5@5 - How animals are raised for food
July 8th, 2011
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.

As long as Eatocracy has been around, we've talked a lot about where our food comes from and how it's grown. Some of it's pretty and shiny and heirloom(!) - some of it, not so much.

Ultimately, how you choose to process the information is up to you and we welcome all to our table - whether vegan activist or meat-loving chef - but that doesn't mean there isn't room for passionate dialogue, which we'd love to hear in the comments below.

Bruce Friedrich is a well-known animal rights activist and senior director for strategic initiatives at Farm Sanctuary, a farm animal protection organization with a mission "to end cruelty to farm animals and promote compassionate living." He was the former Vice President for Policy of PETA.

Five Things You May Not Know About Animals Raised For Food: Bruce Friedrich

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Filed under: 5@5 • Animal Rights • Food Politics • Health News • News • Path to the Plate • PETA • Think

June 22nd, 2011
07:00 PM ET
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As long as Eatocracy has been around, we've been evangelizing for heirloom vegetables. It's not just that they're generally bred for exquisite flavor and variety, rather than durability and uniformity; they're also a link to our past and may very well determine the future of our food system.

As Southern chef Sean Brock says, "These ingredients tell stories about families, regions and the lessons we’ve learned from everyone else. They tell history. They tell about time and place. They enlighten us."

June 20th, 2011
11:30 AM ET
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Live from the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen - You say "tomato," we say "where'd it come from?" Managing editor Kat Kinsman explains why community gardens, farmers markets and online initiatives like LocalHarvest.org can help ripen up your summer.

Who's inventing your food? Probably a corporate chef
June 9th, 2011
02:00 PM ET
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Unless you’re grinding peanuts into butter and emulsifying egg yolks into mayonnaise at home, Einav Gefen has probably touched your food in some way.

Since 2008, 39-year-old Gefen has acted as corporate chef at Unilever in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

Unilever is one of the world's leading consumer product companies, encompassing more than 400 brands including such pantry, refrigerator and freezer mainstays as Ben & Jerry’s, Bertolli, Lipton, Breyers, Skippy Peanut Butter, Ragú, Hellmann's, Knorr and Wish-Bone.

Having spaghetti and dumped on a jar of Ragú pasta sauce? Thank Gefen. Cooled down in the summer with a Popsicle®? That’s her team’s doing too. Worldwide, the corporation has close to a 50 percent share of the global grocery market and invests nearly $1 billion every year in research and development – including in the edible category with Gefen as top chef.

May 17th, 2011
03:15 PM ET
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A routine border inspection turned into a bunch of bologna on Friday.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, seized thirty-five rolls of contraband lunchmeat from a 33-year-old Ciudad Juarez resident.

The street value of the black-market bologna reportedly stacks up to about $2,700 and 4000 sandwiches worth. This is the largest bologna bust to date.

"This is a prohibited product because it is made from pork and has the potential for introducing foreign animal diseases to the U.S. pork industry," Santa Teresa Port Director Grace Gomez told CNN affiliate KOAT. "...Some foods and agricultural products are prohibited because they can introduce disease and pests to the U.S. agricultural industry."

Chefs with Issues - A Plea for Butchery Classes in School
September 8th, 2010
04:00 PM ET
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Chefs with Issues is a platform for chefs we love, fired up for causes about which they're passionate. Today's contributor, Frank Bonanno, is a protégé of Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry and current owner/chef of Mizuna, Luca D’Italia, Osteria Marco and Bones in Denver, Colorado. He was named a semifinalist by the James Beard Foundation for the "Outstanding Restaurateur" award in both 2009 and 2010.

I was invited to break down a fish on a local morning show last week. Why is a chef filleting snapper over a Sterno flame in a brightly lit news room at eight in the morning? Because cooks everywhere want to be more hands on with the proteins they use. They are becoming dissatisfied with Cryovaced, pre-portioned precise shapes. They want to be cutting and portioning their own meats, utilizing the trim, creating rich broth from broken bone. It’s a beautiful thing.

What saddens me, though, is that just as the cooks are becoming more eager to learn basic butchery, culinary schools are not teaching the art of butchery. A chef can come away from a thirty thousand dollar education and never learn how to bone the smallest animals - fish, rabbits, chickens. Some come into my kitchen having never killed a lobster.

Minnesota farmer battles Gulf 'dead zone'
August 30th, 2010
04:00 PM ET
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Within moments of meeting Tony Thompson, you can tell he sees the world from a different tilt.

His frayed shirt pocket is stuffed so full of notes that it's ripping at the seams. Hairy eyebrows spring off his face like grasshopper antennae. There's a purple prairie clover stuck in the dash of his van, a bird book below the radio.

He says bizarre, eco-minded things like "I want to be a chloroplast."

So maybe it should come as no surprise that this wild-haired, icy-eyed farmer in southwest Minnesota is among the first people at this latitude to make an important intellectual leap:

He sees people who live and work near the Gulf of Mexico as his neighbors - even though they're 1,200 miles away.

Further, he's changing the way he farms in order to protect them.

CNN Tech has the FULL STORY

See all Gulf Coast seafood coverage on Eatocracy and full coverage throughout CNN

Scorpacciata – farm stands
August 26th, 2010
03:00 PM ET
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Scorpacciata is a term that means consuming large amounts of a particular local ingredient while it's in season. It's a good way to eat. Jill Billante is a Senior Producer at AC360°

I hit an area I call "farm stand alley," while driving the last stretch of a recent trip back to my hometown, a suburb outside of Pittsburgh. The alley spans about a quarter mile dotted with local purveyors standing under ramshackle roofs, hawking basket after basket of beautiful fruits and vegetables in every color of the rainbow.

There are few things in life I like more than a roadside farm stand. For me, it beats even the big Greenmarkets that populate the boroughs of NYC. There is solidarity and security in the big Greenmarkets, where local farm owners are guaranteed customers from the largest city in the country.

But, those lone roadside warriors have no similar guarantee. They stand alone hugging the road, taking a chance that a car will stop and sample their wares. To me, it feels like the closest an eater can get to the real people who grow this stuff.

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Filed under: Bite • Farmstands • Ingredients • Local Food • Make • Path to the Plate • Recipes • Scorpacciata • Tomatoes

August 13th, 2010
08:00 AM ET
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Wheat, coffee and sugar prices are rising like the morning sun. Read more at Quest Means Business

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Filed under: Business and Farming News • Farms • News • Path to the Plate • Richard Quest

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