The Best Food Writing from the James Beard Awards The Ten Best Food Stories You Should Read From the James Beard Awards
If you don't live near any of the restaurants honored in last week's James Beard Awards, at least you can still read the great stories nominated in the journalism categories.
Here are a couple of my favorites (not all of them were official winners):
“My Mom Couldn’t Cook”
Tom Junod in Esquire
The story of Junod's mother's cooking and his decision to be his family's cook.
“Captain of the Happier Meal”
Rachael Moeller Gorman in Eating Well
A road trip with Joe Hibbeln, M.D., who believes our diet is making us depressed, addicted, and violent—and thinks he’s found a simple solution.
“Fruit of the Future”
Dan Koeppel in Saveur
If monoculture and disease spells the end for the world's most popular banana, could we be headed for a better-tasting banana revolution?
“CPS Won’t Let Kids Eat Their Vegetables”
Monica Eng in the Chicago Tribune
Why Chicago Public Schools wouldn't allow fresh tomatoes, basil, and other produce—grown by hard-working student gardeners—in the lunchroom.
“Joan Gussow, Teacher of Teachers”
Brian Halweil in Edible Manhattan
A profile of a woman who wouldn’t stop asking questions, and her tireless war against the industrialization of the American food system.
“A Tale of Two Dairies”
Barry Estabrook in Gastronomica (subscribers only)
The story of how dairy farmers banded together to propose a radical solution to the price fluctuations that have characterized the dairy crisis in the Northeast: control of the milk supply.
“Great Grocery Smackdown”
Corby Kummer in The Atlantic
A skeptic pushes his cart through the plastic-wrapped produce aisles to find out whether Wal-Mart, America's biggest retailer, could really be saving small farms and making us healthier.
“The History of Urban Agriculture Should Inspire Its Future”
Tom Philpott on Grist
As urban gardening catches on in hipster circles, Philpott takes a historical long view for a lesson on the future of sustainable cities.
“99 Things to Eat in L.A. Before You Die”
Jonathan Gold in LA Weekly
If there's a lesson here, besides where to eat in Los Angeles, it's how to write a listicle worth reading.
“Popcorn: Cinema’s Worst Enemy”
Rosecrans Baldwin on Slate
An inspired screed against the snack. Rational? No. Funny? Yes.
Honoring the Dead By Feeding Them The sweet (and savory) hereafter of Día de los Muertos Understanding the food-filled altars of Día de los Muertos
Drawing a Bead on a Better World The Purple Buddha Project attempts to forge beauty out of ugly histories that continue to alter life in the present.
The Message-Maker: On the Ground with Baltimore Street Artist GAIA Internationally acclaimed artist uses painting to reach his city.
Buckets are the New Pumpkins Do you annually waste nourishing squash flesh on bourgeois porch displays? Jettison the traditional jack-o’-lantern with this one simple trick
Watch Out for the Witch Flick A guide to the positive, negative, and complicated depictions of women as witches in movies, warts and all
The Not-So-Mad Science of Head Transplants We may soon be able to successfully graft a human head onto a different body, but is it worth the cost in terms of dollars and ethics?
A Friendly Game of International Border Subversion Activists in Morocco and Algeria hope to play a volleyball game using the countries’ mutual border as a net
13 Spooky Sites That Redefine the Term Skeleton Structure Humans have been using bones as building materials for centuries While world religions and ancient history are replete with alternative burial solutions, some of the most mesmerizing are found in ossuaries
Teacher’s Little Reading Helper Know any child iPad addicts who should be learning how to read instead of playing Candy Crush? Try Bam Boomerang
How Elves and Serpents are Saving Iceland for Future Generations Most Iceland residents believe in magic to some degree, and it’s helping to preserve the environment, foster community … and rake in tourism dollars
5 Tales of Halloween Heartbreak A conversation about growing up in the U.S. without celebrating national dress-up-and-get-free-candy day