Friday, October 05, 2012

Batch of links

- Modernist Cuisine at Home is coming out next week. This condensed version of the 6-tome original is meant for the home cook, at a price that the common mortal could afford. I’m thinking my friend the Legal Chef would love this book. The team behind Modernist Cuisine is also giving free cooking lessons on ChefSteps.com.

- Real buttermilk is making a comeback. It still has lactose, but it tastes better than what is sold in grocery stores now (often milk with an acidic agent). I’m always happy when better ingredients are available!

- An apple flowchart to help you choose the right apple variety for your purpose.

- Here’s a great video by Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef explaining how to make your own gluten-free flour mix. The quality of videos on the site has gone up lately, especially sound-wise, and I really like this one because it shows how easy the process really is. There’s no reason to be intimidated!

- How to eat a cupcake – because apparently, we’ve been eating it all wrong.

- It’s now scientifically proven: If you want your kids to eat their vegetables, just give them a cool name (the vegetables, that is, not the kids).

- Here’s a great article on Facebook’s misogyny problem. In a nutshell, it’s interesting to notice that Facebook will delete groups that promote hatred and violence against religious groups, for example, but not against girls and women, even when said groups are in clear violation of Facebook’s guidelines. I know that Facebook started out as FaceMash, but surely it should have evolved beyond that since?

- In a perhaps somewhat related topic, ther great article on CNN about “real women” and how we may not be as supportive as we think. Every time a plus-sized model (meaning size 12 and over, so not actually overweight) is seen in mainstream media, society applauds it (as was the case for the woman on page 194), but not only does this not produce any lasting changes, it is also the opposite of what happens when society sees pictures of celebrities who have gained weight (Lady Gaga recently, and I can’t forget Britney Spears at the VMAs a few years ago as well as Jessica Simpson last summer, RIGHT AFTER SHE GAVE BIRTH, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD). Those celebrities, and average women, are ridiculed for weight gain, so there’s a real disconnection there. And for those who watched the video, here’s Robyn Lawley Eats, the plus-sized model’s food blog containing beautiful pictures.

- And finally, a word on GMOs. I don’t necessarily object to the principle of the thing, although I do think it’s a bit weird when DNA from one species is used in another and I would understand someone not wanting to eat the result. That being said, just because the process is man-made instead of left to evolution doesn’t automatically make it a bad thing. I would have been fine eating Mendel’s peas, you know. But to me, the problem is that most of the time, crops are genetically modified to survive massive amounts of pesticides, and I’d rather minimize the amount of poison in my food (and in the environment, indirectly). So it isn’t really the “GMO” part per se that I object to, it’s all the toxic chemicals that usually come with it. That being said, my friend Jen shared an excellent article that deconstructs the bad science behind the latest French study (here’s a link to the study itself). The study had basically concluded that GMOs caused cancerous tumors in rats, but it is flawed in major ways, and after reading the article, I’m sure you’ll agree. One can’t conclude from that that GMOs are safe, simply that the study didn’t actually prove anything.

Regardless of the results, I do wish GMOs were properly labeled, by law. Then consumers could at least choose what they eat, instead of ingesting GMOs from places they don’t even realize. Labeling wouldn’t mean outlawing, just clarifying. I think it’s pretty telling that many of the leaders against the labeling movement are the big companies that produce GMOs, going so far as to misrepresent “experts” in their ads. Until we have labeling laws, here are a few tips to avoid GMOs if that’s what you wish to do.

4 comments:

Rebecca said...

fascinating, i had no idea there was a proper and improper way to eat cupcakes. it's all relative anyway!

Amélie said...

I still think "proper" here means without getting frosting all over your face, but it does seem like a weird way to eat it! Yet, I'm always disappointed when I see people eating a cupcake with a fork - too precious. The sandwich method might be a nice compromise!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for keeping me up to date!
I didn't even know there was a new Modernist Cuisine book out.
I ordered it right after I saw your post and it arrived yesterday.

It is very pretty, but not quite the same as some of the pictures I've seen of the original MC book. There is less emphasis on technique and science (but those topics still account for the first 100 pages of the book) and more focus on recipes. Of note, the recipes are all new or modified versions of the original MC book.

Next I have to convince Jen to try some of these recipes.
But first I'll need to order some chemicals online.

Amélie said...

I'm sure you could get chemicals through work, no? Although that might raise a few eyebrows.

I'm totally looking through that book next time I come over!