"eat" news and stories
We've all been there: You save 20¢ buying generic at the grocery store only to blow $10 on two beers at your favorite bar. Or even more guilt-inducing, you forgo a first-rate happy hour special in favor of a pint of your favorite imported or craft brew. Such examples are especially apt during the U.S.'s recent economic downturn when saving money has become top priority for many Americans.
But don't worry. You're not the only one. As reported by the AP, people are saying: "Recession? Eat, drink, and be merry." Jane Wardell reports that Anheuser-Busch turned a profit despite the rising costs of things such as barley, wheat and fuel. "The company is so confident that consumers won't abandon beer," she continues, "that it plans to increase prices for popular brands like Budweiser and Bud Light to stay ahead of the higher costs." Yikes.
File beer under "affordable luxuries" -- those mini-spending sprees we all occasionally need to keep us feeling sane. Milwaukee's Kate Brozovich said: "I'd rather spend $4 or $5 on quality beer than $3 on hopped up water. It's worth the extra buck or two to get quality." Hear, hear!
Long story short: No need to feel guilty about your beer splurging. Turns out you're just normal. (But feel free to read the long story too.)
Interesting side note: I read a study last year about "jet-setters" (people who own their own jets) that concluded that the average jet-setter spends more on alcohol each year than the median American income. Now THAT is splurging!
[via the Associated Press]
A french fry is much easier to eat than a lobster, and for many other foods it is simply a fact that some are easier to eat than others. Some, like the aforementioned lobster, are simply difficult to get into. Others are difficult to maneuver into your mouth gracefully (giant burritos, salads with huge lettuce leaves ) and still others are messy to the point where many diners simply avoid them (ribs) unless they have a very high comfort level with their dining partners.
Chow took on the task of identifying some of these foods are offering readers some tips on how to eat them without the food getting the upper hand. Their suggestions include angling tacos over a plate and pinching the edges of the tortilla together to prevent/direct drips, aiming to eat sushi in two neat bites, spear peas with a fork instead of scooping them and deboning a fish using a banana leaf (or a fork).
I would also suggest a few more food-fighting tips to get your through dinner. First, keep a napkin handy to deal with messes and try to eat sloppy foods either very slowly or very fast to minimize the chances of contact with clothing. When possible, cut your food into bite-sized pieces, even if you think that the piece on your plate will probably fit into your mouth. Finally, try to get you dinner companion to order the same type of food that you did, so that in the event you get messy or eat awkwardly, you won't be the only one.
Yesterday, we talked about what it was like to date someone with really restrictive diet, or conversely, what it was like to date someone with a very broad palate when you were the one with a restricted eating habits. Some shared that the felt it gave them new perspective and forced them to become more creative in the kitchen, while others were of the mindset that "if you are a picky eater, that is remarkably unsexy and you are gone." This all leads us into today's question, which is whether or not you would change your eating habits to impress?
Small things are easy to change and it isn't uncommon for us to be more aware of our eating quirks when we're out on a first date and want to make a good impression. For example, even if you don't particularly care for broccoli, you might find yourself taking a few bites if it is served with your dinner on a first date with a girl you really like. Or perhaps you are a chicken-and-fish kind of girl, but decide to share in an order of beef chili fries at a big football game, since you know your date loves them. The more restrictive the diet, however, the more difficult the change, but there are some dedicated meat-lovers who are willing to go vegetarian, or mostly vegetarian, to try and impress a vegan or vegetarian significant other.
The interesting thing about these types of dietary changes is that they are not permanent. Meat-lovers go back to eating meat and broccoli-haters continue to avoid broccoli, which makes you wonder whether the change is worthwhile in the first place, since there is minimal intention of changing your overall inclinations.
My three year old is in a cooking class learning to make artisanal breads.
Well, my two year old will only eat raw milk cheeses that have been smuggled into the country by our friends traveling abroad.
Oh yeah? My 7 month old will only eat sushi, foie gras and foods prepared by Ferran Adria.
It looks like having kids with gourmet palates is the newest status symbol for the "urban sophisticate." They want their kids to appreciate the finer things in life as soon as possible, so members of this food-forward group of parents - foodies, chowhounds and gourmets all - try to expose their kids to as many different foods as they can. They enroll them in kids-only cooking classes so that they can get some hands-on experience and take them to fine dining restaurants - many of which now offer smaller kid-sized portions - as well as cooking dishes from around the world at home.
Those outside of this adventurous eater movement are less enthralled with it than the parents of the children are, even if the "outsiders" are parents themselves. Not only do they feel that there is no reason to push so much so soon (even adults like mac and cheese!), but some foods like medium rare burgers and sushi seem like they might be opening children to heath risks. The biggest concern arises with restaurants, where many patrons feel that the experience is lessened when they have to sit next to a cranky child. Restaurateurs and chefs, on the other hand, don't seem to mind quite as much. "Eric Ripert, the chef at Le Bernardin, Zagat's highest-rated restaurant in New York, thinks his dress code helps keep children in line. 'They have a tie, so they are almost strangled already,' he said. 'They don't move much.'"
"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."
Those are the words that Michael Pollan uses to open his piece, Unhappy Meals, from yesterday's New York Times magazine. The short statement is the very simplest way to condense the way that we are supposed to eat to ensure our continuing good health and reduce our risk for various health problems that are associated with food intake. After all, it seems like it seems like just about everything you put into your mouth can do something bad to your body, these days.
But this basic advice is deceptively simple. It is not always easy to find "real food" and it is hard to motivate yourself to keep away from favorites (meat, cheese, chocolate) for long periods of time. This is the issue that Pollan tries to tackle in his the 12-page long (online page length) article, where he looks at how, why and why eating became so complicated and if it is still possible to eat both nutritiously and well.
Filed under: Magazines