Our Nuggets Under the Microscope

A professor of of medicine and pediatrics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center examined random chicken nuggets from two unnamed restaurants and discovered that chicken nuggets actually don't have very much lean, white meat. Aren't chicken nuggets on the level of hot dogs by now? Hot dogs are also often a mish-mash of different parts but they're popular among kids as well. And they're popular among kids, as we learned from Jamie Oliver, even when kids know what the nuggets are made of. We live in a world of $1 billion Doritos Los Tacos sold. Also chains like KFC know that people can be turned off by this mish-mash so they are quick to advertise that their nuggets are entirely made of breast meat. And they're delicious.

The Home-Cooked Challenge

This week, KJ Dell'Antonia and her family are trying to do "The Home-Cooked Challenge" and have gotten rid of all the processed food in their house.

Man Likes Chinese Food

This story about 64-year-old David Chan, a lawyer and account who has eaten in 6,297 Chinese restaurants during his travels, is delightful.

Is Eating Local Good for Poor Farmers?

The choice between eating cheap supermarket food versus being a sustainable locavore is not really as simple as it looks, at least if your goal is to make the world a better place.

You might think that an all-organic, all-local diet would be best for the environment, for your health, and for an ethical world economy—but not always. Maybe not even most of the time.

Sometimes food from halfway around the world has a smaller carbon footprint than food produced locally. Many poor farmers are “organic” because they simply can’t afford fertilizers and pesticides—in which case they probably can’t afford the “organic” certification, either.

Add in the issue of farm subsidies and their negative effects on third-world farmers and things start to get really complicated.

So should people who shop exclusively at farmers markets feel even more guilty than they probably already do? Overthinkers will be happy to learn that there is no consensus, though pretty much everyone agrees we should ditch the Farm Bill. (Except for the people who get money from the Farm Bill, of course.)


B. Traven is a Billfold reader (guess which one of you!) who sends us so many tips, we just had to give him a byline. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Next on the Grill: Synthetic Meat

Google founder Sergey Brin paid $325,000 for a two-year project to test out the idea of whether or not we can grow meat in a laboratory. The answer so far is: Yes, we can, but it's crazy expensive.

BBQ, KFC, In-N-Out

Every five years, Texas Monthly releases their list of Top 50 BBQ joints in Texas. BRB, flying to Texas to eat all of the BBQ.

Cupcakes, Over

Has the cupcake bakery shop novelty worn off?

Chipotle Snobs

Really, your palate is so refined that you can tell the difference between lettuces even when they’re smothered in sour cream?

What’s with the line? You don’t have eight minutes?

Ah, O.K., you trust no man who orders his lunch by fax.

And you went to U.C.L.A. and spent your junior year in Oaxaca, and once you’ve tasted the real thing, you can’t just eat at Chipotle.

Besides, burritos aren’t even really Mexican, and don’t get you started on burrito bowls.

Two bucks extra for guacamole?

Here is a delightful Shouts and Murmurs piece about Chipotle, if you’re into that (and why wouldn’t you be, unless you went to U.C.L.A. and spent your junior year in Oaxaca).

Photo: Slam Szapucki

What Do You Eat in 1 Week?

I was also inspired by the project and tried to remember everything I ate last week.

“What We Eat, How We Live and the Planet”

Modern Farmer, a new publication that makes "connections between what we eat, how we live and the planet, recently released their first issue, tackling everything from organic farming in China and the mango producer in Malawi that's sending fruit to smoothie makers around the world.