08 Nov

How Obama’s Trade Deal Might Stir Up Your Dinner

“The Salt,” National Public Radio • Nov. 8, 2015

When President Obama announced the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Thursday — and released them on Medium.com — there was a lot of talk about labor, the environment and manufacturing. But trade deals have a way of changing the way we eat, too. …more…

13 Oct

Why Wal-Mart And Other Retail Chains May Not Fix The Food Deserts

“The Salt,” National Public Radio • Oct. 13, 2015

Earlier this month, Wal-Mart trumpeted that it had beaten a goal it set five years ago: to open at least 275 stores in food deserts by 2016. That targeted expansion into “neighborhoods without access to fresh affordable groceries” came as part of the retailer’s “healthier food initiative,” lauded by — and launched with — First Lady Michelle Obama in 2011. Wal-Marts have been popping up in lower-income urban areas where grocery stores are scarce ever since.

But new research suggests that plugging food access holes with big box stores may not lead to healthier habits. According to a study just published online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Americans’ junk food calories increasingly come from big box stores rather than traditional grocers. …more…

19 Sep

The U.S. Doesn’t Have Enough Of The Vegetables We’re Supposed To Eat

“The Salt,” National Public Radio • Sept. 19, 2015

If you are looking for proof that Americans’ vegetable habits lean towards french fries and ketchup, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has it: Nearly 50 percent of vegetables and legumes available in the U.S. in 2013 were either tomatoes or potatoes. Lettuce came in third as the most available vegetable, according to new data out this week. …more…

15 Sep

Turn Food Waste Into Ice Cream for Fun and Profit

“The Plate,” National Geographic • Sept. 15, 2015

When Obama administration officials announce the nation’s first-ever goals for reducing wasted food Wednesday morning, most people probably think of donating surplus food to charity. But a new study from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and Cabrini College suggests that part of the solution might be a little more tasty—and profitable: House-made ice cream, freshly fried veggie chips, and smoothies. …more…

26 Aug

Why Thick Flour Tortillas Never Made It Big And Thin Tortillas Did

“The Salt,” National Public Radio • Aug. 26, 2015

Janet Stein Romero of El Ancon, New Mexico, shapes the dough before rolling out flour tortillas.

Janet Stein Romero of El Ancon, New Mexico, shapes the dough before rolling out flour tortillas. (Tracie McMillan for NPR)

About 16 years ago, I lost my hungry heart to a flour tortilla. I was in the small town of Las Vegas N.M., at Charlie’s Spic & Span Café, when a server placed a basket on the table. Inside was a stack of thick, charmingly floppy tortillas, dotted with browned bubbles and closer in thickness to pancakes than the wan, flaccid discs I was used to at the supermarket. My Brooklyn-by-way-of-Michigan palate was infatuated: What magic was this? How could I not have known that tortillas like these existed? …more…

30 Jul

Want to Know if Your Food Was Tested on Animals?
Good Luck.

“The Plate,” National Geographic • July 30, 2015

Animal rights activists are warning consumers that foods advertised as healthy might have something else surprising in common: animal testing. What’s more, there’s almost no way to know for sure. …more…

28 Jul

Beyond Brothels: Farms And Fisheries Are Frontier Of Human Trafficking

“The Salt,” National Public Radio • July 28, 2015

When the U.S. State Department released its annual human trafficking report on Monday, it told distressingly familiar tales of forced sex work and housekeepers kept against their will. But this year, one area got special attention: Slavery in the global supply chains of agriculture, fishing and aquaculture. …more…

16 Jul

One by One, Food Companies Pledge to Quit Animal Testing

“The Plate,” National Geographic  • July 16, 2015

Executives at pasta giant Barilla recently made a surprising announcement: The company will ban animal testing throughout its operations immediately, and plans to require members of its supply chain to do the same.

“We believe, big time, that this is the right commitment,” says Luca Virginio, chief communication officer of Barilla. “Animal testing is absolutely against the way we interpret our role in the society.”

But that begs a bigger question: Since when do food companies worry about animal testing? …more…

01 Jul

A Fairer Tomato

Eating Well • July/August 2015

Fair-Food Tomatoes: What Are They and Are They Worth It?

The terrible working conditions in tomato fields have become the subject of hot debate. We talked with Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation and executive producer of the James Beard Award-winning film Food Chains, which is about the tomato-worker revolution. …more…

01 Jul

5 Modern Families That Left The Grid Behind + How They Did It

Rodale’s Organic Life • July/August 2015

The first time I reconsidered what off-grid meant, I was in Detroit’s North End, trailing the Reverend Joan C. Ross. Red-spectacled and in a second career after selling off her McDonald’s franchises, Reverend Ross was showing me a solar demonstration house, a once-abandoned beauty she had helped bring back to life. There was fine trim in a Victorian parlor, a porch that screamed for a summer afternoon, a toilet that used wastewater to flush, a yard designed to catch runoff and prevent flooding, and a thatch of solar panels on the roof.

“You’re not paying into companies who are burning fossil fuels, or destroying the planet,” she said. “You’re relying on the sun.”

I would have expected this …more…