Ryan Goodman has been involved in agriculture all of his life, working on ranches across the country, as well as studying cattle nutrition and reproduction at the college levels. He works daily with farmers and ranchers, helping their voices become part of the national dialogues on food and agriculture topics. You can reach him on Twitter @AgProudRyan, as well as his personal blog, AgricultureProud.com.
Transparency in food and agriculture can have different meanings to different groups of people. As Illinois farmer, Katie Pratt, recently discussed on Eatocracy, transparency includes having an open mind for education on both sides of the plate. The issue of animal slaughter is a topic that brings much heated discussion. Recent efforts to improve the transparency in this area continue to be met with much resistance.
The New York Times ran an opinion article titled “Open the Slaughterhouses” that opened debate on the "ag gag" bills and our ability to report cases of animal cruelty. As the author suggests, increasing visibility in slaughterhouses would be a good thing, but there is a problem with that. Americans are so far removed from the reality and graphic nature of the process of death, that images of animal slaughter can stir quite the negative response.
Last week, Ray’s and Stark Bar, located inside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, introduced a 43-page water tasting menu that spans 10 countries and prices bottles anywhere from $8 to $20. The menu is listed in alphabetical order by country of origin and rates the water on a scale of sweet to salty, smooth to complex.
If 43 pages of water is too much to wrap your taste buds around, don't fret, there is an in-house water sommelier to aid in the selection process.
The restaurant's general manager, Martin Riese, serves as the first and only water sommelier in the United States. Riese hails from Northern Germany, close to the Danish border.
“Where I’m from, it’s the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. There’s a lot of water there. For me, it was always what I loved because this is the element that everything starts with," he said. "Without water - and everybody knows that, as well - we couldn’t live. Water is the most important element in our life, and it’s responsible for life.”
Today, August 19, the world's top bartenders will compete at the International Bartender's Association's World Cocktail Championship in Prague, shaking, stirring, pouring and flaring in their attempts to make 2013's best cocktail.
To mark the occasion, we've found 12 weird and wonderful cocktails worth seeking out.
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