Europe’s Olive Trees Are Dying. Here’s Why You Should Care

Olive oil, staple of the much-ballyhooed Mediterranean diet, is about to get a little more expensive. 

The world’s top producers, Spain and Italy, have faced a series of plagues that led one Italian newspaper to refer to 2014 as “the black year of Italian oil.” Ninety-five percent of the world’s olive trees are in the Mediterranean. Italy’s woes have knocked it down to third place in production, behind Spain and Tunisia, but it remains the world’s largest olive oil exporter. (A quirk in Italian labeling laws allows Italy to ...

Driving Out Hunger, One Cab at a Time

We waste 2.8 trillion pounds of food every year, worldwide. Meanwhile, 805 million people don't have enough to eat, so it's no surprise that here at The Plate, we talk a lot about food waste.

There is no one simple solution, but Dr. Eric Handler, Orange County Public Health Officer, is trying something new–connecting the dots between gathering extra food, identifying those in need, getting it to them, and making it easy for food service folks to participate. He's the co-chair of the Waste Not OC Coalition (WNOC), which he hopes can serve as a model elsewhere.

I talked with Handler, a pediatrician for over 30 years, who spearheads the unique coalition focused on ...

Bug Off: Why Insect Eating Is More Gimmick Than Reality

Bugs are the hottest new trend in food!

Sound familiar? It should. Almost two years ago, in the wake of a FAO report on edible insects, National Geographic, along with everyone else, was writing about how bugs could save us all. Even before that, in 2010, Dutch entomologist Marcel Dicke gave a famous TED Talk and co-wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal advocating for entomophagy (a fancy word for bug eating).

Look around.  Is everyone eating fried mealworms?

I didn’t think so.

I’m a bit conflicted about insect consumption. I will freely admit to being a little squeamish about anything worm-shaped and wriggly. But crickets? Specifically the enormous, invasive camel ...

It’s Spring. Time to Crack Some Eggs

Have you ever wondered why eggs are everywhere this time of year? I mean, yes, there’s Easter. But eggs have been symbolic of spring for a long time. As far back as the ancient Romans, eggs symbolized new life and reproduction. March is named after Mars, the Roman god of agriculture (and war, but this is a food blog). March was actually the first month in the Roman calendar, because it marked the beginning of farming season.

The official beginning of spring is the vernal equinox, at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. But eggs are a big part of spring celebrations all over the world ...

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