Tag Archives: food

Life and death (and soup) in the city

Originally published by New American Homesteader in 2015. Under a bright December sky we gathered to kill the St. Elizabeth House chickens. My friends who built the coop and tended the chickens had moved to Georgia for a new job, … Continue reading

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Meat and mystery

Another day, another tale of mystery meat. Nestle voluntarily recalled two of its Hot Pocket products as part of a larger meat recall…. These products may have been affected by a recall by Rancho Feeding Corp. last week of 8.7 … Continue reading

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Fat(e), free will, and forgiveness

A hundred-odd years ago, gluttony was a sin, but fat men could be seen merely as successful. We seem to have reversed the calculus. Some of the new research on possible causes of obesity is fascinating. New theories emerge continually, … Continue reading

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The hen in winter

Thoughts on the discovery of, and commentary on, the oldest known medieval cookbook: There really was no distinction between food and medicine in the thirteenth century, or for several centuries thereafter; every food was thought to have properties that affected health. So even the recipe for “hen in winter,” which a researcher says is just a seasonal formula relying on herbs available in cold weather, looks to me like a preventative for colds and flu: “Heat garlic, pepper and sage with water.” Continue reading

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A brief history of USDA nutritional advice

The USDA has made a big deal the last couple of years about its “healthy plate” model of good eating, which replaces the old food pyramid, which replaced the four food groups, which replaced… well… I thought a chart might help. Today’s post is a visual history of the USDA’s nutritional advice, showing how food groups and recommended servings have changed over the past century. Continue reading

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Abundance and want: A thought for St. Stephen’s Day

The beef has been roasted, the cookies devoured, the wine and the eggnog drunk. Bits of ribbon still litter the floor. But there are leftovers, glorious leftovers, and it’s nearly lunchtime on the east coast. Huzzah, indeed. In between shopping … Continue reading

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Hospitality at a fractured table

I want not to argue that hosts are obligated to accommodate every dietary preference as if it had been handed down by Moses or Krishna but to ask, instead, what are the mutual obligations of a host and guest, even—or especially—when a matter of principle is at stake. Continue reading

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Ignorance is fear: or, “it’s gross” is not an argument

(Cross-posted from Walbert’s Compendium.) A former “food industry insider” named Bruce Bradley has started a blog to tell the world about all the terrible things the food industry does. In his most recent post, he lists some of the disgusting … Continue reading

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Can we just eat, Mom?

Is anybody else getting tired of the constant drama about what we should and shouldn’t eat? Maybe it is because I have been thinking about this stuff for fifteen years and I am just tired of it, but it seems … Continue reading

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Standards and Stewards

In this 2003 essay I argue that the desire for standards, because it tends to produce standardization, is antithetical to stewardship, which must be based on an intimate knowledge of unique persons and places. No set of standards, therefore — such as the national organic standards — can serve as a substitute or even a stepping-stone to true stewardship, and may even make that ultimate goal more difficult to reach. Continue reading

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