Monday, January 17, 2011

Around The Culinary World

Good evening everyone! Once again, we awoke this morning to find ourselves faced squarely with another Monday - luckily if you're reading this, you survived the worst day of the week and have successfully lasted until another day. While Monday mornings seem to be good for nothing more than a lack of sleep and a bleary trudge back into the working world - Monday evenings hold the hope of another installment of Around The Culinary World. (Don't try to deny it - this is the highlight of your food related blog reading Monday evening activity!)

This week, we have quite a few stories to share. Ranging all the way from healthy foods that are not good for you - diet errors that everyone makes, toxic candy and the passage of new school lunch guidelines. Let's get into this week's stories!

If you're a regular reader of the blog - you know that the debate surrounding school lunches has been a cause we've supported from day one. To sum things up in a sentence or two - the school lunch program (as funded by the federal government) had become incredibly broken. French fries qualified as a vegetable, fresh chicken could not be purchased by schools but frozen, sodium enriched breaded chicken were okay to buy. Flavored milks that contained just as much sugar as a can of pop were allowed on the lunch tray - all due to great 'support' by the right companies. The system was broken and the only way to fix it was to pass completely new legislation. Luckily, last week, such legislation took steps in the right direction. Fruit and vegetable requirements were increased, the french fry was removed from a 'vegetable' category and restrictions on food purchases were opened up for schools (assuming, of course, that it is a healthy food item). Read about this new legislation HERE and those who are looking for more information regarding school lunches can read Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution mission statement HERE.

In a related story - a report from The Atlantic points out that outright banning junk food from schools actually creates an unintended negative result. Essentially, junk food free schools become prohibition style candy black markets. Some enterprising students in UK and Australian schools began sneaking candy into the school and selling it to their fellow students. Some of these students manage to pull in $200 per week selling contraband candy! The author points out some of the more shocking (albeit slightly funny) instances of black market candy as well as some other options when to try when creating a healthy school environment. Check out the full story HERE.

Parents - look in horror at your school system! 

With the new year - many people make resolutions to diet and lose weight. Most people give up on those resolutions because of a lack of early success or a lack of direction. To help you out if you're taking on this (sometimes) challenging cause - we've collected a couple of stories to keep you on the right path. First, has a list of the 5 most common diet myths that people (wrongly) believe (and that might actually be tripping you up as you try to lose weight).  Next, the Huffington Post has a list of 13 foods that are marketed as healthy - but that are actually anything but. Check out his list HERE.

For our funny story of the week - we have a tale of a candy product being marketed...well...pretty accurately actually! Toxic Waste: Nuclear Sludge candy products have been recalled for being - you guessed it - toxic. It turns out that the candy had lead content in it that is not exactly good for your digestive system. Read the full story about this accurately named product HERE.

Finally for this week - you may have seen one of the many advertisements lately from McDonald's showing their new lineup of healthy menu items. Highlighted mainly by their 'fresh and healthy' oatmeal. How is this surprisingly healthy menu item? Well - let's just say there is a reason that McDonald's doesn't usually sell health food. According to one author - the end result of this culinary disaster is 'retching'. Not exactly a glowing revue. Read the full (hilarious) recount of the author's run in with McDonald's oatmeal HERE.


There you have it folks. That's what's happening Around The Culinary World for Monday, January 17th 2011. We've got another full week of recipes lined up for you this week. Maggie will be doing double duty this week, cooking on Tuesday and Thursday. I'll be taking over Wednesday with a 'double recipe' blog (side dish and main dish) so you're looking at a minimum of 4 recipes coming your way this week! We're excited, and you should be too for this jam packed week of cooking! We get things started tomorrow night so be sure to stop back and see what Maggie is cooking. Until then,


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