A few days ago, we shared our most clicked, shared and commented-upon stories of 2012, but life isn't always a popularity contest. Here are a few food stories we're proud to have shared.
Eat them before they eat everything
A growing number of conservationists are advocating the consumption of invasive species in an effort to fend off environmental destruction, but are American eaters ready to order up roasted water rat and a side of kudzu vine?
Farmers aren't evil. Now can we have a civil conversation?
In 2012, we handed our bullhorn over to farmers like Ryan Goodman, Brian Scott, Craig Rogers and Mike Haley so consumers could speak with them directly about animal rights, GMO crops, the fallout of the 2012 drought and myths and misconceptions about where consumers' grocery dollars are going. It wasn't always pretty, but we saw it as a giant stride toward a better food system for everyone.
Chefs with Issues: Food for the heart
Chef Michael Anthony received the James Beard Award for Best Chef NYC in 2012, but he almost didn't live to see that day. He shared this meditation on hospitality and gratitude.
Hugh Acheson: Southern food, beyond the butter
Headlines about Paula Deen's diabetes disclosure (and lucrative pharmaceutical deal) abounded - along with some wholesale blame of Southern food for her condition. Hugh Acheson wasn't standing for that.
Oh, candidates? Grit your teeth and listen.
Speaking of Southern food, our managing editor wasn't always at home with the cultural implications of grits. Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney helped her get over that.
Why your grandma swipes sugar packets
Whether it’s your best friend, grandma, crazy uncle or maybe even yourself doing the lifting, evidence of petty restaurant pilfering can be found in drawers and car glove boxes across the nation – each with their own little cache of restaurant and sugar caddy bounty. Here's why people feel so darned entitled to swipe them.
Clarified – Is foie gras fair game or foul play?
The practice of force-feeding waterfowl to create a fatty delicacy was the subject of much controversy this year - and a highly controversial ban in California. Our associate editor took an in-depth and unflinching look at the controversial method.
Clarified – What are gestation crates?
The term "gestation crates" has been trotted out across news media and social networks over the course of the last few months as major corporations declared plans to phase out their use, but what exactly are they and why is their use so controversial?
This is the year you garden
This year, you'll grow your own food. Not all of it and probably not even most or much of it. But you'll grow some, and that's going to change your life.
A five-step plan for overcoming picky eating (a.k.a. an open letter to Anderson Cooper)
Recovering picky eater Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic does not want our silver fox to die of scurvy.
Opinion: Why I’m celebrating Chick-fil-Gay Appreciation Day
In the midst of a whole lot of controversy over fast food corporations funding their social beliefs with their profits, restaurateur Steve McDonagh put a human face on the issue.
Chefs with Issues: Immigrants in the kitchen
Immigrant labor is a hot button issue (to say the least). Chef John Currence says without this workforce, we quite simply wouldn't have restaurants.
The bitter truth behind the chocolate in your Easter basket
Chocolate is one of life's greatest pleasures, but for the children working in slavery conditions in cacao fields across West Africa's Ivory Coast, the reality behind it is anything but sweet.
Anthony Bourdain: Eat out and tip big to save NYC restaurants after Sandy
After Superstorm Sandy pounded the East Coast, the newest member of the CNN family penned a love letter to New York City dining and a passionate plea to support the hardworking men and women who keep us fed and happy.
Where does your grocery money go? Mostly not to the farmers
Author Tracie McMillan explained that when it comes to produce, it’s not the farmers who get most of the money we spend on food. It’s everyone who's standing past the farm gate.
Don't be bullied by the sauce spoon
Whether it's a meal with food experts or an intimate Valentine dinner for two, fear of other people's snobbery should never get in the way of your pleasure.
No one warns you about the durian burps
Finally...FINALLY they've stopped.
And it wouldn't be a complete meal without a little bit of barbecue.
Also, we've got nothing but love for the intrepid and excellent Emily Smith who not only faced down her own personal food boundaries to eat a multi-course blood menu, but also researches and writes the vast majority of our the daily food holidays posts. Same goes for our thoughtfully-quaffing beer columnist Nathan Berrong, in-house booze historian Sam Meyer, superstar newshound Emanuella Grinberg, brilliant bosslady Melonyce McAfee and man-in-the-field Jeremy Harlan, who kept us apprised of culinary news along the campaign trail. We also are grateful to the Southern Foodways Alliance with letting us showcase their smart, soulful, insightful take on the most fascinating cuisine in all the land.
Here's to a sustainable, ethical, drought-free, open-minded, spirited and delicious 2013!
Farmers are not evil . It's the paid off government & Monsanto ...