Archive Page 2

Makes the banh mi go down easier

At least for me. This judgment, For $2 – an – Hour Restaurant Deliverymen, a $4.6 Million Judgment in New York for back wages for deliverymen is what I hope will be the crest of a wave of workers’ rights cases. The delivery staff were working crazy hours, and often docked for ridiculous things like letting the door slam. The judge found the defendants’ testimony obviously false.

The restaurant world is rife with stories of such abuse. Little enforcement authority or oversight, coupled with cash business and low wages, often immigrant workers, is a formula for abuse. Now that John Edwards is so discredited, who else will step in to speak for these workers who have so little access to fair wages?

Banh Mi

Read about The Perfect Sandwich, here.

Okay, forget about the Dog Whisperer. I want Pollan for Veep.

Sorry Joe, I know I keep suggesting other people for your job. But here’s the thing: they’re saying or doing what I think needs to be said or done. I was half-joking with the Cesar Millan thing. Though I think he sets a good example. If we reined in Wall St the way he does a pack of dogs. Phew, I wouldn’t have to plan on working till I drop.

But this Michael Pollan essay on the critical issues facing the next president, see Farmer in Chief, is exactly the kind of thinking that’s missing in Washington. People have been led to believe that issues of childhood hunger, or childhood obesity, the epidemic of diabetes, the food contamination problems are all unrelated issues. As Pollan demonstrates, they are all connected to years of bad policy and wrong-headed regulations.

Our food production and food systems are also connected to fossil fuel consumption. It’s just impossible to keep pretending our farm and food policies are isolated things that can be debated, regulated and reviewed in the absence of the systems they support or that support them.

One issue he raises that I’ve only just become aware of is the abattoir or slaughterhouse regs. One of the key challenges to eating more healthfully raised, humanely raised, environmentally better animal protein is our system of slaughterhouse inspection. Current rules are a complete impediment to the more healthy meats they were originally intended to be ensuring.

Everything is skewed in almost a through-the-looking-glass perversion of what works in food production. True costs are not simply how cheap that burger is, honest accounting must include all the attendant environmental distasters embedded in how that cow was raised, fed and slaughtered, the fossil fuels used in production and transportation and so much more.

Absent strong leadership that does what Pollan’s essay does, connects the dots, requires accountabilty, absent these things we are destined for more of what has become too frequent bad news about food contamination, environmental disasters and public health crises.

For some great snippets of innovative food production ideas see this slideshow, New Food Ideas.

Move over Cesar, it’s Pollan time.

Boston Food Culture Examiner: Hey Hubsters, Hipsters, Foodies, Culture-Vultures, Layabouts…

Boston Food Culture Examiner: Hey Hubsters, Hipsters, Foodies, Culture-Vultures, Layabouts…

I’ve begun writing for – covering food and culture. Check it out at clickon the link above and you can subscribe there..

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Fourth Anniversary Fougasse and Flowers

This post is brought to you by the letter F.

The flowers –  calla lillies include the ‘black’ color I carried in our wedding. (The mango ones were added on bonus points.)

The fougasse – my first recipe from our new copy of The Art and Soul of Baking. (See my sidebar bookshelf to order yours from Powells. We don’t buy bread anymore. This will last a lifetime.)

The friends who came over with wine and laughter, priceless.

Fougasse is a bread from the South of France. It can be baked in various styles (flatter, like pita almost) or puffier, and shapes like a leaf or chaff of wheat. You can fold in olives or herbs. This one has sprinkle of olive oil, rosemary, thyme and salt.

Bostonist Tells a Fish Story – About Us!

Thanks to Ryan Weaver and Bostonist for giving Teach a Man to Fish a much-appreciated boost! See Ryan Weaver’s story here, Got a (sustainable) Fish Story?

This will go a long way to helping us cast a wider net and bring more into the fold. No doubt in my mind that people are looking for ways to do the right thing. This event helps us share resources and links, recipes, tips – whether it’s for cooking at home or eating out.

