It’s been about two years since I first zeroed in on the food waste reduction movement (FWRM). [Quasi-pun intended: I think near-zero food waste is an attainable goal.] In just the two years I’ve been watching I’ve seen a groundswell of support from individuals, nonprofits, industry, and policymakers whose efforts can really make a difference. One obstacle to donating leftover food has been concern about liability. But with increasing social and environmental pressures, governments at all levels have been revising rules and regulations so as to encourage donations. In September 2017 the California state legislature tackled liability and product expiration dates. The unconscionable waste inRead More →

I learned of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s signature cycling event, BikeMaine (BM), at last year’s Bike Expo—the lead-up to Bike New York’s Five Boro Bike Tour, the largest charitable bicycle ride in the country. Proceeds fund Bike New York’s free bicycle education programs. I was intrigued by the description of BikeMaine and filed it under “vacation options for 2017.” When I got around to thinking seriously about my 2017 plans, BikeMaine was sold out. Yes, 400 riders had beaten me to the punch, and I was bummed. But evidently BikeMaine 2017 and I were meant to be; in early August the organization sent outRead More →

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 →