News & Views

What Kids Eat in School Cafeterias (WARNING: Don't read if you don't want to pack their lunches every day)

Two articles that I’ve read recently have convinced me to never again let my children eat a school lunch.

The first, published in October by the New York Times, chronicles the flawed U.S. meat inspection process, and how an E.coli-infected hamburger permanently disabled Minnesota resident Stephanie Smith.

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Grass-Fed: Something to Chew On

Conscientious omnivores of the Michael Pollan variety champion grass-fed beef. It is claimed to be better for the cattle themselves than grain-finishing, since they eat what their rumens are evolved to digest (grass and legumes) instead of what fattens them quickest. Plus, they get to graze open pasture instead of being confined to a feedlot for the final four to six months of their lives. Grass-fed enthusiasts also claim it’s better for people because grass-fed meat is leaner and has a higher proportion of omega-3 fats than grain-finished meat. Some even argue that it’s better for the environment, since you don’t have huge piles of feedlot manure to manage; the cattle deposit their manure on grass, as they naturally would, and it ultimately nourishes the soil.

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What's Your Sign? And Would You Use It to Choose Your Food?

Six months after a major milestone birthday, I approach the new year, the new decade, and the second half of my life with one question: Where do I want to be ten years from now, and what do I need to do – day by day – to get there? This past week, I spent a full day pondering the height, depth, and weight of this question. I sketched timelines, drew charts, made lists and commited a 120-month plan to writing. And then, just to make sure I didn’t overlook anything, I checked my horoscope.

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Smart Ways to Pick Your Fish

Fish is good for you! It’s low in saturated fat, good for your heart, and tastes great. It’s true that large ocean predators are high in mercury and chemicals from plastics. But the benefits of fish are bigger than the risks, according to studies. So we should eat it, right?

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Looking Back and Looking Ahead: Our 2009 Simple, Good, and Tasty Recap and 2010 Resolutions

What a year it's been! Between our first post - proudly proclaiming that we joined a CSA - and our recent letter to Santa Claus, we've grown gardens, pickled dilly beans, and made lifelong friends. Here are just a few highlights from 2009:

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Does Local Food "Enhance Community Cohesion?" Food Writer and Devil's Advocate James McWilliams Says No

 Food writer, fellow, professor, blogger, and locagrarian contrarianJames McWilliams:
Food writer, fellow, professor, blogger, and locagrarian contrarian
Community. It’s a name for the place where we live, but also for the social connections that we live among. In yesterday's post, it was a word used by two people on two occasions to describe the benefits of opening a new food co-op in the Orono/Long Lake area, and a new farmers market in Edina.

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All I Want for Christmas: This Year's Letter to Santa Claus

Dear Santa:

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Homegrown for the Holidays

Susan Berkson, going Homegrown for the HolidaysSusan Berkson, going Homegrown for the HolidaysWe go home for the holidays. Why not go homegrown?

I spent Thanksgiving in Tyler, Texas, where I feasted on Tyler's own Greenberg smoked turkey and Scenic Waters Wild Rice I brought from Minnesota.

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The Best Fish for the Environment? Frozen

The other day, as I was contemplating the offerings at Lakewinds' seafood case, one of the gentlemen working there told me to consider the frozen wild salmon.

It's actually better than fresh, he said, because it's flash frozen as soon as it's caught and then vacuum-sealed to preserve the flavor -- even before it begins its journey to restaurants and stores.

I took his advice because he has steered me right in the past with other seafood purchases I've made there, such as buying, stuffing, and grilling the delicious -- and almost local -- Wisconsin trout.

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Bill Marler: Taking on E.coli, BigAg, Raw Milk, Conspiracy Theorists, and the USDA - Continued

Bill Marler in his Seattle law office.Safe-food advocate and attorney,
Bill Marler, in his Seattle law office.
                       


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