Friday Five: Top Five Food Stories of Summer 2009

 

Goodbye Summer! I’m leaving you for Fall. Think of all the fun we had together. Look at the big things that happened while you were here!

1) Bruniocalypse! In mid-May, New York Times restaurant reviewer Frank Bruni shocked everyone when it was announced that he would be leaving his post at the paper in order to pursue other activities – namely promoting his book, Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-time Eater. Eater NY declared it a Bruniocalypse and foodies everywhere began to wonder who would take his place. Sam Sifton, you’ve got some serious shoes to fill.

2) The food truck/cart craze! Good grief. Do people even eat at restaurants anymore? It seems like everyone EVERYWHERE spent the summer chattering over the hottest food carts and trucks in their area, including debates on who had the best mobile food offerings (It’s Portland, Oregon, right?). I’m still not sure I’m sold on it, but there are certainly a lot of folks who are.

3) Organic foods aren’t healthier!? In mid-summer, the silly British tried to convince us that our beloved organics aren’t really healthier than their traditional counterparts. Releasing a study that stated organically grown items weren’t nutritionally any different than conventional items – ie an apple is generally still an apple – the backlash was fast and furious. Particularly after a scathing report in the Washington Post about questionable organic regulations.

4) New food regulations announced! The Obama Administration followed up on the Washington Post bit quickly, announcing new federal regulations for farmers, food distributors and product manufacturers.  Everyone from politicians to consumers were hopeful the new guidelines would help eliminate some of the rampant recent food poisoning, but some people just aren’t so sure.

5) Alice Waters and Shark Fin soup. There was a bit of hubub after one of the most recognized sustainable advocates in the country let it slide about her love of Shark Fin soup during a talk in Connecticut. Waters was lambasted around the country as her discussion cohort, Anthony Bourdain, pointed out the ridiculousness of her ‘last meal’ answer. Sure, it’s a highly-unsustainable, downright cruel dish, but if I’m looking at my last meal ever, I’m not sure I’ll pick the organic leafy greens and natural, grain-fed, hormone-free beef. I’m just sayin’.

~Jennifer Heigl


Photo credit: EatMeDaily.com