What follows is an example of the best of all possible processed foods. In an effort to be better connected with the food I eat, I visited the Schmidt Family Farms in Medina, Ohio. It’s managed by Susan Schmidt, whose specialty is honey. She gave me some of her good stuff and it’s the best honey I’ve ever tasted. By far. Tastes like the actual wildflowers around her home. Susan’s farm is organic. She gives Bradley Cramer, who works in a music store in Medina, a small part of it to raise chickens on during the summer. (“People don’t realize that chicken is a seasonal food,” he told me.) He keeps them in large hoop cages that he wheels around the pasture every day so they have fresh bugs and stuff to eat. He tried letting Read On »

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There are lots of ways to change the food system, and you and I aren’t likely to do it. It’s going to be our kids who do it. Two weeks ago I threw together a quick chicken curry and both the kids liked it, so I asked, “Is this a keeper?” and they nodded, chewing hungrily. So, last week, when 12-year-old James got home from school, I said, “We’re having chicken curry tonight.” He said, “Yes.” I said, “You’re going to make it.” He didn’t respond. “I’ll do all the prep and you’re going to make it.” He said, “OK.” An hour before I wanted dinner on the table, I diced an onion. I’ve already taught him how to hold a knife and halve, slice, or dice an onion; tonight I wanted him to see Read On »

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Calling for more space for caged chickens on farms, via the Daily Meal.

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The Japanese have built a robot that can butcher and debone 1500 chickens in one hour.  Watch it in action, via Eater.com.

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Earlier in the season, I taped a grilling demo for a new Cleveland company called Sideways, specializing in digital publishing, including the eponymous magazine for the iPad (next issue is out Monday, youtube promo here). It accompanied my story on grilling. The idea that the iPad can include multiple pix (even a flip-pad presentation of cooking technique), video, text and recipes is exciting and Sideways was the first company I know of to create such a work.  I think this video is too long, more than 15 minutes, or it needs to be broken into shorter chapters, but it’s not bad for a first try.  They recently posted it to youtube, so here it is. Grilling 101, human’s original cooking method: Spatchcocked chicken, grilling asparagus, and grilling sausage.  I believe Hank Shaw made fun of Read On »

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