Tiffin Project

Hit & Run – Spring Break Reading List Edition

by Keith Talent on March 20, 2011

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What, you think that just because school is out you’re going to spend the next two weeks sitting around in your pajamas watching Phineas and Ferb cartoons all day? Don’t make me go all Tiger Mother on you.

This is the long reads edition of Hit & Run. Quick note before we get to the content, I use Instapaper to read long articles off the web on my ebook, or Read It Later to read on both Apple and Android phones. You should too. Save a tree. Kill electrons instead.

First up we have Ian Brown of the Globe discussing the war on food with Michael Pollan

What’s very striking about the current interest in food is that it’s not purely aesthetic. It is not purely about pleasure–people are very interested in the system that they’re eating from. And they’re very interested in the way the food was produced and the story behind it. People are mixing up aesthetics and ethics in a very new way, that some people are uncomfortable with, frankly.

Then we go back to Ian Brown again, whose prodigious output this week has made my life easier, thanks buddy, for a feature on if food crazies are getting their just desserts.

Then there are the aesthetic objectors to the food movement, a snippy bunch who claim foodies are elitist, cruel, economically fatuous and–according to their leader B. R. Myers, in a controversial diatribe entitled “The Moral Case Against Foodies,” in last month’s Atlantic Monthly–lousy writers to boot.

Lastly we have an excerpt from Modernist Cuisine which is a pretty good taste of what to expect should you chose to drop four hundred bucks on a cookbook and still not have any idea how to make dinner without using google. The excerpt comes courtesy of Scientific American, and is a good read.

Since then, research has sharpened our understanding of pork-associated pathogens, and producers have vastly reduced the risk of contamination through preventive practices on the farm and in meat-processing facilities. Eventually the FDA relaxed the cooking requirements for pork; they are now no different than those for other meats. The irony is that few people noticed—­culinary professionals and cookbook authors included. Government information aimed at consumers from both the USDA and the FDA continued to promote excessive cooking standards for pork. Amazingly, even pork industry groups continued to do the same thing.

After decades of consuming overcooked pork by necessity, the American public has little
appetite for rare pork; it isn’t considered traditional. With a lack of cultural pressure or agitation for change by industry groups, the new standards are largely ignored, and many new publications leave the old cooking recommendations intact.

Pork tartare for dinner! Won’t the family be excited?

And yes, there will be a quiz in two weeks when you are back in class, so no skimming.


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