{weekend reading} MEGA edition

There are a lot of links below; slow “big news story” week but many, many kick-arse articles, blog posts and commentaries on our food system. Before I commence, I must share a little fact with you. My husband is a public employee union rep, so the first link will go to the tense situation in Wisconsin…in solidarity. Start linking, reading then cooking! -Christina

{snow melt puddle #1}


Let’s start off the post with a little Bittman! His opinion piece about labeling GMOs on food packaging. Then his follow-up blog piece with a questionnaire for all to answer (yes, you comment on his blog post and let your answer be heard!)

TIME Magazine has a story on restaurants with calorie counts on their menus….no one cares. Boo.

Time Magazine was on a roll this week…another food-related article on how the food movement is turning into (and saving) the environmental movement.

The LA Times reports about Obama Administration’s plans to cut farm subsidies to direct farmers of the big cash crops like corn and soybeans.

A case against genetically engineered organisms on the Washington Post written by Barbara Damrosch, author of The Garden Primer.

NPR ran a story that has had MAJOR blogosphere play about feeding children who are picky eaters. UPDATE (Sunday Morning). I see that many readers are clicking on this story; since I wrote this last night at 1am, all blurry-eyed and delirious, I forgot to add the BEST counter-point commentary to this NPR story. It comes as a guest contributor spot on Fed Up with Lunch: The School Lunch Project, Mrs. Q. asked Christina from Spoonfed (yes she has THREE links this week!!!) and she wrote “Stop Calling Kids Picky Eaters” where she argues (successfully) that “Language is important. Labels are dangerous. And when we label our kids, we diminish our expectations of them and make obstacles seem insurmountable. We also minimize the very real challenges faced by children who do have serious food allergies or sensory issues. Those kids aren’t “picky eaters,” either. They have legitimate underlying causes for their food aversions, and labeling just adds to the stress.” and she ends with this: “Think about this: The reason we even have Happy Meals and Lunchables and bland, non-nutritive school lunches is not because that’s all kids will eat. It’s because that’s the kind of food adults think kids will eat. And it’s the kind of food that manufacturers and marketers can produce and sell at a huge mark-up. In the race to homogenized food and maximize profit, we lost respect for kids’ palates. And for kids.” Go read the post for yourself as she has many thought-provoking ideas on the subject. Of course this subject hits a personal cord because my son, Miles, doesn’t really have the choice to become “picky” as he can’t eat most of food-like substances in a box nor in a restaurants. He has to eat what we eat which, as of today, won’t include any corn & sesame products. Boo.

Another piece on Monsanto’s GE Alfalfa, “The Organic Elite Surrenders to Monsanto: What Now?” by Ronnie Cummins on Organic Consumers Association. A must read.

Maine’s Own Organic Milk, MOO Milk for short, needs your help, that is if you live in Maine or New Hampshire…The New York Times reports on how hard it is to sell organic milk for an actual profit.

This link brought to my attention by Michael Kilpatrick of KFF: Auburn University’s 130-year old oak trees may be on their deathbed because of an herbicide, known as Spike 80DF, or tebuthiuron, that was purposely applied. TOXIC.

Dr. Marion Nestle has a short but sweet commentary on the new “alliance” between American Heart Association and The Beef Board. Oh boy.

The Sweet Beet with a well-spoken commentary pondering the question “Is Food too Cheap?” (Yes). A must read.

Obama Foodorama reports that At the Washington Convention Center, White House Executive Pastry Chef, Bill Yosses joined a pair of scientists to discuss how texture impacts taste, during a lecture-demo titled “The Science of Eating: Preference and Perception in Human Taste.” He showed “how improving texture will decrease the desire for large portion sizes”.

A commentary on the Walmart/Let’s Move situation by Leslie Hatfield.

I’m very sad about this news: one of my favorite columns, Cooking with Dexter written by Pete Wells is ending with this final piece Busy Signal. I am sad because one of his sons has food allergies, and I LOVE it when I can read about another parent’s food allergy journey especially in such a high profile platform as the New York Times. Wells wrote a follow-up blog post, “How do Working Parents Do It”,  asking full-time working parents to chime in how they fit in cooking from scratch during the weekdays.

