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food for thought.
analog: chew zine
digital: diy dodgy

Quinoa may deliver a complete protein—all of the amino acids you require—in a compact package, but rice and beans together actually do better. And like goji berries, blueberries and strawberries are packed with phytochemicals. The only problem is that lacking an exotic back story, food marketers can’t wring as exorbitant a markup from these staples: The domestic blueberry, for example, is periodically (and justifiably) marketed as a superfood, and in 2012, products featuring blueberries as a primary ingredient saw their sales nearly quadruple. But they only raked in $3.5 million—less than 2 percent of açaí-based product sales.

Tom Philpott, "Are Quinoa, Chia Seeds, and other ‘Superfoods’ a Scam?" (from Mother Jones)

Also worth highlighting is this section:

Worse than superfoods’ origin myths, though, are their effects on the people in their native regions. In 2009, at the height of the açaí berry hype, Bloomberg News reported that the fruit’s wholesale price had jumped 60-fold since the early 2000s, pricing the Amazonian villagers who rely on it out of the market. In the Andes, where quinoa has been cultivated since the time of the Incas, price spikes have turned a one-time staple into a luxury, and quinoa monocrops are crowding out the more sustainable traditional methods.” (emphasis mine)

So not only are the markets for “superfoods” putting the foods out of reach of the people who relied on them as a dietary staple, but there are foods easily accessible to us that deliver all the nutrition at a fraction of the cost, both to our grocery bill and to the social/environmental toll.

(via elenilote)

I watched a really great tv show on this as well. I cannot remember what it was called but it basically said most of the research surrounding “superfoods” was dodgy.

(via kelskicksass)

(Source: thalassarche, via oscarandendear)


An assortment of Thai Petit-Fours at Bo Lan, Bangkok [Bangkok Foodie Finds]

The way we perceive new experiences is generally informed by our education and our environment. In Inkeles’ “The Modernization of Man” which outlines the psychological perspectives behind the phenomenon we know as Modernization, he lists out the key characteristics attributed to a “modern man” (by which the feminist in me hopes the diction choice is just another antiquated result of the 1960s, like hippie fashion): one of which is the openness to new experiences. Supposedly this characteristic is a result of a practical level of education and exposure to an urban environment. Yet, in the 21st century of fusion foods and cuisines where cultures cross paths like figure skaters, this openness has bred a “Modern Person” where the different, the exciting, the new is so commonplace that it is the old and the traditional that becomes foreign. 

Bo Lan is a traditional Thai fine dining experience that makes us conscious of how foreign the past, the un-modern, has become. Amidst a dark room where casual chatter surrounds casually dressed diners sitting around wooden tables, we were served a meal that embodied Bo Lan - which in Thai means “ancient” - with Thai food like Kanom Jeen Nam Neow (Thai rice noodles in curry) or the Petit fours featuring Kanom Piek Poon (literally “wet cement”, or the Thai version of a sticky jelly) that made me feel very much a foreigner in my own country. These were tastes that were familiar to my mother - the spicy, fragrant Kanom Jeen, the chewy, sweet Kanom Piek Poon - yet my excitement betrayed my Third Culture roots. 

Writing this from a different country as I am bombarded with new experiences every day that do not request so much as demand my openness, I become aware of how much Thailand has shaped me as I realize that even the most  foreign aspect of my culture - the historical food at Bo Lan that I found so exciting- remains closer to me than the modern manifestations of the Western culture in which I am now immersed. In the rush towards modernization and the formation of Inkeles’ “Modern Man”, we seek to move along the standard evolutionary path towards pre-defined social success. But we must not forget that individuals are not economies, nor does the industrial revolution of our psyche necessarily mean we are on a trajectory towards happiness. Sometimes, there is value in celebrating the traditional values of the past, if only to stop the Modern Man from losing a sense of his humanity. 

(via redefiningfood)





this looks like the buffet of food from Spirited Away, where I don’t know what ANY of it is, but it looks AMAZING

holds back tears*

Food porn.

about 99% sure that this is from the movie Eat Drink Man Woman and it pisses me off that people have no idea what it is, where it’s from, and just immediately equate it with an anime thing.

Because oh look it’s actually traditional CHINESE cooking. 


This was Ang Lee’s first real big hit—and it’s an amazing movie and these shots were so hard to film that they had to literally hire FUCKING STUNT CHEFS TO DO THE ACTION SHOTS OK. (warning: he kills a fish and a chicken in these shots).

The first shot is making dumplings in a quick and amazing way which takes YEARS of practice to do.

The next couple of shots are of steamed white chicken which is one of those staple, simple foods in Chinese cuisine that is really REALLY hard to perfect. Like it’s one of those things that sounds simple but is rarely ever perfect. 

The next is smoked pork belly and bok choy.

I could go on and on and on but like I’m just really pissed off that people are reblogging this like “OMFG REAL LIFE SPIRITED AWAY.”

Fuck you, it’s Ang Lee’s amazing fucking movie, Eat Drink Man Woman, which is all about sisters and daughters and food and family and basically no, it’s not fucking anime, it’s fucking Chinese culture in a nutshell.

(Source: saydox, via like---salted--earth)


All of my favourite things: Grilled Banana, Kluay Hak Mook and Roasted Sweet Potato on a street stall in Bangkok.

