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The Essential Guide to Eating California - Eater
"In the American imagination, California has always been viewed through a haze of fantasy. Early on, it was dreams of fist-sized gold nuggets lying in wait. Then a generation of Okies schlepped West, to eventually populate the pages of Steinbeck and the photos of Dorothea Lange, looking for a utopian land of plenty. More recently, it’s reveries of glamour and fame. Of in-ground pools. Of cheap avocados and convertible road trips to Coachella. Of picnics beside granite waterfalls. Of another gold rush, but made out of code. Of palm trees and beaches and children riding surf boards to school.

This is all mostly the stuff of California’s well-marketed mythology: There are swaying palm trees, but no public guacamole fountains. There are uncannily good-looking people and overnight millionaires, but few top-down joyrides (hello traffic). And then there’s the food. The beautiful idea that pretty much anything you can put in your mouth is better in California? That part, it turns out, isn’t a fantasy.

Obscenely wonderful produce is abundant year-round, but there are also peerless sushi bars and Sichuan restaurants and kebab shops and beach burger shacks and prix fixe palaces and pho specialists and bread bakeries and chaat shops and French bistros and tacos — lo, the tacos! This is where even toast sparked a national obsession.

In the course of putting together Eater’s first-ever guide to the entire state of California, we shipped our national critic out West for two months, recruited more than a dozen local experts, ate hundreds of meals, and drove just about every imaginable strip of highway to help you live our favorite version of the California dream. From the definitive list of the state’s 38 essential restaurants to a Central Valley taco crawl to an artist’s statewide search for a Beijing specialty, here’s Eater’s entirely true guide to the totally fantastical state of California — palm trees optional."
food  restaurants  california  centralvalley  centralcoast  sanfrancisco  losangeles  bayarea  socalnorcal  eating  littlesaigon  sangabrielvalley  marin  sonoma  sandiego  orangecounty 
july 2018 by robertogreco
“The Workplace Is Killing People and Nobody Cares” | Stanford Graduate School of Business
"A new book examines the massive health care toll today’s work culture exacts on employees.

Jeffrey Pfeffer has an ambitious aspiration for his latest book. “I want this to be the Silent Spring of workplace health,” says Pfeffer, a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business. “We are harming both company performance and individual well-being, and this needs to be the clarion call for us to stop. There is too much damage being done.”

Dying for a Paycheck, published by HarperBusiness and released on March 20, maps a range of ills in the modern workplace — from the disappearance of good health insurance to the psychological effects of long hours and work-family conflict — and how these are killing people.

Pfeffer recently sat for an interview with Insights. The following has been edited for length and clarity."
psychology  mentalhwalth  work  labor  economics  health  healthcare  2018  jeffreypfeffer  food  eating  diet  culture  society  nuriachinchilla  socialpollution  social  humans  human  employment  corporatism  latecapitalism  mindfulness  well-being 
april 2018 by robertogreco
Why I Quit Ordering From Uber-for-Food Start-Ups - The Atlantic
[This is Josephine: https://josephine.com/ ]

"I work some days from a small office in San Francisco, and every day, I gotta eat. For a stretch of several weeks this year, I obtained my lunch from an iPhone app called Sprig.

It’s a beautiful piece of software. A trompe l’oeil table offers a compact slate of choices for lunch and dinner, all photographed beautifully from above. On the day I’m writing this, I can get a Caesar salad ($11), blackened chicken with broccoli ($11), a lamb-kofta wrap ($11), a tequila-lime shrimp salad ($13), or a kimchi veggie bowl ($10). Everything is organic, with sources all specified. The chicken comes from Petaluma.

* * *

I work some days from my apartment in Berkeley, and every day, I gotta eat. Two or three times a month, I obtain lunch or dinner from a network called Josephine.

The first time I encountered Josephine, its website was a bare page that instructed you to enter your phone number and “join our SMS list.” The design is only slightly more elaborate today; there’s still no iPhone app.

