Friday, December 07, 2012

Batch of links

- You know how much I complain about Monsanto and its Roundup corn crops. Now they’ve come out with an even worse poison, Dicamba, for their soy.

- In the December 3rd, 2012, edition of Time, Dr. Oz wrote an article titled Give (Frozen) Peas a Chance – and Carrots, Too. I was excited to read it, and my first reaction was to find it easy to understand and very factual. But upon thinking about it some more, I realized that I hadn’t actually learned anything. I already know (as do most people, I’m sure) that nutritionally speaking, frozen produce is almost as good as fresh (perhaps better is it’s local), and canned is almost as good too. He says that organic food is not more nutritious, but I honestly don’t know who believes that it is; as I’ve said multiple times before, buying organic is more about reducing exposure to certain chemicals, or perhaps buying more ethical products. He says, “There’s nothing like a block of frozen spinach to make you feel bad about your family dinner,”, but I don’t share that sentiment at all. I don’t think buying fresh is more elitist than frozen (I buy frozen produce often; frozen spinach in a vegan lasagna totally works, but you need fresh spinach for a salad, so they each have their uses). And I’m still a foodie. So all this to say: I’m not sure people still need to hear this stuff. Especially since…

- … Dr. Oz got it wrong on some of the organic features, according to Mother Jones. See, we all contain traces of pesticides because of our food, some of which have been proven to impair neurobehavioral function (and some of those chemicals even contribute to weight gain and increase food allergies!). Pregnant women who eat organophosphates have shorter pregnancies, and babies with lower birth weights, than women who are not exposed to them. The list goes on. So nutrition is really not the only aspect that should be taken into consideration when comparing one product to another (though I agree it’s the primary criterion, especially since organic products can cost so much more than their non-organic counterparts).

- The 50 products that have earned the Bon Appétit Seal of Approval – and I’m happy to see that several of them are already in my pantry.

- I read the article Regional Champion in the December 10th, 2012, issue of Time, and I already love this guy. You know how when most restaurants offer a chef’s choice tasting menu, you’re basically at the whim of someone who will make stuff that, even if it’s very good, contains foods you hate or you can’t eat? Like lactose, seafood or certain vegetables? Well, chef Christopher Kostow, from the Restaurant at Meadowood (in St. Helena, CA, in the Napa Valley) is awesome: he not only asks for your preferences ahead of time, but also wants to know where else you eat in general (to know what types of food you like), where you will be eating while visiting the Valley (to avoid giving you too much of the same), and his staff will even look you up online to read reviews you might have written. Just to maximize your odds of loving what he’ll make especially for you (no two tables have the same thing)! Granted, I still don’t have the budget to eat there ($225 a plate, plus travelling expenses), but I absolutely love the concept.

- If I could eat lactose, I’d be all over this: a cheesecake platter for dessert

- Verizon files a patent for a device that watches you while you watch TV and listens in to your conversations, then targets you with specific advertising. How creepy is this? I realize it’s probably every advertiser’s wet dream, but who in the world would actually want this in their house?

- I talked about Stacy London’s book recently, and I thought you might enjoy this New York Times article on her. (And strangely enough, I actually am wearing dark jeans and a black shirt today…)

- Several universities in Canada and the US are now offering puppy rooms to help stressed-out students. I wish I’d had this when I was in college (though I might have spent entirely too much time in there and not enough studying).

- On a sad note: the Quebec company Guardian Angel Foods (Les Aliments Ange Gardien) announced today they are closing their doors. They made cakes and muffins that were nut-free, egg-free and dairy-free.

- But on a happy note: There was an anti-immigration rally of Neo-Nazis and KKK members, and they were outnumbered 5-to-1 by clowns. This makes me smile.

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