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Weekend Reading

June 6, 2014
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Let’s try something new, and we’ll see how it goes. Fridays come and usually I try and do some kind of post about wine or spirits. Because, hey, weekend.

But then there are two days of no Fussy. What’s a food lover to do?

Well, really you should be out there looking diligently for the good stuff. Trying local specialties that you’ve never gotten around to eating, visiting small independent producers who are doing great work, and buying amazing ingredients from local purveyors to turn into your own delicious dinners.

Still, somewhere during all of that you might have downtime to read something about food and there are two entire days without a word from the Profussor. I’m not going back to posting on weekends, but I can give you a silly long reading lists of interesting food tidbits from around the interwebs to keep you occupied until Monday.

In Search of America’s Best Burrito
Two different people sent me this story yesterday. I’ve been told it’s almost 6,000 words about finding one burrito. But I think it’s an impossible task. How can you put the unctious glory of whole avocados, rich sour cream and gooey cheese in Cancun’s “super veggie” up against the juicy carnitas poached in lard at La Taqueria? And while these might be the most popular places to get burritos, that doesn’t mean that the best ones are actually lurking in the lesser known places just a bit under the radar of those who want to follow the crowd.

The End of Fish
This alarming headline doesn’t come from some alarmist blog or sketchy hyperbolic website. It comes from the Washington Post. Yeah. So maybe it’s a good idea to read it. Maybe it’s also a good idea to eat those junk fish that can be made into delicious entrees. And maybe we could try and divert some resources to try and save our oceans? You know, I don’t even eat fish all that much, and I still think it’s terrible news.

Panera Swears Off Artificial Ingredients
Here’s the first line from the report, “Panera says it will remove artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives from its food by 2016.” That’s still a year and a half away. This tells me that Panera is currently using artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives in its food. That’s interesting. Especially if, you know, watch one of their television commercials. They are good spots, but they distinctly give the impression that the brand wouldn’t dream of putting artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives in its food. I guess that’s what people get for trusting TV ads.

First Lady Rebutts Effort to Weaken School-Lunch Rules
Oh, there she is. I knew at one point Michelle Obama cared deeply about food. But besides planting a garden at the White House, none of the reforms that I expected from this administration have come to bear. Now at least she’s fighting against the roll-back of school lunch reforms. That’s a good thing. But it’s such a small piece of the puzzle. What does it matter if kids are given “healthier” lunches if their teachers encourage them to buy Sunny D in order for the school to earn books (that they otherwise couldn’t afford). The system is a mess.

When a Slaughterhouse Recalled Nearly 9 Million Pounds of Meat, This Rancher Got Caught in the Crossfire
One month has passed since this story broke, and I have no idea what’s happened to Niman Ranch. Bill Niman is a pioneer of better beef. It’s a long story and his operation has grown substantially in the last decade. But because of the unscrupulous practices of a slaughterhouse, and some bureaucratic posturing, some 100,000 pounds of sustainably raised beef (which is perfectly fine) may end up being dumped. Niman described this situation as immoral, repugnant, and incomprehensible. I agree.

With that happy thought, have a great weekend. If all goes well, I’m going to be getting a visit from Albany Jane and together we’ll finally be trying out another Trenton regional specialty for the very first time. I’m so excited.

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