Friday Faves No. 188

favorite finds from the front lines of food

 

"Live your life as if everything you were going to do could be put on a cake." - Kat Thek, Troll Bakery & Detective Agency

No, it's not a light summer read, the Troll Bakery & Detective Agency really exists.  Baker/Detective Kat Thek makes internet trolls eat their words literally by turning posts into actual cakes and sending it to the troll in question through the mail.  Kat has a great little piece of advice on her site: "See something? Cake something." (Cnn Money - video-, NPR, Troll Cakes)

CHEERS! Well at least I think that is the saying du jour chez Clooney.  George and his partners just sold their boutique tequila brand Casamigos to Diageo for beaucoup de dinero.  Word of caution-  enough of this tequila and you start mixing up words and languages.  (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

Big news this past week about the possible Amazon-Whole Foods acquisition, but those in the supermarket industry are now asking all sorts of questions and taking a hard look at their business model. One thing we are looking at is how Gen Z will react. Will they purchase groceries online? (Supermarket News)

Here is a good news story from Morro Bay.  We have been aware of this effort since the beginning but it is great to see some national coverage. These fishermen are working together and that is encouraging. (Marketplace)

 

 

 

Friday Faves No. 187

favorite finds from the front lines of food

Its been a very busy spring and this just shows how busy we are feeling lately! 


Happy Mother's Day weekend folks!  Find you mom, a friend's mom or just a girlfriend and head out for brunch and/or cocktails! Seriously...it will be better than this Mother's Day gift from the Colonel.  That's right, KFC has done it again. We have seen and documented the "Extra Crispy Sunscreen", the fried chicken room candle and now its the publication of "Tender Wings of Desire", a Colonel Sanders romance novel. Just in case you thought we were joking....here is what the cover looks like. (AdWeek



We knew it! Cheese is not bad for you and we have the science to prove it! 

The findings, from an international team of experts, contradict the view that dairy products can be harmful because of their high saturated fat content. The experts dismiss that fear as “a misconception [and] mistaken belief”. (Guardian)

So if a daily dose of cheese and exercises is the order of the day, one can always try their hand at Stilton Cheese rolling. That's right, cheese rolling. Every year, in May, people congregate in the village of Stilton to watch teams made up of 4 persons roll a whole stilton down the street. Each team member must "roll" the cheese during the course. You know what, just watch the video! (BBC)


Earlier this past April, the Aquarium of the Pacific came out with a short film about perspectives on the state of California Aquaculture. It features prominent scientists and experts on the topic of marine aquaculture in California and the U.S. In this film the experts discuss marine aquaculture’s role in the global food supply and as a conservation tool, the state of domestic marine aquaculture, and the future of marine aquaculture in the U.S. and California. Experts featured are:


And last but not least, don't become an avocado statistic! Stay safe out there folks. (Munchies)

 

 

Friday Faves No. 186

favorite finds from the front lines of food

Yup...it's an actual recipe folks! 

Bon Appétit Baby!



Congrats to all the 2017 James Beard Award winners! While we are sad that A Year In Port didn't make it to the win, it was an honor to be nominated.  In case you were wondering The Birth of Saké walked away with the win. (James Beard Foundation)

And just because I think more people should be watching documentaries about wine - here are the two trailers for your viewing enjoyment.


Film is a great way to communicate, it's almost like having a seat at the table...at least it gets the conversation started.  The good people over at Perennial Plate know this and make it their business to bring people together while bringing attention to issues that concern us all. Each short film will showcase a family originally from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America or the Middle East. 

Francisco and Lucia are Guatemalan refugees who came to Colorado in the 80s, through farming with their community and growing certain plants indigenous to Guatemala, they are able to hold on to a piece of their home.

British retailer Co-op has starting to sell only British bacon and has thrown down a real challenge to other UK retailers to do the same.  That means that their almost 5,000 outlets have removed Danish bacon and New Zealand lamb making them the first supermarket chain to sell fresh meat exclusively from the UK. The National Farmers Union is pretty excited about it as one can imagine. (Munchies & Farming UK


And here is an article of how San Francisco chefs are navigating the intersection of food and politics. (SF Chronicle)

Friday Faves No. 185

favorite find from the front lines of food

Well now Starbucks has gone and done it again. The new "available while supplies last" Unicorn Frappuccino is causing quite a stir.  The article in the Washington Post reports that it tastes like sour birthday cake and shame. Indeed, it only exists for Instagram.  (Washington Post)  BuzzFeed has gone so far as to list the ingredients for the elusive concoction and guess what, it contains the most magical ingredient of all- SUGAR! Check out these pix! (BuzzFeed


