Recent Articles About General

‘Walmarting’ Organics: Who Wins?

Wal-Mart announced last week that it will soon start partnering with Wild Oats to sell organic pantry items like tomato paste and broth at prices as low as 25 percent below other name-brand organic products. What could be wrong with that? In the short term, probably nothing. But in the long term, it could ultimately enable the mega-retailer to dominate the organic market the way it dominates whole swaths of the retail economy, from razor blades to recycling bins. Read more

How a Design Student Cracked the Code to High Fructose Corn Syrup

This article was published in the March-April 2014 edition of Edible Manhattan.

Prior to grad school at Parsons, Maya Weinstein’s mediums included fine art photography and digital collage. But for her master’s thesis she settled on a stickier subject: High-fructose corn syrup.

“There are a lot of videos and articles on the web that talk about how scary and bad HFCS is for you, but there’s not really any information about what it actually is or how it’s made,” says Weinstein, a recent graduate of the School of Art, Media and Technology at Parsons the New School for Design. “I saw a void there that I wanted to fill.” Read more

Gardener’s Delight: Seed Pack Art for Spring

There’s no better way to celebrate the beginning of spring than to stock up on seeds and get ready to break new ground. Gardening always keeps you guessing, because you never know from one season to the next what might delight you, and what might disappoint you. Inevitably, some seeds sprout and thrive while others rot, wither, or fall victim to fungus or critters. That’s life. Read more

Ever Wonder Where Mushrooms Come From? ‘How Does it Grow’ Series Answers That Question and More

Sustainable food and farming advocates have long been pushing us to learn more about our food, from decoding nutrition labels at the supermarket to shaking hands with the growers at the farmers’ market. We’ve uncovered some surprising truths, like the fact that milling grains can strip away much of their nutritional value, or that our country’s meat supply is in the hands of just four companies. Yet even as more and more Americans are beginning to ask tough questions about our food system, Nicole Cotroneo Jolly realized we often skip over the basics. Simply put, how does food become, well, food? Read more

Building a Restaurant After Genocide: Josh Ruxin’s ‘A Thousand Hills to Heaven’

In the 35 years I’ve been working in restaurants, I have seen more than enough to scare a person out of the business.  I’ve seen fires, near-fires, and explosive fire suppression systems. I’ve taken coworkers’ thumbs to the hospital for them on two separate occasions. And I’ve seen a guy slip while cleaning an oven’s exhaust hood and dunk his foot in a deep fryer, causing his nylon sock to melt into his skin.

These are the kinds of stories any American cook can tell. And, after reading Josh Ruxin’s book, A Thousand Hills to Heaven: Love, Hope, and a Restaurant in Rwanda, they mean nothing. Read more