Chefs with Issues is a platform for chefs and farmers we love, fired up for causes about which they're passionate. Virginia Willis, a graduate of L'Academie de Cuisine and Ecole de Cuisine LaVarenne, is the author of "Bon Appétit, Y’all" and "Basic to Brilliant, Y'all."
As a chef and food writer, I rarely eat fast food. The quality is generally atrocious and much of it is radically unhealthy. The menu offerings are the polar opposite of local and seasonal. There are dire implications concerning worker’s rights and wages, as well as animal welfare and factory farms.
It doesn’t matter where you are in the country, every interstate exit is identical with the same usual suspects offering the same sad sacks of chemically laced, artificially flavored fare, all swimming in high-fructose corn syrup. Cheap, fast food is at the core of what is wrong with our food system.
Yet, there’s one thing that trumps my French-training and chef sensibilities; I love Chick-fil-A.
Chick-fil-A restaurants' philanthropic WinShape Foundation no longer funds the most controversial and politically charged anti-same-sex-marriage groups and has not since 2011, according to Campus Pride, a leading national LGBT campus organization.
Campus Pride issued a statement Monday claiming that Chick-fil-A gave the organization's executive director, Shane Windmeyer, access to WinShape's 2011 "990" tax documents.
He said they show that the nearly $6 million in outside grant funding "focuses on youth, education, marriage enrichment and local communities" and that in the list of the foundation's beneficiaries, "the most divisive, anti-LGBT groups are no longer listed." Among those groups were the Family Research Council, Eagle Forum and Exodus International.
Read the full story - Pride group: Chick-fil-A doesn't fund most divisive groups
Teenagers and young children who eat fast food could be increasing their risk of developing asthma, eczema and hay fever, according to a study published Monday in the British Medical Journal's respiratory journal Thorax.
The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) study used written questionnaires completed by 319,196 13- and 14-year-olds from 51 countries and by the parents of 181,631 6- and 7-year-olds in 31 countries. They were asked if they had symptoms of the three conditions and about their weekly diet – including the types of foods they ate over the last year, and how often.
Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
It's holiday travel season! Maybe you’re lucky enough to be headed overseas, and maybe you’ve mapped out where you’ll eat while you’re away. For some people, an international trip is a chance to go truly local - to try the fried grasshoppers in Oaxaca, Mexico, or the maggot cheese in Sardinia, Italy.
For others, the Burger King in the airport or across from the hotel is a selling point. Here are the best of both worlds: Some re-envisioned American fast food and soft drink staples from around the globe.
Thanks to its large reserves of oil, the small Gulf state of Kuwait has transformed over the decades from a humble pearl-farming backwater into one of the world's richest countries per capita.
But too much of a good thing, as many of Kuwait's 2.6 million inhabitants are discovering, can be problematic.
In recent years, Kuwaiti waistlines have swollen to make them among the most obese people on the planet. Nearly 70% of Kuwaiti males over 15 are overweight or obese, according to the World Health Organization. For women, the figures are even worse - slightly over 80%.
Yum! Brands is shuttering all of its KFC franchises in Pakistan in the wake of anti-American protests there, after one of its KFC restaurants was attacked in Lebanon last week, the company said Friday.
"Our KFC restaurants in Pakistan are closing as a precautionary measure," said Yum! Brands spokesman Christopher Fuller. "They will continually monitor the situation to decide when to re-open."
McDonald’s president Jan Fields announced today that starting next week, menu boards in the chain's restaurants and drive-thrus will contain calorie counts for all menu items in accordance with the company's ongoing Commitments to Offer Improved Nutrition Choices program.
The announcement came as part of the presentation of McDonald's 2012 Nutrition Journey Progress Report, which highlight's the company's stated goals, including an active interest in children’s well-being, more and better nutritionally-balanced menu choices and increased customer and employee access to nutrition information and education.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investigating "disturbing evidence of inhumane treatment of cattle" at a California meat supplier, the agency said.
After receiving video from an animal welfare group, the USDA sent investigators to the Central Valley Meat Co. and found violations of humane handling, the agency said in a statement.
"We have reviewed the video and determined that while some of the footage provided shows unacceptable treatment of cattle, it does not show anything that would compromise food safety," said Al Almanza, administrator of the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service.
The USDA suspended inspections at the Hanford-based company, effectively halting slaughter operations there.
Read the full story: USDA suspends slaughterhouse after video appears to show animal cruelty
Following the Chick-Fil-A controversy, Bread8 Productions digs deep into food and gay culture in Austin to see which foods are gay and which are straight.
iReport producer Jareen says:
Last week we took a look at McDonald's roots as a barbecue restaurant before it converted into a fast-service hamburger stand. Pit-cooked barbecue ultimately wasn't a good match for the demands of fast-food chains, but that doesn't mean that entrepreneurs didn't try.
In the early 1960s, businessmen Bill Newman and Ben Burch teamed up with Frank O. Howell, Jr., who was running a local barbecue chain in Memphis, to create Little Pigs of America and franchise it nationwide.