Archive for the ‘Food News’ Category

31/ 365 -- Visions of Lunch

Courtesy Flickr user Carol VanHook

My friend Ryan came over for dinner last night and, as he works in an elementary school, we wound up talking about school lunches. He has an interesting idea about getting kids to eat healthier foods during the school day: The battle may be, in part, about presentation, he says.

In Ryan’s school, many of the kids are eligible for free and reduced school lunches. For those are aren’t, a full meal costs only $2.10. “You can’t make lunch for that price,” he says. If parents want to make lunches that include the same components – an entree like chicken and cheese flatbread or nachos with beef, a vegetable like broccoli salad or a squash medley, a fruit, a salad, and a drink – he may be right. The result is that most of Ryan’s fourth graders eat a school lunch every day.

The entrees are similar to what we were served when I was in public school (cheese pizza, tacos, chicken nuggets)But, on the days Ryan has lunch monitor duty, he works with what he’s got. He has his students rotate their five-compartment lunch trays so that the salad and fruit are directly in front of them and the entree is in the back. The kids eat more salad this way, he says.

Continue Reading “Presentation’s role in the school lunch battle”

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McDonald's #HappyUT

Photo courtesy isthisREALLYmylife? on Flickr

McDonald’s is trying to change the way consumers think about its food, according to a recent article in The New York Times Magazine. Franchisees are renovating their stores, and the company’s marketing and social media teams are circulating stories about the farmers who supply their food and recruiting “Mom bloggers” to help build their brand.

Back in the 80s though, McDonald’s didn’t seem to need help improving its image, at least in my preschool and elementary school eyes. I ate many Chicken McNuggets, plain hamburgers with ketchup, and plastic cups of airy soft serve ice cream with thick hot fudge or buttery caramel sauce.

I even won a McDonald’s t-shirt after calling into a local radio show and singing the restaurant’s theme song. (Which I still remember today: Big Mac, McDLT, a quarter pounder with some cheese, filet o’fish, a hamburger, a cheeseburger, a Happy Meal, McNuggets, tasty golden French fries regular or larger sizes…)

Continue Reading “McDonald’s memories and the power of childhood foods”

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This morning I caught a segment on The Today Show about processed foods that are fortified with healthy vitamins, minerals, and other good things, like sodas with antioxidants, orange juice and peanut butter with Omega 3s, and fruit snacks filled with 100% of our daily requirement forVitamin C. 

This reminded me of a New Yorker article I read recently about PepsiCo and its CEO’s desire to create more nutritious products.  The writer visited the company’s headquarters, where he tasted new “nutritous” products like a drinkable oat beverage, which, if I remember correctly, he didn’t love, and cold vegetable soups that he did love.  You can read an abstract of the article here.   

Continue Reading “What Do You Look For in Processed Foods”

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I had another busy weekend in Ocean City – I know, I spend a lot of time there in August – and I have some errands and assignments to catch up on today.  So I’m leaving you with some of my favorite articles and recipes from the past week:

Recipes of the Nerds from The Atlantic

The New RX: Apples, Carrots, Conversation from Slashfood

12 Vegetarian Recipes to Celebrate Summer from The Atlantic

Playing with Fire: Hot Sauce Recipes from The New York Times

Peaches-n-Herb (Grilled Peaches, Lemon-Thyme Semifreddo, Blueberry Sauce) from Food52

Toasted Oatmeal Topping for Ice Cream from Serious Eats

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The New York Times article “When Is a Free Meal Just Part of a Writer’s Job?” has me thinking about bloggers being given freebies in exchange for a review.  (Check out the article  to read the story on the free food, catered by chefs, that Time columnist Josh Ozersky received for his wedding – he says the food was gifts from his friends – then read his column about about the event in Time.)

Recently, I asked another food blogger this question, really to get some advice because I’ve gotten a few emails about trying products and writing about them.  (My favorite was from an energy bar company that wanted to offer me a 10 percent discount, or about $2 off in exchange for a review.  Even a cheapskate like me wasn’t tempted by this one!)

This blogger told me the few times she’s accepted freebies, she makes sure she is not obligated to write about the product.  Then if she does write about it, she acknowledges how she obtained it to her readers.  This sounds perfectly logical to me.

Except are we obligated to tell our readers the truth, good or bad?

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Here are a few articles and blog posts I liked this week.  Have a great weekend!

Hay Fever: Goat Farming and Cheesemaking in Vermont (from Food & Think):  Now the memoir Hay Fever: How Chasing a Dream on a Vermont Farm Changed My Life by Angela Miller is on my list of books to read.

Their Future, Made By Hand (from the New York Times): An interesting look at the city’s new food entrepreneuers

Iron Chef Michael Symon Hearts Lebron James (from Slashfood): Obviously Cavaliers’ fans don’t want to lose Lebron, so I understand why Symon wrote an ego-stroking Facebook letter to him to show his appreciation.  But the P.S. just kills me.

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Today is not only Friday, it’s May 28th, which means we are just days away from completing the May Blogathon! I’ve had lots of fun blogging every day this month, meeting new people, reading new blogs, and writing some posts that I’d be thinking about for a while (like the interview series). A big thank you to Michelle Rafter for organizing this (who I will thank again next Tuesday June 1st when many of us are officially blogging-ever-day-for-a-month Blogathoners!).

Now on to this week’s Food News, which follows no theme whatsoever. These are just the blog posts and articles that I saw and liked this week. Have you read any good food articles this week, or written a blog post you’re really proud of? Share them in the comments section!

Chocolate Pie and Beer:  A couple of weeks ago, when I posted Five Ways to Make Sure Your Chocolate Pie with Bananas is Better Than Mine, I mentioned that my friend Celena was making this very same pie (with better results) for a chocolate and beer pairing experiment.  Take a look at the beer pairing results.  And if you’re thinking, “No thanks, I’m not a beer drinker,” let me tell you that I drink two beers a year, and still I can’t wait to try the first recommendation.  (I think it will please the beer aficionados too – Celena was lucky to get one of the few bottles left in the store!)   

Continue Reading “Food News Friday: Beer and Chocolate, a Baking Memoir, and Veganism in the Bay Area”

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