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.
Whether it's kicking your soda habit or resolving to open that bottle of wine you've been saving just because, the beginning of a new year means reflecting on what we'd like to change. Seeing that we're a food-based Web site, any impending alterations tend to be of the edible variety.
Gene Baur is the co-founder and president of Farm Sanctuary, a farm animal protection organization with a mission "to end cruelty to farm animals and promote compassionate living," and he has his own notion of a food resolution - and hopes you'll chew it over during the upcoming year.
Five Ways to Eat More Compassionately in the New Year: Gene Baur
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."
On the first day of 2011, our Facebook and Twitter feeds were glutted with friends' New Year's pledges to graze through hectares of leafy greens, ferry home wheelbarrows of winter roots and bunk down with Brussels sprouts and broccoli.
Celebrity chef and Meatless Monday booster Mario Batali publicly resolved to make and eat dinner with his kids, and "master more vegetarian dishes, like simple bruschetta, that are fun to cook as a team." By January 3rd, the Wall Street Journal aided George Ball, chairman of the W. Atlee Burpee Co. in dubbing it yea and verily to be the Year of the Vegetable.
Yet within days of the work week commencing (or the Champagne finally wearing off) that fervor wilted, giving way to an apologetic trickle of, "Yeah...I give up. Vegetables are too much work." "Too...cold...for...farmers...market..." "zOMG the organic stuff is sooooo expensive!" and "#resolutionfail Back to Lean Cuisine. I don't know what to DO with vegetables."
We mentioned earlier today that we've resolved to pop the cork, lid and casing on the edibles we'd been saving for a special occasion - especially if they are in peril of perishing. It's not about living luxe or overindulging, but rather appreciating what we have and honoring those who produced it.
Over at Salon.com, our friend Francis Lam has vowed to eschew cheap chicken. Chef and author Michael Ruhlman has dedicated the month to breadmaking, cookbook author and Meatless Monday advocate Kim O'Donnel calls our attention to a Wall Street Journal plea for 2011 to be The Year of the Vegetable and Epicurious Associate Editor Esther Sung has made a vow to live more simply, including making better choices at the market.
Per author and former New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni, via Twitter, "Resolutions go in2 effect 2MORROW, yes? Since Jan. 1 and 2 fall on a weekend, Jan. 3d is the good-behavior starting point, RIGHT?"
I agree with the stave-off sentiment, but in 2011, I've got a particular "good behavior" mandate for myself that has nothing to do with incorporating more vegetables into my diet (if I do even more of that, I will actually become kale, and that'd make it hard to type), upping the cardio (that's a plan for a lifetime, not just a year) or cutting down on coffee (which would just make life suck for the people around me). It's not about self-deprivation - rather the opposite.
Call it carpe diem, gathering ye rosebuds or an ode to Erma Bombeck - I'm going to open some Amarone or olio novello on a random Tuesday, bust out the fancy Fortnum & Mason marmalade for a solo breakfast and eat that stunning tomato before it rots on the countertop. Good food and wine were meant to be consumed, it's a crime to waste them, and sorry to get all Stuart Smalley on you, but we're all worth it.