Weekend reads: Oyster eating vegans & enforcing organics
Kathleen Merrigan, deputy secretary at the Agriculture Department, sat down with The Washington Post to discuss the agency's eight-year-old National Organics Program and the challenges ahead for the organics market, which is growing as much as 20 percent a year. In an investigation published last year, The Post pointed to several problems in the program, including the agency's failure to discipline violators and to properly test products labeled organic. The USDA's inspector general issued a report last month identifying the same problems and calling for changes.
Last summer, I visited a friend in San Francisco whom I hadn't seen in a while. Normally in such cases, I must gently remind my host that I eat neither meat, nor dairy, nor eggs, but my friend beat me to it: "I recall that you are a vegan," he wrote, "though one that appreciates fine oysters." Finally, someone who understands me. The trip went off without a hitch—I tore into some fantastic Point Reyes bivalves to go with my green salad, and friendship and comity were reaffirmed.
What I thought my kitchen wanted was a food processor — but apparently my kitchen needs a mortar and pestle. That’s what I learned while reading Chez Panisse’s uber eco-chef Alice Waters‘ new book, In the Green Kitchen, which features 30 basic cooking techniques from Alice’s fellow eco-chefs. A mortar and pestle’s called for in the basic recipes for balsamic vinaigrette, pesto sauce — and even guacamole!
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