Friday, June 25, 2010

Big Fish, Small Pond

We’ve all seen it before – the massive, globe-like apples at the grocery store, strawberries the size of your fist, and peaches that give James and his peach a run for their money. Genetically modified food, or fruit in particular, is ubiquitous in our grocery stores. We're so used to seeing it around, that organic produce looks languid in comparison. But the second you put that GM strawberry in your mouth, you will the difference. Unlike the dewy rubies you used to pick from your backyard, the GM variety lacks that tangy, fragrant strawberry flavor you grew up with.

So main concern when I heard that genetically altered salmon would be hitting my local seafood counter was what the hell it would taste like. I have unnerving visions of pallid, flavorless sushi and bland lox bagels. What do you think it'll taste like?

Chicago's Mayor Daley Wants One Too!

Thrilled at the notion of growing healthy food just blocks from where he spent his childhood, Chicago's Mayor Richard M. Daley said last Friday that he would support efforts to establish vertical farming in his hometown.  Who will be first, Newark, Chicago, or somewhere else, I don't know.  But the race is on!

Read the full story at Journal Sentinal Online.

Update: check out Plant Chicago, the group pushing for VF in Chicago.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Offally Delicious

Pig ears, smoked tripe, chicken neck, and braised gizzards. As I scanned the items in the deli fridge at the Chinese supermarket on Walker St., it became obvious very quickly that I wouldn’t be finding roasted turkey much less any American cheese. To my delight the fridge was chock-full of all the bits, pieces, odds, and ends that never make it into deli counters at American supermarkets. Even duck tongues made an appearance.

In recent years, with chefs like Chris Cosentino popularizing all things offal, eating a plate of spicy honeycomb tripe at David Chang’s Momofuku has become a sorta right-of-passage in the ‘cool’ kids club in the foodie world. Now that offal has become a mainstay at fine-dining establishments everywhere, when do you think we’ll start seeing it at our local grocery stores?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Vertical Farming Gets...Stung?

It's been terribly hard to keep this a secret, but now it's finally out: Sting has acquired the movie rights to the Vertical Farm Book!  Check out Deadline, where the news broke first.

Basically, wherever the first vertical farm gets built, Sting has first dibs at making a documentary about it.  Who knows, with Newark chomping at the bit, he might not have to wait long.  

Also check out the Rainforest Fund, which he and wife Trudie founded.

BP Spill and VF

I hope we’re all still outraged over the BP oil spill.  I hope that those people out there who call this the Age of Indifference are wrong.  I hope this catastrophe doesn’t get forgotten in all the miscellaneous hoop-la. 

If you watched President Obama’s speech last week, you were probably left a little bewildered.  What exactly is the plan?  This oil accident is profoundly devastating to local economies which rely on a non-oil-laden ocean; hopefully, BP will recoup them for current and projected future losses.  But this oil spill affects us all.

I have to admit, part of me is concerned that this is a spill from which the world will never recover.  I thought how ironic it would be if this were the end of man; no atomic bomb, no massive sea level rise (by the way, what’s the deal with Al Gore?), no meteor; just an accident from capitalism as usual.  But then I looked at a world map: Earth is BIG.  It will recover; however, whether we’re fit to stick around is another matter. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What's in a Twinkie?

The people over at GOOD have tipped me off to a fantastic photo project done by Dwight Eschliman: "37 Or So Ingredients," a visual tour of what it takes to make a Twinkie.  I can't claim immunity to the sweet, sweet spongy deliciousness of Twinkies, or to most of the other Hostess deserts.  But these pictures will at least make me think twice.

Also, it's worth noting how insane it is that there's a company bringing in over two and a half billion dollars in revenue in a given year, who markets and sells products which do nothing but increase the waistline and the blood pressure of the country.  I really don't think I'm going out on much of a limb with this one: The world would be a better place if Twinkies didn't exist.