Every week is a good one for food stories, and this week was no exception.
Two articles in the Washington Post revealed hard truths about how most of us think about food and our relationship to it. "Why You Eat So Much" exposes the illusion of self control to which so many people ascribe. In truth, "we're rigged to eat whenever the opportunity rises."
Some depressing graphs in "The Surprising Truth About the Food Movement" display how much processed food Americans still eat. With packaged foods shedding artificial ingredients and rebranding as "natural," consumers aren't demanding improvements in the food system that might make more of a difference—like changes involving the "environment, workers and livestock."
For some lighter fare, Serious Eats' latest story in The Comfort Food Diaries series warms the heart with a nostalgic essay called "Crab Sticks, the Bologna of the Sea."
The New Yorker reflected on the Mast Brothers takedown, concluding that the outrage speaks more about a larger distaste for the artisan food movement in general and less about the brothers Mast specifically. "Going backward is charming only to the exceptionally privileged—those who have tired of modernity and would like to try something else for fun."
Speaking of the artisan food movement, Bon Appétit's "Once upon a Bakery," which profiles North Carolina-based baker Tara Jensen, is the long read you'll want to cozy up with this weekend.
Also worth your time is "Meet the Most Pampered Vegetables in America," NPR's story on the Ohio farm where "vegetables are scrupulously selected and then painstakingly coaxed from the ground." Therein lies a photo of the most beautiful leaf of lettuce you've ever seen.
Wired's "The Insanely Complicated Logistics of Cage-Free Eggs for All" puts this important and growing trend in perspective. The task is emblematic of other complex ambitions to improve the food industry. It "reflects a strange mix of consumer nostalgia and entitlement: We want it all—eggs raised humanely at scale—and at a price we can still afford."
Eater's essay "Escaping the Restaurant Industry's Motherhood Trap" focuses on "an issue that affects women in virtually every position within the restaurant world, from fast-food cashiers to cooks at four-star restaurants."
And the New York Times celebrates the "Belle Époque for African-American Cooking," in which "a new generation of black chefs and cookbook authors has been reinventing, reinterpreting and reinvigorating what's thought of as African-American food."
Finally, Munchies explains why "Italy's Schoolchildren Will Not Tolerate Bad Pizza." Why would they?
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