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Weekend Reading List: The Best Food Writing From Around The Web

It’s almost fall and we’re swinging into the season with a fresh basket of plump and juicy reads. Enjoy this food lit buffet, from a chef-enraging foie gras ban to the twisted tale of Federal Donuts’ beginnings.

+The International Council of Shopping Centers (yes, that exists) recently released the answer to the age old question: “How many Americans actually buy groceries online?” Food52 has the story.

+Typical hurricane prep: boarding up windows, stocking supplies, and evacuating. Not so typical: saving a sourdough “mother.” 

Every day we rely on a piece of wildly fermented dough—it’s called the “mother”—to rise hundreds of kilos of dough for some of Miami’s finest restaurants, hotels, and markets. That’s a lot of responsibility for a piece of dough. When a storm threatens the life of a person, a house, or a business, you’re forced to decide what stays and what goes, and in the case the bakery, our sourdough mother is the life force of our bread, so there’s no question that she must be protected.

+California judges ruled in favor of a foie gras ban this week. Great for animal advocates, not so great for restaurant chefs. 

+Avocados may not be the millennial downfall after all. Bloomberg explores what Americans are willing to pay (or not) for those silky green toast gems.

“…for all the talk of the American avocado addiction, the nation appears to be in control of its craving. We crunched five years of retail data from the Hass people, comparing changes in price to changes in purchasing. The correlation, it turns out, is almost exactly inverse…When prices go up, Americans, collectively, buy fewer avocados, and vice-versa. Nor are avocados keeping us from buying homes, as some suggest. If anything, we’re behaving a little too rationally—all those healthy fats for just a couple of bucks!”

+Amidst a growing trend of food banks prioritizing healthy eating, one of America’s largest has just cut junk food by 84%.  That means you, Hot Cheetos.

+Although it’s been scientifically acknowledged that the food we grow now has less nutrients, there might be more to the story.

“…the atmosphere itself may be changing the food we eat. Plants need carbon dioxide to live like humans need oxygen. And in the increasingly polarized debate about climate science, one thing that isn’t up for debate is that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is rising…Rising CO2 revs up photosynthesis, the process that helps plants transform sunlight to food. This makes plants grow, but it also leads them to pack in more carbohydrates like glucose at the expense of other nutrients that we depend on, like protein, iron and zinc.”

+Philadelphia’s renowned Federal Donuts wasn’t always a smashing success.  Check out Bon Appetit’s telling excerpt from Federal Donuts: The (Partially) True Spectacular Story.

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