Recently I was telling my good friend and gourmet cook, John, of interesting tidbits I’d heard on the podcast, Innovation: It Tastes Like Chicken. I was intrigued to learn that less than a century ago, chicken was as expensive as lobster, and to hear food historian Emelyn Rude chronicle the chicken’s journey to becoming a staple of the American diet. Growing up in North Syracuse, John remembered regular visits to Aunt Alice’s for dinner. One of Aunt Allie’s specialties was City Chicken, a mock chicken dish—veal on a skewer she made in the pressure cooker. Everyone loved it. It took John a long time toRead More →

Tampopo still, Courtesy of Janus Films

Even though I lived for years on Fourth Avenue in Manhattan a few doors down from the acclaimed Ippudo East Village, somehow I never got on the ramen bandwagon. Being a serious sashimi buff did not seem to translate; no reason why it should: There’s little similarity other than both are staples of Japanese cuisine. For sure Ippudo’s ever-present long line made me curious, but I just don’t do long lines; the wait at Ippudo’s two Manhattan locations has been reported to be upwards of two hours. Evidently I totally missed ramen’s evolution from college-dorm standard to the main attraction at hole-in-the-wall noodle shops knownRead More →

In my blog post, “Social Purpose, Millennial style,” I wrote about how I came to begin writing about the food waste reduction movement and Third Age instead of the obvious topics of restaurants and recipes. The reason is that it would be very hard to motivate myself to write about said topics because, while I love fine dining, I’m no food critic and have only basic cooking skills. Plus, there is no shortage of folks writing in this space. But as an inveterate recycler and someone who rarely discards food, the food waste reduction movement hits close to home―and the social, economic, and environmental issuesRead More →

In my June 3, 2016, blog post, “PARO, CHARLI, Pepper, and the debate around robot caregivers,” I noted the public policy trend toward, and seniors’ preference for, aging in place (i.e., at home). I also talked about geriatrician Louise Aronson’s difficulty with gracefully taking her leave from a loquacious [read: lonely] elderly client who seems to need more than the skeletal support framework she has in place. In closing I said that next time I’d share my own idea for helping the homebound lonely and disabled. Enter 22-year-old Matt, whom I have not spoken with in a few years. Without our ever comparing notes aboutRead More →

In a National Geographic cover story earlier this year, Garbage Land author Elizabeth Royte follows Tristram Stuart as he darts around New Jersey, New York, Colombia, and Peru on food-rescue missions that culminate in soup-kitchen-style events to feed scores of people, sometimes as many as 5,000. The son of a naturalist, Stuart is the high-profile British food activist and author of Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal. Stuart’s food-waste consciousness was shaped in adolescence in rural East Sussex where he raised pigs he fed with the [shocking amount of] leftovers he gathered from local shops. At times Royte paints a caricature reminiscent of Road RunnerRead More →

I’ve never been a fan of exercise. Ever since high school I’ve disliked the change-sweat-shower-change-back routine. As an adult when I did manage to get myself into periodic gym routines, I always marveled at others who looked like they truly enjoyed the challenge of pushing the personal-best envelope. I lament that I wasn’t dealt the I-love-working-out gene. For me, 40 minutes on the treadmill is an Olympic feat. But with the passage of time, being undisciplined in the working-out department has become a luxury I can no longer afford. Besides cardio, my need for strength training is now crystal clear. I’m a youngish baby boomerRead More →