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Forks Over Knives

2 Jan

Over the years I have become an admittedly indulgent person, especially when it comes to food. If I have a craving I will almost always fulfill it and if there’s foie gras on the menu I will without a doubt order it. My new years resolution for years now has been to eat a more plant-based diet as fruits and vegetables are essential for good health. Sadly, it has never happened. A co-worker recently suggested that I watch the movie Forks Over Knives and I must say it had a surprisingly strong impact. The message is about the standard American diet (mainly the over consumption of poor quality meat and dairy products) and its overwhelming connection to chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. I would have liked to have more detailed information about the quality of meat these people were eating, but even without it I was still truly moved. I really don’t think I would ever give up meat and dairy entirely, but this film definitely has me thinking more closely about my day-to-day food choices.

You can watch the movie instantly on Netflix or rent it at your local video store.

Here is a link to the trailer: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/forks_over_knives/trailers/

Check it out.

Happy 2012 to you all and may you have a safe and healthy start to the new year!

The BBC’s Ingredients. An Amazing Resource.

20 Oct

I always read recipes that are adapted from the BBC, especially from British writers and chefs. As I was exploring their site this morning I stumbled across the section titled Ingredients, under the Food category at the bottom of their home page. It is a library of food facts and recipes listed alphabetically by ingredient with amazing photos (like the one above) and great ideas. I thought I would share it with you all as it would be a great place to turn when you are stuck with another pound of blueberries and can’t handle another bite of  jam, or just as an additional source of inspiration for building your knowledge and skills in the kitchen. Stay posted for more recipes soon, and until then, check out the link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/ingredients/by/letter/a

A Week of Local Press

14 Sep

This week was a fun and exciting week as both the blog and the Cooking Matters for Parents class that I teach through the Oregon Food Bank were both in the local press here. I think the only times in my life I have ever been in any type of newspaper were in the police log in Carmel, and the one insane time that my ex Brendan and I were asked to dress up and march in the kings 50th anniversary parade in Thailand, and we woke up to find a picture of ourselves on the cover of a paper there(not kidding).

The article featuring the blog was an awesome piece by a co-worker of mine on homemade infusions. It included the infused honey article I wrote a while back and has some really great ideas for many other home infusion projects. Check it out here:

http://www.neighborhoodnotes.com/news/2011/09/flavor_your_life_and_your_drinks_with_natural_homemade_infusions/

The cooking class was in the Oregonian last week. Check it out here:

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2011/09/a_catholic_charities_class_hel.html

Again, I work for the Food Bank, not Catholic Charities, so if you live here in Portland and are interested in volunteering for a 6 week class that meets once a week as a chef instructor, shopper or lead assistant, go to the Oregon Food Bank Volunteer section of their site (http://www.oregonfoodbank.org/Volunteer), and sign up now. They just opened the registration for new classes yesterday.

Thank you for your support and stay tuned!

A Sad Day for California Foie Gras Lovers. Thank You Oregon.

8 Sep

A California law goes into effect as of July 2012, making Foie Gras illegal in California. Looks like these folks got their way…

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/07/foie-gras-ban-california-_n_953067.html

(THIS IMAGE DOES NOT DEPICT MY BELIEFS, JUST TO BE CLEAR)

I never know how to answer people when they crack the door of the restaurant with their over sized ‘boyfriend’ wearing a utilikilt standing behind them to ask whether or not we serve Foie Gras. This happened a few times at my old job here in Portland and I always answered hesitantly, flinching slightly like I was preparing to take the blow to my face that just might take place at any moment. The response was basically either, “great, table for two” or, “fuck you waitress that has nothing to do with what’s served on your menu, you deserve to die a slow, painful death just like the ducks and I am going to yell it out loud, right here, every reason why”. There was even a mini protest on our patio and in the street that involved horse cops and all. I understand both sides of the fight here. I love animals, kids, things that are sensitive and fragile, but I have to say I also really love Foie Gras. It’s a specialty, it’s absolutely delicious, and in my eyes let it be an educated choice made by the eater.

For further knowledge on this topic, here is a very interesting article that I found a while back titled The Physiology of Foie: Why Foie Gras is Not Unethical. And don’t get me wrong, I know there are people out there fattening up these creatures in very unethical ways. This is just one side of it.

http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/12/the-physiology-of-foie-why-foie-gras-is-not-u.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+seriouseatsfeaturesvideos+%28Serious+Eats%29

I think it is important to understand where all the food we eat comes from, and the process it goes through before we get our hands on it. Hopefully those of us who decide to keep eating this delicacy can become more conscious of the treatment of the ducks from who we choose to buy it.

I hope this finds you well and my condolences go out to California…