Eating out and doing it sustainably – is about to get easier, too. October 22 marks the simultaneous release of sustainable sushi pocket cards by the Environmental Defense Fund, the Blue Ocean Institute and the Seafood Watch program of the Monterey Bay Aquarium all release their guides. Stay tuned for my report on that.

Something Fishy at Nobu?

Greenwashing at its best/worst.

Just like putting the “Nutrition Data” label on a box of donuts. Guests at Nobu now get a disclaimer with their soon to be extinct tuna…unreal. Read about it here.

I imagine it goes something like this: “Based on certain research models and theories of wildlife reproduction, a group of research biologists lists this fish as endangered. Enjoy with a refreshing saké .”

At least there’s saké !

If you want to have good, sustainable sushi you can go to Tataki now. Or, you can wait unti our handy pocket cards are released – simulataneously- by three of the top conservation groups: the Blue Ocean Institute, The Seafood Watch Program, and the Environmental Defense Fund.

Gender issues popping up in interesting places – Pets and Restos

Pet choices and restaurant service?

Okay, everyone chime in – Guys who love their cats?

Women who get shafted in restaurants?

I’m curious. And bonus points to anyone who reads the comment in the NYT piece on restaurants and guesses correctly where I’m talking about!

Hello Greenway! A beautiful Day to Celebrate “Green” Boston

Lying back on grass looking up what used to be a hideous raised highway. Enjoying blue skies.

The dedication and debut of the Rose Kennedy Greenway took place under sunny skies. Throngs of Bostonians came out for the celebration that really put our best face forward. City kids from Charlestown represented (with a “my kind of town”), dance groups smoking hot or sultry, krunk to gospel, to breakdancing, even ballet.

The Dewey Sq market was bittersweet. Okay, it was sweet, I was bitter. I mean it’s kind of false showing off for the visitors “our farmer’s market” when they took it away from us! Then there was the “green” vendors giving away books on fast food – hello? And the Globe passing out “Green” supplements. Um, paper = opposite of green.

Still, it was a day full of smiles and joy. Kids rolling down grassy hills, playing with art installations, fountains. A calliope, a ferris wheel. There were free food vendors (Olivia’s organic salads) and water stations everywhere. Even the Hard Rock got in the act, being a good neighbor and giving away pulled pork sammies.

The plans for the new museum and cultural centers are beautiful. Volunteers were pleased to tell visitors all  about the designs and the art that is coming. Finding someone who could articulate accurately the permanent public market plans, however, that was quite another story. That elusive “carrot” was promised for our concessions, our willingness to live in the contruction zone all these years. I could bury the new museum with all the construction dust that came in through windows, even closed ones.

Almost no one can tell us now what’s happened to the public market plans. Not even one measly little flyer at any of the Conservancy booths. Not one talking point on the greenway flyers. Not one architect’s rendering of that promised market. Shows how important it is in the plans. But the positive aspects of a public market were on display for all to see in that mirage of the Dewey Square market: farmers and artisans meeting face-to-face with city residents. Visitors sampling organic foods, buying local apples. Tourists picnicking on the greenway lawns.

I hope that people will see how a public space, like a permanent market such as Seattle has, such as Toronto has, Cleveland, even Philly, creates a gathering place for the city and her visitors, a venue for our local farmers and artists. The market, if we ever see it happen, will be a  gem in Boston’s green crown and the fulfillment of a promise that seems hard to track. Like flickering lights from the Illuminale displays, it seems so close, we just can’t grab hold.

See the Greenway Conservancy site here at

The Mack Daddy of Stories – Mackerel Economics in Prison

See I thought maybe they’re using sustainable seafood in prisons. Wow, that’s great. Just like Bon Appetit Management Co. is doing with sports venues and college campus cafeterias. Really. That’s what I thought when my Google Alert tuned to let me know what’s swimming around the ‘net that has to do with “sustainable seafood” showed me this headline.