The Executive Direction of Food & Water Watch,Wenonah Hauter, has some hard-hitting words for the Obama Administration on their food policy via Huffington Post. A must read.

Applied Research Center just completed a study “The Color of Food”: The Color of Food report is a  broad survey of the food system, to map out the race, gender and class of workers along the supply chain. Sadly their results are not surprising. You can download the 26 page report.

The Center for the Public Interest has filed a regulatory petition asking the FDA to outlaw “caramel coloring” found in colas. More on the organization’s website.

I could link to a bunch of news articles on this topic: First Lady Michelle Obama’s confirming what pediatric doctors have been advocating for years; breast is best if its possible to do so. No kidding. Somehow this has become the Tea Party’s latest attack on the “liberal left”. Seriously? Here’s a link to a Canadian newspaper; Ottawa Citizen, as we need some international perspective for a well-written article on the non-controversy that the tea party are making into a “gov’t as nanny state” issue.

Two of the biggest blogosphere/podcastosphere stories have to be

a) This American Life printing what could be the original recipe for Coke. This story has been everywhere. First on TAL’s webpage, a picture of the found journal with the recipe in it. On their blog they have a clip from Conan O’Brien’s monologue from this week which included a bit on the story.

b) Many common use words such as “urban homesteading” have been successfully trademarked by the Dervaeses family in Pasadena who started sending cease & desist letters to people (blogs) using it. This story EXPLODED earlier in the week and boy is it fascinating. All I have to say is: URBAN HOMESTEADING URBAN HOMESTEAD URBAN HOMESTEADING. Unbelievable. The best post is from an actual blog, The Urban Homestead Experience, who received one of these legally threatening letters, and please read the comments…must read.

A great guest post by Christine from Spoonfed on Fooducate about shilling girl scout cookies…and what does that say about our food system. Her wrote a great follow-up piece on her own blog as she got A LOT of positive and A LOT of very negative comments.

Village Voice’s food blog, Fork in the Road, reports that Chipotle’s new Asian-themed restaurant may be called….

{snow melt puddle #1a}


Make Your Own {Boxed} Cake Mix in a Mason Jar by I am Baker.

It’s seedling season, as Dianna reported, Girls Gone Child has a lovely series running on Child-Friendly Gardening with her famous grandmother & master gardener, Pat Welsh.

Tigress in a Pickle made Sweet Preserved Kumquats. WoW.

Allergy-free cooking guru, Cybele Pascal, has mastered GF & allergen-free pita bread via Whole Living Magazines’ website.

Serious Eats has How to Make Creme Fraiche

Make Your Own Sriracha Sauce via Kitchen Butterfly. (Link found via Food in Jar’s Facebook page)

Hitchhiking to Heaven has Vietnamese Preserved Lemons.

Local Kitchen has handmade hand lotion has has just a handful of ingredients. I am totally making this!!!

{snow melt puddle #2 with snow on the way tonight & tomorrow…sigh}


Cardamom and Cast Iron has a yummy looking GF Stuffed Shells with White Bean & Cashew “Ricotta”

Blood Orange & Clementine Galette by pitchfork diaries. AMAZING!

One Hungry Mama has Posole

Gluten-Free Girl has a recipe for GF potato & mushroom tart via Whole Living Magazine’s website.

Fancy grilled cheese sandwiches by Joy the Baker.

Lastly, Simple Bites has their weekly recipe roundup. This week, Cooking for Others Edition. Really great stuff.


7 Comments Add yours

  1. Jacky says:

    Love your weekend reading posts, such great links!!

    1. Christina says:

      Thanks Jacky! Its a labor of love. Glad to see people are reading!!!!

  2. Erin says:

    Thanks so much! Lots of really fantastic links!

    1. Christina says:

      Well, thank YOU for reading!! Its my weekly labor of love 🙂

  3. 4megsmusing says:

    Look forward to this every week. I feel so much smarter after I devour it all:)

    1. Christina says:

      Whoa..”look forward to it every week”…that’s a lot of pressure! ha! Thanks for reading!

Start a conversation --> We love feedback!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s