{weekend reading} NATIONAL EDITION

Due to our {unexpected} blog vacation last week, this edition will cover many news items, recipes, food projects and commentaries from the past two weeks… -Christina

Ride Mama Ride?!! RIIIIIIIDE Pleeeeeeesssse.


Hot off the press, Stop & Shop calls for a voluntary recall of Skippy Reduced Fat Creamy & Super-Chucky Peanut Butter (another peanut butter recall…probably more to come!)….A press release, linked to on the Skippy website, explains:

Unilever United States, Inc. today announced a limited recall of Skippy® Reduced Fat Creamy Peanut Butter Spread and Skippy® Reduced Fat Super Chunk Peanut Butter Spread, because it may be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

Barry Estabrook continues covering the story of pennies (PENNIES!!) for tomato farm workers via The Atlantic.

The New York Times has a story on coconut oil, a favorite in this house due to our multiple food allergies, and how its become a popular product again.

A very awesome piece on Civil Eats paying homage and solidarity with Wisconsin and Ohio..while explaining how food & politics comes together on this issue.

LA Times has an interview with Jamie Oliver regarding his ups & downs of trying to film his next season in the Los Angeles Public School system. In addition, there is an AP story on Huffington Post about Jamie’s new plans to open a mobile kitchen since LAPS has told him “bye bye”.

A truly fabulous (and HILARIOUS) piece on the question- when is the food left in the refrigerator truly gone off? In all seriousness its a great commentary on food waste and modern society.

Tom Laskaway, over at GRIST, has a commentary that made me angry– the marriage of USDA & factory-farmed pork. I warn you, the only picture in the post is tiny, yes, but still made me gasp and shed a tear…

While you’re at GRIST,  read a post by Kirsten Wartman, about the low-fat diet trend finally (thankfully) starting to wean.

Two weeks of Bittman for you. Last week, he overdid himself again by slamming McDonald’s oatmeal in “How to Make Oatmeal…WRONG”. This week he talks about the extremely important issue of where agricultural subsisities should go. His blog column has been hopping from various ways to make awesome oatmeal to his slight attitude adjustment due to some good comments (800+) on the oatmeal piece to the results from his GMO survey to further reading on agricultural subsisties (EXCELLENT links in this post) to…well, just bookmark his blog page and read it like it was a religion. Its good. Really good. He knows when to say Mea Culpa and when to hedge his bets and when to go all it.

From one powerful voice in the food systems issues to another…Dr. Marion Nestle. Let’s highlight two posts from this week of great importance. First, USDA came out with their publication on the breakdown of the conventional/processed/factory farmed food dollar in the USA. Sadly, no surprise over 84% goes to other things than the ACTUAL food that is grown or held captive in a dark dirty, small cage until slaughter. (sorry but what’s to say about factory farmed animals other than words like sadness and dispair?) Dr. Marion Nestle has a short but informative piece on the topic with some historically perspective to boot.

I will add this third Dr. Marion Nestle post at the midnight hour…because I forgot about this MAJOR update to story I linked to months & months ago… Corn Refiners Association is really (!!!) trying to change the name of High Fructose Corn Syrup to Corn Sugar. WHAT the WHAT! Dr. Nestle has the steps to take to tell the FDA no. I did it last week…no pressure.

The second issue, is a biggie and I’m surprised I have seen little in the way of stories via the blogosphere or newspapers. “On March 02, USDA announced that it was revoking its accreditation of two certifying agencies, Certified Organic, Inc. (COI) and Guaranteed Organic Certification Agency (GOCA).” Whoa. Dr. Nestle has more…with EXCELLENT links to boot!

Food Safety News reported on a big publication that came out this week from the GAO, Government Accountability Office. To shave $200 BILLION dollars out of the federal government budget, they recommend ONE consolidated food safety and oversight agency instead of the FDA & USDA sharing the duties in weird complex web of regulations (READ Food Politics by Marion Nestle)

Remember when a few weeks back the US government debuted the 2010 Dietary Guidelines?! I posted a BUNCH of commentaries and news articles on the 95-page bonanza….well….Kaera @ Local Kitchen knocked one out of the park (sorry for the baseball reference but its spring training!!!)…Kaera is a scientist, a biologist by training and has started a series of commentaries. The first post is a general (fabulous) essay on the political soft speak that our country LOVES to use as to protect the corporations that produce fast food, processed junk and the like. The second post in the series is Fat 101 and WOW, I feel smarter, she’s amazing.  Kaera has upcoming posts on trans fats, hyrodenation (??) and cholesterol. A-MA-ZING. Seriously, must read. NOW. Go… 

Nut-Free Mom has another very important food allergy post about how and what to explain to your young child about communicating their symptoms.

