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  • Archive | December, 2006

    Happy New Year!

    May the year bring you love and luck in all of their iterations.

    All Soylent Green Jokes Aside

    A fully moderated discussion on meat and milk from cloned animals is going down as part of the BBC News Have Your Say beta.

    Would you be happy to eat cloned meat? Could cloning techniques be used to boost food production? Are you in the US, if so, will you be taking part in the public consultation?

    The thread is titled Would you eat cloned meat? and brought about several choice responses.

    Ed, from Tampa, Florida wrote:

    Would I eat clone meat…or will I? Since there are no requirements that meat pakagers require a label “saying” its cloned then I think we all will sooner or later.

    I love this bit from elrohana, in Leeds:

    I check for GM labels already and will not buy anything that has been tampered with – in fact, I am trying to grow my own veg this coming year to avoid having to eat pesticides. However I suspect that the British consumer is too canny to eat this stuff anyway. I can’t believe Americans would be so stupid either

    Sarah in Boston penned:

    To confidently claim that cloned food is completely harmless is arrogant and shortsighted. Most importantly, this meat should be labeled so as to provide consumers with a choice concerning what food we’re putting on the table.

    There are a number of other great, articulate arguments in a place that gets very high traffic. Plus, the BBC news site is fairly up-to-date with all the good techy stuff. There is an RSS feed for the entire discussion.

    Cheddar Cheese Tidbit

    Tara passed this bit of information about Cheddar Cheese over to me this morning -

    …artisan cheddar producers do exist, most notably the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company – the only cheddar cheese-maker still in Cheddar.

    You read that correctly – there’s only one Cheddar Cheese maker in Cheddar, England. And he uses unpasteurized milk.

    tags technorati : Cheddar Cheese

    FDA approves cloned food

    The FDA has ruled that food from cloned animals is safe to eat and does not require special labeling.

    The Food and Drug Administration planned to brief industry groups in advance of an announcement Thursday morning. The FDA indicated it would approve cloned livestock in a scientific journal article published online earlier this month.

    Consumer groups say labels are a must, because surveys have shown people to be uncomfortable with the idea of cloned livestock.

    However, FDA concluded that cloned animals are “virtually indistinguishable” from conventional livestock and that no identification is needed to judge their safety for the food supply.

    I love that phrase “virtually indistinguishable”, because it’s a phrase that can mean anything from “there’s no difference” to “there’s kind of a difference”.

    I have no problem with the idea of cloned food. There’s almost 7 billion people on the planet and having cheap food alternatives is always a good idea. However, I do have two issues.

    First, as with genetically modified foods, it’s not the quality of the food as much as the quality of the production techniques that has me concerned. I’m not sure I trust the Monsanto’s of the world to give this technology and the process involved the respect it is due.

    Secondly – I really dislike the idea of the FDA stating that the cloned food doesn’t need to be labeled as such. Rightly or wrongly, there is a sizable segment of the population who will have misgivings about cloned food, and they have the right to not eat the stuff. By avoiding labeling the product, the FDA has essentially said that “You’re going to eat this food whether you like it or not”.

    I feel the same way about GM foods – I believe I should have the right to be as an informed as a consumer as I can be. The FDA thinks otherwise.

    tags technorati : cloned food

    The Virtual Family Dinner

    Now if Uncle Frank gets drunk and unruly at the Holiday table, you can simply disconnect his video feed.

    It’s an interesting idea, but I’m wondering the market is big enough to sustain the product.

    Via Jack and Gizmodo

    12 Days of Christmas Cookies: Divinity

    12 days of Christmas Cookies: Day 12

    This is the last holiday recipe of the year. Can I get a “Hallelujah?”

    Amen, Brothers and Sisters!

    I bring this recipe forth today, as it has been said by others that it is Divine, that it is the Divinity. Can I get a “Hallelujah”?


    The moral of the recipe is that one can find the Divine in anything – a child’s smile, the song of a bird, and yes, even a recipe thats primarily egg whites, granulated sugar and corn syrup. Can I get yet one more “Hallelujah”?

    Amen, Sisters and Brothers.

    Alas, the recipe I used resulted in really thin divinity, so I’ve altered the recipe so as to provide the congregation with thicker, more sinful, cuts of the white fudge.

    ‘Cause that, my friends, is the true meaning of Divine – Something so wonderful that it seems that it seems wicked.

    Happy Holidays everyone!

    Note the sorry state of the divinity in the picture. The recipe instructions below tell us where I went wrong.

    • 2 cups granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
    • 1/2 cup hot water
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 egg whites
    • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

    In a medium saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, and hot water. Cook and stir till sugar dissolves and mixture comes to boil. Stop stirring and let the sugar come to temperature.

    Cook, without stirring until 250 degrees F is reached.

    In a large, steel or glass mixing bowl, beat 2 egg whites with salt until stiff and forms peaks. Pour a constant stream of the syrup slowly over the egg whites.

    Beat on high for about 5 minutes or when soft peaks form. Make sure the divinity loses it’s gloss and holds its shape. This is where I failed, and you can see the results in the picture.

    Finally, mix in the walnuts.

    Spread in a lightly greased 8″x8″ pan, and cool before cutting.

    Makes 9-16 pieces of divinity

    tags technorati : Recipes Candy Divinity

    Gather ’round, children!

    It’s Christmas Eve and Jolly Old Saint Kristen’s gonna hand out the internet’s finest food related links of 2006 (more or less) to you, in this one-time only kind-of-a-blow-off-because-come-on-it’s-Christmas-Eve post!

    (Seriously, give me a break here. I still gotta wrap a bunch of gifts and figure out a way to somehow muffle the sound on this freakin’ Barbie keyboard my kid’s been asking for all year.)

    Anyway! Let’s see what I’ve got here for you…

    For you metrophiles, I give you: a collection of recipes from the MTA NYC Transit retirees. Some of the recipes sound pretty good, some that border on the bizarre, and some that you’re going to need a translator for. So…. pretty much like living in New York, come to think of it.

    For those who love all everything in the kitchen — the cookbooks, funny foods, cool gadgets, etc. — I give you: Food Maven, written by the same woman who brings you Coconut and Lime. (In the interests of full disclosure: I was interviewed via email by Food Maven a while back, but I’m pretty sure I only came to her attention after leaving a number of omg i <3 yr blog!!1! fangirlish comments.)

    For anyone who’s worn out their copy of Lilek’s Gallery of Regrettable Food, here’s an equally hilarious collection of Weight Watchers recipes from the 1970s: The Amazing Mackerel Pudding Plan: Classic Diet Recipe Cards from the 1970s

    For a blog that will inspire even the humblest of beginners: The Fumbling Foodie. If Dave can teach himself to make White Chocolate Souffle with Raspberry-Chocolate Sauce, I know I, for one, am certainly inspired to do it as well.

    For the snarky TV watcher in us all: Television Without Pity’s recaps of Top Chef. It’s everything you wish you had thought up to say to your coworkers over the watercooler.

    For people looking to read a blog about NYC food that a genuinely good read (and won’t make you feel like you’re not too cool enough read it): Madison & Mayberry, the “culinary adventures of a Southern girl in the city.”

    For fans of everything kawaii: Cooking Cute, featuring bento lunches so unbearably cute, you can’t see how anyone could possibly eat them and destroy all that cute.

    For everyone so inspired by that last blog you’re ready to rush out and pack your own bentos: Bento TV, featuring all the how-to bento videos you could ever want.

    Well, that’s the bottom of Santa’s pack, kids. Have a great Christmas — or at least enjoy your day off — and I’ll see you back here in two weeks!