March 21st, 2011
07:45 PM ET
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March 21st, 2011
03:45 PM ET
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Twitter star, Ruth Reichl / Anthony Bourdain mash-up and former 5@5 subject Ruth Bourdain responds to the nomination as a finalist for the inaugural James Beard Journalism Award for Humor Writing telling Eatocracy exclusively:

"I'm incredibly flattered. James Beard and I smoked a sh*tload of tarragon back in the day, so this means a great deal to me. What a great day for journalism."

Previously – 5@5: 5 Favorite Food Films: Ruth Bourdain

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2011 James Beard Awards: Chefs and restaurants finalists
March 21st, 2011
02:50 PM ET
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If you noticed a palpable anxiety in restaurants earlier this week, it might have been because the nominations for the James Beard Foundation Awards, popularly-dubbed the "Oscars of the food world," were imminent.

Each October, the James Beard Foundation holds an online open call on its Web site for submissions - this year, a record number of entries, more than 28,000, were received.

From there, an independent accounting firm tabulates the entrants for the Restaurant and Chef Committee. The Committee then creates a ballot of semifinalists to be sent to a judges' panel of more than 550 food professionals and past James Beard Foundation Award winners.

The panel votes to determine the final five nominees in each of the 19 categories, and will ultimately vote on those finalists to determine the winner.

The nominations for the 2011 James Beard Foundation Awards were live-tweeted (@BeardFoundation) Monday morning from the Oregon Culinary Institute in Portland. The winners will be announced on May 9 at the Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception by previous James Beard Award-winning hosts Tom Colicchio, Ming Tsai and Traci Des Jardins.

And without further ado, the nominees are:

James Beard Awards: 2011 journalism, multimedia and cookbook finalists
March 21st, 2011
02:45 PM ET
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See all restaurant and chefs nominees

Full disclosure: I've been on the committee that oversees the Journalism Awards for the James Beard Foundation for three years now, and this year, we went and blew the whole thing up.

For the first time in the history of the awards - established in 1992 and often called the "Oscars of the food world" - categories were be determined by content, rather than medium. Gone are the days of "Newspaper Food Section with Circulation of 300,000 and Above" (and corollary "Under 300,000"), "Magazine Writing with Recipes" and catch-all categories like "Internet Writing on Food, Nutrition, Travel, Restaurant and Beverage" that existed in years past. Enter, "Food Section of a General Interest Publication," "Environment, Food Politics, and Policy" and "Humor" - with newspaper, magazine and online submissions allowed for all.

Here are the finalists, announced Monday at the Oregon Culinary Institute.

March 21st, 2011
01:15 PM ET
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Photographs from iReporter felixlace show Tokyo store shelves with dwindling food resources.

As Japan struggles to find footing after an earthquake and tsunami devastated much of the country, a nuclear threat now looms over the land as reactors suffer physical damage, allowing the release of radiation into the atmosphere.

Today, World Health Organization spokesman Peter Cordingley claimed that short-term exposure to food contaminated by radiation from Japan's damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant poses no immediate health risk. This echoes Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano's stated belief that the levels of radiation in food - while above the legal standards - do not pose any immediate health risk, and that they are mostly dangerous only if consumed repeatedly over one's lifetime.

While Dr. James Cox, an oncology professor at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, tells CNN's Thom Patterson that he believes the radiation levels measured in milk and spinach that tested positive for radioactive cesium-137 and iodine-131 isotopes pose a "nonexistent" immediate risk to humans, and "very low" long-term risk, he concedes that "radiation doses ingested through food is really very poorly understood."

Box lunch
March 21st, 2011
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • U.S. restaurant companies like McDonald’s, KFC and Starbucks are closing down multiple Japanese locations as a result of the recent disasters. - Nation's Restaurant News

  • Instant ramen offers a brief bit of comfort in Japan. - New York Times

  • How did Pepsi fall so far in the cola wars? - Ad Age

  • It's not easy being green - that is, unless you have these ten items in your kitchen. - Miami Herald

  • Philadelphia released a new "Cooking Creme" product. Only problem is nobody knows what the heck it is. - The Kitchn
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March 21st, 2011
11:45 AM ET
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We get food crushes sometimes. It might be a chef whose stracciatella makes our hearts sing (that'd be you, Missy Robbins), a winemaker with a barrel-sized brain and wit to match (cheers, Randall Graham), or a writer out of whom we'd just like to hug the stuffing (we're coming for you, Francis Lam).

This go 'round is Addie Broyles, food writer for the Austin-American Statesman. We had a chance to swing into her orbit during our trip to Austin for our SXSW-centric Secret Supper, and while we'd long been impressed by her mastery of the Austin food scene (the Austin Chronicle named her the city's top "food celebrity") and feminist take on food culture, one more thing quickly became evident.

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Filed under: Bite • Cuisines • Food Crushes • Food Politics • Local Food • Local Heroes • SXSW • Television • Texas • Texas • Think • Travel • Video

Japan: No immediate health risk from irradiated food, says WHO
March 21st, 2011
10:18 AM ET
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Above: Sailors are busy moving supplies across the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan to load onto helicopters on Saturday, March 19, 2011, for delivery to earthquake and tsunami affected areas of Japan.

Short-term exposure to food contaminated by radiation from Japan's damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant poses no immediate health risk, a spokesman for the World Health Organization said Monday.

The United Nations organization initially said the food safety situation was "more serious" than originally thought. But spokesman Peter Cordingley said Monday that the assessment was based not on the levels of contamination but on the fact that radioactivity was found in food beyond the 12.4-mile (30-kilometer) evacuation zone.

"It's new and something we're watching," Cordingley said.

On Monday, authorities in the village of Iitake urged residents to avoid drinking tap water that tests showed contained more than three times the maximum standard of radioactive iodine. The day before, a government ban on the sale of raw milk from Fukushima Prefecture and spinach from neighboring Ibaraki Prefecture became public.

Read WHO: No short-term risk from contaminated food

See all coverage on the health risk posed by radiation-contaminated food in Japan

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Filed under: Health News • Japan • News • Radiation • Tainted Food

March 21st, 2011
08:45 AM ET
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The detection of high levels of radioactivity in certain Japanese foods - and the nation's subsequent clampdown on their sales - signals the food safety situation is "more serious" than originally thought, a World Health Organization official said Monday.

Peter Cordingley, the Manila-based spokesman for the WHO's regional office for the Western Pacific, said his organization believes people in Japan "have to be cautious" about what they eat and drink.

Besides causing devastation throughout northeast Japan, the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami on March 11 seriously damaged several reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, leading to the release of an unspecified amount of radioactive material into the atmosphere.

Read the full story: "WHO: Radiation in Japan food 'more serious' than thought"

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Filed under: Bite • Health News • Japan • News • Radiation • Tainted Food • Travel

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