This Doctor Wants to Prescribe Better Food for Everyone

When Molly Maloof was a new doctor in residence at a major medical institution in a pediatric cancer ward, she was struck by how frequently the sick children were given sugar-laden cookies and cakes. When she asked her supervisor if the meals could be changed to include more fresh and healthy foods, she was told she was a “dreamer” and she should keep her head down and her mouth shut.

She took that as a sign, and now Maloof prescribes food before pills. She works with Silicon Valley tech firms to optimize employee nutrition, advises food companies on marketing, and promotes better food as the solution to preventing ...

For Some Russian Farmers, Trade Sanctions Never Tasted so Good

Her name was Natalya. Her cheeks were ruddy, like a matryoshka doll. She had the figure of a dome atop St. Basil’s Cathedral. She was filthy, like she’d been dragged across a field.

Natalya, she was a fine onion. Then I made her into borscht soup, along with her friends; Ivan the potato, Yevgenia the beet, Mikhail the carrot, and Vladimir the beef chuck.

I bought the whole gang at LavkaLavka, an organic market in downtown Moscow (“lavka” means “little store”).

Russians tend to take things to the extreme, and this farm-to-table grocery store is no exception. Dirt is left on the ...

Your Shot: How You Like Them Apples?

There may be nothing as American as apple pie, but the U.S. hardly has a lock on apples. Scientists point to the mountains of Kazakhstan as the birthplace of the storied fruits, varieties of which have been cultivated in temperate climates the world over for centuries.

(And if you’re interested in the history of apples, why they’re probably not the "forbidden fruit" and the curious way they’re cultivated, we have some fun reading for you at these links. Trust us—apples are fascinating!)

There are thousands of varieties of apples, which may come as a surprise ...

What’s the Fuss? It’s Just Mayo

A fundamental truth about revolutions: Some stand to benefit a lot, many in the status quo risk losing it all.

Josh Tetrick, Hampton Creek’s dynamic CEO, says his Silicon Valley company will revolutionize the food system by replacing resource-sucking eggs with the company’s plant-based, inexpensive alternatives. Hampton Creek’s ability to disrupt the egg market became clear to many when its Just Mayo spread started selling at stores from Dollar Tree to Safeway to Whole Foods—an achievement not many products can claim.

Last year, Unilever, maker of Hellmann’s mayonnaise, dropped a lawsuit attempting to force Just Mayo to change its name, claiming that federal law requires mayonnaise to ...

Lake Bled Cream Cake: A Confection Straight from the Storybooks

Standing placidly in the shadows of the Julian Alps, ringed by thick forests and guarded by a stern medieval castle, is Slovenia’s beloved Lake Bled. At its center is Bled Island, home to one most beautiful churches on the planet and the “wishing bell,” a 16th century chime consecrated by the Pope himself that is believed to grant the wishes of all who ring it.

There’s a reason Lake Bled is Slovenia’s most popular tourist destination: If you’re lucky, a swan might just float by as you watch the flat-bedded boats drift on the lake. Bled offers sweet memories to its millions of visitors, but the hungry ones will have ...

Gene-Swapping Cheese Molds are Ripe for Investigation

For Tatiana Giraud, cheese isn’t just an emblem of French cuisine—it’s a complex and evolving world of microorganisms.

So when Giraud, a microbiologist at the French National Center for Scientific Research, stocked her lab’s fridge with wheels, wedges, and rounds of cheese ordered online, it wasn’t just to spread globs of the dairy product on crackers. (But rest assured: “We took all the samples we needed,” Giraud says, “and then we ate the remaining.”).

Instead, Giraud and her colleagues were looking for traces of evolution in the molds that make up Camembert’s rind, and ...

Some Like it Raw: The State of Unpasteurized Cheese in the U.S.

Ever wonder why some cheese tastes so much better in Europe? The view of the Eiffel Tower helps, but a lot of the time, it’s because fromage from across the pond is made from unpasteurized milk—milk straight from the animal, unheated before consumption. Europeans use this “raw milk” as the main ingredient to make much of their fresh soft cheeses, a practice forbidden in the U.S. But that may soon change.

In America, by law, all cheese regulated by the FDA (that is, all cheese that is transported across state lines) must either be made from pasteurized (heated) milk or aged at least 60 days. The rule has ...

Walk on the Wild Side With Beer Made From Wasp Yeast

I admit, I’m behind the times. While my friends are attending increasingly popular beer festivals and visiting the growing number of micro-breweries around the world, I can’t tell the difference between a lager and a stout. This means that not only am I the worst person to send to the bar, I’ve also never given much thought to what it takes to brew a great beer.

Unlike me, John Sheppard is a beer expert. As a bioprocessing professor at North Carolina State University, Sheppard spends much of his time in his lab (which could easily be confused ...

Walnuts Through Time: Brain Food, Poison, Money, Muse

The latest on the list of foods for boosting memory, concentration, and cognitive function may just be a handful of walnuts. A recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging (and, to be fair, funded in part by the California Walnut Commission) found that walnut-eaters scored significantly better on a series of cognitive tests, variously measuring everything from reaction time to story recall. Researchers guess that this may be related to walnuts’ high content of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, notably alpha-linolenic acid—versatile ingredients that may also have protective effects against cancers and cardiovascular disease.

Similarly, a 2014 study led by Abba Chauhan ...

Michaelmas: The Day the Devil Spit on Your Blackberries

It’s time to eat as many blackberries as you can find and stuff in a pie. After September 29, those celebrating the feast of Michaelmas warn you not to eat them.

On the list of forgotten holidays, Michaelmas falls somewhere below Arbor Day and the winter solstice. But just as American Popemania is rousing hoardes of non-Catholics, Michaelmas affects the secular world. A religious holiday celebrated by some Christian churches, it is a centuries-old event with a peculiar food history.

In medieval England, farmers used Michaelmas as a way to delineate the changing of the seasons—made sense, as it fell around the change of seasons. Michaelmas was a ...

Show More Stories