A 17-day walk for water in the Horn of Africa
July 21st, 2011
04:30 PM ET
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Editor's Note: Joy Portella is communications director for Mercy Corps, a global humanitarian organization. She recently visited parts of Africa suffering from drought and famine. The following includes some excerpts from her blog at MercyCorps.org that she wrote during her journey.

I recently visited Garissa, Kenya - a city of at least 180,000 people not far from the border with Somalia - and areas to the north to see how this year's drought has impacted families in the area.

From an outside perspective, it's easy to hear about drought in the Horn of Africa and glaze over. It's one of those creeping natural disasters that people in the West hear about almost every year.

But this isn't just another annual drought - this is the worst crisis the region has seen in 60 years. (The United Nations officially declared a famine in Somalia on Wednesday.) To put that in historical perspective, the situation is looking more grim than the massive drought in Ethiopia in the mid-1980s that prompted the Live Aid concert, and the drought in Somalia in early 1990s that led to the well-known United Nations peacekeeping mission.

Read: "Three stories from Africa's drought, famine"

Famine in East Africa: How to help

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Filed under: Environment • Hunger • News


Tackling the cone
July 21st, 2011
02:00 PM ET
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Linda Petty is an editor at CNN Living. She likes boxed mixes, tarted-up vegetables, letting produce rot in her crisper, eating breakfast at her desk and raiding your pantry.

First of all, there is a big difference between “enjoying” ice cream and “needing” ice cream - so for the sake of time, we will not even discuss the one-person, one-spoon and one-carton method of scarfing down the frozen medicine of your choice.

But during your saner moments – do you prefer your ice cream in a bowl or a cone? Easy question, right?
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Filed under: Bite • Dishes • Ice Cream


Box lunch: Wedding waste and a super-sized McDonald's
July 21st, 2011
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • My Big Fat Indian Wedding: The "criminal waste" of food at weddings in India while others starve. - NDTV


  • Which cooking shows actually inspire you to, y'know, cook? - Slate


  • McDonald's goes for gold and plans its largest outlet at the London 2012 Olympics. - Guardian


  • Restaurant calorie counts might be little white lies. - NPR


  • "Made With Love" is a fictional cooking show where the couple's relationship is crumbling just like the cookies. - YouTube
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Filed under: Box Lunch • News


Please don't eat in the bathroom.
July 21st, 2011
09:00 AM ET
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The intern with the shaved head was on her phone in the bathroom again. She seemed to regard the third floor ladies room at our office as her personal rec room which was...fine, if somewhat unnervingly intimate on occasion. I realized, though, that I'd severely, thoroughly, grossly underestimated her level of one-ness with these particular environment on the day several years ago when I saw her emerge from a stall, eating cereal. From a bowl. With milk.

I get it - we're all busy people, caught up in this topsy-turvy, whiz-bang work world where news breaks in 140 character bites and we can gulp down songs, books, TV shows and films the second they burble to mind. It's a miracle that any of us can find a spare five minutes to brush our teeth, apply footwear and haul our info-riddled carcasses to our desks, but still, one should always find time to eat somewhere other than a public toilet. That's my wide, solid stance and I'm sticking to it.
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Filed under: Culture • Dining • Favorites • Hot Messes • Rituals


Breakfast buffet: National junk food day
July 21st, 2011
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Snap, crackle, pop (hope that wasn't the button on your favorite pants): your junk food stash is calling - July 21 is National Junk Food Day.

They are the snacks you can't resist, the treats that can't be beat and brand names that are so familiar, it may as well be a friend of yours. When nothing else will do, that's junk food's cue.

Sickeningly sweet desserts, salty crunchy chips, fizzing carbonated sodas, crazy flavors of candy and all sorts of deep-fried goodness are just a few indulgences in the junk food category.
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Coffee klatsch
July 21st, 2011
05:00 AM ET
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Pssst! Got a sec to chat?

We are utterly thrilled when readers want to hang out and talk – whether it's amongst themselves or in response to pieces we've posted. We want Eatocracy to be a cozy, spirited online home for those who find their way here.

Consider the daily Coffee Klatsch post as your VIP lounge – the primary comments thread for readers who'd like to chat about topics not related to the articles we're running. That way, everyone knows where to find each other, and each post's comments section remains on topic.
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Filed under: Buzz • Coffee Klatsch


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