food

Wikimedia

How can you know a person from afar, something beyond the standard biographies?  For Laura Shapiro, the answer was on the dining table, literally. 

She tracks six notable women--some famous, like Eleanor Roosevelt, some less so, like British caterer Rosa Lewis--in the book What She Ate

From their food choices and habits (be glad you never had a meal at the FDR White House), we learn more about each of the women. 

Wikimedia

Michael Pollan's quote could not be simpler: "Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly Plants." 

And many people have taken that advice.  Myra Goodman is here to help them; she is the co-founder of Earthbound Farm in California, and the co-author, with daughter Marea, of Straight from the Earth: Irresistible Vegan Recipes for Everyone

It contains recipes meant to appeal to all, not just vegetarians. 

Mart Laanpere, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8901766

They are definitely related, but cooking and nutrition are different sciences. 

Now let's add another: Gastrophysics.  It brings human behavior to eating, and explains things like why we eat more food when there are more people around, and why ketchup is just not considered palatable if it's green. 

Charles Spence at the University of Oxford gives us a crash course in his book Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating

Carioca, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=395278

You know how people say to go to the edges of the grocery store, because that's where the fresh, whole foods are? 

That was Megan Kimble's domain for an entire year. 

She avoided the middle aisles of the store by skipping processed food almost completely, a story she tells in her book Unprocessed.

NASA/Public Domain

You are what you eat, as the saying goes.  So what does your diet say about your attitudes? 

Plenty, in the eyes of Will Tuttle.  Dr. Tuttle--PhD in Education--is a vegan who supports a diet that is sustainable and compassionate, among other things. 

He calls it "The World Peace Diet" and has written a book by that name. 

böhringer friedrich, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3180208

Plenty of people give up eating meat and never look back. 

For Marissa Landrigan, that journey involved a u-turn.  She went fully vegan for a while, then began to explore the ethics of eating more deeply. 

What she found raised as many questions as it answered.  And it resulted in a book that is part memoir and part how-to book: The Vegetarian's Guide to Eating Meat

Taz, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26750498

Stephanie Sacks stops just short of profanity in expressing concern for what people eat. 

She's even got chef's uniforms embroidered with her book title: What the Fork are you Eating?

Sacks is constantly amazed by the things people put in their bodies, and always ready with a list of good foods and beverages. 

What DID I Just Eat?

Dec 28, 2016
danagoodyear.com

Let's sit down for a meal.  Figuratively, not literally. 

Literal meals have become quite adventuresome of late, with generous helpings of science and fusions and exotic ingredients. 

Dana Goodyear captures the mood in her book Anything That Moves

Food Regs Bear Unintended Consequences

Nov 18, 2016
Wikimedia

The rationale for regulations on food production is clear: we don't want what we eat to kill us. 

We seldom fear sudden death from our food, and that's thanks to effective regulations. 

But do the rules stifle innovation, too?  Baylin Linnekin says yes.  He's a lawyer specializing in food and agriculture. 

And in his book Biting The Hand That Feeds Us, he points to a slew of regulations meant to protect people that actually keep perfect edible food off the market. 

Secrets From The Professional Kitchen

Sep 14, 2016
KellyB/Mandarin Restaurant/Wikimedia

No matter how hard we try, we can't quite get our food to taste like it does in a restaurant.  What's missing? 

Well, salt, maybe, but the list has got to be longer than that. 

We get some kitchen insider knowledge from a couple of people who make their livings making food for others.  Billy Buscher is the chef at Alchemy in Ashland, Melissa McMillan works at Sammich and Pastrami Zombie. 

The Benefits Of Really Old Rice

Jul 27, 2016
Wikimedia

You've probably seen packages in food stores of products containing "ancient grains."  It does NOT mean they've been on the shelf for a while. 

Our ancestors grew different crops from what we grow and eat now, and some of the old ones offered benefits missing from today's food. 

Dr. Jayanath Abeywickrama--he goes by "Dr. Abey"--is a proponent of growing and eating rice varieties from 2,000 years ago. 

A Farewell To Wheat

Jul 22, 2016
Penguin Random House

Paul Graham loves his wheat, but his body does NOT. 

Graham, a lover of artisan bread and homemade beer, had to give those items up when he developed celiac disease. 

Switching to a gluten-free diet was no small feat, but he's done it. 

He shares the story of discovering his affliction in In Memory Of Bread

Mike Midlo / Kristyathens.com

"Vote with your dollars" is a common phrase, meaning support businesses you agree with by buying their products (and vote against other companies by NOT buying theirs).  

How well does that work in food products?  That is a question Kristy Athens considers in her work, which includes an Oregon Conversation Project event called "Good Food, Bad Food: Agriculture, Ethics and Personal Choice."  

Take A Bite: Food And Democracy

May 9, 2016
Wikimedia

We love to eat, that much is clear. 

One clear indicator: we love to talk about food.  And another chance to do just that is offered by the Oregon Humanities Conversation Project event called "We Are What We Eat: Connecting Food and Citizenship."

The chat will be offered for free at the Illinois Valley Branch of Josephine Community Libraries Friday (May 13th) at 5 PM. 

Butchery Expert Visits

Apr 25, 2016
Keller & Keller/adamdanforth.com

Adam Danforth's books are not for everyone; vegetarians in particular will likely take a pass. 

But he knows animals and how to cut them into meat. 

He studied slaughtering and butchering at college, and is now a James Beard Award winner for his books on the subject

How We Learn To Eat

Mar 8, 2016
Basic Books

Many parents have watched a child open a well-stocked refrigerator, only to declare "there's nothing to eat."  Well, nothing THEY want to eat.

The choices we make about food are shaped by our parents, sure, but also culture and gender and just plain hunger, among other forces. 

Food writer and historian Bee Wilson examines those forces in her book First Bite

Will We Ever Give Up Meat?

Feb 25, 2016
Basic Books

Maybe someday we'll be able to eat meat created in a laboratory, without any animals being harmed.  But... WOULD we eat that? 

Our love affair with eating animals dates back a long way, long before the likes of our current species walked the Earth. 

In the book Meathooked, Marta Zaraska looks into the many ways in which we have fed our addiction with eating meat... and display some reluctance to give up the addiction. 

Making A Living On Someone Else's Bones

Jan 22, 2016
Chronicle Books

You've heard the old song... "toe bone connected to the foot bone," and so on. 

For a trio of Southern Oregon entrepreneurs, being connected to bones has become a business. 

Bare Bones, A Broth Company, makes broths made from animal bones--for cooking, for drinking, for whatever. 

Bare Bones is dedicated to healthy broth free of questionable ingredients. 

And the company's approach made it into a cookbook, too. 

Co-founders Ryan and Katherine Harvey (Mark Patterson is the other founder) packed 125 recipes into the book. 

Holiday Hearty: Soups & Stews

Dec 8, 2015
Chronicle Books

If you're looking for something hearty to prepare for a winter meal and want to get a little exotic, your geographical reach does not need to go beyond North America. 

There's plenty of interesting stuff to put on the table from the Southern U.S., including Southern Soups and Stews.

Nancie McDermott, long a preparer and writer of Southern cuisine, packs some mouth-watering recipes into her book. 

Jessica Placzek/KQED

It used to be that farms were cleared to make way for housing developments. Now, developments are making room for farms.

Agricultural neighborhoods — or agrihoods — are neighborhoods with urban farms. They are being sown across California, and buyers are eating them up.

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