Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Food

Comments

What About Excess Waist?

To cut down waste, some Hong Kong restaurants charge for leftovers Do you miss the good ol' days of childhood? The park, the play dates, the eat-everything-on-your-plate-or-else lectures? Well, we can't fit you on the child-size slide or bring back your pre-K paramour, but if you want to be chided for leaving leftovers, get ye to Hong Kong. In an effort to cut down on excess waste, some restaurants in the territory are fining diners who don't finish their meals. The amount of edibles ending up in the trash of Hong Kong's restaurants, hotels, and food manufacturers has more than …

Read more: Food

Comments

… or at least one representative

The House of Representatives held its first Ag committee hearing ever on organic agriculture today. I attended the hearing and found out Rep. Dennis Cardoza, the California Democrat who chairs of the House subcommittee on horticulture and organic agriculture, belongs to an organic CSA! For a full report, see the post on Chews Wise.

Read more: Food, Politics

Comments

Or, what I learned watching The King of Queens last night

What I learned while watching The King of Queens last night: Once you give up meat, it's a slippery, slippery slope to becoming one of those nagging, know-it-all, hemp-hawking, finger-pointing, tree-hugging, self-righteous environmentalists we're all trying to distance ourselves from (or most of us, anyway). The episode begins as main character Doug Heffernan -- a delivery-truck-driving, junk-food-loving, red-blooded American living in Queens -- almost runs over a chicken that has escaped a butcher in Chinatown. Rather than see the chicken meet an unsavory end, Doug puts it in the passenger seat. Blah, blah, blah ... musical montage showing Doug and …

Read more: Food, Living

Comments

Following U.S. consumerism through the fields of China and Brazil

In what surely counts as one of the greatest feats in the history of global trade, the United States has essentially outsourced its manufacturing base to China in little more than a decade. It all starts with shuttered factories. Photo: iStockphoto But in doing so, the U.S. has helped unleash new trends in global agriculture that threaten global climate stability and biodiversity. In short, China is rapidly plunking down factories and apartment buildings on prime farmland, and polluting much of what remains with industrial runoff. To feed its rapidly urbanizing and meat-hungry population, China is in turn outsourcing its agricultural …

Read more: Food

Comments

And another way forward.

On April Fool's Day, Grist ran a fake bit on how Wal-Mart had "pulled the plug" on much-ballyhooed green initiatives, including its plan to to become the nation's number-one organic grocer. "In the end, our customers value low prices more than sustainability, and at Wal-Mart, we listen to our customers," Wal-Mart's CEO (fictionally) said. As so often happens these days, fact may be leaping ahead of satire. BusinessWeek reported today that the retail behemoth "has backed off of aggressive plans to offer more organic foods." Wal-Mart itself tepidly denies its retreat from organic, claiming that its original plans to push …

Comments

Implications of the last organic latte

  Fair Trade producers in Mexico depend heavily on organic certification to reap price premiums for both labels, and will be hurt on more than one front by the recently released USDA rule requiring them to change certification practices, researchers say. In a recent article in Salon, later followed by a post on Gristmill, Samuel Fromartz detailed the consequences of a USDA ruling that would force a radical change in the way grower groups in the global South certify their products. The USDA ruling, Fromartz writes: [T]ightens organic certification requirements to such a degree that it could sharply curtail the …

Read more: Food

Comments

The sorcerer’s apprentice running amok in ag?

Gene tampering (called "genetic modification" by the same people who call gambling "gaming" and sewer sludge "biosolids") is a terrible idea, said the "extreme environmentalists" who warned that, nature being what it is, it wouldn't be long before we would see invasive weed species adopting whatever characteristics we created. Those same "alarmists" warned that gene tampering had nothing to do with helping feed the world, but instead had everything to do with feeding the coffers of a handful of global corporations who were risking the food security of the world for their own profits. Oh, damn, those extreme environmentalists were …

Read more: Food

Comments

A good time was had by … me

Just got back in town today. Not quite ready to jump back in the grind, so I'll procrastinate a bit by talking about my vacation. We woke up Saturday morning(ish) to discover that quite literally across the street from the friend's place where we were staying (on the east side of Fort Green Park) there was a little street market, with vendors selling local, organic, farm-raised, home-baked, hand-crafted, packed-full-of-authentic-goodness foodstuffs and crafts. Thus, breakfast: locally made banana bread and apple-raspberry juice squeezed from local fruit. This was emblematic of our trip, which basically consisted of shopping, eating, reading, sleeping, and …

Read more: Food

Comments

Grinding to a Halt

Changes in USDA policy could hit organic coffee hard Hold onto your latte: News is seeping out about a change at the U.S. Department of Agriculture that could affect the cost and availability of organic products from developing countries, including bananas, spices, sugar, and coffee. Normally, a farm must undergo an annual inspection to get certified. But for years, co-ops and large growers' groups in the global south have been allowed to largely police themselves, with USDA inspectors visiting 20 percent of each group per year. Now, motivated by a Mexican group that let some violations slide, the agency says …

Read more: Food

Comments

Organic coffee deep-sixed

Due a recent decision over at the USDA's National Organic Program, organic coffee, in the U.S. at least, may be a thing of the past. I wrote about this decision on Salon and did not shout it out to Gristies right away (mea culpa), but I am now. The USDA decision, which affects the way small farmer cooperatives in the Third World are certified, will also dry up supplies of organic cocoa and curtail bananas. So eat your organic Dagoba bars now while they're still available. It doesn't look like there's a solution right away, though a friend over at …

Read more: Food