Food Lit: PIG 05049

Have you ever seen Food Inc?

No? Why are you still reading this? Get your act together and watch it as soon as possible.

One of the most memorable scenes of the documentary for me was the overwhelming amount of uses for corn. From your dinner to your batteries–some sort of corn product is in there.

But Christien Meindertsma had a cooler idea. She researched all of the products that are made from a single pig. Just like the corn, some products are fairly true to what we would consider a pork product, but others surprise. From marshmallow to paint, pig takes part in the production. Exhibited in Rotterdam in 2008, you can explore her research and what started it all in “PIG 05049”, available through amazon.

Looks like an intriguing read, your friend who seems to know everything about food would be instantly silenced. For more info please visit Christien Meindertsma’s website.

Food Lit: Michael Pollan “Food Rules”

Biggest overstatement of the year. Food seems so complicated sometimes. But it doesn’t have to be.

I can’t think of anyone who has greater insight into the current status of food and our relationship to it than Michael Pollan. You don’t have to agree with everything he presents in his various novels and essays but I have to say his work is some of the most eye opening material I chose to explore.

I am especially smitten with his book, “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual”. He does not provide a step by step guideline but rather suggestions that are quite simple and logical. Pollan makes me think about the little things I can do to change my diet and be a more food conscience and informed consumer.  His new illustrated version of the manual is coming out soon (can I say Christmas gift?) so enjoy the above video to take a look at the new illustrations and some new rules too! While you’re at it, follow him on twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/michaelpollan) as he is posting new rules everyday.

Happy Friday! We survived the week!

Food Lit: Lucky Peach

Food literature is something I can’t get enough of. I read all of the time: magazines, blogs and books you name it, I have read it or it’s on my list. I was incredibly excited when I heard about David Chang’s new quarterly food magazine adventure. I have never been to his restaurants but you can be sure as hell that I’m itching to try some of his food.

But for now I’m absolutely in love with the publication, Lucky Peach. While the magazine was impossible to find anywhere near where I live I had it shipped to my doorstep and it came pretty darn quick. This is the first of hopefully many editions from McSweeney’s, Editor-in-Chief Chris Yang and Editors Peter Meehan and Dave Chang. The entire issue is dedicated none other than the infamous ramen. Those that think they know everything there is to know (*cough* any college student *cough*) will be quickly immersed in the culture, history and flavors of what ramen inspires people to make. Some of the articles are incredibly long but everything is well written and creative. Through 175 pages you will get to know ramen noodle masters, understand how top ramen shops serve up their noodles, and read original cartoons and stories inspired by the chopstick loving dish. My favorite feature was the printed conversation between Chefs Anthony Bourdain, Wylie Dufresne and of course Dave Chang about the mediocrity and safeness that is ruining what it means to own a restaurant and cook for people. There is even a breakdown of WD~50’s signature dish, Eggs Benedict.

For anyone interested in food I would say you need to read this publication, and not just for the recipes. With the edgy hand drawn text, unedited language and comical cartooning the magazine is outspoken and visually pleasing but there is much more going on here. The magazine really puts decisions into perspective. Why would I add a bit of this over some of that? Why would I try to push my cooking while still admiring those who have “mastered” it? Those decisions matter and those are what propel the food industry, innovation rather than blatant reproduction. Communicated through a “take no prisoners” lens Lucky Peach is not just mere entertainment. It’s education.

For all information Lucky Peach: http://www.mcsweeneys.net/luckypeach