Josephine doesn’t prepare any meals itself. Instead, it screens home cooks and takes orders on their behalf. On the day I’m writing this, I can get carrot soup ($11) from Lisa in Oakland or pho ($13) from Hai in Emeryville. That’s it for tonight. Tomorrow, there’s chicken and dumplings ($11) from Suzie in Albany or veggie enchiladas ($8) from Afiba in Fruitvale. The menu extends out two weeks; Josephine is less “I’m hungry now” and more “I expect to be hungry on Thursday, so I’d better line something up.” The photography is rough-and-ready, Etsy-caliber, and the dishes are described by the cooks themselves.

* * *

Sprig sells on speed: From selection to delivery, it’s twenty minutes. The experience is identical to an order from Seamless or GrubHub. A harried courier extracts your meal from a fat insulated bag; you say “thank you,” close the door, and feel bad for a moment about the differences between your lives. Five stars.

Meals from Sprig arrive reliably deflated from their in-app depictions: soggier, less composed. The quality of the food ranges, in my experience, from “sure, I can eat this” to very good indeed. It’s approximately equivalent to what you’d get in a nice cafeteria; better than Kaiser Permanente’s, not as good as Facebook’s.

“Gotta eat” is a rumble in the belly, a business opportunity, and a public-health crisis all rolled into one, and to address it, Sprig is building the biggest, nicest cafeteria ever. The ambition is clear: Sprig in every city, with longer menus, better ingredients, faster delivery. I can see them: the drones dropping lamb kofta from the sky.

But there’s more to any cafeteria than the serving line, and Sprig’s app offers no photograph of that other part. This is the Amazon move: absolute obfuscation of labor and logistics behind a friendly buy button. The experience for a Sprig customer is super convenient, almost magical; the experience for a chef or courier…? We don’t know. We don’t get to know. We’re just here to press the button.

I feel bad, truly, for Amazon and Sprig and their many peers—SpoonRocket, Postmates, Munchery, and the rest. They build these complicated systems and then they have to hide them, because the way they treat humans is at best mildly depressing and at worst burn-it-down dystopian.

What would it be like if you didn’t have to hide the system?

* * *

Meals from Josephine are not available for delivery.

On the day of your order, a text message arrives bearing a street address. You ride over on your bicycle and spot a Josephine sign taped to the front door, which is ajar. You step inside; the feeling is both clandestine and transgressive. In the kitchen, the cook—your neighbor—is working. Maybe another customer—also your neighbor—is lingering. You announce yourself, say hello, receive your meal. Chat a bit, if you like. Carry it home in a bag dangling from your handlebars.

It definitely takes more than twenty minutes.

But I will tell you that my Josephine pickups have been utterly reliable generators of smiles and warm feelings. I look forward to them, not just because “gotta eat,” but because they unlock my neighborhood, fill in the blank spaces on my mental map. And of course, it’s always fun to see the insides of other people’s houses.

The seriousness of Josephine’s cooks ranges widely. Some are clearly demi-professionals, as polished and efficient as Airbnb hosts; others seem surprised to have people in their kitchen. Some offer fat slices of cornbread as impulse buys; others seem happy to have finished their soup in time.

What unites them is this: They are your neighbors; they have cooked a dish of their own design; they have invited you into their home.

I flaked on a Josephine meal once, and as the pick-up window was closing, my phone rang. It was the cook. “I can leave it out for you,” she offered. I demurred. “Oh, okay,” she said. Her voice betrayed her disappointment. I felt bad all night.

* * *

Sprig started in 2013. Its four founders have tech-industry roots, and the company has raised around $50 million so far. (It is safe to assume the words "Uber for food" were uttered along the way.) Currently, you can order in San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Chicago—the last of which is clearly the test case for national expansion. The Sprig careers page advertises openings in Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle, Dallas, and Austin.

Josephine started in 2014. Its two founders also have tech-industry roots, and the company has raised around $600,000 so far. Mark Bittman recently joined its board of directors. Josephine’s home cooks are mainly scattered around Oakland and Berkeley. In October, the company listed its first batch of meals for San Francisco; on the day I’m writing, there are three home cooks in the city.