While Unicorns may or may not be a real problem, we do know that the fantastical lionfish is causing havoc in the Caribbean.  Just this past week there was an amazing "Eat Lionfish Chefs Throwdown" in the Bahamas.  Our friend and godfather of sustainability, Rick Moonen, MCed the chef competition and it looks like it was a lot of fun.  (Bernews)


Desperate times mean desperate measures.  Failing malls are turning to the foodie crowds and food trucks to draw customers to their parking lots. Now, there is no guarantee that customers will go inside....but it's worth a try. (Bloomberg)


And last but not least, we are proud to showcase one of our amazing clients, Scottish Seas. (Seafood Source)

 

 

 

 

Sing Along Snacks: Bad Day of Fishin'

We are done with winter and looking forward to a great season full of wild salmon and steelhead. This sing along snack is dedicated to all  you commercial and recreational fishing folk out there, with a special shot out to my expert mom up in the Columbia River Gorge!

'Cause a bad day of fishin' beats a good day of anything else!

Friday Faves No. 184

favorite finds from the front lines of food

 

Great work on these chocolate geodes! Impressive.

If you ever doubted the old saying "You are what you eat" look no further than this incredible story about how scientists are turning spinach leaves into beating human heart tissue. No kidding. This heart cells beat up to three weeks in this unusual environment. (Washington Post)

Here is the video!

This is not meant to be a political blog but food is big business and big politics. We just cannot afford to avoid what is happening so here is a quick round up of some of the latest items we need to keep on our radar screen: 

  • Will affordable produce be a thing of the past if we have no one to pick it? (Washington Post)
  • Despite evidence of being a health risk - the EPA decided not to ban the use of chlorpyrifos. (NPR)
  • Meals-on-Wheels subject to budget cut (Business Insider
  • Same goes for children's nutrition programs (Mother Jones)
  • Fisheries are getting harder to manage (Saving Seafood)
  • Your breakfast table might be more expensive in the near future as well - from the article:

    “General Mills imports most of the oats used in most of our products, like Cheerios,” CEO Ken Powell said during a panel discussion Thursday morning. “They come from Canada because [oats are] a northern crop. Geographies have natural advantages when it comes to producing certain things. So we bring oats in from Canada, we make a bunch of Cheerios in Cedar Rapids Iowa, and then a large portion of it gets exported back to Canada,” he explained. 

    “We bring cocoa in from Ghana and the Ivory Coast, vanilla from Madagascar. These are the only places you can get these things,” he continued. “We have to be careful that we’re not tariffing these kinds of import/export [relationships]. All it will do is result in higher costs on basic needs for American consumers.”

    (Forbes)

Friday Faves No. 183

favorite finds from the front lines of food

March 22, 2017 - World Water Day

The NGO WaterAid published their report called Wild Water: The State of the World's Water 2017 and the findings are not great.  "Across the world 663 million people still do not have access to water and the vast majority of them - over half a billion- live in rural areas."  That's right folks. It's time we all step up and do what we can to ensure access to potable water around the globe. (Guardian & WaterAid)

They are not the first but they are the biggest! Escondido, California-based Stone Brewing has stepped up to brew delicious beer out of waste water.  The epic California drought has challenged them to rethink how they use water and explore more ways to be responsible brewers. Want to know the name? Full Circle Pale Ale. After all it is a well known fact that we never own beer we just rent it.  (Grub Street)

The Economist reports that this year the sales of bottled water outpaced sales of soft drinks in America. It turns our that the bottled water market worth $147bn and has been growing 9% annually in recent years. Premium water is not new and it seems like everyone is in the game, but this is downright ridiculous.....You can now but Svalbardi, harvested from Norwegian icebergs that are up to 4,000 years-old for $99 a bottle.  It looks like an expensive vodka but actually gives new meaning to water of life. (Economist)

Farmers in California have had one of the wettest winters on record but that doesn't mean they will be getting 100% of their water allotment.  This coming year these farmers up and down the San Joaquin Valley will get two-thirds of their water allotment from the federal government, 65% to be accurate.  (Sacramento Bee)

And finally - In honor of World Water Day, Waves for Water and Red Bull have released an hour-long documentary recounting Jon Rose's story of how he is becoming the "new face" of social entrepreneurship. This is a great story of how this former professional surfer has been able to provide clean water to over 7 million people around the globe. (GrindTV

Watch it here on Red Bull TV

 

 

Friday Faves N. 182

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Special Celebration Edition

I have never heard such an eloquent celebration of the humble cucumber! Thank you, thank you, thank you Macka B for such fine words and delicious respect. 


Next up - a huge congratulations to A Year In Port on the recent James Beard Foundation nomination for the Best Food and Wine Film of 2017.  The other films nominated are The Birth of Sake and The Coffee Man. We are very proud to have been part of the InCA team for all of the Year In...films and have our fingers crossed! 

