Food

Stories related to food in Seattle, including Dick Stein and Nancy Leson's weekly commentary Food for Thought.

U.S. officials announced a case of mad cow disease in a dairy cow in California. It is only the fourth such case detected in the U.S. since the first case was identified in 2003.

Matt Long / Flickr

YAKIMA, Wash. — A new study shows the Washington wine industry contributes $8.6 billion to the state's economy and creates nearly 30,000 jobs.

Ben Adams / Flickr

In response to the hubbub started by Change.org, Starbucks has announced today that it will stop using the bug extract cochineal as a colorant in four food and two beverage offerings in the United States, according to its Website.

Dine alone and love it

Apr 18, 2012
Cheryl DeGroot

I do. In fact I was pretty surprised to learn that many people are uncomfortable when dining alone in public. I can't imagine why. I enjoy unaccompanied ingestion for lots of reasons.

Nancy Leson

When you ask your dinner host "What should I bring?" and the answer is " dessert" what do you make?

RICHLAND, Wash. – The Northwest spring is getting off to a wet start. But Eastern Washington farmers appear to be right on schedule.

Asparagus is the herald of spring. That’s because the crop depends heavily on soil temperature to sprout.

Farmer Alan Schreiber says if he and his neighbors harvest asparagus before April 5th it’s an early year. If they harvest after April 15 it’s late.

So far, it looks like the green and purple spears will pop up right on time. Schreiber says growers have been out in the field working for more than a month.

Justin Steyer

KPLU jazz host Paige Hansen did.   Here's how it went down.

Paige told me she was filling up when the guy at the next pump over asked her if she'd like to buy some meat.  And she did.  A lot.  Since she survived to tell the tale I guess she got away with it okay.  In fact she said she and her husband had just eaten one of the steaks the night before "... and it was great."

An international research panel recommends cutting in half the global harvest of small, schooling fish like sardines, anchovy and herring. The group included researchers from the Northwest.

The panel estimates little fish are roughly twice as valuable in the sea as in the net because so many larger sea creatures prey on them.

Oregon State University professor Selina Heppell co-authored the study. She's proud to say the sardine and mackerel fisheries on the U.S. West Coast are already managed quite conservatively.

Here's some good news about Americans' diets: Most of us are getting sufficient amounts of key vitamins and minerals. That's the finding of a nutrition report just out from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.

Vitamins A and D, folate, iron and iodine are just a few of the nutrients assessed in the nationwide survey, which uses data collected between 1999 and 2006. Overall, less than 10 percent of the population appeared deficient in each nutrient.

Community supported agriculture sounds so simple. Support a local farm, get to know your farmer, enjoy weekly deliveries of fresh produce, and rest easy knowing that you've voted for the local economy with your food dollars.

Nancy Leson

In this week's Food for Thought, Nancy talks about her chicken pot pie recipe and I pile in with an abbreviated list of the things I think  I make the best of. We also recruited KPLU newsies Paula Wissel and Erin Hennessey along with production maven Nick Morrison to brag on what  their significant others say are their culinary triumphs.  

Click where it says "Listen" to hear all about it.

For most of American history, early spring meant a feast of shad. That tradition has faded, but young chefs are trying to slip the ritual back onto plates.

The earliest Americans from from Florida to Nova Scotia caught shad by the basketful as they swam back from the sea to spawn in their home rivers. The fresh, silvery fish was most certainly a delight after winter's dreary fare. The American shad's Latin name is clue to its allure: Alosa sapadissima, or most delicious herring.

Nancy Leson

Well, optional for you maybe.  Me, I like a nice hunk of bacon nestled in there with some slow-cooked collards.  I got  turned on to eating them with a few shakes of the hot pepper vinegar  on the counter at Lamar's, a greasy spoon I used to frequent in Biloxi.

Disease outbreaks with imported foods are on the rise, and fish and spices are the foods most likely to cause problems.

It's not that imported foods are any nastier than home-grown, according to a presentation today from researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's that we're eating a lot more of them.

Nancy Leson

Sure, the traditional St. Patrick's  Day dinner all over the world is corned beef and cabbage.  But not in Ireland.  So what do the Irish in Ireland eat on March 17th?

Dick Stein

This Monday, March 12th, in honor the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts and the 95th anniversary of Girl Scout cookies, I will eat an entire carton of Thin Mints. Sure, I could do more. I could eat two cartons.