If Sprig projects an Amazon-like relentlessness, Josephine feels tenuous; some days, it seems almost too good for this world, too “eat your vegetables,” literally and figuratively. It’s convenient, but not THAT convenient. When it needs more cooks, it can’t simply hire them. Its viability in neighborhoods beyond the Bay Area will depend on instruments subtler than a war chest and an expansion playbook.

* * *

We are alive at a time when huge systems—industrial, infrastructural—are being remade, and I think it’s our responsibility as we make choices both commercial and civic—it’s just a light responsibility, don’t stress—to extrapolate forward, and ask ourselves: Is this a system I want to live inside? Is this a system fit for humans?

It’s like this:

Sprig-type operations drain agency and expertise out of the world. They centralize, aiming to build huge hubs with small spokes; their innermost mechanisms are hidden. They depend on humans behaving as interchangeable units of labor.

In the hypothetical future we can label Full Sprig, no one cooks who is not employed by this kind of company.

Josephine cultivates agency and expertise. It decentralizes, aims to build a dense mesh, neighborhood-scale; its mechanisms are public. It depends on humans developing their specific, idiosyncratic tastes and skills.

In the hypothetical future we can label Full Josephine, many people don’t cook, but some people cook a lot more, and better, than ever before, and all of us, cooks and non-cooks, derive pleasure from that. We meet on the sidewalk carrying warm veggie enchiladas.

What kills me is the plausibility of the Josephine future. This isn’t some utopian vision; there’s a scale model working in the East Bay today. Neighborhoods everywhere are full of cooks, or would-be cooks; the talent and the desire is thick on the ground.

Josephine employs the most basic tools of telecommunications to make a market and match “gotta eat” with “wanna cook.” This could be the system! The rumble in the belly, the business opportunity, the public-health crisis: The answer to all of it might be waiting next door.

We make these choices, bit by bit. I stopped ordering from Sprig back in the spring, because (a) I don’t like that future and (b) they sent me a truly sub-par chicken sandwich.

Every couple of weeks, or whenever I think of it, I check Josephine for something nearby. The food is always good, at least friend-cooking-dinner good and often better, but honestly, the future is what sells it."
robinsloan  systems  systemsthinking  2015  amazon  sprig  uber  efficiency  josephine  markbittman  decentralization  civics  society  neighborhoods  community  humanity  future  food  cooking  eating  slow  slowness  relentlessness  neighbors  neighborliness  dystopia  technosolutionism 
november 2015 by robertogreco
Eponis | Sinope — Everything Is Awful and I’m Not Okay: questions to...
"Are you hydrated? If not, have a glass of water.

Have you eaten in the past three hours? If not, get some food — something with protein, not just simple carbs. Perhaps some nuts or hummus?

Have you showered in the past day? If not, take a shower right now.

If daytime: are you dressed? If not, put on clean clothes that aren’t pajamas. Give yourself permission to wear something special, whether it’s a funny t-shirt or a pretty dress.

If nighttime: are you sleepy and fatigued but resisting going to sleep? Put on pajamas, make yourself cozy in bed with a teddy bear and the sound of falling rain, and close your eyes for fifteen minutes — no electronic screens allowed. If you’re still awake after that, you can get up again; no pressure.

Have you stretched your legs in the past day? If not, do so right now. If you don’t have the spoons for a run or trip to the gym, just walk around the block, then keep walking as long as you please. If the weather’s crap, drive to a big box store (e.g. Target) and go on a brisk walk through the aisles you normally skip.

Have you said something nice to someone in the past day? Do so, whether online or in person. Make it genuine; wait until you see something really wonderful about someone, and tell them about it.

Have you moved your body to music in the past day? If not, do so — jog for the length of an EDM song at your favorite BPM, or just dance around the room for the length of an upbeat song.

Have you cuddled a living being in the past two days? If not, do so. Don’t be afraid to ask for hugs from friends or friends’ pets. Most of them will enjoy the cuddles too; you’re not imposing on them.

Do you feel ineffective? Pause right now and get something small completed, whether it’s responding to an e-mail, loading up the dishwasher, or packing your gym bag for your next trip. Good job!

