Posts with Category Where Am I Eating

Join my #BlackFridayFast

For the past few years, I’ve fasted on Black Friday. I don’t consume anything–no shopping and no eating for at least 16 hours.

If you’d like to join me, I’ll be doing it again this year from 12AM – 6 PM on Black Friday. You can follow and/or suffer along with me using the hashtag #BlackFridayFast.

Sixteen hours really isn’t that long. I once did it for 30 hours, and while it sucked, it wasn’t that bad. I wrote about the experience at the end of WHERE AM I EATING? (you can read the excerpt at the end of this post). Sixteen hours is plenty of time to accomplish what I want to accomplish through the fast.

How to get your hangry on

If you are pregnant, a hobbit, or suffer from chronic,…

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How Fair Trade Actually Changes the World

(With kids in cocoa region of Ivory Coast)

You’re standing in the aisle. Before you is a bar of normal chocolate and a bar of Fair Trade or ethically sourced chocolate, or a pair of regular underwear and a pair of Fair Trade underwear, or a pair of regular chocolate underwear and a pair of Fair Trade chocolate underwear. (Just kidding about that last one. I don’t think Fair Trade is in the “novelty” market yet. Someday!)

You have a choice to make: Be fair or be normal?

Choose the product that supports millions of farmers around the world, sets certain social and environmental standards, provides producers with a guaranteed minimum price for their product and a social premium, or…

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On Indy Style TV with Harper

Two years ago I was on Indy Style TV and chatted with host Tracy Forner shortly after my book EATING released. A month ago Tracy emailed me that he finally got around to reading my book while on vacation in Michigan–not far from the apple farmers and juice factory I wrote about in EATING. He wanted to have me on again to cook. Cook . . . gulp!

I’ve come along way in my food journey, but I’m no chef. Instead of whipping something up Bobby Flay style, I suggested I make banana splits and we have a chocolate and coffee tasting while we chatted.

I took my daughter Harper along for the ride and we included her in the last segment. She did awesome and was so well behaved even…

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GMO corn lawsuit encourages farmers to sue seed company

I live in rural Indiana, so it’s not rare to see billboards promoting a seed company, but last week I saw a first: A billboard advertising a class action lawsuit against a seed company . . .

At first I thought this might be farmers suing seed companies for contaminating (pollinating) their non-GMO corn with nearby GMO corn. This happens, but I was surprised there would be enough farmers in that situation to warrant a billboard. After some digging, I found that the lawsuit wasn’t recruiting from this small niche of farmers, but instead every single corn farmer.

That’s right if you planted corn in 2013 or 2014, you could join the lawsuit.

Not Approved in China

Syngenta, the seed company…

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Why We Should Neither Be Anti- or Pro-GMO, but Support Chipotle

There is a scientist crossing coffee trees with scorpion venom in South America.

While this sounds like a great start to a new comic book series, I’m not sure I’d want to start my mornings with that cup of coffee. Would you? I’d rather not grow a tail by lunch. Like where would I find pants?

This fear of mine isn’t based on any rational scientific understanding, but simply from watching and reading science fiction movies. That said, I’m okay with that. It sounds creepy and as long as there are other options, I will continue to choose non-scorpion venom coffee.

In my book Where Am I Eating? I met  Dr. Alvaro Gaitan, the head of plant pathology at the Cenicafe…

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3 Earth Day stats every American should know & 1 video celebrating the end of the world

Earth Day marks the second anniversary of the first edition of WHERE AM I EATING? Writing a book on the global food economy opened my eyes to the impact man and agriculture have made on Earth. Here are three stats from the book that every American should know:

  1. The ecological footprint of an average American is 23.6 acres. That means we consume what 23.6 acres of our planet can produce. If all 6.5 billion earthlings were Americans, we’d need five planets!
  2. One American consumes as much as 32 Kenyans.
  3. According to Jared Diamond, the bestselling author of Collapsed, if the world were made up of all Americans, it would be as if we shared the planet with 72 billion people.

And in case we don’t get our shit together and start lessoning our impact on our planet, here is a video John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight team put together to mark the end of our species and planet. [Warning: You could be sucked into a vacuum of cat videos]

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The 4 Best Ways to Trust Your Food

In her book Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety, Marion Nestle refers to the current food regulatory system in the United States as “breathtaking in its irrationality: 35 separate laws administered by 12 agencies housed in 6 cabinet-level departments.”

Nestle calls the fact that more of us aren’t dropping over with food-borne illnesses “nothing less than miraculous, a tribute more to our immune systems, the benefits of cooking and food preservation, and plain good luck than to federal oversight.”

Our food system is a mess. Don’t even get me started on imported food. We inspect barely 2% of the food that enters our country. Organic anything from China is laughable. So, something needs to change.

President Obama’s new 2016 $4 trillion federal budget seeks to address this:

The Budget proposes to…

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The Gold Nugget in My Wallet

(This story originally appeared on the blog of the Indiana Authors Award.) 

I carry a gold nugget in my wallet. A slave owner in Burkina Faso gave it to me.

The bus ride that took me from Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, ended at a flooded road and a trip in a tiny dugout canoe where the oarsman joked about crocodiles. From the canoe I got in a taxi that didn’t have brakes. The driver stopped the car using the “Fred Flintstone” method – sticking his foot out the door and dragging it along the road.

We arrived to the town of Poura, Burkina Faso, at dusk. There were no rooms to be had. The proprietor of the town’s only hotel had taken all of the keys with him on vacation. Fortunately,…

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Chocolate comes from W. Africa, so does ebola. What this means for Halloween.

2012-08-08 09.20.09

Cocoa farmers I met in Ivory Coast

First off, as ebola madness grips the world . . .


I was in grade school when the AIDS epidemic blew up in the 80s. My brother convinced me that one got AIDS by sitting on a toilet seat at truck stops after a trucker with AIDS had pooped. Seriously. Granted, at the time I didn’t really know much about sex or intravenous drug use, so I was easily convinced. The thing I don’t know is if my brother made this up or if he actually heard it somewhere. I the ebola fear is any indicator, I’m thinking he…

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Craft Chocolate Sourced and Produced in Africa Fairly and Directly

Some African cocoa farmers have never eaten chocolate even though the continent supplies more than half of the world’s cocoa.

Cocoa is a commodity, one of the world’s most volatile, and the quality of the farmers’ lives rise and fall with the cocoa prices. The money isn’t in the growing of cocoa, but in the processing of the cocoa into chocolate, the packaging, and the selling of the chocolate. This typically happens far from African soil. Hence you have cocoa farmers who’ve never tasted chocolate, and others like the ones I ate Hershey’s Kisses with in Ivory Coast who rarely do.

But one company, Madécasse, is challenging that model. Of the 500 chocolate brands in the U.S., Madécasse is the only one…

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