5@5 - Lucinda Scala Quinn
December 7th, 2010
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Men can cook, don't get us wrong - but sometimes, just as some of their female counterparts do, they need a little guidance. While a Cheez Whiz replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa is impressive, it's not exactly a nutritious dinner.

With four brothers, three sons and a husband, Lucinda Scala Quinn has spent much of her life doing just that: helping the Y chromosomes navigate their way around the stove.

Quinn is the Executive Director of Food and Entertaining at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, host of a weekly food radio show "EatDrink" on Sirius XM and cookbook author, most recently of "Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys." She also hosts a show of the same name on the Hallmark Channel every weekday at 11 a.m. EST.

As the old cliché goes, a way to a man's heart is through his stomach.

Five Ways to Whet the Appetite of the Men in your Life: Lucinda Scala Quinn

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Filed under: 5@5 • Think

Give the gifts that keep on munching
December 7th, 2010
03:15 PM ET
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Some Americans are giving homegrown food and specialty items as presents this holiday season and spending a fraction of what they'd pay in a store.

Who doesn't like a tasty bargain?

According to the National Gardening Association, about 41 million households participate in food gardening; 58 percent do it to grow better tasting food and 54 percent do it to save money on food bills.

But Kenneth Wingard, a home furnishings designer, is among the 23 percent of growers who share their tasty treats with others. This year, he's giving away organic peach jam and preserves from his California ranch for the holidays.

"It's definitely a cost savings," Wingard said. "It probably ends up costing us about $2 a jar and we are handing out 60 this year."

But he doesn't just do it for the cost, he enjoys the warm, fuzzy feeling it brings him.

Read Holiday gifts you can eat

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Filed under: Christmas • Holidays • HolidayShopping

The mercury is rising for tuna
December 7th, 2010
02:30 PM ET
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Younger women and children should limit the amount of tuna they eat and pregnant women should not eat tuna at all, because of mercury levels found in the canned and packaged fish, says new report in the January 2011 issue of Consumer Reports.

Albacore or white tuna usually contains far more mercury than light tuna, according to Consumer Reports , and canned tuna is the most common source of mercury in our diet.

In order to test current levels, investigators for the periodical tested 42 samples from cans and pouches of tuna bought mostly in the New York City area. They found all the samples contained measurable levels of mercury, ranging from 0.018 to 0.774 parts per million. Samples of white tuna had 0.217 to 0.774 ppm of mercury and averaged 0.427 ppm. According to Consumer Reports, if a woman of childbearing age ate about half a can of any of the tested samples, she would exceed the daily mercury intake the Environmental Protection Agency considers safe.

Read Consumers Union raises concerns about mercury in tuna on CNN Health

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Filed under: Fishing • Health News • News

Lunchtime poll – office holiday party
December 7th, 2010
01:00 PM ET
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What a difference each year makes. At my former place of employment, the '07 company bash was a full, open, swankity restaurant bar with strolling hors d'oeuvres bearers, meat carving and crepes stations, and fussy desserts as far as the eye could see. The next two years, it was bowls of pretzels and McWine in the hallway while we watched the company president shake his groove thang with the ladies from the mailroom.

Seeing as Eatocracy is a staff of just two, we're proooobably not gonna go renting out the entire whale room at the Museum of Natural History, but a good long lunch is likely in order.

Tales of office excess and debauchery are most welcome in the comments below.

Downloading food is totally tubular, dude
December 7th, 2010
12:10 PM ET
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If a UK inventor has his way, food, that most basic of staples, will one day be zipped from the farm to the supermarket like data over the internet.

When you calculate fuel costs and the release of harmful truck emissions, food transportation, over interstate highways and even railroads, wastes time and money, according to Noel Hodson, inventor and coordinator of the Foodtubes Project.

The Foodtubes would transport encapsulated food to “terminals” at specific stops  supermarkets, mom and pop stores, etc. along an underground circuit (pictured above).

The cycle would operate on a “goods in, waste out” principle, Hodson said in a phone interview Monday with CNN.

Read Foodtubes would transport goodies underground, inventor says on CNN's "This Just In" blog.

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Filed under: Environment • News • Weird News

Box lunch
December 7th, 2010
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • A piece of real estate has seen four restaurants come and go in the last twelve years, so the new owners are opting for a little divine intervention. - New York Times

  • The Insatiable Critic, Gael Greene, shares her tips on making the most of the restaurant experience. - Telegraph

  • Shanghai’s biggest food and dairy company attempts to acquire GNC.– Bloomberg

  • Art Ginsburg: the most persuasive man in food you've never heard of. - Huffington Post
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Filed under: Box Lunch • News

December 7th, 2010
11:45 AM ET
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Many thanks to pal Chuck Graef for the tip. And by the way, HAM BONING ROBOT!

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Filed under: Weird News

A half-pint of snow ice cream
December 7th, 2010
11:00 AM ET
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Snowpocalypse! Snowmageddon! SNOMG! Whatever portmanteau your local news outlet uses to panty-bunch about major winter weather events, odds are they bury the lede like a Mini Cooper in the path of a city plow. I won't: FREE FOOD is FALLING from the SKY.

Here's how to get your blizzard buffet on for a fraction of the price of Haagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche and feel like you're Laura Ingalls Wilder, hardscrabbling out on the Dakota Territory, minus the outhouse and pig bladder balloons.

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Filed under: Books • Make • Recipes

This just in: Flame retardants don't belong in butter
December 7th, 2010
09:30 AM ET
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A stick of butter purchased at a Dallas grocery story contained high levels of a flame retardant used in electronics, according to environmental scientists at the University of Texas School of Public Health.

The butter was contaminated with a chemical called polybrominated diphenyl ether, or PBDE.

"To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of U.S. butter contaminated with PBDEs," said lead research Arnold Schecter, whose study was published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

The butter was purchased last year as part of a small research project to test for contaminates. The butter stick's wrapper contained even higher amounts of PBDEs. The source of the contamination remains a mystery.

Read Study: Flame retardant found in small butter sample on CNN Health

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Filed under: Dairy • Health News • Recalls • Tainted Food

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