My blogger and food allergy caregiver friend, Celia, at On Cardamom & Cast Iron went out on a major blogging limb and confessed her thoughts of the new direction her food blog would take. Its a great post and one which, as a fellow blogger, took a big risk to publish as she could have had fall-back from her readers…I won’t say more, read it.

Do you remember the {weekend reading} from two weeks ago…where I linked to a MAJOR blogoshere legal controversy where a homesteading family in Pasadena, the Dervaes Family were sending out Cease & Desist letters to anyone using various words like “Urban Homestead” as they had (somehow) successfully trademarked the common terms. Well, there have been loads of backlash and out of that backlash comes interesting posts to read. First up, Michael Nolan at My Earth Garden blog successfully shows with exhibits how the Dervaes Family actually ripped him off. Secondly, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has weighed in on the situation. (Hat tip to Local Kitchen’s Facebook page for the links!)

Finally, I’m tempted to start another subject heading- gardening- as growing your own food is a big part of the “real food/food systems” conversation along with “involving your children in food/cooking” conversation (as far as I’m concerned). Plus, seedling time is here! You Grown Girl & Grow Good Grub author, Gail Trail, has written an informative post about how to clone your herb plants.

When Toddlers Attack

Annie’s Eats has croissants. A-MA-ZING. I can’t make them, pleeeeease someone make them and report back. Thanks.

Thanks Leslie for this link, well she had the magazine and I did the internet searching to get the recipes…Sunset Magazine has six diverse mustard recipes.

Deb at Smitten Kitchen has made whole wheat goldfish crackers. Like the croissants, someone try this one and get back to me.

My food allergy cooking & baking hero, Cybele Pascal, has a completely 8-Top-Allergen-Free, including gluten-free, recipe for THIN MINTS. Run not walk to this recipe….

Again for people cooking & baking with food allergies and intolerance, Elizabeth Gordon has written a GREAT reference piece for Huffington Post where she weighs out various GF flours, so you know how to substitute. A scale will be needed to use her list. I LOVE IT- sometimes I don’t have amaranth, sometimes I don’t have teff or sorghum…perfection!

For you homebrew peeps; there is a great post on mashing grains, for a yeast starter, in a french press coffee maker on HomeBrew Hooligans. I found the link through Punk Domestics, which if you don’t subscribe to their feed, you should.

For you canners out there…The always awesome What Julie Ate has an informative post on controversial “oven canning”. The comments are a must read too!

I can not make this recipe but it seems GENIUS to me…DIY Vanilla instant pudding mix from Always Order Dessert. So simple, 5 ingredients.

Again, I can not make this but someone should- RIGHT NOW. Joy the Baker has cashew oat MILK.

the kitchn has links to 9 simple crafty crafts for the kithen, like hipster pot holders!

Valentine’s Treat for my Little Dude…40 minutes of watching trucks move stuff while eating nori sheets.


Shokingdelicious with a great brunch idea: Smoked Salmon and Caramelized Onion Quiche.

While we’re on the breakfast theme, Joy The Baker has a Lemon Cornmeal Breakfast Cake.

Brookyn Supper has a nice Focaccia w/ Onions, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pecorino. Perfect Sunday afternoon munching.

GF in the City has gorgeous looking GF Spiced Teff Pancakes which I will be trying on some breakfast guests this morning, minus the dairy protein and the “real” butter. This post is one of many in a few “rally”, not challenge, of GF bakers including Gluten Free Girl Shauna, to create great stuff using weights and ratios instead of measuring by volume. This month they took on pancakes, links to the other recipes included in the post!

MAYO? No WAY-OH. Begins Shutterbean’s recipes post on mayo-less egg salad sandwiches.

Bittman has Roasted Fennel with Oranges.

Dinner with Julie has Sweet & Sour Chicken with Pineapple (fresh). YUM.

Finally, Obama Foodorama has the latest White House recipes to be released; Seared Lamb Loin with Chickpea Puree
and Parsley Finishing Oil. (What a way to end this post….)

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Thanks for including me! Your Sunday wrap-up is such an incredibly fun resource. Hours of interesting reading!

    1. Christina says:

      Thanks Dorothy! Labor of love; its important to connect our dinner plates to the larger world.

      Your recipes are always spot-on. (So readers know, you can find Dorothy’s recipes in SUNSET magazine)

  2. Dianna says:

    OK, I take it back. Your local section is not my favorite type of posting, this is my favorite type of posting. It is hard to pick. But I love this. Good job.

  3. Craziness! I made the cashew-oat milk this weekend and it was AWESOME.

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