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Kids and factory farming: Yes, tell them the truth

We have a living-history museum nearby. One of those places with relocated old buildings and re-enactors who take you right back to the 19th century. During one visit, I was in the kitchen of a home churning butter with my daughter and chatting with another visitor,...

Food (and propaganda) at the state fair

I realize that state-fair food is a category unto itself, a passionately defended paean to Americana and summertime. And to criticize it could cause a distracting uproar. Some might even offer me their fried-fave-on-a-stick with instructions to make it disappear right...

School food: Beyond swapping white for wheat

We all know Jamie Olivers in the making. A parent, a teacher, a student. Someone who’s making noise. School-food reform is big news these days, the stuff of TV shows, government campaigns and blog crusades. And even before all the hoopla, plenty of parents and...

The assault (and insult) of children’s menus

One of our favorite local restaurants lists grilled cheese on both its regular menu and its children’s menu. Same price. Same bread options (wheat, rye, sourdough). But where the regular menu touts “aged” cheddar, the kiddie version offers “mild” cheddar. The first...

Let’s ban the phrase “picky eater”

It goes like this: Kids are picky eaters. They won’t eat food that’s green, brown or good for them. They are strong-willed little creatures who cannot be swayed. We must give up, give in, and feed them nothing but juice, crackers and white-bread sandwiches...