The Blue Ribbon Group

An airplane mechanic from Auburn has won the top prize in the Great American SPAM Championship.

41-year old Jason Munson's Mini Maple SPAM Doughnuts won a blue ribbon last September at the Puyallup Fair. His recipe went on to the national competition, where this week it beat out 800 other entries for the top honors.

Sushi seems like the perfect modern food: Light, healthful and available at seemingly every supermarket in the nation. But is it sustainable?

That's the question behind "The Story of Sushi," a new video that's been pulling a lot of clicks in the past week. Maybe that's because its adorable format, with tiny, handcrafted figures used to tell the tale, stands in stark contrast to its depressing message: Most of the sushi we snarf up is harvested using unsustainable methods.

If you're a regular reader of The Salt, you've probably noticed our interest in foraging. From San Francisco to Maryland, we've met wild food experts, nature guides and chefs passionate about picking foods growing in their backyards.

Nancy Leson / Seattle Times

No, not  about Cracker the p(t)et pterodactyl in Captain Underpants. He'd snack on you. Nor do I refer to the Hamadryas  genus of brush-footed butterflies commonly called The Cracker. This is about the kind of crackers you eat. And eat. And eat.

A New York federal court today dismissed a lawsuit against agribusiness giant Monsanto brought by thousands of certified organic farmers. The farmers hoped the suit would protect them against infringing on the company's crop patents in the future.

The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association and several other growers and organizations do not use Monsanto seeds. But they were betting that the judge would agree that Monsanto should not be allowed to sue them if pollen from the company's patented crops happened to drift into their fields.

My recipes.com

I think so.  Just look at it: Yogurt. Call it a typographical phobia but I'm not eatin' anything that looks like that word.   Even its etymology is not encouraging. 

If you buy organic products, your options may be about to expand. The U.S. and the European Union are announcing that they will soon treat each other's organic standards as equivalent. In other words, if it's organic here, it's also organic in Europe, and vice versa. Organic food companies are cheering because their potential markets just doubled.

Wikipedia/Photoshopping by Justin Steyer / Wikipedia

When my Food for Thought pard Nancy Leson confided to me that she was taking a six-month leave of absence from The Times I predicted that she'd be climbing the walls within a month.  How wrong I was.

It happened to KPLU's Grooveyard and Weekend Edition host Kevin Kniestedt. Assaulted by a deranged woman in an electric shopping cart at a local supermarket.  Click "listen" to hear him describe his harrowing ordeal.

Old Appliance Club

My heart says "No" but my head says "They make 'em better." Probably... I think.  

Although it's true that my kitchen stove, new just four years ago, began emitting un-ignited gas in a near-death fashion, I still think that today's appliances must be more reliable than those of decades past. Aren't they? 

My Food for Thought pard, Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson isn't so sure.

Here's a pie in your eye: A brief history of food fights

Jan 30, 2012

Last week, 500 tacos appeared at the mayor's office in East Haven, Conn. But they weren't intended for a casual luncheon.

Instead, this truckload of tacos was meant to be a symbol of discontent. An immigration reform group sent the fare in protest to what they said was an insensitive comment from Mayor Joseph Maturo in reference to Latinos and tacos.

Think you know how to avoid overeating? Think again.

Research suggests that choices, like how much to eat during a meal, are often made subconsciously. Trouble is, our brains are hard-wired to mislead us in lots of little ways, which can have a big impact on our diets.

Take the Delboeuf effect, an optical illusion first documented in 1865. It starts with two dots of equal size. But surround one dot with a large circle and the other dot with a small one, and suddenly the second dot looks bigger.

At the rate they're going, those nutritious-looking sprouts may disappear from sandwiches and salads near you in not too long. And that may be a good thing.

This week, the Beaumont, Tex.-based Jason's Deli chain announced that it would no longer serve fresh sprouts, citing frequent recalls due to bacterial contamination.

I don't bother to do it but Nancy Leson does. Find out why below – along with the reason you should never use old tuna cans to cut biscuits. 

I've also posted my "Clamity Cheryl" DeGroot-approved red clam sauce recipe. You can make it in the time it takes to bring a big pot of water to boil for the spaghetti – and in these times of the Fetish for Fresh it's proud to use canned clams.

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