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PlanEat: An Education in Our Food Choices

Posted by on April 19 2011 in Rants & Raves, Trends, Veggie

PLANEAT.co.uk Trailer from planeat.co.uk on Vimeo.

Ed. Note: More from our resident evolutionary biologist Ph.D., EvoDiva.

The AFI Theatre in Silver Spring, Maryland presented a special viewing of “PlanEat,” a documentary that broadly examines how the food choices we make affect everything around us. The title leads you to believe that it’s all about the planet, but it’s that and so much more.

We were lucky to have the young British filmmaker Shelley Lee Davis introduce her first film to us via Skype. Three years ago, she used to argue with her vegetarian boss over his dietary choice. But the more she discovered, the more urgent it seemed to get her newfound message to the masses. She quit her job and co-produced this film (with Or Shlomi) with no start-up money and no budget for marketing. Given all this, the film itself is impressive.

Of course it’s not about the killer special effects though – it’s about the content. We’ve heard morsels of much of this stuff before. The filmmakers interviewed scientists who study the relationship between food production and its impact on the environment. The wastewater from America’s breadbasket factory farms flows down the Mississippi River and creates a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico the size of New Jersey. The most striking (and frankly depressing) finding was that ovo-lacto vegetarians tend to have a worse impact on the environment than poultry eaters. This was based on the assumption that ovo-lacto vegetarians consume LOTS of cheese, and those cows really drain our resources.

Meanwhile, for those of you out there who can’t afford a new hybrid, you don’t have to get your tree-hugger card taken away: simply maintain a plant-based diet and you can have over 30% more of an impact than your flesh-eating, hybrid-driving friends.

As an evolutionary biologist and anatomy geek, I was most fascinated by the undeniable findings on the impact of animal protein on human health.

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Peeps Ceviche

Posted by on April 18 2011 in Holiday, Recipe

At first it seemed like a challenge straight out of Chopped. With Easter fast approaching, the ES crew put our minds to the task of concocting recipes from that prototypical Easter candy: Peeps. Running through the possibilities of pureeing, broiling or melting the marshmallow-y treats, I decided to stick to a raw application so that my kitchen wouldn’t become an even bigger mess than it usually is.

So sticking with the raw idea, I settled on peeps ceviche. Typical ceviche in it’s simplest form is a dish of of raw fish marinated in citrus and spiced with chili peppers. With that as a starting point it was fairly easy to come up with a plan for a sweet Peeps “ceviche” dish.

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There Better Be Room In Your Easter Basket

Posted by on April 18 2011 in Desserts, Holiday

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt. –Charles M. Schultz

Dear Vosges,

You have really captured my heart this time. You made my Valentine’s Day special with your kumamoto oyster truffle and Sweet Coquette Truffle Collection. But this April, I have really fallen in love.

Starting with the dense, and I mean dense, toffee bunny: those ears are just asking to be bitten off. This is not one of those weak, hollow, fake chocolate bunnies that cause disappointment on children’s faces at the first empty bite. This is a grownup bunny for grownup chocolate freaks. Full of delicious, 43% deep milk chocolate, the tiniest of butter toffee specks and finished with pink Himalayan salt. Sometimes, it’s good to be a grownup.

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Feed Us Back: Comments of the Week

Posted by on April 15 2011 in Drinks, Recipe

- Patty H. is lovingly concerned for those peeps in a jar:

Love it! Made me smile, but then, just as I clicked to leave the site, I thought “Oh no, I bet they can’t breath.” So, just wondering about maybe some holes in the lid.

We’ll make sure they’re safe. PS — an ES sneak preview — next week we’ll be featuring different ways to cook with peeps. Have any ideas? Send us your links.

- Hope everyone has made good use of our 100 ways to cook with sriracha post. Michael Birchenall of Foodservice Monthly checks in with a 101st recipe:

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Ancho Chile Onion Ring Quesadilla

Posted by on April 15 2011 in Cheese, Featured, Recipe, Veggie

I think it has become apparent that I’m not one for following Michelle Obama’s healthy eating campaign. Considering that my recent creations have included nacho-stuffed potato skins and mac ‘n’ cheese in a grilled cheese, some might argue I’m actually a secret Palin operative. I’m not, I promise you. I just like to fry things.

My better half is a meat and potatoes kinda guy — no greens, no fruit and no vegetables. So once in a while I like to try cooking something that I know he’ll enjoy. In this case I combined his love of Mexican food with our combined love of fried food. I present to you the Ancho Chile Onion Ring Quesadilla.

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Artsy Photo Of The Day

Posted by on April 15 2011 in Desserts, Photos

This must be what heaven is like.


Top Chef Masters Exit Interview: Episode 2

Posted by on April 14 2011 in Celebs, TV

Much like the original Top Chef, Masters is also drawing on celebrity friends for a ratings boost. To kick off the celebrity circuit they brought in Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks and her fellow actor husband, Geoffrey Arend. In true form, the chefs were required to modernize a 1960s inspired dish — fondue anyone? In other news, the show lost John Rivera Sedlar due to an emergency so last week’s losing chef, Hugh Acheson, returned. We talk to the chef who went home, after the jump.

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