foods. Big step in the right direction. The other big step was in the vegan/vegetarian world. The government acknowledged the dietary choice and added a section on the topic. Hurray! Now onto the links. Of course I will start with my hero, author of the must-read Food Politics, Dr. Marion Nestle on The Atlantic. You can also read her first article on the subject, on her blog, where she discusses a few problems she has with them. Seriously, you can stop right there. Its the best and she is the true authority on the subject.

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