Set the Table for a Divine Feast on Dia de Los Muertos

The smell of incense fills the air and golden marigolds brighten drab tombstones in a cemetery full of the living dead. Faces are decorated like skulls with flowers lining their crowns, and a kaleidoscope of color transforms the monochrome Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, where some of our greatest stars are buried—think Johnny Ramone, Cecil B. DeMille, and Jayne Mansfield.

A Day of the Dead festival has taken over the cemetery to observe the ancient Mexican tradition of honoring loved ones who’ve passed on. I’m so overwhelmed by these intricately adorned altars that I click-click my camera at every turn.

For Dia de Los Muertos, Mexican families set ...

Spook Yourself With These 5 Weird Food Superstitions 

Pay attention to what you’re eating this Halloween or you could end up penniless, friendless, soulless, lifeless, or—even worse for some—your in-laws might come over for a visit.

Food is a big component of every aspect of our lives, so it makes sense that certain foods are tied in with superstitions. These are the quirky traditions that make each community unique and hold it together over time. Most of the time, they’re a tad kooky—way more fiction than fact.

But there are still true believers who watch out for noodles, never spill salt, and hold onto their tortillas. Read on:

Long Live Noodles! 

In China, noodles are meant to be devoured whole. Long noodles represent a ...

Warm Water May Spell the End of New England’s Iconic Cod

New England's stocks of cod—the fish that fed colonists and launched the United States' first industries—have collapsed almost past the point of recovery, despite aggressive catch restrictions that should have allowed them to rebound.

On Thursday, scientists speaking at a conservation event in Washington, D.C. disclosed why: The Gulf of Maine is warming faster than 99.9 percent of the rest of the oceans. It is happening so quickly that it has harmed cod's ability to replace its numbers even though fishing had almost ceased.

"In warm years, each female cod produces fewer one-year old fish, and that these young fish are less likely to reach adulthood," Andrew Pershing, ...

Can Blue Apron Teach You to Cook?

The number of meals cooked in American homes is declining. But the business of selling Americans everything it takes to make a home-cooked meal is booming.

Blue Apron, a company that creates and delivers kits of recipes and ingredients, now sends out three million build-it-yourself meals a month. This is up from last year, when the company was shipping just  half a million meal prep kits a month. Combine that with competitors like Plated and Hello Fresh, and the trend is clear; a significant number of people are cooking from kits that take the grocery shopping and guesswork out of cooking.

Each of the companies offers a similar promise of good-tasting ...

Why Food Needs a Plank on Party Platforms

An American election happens about one year from today, and so far the only attention food has received is reports on what the candidates eat.

Jeb Bush is paleo (great news, because with his recent staff cuts it seems he will have plenty of time to hunt and gather in 2016). Ben Carson is a vegetarian. Ted Cruz likes to cook bacon on a machine gun (I knew him in college and even then, stuff like this was happening). Hopefully we've come far enough as a country in 24 years that we won't have another Hillary Clinton cookie bakeoff (or hopefully, she has a new

The Saccharine History of Candy Corn

Candy corn has been around since the 1880s, and, though it continually pops up on lists of worst Halloween candy ever, its story is still one of perennial success. 

Moose A. Moose, the pint-sized yellow cartoon moose who starred on Nick Jr.’s now-defunct children’s show, Moose and Zee, was known for his Halloween song, I Don’t Like Candy Corn. Moose says he would rather eat his feet. And Moose is not alone. It turns out that lots of people don’t like candy corn.

In fact, candy corn just might be the Halloween equivalent of fruitcake: a holiday food that everybody has, but nobody actually eats.

Traditionally—though nobody knows for sure —candy ...

Comfort Food: Nostalgia in a Bowl

Ask five people what foods they consider comforting, and you’re likely to get five different answers.

That’s because comfort food is all about nostalgia—memories of a parent at the stove, family gatherings around the table, even a dish you hated as a kid but inexplicably long for once you’re old enough to have a kitchen of your own. So it’s no wonder that when you’re feeling low, homesick, or just plain sick, nothing sounds better than curling up on the couch with a blanket and a hot bowl of something you grew up eating.

Historians differ on the origins of most food concepts, and comfort food ...

Are We Ready for an Ag Tech Revolution?

The technology has been ready for decades, but the time is finally ripe for the world to take a new approach to agriculture, says entrepreneur Randy Komisar.

Komisar is a founding director of TiVo, a partner at venture capitalist firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and a lead investor in Nest—a little wireless thermostat control company that took off big just before Google bought it in 2014.

Komisar is known for knowing what’s coming next, and now he thinks agricultural technology is ready to bloom. I caught up with him recently and asked him, why now?

“My attraction to food and ag tech is the timely application of technologies ...

Italians Show Energy and Food Can Grow in Harmony

As global food demand rises, so does the controversy of growing crops for biofuels on arable land. But it’s not really as cut and dried as some critics make it out to be. The food versus fuel debate just might miss the fact that there are people practicing ways to create greener energy and produce the same amount of food all while improving soil health. 

To be fair, conventional biofuel production is frequently in conflict with growing food. Farmers that raise only biofuel crops could instead be using the land to grow food for people. And, biofuel production may increase food prices by competing for space with ...

The Future of Tipping

Tipping has reached a tipping point in America. But so far it’s unclear where it's going.

Each state decides its own minimum wage and most (43) have lower minimum wage levels for workers in tipped jobs than other workers. That means restaurant service staff lives depend on tips. In New York, for example, the minimum wage for tipped workers is $5. For non-tipped workers, it’s $9. Some tipped workers make as little as $2.13 per hour.

Coming out on the no-tip side, influential restaurateur and hospitality maven Danny Meyer announced last week that he is ridding his 13 restaurants of tipping next year, promising to pay his 1,800 ...

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