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Category Archives: Food and Nutrition

How Enslaved Chefs Helped Shape American Cuisine

Smithsonian – Black cooks created the feasts that gave the South its reputation for hospitality

“…Black cooks were bound to the fire, 24 hours a day. They lived in the kitchen, sleeping upstairs above the hearth during the winters, and outside come summertime. Up every day before dawn, they baked bread for the mornings, cooked soups for the afternoons, and created divine feasts for the evenings. They roasted meats, made jellies, cooked puddings, and crafted desserts, preparing several meals a day for the white family. They also had to feed every free person who passed through the plantation. If a traveler showed up, day or night, bells would ring for the enslaved cook to prepare food. For a guest, this must have been delightful: biscuits, ham, and some brandy, all made on site, ready to eat at 2:30 a.m. or whenever you pleased. For the cooks, it must have been a different kind of experience. Enslaved cooks were always under the direct gaze of white Virginians. Private moments were rare, as was rest. But cooks wielded great power: As part of the “front stage” of plantation culture, they carried the reputations of their enslavers—and of Virginia—on their shoulders. Guests wrote gushing missives about the meals in they ate while visiting these homes. While the missus may have helped design the menu, or provided some recipes, it was the enslaved cooks who created the meals that made Virginia, and eventually the South, known for its culinary fare and hospitable nature…”

Meet the brave men and women standing up for their land and our environment in the face of violence and threats

Global Witness: “The food on our plates, the rings on our fingers and the wooden furniture in our homes: all too often there is a violent reality behind household items we use everyday. As agribusiness booms, tropical forests are logged and mining continues to deliver huge revenue to major global corporations, there are increasingly brutal attacks on land… Continue Reading

SNAP benefits add up to $1.86 per person, per meal. Here’s what that looks like.

“CityLab Editor’s note: Earlier this month, the White House surprised many observers by declaring a successful end to the War on Poverty. Now, the future of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is in the hands of Congress as it negotiates a farm bill. So CityLab visual storyteller Ariel Aberg-Riger is taking a closer look… Continue Reading

Innovative grocery stores in Canada and Europe provide package free shopping

The New York Times – The Freshest Ideas Are in Small Grocery Stores – “As big supermarkets struggle, a new crop of local groceries are innovating to serve niche audiences and advance social causes…But some of the most radical reinvention is happening at the local level, in both cities and small towns, where a new… Continue Reading

New gov’t data continues to question safety of most US supermarket meat

“This week EWG crunched federal testing data from the Food and Drug Administration, and found that more than three-fourths of American supermarket meat is tainted with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or superbugs. The report was a follow up to a 2013 EWG report, but not much has changed in the past five years. EWG also released a… Continue Reading

UN Food and Agriculture Organization launches Open Access for all publications

“As of [June 18, 2018], FAO will implement an Open Access policy, enabling maximal reach and ease of use for FAO knowledge products. FAO has been disseminating knowledge since its foundation in 1945, and its publications have been freely accessible in the FAO online Document Repository since 1998. The new Open Access policy goes a… Continue Reading

Libraries are Bridging the Summer Gap for Hungry Kids

Civil Eats – Lunch at the Library programs support kids from food-insecure households and underscore the evolving roles of libraries. “School districts across the U.S. are beginning to close their doors for summer vacation, giving students a respite from classes and exams. But for millions of young people from food-insecure households, there’s less to celebrate—because… Continue Reading

UN representative reports on extreme poverty and human rights on his mission to US

Via Common Dreams: “The United Nations has released a scathing report on poverty and inequality in the United States. The findings, which will be presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council on June 21, follow an official visit to the United States by Philip Alston, the U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights,… Continue Reading

The Oldest Cookbooks From Libraries Around the World

Atlas Obscura: “For as long as libraries have been repositories of wisdom and knowledge, there has been a place on the shelf for cookbooks. In fact, many early cookbooks were more than just recipe collections—instructions for concocting medicine often jostled with dinner ideas for page space. Atlas Obscura has previously displayed ancient recipe collections, such… Continue Reading

How Amazon Is Using Whole Foods in a Bid for Total Retail Domination

Just a note before the story – if you live in MD, DC, VA, PA – go to MOM’s Organic Market– shop there – I have no affiliation whatsoever with this store – but started buying my food (all organic) from the founder when he launched his business in 1987 – and do so to… Continue Reading

Dept. of Agriculture 2016 Pesticide Data on organic food reported inaccurately

Washington Post/ Tamar Haspel: “The Agriculture Department recently released the latest measurements of pesticide residues in our food, in the form of the 2016 Pesticide Data Program results, so it seems timely to talk pesticides and organics. And bias. I’ve been following these issues for a long time, and I’ve seen a lot of evidence… Continue Reading

Study – Almost half of US families can’t afford basics like rent and food

CNN Money – The economy may be chugging along, but many Americans are still struggling to afford a basic middle class life. “Nearly 51 million households don’t earn enough to afford a monthly budget that includes housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and a cell phone, according to a study released Thursday by the… Continue Reading