To cook or not to cook.
It’s a question that writer Peg Bracken lampooned in 1960, with the publication of The I Hate to Cook Book, which sold three million copies. Three years later, Betty Friedan would challenge women to explore a world beyond the kitchen and other housework in her seminal work, The Feminine Mystique.
Fast-forward a half century, and it’s a question that we continue to ask ourselves, chew on—and in many cases—spit out. The most recent round in the debate surfaced last summer, on the heels of a study conducted at North Carolina State University. Based on interviews with 150 mothers, the authors of “The Joy of Cooking?” critique a recent school of thought that the feel-good benefits of home cooking outweigh its burdens, namely lack of time and money. Read more
A new national grassroots campaign is aiming to boost awareness of the public health threat of antibiotic overuse in livestock production.
It’s been over a year since Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) introduced the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA), a bill that would ban the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in livestock. And it’s been almost 10 months since Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced a similar bill in the Senate. Both bills remain stalled in their respective committees, however. Read more
Tomorrow Washington State voters will decide on The People’s Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act, also known as I-522. This initiative will mandate labels on all foods made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) sold in grocery stores. It follows on the heels of last year’s Proposition 37, a similar ballot measure in California that drew national attention and massive campaign coffers on both sides of the issue. Proposition 37 was narrowly defeated, 51-49 percent. Read more
We have reported (here and here) on the mounting opposition by big Food and Ag to I-522, the Washington state ballot initiative to label genetically modified food. Some have asked about the forces at work supporting the measure.
The opposition has raised $22 million primarily through two groups: The junk food industry (via the Grocery Manufacturers Association) and multinational seed and agri-chemical companies, including Monsanto and Dupont Pioneer. To date there are just five donations from individuals opposing the ballot measure, totaling $550. Read more
With just one week left until Washington state voters decide on I-522, the ballot initiative to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs), money for the opposition continues to pour in. According to the state’s Public Disclosure Commission, the No on 522 campaign received an influx of $4.2 million last week from just two sources: The Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA) and Dupont Pioneer, the seed and agri-chemical company.
This brings the current “No on 522” campaign war chest total to $21.9 million, the most well-endowed single-issue campaign in state history. Read more
The hotly contested battle over GMO labeling just got hotter in Washington state. The latest wrinkle comes just a few weeks before November 5, when voters decide on I-522, the ballot initiative that would mandate labels on all genetically modified food sold in grocery stores.
Opposition has been fierce; the No on 522 campaign has raised $17.2 million, a record for monies raised against a statewide initiative, according to the state’s Public Disclosure Commission. From the opposing war chest, $7.2 million came from the Grocers Manufacturers Association (GMA), a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing hundreds of food and beverage companies. But unlike the GMA-funded opposition to Prop 37, a similar initiative in California last year, the GMA-funded opposition to I-522 has been a mystery–until now. Read more
“How cool is this!” Susan, a 68-year-old retiree from Philadelphia, was on her maiden voyage with her new toy, a salad spinner.
As she pulled the spinner’s retractable cord, the room filled with a rattling hum, similar to a washing machine at the end of its cycle. She was visibly pleased that after just a few pulls, the lettuce leaves tucked inside the colander-like basket were nice and dry. She marveled at how she could both wash–“Wow, there’s a lot of dirt in these leaves”–and dry salad greens with just one tool.
This was just one of the many ah-ha moments for Susan, who signed on to take an immersion cooking course with me earlier this summer. Over the course of a week, we met in her kitchen each day with one primary objective: Getting a handle on the bare essentials of cooking. Read more
Over the past decade, it’s become fashionable to eat local on Thanksgiving, the ultimate feast on our social calendar and the quintessential expression of seasonal produce, that last breath of harvest before winter swoops in. Somehow most of us haven’t got the local memo for the 4th of July, a tremendous opportunity to show our patriotism by giving thanks for local produce and the people who grow it. Read more
The worst drought since the 1950s continues to wreak havoc on America’s bread basket, shriveling up commodity corn and soybean crops and driving up food prices. But there is heartening news from the local agricultural sector: Farmers’ markets are booming.
Last week, the USDA released its annual update of the National Farmers Market Directory*, which is now 7,864 markets strong. It’s a 9.6 percent uptick since last year, and more than double the number of markets since 2004. Read more
Warm a foodie’s heart (and belly) this holiday season with these eco-friendly and beautiful gifts. I’ve included some personal favorites that I use in my own kitchen (and plan on gifting to others), plus a smattering of newly discovered items I covet. Notice how each product on the list tells a story–of artisans, farmers, foodways and families–and in doing so, offers a window into how others may live. Read more