At a Des Moines diner, voters get to the meat of the matter
January 2nd, 2012
07:15 PM ET
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Lisa Desjardins is the host of American Sauce. Click to listen to the CNN Radio podcast and listen to more American Sauce on Political Ticker:

Des Moines (CNN) – Both campaign essential and political cliché, the diner is again rising to prominence in the last days before the Iowa caucuses. Candidates have been crawling (almost literally, due to space concerns) all over the roadside fixtures.

But it is in the absence of candidates that Iowa voters may give you the most sincere reviews of both food and politics.

"I got the ham," said Chris Aldinger. "Iowa ham." Aldinger ate the "Shebang," an egg and ham special, at Des Moines' Drake Diner, a 50s-style restaurant next to the university of the same name.

In the diners of Iowa, pork is essential. Bacon, ham, sausage, tenderloin, barbecue, ribs and sandwiches are just the basics.
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Filed under: Campaign Trail • Diners • News • Radio • Restaurants


5@5 - Break out of your cocktail comfort zone
January 2nd, 2012
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.

It's a New Year. Maybe you're giving up booze - maybe you're not.

If the latter is your tippling decision and you're sticking to it, at least shake last year's repertoire up with Woodfire Grill Bar Manager Blake Morley.

Five Ways to Break Out of Your Cocktail Comfort Zone: Blake Morley
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Filed under: 5@5 • Sip • Spirits • Think


Poll – Are you losing the booze in '12?
January 2nd, 2012
02:45 PM ET
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Science! Sometimes it tells us things that are terrifying, sad or disturbing, but today science is telling us to go ahead and keep drinking. Hurrah!

If you're anything like us (and Bacchus help you if you are), your Facebook and Twitter feeds are full of people eschewing alcohol for the month of January in an attempt to reset their liver and "detox" from holiday overconsumption. We're all for people doing whatever it takes to grasp control of their health and do what it takes to feel better.

Problem is, this particular is useless according to doctors at the British Liver Trust. According to an article in today's Daily Mail, "the so-called ‘Janopause’ – when drinkers cut out alcohol for only the first month of the year – is ‘medically futile’ and fails to rejuvenate the liver in the long term."
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Filed under: Alcoholism • Buzz • Hangovers • Health News • Lunchtime Poll • New Year's • Resolutions • Sip


Box lunch: Australian 'hair of the dog' and maritime chubbiness
January 2nd, 2012
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • Holy hangover, Batman! If you feel like a wallaby is hopping around inside your cranium, here are some cures from the land down under. - Sydney Morning Herald


  • The Coast Guard is having to navigate new maximum capacity regulations for the growing cargo size...of its passengers. - New York Times


  • Four million recipe mailers in England aim to pinch the country's waistline and the size of the grocery bill. - BBC


  • A new childhood obesity ad is sparking controversy with its tagline, "It's hard to be a little girl if you're not." - Atlanta Journal-Constitution


  • You either fondue or you fondon't: In search of Switzerland's best pot of ooey, gooey cheese. - Wall Street Journal
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Filed under: Box Lunch • News


Our favorite posts of 2011
January 2nd, 2012
11:30 AM ET
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Last week, we showed you our most popular posts by the numbers - which is dandy, to be sure - but sometimes the stats don't tell the whole story.

2011 was a massive year for us; we won an EPPY award for Best Food Website with 1 million unique monthly visitors and over, traversed this wide, wild and wonderful country hosting Secret Suppers with some of the most passionate and intriguing people in food, the arts, politics and social justice. We also popped up on TV a whole bunch and pretty much spent every single day pursuing food stories that made us think, laugh, feel, scream, discuss, debate and, perhaps most importantly, get ourselves into the kitchen, where on occasion, we cooked squirrel.

Here are a few of our favorites.

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Breakfast buffet: National cream puff day
January 2nd, 2012
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.

A dreamy, creamy start to the New Year - January 2 is National Cream Puff Day!

Can you really imagine a better way to kick-start an exciting new year full of scrumptious food holidays than stuffing your face full of cream puffs? Now, that's what we call a resolution!

Cream puffs, otherwise known by fancy monikers like profiterole or choux à la crème, is nothing more than a ball of choux pastry dough that is baked and filled with cream, whether it be pastry, ice or whipped.
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January 2nd, 2012
08:45 AM ET
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Sheriff's investigators in North Carolina launched a search of a turkey farm they say is owned by Butterball - the largest producer of turkey products in the United States - on Thursday after an animal rights organization said it infiltrated the farm and videotaped instances of purported animal abuse.

"The organization Mercy for Animals had conducted a covert operation at the farm and documented mistreatment of animals," said Capt. John Kivett of the Hoke County sheriff's office.

"No one has been taken into custody. It's still an ongoing investigation. Nothing has been seized," he told CNN.

The heavily edited videotape from the animal rights group shows what appear to be employees of the farm kicking, dragging and throwing turkeys. During one section of the tape, someone clearly swings what appears to be a metal object, striking one of the birds.

Read Animal rights group's video sparks search of North Carolina turkey farm

Previously - How animals are raised for food

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Filed under: Animal Rights • Food Politics • Video


Coffee klatsch
January 2nd, 2012
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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