Do you feel unattractive? Take a goddamn selfie. Your friends will remind you how great you look, and you’ll fight society’s restrictions on what beauty can look like.

Do you feel paralyzed by indecision? Give yourself ten minutes to sit back and figure out a game plan for the day. If a particular decision or problem is still being a roadblock, simply set it aside for now, and pick something else that seems doable. Right now, the important part is to break through that stasis, even if it means doing something trivial.

Have you seen a therapist in the past few days? If not, hang on until your next therapy visit and talk through things then.

Have you been over-exerting yourself lately — physically, emotionally, socially, or intellectually? That can take a toll that lingers for days. Give yourself a break in that area, whether it’s physical rest, taking time alone, or relaxing with some silly entertainment.

Have you changed any of your medications in the past couple of weeks, including skipped doses or a change in generic prescription brand? That may be screwing with your head. Give things a few days, then talk to your doctor if it doesn’t settle down.

Have you waited a week? Sometimes our perception of life is skewed, and we can’t even tell that we’re not thinking clearly, and there’s no obvious external cause. It happens. Keep yourself going for a full week, whatever it takes, and see if you still feel the same way then.

You’ve made it this far, and you will make it through. You are stronger than you think."
depression  coping  health  mentalhealth  via:mattthomas  sleep  eating  exercise  self-care 
october 2015 by robertogreco
40 years of a changing American diet, in one massive chart - Vox
"You don't eat the way your parents did. You can probably see that by just glancing at a cookbook from the 1960s or '70s. (So much Jell-O. So much canned food.) But you can quantify those differences more precisely using data from the USDA. Below, in one giant chart, we have compiled how Americans' eating patterns have changed over a generation.

The data shows the change in per capita availability since 1972 of a wide variety of foods that the USDA tracks. (The farthest back that many foods go is 1970, though some go farther; we made it around 40 years, though for select groups indicated on the chart, the data doesn't quite cover that whole period.) This available data doesn't show exact consumption levels — rather, it shows the total supply divided by the number of Americans. However, it does give a good sense of how Americans' eating patterns are changing over time.

What it shows is that we've really cut back on a lot of canned, frozen, and dried produce in favor of fresh produce. And while that may sound great for our health, the one food whose availability has grown the most is also terrible for us: high-fructose corn syrup."
food  diet  us  eating  charts  2015  usda 
may 2015 by robertogreco
A Manners Manifesto - NYTimes.com
"In the democratic present, perhaps the way to distinguish useful etiquette from frippery is to discern which rules help us be good rather than seem good. Serving others first is plainly charitable. Filling companions’ glasses, waiting to eat, giving another the last of the stew, chewing with a closed mouth — each is a basic acknowledgment of togetherness. Perhaps the consequential lesson in the matter of holding your fork, etc., is that customs differ at different tables in different lands, and that there is a certain intelligence in doing as is done. In other words, whatever unites merits keeping, and what divides can be folded and stored away with the linen too old and ornamental to use.

For all that my manners have brought me, including being able to express wordless gratitude at dozens of tables where I could contribute little more, the lesson that best suited me for society may be how our father dressed for dinner. He resolutely donned a hideous pair of patchwork pants whenever we had guests, so that no guest would feel underdressed. Miss Manners recounts that Queen Victoria, at a state dinner, lifted up her finger bowl and drank from it: “She had to. Her guest of honor, the Shah of Persia, had done it first.” The story is told elsewhere with different aristocratic protagonists. The message is the same. True courtesy will instinctively check faddish manners at the door in the interest of kindness — which is the root from which the entire family tree of courteous behavior, from the noble Egyptian’s papyrus on, has sprung."
manners  kindness  etiquette  2015  tamaradler  courtesy  behavior  eating 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Science Compared Every Diet, and the Winner Is Real Food - James Hamblin - The Atlantic
"A diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention."



