Ups and Downs in Food News (now with more ups!)

I haven’t shared any interesting links in awhile. Here’s what I’ve been reading:

School Food:

(Up!) Help bring The Food Network to New Haven (NH School Food) — Please vote for Chef Tim’s Food Truck to win some money and press from The Food Network!

(Up!) Kid Safe Lunch Gear (Feed Our Families) — For those who pack, a great round-up of lunch packing options


(Down!) Cargill recalls 36 million Pounds of Ground Turkey (Civil Eats) — It was hard to miss this story, but if you did that number is astonishing. Visualize a package of turkey at the store. That’s one pound of turkey. Now imagine one package of bad turkey for every Canadian citizen. That’s how much turkey was allegedly contaminated with salmonella. What is wrong with our food system that this could happen? What a terrible waste of resources and turkey!

(Down!) Food Price Spikes Visualized – Infograph (Civil Eats) — When food prices go up, there are other consequences including political instability.

(Down!) Give Me My Fish (Civil Eats) — We need to stop polluters from putting mercury into our food chain.

(Up!) Summer’s Coolest Culinary Trend: Invasive Species (Civil Eats) — Invasive species are plants and animals that “adversely affect the habitats they invade economically, environmentally, and/or ecologically.” (Wikipedia) Why not eat them so they do less harm?

Can you tell I’m a fan of Civil Eats? It’s hard to find in-depth reporting about food anywhere else.


Even if I have a crappy day, every day that I’m on this earth I feel lucky. Nothing like some videos to make you feel better about the world. Life is amazing.

(Up!) Penny de Los Santos — This video feels like summer to me. It’s about the food truck scene in Austin. I’ve never been to Texas — maybe I need to go! This video feels like summer to me.

On Assignment with Penny De Los Santos: Austin Food Trailers from Penny De Los Santos on Vimeo.

A series of three videos about life — you NEED these on a Monday morning!

(Up!) Move — I have traveled a little, but there’s lots of the world I want to see. Videos like this help me get out of my head!

MOVE from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

(Up!) Learn — This video reminds me that I have so much more left to do in my life. I need to get out and do it.

LEARN from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

(Up!) Eat — Food is personal.

EAT from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

Don’t you feel better about the world now? I sure do.



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5 thoughts on “Ups and Downs in Food News (now with more ups!)

  1. Thanks so much for sharing what you’ve been reading and watching.  I especially enjoyed those Rick Mereki videos.  They’re like eye candy!

    Civil Eats is such a great resource for staying informed about food news and politics.  I especially like that the articles come from a wide variety of writers and sources.  

    Switching into Debbie Downer mode, you couldn’t pay me a million bucks to eat supermarket ground turkey.  Ditto supermarket ground beef, chicken, pork, lamb, or veal.  Events like the current one with Cargill are precisely the reason.  Whenever I see packages of the CAFO ground meat and poultry sold in conventional food stores, I think they need to be prominently marked with a skull and crossbones.  Most people who eat that meat will not get sick, but do I really want to take the chance that I, or someone to whom I feed that meat, will be the one who WILL get sick from it?  Of course not.  I don’t eat much meat, but on the rare occasion that I cook with ground meat, I buy only what has been ground fresh in the store the same day (not ground in the meat packing plant or the supermarket chain’s regional plant).  If the store isn’t selling freshly ground-in-store-the-same-day meat, I buy a steak or roast or poultry parts and have the butcher grind it for me while I wait.  Food poisoning, particularly the type from bacteria that contaminates CAFO meat and poultry, is nothing to fool around with especially if there are children or women who may be pregnant in your household.

  2. You know I was watching Bizarre Foods the other day and Andrew Zimmerman visited Jamaica where they put and invaise species of lion fish into their waters a long time ago.  The lion fish has been slowly killing off the natural fish that roam the sea there so in order to keep their natural fish populations down they have asked the government for permission to eat the lion fish!  So they hunt them and now it’s a local delicacy in Jamaica.

  3. For more in-depth reporting about food and nutrition related news, I highly recommend Food Politics, a blog run by Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH.  Dr. Nestle bring historical perspective to current food issues and uses her experience with agencies like the FDA and USDA to explain the politics behind the government’s actions (or lack thereof). To answer the question in the original post about how 36 million pounds of ground turkey could need to be recalled, see her post on the subject:
    In brief, Marion Nestle explains that the USDA did not have clear authority to recall meat infected with Salmonella. Cargill has a clear disincentive to test for bacterial contamination: if they find pathogens, then they have to recall the meat. The USDA did test for Salmonella and found it, but did nothing. This incident demonstrates that the food industry cannot be trusted to self-regulate, and that governmental agencies whose jobs include ensuring a safe food supply do not have the authority or funding that they need to do so.

    1. I also highly recommend Dr. Nestle’s book by the same name as her blog, “Food Politics” and her book “What to Eat.”  She has written others but those are the only ones I’ve read (so far).

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