Food in the News (and not so new news)

For those pondering whether buying organic is “worth it” in this economy, here is an oldie but goodie: “Why Organic Is the Healthiest Choice for Kids.” I understand that we can only expect people to do their best within their means, but it does give me pause when I see parents driving gas-guzzlers and buying the latest video games and “must-haves” for the under-18 set moan and groan about the cost of buying organic food….

The assistant White House chef and food initiatives coordinator, Sam Kass, has been in the news a lot recently – I’m happy to see someone raising awareness of the deplorable state of school lunches and urging parents to consider what they can do to improve things.

“You look around our country and you see that we have a lot of major challenges, the origin of which is food…. It’s not a big step to think about …What am I doing? How is that affecting this problem? How am I helping?

Of course, it’s sad to see him toning down stronger statements that he made earlier, such as

“We find ourselves in a fight to salvage a food system that has been ravaged by an approach of quantity over quality,” he wrote. “The industry our society has built around food is harmful and unsustainable.”

Is that really an offensive statement? I guess it probably is if you subscribe to the “always get the most for the least amount of money, regardless of quality” mentality pushed by Costco, Sam’s Club, and the like. For a paradigm shift, it’s good to consider Michael Pollan’s advice to “pay more and eat less” – that is, pay more for quality food such as pastured meats and eat less of it, filling in the calorie gap with more vegetarian meals per week.

News to be cheerful about: “Bringing Fresh Produce to the Corner Store.”

A new documentary to watch: Food Beware.

And finally, another trip back to an oldie but goodie which sums up exactly how I feel about cooking from scratch at home and, even more, explains why I detest the Food Network-type shows: “Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch.”

“[A]s a chef friend put it when I asked him if he thought I could learn anything about cooking by watching the Food Network, ‘How much do you learn about playing basketball by watching the N.B.A.?'”


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