Sunday, November 16, 2008

Food Jargon of the Day: Edible Cocktails/Solid Cocktails

edible cocktails/solid cocktails
Cocktails that you eat instead of drink. According to an article in today's NY Times, solid cocktails offered by restaurants in NYC include a gelatinized Cuba Libre, a Ramos gin fizz marshmallow and a martini in the form of a pickle. Adult jello shots, anyone?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Food Jargon of the Day: Urban Gleaning

Urban Gleaning
Gleaning is the practice of collecting leftover crops from farmers' fields after they have been mechanically harvested, or from fields that are not economically profitable to harvest. Urban gleaning is the practice of salvaging fruit from trees located in cities to provide low income residents with access to fresh fruit. For more information, checkout the Portland Fruit Tree Project, a gleaning initiative that organizes people in the Portland, Oregon to gather fruit before it falls, and make it available to those who need it most.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Food Jargon Watch: Imitation Edibles and In Vitro Meat

Imitation Edibles
All manner of fake food - from faux meats to near beer and liquid smoke. Mock foods seem to be the gastric meme of the moment with the current edition of VegNews focusing on faux meats, Emily Nunn's recent article in the Chicago Tribune on fake foods (from which the term "imitation edibles" is culled), and PETA's challenge to scientists to step up research into in vitro meats (see below).

In Vitro Meat
Laboratory produced meat "grown" from animal stem cells. In vitro meat is not yet a reality, but PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is offering a $1 million reward to the first scientist to produce and make in vitro meat available to consumers. According to the PETA website, in vitro meat would enable the production of meat without killing any animals.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Food Jargon of the Day: Faux Meat

Faux Meat
Meat substitutes used by vegetarians and vegans. Some meat substitutes - tofu, seitan, tempeh - have been used by eastern cultures for eons, while others like tofurkey, meatless riblets, and vegan haggis are new additions to the vegetarian kitchen. Also known as "meat analog" and "mock meat."

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Food Jargon of the Day: Cookzine

Self-published, do-it-yourself (DIY) cookbooks. Often focusing on vegan diet and cuisine, cookzines sprang from punk culture in the 1980s and continue to be published today. Cookzines contain recipes, info on veganism, personal testimonies, and commentary by the writer. Classic cookzines include Soy Not Oi! and Bark+Grass: Revolution Supper. Both Microcosm Publishing and AK Press carry a selection of old and new cookzines.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Food Jargon of the Day: Food Insecurity/Food Security

Food Insecurity
The inability to access enough nutritious foods to fulfill caloric needs.

Food Security
The availability of, and access to, a safe, nutritionally adequate, and culturally acceptable diet.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Food Jargon of the Day: Humane Meat, Mindful Meat-Eating, Post-vegetarian

Humane meat
Humanely-raised meat which comes from farms that try to give each of their animals a more pleasant life - i.e., animals are not caged, fed hormones or antibiotics, and are pasture-fed.

Mindful Meat-Eating

Ethical meat eating, i.e., eating only humanely-raised meat.
See also, Careful Carnivore/Caring Carnivore/Conscientious Carnivore.

Individuals who were formerly vegetarian, but now eat meat.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Food Jargon of the Day: Mobile Slaughterhouse

Mobile Slaughterhouse (a.k.a. Slaughterhouse on Wheels)
A retrofitted diesel truck that serves as a slaughterhouse for farmers in remote areas of Washington and Oregon without easy access to U.S.D.A. approved butchering facilities. The mobile slaughterhouse is federally sanctioned and comes complete with a 300-gallon water tank, a cooling locker with carcass hooks, and a butcher.

Thanks to Gerard for the heads-up on this bit of jargon.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Food Jargon of the Day: Anti-Restaurant

Another moniker for underground restaurants. Anti-restaurants are unlicensed restaurants in apartments and other private spaces run by individuals who do not necessarily aspire to full-time restaurateur-status or, in the words of a recent NY Times article, do not want to mess "with overhead and investors and the health department — a k a The Man — telling them what to do." Resistance, so it seems, can be tasty.

Food Jargon of The Day: Partisan Cookbooks

Partisan Cookbooks
From a recent LA Times article by Betty Hallock, partisan cookbooks are cookbooks created to gustatorily critique or promote the values of a political party. Examples of partisan cookbooks include the classic "Many Happy Returns: The Democrats' Cook Book, or How to Cook a G.O.P. Goose" published in 1960 as well as more recent entries such as "How to Eat Like a Republican" and (our favorite) "The Axis of Evil Cookbook."

