‘We’re Losing More People To The Sweets Than To The Streets’: Why Two Black Pastors Are Suing Coca-Cola

Via Ronaldo Shemidt


Soda may be more deceptive than you think….

William Lamar, the senior pastor at D.C.’s historic Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, is tired of presiding over funerals for parishioners who died of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

So on Thursday, he and another prominent African American pastor filed suit against Coca-Cola and the American Beverage Association, claiming soda manufacturers knowingly deceived customers about the health risks of sugar-sweetened beverages — at enormous cost to their communities.

Read on at The Washington Post.

Inside the NSA Farmers Market, Where Even the Cupcakes Need Security Clearance

foodnews 6.29.15 nsa farmers market

John Reusing will tell you that selling sausages and pierogi at the National Security Agency’s farmers market is no different than vending at other markets: Customers order, customers pay, he makes dirty sausage jokes.

Though there was that incident on his first day. After passing through the NSA’s security gates in his car, he pulled up a map on his cellphone to figure out where to drive. “Lots of security guards with guns yelled at me,” says the owner of Baltimore-based Ostrowski’s Famous Polish Sausage. “They did not appreciate having a camera phone pointed at them.”


To read the full story please visit The Washington Post.

In Search of Edible Weeds: Adventures in Urban Foraging By App

The next time you’re out pulling weeds in the garden or stepping over a dandelion sticking out from the cracks of the sidewalk, consider where these wild greens could go: your salad bowl.

In this educational video produced by the design blog Inhabitat, foraging expert“Wildman” Steve Brill showcases seven exotic-sounding but common weeds you can eat: Garlic Mustard, Poor Man’s Pepper, Yellow Sorrel, Violet, Field Pennycress, Common Mallow and Cattail. They’re scattered all over Central Park in New York City, where Brill takes students on an expedition, and can be found up and down the East Coast in the summer months, too. They’re delicious, he says.


Watch the video here at The Salt. 

In Borneo, Eating Means Living the Life Aquatic

A Bajau man catches a colorful orange coral fish off Mantabuan Island.
A Bajau man catches a colorful orange coral fish off Mantabuan Island.

Skinny jeans and a spear is all you need to hunt octopus in the clear turquoise waters of Borneo. For the Bajau people of Malaysia, it’s not just their diet that’s oceanic, it’s their entire way of life. Living either in stilt houses over the water or on handmade boats, the Bajau are intimately connected to the ocean and the food they get from it.

Watch the video here at The Plate.

Fire-Roasted Potatoes, Brooklyn Style

Foodnews 6.29.15 potatoes

Some kids grow up with backyard grills. Others have campfires, clambakes or pig roasts.

In postwar Brooklyn, my parents had potatoes they roasted in bonfires they built with other neighborhood children in empty lots.

Roasting potatoes in the ashes is a longstanding practice that became especially prevalent in New York during the Depression, when people were hungry, potatoes cheap and empty lots around the city plentiful, said Annie Hauck-Lawson, co-editor of the 2010 book “Gastropolis: Food and New York City.”

To read the full story please visit the NY Times.

Capturing the Cinnamon Harvest in Sumatra

foodnews 6.29.15 cinnamon

Many people have probably never heard of cassia, but the everyday spice is tucked away in kitchen cupboards across North America. Commercially branded as cinnamon, cassia is the most commonly sold type of cinnamon in U.S. and Canadian supermarkets…

…By way of background, cassia is grown primarily in China, Vietnam, and Indonesia, while its rarer and more expensive relative, ceylon cinnamon, comes from Sri Lanka. Many people can’t taste the difference between the two types, but cassia is typically described as hotter and more intense than ceylon, which is regarded for its lighter, more complex flavor.


To read the full story please visit The Plate. 

A Toast to Butter Sculpture, the Art That Melts the Hearts of the Masses

foodnews 6.29.15 butter art

In the Medieval era, kings and queens hosted feasts adorned with surprisingly complex edible sculptures depicting humans and animals alike. Outside the castle walls, of course, people struggled to put enough food on the table — much less, worry about its presentation afterward. But in the modern United States, food sculpture is the art of the people. Nowhere is this truer than the butter sculptures so common at Midwestern state fairs.

Caroline Brooks, an Arkansas housewife, was the unlikely artist who brought butter sculpture into the spotlight nearly 140 years ago. At the time, farmers’ wives were in charge of churning milk into butter, and often used wooden molds or stamps to shape the bricks. By sculpting the butter instead, Brooks took the practice one step further and turned it into a staple of so many fairs.


To read the full story please visit The Salt. 

A Brief History of Peking Duck

foodnews 6.24.15 peking duck

There aren’t many dishes that can claim a royal lineage going back more than 700 years. Peking duck can. According to the official website of Beijing, the dish, known variously as Peking duck, Beijing duck or simply Chinese roast duck, among other names, had its beginnings in the Yuan Dynasty (1271 to 1368), a time when the Mongol Emperors ruled China.

Considered one of China’s national dishes, Peking duck has inspired poetry, been a staple for the ruling class for generations, and has its own museum in Beijing. Heck, there’s even a KFC breakfast version of the dish available in China.


To read more about Peking Duck visit The Modern Farmer. 

Coke and Pepsi Are Trying to Sell You Pretend Craft Soda

foodnews 6.24.15 pepsi and coke

Selling massive volumes of colored, sweetened, fizzed-up tapwater at a fat markup isn’t what it used to be. US soda sales declined for the 10th straight year in 2014. For a while, beverage giants Coca-Cola and PepsiCo could turn to diet soda for relief. But now, the artificially sweetened stuff is losing popularity even faster than regular soda—diet beverage sales are down nearly 20 percent since their 2009 peak and are expected to plunge an additional 5 percent this year.

Enter the new savior: “craft soda.” Just as the globe’s two dominant beer conglomerates are seeing their own US sales decline while dozens of upstart brewers stage a fast-growing craft-beer renaissance, Big Soda has watched small players like Jones Soda and Reed’s grow rapidly, defying the long-term soda slump…

PepsiCo “craft” line includes flavors like black cherry with tarragon, orange hibiscus, pineapple cream, and agave vanilla cream.


To read the full story please visit Mother Jones. 

Hard-Core Locavore: Eating on the World’s Most Remote Island

A man sets aside his best potatoes for planting.
A man sets aside his best potatoes for planting.

For those who dream of getting away from it all and living a simpler life of growing your own food, fishing for your nightly dinner, cooking with your neighbors, and living off the land, the Royal Institute of British Architects has a challenge for you.

Welcome to the tiny volcanic islands of Tristan da Cunha, the most remote populated place on earth. Alone in the South Atlantic Ocean 1,750 miles from South Africa (about a week by boat, depending on the weather), the residential population of 286 British citizens live “far from the maddening crowd” as its official website claims…

…Volcanic rock isn’t known for breeding native plants (almost no fruit grows there) and the people of Tristan da Cunha grow lots and lots of potatoes, a dietary staple. Because everything not native to the island, from marshmallows to medicine, must be sailed in, Tristanians worry that their way of life may be in danger in a world of dwindling resources.


To read the full story please visit The Plate.