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All the News That’s Fit to Eat: Seafood Rules, a Giant Algae Bloom, and the Pope Weighs in on Industrial Farming

Catch up on this week’s food news with stories that caught our attention.

Three Simple Rules for Eating Seafood (The New York Times)

Paul Greenberg wrote American Catch and Four Fish, two important books that exposed most of us to the complexities of modern industrial fishing. In Sunday’s NYT, he distilled his research into three rules for eating seafood, a la Michael Pollan’s “Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Greenberg’s rules starts with, “Eat American seafood.” Read more

All the News That’s Fit to Eat: Dairy Farms Settle Over Manure, Federal GMO-Free Certification, and News on Salmonella

An average dairy operation produces about 80 pounds of manure a day, per cow. On a moderate scale, this pile of poop can provide farmers with valuable nutrients to fertilize their pastures. But on a factory scale, this waste gets collected in large containment pools or “poo lagoons.” From there, it can seep into the soil, leak into waterways, and eventually end up in drinking water. Read more

All the News That’s Fit to Eat: Big Pizza Teams Up With Grocery Stores and Movie Theaters to Fight Calorie Labeling

If you’ve ever gone into a Starbucks or McDonald’s intending to order one thing and stopped cold after seeing a calorie count on the menu, you’re not alone. A 2013 study at the Drexel University School of Public Health found evidence that confirms what many of us probably assume: Customers who dined at restaurants where the menus listed calorie counts ate, on average, 155 calories fewer than they did at restaurants without such labeling. Read more

Gastropod: The Secret History of Cheese

This is the story you’ll often hear about how humans discovered cheese: one hot day nine thousand years ago, a nomad was on his travels, and brought along some milk in an animal stomach—a sort of proto-thermos—to have something to drink at the end of the day. But when he arrived, he discovered that the rennet in the stomach lining had curdled the milk, creating the first cheese. Read more

Building Community, One Bowl of Soup at a Time

Growing up in Solvang, California, otherwise known as the “Danish Capital of America,” I had a lot of exposure to Danish culture—slinging butter cookies and kringles at a Danish bakery, eating open-faced sandwiches on pumpernickel, learning to folk dance, and getting familiar with aquavit. But the thing that has stuck with me most over the years is the term hygge. Read more

As You Sow, So Shall You Reap: Mormons and the Land

This is the second installment of our ongoing Faith in Food series. Read the first installment here.

On a hot summer day two years ago, Michael Larsen, a Rexburg, Idaho father of five, answered a call for volunteers from a bean farm near the Utah border, bringing with him his two young daughters. In a scene recalling an Amish barn-raising, he describes many hands making light work of hoeing the sun-baked, pancake-flat field, each group working two or three approximately half-mile-long rows. Read more

Taking Kids on ‘A Trip to Delicious’ with Alice Waters

On a hot day in September, I gathered up my two-year-old daughter and took her to one of Berkeley’s most important places for young eaters: the Edible Schoolyard. While my daughter was busy smashing juicy figs into her face and chasing chickens across the lawn, I tuned my ears to Alice Waters, the pioneering chef of Chez Panisse. We were there to celebrate the release of Alice Waters and the Trip to Delicious, a new biographical children’s book by Jacqueline Briggs Martin that traces Alice’s journey to a life of good, healthy food. Read more

10 Book Recommendations for Conscientious Eaters

It’s Sustainable Santa, writing. Wee Barry Estabrook is preoccupied with putting together a new book proposal, so Santa thought it was a good idea to help him out (and lighten Santa’s sleigh) by stepping into this space to dash off a few words about Santa’s favorite books of food journalism for 2014—dandy gifts for the food lovers on your list.

Santa’s image consultants insist that Santa maintains the physique of a fat, jolly, old elf, so it should come as no surprise that he takes food ve-r-r-r-r-r-y seriously. And because Santa expects to be embarking on his annual sleigh ride for many more millennia, it should also come as no surprise that he has a vested interest in the long-term sustainability of our food system.

Which brings Santa to this year’s first book. (Always fair-minded, Santa will proceed in alphabetical order.) Read more

That Wine Isn’t Vegan and Other Reasons to Go Natural

Learning that wine has ingredients like bull’s blood or crab shells is likely to trigger panic attacks in some dedicated vegans. It certainly did to Kate Jacoby. Jacoby is co-owner of Philadelphia’s Vedge restaurant with her chef husband, Rich Landau. “When I found out that a wine can be made and processed with animal and dairy products, I freaked out,” she said. Jacoby was writing a serious wine list, but she’d begun to wonder: Would she be limited to one or two wines? Read more