the Stanford Study

The (in)famous Stanford study that showed organic foods are no healthier than conventionally grown foods made me ashamed of my mother’s alma mater big time. Why?

1) Processed food mega-giant corporation Cargill was major funder

2) “More nutritious” was classifed as only “more vitamins” and as Mark Bittman takes the next logical step, “By which standard you can claim that, based on nutrients, Frosted Flakes are a better choice than an apple.”

3) Discussion of pesticides and antibiotics was incomplete – it’s not just what organic foods HAVE, it’s also what they DON’T HAVE

Mark Bittman sums it up nicely on his blog here: That Flawed Stanford Study.

Advertisements

Conflict Kitchen

Conflict Kitchen Iran Pittsburg

Located in downtown Pittsburg, “Conflict Kitchen is a take-out restaurant that only serves cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict.”  Conflict Kitchen is an intriging way to introduce people to a country beyond brief news clips of war and terror. They also host dinner parties via Skype where Pittsburgians eat with young professionals from “conflict countries” like Iran, Iraq or Venezuela. The packaging of the food features interviews of people from conflict-countries, giving diners a first-person narritive of life in those locals.

“Conflict Kitchen reformats the preexisting social relations of food and economic exchange to engage the general public in discussions about countries, cultures, and people that they might know little about outside of the polarizing rhetoric of U.S. politics and the narrow lens of media headlines.”

And from the the looks of it, the food’s pretty tasty too!

More at http://www.conflictkitchen.org/

Menu for the Future

I just concluded a great discussion group in Reston based on the Northwest Earth Institute collection titled, “Menu for the Future,” that explores the connections between food and sustainability. The book features a collection of essays, excerpts, poems and other readings that got us thinking and talking about all things food. It was a fantastic group and to keep the discussion going we’ve started a blog Menu for the Future where we can post our thoughts on how food systems impact various aspects of our lives and how we can form a more just and holistic system here in the US in generally and on a more local level here in Reston.

Hope you’ll check it out! And I highly recommend the Northwest Earth Institute discussion books – I’m planning on participating in another one this summer.

 

Snowdrops

Snowdrops by Malcolm R Bell
Snowdrops, a photo by Malcolm R Bell on Flickr.

Spring is on its way! I’ve spied dozens of snowdrops, a few daffodils, some precious purple crocuses and seen buds bursting from the branches of flowering trees.

But while it’s still a bit chilly out, try this recipe from our friend Jean. Another kid-classic turned slightly sophisticated.

Grilled Taleggio Sandwiches with Roasted Grapes

Wash and pat dry red or green grapes, removing stems. Line grapes on baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Add a dusting of fresh pepper and sea salt and put in oven for about 10 minutes at 450 F. Grapes should loose some plumpness, but not be shriveled. The flavor intensifies, turning the grapes into little juicy packages of sweetness with a tangy twist.

Meanwhile, grill buttered country bread sandwiched with generous slices of ultra-creamy Taleggio cheese on skillet. Taleggio is a cheese made for melting!

Personally, I halved my grapes and snuck them into my sandwich, but even if you opt to keep a little distance between them, they should be eaten together!

Enjoy with a Malbec or Pinot Blanc.

Happy Valentine’s!

We were too tired to do a big romantic dinner so we had a slightly spiffed up version of PB & J for dinner – Ekekiel 4:9 cinnamon raisin bread grilled lightly, with warm and gooey almond butter and strawberry preserves, washed down with Port City beer (some Tidings left over from the last holiday). Comfort kid food, but now were old enough to eat the crusts! And for dessert… my new fave – s’mores cooked over the gas burner of our stove (hopefully that method of cooking isn’t carcinogenic or anything)! I can’t seem to eat s’mores without covering my face in chocolate! Thankfully this is our 7th Valentine’s Day together so we’re not embarrassed by chocolate goatees.

bearskin rug

Saw this today on NPR about designer Brock Davis. Love it.

by Brock Davis

I can’t say it’s the first gummy bear art I’ve seen, though. A few years back, I remember Dan carefully bitting and then assembling 3 gummy bears (one green, one white, one red) to create a Italian gummy bear. We actually had it on the dashboard of our car for a while. Ha ha.

And for all you hip barista babes:

coffee cup jacket literal

by Brock Davis

A jacket for your java… Happy Friday!

the best banana bread (it’s vegan too!)

I know I talk about food a lot but don’t often give recipes. Well, this is a recipe I make constantly and it’s always moist and tasty! I like to add chunks of apple and chocolate chips to the mix!

Lower-Fat Banana Bread from Veganomicon via The Baking Bird

Makes one loaf

  • 2 large or 3 small very ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas really well. Add the sugar, applesauce, oil, and molasses, and whisk briskly to incorporate. Sift in the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Use a wooden spoon to mix until the wet and dry ingredients are just combined. If you’re using chocolate chips or nuts, fold them in here. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes. The top should be lightly browned and a knife inserted through the center should come out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool! (More info from Kylie here).

Let me know if you like it! I do a fair bit of vegan baking and have made awesome vegan breads, cakes and brownies…. but yet to have found a vegan cookie recipe that compares to those with butter & eggs. Any suggestions?