July 23, 2008

Scrapin’ Up the Bits… Heavy Reading Style

A whole host of stuff worthy of noting.

To begin with, and on a completely self-serving note, my food obsession intersects just slightly with my day job. The writing’s a bit heavier than you might get in USA Today or the Post-Gazette. But it’s still neat stuff.

Want to get an up-close look at some local farms? PASA is sponsoring a local farm tour this Saturday!

And it’s been a while for this, but there is a new entry in the Fast Food Abomination of the Week. And it’s a returning champ this time, Quiznos, for its $5 “large deli favorite subs,” the commercials for which proudly proclaim that these subs come with one pound of meat.

Speaking of way too much food – or, perhaps more accurately, calories – Americans continue to get bigger.

From 2005 to 2007, the proportion of adults who were obese (based on self-reported height and weight) increased by 7% to a nationwide average of 25.6%, Deborah Galuska, Ph.D., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and colleagues reported in the July 18 issue of MMWR: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

In three states -- Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee -- almost a third of adults were obese.

But it appears that Burger King has gotten part of the message. After close to a year of test marketing, Burger King is taking its apple fries – red delicious apples cut to look like French fries – nationwide.

The nationwide launch coincides with its new BK Positive Steps Nutrition Program and nutritionally balanced kids meal.

The apples are available a la carte for $1.49, said Burger King spokeswoman Heather Krasnow.

The kids’ meal offers a serving of macaroni and cheese, fresh apple fries with a low-fat caramel dipping sauce and a low-fat milk. The meal has a total of 350 calories and less than 25% of calories from fat. It carries a suggested retail price of $3.49.

I’m still not taking my kids there.

And those tainted tomatoes? Psych. But look out for the Ja-Lop-A-Nose!

Federal officials investigating a three-month-old salmonella outbreak have isolated the bacteria in a jalapeño pepper from a small distribution facility in McAllen, Tex., and yesterday warned consumers nationwide to avoid eating raw jalapeños or products that contain them until more is known.

It’s a good thing the jalapenos in our garden, and like four other pepper varieties, are finally starting to appear.

And this takes home gardening to a whole other, kind of snobby, level

That is where Trevor Paque comes in. For a fee, Mr. Paque, who lives in San Francisco, will build an organic garden in your backyard, weed it weekly and even harvest the bounty, gently placing a box of vegetables on the back porch when he leaves. …

As a result of interest in local food and rising grocery bills, backyard gardens have been enjoying a renaissance across the country, but what might be called the remote-control backyard garden — no planting, no weeding, no dirt under the fingernails — is a twist. “They want to have a garden, they don’t want to garden,” said the cookbook author Deborah Madison, who lives in Santa Fe, N.M.

I guess if you don’t gain any satisfaction from growing a little of your own food and have the cash to spend on a personal gardener, why not, eh?

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