A few of the news stories making waves in the food world:
In a fantastic essay, Russ Parsons, editor of the LA Times food section, writes that he's tired of "organic" being used as the sole measure of the worth of a fruit or vegetable. Central quote: "Certainly, there is a problem with chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers when they are used incorrectly. But it's quite a leap to suggest that because something is harmful when misused, it mustn't be used at all."
The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times both run features today on street food vendors, the topic du jour of all the fooderati (thanks for the links, @agarbes). While the WSJ story is a straightforward roundup of high-end restaurateurs starting up lunch trucks, including Seattle's own Skillet Street Food, the New York Times piece is far more interesting: In a city with a longstanding tradition of hot dog carts and gyros trucks, most owned by first-generation Americans, owners of the chic new gourmet street food trucks are finding the competition far fiercer than they expected. My favorite quote, from Grant Di Mille: "I should not have to carry a baseball bat on my truck in order to sell cupcakes." (Side note: WSJ, the carne asada tacos from New York you photograph look awful, despite the fact that they're made by a chef with a pedigree. Send your shooter to the West Coast or Texas next time.)
The Toronto Globe & Mail profiles Mike Steinberger, wine critic at Slate, whose new book Au Revoir to All That bemoans the decline of French gastronomy in France. Is French food really better in the United States?
On Civil Eats (thanks to Ethicurean for the link), Tamar Adler writes about Bill McCann, a butcher who has helped her with her Berkeley-based meat CSA. McCann has started filming butchery videos to teach others the trade. Over at the Houston Press, Robb Walsh just posted a video he made of a cow slaughter and beef butchery class he recently attended (warning: graphic).