Is Michelle Obama’s health campaign doing all it can?
First lady Obama has long been an advocate for healthy food and exercise during her stint in the White House, headlining the “Let’s Move” campaign and hosting frequent events in her garden to highlight the benefits of quality food.
But when it comes to the marketing of sugary treats and syrupy sodas to children, did she do enough to try and save failed federal guidelines she had previously praised?
…when food and media companies — including many that supported her anti-obesity campaign — mounted a fierce lobbying battle against the guidelines in 2011, the first lady went silent.
It wasn’t until earlier this year, after the guidelines had been blocked, that Obama resumed her call for more responsible food marketing.
And despite her victories in the fight against obesity, Obama is not without her critics:
…some who see themselves as Obama’s allies in the fight against obesity believe her desire to create partnerships with industry kept her quiet when her voice would have counted most. Fourteen companies that back Obama’s anti-obesity campaign helped kill the voluntary advertising guidelines, lobbying reports and other records show.
"The White House got cold feet," said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who had championed the guidelines. "It sort of undermines everything that the first lady was doing."
Photo: Olivier Douliery / Abaca Press/MCT
This is real: A functional Sriracha fountain as seen at last night’s launch party for The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook by Randy Clemens.
Guests at the Golden Road Brewery in L.A.’s Atwater Village freely dipped into the deliciousness (Tip: Soft pretzel bites doused with Sriracha are a very good thing).
They also had the opportunity to sample recipes from the book — Jackfruit “Pulled Pork” Sammiches with Pickled Red Onion; Beer Battered Fried Avocado Tacos with Sriracha Curtido — prepared by Golden Road Executive Chef Adam Levoe.
But the fountain of sauce was the event’s hottest topic; even David Tran, the man who introduced Sriracha to the American masses, stopped to take an iPhone photo.
If you are unfamiliar with the history behind the “Rooster sauce” phenomenon, Peter Hong’s 1997 profile is the origin story.
More recently, Frank Shyong caught up with Tran as he prepared to move the family business into a huge new factory in Irwindale, Calif.
The money quote: “Hot sauce must be hot. If you don’t like it hot, use less,” Tran said. “We don’t make mayonnaise here.”
Is it summer yet?
The only way to celebrate the first day of summer.
test reblogged from cheatsheet
Whether you’re a vegetarian or still a fan of meat, this video will end up warming your heart. (With a hat tip to Laughing Squid.)
A toast to a rising beverage underdog: Tea
Domestic tea sales in restaurants, grocery stores and shops hit $15.7 billion last year, a 32% jump from 2007.
So where is all of this new demand coming from?
The tea-drinking demographic is widening. Aging baby boomers and Redbull-swigging youngsters are expected to buy more tea. Asians, long a key revenue source, form the fastest-growing racial group in the country. Rising interest in ethnic cuisines is drawing foodies to Japanese matcha, Indian Darjeeling and African Rooibos teas.
And some of the downsides to coffee are helping tea ascend up the beverage ladder. That hangover-like daze that follows a spree of over-caffeinated brews and the rising cost of a cup of Joe are pushing more people to consider coffee’s less-potent competition.
But it will still be a while before tea is able to completely overtake coffee:
Last year, the American tea industry pulled in $987 million in revenue at the wholesale level, a tenth of the $9.6 billion for coffee manufacturers…
Photos: Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times
Jonathan Gold’s best Los Angeles restaurants revealed!
Pultizer Prize-winning critic Jonathan Gold has finally lifted the curtain on where he thinks the best places in L.A. to grab a bite to eat, a luxurious meal or just a huge upgrade to your workday lunch.
The full list is behind our paywall, but the top 20 spots are nonetheless open for everyone to take a peek.
Gold’s top pick, by the way, is Providence, a restaurant that has already been met with widespread acclaim. Though far from a bargain, the Mid-Wilshire establishment is, at least in Gold’s opinion, worth the expense.