A Year In Burgundy (on iTunes, Netflix, Amazon & more)

A Year In Champagne (on iTunes, Amazon & more)

A Year In Port (on iTunes)


March 21st we celebrate Persian New Year and the coming of Spring. Time for new beginnings, friendship and a most delicious meal. Thank you to Samin Nosrat for such a fine collection of words in the NY Times: The Verdant Food of Iran Entices at Persian New Year.  (NYTimes)


And finally a personal celebration about a career milestone. This Coming Sunday I will be moderating a panel of chefs at the Seafood Expo North America keynote session.  It is called Delicious & Profitable: Chefs Discuss the Business of Seafood.  I am thrilled to be joined on stage with chefs Rick Moonen, Jeff Black, Ned Bell and Richard Garcia. 

Sing Along Snacks: Fish Stew

In honor of the Seafood Expo North America show taking place from March 19 to 21st in Boston, we have a special snack from one of our favorite chefs- the one and only Jamie Oliver.  It's not like our other snacks in that it is part music video and part recipe video.....and while it is fun and cute, Jamie, don't give up your day job!

Instead of lyrics, here are the ingredients:

Jamie Oliver's Fish Stew

  • 2 cloves garlic , peeled
  • 1 small pinch saffron , optional
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 250 ml low-fat mayonnaise , made with free-range eggs
  • lemon juice
  • 12 mussels , from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger
  • 20 clams , from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger
  • olive oil
  • 1 small wineglass white wine
  • 400 g good-quality tinned plum tomatoes
  • 2 small fillets of sea bass or bream , from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger, cut in half
  • 2 small fillets of red mullet or snapper , from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger, cut in half
  • 2 small fillets of monkfish or other firm white fish , from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger
  • 4 langoustines or tiger prawns , from sustainable sources, ask your fishmonger, shell on
  • 2 thick slices crusty bread
  • 1 small handful fennel tops
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil , leaves picked and stalks chopped

Friday Faves No. 181

Our favorite finds from the front lines of food.

What would it take for hipsters to embrace junk food? Would it be as simple as a repackaging exercise? From Nerds to Slim Jims, artist Dan Meth reimagines some of America's favorites. (Bored Panda

In keeping wth the American food theme, the good, the bad, and the popular, social media platform Pinterest gives valuable insights into what people across the country are planning to cook. Food is the largest category on Pinterest, clocking in with over 15 billion pins. And, over the past year there has been a 24% increase of "Pinners" who engage with food. Check out this amazing geographic breakdown of the most popular foods on Pinterest across the country.  From survival bread in Alaska to banana pudding in North Carolina, it's all at your finger tips.(Buisness.Pinterest)

Visionary chef Dan Barber is taking on food waste with a laudable "everything old is new again" approach. (Guardian) 

There is a beef over the definition of "milk".  This question is coming up for debate in congress thanks to the Dairy Pride Act.  If passed, non-dairy "milk" producers would no longer be able to call their dairy alternative soy, almond, flax, cashew, etc. products "milk".   And, yes, this was presented by a senator and representative from Wisconsin and Vermont respectively. (Business Insider)

What is Paella? That's not just a flip question, its incredibly serious and a very difficult question. Enjoy this amazing story about the creation of wikipaella, an effort for paella lovers and chefs to actually define what paella is. It is a "way for a community of rice lovers to preserve a fundamental component of their culinary heritage." (Guardian)

 

Friday Faves No. 180

Our favorite finds from the front lines of food.

 

This summer will mark the 10th anniversary of one of the best (not just food) ads of all time. Created by director Juan Cabral, the 2007 idea was not popular but he ultimately prevailed.  "A brand needs to go to the heart and not to the brain. Gorilla is - in those 90 seconds- trying to take you somewhere".   How are you going to celebrate this landmark anniversary? (Guardian)

Algae here, algae there,  algae everywhere.....no it's not the latest Dr. Seuss crazy, its what's in your food!  It's already in baking mixes, cookies, milk, non-dairy creamer, vegan eggs, salad dressings, ice cream, smoothies and so on. Are you ready for the algae revolution? (Fast Company)

We heard a lot of support last week across social media channels for "A Day Without immigrants".  One of our absolute fave chefs, Jose Andres,  stepped up to close his restaurants to make this very important point.  But it was not just the top chefs or the mom & pop shops.  CNBC reported that some McDonald's closed for the day in support as well.  (Washington City Paper, CNBC)

What is your favorite ice cream?  Coppa, a retailer in Juneau, Alaska, has their answer - Candied Salmon Ice Cream. Yup....they walked away with the Symphony of Seafood top prize this last week. Other winners included a pool and spa clarifier, a leather clutch,  coho salmon bottarga, salmon chowder, salmon bites (for babies) and Orca Bay's albondigas and jjamppong soups.  What a list!  (SeafoodSource)

It looks like Mexico's sugar tax is starting to have an effect on consumption but the jury is still out on how much impact it might have on obesity. (Guardian

Friday Faves No. 179

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Appetite For Change is a North Minneapolis nonprofit organization that uses food as a tool to build health, wealth and social change. "Grow Food" is the culminating project of Appetite For Change's Summer 2016 Youth Employment & Training Program.