"I think Bertrand Russell nailed it," Katz told me, "when he said that the whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are so sure, and wise people always have doubts. Something like that."
food  diet  research  wisdom  2014  bertrandrussell  certainty  doubt  uncertainty  eating  health  via:lukeneff 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Your Choice of Spoon Changes the Taste of Your Food | Smart News
"The next time you’re getting ready to eat, think carefully about what utensil you choose to dig into that tasty morsel. Researchers, publishing in the journal Flavour, showed that how we perceive food and even how we taste it, can be affected by the type of cutlery we use.

One of the food stuffs that researchers from the University of Oxford took as a subject was yogurt. And they came up with some  bizarre results. For example: yogurt was perceived to be denser and more expensive when eaten from a light plastic spoon, as opposed to a weighted plastic spoon.  

They also tested the effect of color on yogurt-eaters. White yogurt eaten from a white spoon was deemed sweeter, more expensive and denser than a similar yogurt that was dyed pink. When the subjects ate the pink and white yogurt with black spoons, the effects were reversed.

The researchers didn’t just limit themselves to a single dairy product though. They also tested whether the shape of cutlery would affect the taste of cheese and found that cheese tasted saltier when eaten off a knife as opposed to a spoon, fork or toothpick."
spoons  taste  ncmideas  2013  food  eating  utensils 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Body-Technology Interfaces | Sternlab
"Laptop Compubody Sock for privacy, warmth, and concentration in public spaces

Learn to make your own on Instructables.

See more pictures on Flickr.

Cell Phone Ski Mask

Ski Mask for Eating a Sandwich

Keyboard Interface for Computer Programming"
compubody  wearables  knitting  glvo  computing  computers  mobile  phones  typing  eating  sandwiches  privacy  warmth  gaming  craft  design  technology  via:meetar  chatroulette  wearable 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Traditional Turning on Vimeo
"During the past 20 years Robin Wood has produced and sold over 30,000 wooden plates and bowls from his small workshop nestled into a Peak District hillside. Creating items for everyday use and making a living from his work as a craftsman is a fundamental principle underpinning Robin's working lifestyle. He seems very happy with the path he has chosen but his activities are not restricted to wood turning.

Robin is also Chairman of the Heritage Craft Association heritagecrafts.org.uk, is featured in many television craft programmes, and shares his skills and knowledge with others by running classes in bowl turning and spoon carving. He also writes a very interesting and informative craft blog. greenwood-carving.blogspot.co.uk
Dave and Lynwen went along to see him turn a bowl. artisanco.com "

[via: http://kottke.org/12/11/stay-small-or-go-big ]
bowlturning  weather  studios  workshops  tradition  2012  robinwood  bowls  plates  turning  small  slow  simple  making  eating  food  wood  craft 
november 2012 by robertogreco
The Gastronauts
"The idea behind the club wasn’t to eat Fear Factor stuff, but to get people away from solely eating foods they were comfortable with; we figured having friends along would amortize the awkwardness. By way of background, Curtiss grew up in Austria/Germany/Italy, and Ben in Brazil/ Australia/Thailand, so we were both accustomed to nasty bits and odd foods. We had six folks along that first night, but soldiered on, hosting a dinner each month. We tried to keep it pretty quiet, taking in only friends and their friends, and shooing away media inquiries, but it grew and grew.

Today, our little club has expanded to roughly 1000 people, with a second chapter in Los Angeles. We receive international and domestic press requests on weekly basis, and new applications every day. Without exaggeration, we’re by far the biggest dining club of this sort in the world. Our monthly dinners have an average of 70+ people (and a long wait list) which allows us to create custom, adventurous menus with…"
comfortzone  gastronauts  foodies  adventure  restaurants  eating  washingtondc  losangeles  nyc  food  dc 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Taste Bites | Food at home & on the streets in Shanghai and around the world
"Taste Bites is a project that loves recipes, restaurants and eating. Based in Shanghai it shares recipes that focus on easy-to-find in China ingredients, reviews restaurants, and goes behind the scenes with other local food lovers."
recipes  cooking  china  restaurants  eating  srg  blogs  food  laurengollasch  shanghai  tastebites 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Science teacher: Zeitgeber matters
"We keep time in class, as we do pretty much everywhere. We pretend days are exactly 24hrs long…each hour is as well proscribed & linear as next…hour in December lasts exactly as long as hour in June.