Mackerel Economics in Prison Leads to Appreciation for Oily Fillets

Then I read the sub head:

Packs of Fish Catch On as Currency, Former Inmates Say; Officials Carp

Ruhroh Rastro. Something’s fishy here. Maybe this won’t be the Teach a Man to Fish feature of the week...

Apparently, the new coin of the realm in prisons in California is mackerel. First it was canned but that led to some weapons issues. Now it’s food service plastic or foil packs.

So prisoners trade “mack” for – well, whatever prisoners trade for, I guess. Sales for Mackerel outstrip more expensive tuna, oysters and such, according the supplier. “Unlike those more expensive delicacies, former prisoners say, the mack is a good stand-in for the greenback because each can (or pouch) costs about $1 and few — other than weight-lifters craving protein — want to eat it.”

The comments after this Wall St Journal article are almost too good. Only their readers could make macroeconomic – or is it microeconomic ? – theories, jokes and puns tying this to the bail out. Well worth a read.

Holy Mackerel, Batman!

Let there be Light – Boston!

What could be better after days and days of rain but sun? How about a festival of light at night?

October 1 – 5 – that’s NOW for those calendar-challenged folk out there. It’s gorgeous. This evening we took advantage of the best weather in for-ever and walked the greenway. It wasn’t until the route home that we came across the Northern Ave. Bridge.

Iluminale Boston runs just 5 days from 6 – 11 PM each night!

The Greenway’s Debut party is Oct.4 here is the schedule of events. Tai Chi in Chinatown Park or produce in the former Dewey Square market. Anyone else think that‘s just a little cruel and ironic?

A window into what I’m thinking and writing about.

Whether it's Food & Cooking, Sports, Film, Travel or the Business of Writing can find it all through this page. Use this sidebar and the links below to go directly to whatever strikes your fancy. Jacqueline Church's Facebook profile

Where I’ve been seen, published, cited, syndicated…

  • - Tuesday November 11 @6 PM Povo Blogging Panel. Come to 660 Washington Street in Chinatown at the Archstone Building to see what a panel of bloggers have to say about the state of blogging.
  • - Interviewed by Sarah Turner of Suite101 about Using Blogs to Raise Social Awareness
  • - Reuters, Chicago Sun-Times, Austin American Statesman, BBQ Report, Computer Shopper. See clips here.

For Real on the Virtual Gourmet!

Noted food and wine author John Mariani ran my article Salmon and the Sustainability Zeitgest. Click here to read it!

Books make great gifts, for yourself or others.

Click here to see what's on my Powell's Bookshelf.
Powell's Books

Mark Your Calendars

August 22 - Courtney Hunt's acclaimed film Frozen River at the Coolidge Corner. See Diversions for more.

Caught my eye…

  • The Audubon Insectarium opens in New Orleans. See Getting Down with All that Skitters.
  • Copper River Salmon is so hot, even E!online is commenting on the stars who eat it. Taye Diggs was digging it.
  • Vertical farms? Colbert meets Ethicureans...heaven is for those with humor and ethics, yes? Interesting food for thought here....

On Women and Work

Read my contributions to The Glass Hammer a new blog for executive women.


  1. Tales of the Cocktail may be over but the fun continues. Check the blogs and podcasts for all the news that fit to drink!
  2. The Maori art of facial tatooing is called moko. It is a powerful expression of tribal identity which has only recently enjoyed a resurgence as the colonial Christian prohibitions against it have lessened. Go to the Peabody Essex Museum for this rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of this amazing cultural tradition. The documentary I saw at Sundance years ago on moko, was one of the most powerful films I have ever seen.
  3. The Audubon Insectarium is a new and top-notch attraction in New Orleans. We passed by it and wondered why we'd missed it before. Turns out it's just now opening. No time this last trip, but it's on the list for the next time. Check here for info.

What's on my list?