Friday Favorites,  Reviews

Five Friday Favorites

I’d like to introduce a new section to the blog called “Five Friday Favorites.” These posts will feature news articles from the food world, recipes which look amazing, or anything I find interesting, want to share, or think my readers might like too.
Leave a comment and tell me what you think!

1. Trader Joe’s adopts sustainable seafood standards: 
Trader Joe’s announced this week that they will sell only sustainably sourced seafood by the end of 2012.

From the Washington Post: “In announcement posted on its Web site, the grocery chain would remove species condemned by environmental groups from its shelves, establish a transparent sourcing policy and leverage its buying power to change the seafood industry. The phase-out applies to all fresh, frozen and canned seafood.”

Why is this relevant? Because Trader Joe’s is no longer the small grocery chain which started here in Southern California selling exotic foodstuffs from all over the world. They now have they have 330 stores all over the country.  This is going to have a big impact on helping to make people aware of seafood sustainability issues and on the seafood supply chain.

Photo from Foodblogga


2. Traditional Italian Easter Rice Pie:

If I was cooking Easter dinner this year, I’d be making this Rice Pie for sure. In fact, I may just make it anyway since my mother has offered to take this as payment for doing my taxes.



3. Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

If you are a formerchef facebook fan then you may have seen my posts about this new TV show. I really like the message here that America’s kids deserve better than the food they are being given for school meals. The food profiled on the show is nothing short of shocking in how unhealthful it is and it’s not an isolated incident. Most US public schools serve this type of food and it’s up to the parents and the public to insist they have fresh, healthy food. Ok, off my soapbox.
Please sign the petition if you have not done so yet. The show is on Friday nights on ABC.

4. Tomato Plant Yield Raised by 60%:

I’m not sure how I feel about this article which states:
A hybrid tomato plant that gives a bumper crop of sweeter tomatoes has been created by scientists, by cross-breeding from two parent plants.
The hybrid produces about 60 per cent more tomatoes than the average tomato plant, and the sugar content of the fruit is also higher than normal, the scientists said. It carries a mutation in a single gene that controls the timing of flower formation.
The discovery could be applied to other valuable food crops such as potatoes, peppers and aubergines, the geneticists hope. The crop-boosting mutation is seen as a potentially valuable tool to increase global food production in the coming decades.
I know I grow “hybrid” tomatoes every year so why does the word “mutation” bother me so much?


5. Home Made Cookie Stamps:
Aren’t these just adorable? Next time you make cookies, you can let everyone know you made them yourself with these Home Made Cookie Stamps. These would work great with this Lemon Cookie recipe.




for those living in Southern California:
The LA Weekly published a great article this week on the Top 10 LA Cooking Supply Stores. I can’t wait to check out some of these places.


  • Elliott

    As a scientist and student who is just now getting over the use of the word “mutation” and “genetic engineering” in my foodstuffs, let me give you another perspective. Even before the use of hybrid tomatoes, for example, the food industry has been encouraging mutations in their plants. We do this by only saving seeds from a certain type of plant – the one that bloomed the earliest, or the one that gave the most fruit. All of these are mutations of sorts in the genome of the plant – mutations in nature are plants way of adapting from year to year to keep up with changing climates.

    I may be lecturing you on something you already know, so I’ll stop. Suffice it to say, if this discovery lowers the price on fruits and vegetables such that we can employ responsible food growing practice without sacrificing the farmer’s income, I say more power to ’em!!

    • Tiffany

      That’s actually really interesting and something I was concerned about. I refuse to eat GMO products but it sounds like you’re saying this is a natural change that is simply encouraged by isolating the plant’s seeds and pollinating with plants with like changes. (Almost like dog breeding.) As long as the plant is evolving itself, I don’t mind taking a bite out of the Hulk.

    • formerchef

      Elliott-Thanks for the additional perspective. I think I’m with Tiffany on this. As long as this change mimics a natural evolution then I suppose it’s ok. I’m still not sure how I feel about the word “mutation” though. 😉

  • Tiffany

    Yes, now I’m really interested in Food Revolution. I’ve signed my whole family on the petition and stuck the banner on my blog.
    It really is gross that food, and I’m sick of the way the daycares would tell me “It’s government sanctioned to provide the best nutrition to the child.” I read the labels on my way out. That garbage is the equivalent of off-brand fast-food. If they are provided food by the government, they also wouldn’t allow me to pack her her lunches and snacks because some bull—- statistic would go down and they may loose their food supply. Like I cared! (BTW she’s in a daycare now where the meals are hot and prepared by a licensed nutritionist. And end rant.)

    • formerchef

      Tiffany- Good for you for standing up for your kid’s food choices even in Day Care! Not being able to bring food from home is absurd.

  • Fern @ Life on the Balcony

    I was going to say what Elliot said, only I couldn’t have explained it that intelligently. There are lots of mutations in plants that happen naturally and that all of us love to eat. For example, many of the varieties of orange trees that we grow today were originally discovered as a “sport” on a different tree (i.e. a branch that had different characteristics that the rest of the tree). All blood oranges originally came from a sport growing on a regular orange tree. Yum!

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