Kids know otherwise…until we train them.

We start school here in Bloomfield next week…daylight hours shrink dramatically this time of year…

Science teachers will make a big deal about this, explaining the seasons using globes & lamps, but if we've taught our children that sunlight does not matter, that the clock matters more than your hypothalamus, that we eat at noon, not when you're hungry, well, then, we should stop feigning shock when children really don't pay much attention to sunlight.

None of the adults around them do, either.

If college grads do not know why seasons happen, how trees accumulate mass, what forces act on a basketball in flight, maybe it's not because our children refuse to learn.

Maybe it's because they internalized what we've been teaching them all along…"
michaeldoyle  time  teaching  training  psychology  seasons  circadianrhythms  biorhythms  schooldesign  schooliness  schools  schooling  unschooling  deschooling  whatmatters  zeitgeber  2011  education  learning  conditioning  hunger  food  eating  sundial  science  culture  society 
september 2011 by robertogreco
Food Raves Gain in Popularity - NYTimes.com
"In a sense it is civil disobedience on a paper plate.

The underground market seeks to encourage food entrepreneurship by helping young vendors avoid roughly $1,000 a year in fees — including those for health permits and liability insurance — required by legitimate farmers markets. Here, where the food rave — call it a crave — was born, the market organizers sidestep city health inspections by operating as a private club, requiring that participants become “members” (free) and sign a disclaimer noting that food might not be prepared in a space that has been inspected."
food  sanfrancisco  anarchy  anarchism  popuprestaurants  restaurants  eating 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Jonah Lehrer's Head Case Column on Thanksgiving Overeating - WSJ.com
"In recent years, neuroscience has begun to solve the mystery of overeating. It turns out to have little to do with our taste buds, or even with our conscious desire for certain foods. Instead, the impulse to overeat depends on the pleasures of the stomach and intestines, which have an uncanny ability to detect the presence of calories. When we reach for that third helping of turkey, we are obeying the wishes of the gut, following a bodily desire that's difficult to resist."
food  eating  jonahlehrer  neuroscience  obesity  health  taste  overeating 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a... - Bobulate
"Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it." —Maurice Sendak
mauricesendak  children  love  eating  consumption  compliments 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Mark Bernstein: How My Cooking Changed, Again
"3. We used to eat out a lot. It adds up. For the price of takeout, you can splurge on ingredients almost every day and still wind up way ahead. 6. Farm shares are a good thing; the encourage you to cook things you don’t know how to cook. Like turnips. 7. Unfashionable wine is fun. ... 8. OK, doc. Steak, and buttery biscuits, and bacon in the turnips, and more butter in the tart crust. And wine. It’s still healthier than fast food. Even out the strain. Tomorrow you can grill some fish, and worry about the mercury instead. ... 11. Regarding that cinnamon: I run out of ingredients nowadays that used to last me decades. One can of baking powder got me through the 90’s. I finished a can this year, and I’m half way through the second. Cinnamon’s gone, so it the vanilla. No problem: newer ingredients taste better, they’re better for you, and they’re cheap. You can buy a lot of cinnamon for the price of a trip to the diner.
food  cooking  cv  glvo  eating  drink 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Keep Your Food, Change Your Plate: The New Science of Eating on Wired Science
"Brian Wansink is no new-age diet doctor. He's the Director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell, where a funhouse of one-way mirrors helps him spy into the hidden psychology behind Americans' prodigious food intake."
diet  eating  food  nutrition  psychology  research  habits  health  multitasking 
october 2007 by robertogreco
What the World Eats | Photo Essays | TIME
"What's on family dinner tables in fifteen different homes around the globe? Photographs by Peter Menzel from the book "Hungry Planet""
comparison  cooking  travel  world  food  culture  health  global  photography  classideas  sustainability  storytelling  statistics  diet  eating  socialstudies  society  visualization  groceries  consumerism  consumption  economics 
june 2007 by robertogreco

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