I guess that the tag line of "favorite finds from the front lines of food" could be a bit misleading. Sometimes there are important finds that are not really "favorite" finds. This is one of those cases - it's time we discuss the state of kids here in the USA going hungry. 

This past week the Washington Post ran an article discussing the record breaking numbers of kids benefiting from the school breakfast program that is ultimately in the crosshairs of some conservatives in Congress. (Washington Post) 

Since this is such an important topic, I want to expand on it a bit more. The blog named The Lunch Tray has done a great job outlining the issues surrounding kids who rely on school nutrition programs. and what may happen to those programs under the new administration. Its a good read that anyone in the food business int he US should take a look at. (The Lunch Tray)

And for those out there who want to do something about this, the website We Are Teachers have outlines how to leverage social media to fight against childhood hunger.  remember all of us who work in food know that kids learn better, behave better and are healthier when they have a good breakfast. This is not rocket science, nor is it new information. (We Are Teachers) And major shout out and thanks to Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation & No Kid Hungry / Share our Strength


In other news...

More unintended consequences from recent voting....Looks like the UK fishermen won't be getting their waters back anytime soon. (Guardian)

Sing Along Snacks: Beer

It's SF Beer week y'all! Time to celebrate with one of my favorite groups - People Under The Stairs.  Now, I know they are LA-based....but NorCal represents never the less. 

 

Now who wants a 40? (We want a 40!)

Who wants a quart? (We want a quart!)

You want a 32? (No!) 

You want a whole keg? (Yeah!)

Sing Along Snacks: Grow Food

It's never too early or too late for a snack, so crank up that volume on your computer.

Major props to the kids at Appetite For Change! They deserve as much green as they can get. 

Appetite For Change is a North Minneapolis nonprofit organization that uses food as a tool to build health, wealth and social change.

"Grow Food" is the culminating project of Appetite For Change's Summer 2016 Youth Employment & Training Program. Urban Youth wanted to share their message - the importance of actively choosing healthy foods - with their peers in a fun, accessible music format. At AFC, we believe that youth are the truth. We hope this song will inspire you to explore new ways to eat, cook and grow food. 
 


#GrowFood is NOW AVAILABLE on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/gro...

Directed By Chancellor Tha Beast in collaboration with Beats & Rhymes.

Learn more about Appetite For Change at: http://appetiteforchangemn.org

Friday Faves No.178

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Trials of plastic-free laser labels have begun with sweet potatoes and avocados. Photograph: ICA/Nature & More (Guardian)

Trials of plastic-free laser labels have begun with sweet potatoes and avocados. Photograph: ICA/Nature & More (Guardian)

Swedish supermarkets are now trying the replace those little plastic produce stickers with laser marking.  “By using natural branding on all the organic avocados we would sell in one year we will save 200km (135 miles) of plastic 30cm wide. It's small but I think it adds up," says Peter Hagg, ICA business unit manager (Guardian) 

Yes this is a bit grim....but its a good and necessary read.  A couple of gems from the article: Ans now opening a sit-down restaurant is like walking into one of those machines in roller rinks where you have 30 seconds to grab as much money as you can, except all the money is fake, minus the one lottery ticket taped to the bottom of one of those dollars. (Thrillist)

Love this story about this urban farming project taking over the top of the Israel's oldest mall in Tel Aviv.  They are using hydroponic systems to produce 10,000 heads of leafy greens a month, no dirt required! Besides the grow out area they have bird habitats, a tree nursery, a rooftop apart and a bat cave for native fruit bats to call home. (inhabitat)

Let them eat cake....here is a look into the impending inauguration menu. (CNN)

 

Sing Along Snacks: Peanut Butter Conspiracy

It's never too early or too late for a snack, so crank up that volume on your computer.

For all of those who think we might be revisiting those "hard luck days" in the near future...

Who's gonna steal the peanut butter
I'll get the can of sardines
Runnin' up and down the aisle of the mini mart
Stickin' food in our jeans
We never took more than we could eat
There was plenty left on the rack
We all swore if we ever got rich
We would pay the mini mart back
Yes sir! yes sir!
We would pay the mini mart back