Tag Archives | Food

Forget Turducken. It’s Piecaken Time.

This is so quintessentially American I just had to serve it for y’all at Thanksgiving (via the New York Times):

Piecaken by David Burke fabrick

Piecaken by David Burke fabrick

What is piecaken, you ask?

It sounds like a figment of some weird Thanksgiving fever dream, but it’s real: three types of pie stuffed in a cake. And social media has unexpectedly crowned it as the next big thing on Thanksgiving dessert tables, a space typically reserved for the just-the-basics trifecta of pumpkin, apple or pecan pie.

Piecaken has existed in underground dessert-eating circles for years, but a Thanksgiving-inspired recipe from pastry chefs at David Burke Fabrick in New York spent some time this week on the daytime talk show circuit. It’s a spiced poundcake with layers of pecan pie and pumpkin pie, topped with upside-down apple pie, slathered in cinnamon buttercream and edged in oat struessel. Just look at this thing.

Zac Young, the executive pastry chef for David Burke Group, said Wednesday that he dreamed up the recipe four months ago with Fabrick’s pastry chef, Gian Martinez.

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What’s ‘Natural’ Food? The Government Isn’t Sure And Wants Your Input

I’m sure you have an opinion about what “natural” means when it comes to food. The good news: the FDA wants to hear from you; the bad news: it wants to hear from everyone else having a stake in the definition, including the processed food corporations. NPR reports on the coming fiasco:

The Food and Drug Administration is seeking your input to answer a question: How should the agency define “natural” on food labels?

Disagreement over what “all natural” or “100 percent natural” means has spawned dozens of lawsuits. Consumers have challenged the naturalness of all kinds of food products.

For instance, can a product that contains high fructose corn syrup be labeled as natural? What about products that contain genetically modified ingredients?

The FDA has received three citizen petitions asking for clarification. And, beginning Thursday, the agency will ask us — the public — to weigh in. Comments can be submitted electronically.

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Cheese Is As Addictive as Crack

Are you hooked on cheese? Sorry, but you’re an addict, plain and simple, per the LA Times:

For years you’ve been telling your friends, family, co-workers and anyone who will listen that you’re addicted to cheese. It’s a part of every meal or snack, and you think about it constantly. According to a new study from the University of Michigan, cheese crack is a real thing. And so is your addiction.

Cheese Plate with Sriracha

The study, published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, examines why certain foods are more addictive than others. Researchers identified addictive foods from about 500 students who completed the Yale Food Addiction Scale, designed to measure if someone has a food addiction.

Pizza, unsurprisingly, came out on top of the most addictive food list. Besides being a basic food group for kids, college students and adults, there’s a scientific reason we all love pizza, and it has to do with the cheese.

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GMOs: It’s Complicated

Here’s a tremendous attempt to make sense of the competing science and analysis surrounding GMOs, by Maya Montenegro, a food systems researcher at UC Berkeley, writing at ensia:

The GMO debate is one from which I’ve kept a purposeful distance.

For one thing, it’s an issue that has already garnered more than its fair share of attention. For another, when you consider that many domesticated crops resulted from seed irradiation, chromosome doubling and plant tissue culture — none of which are genetically engineered — the boundaries of “natural” are more porous than they initially appear.

Raw Group Maize Sharply Focused

But I study seed science and policy, in which genetically engineered organisms — more often referred to as genetically modified organisms, aka GMOs — are pervasive, so it’s an issue I cannot ignore. Most recently, the director of a science communications program asked if I could engage her students on a few topics: Is there a scientific consensus on GMOs?

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Meet the Food Engineers of the Apocalypse

I hope you like beans. Eater explains why they are the future of food, post-Apocalypse:

When the apocalypse comes, what’s for dinner? Multiple studies indicate that if global warming continues at the current rate, we’re likely to see vast swaths of our food supply vanish. Scientists at UC Davis found that fruit and nut trees rely on a stretch of cold temperatures in order to grow. No more chilly nights would mean no more almonds, apricots, or cherries, among other crops. Other researchers have found that we will also be saying goodbye to cold-water fishmaple syrupbeerpeanut butter, and possibly grains and livestock.

Mr Beans

But while this may sound like the kind of question you’d arrive at in a late night dorm room munchies session, it’s also the question that motivates a handful of scientists to show up for work every morning. Call them the food engineers of the apocalypse, these are people who have moved beyond the question of how to stop global warming.

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Hot Food Trend In Los Angeles: Insects!


Giant Mealworms from Rainbow Mealworms, just $6.50 for 500!

From icky bugs to good grubs, the Los Angeles Times explains why more people are eating insects:

Gillian Spence plunges her hand into a shallow tray of 10,000 writhing mealworms. She comes up with a handful of the inch-long, beige-colored grubs, which squirm over and between her fingers.

Most are destined to become bait for fish or food for reptilian pets. But not all of them.

“A lot of orders now are going to restaurants,” she says.

Spence’s Compton company, Rainbow Mealworms, supplies the mealworms and their larger, feistier cousins, called superworms, to a number of edible-insect businesses across the country. One, called Hotlix, puts them inside lollipops.

Mealworms and superworms aren’t actually worms at all — they’re the larval forms of two species of darkling beetles. They’re also two of the roughly 1,900 insect species that are good for people to eat, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.

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World population will be around 15-25 billion in 2100 and will increase through 2200 because of African fertility, life extension and other technology


Via Next Big Future:

The United Nations (UN) recently released population projections based on data until 2012 and a Bayesian probabilistic methodology. Analysis of these data reveals that, contrary to previous literature, the world population is unlikely to stop growing this century. There is an 80% probability that world population, now 7.2 billion people, will increase to between 9.6 billion and 12.3 billion in 2100. This uncertainty is much smaller than the range from the traditional UN high and low variants. Much of the increase is expected to happen in Africa, in part due to higher fertility rates and a recent slowdown in the pace of fertility decline. Also, the ratio of working-age people to older people is likely to decline substantially in all countries, even those that currently have young populations.

There is only a 30% chance of population peaking by 2100. This is even without considering radical life extension or any other turnaround in human fertility.

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GMOs Are Becoming A Proxy For Bigger Concerns About The Food System

NPR goes to the Chipotle Cultivate Festival and learns that the anti-GMO movement is about a whole lot more than genetic modification: it’s a rejection of the agri-industrial complex:

The Chipotle Cultivate Festival in Kansas City on July 18 had it all: an indie pop band on stage, long lines at the beer booths. It was like a Grateful Dead concert, only with free burritos.


But this and the three other Chipotle Cultivate events held across the country this summer were more than just a classic summertime music festival. Billed as offering “food, ideas and music,” the festival offers a chance to “learn a free burrito,” by going through four exhibits.

Chipotle, the chain whose slogan is “food with integrity,” was the first national restaurant chain to eliminate genetically modified ingredients from most of its menu. Now, the company is going a step further: using its anti-GMO stance as a marketing opportunity.

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