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Blog Archives

The ag-gag boondoggle

May 8, 2013
By Ari

In February, Amy Meyer became the first person charged under a so-called ag-gag law. Six states currently have such laws, also called “Farm Protection laws, which aim to stop video recording at slaughterhouses. The bills are largely industry-funded, and based on a template drawn up by the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council. Another eight...

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Nitrogen Fixation, Nitrogen Moderation

May 8, 2013
By Ari

The massive fertilizer explosion in West, Texas made less of an impression than the relatively small Boston blasts two days earlier. But if terrorists are scary, the dangers presented by stockpiles of ammonium nitrate, aka nitrate fertilizer, should be even scarier. This material can be used with bad intentions, such as the gasoline-soaked fertilizer...

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Snake Eyes

May 6, 2013
By Ari
Snake Eyes

A neighbor in New Mexico once told me that it’s bad luck, not to mention bad form, to kill a rattlesnake. Unfortunately, he told me this after I’d already killed one. My neighbor had lived on that mountain most of his life, and he was at peace, if not in love, with its snakes,...

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Kapuscinski’s comments to FDA

April 29, 2013
By Ari

Anne Kapuscinski is a professor of sustainability science at Dartmouth College, who recently led a team of 53 scientists in writing a book on the subject of risk assessment science as applied to genetically modified fish. I recently interviewed her about her take on the FDA’s approval process regarding AquAdvantage salmon, a genetically modified...

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Roadgrill

April 29, 2013
By Ari
Roadgrill

Montana governor Steve Bullock recently signed a bill legalizing the salvage, consumption, and/or donation to charity of animals hit and killed by cars-aka roadkill. The law applies to deer, elk, antelope and moose, and puts the state in the company of Alaska, Illinois, Wisconsin, New York, Florida, and West Virginia in condoning the consumption...

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The Slow Boat Exception to Locavore fundamentalism

April 29, 2013
By Ari
The Slow Boat Exception to Locavore fundamentalism

Locavore fundamentalists might call it blasphemy, but there’s no reason a meal made with local foods can’t contain ingredients from the other side of the world. What’s wrong with imported oyster sauce on homegrown broccoli? Why not use curry powder on your homegrown lamb? Much less defensible are lamb from New Zealand (since we...

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Solid Green

April 4, 2013
By Ari
Solid Green

 A kitchen garden is as much an act of self-expression as a means of growing food. But not all of a garden’s expressiveness is intentional. In the same way that pets and their owners can grow to resemble one another, gardens can reflect their gardeners’ personality, including how fastidious, lazy, and greedy they...

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To saturate, or not to saturate

April 4, 2013
By Ari

We’ve been told since the 1960s that animal-based saturated fats will give us heart disease, while their polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) counterparts, found mostly in vegetable oils, will prevent it. But a recent paper in the British Journal of Medicine suggests the exact opposite. The study compared the effects of saturated and polyunsaturated fats...

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Life after Bacon

April 4, 2013
By Ari

Looking back, the early bacon years of the bacon craze seem like a time of innocence. We took it for granted that any problem, culinary or otherwise, could be solved with various preparations of pig belly. Our collective fixation was like that of a teenage boy who just wants to masturbate all the time,...

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Stock up on eggs for Passover and Easter

March 19, 2013
By Ari
Stock up on eggs for Passover and Easter

I once owned a T-shirt that read, “Stock up on eggs for Passover and Easter.” I bought it overseas, along with some other bits of shirt-bound poetry like “On the Road With Feeling,” “Head For These Seafood Values,” and “Casual Hookups.” But “Stock up on eggs for Passover and Easter” was always different. It...

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