Friday Faves No. 130

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

You think those little individual K-Cups of coffee are cute, do you? Sure, this little video is just a dramatization of what could happen. That's what you think now. But it's time to kill the K-Cup before the plastic wins. Don't say you weren't warned. (NPR)

New York’s Health Department Wants to Freeze All of Its Sushi An attack on authenticity? Good public heath sense? Other states already do it. (Munchies) 

Relax, people. You are the boss of your food. Stop being afraid of it. We’re "clean eating" our way to new eating disorders. Is orthorexia about to join the DSM?  (Salon) 

We see perfect produce. He sees pain and danger.  How the produce aisle looks to a migrant farmworker. (PRI/The World)

Bad for fish and bad for people: Meant to Keep Malaria Out, Mosquito Nets Are Used to Haul Fish In  (New York Times)

A Compound in Beer Might Save Your Brain from Degeneration "The beneficial compound is a flavonoid called xanthohumol, which is found in hops (and thus, in beer)." (Munchies)

If that inspired you to get your geek on, and throw around doozies like oxidation and red anthocyanin molecules, we've got you covered. Everything you ever wanted to know about cork, but were afraid to ask. A Chemist Explains Why Corks Matter When Storing Wine  (Wine Folly)

What does a fictional world taste like? Londoners will get a sample as a Game of Thrones pop-up restaurant offers a taste of Westeros. How about a sample of a dish called: “The Lies of Tyrion Lannister and his Proclaimed Innocence” which happens to be poached veal tongue with beetroot, horseradish and Oldtown Mustard”. (Guardian)

And if you think that sounds unappealing, how about beer made from treated waste water? A trial of home brewers and one commercial brewery in Oregon are giving it a go. "Clean Water Services spokesman Mark Jockers said his company is the top provider of recycled water in Oregon. Its high-purity water treatment system turns sewage into water that meets or exceeds all drinking water standards." Want a cricket burger to go with that? (NPR)

Will fish be the next up and coming fake meat? Sounds pretty good compared to "recycled" beer, right? (NPR)

Friday Faves No. 119

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Great things come in small packages with seafood too, especially at Tincan, a new London pop-up that serves only canned seafood(Guardian)

The Vocabulary of Food — reading menus through politics and pretensions, and a cool-sounding new book, “The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu” (New York Times)

Ever wonder what the Waldorf Astoria was serving for dinner in 1917? The New York Public Library has made available a digital archive of menus through the years.  So far: 1,302,722 dishes transcribed from 17,376 menus

If we could get rid of all that pesky running, this is a marathon we could really get into: The Marathon du Médoc: a full marathon with 23 wine stops, costumes, oysters, steak, and ice-cream. (Guardian) 

Ralph Lauren has gotten into the coffee business to spiff up your breakfast. And there's a snazzy vintage truck and copy right out of a perfume ad: “The smell of freshly brewed coffee evokes so many memories for me, mostly of time spent with friends and family; the people I love.” (Luxury Daily)

After 25 Years, Food Arts Magazine Folds Who will fill the gap? (Eater)

Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 55

 weekly round-up of our favorite finds from the front lines of food

  • New web service Feastly says it's aiming to be the Airbnb of the food world, creating alternatives to impersonal dining the way that the travel rental company has created an alternative market to generic hotels. "We want to be in every city in the world so wherever you're traveling, you can find a home-cooked meal," Danny Harris, co-founder of Feastly, tells The Salt.
  • One of our new favorite ingredients was highlighted in Tasting Table this week in a profile of Chef Joshua Skenes of Saison in San Francisco and his obsession with seaweed. Stay tuned for lots more on cooking with seaweed in our latest culinary project, New Gaelic Cuisine, a cookbook featuring the artists and ingredients of Scotland.

Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 26

a weekly round-up of our favorite finds from the front lines of food


  • The latest entry in the "pornification" of stuff that everybody likes: grilled cheese porn. It's a whole gallery you can view at work.
  • For a look into shifting climate, food and survival, watch the trailer for a new documentary film, People of a Feather: Life on thin ice, about the eider ducks of Nunavut. The Inuit rely on them for meat and their incredibly warm down, but like everything in the Arctic, it all depends on ice.
  • Farmer/thought leader Joel Salatin wrote a response to The Myth of Sustainable Meat OpEd run by the New York Times April 12 which had many of us scratching our heads wondering how in the world the author came up with fantastic "facts" like pastured chickens have a bigger impact on global warming. Aside form debunking some of the nonsense, Salatin continued: "If you want to demonize something, always pick the lowest performers. But if you compare the best the industry has to offer with the best the pasture-based systems have to offer, the factory farms don’t have a prayer."
  • Another topic that got a lot of chatter — dietary tribalism. "The back-and-forth mud-slinging between members of different "dietary tribes" troubles me most. I often imagine all the power that could be harnessed if we stopped and joined forces on some key issues: getting food dyes and trans fat out of our food supply, demanding that the presence of genetically modified organisms and artificial hormones be at the very least labeled on food items, reducing the presence of nutritionally empty foods in schools, facilitating access to healthy foods in "food deserts," constructing a healthier food system (from farmworker to field to table)."

The New Gastroconomy: how technology is making a vibrant, inclusive urban food culture

Gastronomy is the study of food and culture.  The ethic should be universal, but the world of gastronomy has too often been elitist, stuffy. Now technology (from production systems to social media) is creating a new gastroconomy, breaking down barriers to bring the culture of food to the people.

New systems that are far less capital intensive are making it possible for the freshest ideas to emerge — and for people to build community around them.

The movement is cooperative, participatory, fast-paced and centered around connection — connecting people to each other and connecting people to their food.

Breaking the Barriers to market entry

Gathering around the table to share ideas has been an essential, organizing principle for creative exchange from the ancient world to the modern coffeehouse.  But for those with a culinary vision, finding the economic means to express their art has proven difficult. Now a young chef who doesn’t have access to the necessary funding to open a brick and mortar restaurant has options. He or she can start a pop-up restaurant concept, renting or borrowing space and bringing a spontaneous, performance aspect to the restaurant form. Or they can take their craft literally on the road with a food truck.  Social media and online word-of-mouth marketing make it possible for the chef to find an audience and for the audience to find the chef. This person-to-person connection is redefining what an authentic food experience is.


Artisans who are too small or too experimental for the established distribution system can sell their wares online and connect face to face with customers at temporary food marketplaces that are organized online and “advertised” through social media. When people can’t meet, QR codes attached to the products can take shoppers to a video or message about what they’re buying and who made it.

And amateurs — or even a mix of amateurs and professionals — can start their own gastronomic journeys through interactive projects like crowd-sourced cookbooks and underground supper clubs. Beyond attracting local participants, supper clubs are now tapping into online communities to invite tourists to attend for a real and super-local dining experience.


One of the worst side effects of modern urban life has been distancing people from their source of food. Food gets produced somewhere far away and comes to the city consumer-packaged and disconnected from its source. New systems of urban food production are bringing the farm to the people, along with a new sense of ownership that is transforming consumers into co-producers.

Small and unlikely spaces are being reclaimed for food production — from vacant lots, to alleyways, to fire escapes, to office building rooftops and even the roofs of school buses.  Professional and amateur growers are joining with their fellow citizens, from kids to seniors, to raise their own food at edible schoolyards, community gardens and urban farms. Innovations in vertical farming, hydroponics, recirculating tank systems, and simple hoop-houses have pushed the boundaries of climate and space.

The locavore movement is rooting people to their cities in new ways. By eating and celebrating the wild and farmed foods of their region, and by championing and supporting local culinary innovators, people are engaging their food with new enthusiasm, supporting their local economy, and building a fuller sense of place and identity.