Archive for December, 2010


Posted on December 15, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

One of my projects this semester was to work on a solution for a food policy problem. My group chose the subsidy section of the Farm Bill. It’s something that most people don’t pay too much attention to, but they should. We give away billions of dollars every year to a few large farms. These farms grow acre after acre after acre after acre of corn and soy. Here’s the thing: this creates a food access problem. You wouldn’t think that, right? More food! Hooray! USA! USA! USA!

The problem is that these corporate farms glut the market with heavily subsidized corn and soy, and then the processing companies make boxes of cheap, non-nutritive food. Because this food is so inexpensive, we buy a lot of it. Especially people who can’t afford to buy much else. In comparison, the government gives teeny tiny subsidies to fruit & vegetable growers (if they get any at all), and just a little bit of money to programs that would supply fresh fruit for school kids orĀ  allow senior citizens to shop at farmers’ markets.

Well, we want to change that. And you can help. Check out this little propaganda piece I edited:

That’s the simplified version. For more information, you can visit:
The Environmental Working Group
The USDA Website

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(Pesto) Risotto

Posted on December 7, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I’m hard at work on end of the semester projects. Papers on ham (ham!) and propaganda films about the Farm Bill. Good times. It’s also become superduper cold in Pittsburgh. Whipping wind and snowflakes. So I needed something both warming and mindless to make. The answer: risotto.

Despite what you probably think, risotto is actually stupidly easy to prepare. It just requires a bit of dedication. You’re going to stir and stir and stir. And stir. But this is good. Think of it as a chance to meditate, to let your brain off the hook for 25 minutes. Just remember to wear comfortable shoes. Or slippers.

In its basic form, risotto is simply 3 parts stock to one part short-grain rice (arborio is what’s traditionally used). But you’re going to want to make it a bit more interesting. Here’s what I did:

Add, to a medium-low:
One Tablespoon Butter
One medium-small Onion, diced

Cook over heat until onion softens, but doesn’t brown. (4-5 minutes)

One Cup Arborio Rice
Stir rice into butter/onion for about 2 minutes.

1/4 Cup White Wine
Stir until rice absorbs wine.

Warm Chicken Stock
OK. Here’s where you have to really pay attention. You’re going to add the stock bit by bit, about a half cup at a time. You want to stir in the stock until it’s nearly all absorbed, and then stir in another half cup. Eventually, you will stir in about 3 cups. This should take about 25 minutes. You’ll end up with something creamy, but still be able to appreciate the texture of individual grains of rice.

You can finish the risotto by mixing in any number of things: butter, cheese, greens, ham, bacon…you get it. I added 1/4 cup pesto and it was fantastic.

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