Best Half-Baked Idea: An Edible Cookbook

Dishing out food has never been my forte. I like to read gorgeous cookbooks, but I tend to gravitate towards the table setting images. The rest is like a foreign language to me. I'm easily dazed, confused and distracted. When I do set out to execute a recipe, just as the timer goes off, I realize I’ve left out an ingredient…usually, the main one.

Luckily, the other three members of my family, and my mom, are spectacularly adept pan-slayers. I’ve mentioned before that my husband is truly a gifted gourmet. And that’s a good thing, because I do enjoy eating well.

Along comes my kind of cookbook, The Real Cookbook from the German design agency, Korefe

Here are 3 reasons why I love it:

  1. It’s made of 100% fresh pasta (yum).
  2. The pasta pages are used as sheets of lasagna (yum, yum).
  3. Just bake the book and eat (yum, yum yum).

Don't you think there’s something really delicious to be said about food that comes with its own instructions?

READ MORE: Fixing Food On A Starving Planet Food Rules Backlash DIY Eco-Gifts For The Vegan And Vegetarian

No Resolutions

no-resolutions2 As we flip the calendar page to a new year, it’s nice to mark its beginnings in a meaningful way. Each time I sit down to write a New Year’s post, I bump up against what I am beginning to consider a highly overused word, Resolutions. Believe me, I’ve used and abused the “r” word, and its derivative, resolve, many times. In my mind, committing to resolutions seems…well, so 2011ish.

What’s the issue with resolutions? For one, I poked around and have not found any insightful end of the year round-up type articles about whether or not we fulfilled our resolutions from last year.

New Old Resolutions

I did find a lot of lists. This list from Earthshare includes simple rrrrresolutions (see, it’s not even rolling off my tongue comfortably).

Resolve to eat healthier. Resolve to lose weight and get in shape. Resolve to spend more quality time with my family and loved ones. Resolve to manage my money and spend less. Resolve to give back.

Don’t you think those were some nice New Year resolutions for our pristine new year? I do, but they leave me asking…

Who holds whom accountable for resolutions?

I guess it is the person making the resolutions. That seems like a set up…for failure.

Old New Rulin’s

The second list comes from Woody Guthrie. Yes, you read that right. This land is your land, this land is my land, and this land was made for making rulin’s (as Woody calls ‘em). In 1942, Woody Guthrie penned this list (click here to view list larger):

Wake Up And Fight

To me, Woody’s rulin’s are not resolutions. They are intentions. Number 33: Wake Up And Fight seems like it could have been written today about so many burning issues. The 99%ers are waking up the masses to inequalities in our social financial system. And many of us are waking up to climate change, food safety issues, how we educate our children and how best to protect our environment against polluters.

So, I’m turning away from resolutions that are made and broken, and moving on to intentions that are positive and hopeful. As new agey as this may seem, an intention embodies a feeling of noticing a new purpose. My hope is that my finest intentions will continue to lead to action.

I hold no ill will towards those who make remarkable resolutions. I’m all for a demarcation and promise of a fabulous year ahead with its vast amount of newness and wonder. I’m just dropping the “r” word from my New Year's vocabulary, and diving into 2012 with intention...and maybe a few rulin's.

Where will the new year lead you?

Photo Credits: ffffound, Boing Boing

Food Rule Backlash

"Do all your eating at a table. No, a desk is not a table.”


Ted says the illustration above is of me. It's not, but it could be.

How many food rules do you break? Michael Pollan has added 19 new rules in his latest book, Food Rules: an eater's manual, and they’ve been brought to life by the fabulous illustrations from artist, Maira Kalman.

I just read an interview with Michael Pollan by writer, Sarah Henry of Civil Eats. The interview digs into how his collaboration with Kalman came to be. When asked during the interview whether or not Pollan feels our interest in the food movement has peaked, he expanded upon why he keeps pushing food:

“I do feel a sense of urgency to keep writing about food. We’re just beginning to see the impact of our food choices on health care and insurance costs—obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are soaring—and we need to keep the pressure on the government and corporations for change.”

I mostly like Pollan’s rules and abide by this one:

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

This rule has been my food mantra for years:

"The fewer the feet, the better the meat”

…minus the feet.

