Tag Archives: politics of the plate

How to lose weight and keep it off

In honour of Mother’s day, we’re looking at a theme that will be of more than passing interest to many mothers out there:

From Barry Estabrook, on his Politics of the Plate blog:

Photo of the “Culinary Intelligence” book jacket via Politics of the Plate blog.

“In the mid-1990s, Peter Kaminsky, a self-proclaimed hedonist, landed the perfect gig. As the writer behind New York magazine’s “Underground Gourmet” column, he was paid to patrol the outer reaches of the boroughs in search of the tastiest ethnic fare.

When he wasn’t sampling Vietnamese, Korean, Greek, Cuban, or West Indian cuisine, his duty was to discover little-known, up-and-coming restaurants. And as the magazine’s go-to food writer, Kaminsky was also called upon whenever the likes of Daniel Boulud, Alain Ducasse, or Thomas Keller opened a new bastion of four-star-fare. Some of New York’s greatest chefs hired him as a co-writer (and taster-in-chief) for their cookbooks. Continue reading


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CDC refuses to name restaurant chain blamed for poisoning 60 customers

From Barry Estabrook on Politics of the Plate:

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) handling of a recent investigation into a salmonella outbreak that sickened 68 people in 10 states—sending more than 20 to the hospital—had all the elements of a B-grade spy movie. The CDC identified the source of the contaminated food, but refused to make the name public, instead calling it Restaurant Chain A, and saying only that it was a Mexican chain. It could have been any one of six such chains that operated in the affected states.

That seemed like odd behavior from an agency whose responsibility is to save lives, protect Americans, and save money through prevention. Although no one died in this outbreak, which came to light last fall, salmonella is frequently fatal, so outing the culprit could have saved lives. Revealing the identity of the mysterious Restaurant Chain A would have allowed customers to protect themselves by avoiding the place, if they chose. And a little negative publicity might have been just what was needed to convince those in charge of the company to clean up their act, perhaps preventing future outbreaks. Continue reading

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Top six food blogs — The Bovine’s pick

Like the choices in the post linked to below, these selections are bound to be biased by what we look for in a blog. Sorry if we’ve overlooked your blog through our narrowsightedness. Obviously a list of six favourite blogs is not going to be anywhere near exhaustive of all the great food blogs out there. See our blogroll for all the blogs we consider worth including. Readers are invited to add their own suggestions of favourite food blogs in the comments:

1. The Complete Patient — No one covers the raw milk food politics beat as thoroughly as David E. Gumpert. Original material, first rate journalism, and insight born of persistence and hard won familiarity with the game, and the players, in raw milk and food rights, in North America.


2. Hella Delicious Food —  provides great coverage of the British Columbia raw milk scene as well as other enlightening food related stories. The author has lived in a lot of places and has the perspective to show for it. She brings a lot of spiritual and cultural insight into her writing. Hella’s blog also gets top marks for graphic design and interactive functionality. Continue reading


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New labour rights for farm workers

From Barry Estabrook, via his “Politics of the Plate” blog:

Photo via Barry Estabrook's blog. Original title: "Picky, picky".

“Last week, I attended tomato school.

Sitting in a room at a packing plant near Immokalee in southwest Florida with about 50 migrant laborers, I learned that I had a right to earn a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, could take regular breaks in a shady area provided by the farm—including a lunch break. I was told exactly what constituted a full bucket of tomatoes when I was working on a “piece,” or per-bucket basis. Continue reading

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Organic group takes pre-emptive court action against Monsanto patent claims

Barry Estabrook, from Politics of the Plate blog:

“Tearing a page out of Monsanto Co.’s own playbook, the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT), an advocacy group whose mandate is to represent the public’s interest in the patent system, filed suit on behalf of 60 organic farmers, small farm organizations, and seed businesses this week against the litigious agrichemical and GMO-seed giant.

In a press release, PUBPAT said, “The organic plaintiffs were forced to sue preemptively to protect themselves from being accused of patent infringement should their crops ever become contaminated by Monsanto’s genetically modified seed.” PUBPAT is asking the federal court in Manhattan to declare that if organic farmers’ crops are ever contaminated by Monsanto’s GMO seed, they need not fear also being accused of patent infringement. Continue reading


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Artisan raw milk cheese safe for now from FDA meddling with 60-day rule

From Barry Estabrook at Politics of the Plate.com

“Earlier this year, cheese lovers who view raw milk as a sacred cow, feared that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) planned to sharply limit or even ban the manufacture and sale of raw milk cheese. It would have been a loss not only for connoisseurs, but for anyone who cares about rural economies and sustainable food systems. Artisan cheese is a big part of the solution. Fortunately, it appears that the fears were exaggerated.

The role played  by artisan cheese making in rural renewal was driven home to me recently when I chatted with Angela Miller, a New York literary agent who, with her architect husband Russel Glover, bought Consider Bardwell Farm in 2000. Although it has prospered as Vermont’s first dairy cooperative in the mid 1800s, the farm had suffered the fate of many once-prosperous New England dairies. For a decade prior to Miller’s purchase, it had been defunct, its barns and outbuildings sitting empty, its fields ungrazed. There was talk of converting the land into a military training ground. Continue reading


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