'The Food Police' on Serious Eats

The Cupcake Controversy Lives On!

Legislators just can't seem to keep their hands off kids' cupcakes. According to the New York Post, Michael Benjamin, a New York state assemblyman from the Bronx, is "drafting legislation that would make the cupcake the official children's snack of New York." Benjamin is upset that some New York state school districts are trying to institute the dreaded cupcake ban. Although he is apparently at odds with his wife (who thinks his bill encourages childhood obesity) over his principled stance, Benjamin is undeterred because "it's a personal peeve of mine that everything that brings warm memories, the muffin mullahs want to cut out of our diet." Personally I think only bad cupcakes, the dry ones with grainy icing, should be... More

Cupcake Crackdown: Have the Food Police Gone Too Far?

With childhood obesity rates skyrocketing, the New York Times reports that "school districts across the country have been taking steps to make food in schools healthier because of new federal guidelines and awareness that a growing number of children are overweight." A few school districts have actually banned cupcakes at school birthday celebrations, which has some parents up in arms, because, to many, "the cupcake holds strong as a symbol of childhood innocence and parental love." Parents in Texas lobbied to get a "Safe Cupcake Amendment" added to the state's nutrition policy. The measure, which passed, ensures that parents may bring frosted treats to schools for celebrations. What is going on here?... More

The Food Police Turn an Eye Toward Gluten

Pity poor gluten, the stuff that, among (many) other things, gives pizza crusts and bagels their satisfyingly chewiness. It's the latest substance to be hauled in and put in the lineup down at Food Police HQ. As the New York Times notes, there's no doubt that the stuff aggravates celiac disease, but the story also notes that the protein—found in wheat, barley, and rye—may be taking the fall for other issues it has no role in. Dr. Joseph A. Murray, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., who specializes in diagnosing and treating celiac disease, says such advice may be misguided. “There’s this ‘go blame gluten’ thing going on,” he said. “It’s difficult to sort out science from... More

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