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Alternative Uses for Food…for Better or Worse

ColumnFood Science Hall of Shame. Everyday whole foods can be both powerful medicine and handy around the house. But when industry gets its grip on ordinary foods and repurposes them into other substances, the results can be either clever or diabolical, depending on the purpose (and the marketing) behind them. […]

The 10 Biggest Issues with the Global Food System: Part 2 of 2

Last week we began a discussion on the biggest issues in the food system. We noted that the issues are all connected and go back to one big problem: The stranglehold that agribusiness has on our public discourse and our political system. Somehow our legislators and much of society have […]

Rise of the Superbugs

Imagine this: You’re having a normal day until you gradually notice a little sore throat and begin to feel a tad feverish. You assume you must have the flu. You go to bed and rest. The next day, you can barely breathe, and you rush to the hospital. Things go […]

The New and Improved USDA Supports Local, Sustainable Food

I never thought I’d become a Facebook fan of a government agency, but I’m now a fan of the USDA and am also following the agency’s Twitter. What’s going on here? For one thing, the USDA has done more to reinvent itself in the last two months than you can […]

The Green Plate: When the Sludge Hits the Fan

ColumnWhat, exactly, is in your city’s free “organic” compost? Have you ever wondered what happens to the food scraps and yard waste that your city picks up as compost? Where does it go? What becomes of all those avocado peels and geranium stalks? As more cities go green, they’re making […]

Seasonal Produce Superstars

ColumnLearn how to prepare okra, eggplant, tomatillos, jicama, and nopales. Are you in a corn, tomato, and basil rut? Read on to learn how to choose, use, and enjoy some of summer’s most overlooked stars.

It’s Unprocessed October: What’s in Your Cupboard?

Every month it seems that there’s a different blog-driven food challenge. This month, it’s Unprocessed October. Just like the challenge of defining local for September’s Eat Local Challenge, one of the challenges (besides restricting your diet) is defining unprocessed. Whole, single ingredient foods like fresh fruits and vegetables are obviously […]

Taco Bell Sells Fake Meat. So What? Everybody’s Doing It

Food companies are like greedy cocaine dealers – cutting food with cheaper ingredients to increase profits. This is nothing new, and it’s not just happening with meat. But first, about that beef with Taco Bell’s “beef.” Vegetable proteins are cheaper than meat and that’s why they are used as extenders […]

The Green Plate: Do We Care About the New USDA Dietary Guidelines?

Last week, the USDA released its Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. Published every five years, the guidelines are meant to reflect the most current scientific knowledge about nutrition and exercise, and to provide Americans with dietary tools to promote good health and prevent chronic disease. Since 2005, when the last […]

Can You Be an Environmentalist and Still Eat Meat?

This is not a new question or a new debate, but perhaps for the first time, two non-meat eaters took different sides in the argument during a recent debate at Berkeley’s Brower Center. The conversation between vegetarian-rancher Nicolette Hahn Niman and “Mad Cowboy” Howard Lyman focused on the ethics of […]

Test Tube Steak: It’s What’s for Dinner

I can’t quite begin to imagine what the laboratory flesh created by scientists last month might taste like, but petri pork may be hitting the breakfast table sooner than you know. Nobody knows what it tastes like because the scientists who created this delicacy are not actually allowed to eat […]

Unethical Food Traditions: Stick a Fork in It

ColumnFrom tuna to turtles, some cultural food traditions create such egregious ethical and environmental consequences, they can never be justified. When is a cultural tradition a legitimate reason to continue to consume something that’s environmentally problematic? When is it just a convenient excuse to keep eating whatever we want or […]

California Water Issues Divide Farmers, Fishers, and Urban Dwellers

If you’ve ever seen the movie Chinatown, in which private investigator Jake Gittes (played by Jack Nicholson) stumbles upon a gigantic water scandal in the course of investigating an adultery case in Los Angeles, then you know that California’s water issues go way back. Water is contentious here because we […]

The Green Plate: Down with Factory Chicken Flesh

What is it with people and their boneless, skinless chicken breasts? Especially the smug ones who think they are being so green and healthy by eating a low fat white meat? True, most chicken is lower in fat than beef or pork. But how nutritious, really, is our mass-produced, mass-market […]

California Water Issues Divide Farmers, Fishers, and Urban Dwellers

If you’ve ever seen the movie Chinatown, in which private investigator Jake Gittes (played by Jack Nicholson) stumbles upon a gigantic water scandal in the course of investigating an adultery case in Los Angeles, then you know that California’s water issues go way back. Water is contentious here because we […]

The 10 Biggest Issues With the Global Food System

If you ask food experts like Michael Pollan, Marian Nestle, Gary Nabhan, Vandana Shiva, and numerous other writers and scholars what the biggest problems in our global, industrialized food system are, you’ll end up with a lot to chew on. It’s difficult to separate the problems into discrete categories because […]

What's New

Slow Going at Slow Food (And That’s the Point)

A rift in slow food reveals big growing pains. The foodiverse was all atwitter over this article from Chow last week. A rift has been forming between two factions within Slow Food USA, a non-profit organization that promotes the pleasures of the table, artisanal food production methods, sustainable agriculture, and […]

Easy Tips for Using the Last of Summer’s Produce

Fun ways to ensure a waste-free harvest season. It’s a sad fact that nearly 50% of the food we grow goes to waste. Some of that is wasted in the fields, after harvest, and some in distribution. Out of the food that actually makes it to the store, we, as […]

Field to Flake: How Breakfast Cereal is Made

ColumnHow processed is it? While sleepily shaking your cereal flakes into a bowl, and absently pouring the milk over them, have you ever stopped to think, just before taking a big, slurpy bite, “How is this stuff made?” If you went ahead and took the time to find out, you’d […]

How to Eat: 14 Greatest Hits from The Green Plate

ColumnOur top columns on how to eat ethically. Whether you’re new to Ecosalon, or just beginning to navigate the choppy waters of ethical eating, you’ll find the following 14 links instructive in helping you eat (and live) both well and deliciously. 1. How to Cook Despite your best intentions, do […]

The Best Superfoods Are the Ones Growing in Your Garden

ColumnReaders tell us what they’re growing in their summer gardens. As a fun way to look at what’s in season across the country and in other parts of the world, we took this month’s Seasonal Superfoods on the road. We asked our readers via Facebook and Twitter what they’re growing, […]

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