'organic' on Serious Eats

Video: A Road Food Trip Through Spain

A road trip across Spain isn't diners and gas station hot dogs—it's long lunches with wine and a plate of jamón. We just spent two weeks traveling by car to the four corners of Spain. Catch the entire journey in this three minute food extravaganza! More

Video: Rooftop Farms in China

I'm a big fan of rooftop films and have made a point of sharing them in videos in order to share what rooftop amazingness is possible. It may be old hat in America, but in China, where food scares and the dangers of pesticides and pollution are only beginning to show their true colors, the new farming movement is just blossoming. More

The Vegetarian Option: Bell Book & Candle

[Photographs: Laura Togut] Bell Book & Candle 141 West 10th Street (between Greenwich Ave and Waverly Pl; map); 212-414-2355; bbandcnyc.com Cuisine: American Veggie Options: 4 bites/sides, 2 soups, 3 salads, 1 entrée Cost: Bites/sides $5-10, soup/salad $6-12, entrée $17... More

The Rise of Organic Spirits

Unlike the food world, where emphasizing local and seasonal and working to diminish food's ecological footprint have become recurring themes, the bar has always approached things a bit differently. But that's changing. As the craft-cocktail movement matures in its second decade, some procedures are starting to more closely align with those in the food world. The use of fresh fruit and other produce is now de rigeur in cocktail bars, and today, it's not unusual to see a bottle of organic spirits somewhere in the mix. More

Video: How to Cook and Eat an Entire Duck

Cooking duck is a great gateway experience to the full-on nose-to-tail eating. All of the parts are delicious and easy to prepare, it just takes a little time. Watch this video to see ducks turned into sausage, pate, rillette, stock, prosciutto, and confit. More

Sustainable Wines: Saving the Earth, One Glass at a Time

The natural wine movement is growing, spurred by winemakers' concerns about the long-term viability of their land, the quality of their wine, and the protection of the environment. In honor of Earth Day on April 22, we chatted with Michael Honig about his efforts toward sustainability at Honig Vineyard and Winery in California, and taste-tested a few great natural wines to recommend. More

Pocket-Sized Shopper's Guide to Pesticides

If you need help trying to decide whether to buy conventional or organic produce at the supermarket, download the Shopper's Guide to Pesticides from the Environmental Working Group. It lists the "dirty dozen," the top ten fruits and vegetables you should buy organic, and the "clean 15," the fruits and vegetables with the lowest levels of pesticides residue. [via US Food Policy] Dirty Dozen Peaches Apples Bell peppers Celery Nectarines... More

In Videos: Hammy the Hamster Goes Organic

Many humans may prefer organic food over conventional food, but the major question is, "What do hamsters prefer?" Ken of food blog CooksDen put his hamster Hammy to the test by letting her choose between an organic and conventional sample of different kinds of foods. See who the winner is after enduring a minute of cute-chubby-hamster-stuffing-her face action. Watch the video after the jump.... More

Is Organic Food Necessarily Safer?

That's the question New York Times reporters Kim Severson and Andrew Martin raise in a terrific piece in today's paper. Here's the paragraph that really hit home: The plants in Texas and Georgia that were sending out contaminated peanut butter and ground peanut butter products had something else besides rodent infestation, mold, and bird droppings. They also had federal organic certification. Yikes! What's going on here? Am I the only person who bought a product made with organic peanut butter because I thought it was safer?... More

Mixed Review: Lollipop Tree Organic Rosemary Garlic Bread Mix

For a long time I was terrified of yeast. After several ill-fated attempts to bake with it in my teens (cinnamon buns that turned out like hockey pucks, a leaden loaf of homemade rye, pretzels reminiscent of teething sticks) I gave up. Yeast and I were like oil and water, I decided. We just didn't mix. Then last year I accepted a recipe-testing job that required me to make a whole chapter's worth of yeasted baked goods: braided challahs, cheese Danishes, whole wheat loaves, the list went on. To my surprise, they turned out great. Even more surprising was how much I enjoyed the smell of yeast blooming in warm water; kneading the dough by hand; and the patient process... More

One Doctor's All-Organic Diet for Three Years

Photograph from Tim Psych on Flickr When pediatrician Dr. Alan Greene in Danville, California, started eating exclusively organic, he didn't do it for health reasons. Instead, it was a social experiment. He wanted to know the practicality of sticking to an organic diet in modern America. Could a person eat exclusively organic? Apparently, yes. Three years later, Greene is still going strong, eating 100-percent organic. His trials and tribulations—learning what's available where and when, weighing the price (and effort) disparities—were chronicled in a New York Times health column. Of course, his dramatic diet shift isn't for everyone, and I don't think Greene is trying to be preachy. He did this for himself, and anyone interested. One thing he noted:... More

How Organic Are You Going This Thanksgiving?

Smart Money did a side-by-side cost comparison of a Thanksgiving meal for eight using all organic ingredients and a feast using conventionally sourced stuff. The verdict: The all-organic meal cost $295.36, almost $170 more than the regular meal ($126.75). What drove the cost of the organic meal through the roof? Not surprisingly, it was the $99.80 20-pound organic turkey, which cost a whopping $76 more. Serious eaters: How organic are you going this Thanksgiving? Put another way, is your Turkey Day going to be more Alice Waters or Sandra Lee? [via New York Times] Related: The Cost of a 10-Person Thanksgiving Is $44.61... More

Ethicurean Reviews New Documentary 'Food Fight,' Underwhelmed

The Ethicurean, a blog devoted to the organic and sustainable eating ethos, is predisposed to love a film like Food Fight (not to be confused with Foodfight!), where the premise rests on the same mantra. But get ready for a plot twist—they didn't love it. Here’s where I bite the nice hands who fed me the DVD review copy. We three found ourselves squirming restlessly in our pews. Too many putative saints were being paraded past us on litters of glistening lettuces, and the familiar hymns sounded off key in their new arrangements. Ethicurean founder Bonnie Powell watched a preview copy (screenings are just in Los Angeles currently) and while she found it beautiful visually, said it could have... More

Heavy Metals Found in Organic Agriculture; Does that Make Organic Dangerous?

Photograph from iLoveButter on Flickr Organic agriculture is good for the earth, keeps soil healthy, fosters biodiversity, and recycles organic material without using any of those nasty synthetic chemicals. So if it's good for the earth, then it's good for us, right? Maybe, maybe not. We know that conventional farming leaves nasty metals like arsenic, lead, cadmium, nickel, mercury and zinc behind, but could these same toxins exist in organic soil? Yes, says Slate. Scientists have known since the 1920s that organic fertilizers used by farmers to supplement conventional systems—composted animal manure, rock phosphates, fish emulsions, guano, wood ashes, etc.—further contaminate topsoil with varying concentrations of heavy metals. Organic advocates, who rely exclusively on these fertilizers, remain well aware... More

Do We Really Need Organic Potato Chips?

As opposed to, say, organic meat or dairy products, people understand that there are fewer benefits to be gained from consuming organic packaged foods. These are all highly processed foods anyway, so it's harder to see what we derive from them—all while paying more for the privilege. More

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