More and more I’m noticing that I have conflicting issues around food--but they're the opposite problem than those who eat too much meat have. For years, my family has chided me to loosen up on my no red meat rule. Friends I’ve known my entire life can’t seem to remember that I haven’t eaten red meat since college. When I'm invited to dinner, they still ask,

“What is it again that you don’t eat?”

Why don’t I eat red meat? I can’t remember. I do know I’ve lost my taste for it. A part of me wishes I could find a reason to bring a little meat back into my diet because I’m getting increasingly paranoid about all the mercury in fish. I'm told, the cute cows I can hear mooing from the farm behind my backyard are the best meat around.

I want to live the life of a locavore. Yet, I can’t eat red meat...and I can’t remember anymore why I hold on tight to that food rule.

Pollan says to those who want to know if they need food rules:

“When you eat real food, you don’t need rules.”

Oh no, this one doesn’t fly with me because I have food rules and I eat real food. Anyone else have this food rule backlash problem?

Food issues are complicated, and the act of eating should be part pleasure, part communion with a hefty dose of healthy nutrition.

Maira Kalman’s illustrations are poignant, funny and sad all at the same time, which just about sums up my latest food feelings. Her art adds a large dollop of cream to Pollan’s book.

If you’re in mood for a little humor, Pollan brings his food rules to Stephen Colbert’s plate. Watch the funny exchange here.

Main image: Maira Kalman for Food Rules

Fixing Food On A Starving Planet

How we farm and how we eat may prove to be one of the largest issues of our time. There seems to be a lot of deep thinking around this topic, viagra buy and I believe the multi-dimensional problem of climate change reaches into the core of why we need a realignment of the inequalities in our food system – both locally and globally.

How do we fix food on a warming planet? Can we find a solution that will not cause worse damage and more starvation?

Planet Food

In regards to climate change, sick agriculture is a double-edge sword. It’s a sector of our society that is adversely affected by environmental changes. Yet our global food system is one of the greatest contributors to climate change.

“Climate change, price in turn, is contributing to rising rates of hunger and food insecurity. As much as 1/3 of greenhouse gas emissions come from the food system.” ~ Slow Food

Pollutants such as pesticides (insecticides and herbicides) sprayed on our food, and injected into the soil, are landing on our plates. We have fumigants in our strawberries, growth inhibitors sprayed on our potatoes, hazardous chemicals like mercury swimming in our fish, and antibiotics pumped into our livestock. Even chocolate and peanut butter are threatened by global warming.

Agriculture has the ability to pollute the environment and make us sick. It also poses potential solutions as we create smarter food alternatives for our families. Growing chemical-free food, and shopping locally can help push back against a broken food system.

But, what about our global community? How can we worry about eating organic spinach when people are dying of malnutrion?

Starving Planet

Changes in climate have exasperated the problem of famine. 

"Higher temperatures and changes in precipitation result in pressure on yields from important crops in much of the world…Biological impacts on crop yields work through the economic system resulting in reduced production, higher crop and meat prices, and a reduction in cereal consumption. This reduction means reduced calorie intake and increased childhood malnutrition." ~ Scientific American

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject, as I’ve just scratched the surface of the issue of food. To create a cleaner plate, the fix won’t just happen organically. As our planet grows warmer, we are going to need to do something. I believe we’ll need to start voting with our stomachs, and healing with our hearts.

Here’s one way to start...

Nip Bud Nip

Believe me, you DO NOT want something called, Bud Nip or Chlorophopham sprayed on your food. Not only is it a plant growth inhibitor that puts the kibosh on potato sprouting, it probably sends kids into outer space too...or was that Sputnik? As Congress continues to debate ways to regulate pesticides and restrict the EPA’s ability to protect our food, water and air, I couldn’t help but think that the little girl in the video below might just be the best advertisement for eating organic fruits and vegetables.

Bud Nip, Sputnik...whatever. It's not good to send our kids the message that spraying pesticides on their food is ok. Plus, as you'll see in this video, kids are too smart for that nonsense - they want pesticides like Bud Nip nipped in the bud.