The sugarless, gluten-free snack paradise that is a regular street stall in Bangkok. I’ve written about Kluay Hak Mook before, but I don’t think I’ve accurately portrayed just how much I love everything about Thai street snacks. Grilled bananas are perfect because we use the Thai Gluay Kai (baby banana) variety which is higher in fibre and sweeter, and tastes even better when grilled to perfection. Roasted sweet potatoes - well, how can you go wrong? Among my other favourites featured before, grilled corn, fresh fruit bags (even at night), fresh juice - Bangkok truly is a health food paradise. 


Angular perfection: Ebony chocolate and banana tart

Sharp, beautiful lines make this tart worth looking at - and they hint at the texture of the equally hard dark chocolate and the crunchy-chewy banana base that complement the mousseline cream inside. The best things in life really do come in small - or at least very neat - packages.


Eating the colors of summer: Mediterranean Hasselback-baked Sweet Potatoes with eggplant with vegan Malitzano (smoked aubergine dip), roasted bell peppers and a mushroom-spinach sautee

Ever since I saw a picture of a Hasselback baked potato, I’ve been dying to try it out on sweet potatoes. Yesterday I received the most wonderful vegan malitzano dip, which is a mediterranean dip of pureed olive oil and aubergine and tofu feta, and I decided that the time had come. And yes, the hasselback does live up to expectations - especially with this awesome dip.

  1. Slice the sweet potato with a quarter inch slices, making sure not to slice through so that the potato holds together. Put a light coating of olive oil and bake at 250 degrees for 20 minutes.
  2. Cut up a bell pepper into quarters, take out the white pith and put it in the oven with the sweet potato to bake
  3. Whilst the sweet potato is baking, carmelize some very thinly sliced onions for about 10 minutes on a low heat, and then add diced mushrooms, pine nuts, (I added sundried tomatoes for the mediterranean flair - that’s optional) and finely chopped spinach
  4. After 20 minutes, take the hasselback sweet potato out and fan out the slices (which you should now be able to separate) and smear the vegan malitzano dip in between all the slices. Put back into the oven, and bake for another 20 minutes.
  5. Once the oven *dings*, take out the bell peppers and sweet potato to assemble the plate and prepare extra malitzano dip to add on top, because it’s just that good.

friendly reminder that gwyneth p and chris m invited a whole heap o’ scorn on themselves with their recent ‘conscious uncoupling’ (I know, I had to 
look it up as well). this phrase, with all its new age goofiness, stuck with me while I tried to make sense of a nifty new gadget that fell into my hands.

fun non-work thing I can talk about: last week I attended the sony qx launch dinner at socal in neutral bay. there I was presented with a new camera lens (details below) and instructed to play my way through the dinner which, if you know me, is really not a problem. (disclaimer: I work in education and am rapidly calcifying into the public sector life, and so still find things like free meals and cab charges a major novelty. I doubt I’ll ever be in a position where these perks become an everyday reality.)

socal is geared to the kind of soft american cuisine that has swept through sydney and hasn’t yet disappeared under the wave of oncoming food trends. we tried fish tacos, deep fried squid with mole sauce, beef brisket sliders, pulled lamb roast, churros, and a bunch of other dishes with australian twists and strong clean flavours. a chef demonstrated how to make the salmon carpaccio and we all crowded around for the perfect presentation shot. I thought about J from the zine collective, and how we talked about the way food anchors your cultural identity. mexican food here is so different to back home, she said. I wondered how she’d feel about the food at this place, with its clean lines and astroturf courtyard. I wondered whether it would resonate with her own experiences growing up in california, helping the women in her family prepare food for several generations. debates about authenticity in food are a little dumb unless your ideas are fully fleshed out. read my zines for more of that I guess

anyway the lens. it’s a squat little guy you can cradle in the palm of your hand, and communicates with your smartphone (any smartphone!) to take slr-quality photos. it’s techno-magic and it’s all digital, baby. 

key functions:

  • carl zeiss lens goes down to f1.8, so great for low-light bars and restaurants. manual focus and aperture settings ramp up your photos from digital cameras/phone work. your instagram photos are going to look so sick
  • sony memories app connects the lens to your phone using wi-fi, but not really (I asked if rural burma would be an issue and the rep said All Good so we’ll have to see what happens when I travel next month)
  • minimise your photo gear weight - just snap on and gooooo
  • lens connects to your phone, OR and here’s the insane bit that blew our minds: you can wave it around in the air/under tables/etc for unexpected angles. UNCOUPLING!!!
  • more specs for you here

would I use it on the reg? for sure, though I’d probably still consider taking something more substantial for landscapes while I work out all the features. but for street/travel photography, this lens is a useful alternative. I’ll peg the sony qx will slide into the market of phonographers looking to give their on-the-go work an extra edge.

but really though I’m glad I had the chance to try something new and get me thinking about things! on a purely functional level this lens enhances our best friend the smartphone using fancy-pants technology. on another level, the fact that we can now uncouple the lens from the viewfinder really makes you reassess how to take pictures. this’ll be like the gopro, but less selfie-stick and more sneaky street shots. I haven’t really untangled the privacy issues that might erupt from this lens, but the moral takeaway is ‘don’t be a jerk okay’