HandPicked 8–Stuff That Matters

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There’s always a lot going on in the space we call ‘real food’, but not every story generates a whole post on its own.

That’s why we’ve created the HandPicked 8–to give you a quick idea of some of the things happening in the wide world of food.

We’re constantly cruising the web, listening to people and generally keeping our eyes and ears open to information we think HandPicked Nation will find useful.

June is almost here. What are you looking forward to at your farmers’ market? What’s got you excited about real food these days?

Here are some things to check out–this week’s HandPicked 8.

1. Farmers in Oregon chalk up a win against Big Ag. We saw this story on TheNation.com about how some of the largest agribusiness corporations in the world–among them, Dow, Monsanto and Syngenta–were defeated by voters in Jackson and Josephine counties. A majority banned all genetically-modified crops, so hats off to some far-sighted folks in Oregon.

2. OK, kids, what do we think about this? Parents these days are using food names for their babiesGrist.org reports that 330 actual human children were named Kale in 2013. Other names on the list include Olive, Pepper, Ginger and Tea. The list continues with Maple, Apple, Tamari and Chai. Discuss.

3. Well, it seems the bad news for bees just keeps coming. New data shows bee loss at more than twice of what is considered sustainable. PAN (Pesticide Action Network) says: “With losses this large, bees and beekeepers can’t afford to wait four more years for EPA to wrap up its review of neonicotinoids.”

4. Who among us doesn’t like to cook in a cast iron skillet? Businessweek.com has a story up about how the popularity of cast iron cookware is going through the roof–sales are up 225% since 2003! Lodge Manufacturing, a cast iron cookware company in Tennessee is leading the way. Check them out.

5. And there’s this from ModernFarmer.com. More and more universities in the know have the ‘hottest college accessory’: campus farms. From a 1/4 acre plot on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis to over 100 hundred acres at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts the real food movement is a happening thing on college campuses.

6. Two jokey guys who go by the moniker Rhett & Link via laughingsquid.com have produced this insightful video entitled Rhett & Link Point Out What the Contents of Your Fridge Says About You‘. It explores, well, what your refrigerator says about you. Silly. Clever. For sure, worth a look.

7. Chef Tom Colicchio is mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore. He is a member of Food Policy Action and it is the goal of this organization to vote out lawmakers who play games with food policy and vote in those who know its importance. Watch this space: Colicchio’s #votefood will soon be everywhere. Hey, everybody, vote food!

8. And finally, the Los Angeles Times has the seven essential tools every grill cook needs for Memorial Day. Now get out there and grill something delicious! Have a safe and memorable Memorial Day weekend.

And that’s some of the stuff on our plates, May 23, 2014!

Have an idea for a story? Send it to us, we’ll try and use it.

Photo credit: Staci Strauss