'politics' on Serious Eats

What Did President Obama Eat in Thailand? All of This.

Like most Thais who like to keep up with what's happening with American-Thai relations, I was interested in every detail of president Obama's brief visit to Thailand a few weeks ago. But more than anything else, I wondered what the President ate. I needed to know what the government of Thailand served Obama at a special dinner in his honor. Once I found out, I recreated all of the dishes at home. More

Congress Holds Important Votes on Agricultural Policy

Sometimes weeks come and go without much in the way of big agricultural policy news. I find these weeks a little dull. But this past week, as the House debated the Fiscal Year 2012 House Agriculture Appropriations bill for several days, the headlines reported several noteworthy decisions. Both the House and the Senate have been holding interesting debates—and making crucial votes on funding—that are worth keeping an eye on. Here's a basic rundown. More

Protesters Call for GMO Labeling in Nationwide Rallies

The primary outcry is for labeling of products that contain genetically-engineered crops. USDA standards do not allow for organic products to contain GMOs, but there is no regulation requiring GMO labeling on non-organic items. Protesters at these Rallies for the Right to Know want consumers to be more informed about what ingredients are in the foods they're buying and eating every day. What do you think—would GMO labels influence your purchasing decisions? More

What You Should Know About the Farm Bill

In a few months, debates will begin of the 2012 Farm Bill, the enormous set of policies that details agricultural activity in the United States. Hearings for the Bill began nearly a year ago, with testimony from citizens and organizations who felt compelled to share their outlook on farm policy. Soon we will begin hearing much more about the cost, impact, and ethics of this bill. So, before the debates kick into high gear, how about a quick history lesson? More

Food Prices Continue to Rise, an International Food Crisis Looms

The last time that food prices were in the news was in 2008, when the food price index soared. These days, we're hearing a lot about the issue once again. Why? Global food prices have surpassed the 2008 peak. The consequences of this persistent rise are yet to be fully realized, yet some are already discussing the imminent possibility of food riots, political unrest, and widespread hunger as a result of pricier food. More

India Considers a Constitutional Right to Food

One of the most highly-populated regions on the planet, India has more than 400 million people living in poverty. This low standard of living presents many day-to-day difficulties to families, but one of the most pressing national issues is hunger. An inefficient government-sponsored food distribution program does little for the families who need assistance most. How to address this problem has become a topic of major political debate. At the center of reform-minded discussion is the president of the Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi. More

Mobile Museum Focuses on Poor Working Conditions of Florida Ag Workers

In 2009, Barry Estabrook wrote an in-depth piece for Gourmet about tomato pickers in the Immokalee region of Florida. He detailed the near-slavery conditions that farm workers faced as they were forced to work long hours for very little pay, live in filthy and cramped conditions, and remain on the farm against their will. The Florida Modern-Day Slavery Museum is a mobile museum currently stopping across the country, seeking to spread the word about the horrible living and working conditions of these tomato pickers and farm workers. More

The Future of School Lunch Reform

School lunch is currently one of the hot topics in food policy. So much that a new film called Lunch Line is coming out this spring to emphasize the history and development of the school lunch program. With the influence of documentaries such as this one, and efforts of lobbying groups and researchers, hopefully the National School Lunch Program can see positive changes in the near future. More

The Varying Food Preferences of Conservatives and Liberals

The liberal's kitchen? [Illustration: Hunch] Hunch's report on How Food Preferences Vary by Political Ideology shows some differences between what foods conservatives and liberals prefer. Hunch summarize the results in their blog, such as that conservatives prefer homey, comfort foods and are more likely than liberals to eat fast food, while liberals are more likely to eat healthy or vegetarian alternatives. When liberals do eat fast food, they tend to prefer specialty, regional chains. Of course, there's also common ground: both sides agree that bacon double cheeseburgers are delicious, and they both like hot dogs. How does your your political ideology fit with these results? (It's worth noting that the sampling size of liberals was larger than conservatives; out... More

Bloomberg's Pizza Money

From the Washington Post: The bulk of Bloomberg's spending has gone into television, radio and Web advertising, it said.But some of the money has trickled down to recession-hit small businesses, including Goodfellas Brick Over Pizza on Staten Island and in the Bronx. The Bloomberg campaign has so far forked over $8,892 for pizza at Goodfellas alone. [Hat tip to Will F.]... More

Video: Inside the White House Garden

First Lady Michelle Obama and White House chef Sam Kass give us a tour of the first White House garden since Eleanor Roosevelt's Victory Garden during World War II (which technically was only the size of a bed, and didn't qualify as a feeding-lots-of-people garden like this one). Planted in March with the help of Bancroft Elementary School students, the White House vegetable garden has already yielded hundreds of pounds of food. Fun fact: the seeds came from Monticello's head gardener, originally passed down from Thomas Jefferson himself. Watch the video after the jump.... More

Congress May Update School Lunch Nutritional Standards

President Barack Obama has proposed a $1-billion increase for the Child Nutrition Act, which lawmakers will consider this fall, according to the Los Angeles Times. The bill would allow the Department of Agriculture to update decades-old standards for vending machines, as well as the typical pizza and French fries sold in cafeterias.... More

RoyalTea, DemocraTea, and StripTea Bags

[donkey-products.de] How often do you get to see Prince Harry bathing in hot water? Or the Queen just stretching out her arms? RoyalTea can change that with these tea bags inspired by England's royal family. Or if you're not feeling the monarchy, the DemocraTea and StripTea sets of five tea bag sachets (attached to the upper bodies of your favorite politicians and strippers, respectively) are also pretty great. [via conky] Related Tea Cup Stool Anyone got a good Chai recipe? [Talk] Video: How To Make a Solar Cell with Donuts and Tea... More

Fiji Water Responds to 'Mother Jones' Story

A post on the Fiji Water Blog attempts to answer the issues brought up in a recent Mother Jone article: "The real irony here is that the reporter suggests that buying FIJI Water somehow legitimizes a military dictatorship, when in fact the jobs, revenues, and community projects supported by FIJI Water are strong contributors to growth in the well-being of the Fijian people." Oh, and there's a Mother Jones response to the response in the comments of the Fiji Water Blog post. [via attgig]... More

Whole Foods CEO Criticizes Health Care, Some Shoppers Boycott

Ever since Whole Foods CEO John Mackey wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece last week stating that national health care is not a right for all Americans, some liberal groups are threatening to boycott the grocery chain. The company issued an apology to customers, saying Mackey’s "intent was to express his personal opinions, not those of Whole Food Market."... More

Should Junk Food Help Pay for Health Care?

Congress is considering a ten percent "fat tax" on junk food to help pay for the expansion of health care coverage. But as the Economist points out, defining junk food is tricky. While sugary drinks, fries, and burgers might be lumped under this umbrella of fatty foods, they vary on the junky spectrum. Should it be based strictly on fat, calorie, or sugar content? Others have suggested a more direct, though controversial, approach to the tax: charging people based on BMI or body fat content. One Economist reader had the following to say: The common denominator among smokers is cigarettes, so we tax cigarettes. The common denominator among alcohol-abusers is alcoholic beverages, so we tax alcoholic beverages. The common... More

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