This is the web version of a list we publish twice-weekly in our newsletter. It comprises the most noteworthy food stories of the moment, selected by our editors. Get it first here.
Breaking news: Parenting is hard. Much to the chagrin of a once-childless New York Times food writer, you cannot cook a three-course meal for your family in under 30 minutes—as she’d long instructed that you could. Alex Van Buren writes that she learned the hard way, via becoming a parent herself, that mincing, dicing, and marinating all require two hands. A new parent only ever has one hand free with which to cook, and only then if the baby is in a dream-like state. “Executing a meal for grown-ups when you’re a parent is a whole new ballgame, and requires advanced strategy,” writes Van Buren, in her mea culpa.
Baby kale. The first commercial baby food product was manufactured in Rochester, New York in 1921. Now, nearly 100 years later, the singular mystery of parenting—that is, how best to feed an infant and with what food—continues to stymie parents and ignite debate the world over. For The New Yorker, Burkhard Bilger looks at the business and science of baby food, from infant disgust for kale to Gerber’s top-secret HQ. The eternal question is, how do we set young children up to have healthy eating habits? The answer, Bilger suggests, may lie in our own adult behavior.
Vegan vengeance. On Monday, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Burger King for cooking the Impossible Whopper, a meat substitute, on the same grill as its animal-derived burgers. The plaintiff alleges he suffered damages “in the amount that he paid to purchase” the burger, and accused the company of false advertising and making monetary gains on a vegan alternative to beef burgers that isn’t actually vegan. CNN Business has the report.
Also, “rockstar.” “Overuse has leached badass of its badassery.” So said a wide-ranging group of female chefs interviewed by food writer Charlotte Druckman for her new book, Women on Food. Ubiquity isn’t the only problem. Some of the chefs Druckman spoke to said they feel like “badass” perpetuates “the stultifying conventions of maleness that dominate restaurant kitchens.” The Salt blog at NPR has the story.
No kangaroo court. Nothing to see here, folks: just a horse named Justice trying to sue its owners. Levity aside, there really is such a case pending in the Oregon Court of Appeals, where the Animal Legal Defense Fund is trying to make Justice the plaintiff in a civil claim alleging severe neglect by the horse’s owner. The aim is to set this precedent: Animals have legal personhood. Now, the Oregon Farm Bureau has weighed in, filing a friend of the court brief that essentially says it would be bad for farmers if their cows can sue. Tillamook Headlight Herald has the story.