Travel On Picking Out a Good Agroturismo Farm Stay

In Italy, where agritourism has been nurtured by government subsidies for decades, business is booming. Who goes to the Italian countryside anymore without participating in a farmstay? C’mon! All the cool kids are doing it. In case you’re new to the concept, it goes like this: a farmstay or agritourism vacation entails traveling to a farm, eating there and (often) staying at (or near) the farmhouse, as you would at a bed & breakfast.

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Food Gaming a National Sensation. Who Knew?

Despite the fact I live in one of the world’s largest cities, I somehow wonder if I’m not simultaneously living under a rock. Case in point: The pack of popular food and restaurant-based video games that have apparently surfaced over the last five years. Somehow, thousands and thousands of people are loving food-related games, and I’ve missed the whole thing. I was just reading an article at Forbes.com about women’s increasing interest in gaming.

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The Dominance of Corn
The Dominance of Corn

When I returned to the Upper Midwest last summer for a visit, I couldn’t help but notice a change in the fields. The vast oceans of wheat and the fields of sunflowers were gone. In their place grew soybeans and corn. And according to the National Corn Growers Association, spring planting trends will continue to favor corn. So what’s wrong with lots of corn? For one thing, it means that other crops become more scarce as corn prices go up and farmers turn to the big corn payoff.

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Organic Trends: Food Bloggers, You are Being Watched!

They know what you’re thinking. They record what you’re typing. They’re snatching up excerpts. Though you may sometimes believe you’re addressing an empty auditorium (hear that echo?), research companies are listening. And reporting. One of the latest “well, this shouldn’t be shocking” findings to cross my desk is the revelation that companies have now established themselves as experts on the “blogosphere,” mining the web for blogs, newsgroups and comment threads that indicate consumer preferences.

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Introducing Mama 2.0

Mark, ever-watchful for weird cultural phenomena, writes from his west-coast post this note, entitled, “But where’s the Iron Chef head-to-head feature?” I just ran across this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooking_Mama For those who can’t satisfy their cucumber-slicing jones on a touch-screen, there’s apparently a version coming at Christmas for the new Nintendo Wii console, with its fancy motion-sensing controller. So then, Cooking Mama is either really sad (if you’re like me and believe that everyone should have a real, live person who’s willing to teach them basic life skills) or great news (if you see technology as a panacea for our cultural afflictions).

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Commentary from the Culinary Catwalk

And now, from the partially-obstructed-view cheap seats, your faithful food correspondent, Miss Ginsu, launches a paper airplane dispatch on the trends in taste. For your munching pleasure, a quick survey of the latest culinary currents: • “Organic” is like, totally over. Now that Walmart owns Organic, that label is sooo last decade. Rumor has it that ubiquitous Stonyfield Farm has been shorting its longstanding clients on Organic yogurt in order to better supply the low-price leviathan.

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USDA Changes Pyramid to Pie

And at the top, you’ll find nutritional enlightenment… Yeah, maybe most of the world has been watching the Sistine Chapel for a plume of white smoke. Meanwhile, my coworkers have been salivating at their screens, counting down the moments to this morning’s USDA webcast announcement for the new food pyramid. (Weirdos.) Essentially, they’ve divided the hierarchy into vertical slices of varying widths to represent relative consumption. The slices are color-coded, and you have to check at MyPyramid.

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About Me

Miss Ginsu is a nom-nom-nom de plume of Leitha Matz, who worked at Tabla and FreshDirect in NYC, wrote about the food scene from 2004 to 2009 in Brooklyn and presently lives in Berlin. Occasionally seen on TV cooking segments, Leitha has also written for FreshDirect, contributed to Cee Cee Berlin, The Food52 Cookbook and has been interviewed/quoted in The Food Keeper as well as The Washington Times and Salon.

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