Photos: Christina House / For The Times
How to solve world hunger with pizza
The idea of a universal food synthesizer sounds like something straight out of the Jetsons or Star Trek, but thanks to a $125,000 grant from NASA, a 3-D food printer may become a reality.
Anjan Contractor, a senior mechanical engineer at Systems and Materials Research Corporation, is already working on bringing the idea to fruition.
NASA’s interested because storing the various ingredients as a power greatly extends their shelf life for lengthy travel through space, but Contractor wants to keep all of the recipes open source, so the general public could eventually benefit as well.
So how will the pizza be made?
Pizza will be one of the first items printed because of its natural layers of ingredients. First, a layer of dough will be printed and baked at the same time using a heated plate at the bottom of the printer. A layer of tomato base will follow — made of powder, water and oil — then a protein layer will top the pizza.
Read more over at the Daily Dish.
Photo: Cheryl A. Guerrero / Glendale News Press
Ready for the battle of the burgers?
Who molds the most delicious patties? Who dashes the most finely-tuned selection of seasonings on those perfectly succulent bits of meat? Find out in this year’s annual Battle of the Burgers, an all-out brawl over who can find the best combination to put between a bun!
Last year’s winners are seen above, and all of the corresponding recipes can be seen here,
So to join this elite burger echelon, submit your own recipe to the our food section’s Facebook page starting tomorrow, and find out if your homegrown recipe can top the competition.
Photos: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times
Click here to find a delicious chocolate chip cookie recipe perfect for your own noms.
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What are the best Mexican restaurants in Southern California?
That’s a question that may have popped up every now and then as you mulled your next meal. Well luckily enough, and with Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, the Times’ restaurant critic Jonathan Gold has picked out his top 14, so your weekend craving for tacos, avocados, margaritas and beyond won’t go unheeded.
Check out Gold’s full course here, or if the photos above make you as hungry as they made us, click through some of the choice restaurant’s offerings.
Photos: Mariah Tauger / For the Times, Paul Morse, Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times
Transitioning from L.A. Times reporter to fruit picker
Hector Becerra set his reporting notebook aside, laced up his boots and strode out into the strawberry fields of Santa Maria, Calif. to see firsthand what it was like to be a fieldworker.
About an hour into the picking, my upper and lower back were beginning to tighten and my legs began to burn a little from the stooping.
As the other workers pulled ahead, Becerra gained a new appreciation for their daily struggle, and for the little things about the agricultural assembly line that often go unnoticed when you’re browsing through the aisles.
You might think strawberries are carefully sorted — possibly by a machine — into the clamshells you buy at the supermarket after being washed at some facility. They’re not. The strawberries are picked by fieldworkers and placed directly into those containers.
Read his compelling account in our latest Column One feature.
Photos: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times
Cannibalism in Jamestown
Those with weak stomachs may want to avoid going any further. Researchers today unveiled proof of alleged cannibalism during times of dire starvation in the fledgling Virginia colony.
From the writings of George Percy, president of Jamestown at the time:
"One of our colony murdered his wife, ripped the child out of her womb and threw it into the river, and after chopped the mother in pieces and salted her for his food."
But until the scarce remains of a 14-year-old girl named “Jane” were discovered in a garbage heap, there was no physical evidence that the accounts of cannibalism were actually true.
From Smithsonian anthropologist Douglas Owsley:
"The recovered bone fragments have unusually patterned cuts and chops that reflect tentativeness, trial and complete lack of experience in butchering animal remains. Nevertheless, the clear intent was to dismember the body, removing the brain and flesh from the face for consumption.”
Photos: Don Hurlbert / AFP/Getty Images, Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press
While doing research for our cool new feature on heritage apples, we found this 100-year-old book—still the definitive resource for New England apple enthusiasts. It’s chock full of info and these gorgeous, gorgeous illustrations. We had to share! Especially after tracking down a physical copy in a small library tucked in a San Francisco warehouse.
An apple post a day keeps the Tumblr doctor away.
test reblogged from motherjones