It has been a while since I featured food in the news here, so I thought it was time to play a bit of catch-up.
Here are a few stories that have piqued my interest in the last couple of days:
Grass Fed Beef Found to Be Healthier: The Washington Post reported yesterday that a study published by the Union of Concerned Scientists has found that the chemical composition of milk and meat from grass-fed cows to be significantly different from the milk and meat from feedlot cows fed grain.
The study is the first to synthesize the information gleaned from most of the English-language research into the issue of grass-fed beef (25 individual studies were chosen for analysis)where amounts of total fats, saturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in both pasture-raised and conventionally raised beef and dairy cattle were compared side by side. The report also combines analyses on the nutritional, environmental, and public health benefits of grass-based farming techniques.
The study found that grass fed beef and milk contained higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids–beneficial fats that help lower the risk of heart disease, may protect the body from cancer and have been shown in a few studies to have positive benefits for suffers of bipolar disorder.
The total amount of fat in grass-fed beef is also lower than that in corn-fed beef, which also enhances its healthfulness.
One thing that the article didn’t point out, but which I, of course, thought of was that cattle that have been raised completely on grass for several generations, or on grass and then “finished” with organic corn, are not likely to have BSE, which is most likely contracted through giving cows feed rendered from other animals. Considering that a third cow with BSE has been confirmed in the US, and the worthless gits at the USDA are talking about cutting back on testing for BSE, I think that grass-fed, locally raised beef from farmers you know and trust is suddenly going to rise in popularity across the country.
Dabba Wallas Come to the US: Okay, this is utterly cool. I know some of you are saying, “Dabbawho?” so, let me explain. Dabba wallas are the name for delivery guys who carry tiffin boxes–tin containers with three layers, one for bread or rice, one for the main course, and one for pickles or a side dish–all home cooked foods–and deliver them to office buildings in India. I read about them in Lizzie Collingham’s book, Curry: A Tale of Cooks & Conquerers, and I thought to myself–wouldn’t that be cool if they had dabba wallas here?
Well, according to the New York Times, the dabba wallas are here! In major cities across the country that have sizeable South Indian populations, women have started businesses making home cooked lunches which are delivered to customer’s workplaces. In India, wives cook meals for their husbands and send them with the dabba wallas–here, entrepreneurial women have started selling their homecooked meals by subscription.
And yet, all of the food is cooked carefully, in small batches, so it is still homemade, healthful and delicious.
That is just plain awesome.
Alice Waters Plans Slow Food Expo: The San Francisco Chronicle reported yesterday that Alice Waters is planning to pull the biggest artisinal food show the US has ever seen out of her sleeve for Autumn 2007 in San Francisco.
Modelled after Slow Food’s wildly popular Salones del Gusto, which is held in Torino, Italy, every two years, the show, tentatively titled, “Slow Food Nation,” will feature 200 farmers and food producers from the Bay Area, elsewhere in the US, and from other countries. There will be tastings, seminars and films promoting the ideals of delicous, carefully crafted food.
Waters hopes that this show will then move on to other areas of the US, so that the bounty of local farmers and food producers from other regions can be showcased in coming years.
That sounds like my kind of party. I guess we’ll be visiting the Bay Area again next year….
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