Food and Farming

Eating Local in the Wintertime

Eating Local in the Wintertime

"Has nobody in this bleeping town heard of a kale salad?" I wanted to scream. That’s the anguish of a Californian convert transplanted to Wisconsin in the dead of winter. As I remind anyone who tries to assure me that Madison is a lovely town and Wisconsin has...

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A Sweet Spot

A Sweet Spot

I don’t have any cute photos of my daughter’s chubby face smeared with frosting from her first birthday party. Already pregnant with my son, I’d become a child nutrition zealot in response to my double dose of motherhood. Instead of wrecking a big sugary cake, my bald...

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Old McPontiff Had a Farm

Old McPontiff Had a Farm

Old songs occasionally need to be refreshed with updated verses. Here's one: "Old McPope, he had a farm /E-I-E-I-O/ and on that farm he had a cow…a donkey… chickens…ostriches…and rabbits…/E-I-E-I-O!" Who knew that the Pope had a farm? Well, he does. Fifteen miles...

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You’ve Got Food

You’ve Got Food

Armed with hefty grants from the Pentagon, squads of food technologists are on a mission to supplant nature with a great leap forward into the Brave New World of synthetic foodstuffs. Not satisfied merely to tinker with the genetic makeup of nature's products, these...

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The War on Hen-Pecking

The War on Hen-Pecking

Chickens had plenty to celebrate on New Year’s Day. Supposedly. After a long wait, California’s 2008 ballot measure to improve conditions for laying hens finally went into effect. Instead of living in cramped cages that give each bird less room than a sheet of paper,...

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Your Holiday Guide to Avoiding Slave Labor

Your Holiday Guide to Avoiding Slave Labor

Pope Francis got into the holiday spirit this year by calling on shoppers not to buy products made by modern-day slaves. This is, of course, excellent advice. Odds are, most of us — whether Catholic or not — would love to take it. But how? Most products don't come...

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Chris Christie’s Pork Barrel Politics

Chris Christie’s Pork Barrel Politics

As the weather turns colder in this month of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and the Winter Solstice, our hearts grow warmer and our thoughts turn to kindness and goodwill toward all. Unless, of course, you're Chris Christie. The governor of New Jersey is a mighty big...

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Why You Should Meet Your Meat

Why You Should Meet Your Meat

A beloved organic farm in San Diego recently canceled a gourmet dinner it had planned to host. Guests had already paid $150 for a local, organic five-course meal prepared by several top chefs from the region. The dinner was called Death for Food. Whose death for whose...

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The Poor Suffer from Hunger — Not the Munchies

The Poor Suffer from Hunger — Not the Munchies

Thanksgiving is an occasion when we gather with our families for festive meals. It’s also a time when many of us donate to help the less fortunate celebrate with their families. This holiday binds us all together: At least once a year, you should be able to sit around...

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