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Sarah Laskow's Posts


How to eat a Chick-fil-A sandwich without supporting Chick-fil-A

Image courtesy of ladybugbkt and Shuttershock.

One secret about fast food is that it's often pretty easy to make the same greasy stuff at home, where it ends up tasting more delicious anyway. This is great news for those boycotting Chick-fil-A on account of its owner’s "traditional" views about same-sex marriage: It’s still possible to get your fried chicken sandwich fix and keep your moral principles intact. Serious Eats' J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is on the case.

I don't normally like to mix my food with my politics, but the thought of where my chicken sandwich dollars might be going is enough to leave a bad taste in my mouth, no matter how crispety-crunchety, spicy-sweet and salty that juicy chicken sandwich may be.

So in the interest of keeping my Chick-Fil-A consumption at a reasonable level, I did the only logical thing: figured out how to make them at home. Here's how it's done. And yes, you can even make 'em on a Sunday.

I'll leave it to him to give the blow-by-blow directions, but here's the general gist: Take a basic hamburger roll and toast it in a skillet with butter. Get some jarred pickle chips. Take a chicken breast and brine that sucker until it's salty as all get-out.

Read more: Food, Politics


Watch some brave souls rescue baby bears from a dumpster

The basic rule about baby bears is Do Not Go Near Them. Ever. But what do you do if they're stuck in a garbage can, crying all night, with the mom stalking nearby? If you are this group of brave people, you rescue them:

Read more: Animals


How many guinea pigs does it take to mow your lawn?

The average American lawn is one-fifth of an acre, or 8,712 square feet. That’s a lot of passes with your push reel mower. Wouldn’t it be easier if you could just hire some goats, cows, or guinea pigs to take care of it for you?, a real estate company, is helping you plan your livestock yard care by calculating how many animals of different sorts it would take to mow your lawn in one day.

Let's find out what it would take to mow the average American lawn, shall we?

First, decide what animals you'd like.

I choose chickens! Because then you can eat their eggs, as well. Now, how big's your lawn? I don't actually have one, so I'll let my imaginary chickens loose on the average American lawn.

How many chickens will I need??

Read more: Animals


Edible Bus Stop turns London transit routes into a network of community gardens

Obviously your first thought when you hear “edible bus stop” is “Stay away! It was built by witches!” (No? Just me?) But shockingly, the Edible Bus Stop project is not about luring children to bus stops by building them out of gingerbread. Instead, it’s about providing food to the community by turning bus stops into public gardens.

The Edible Bus Stop began as "a guerrilla garden project" alongside a South London bus stop. A small strip of land was being offered up for sale, and a group of locals started growing things in it. The group's founder, Mark Gilchrist, told The Guardian:

The space was humble and neglected by the council, but rather than see it sold, I rallied the neighbourhood into taking it over and guerrilla gardening it as a community garden for all to share and enjoy.

Now there's a second Edible Bus Stop going, and three more in the works. The goal is to have a network of community gardens that parallels the bus network. Here's a lovely little video explaining the concept:


This amazing lightweight bike is made entirely out of cardboard

Israeli Izhar Gafni is a bicycle hobbyist, and he has made a bicycle entirely out of cardboard. It costs about $10 per bike to make.

"Basically, the idea is like Japanese origami," Gafni says. Folding the cardboard on itself both shapes it and increases its strength, to the point where it can easily support up to 300 pounds of adult human. Here's a video that shows his process -- cutting out forms from cardboard an inch thick, rolling cardboard into tubes, coating it with resin so it won’t melt in the rain, and slapping on a coat of paint:

Then you just strap on your cardboard bike helmet and go!

Read more: Biking


Better than a reusable coffee cup: An edible coffee cup made out of a cookie

It's all the rage lately to deliver food in edible packaging, because if you eat the container, there's no waste to dispose of -- no paper coffee cup, no plastic wrapper that ends up in the ocean. While tomato-basil membranes sound intriguing, if not exactly appetizing, here's an idea for an edible container that pretty much anyone should be able to get behind -- an espresso cup made out of a cookie.

An Italian designer dreamed this up as a promotion for the espresso brand Lavazza, but this is so brilliant it needs to catch on everywhere. Supposedly that white icing sweetens the espresso just a bit, while keeping the cookie cup from disintegrating into leaky mush.

Read more: Food


Robots could make solar power super cheap

It's a simple enough robot: an ATV equipped with a robotic arm and few cameras. But it's already stealing green jobs from humans. Its suction cups grab onto the glass face of huge, power-plant-grade solar panels and lift them onto a metal frame. One robot, with three human helpers, can install a field of solar panels in an eighth of the time it would take 35 humans. Technology Review explains:

The main idea is to save money on labor, which accounts for a growing fraction of the cost of solar power as panels get cheaper ... For a 14-megawatt solar plant, the company [PV Kraftwerker] estimates, it might cost about $2 million to install the panels manually. Using the robot could cut that cost by nearly half. The company says that the robot, which lists for $900,000, could pay for itself in less than a year of steady use.

For now, at least, the robots still need humans to install the metal frames for the panes and to screw them in after they're placed.


This mobile restaurant brings the table to the farm

Photo by Ralph Kämena.

This mobile-home-as-restaurant might have won the war for most local food ever. Instead of bringing the farm to the table, the Buijtenkitchen is bringing the table to the farm. It's basically just a hut with a wood-burning stove inside, but it's small enough that it can be loaded onto a trailer and moved without much fuss. It started out its journey on the outskirts of Rhoon, a village just beyond Rotterdam, and it follows a harvest calendar, searching out the very freshest produce there is. 

Read more: Food


J.K. Rowling’s sustainable-wood treehouse is a mini-Hogwarts

Every thing that J.K. Rowling thinks of is magic. Well, maybe not her novels for adults. But definitely this two-story treehouse that looks like a mini-Hogwarts, which she's building for two of her kids.


Really, it's two tree houses -- one for each child. They're connected by a rope bridge, but one (the better one, obviously) has a trap door and is closer to the secret tunnel.

Read more: Living


Ex-McDonald’s exec opens a healthy fast food restaurant

Mike Roberts, former president and CEO of McDonald’s, understands how fast food works. He just doesn’t think you should eat it. That’s why Roberts co-founded Lyfe Kitchen, a restaurant that aims to do healthy food on a fast-food scale.

Lyfe Kitchen’s name is cheesy: Lyfe stands for Love Your Food Everyday [Editor's note: “Every day”! It should be “every day”! UGH PEOPLE]. But it does not have cheesy cuisine; the food is made with "no butter, no cream, no white sugar, no white flour, no high-fructose corn syrup, no GMOs, no trans fats, no additives," Wired reports. And Roberts wants to open 500 to 1,000 outposts of the restaurant across the country in the next several years.

Read more: Food