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Food Jargon of the Day: Mocktail

A nonalcoholic - or "mock" - cocktail.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Food Jargon of the Day: Passive Overeating

Passive Overeating
Eating whatever is put in front of you, even to the point of discomfort. In passive overeating, neither we nor our bodies recognize the extra calories and reduce the quantity of food accordingly.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Food Jargon of the Day: The Life Cycle of Food and Distavores

the life cycle of food
The total amount of energy that goes into the production of a food item over the course of its entire life cycle (from farm-to-fork). Food miles - how far food travels to get to your table - may not be the best standard when judging the environmental impact of food.

A farm-to-plane dinner created from items culled from faraway sites. Coined by Joel Stein in a snarky Time Magazine article entitled Extreme Eating, that aims to critique locavore eating habits.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Food Jargon of the Day: Lunch-line Cameras

Lunch-line Cameras
Surveillance cameras placed in school cafeterias to monitor student food-theft. School officials in Fairfax County Virginia are installing security cameras throughout the school system to combat what they claim is an estimated $1.2 million worth of prepared food lifted from secondary school cafeterias in the past year.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Food Jargon of the Day: Semivegetarian

A recent poll on vegetarian and vegan consumer trends found that 13% of adult Americans identified themselves as "semivegetarian" consuming meat with "fewer than half" of their meals. Also known as flexitarians.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Food Jargon of the Day: Chewable Ice and The Chew Belt

Chewable Ice
Tiny, pellet-sized "cublets" created by ice makers to satisfy compulsive ice chewers. Developed by Scotsman Ice Systems, chewable ice is sold under a variety of brands including Chewblet, Nugget Ice and Pearl Ice.

The Chew Belt
a.k.a. the Southern U.S., home to the greatest concentration of compulsive ice chewers.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Food Jargon of the Day: Entomophagy

The practice of dining on insects.

According to a recent article posted at The, the practice of dining on bugs is common in over 100 countries with insects providing more nutrients than beef or fish (gram for gram, that is). Oddly enough, feasting on insects also makes good ecological sense: bug consumption has little environmental impact and insect dining can even help bolster crop production. To that end, the Thai government encourages its citizens to collect and eat locusts to protect local crops and even distributes recipes for how to cook the insects. More info on bug cuisine and cricket farming in the Khon Kaen area of Thailand can be found at

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Food Jargon Watch: Lazy Locavores and Urban Farmers

Lazy Locavore
City dwellers who insist on eating food grown close to home, but have no inclination to get their hands dirty. Culled from Kim Severson's July 22nd NY Times article, "A Locally Grown Diet With Fuss but No Muss." Lazy locavores hire personal gardeners to plant, weed, and harvest their backyard veggie plots, invest in animal shares at local farms, and employ personal chefs to deliver fully cooked "local" meals, right to their doors.

Severson's article has sparked a lively discussion on the comfood listserv as well as a great op ed piece by Josh Friedland, at The Food Section.

Urban Farmers
City dwellers who have a small space next to their homes for growing food for themselves and/or small-scale city-based farmers, who produce crops for sale. Distinguished from lazy locavores by their desire to actually get their hands dirty. For more info on urban farming visit or read this May 2008 NY Times article.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Food Jargon of the Day: Vegetable Plagiarism

Vegetable Plagiarism
What comedian Jerry Seinfeld's called claims by author Missy Chase Lapine that his wife, Jessica, had plagiarized parts of her best selling cookbook Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Getting Your Kids Eating Good Food, from Lapine's book The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids Favorite Meals. Both Seinfeld and his wife are now subject of a lawsuit filed by Lapine. Jessica Seinfeld is being sued for plagiarism and Seinfeld for defaming Lapine the David Letterman's show.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Food Jargon of the Day: Agflation

Investopedia defines agflation as "an increase in the price of food that occurs as a result of increased demand from human consumption and use as an alternative energy resource. While the competitive nature of retail supermarkets allows some of the effects of agflation to be absorbed, the price increases that agflation causes are largely passed on to the end consumer." For example, rising demands for biofuels will likely cause the prices of corn and soybean oil to rise further due to agflation.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Food Jargon of the Day: Rawvolutionary

Gina Mallet's politically-inspired alternative for "raw foodist." Individuals who believe that cooked food is dangerous and eat only raw, uncooked, unprocessed foods. From Last Chance to Eat.