Dan Barber’s Culinary Crusade – WSJ.com

“Butchering and eating animals may not be called kindness, but eating soy burgers that rely on pesticides and fertilizers precipitates destruction too. You don’t have to eat meat, but you should have the good judgment to relinquish the high horse. There is no such thing as guilt-free eating.”

WSJ Soapbox piece on food, sustainability, local diets, and the environment by Dan Barber, chef at Blue Hill at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. He discusses his opinions on what is best for humans to eat – best for us in a way that is healthy, and best for the earth in a way that is sustainable and logical – based on nutrient cycles, tracing the energy flow, and the inputs and outputs unique to different areas and their soils, as well as culture and our biological needs. Interesting ideas on “ecological intelligence” and an argument against vegetarianism (it’s always good to hear the reasoning behind both sides!).

“What I don’t like about sustainable foodies—and I’m considered one of them—is that we carry an air of preachiness about food. (No one wants to be told what to eat, whether it’s by your mother or by a group of holier-than-thou chefs.) But true sustainability is about more than just deciding to cook with local ingredients or not allowing your child to have corn syrup. It’s about cuisine that’s evolved out of what the land is telling you it wants to grow. As one farmer said to me, Food systems don’t last; cuisine does.”

Source: Dan Barber’s Culinary Crusade – WSJ.com

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Caren Alpert’s electron microscope photos of food

Caren Alpert asks a good question with her series, terra cibus: what’s in our food? The project is a collection of electron microscope images of different foods, from shrimp tails (pictured) to chocolate cake to vegetables. In some cases you can clearly see the differences in texture, uniformity, composition, some beautiful and foreign, some just as you might have expected.

“Photographs taken with electron microscopes have seized my interest because of their mystery and simultaneous familiarity. This medium deconstructs, abstracts, and reveals the ordinary in a riveting way. The closer the lens got, the more I saw food – and consumers of food – as part of a larger eco-system.”

– Caren Alpert, terra cibus artist statement

Check out the gallery at http://carenalpertfineart.com/gallery.html.