COOL takes effect

People have all kinds of reasons for wanting to know where their food was grown. For some, it’s the fear that food produced in other countries isn’t up to a certain safety standard. For others, it’s the belief that food produced in other countries breaches an environmental standard. For still others, it’s the opinion that food with a lot of miles on it just doesn’t taste as good. Well, as of Sept 30, the Wall Street Journal reports, a U.S. law (included in the 2008 Farm Bill) requires supermarkets to display country of origin labels (also known as COOL) for meat, produce, and some nuts.

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Oprah Gets It (California, Rest of Country to Follow?)

She’s finally gone and done it: Oprah has dived into the dark world of food politics — again. After the massive palaver that erupted back in 1996 when, as a result of the mad cow fiasco, she gave up burgers and got sued by the meat industry). Oprah has laid fairly low when it comes to food politics. But last week, “How We Treat The Animals We Eat,” an investigative report by Lisa Ling featured on Oprah’s show, opened up a Pandora’s box of questions that will, with any luck, prod consumers all over the country into buying better eggs. 

Continue reading Oprah Gets It (California, Rest of Country to Follow?)

Killer road food

This week on the Ethicurean, Stephanie Pierce and her husband write of their return home from a six-month-long road trip across the northern half of the U.S. – eating SOLE (sustainable, organic, local and/or ethical) pretty much the whole time. “We brought a laptop with us on the trip and with the combined triple power of Local Harvest, Eat Well Guide and Google Maps, we ate almost exclusively from farmers markets, food stands and food co-ops,” the couple writes. I just finished a week-long road trip down the coast of California myself, and boy did I eat well, too.

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Safire on orange juice, Wal-Mart and nutraceuticals

Even linguist William Safire gets in on the local-foods game in this weekend’s food issue of the New York Times Magazine.  In investigating the meaning of the word “Home Squeezed” on his orange juice carton, he wonders, mock-naively, “Could it be that instead of being squeezed in some vast, impersonal factory, thousands of miles away, the juice was lovingly squeezed by hand in the nearby individual homes of thousands of orange pickers?”

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Another year, another New York Times Magazine annual food issue. The 2008 cover shows an apocalyptic ear of exploding corn, with pulp-fiction title fonts and an inside about the business and politics of local eating and how anyone who hasn’t made it their business and politics yet, should.

Continue reading Re-Pollanated

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Issue 25

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