Politics

My Complicated Relationship with The Great British Baking Show — Feature Story

(Image credit: Courtesy of © Mark Bourdillion/Love Productions)

Tonight PBS airs the Season 3 finale of The Great British Baking Show, the stupendously popular show that taught Americans the meaning of a proper sponge, and introduced them to the steely gaze of Paul Hollywood and cool evaluation of Mary Berry. To mark the occasion, we asked English expat Luke Dempsey to explore his complicated relationship with England past, present, and fantasy.

If you had a happy early childhood, as I did, The Great British Baking Show takes you right back to it, to a place where people are uncomplicated and kind and careful of each other. There is no ego, only fun for the sake of it (and there's a lot of sugar).

Set in the grounds of a stately home, in a big tent reminiscent of those used for a local fair (note, there has to be a tent—this is Britain, where the climate is made up of weather, not seasons), the show reeks, to some, of a halcyon time that never existed. Which is why it's so powerful.

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Take This Quiz to Find Out If You Eat Like a Democrat or a Republican — Weird Food

Does your stomach lean more conservative or more liberal? Time looked at customer order data from Grubhub, a food delivery service, to help determine if you eat like a Democrat or a Republican. According to Time,"out of 175 popular items ordered on Grubhub, 75% had significant correlations to the partisanship of those districts."

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The War Against GMOs Is Full of Fraud, Says Journalist — Food News

The public debate on genetically modified seeds and crops runs high with feelings. When it comes to this line of science and our food, what is healthy, and what should be avoided? Journalist William Saletan spent a year researching the field and came to the conclusion that the anti-GMO rhetoric is not doing us any favors.

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What It’s Really Like to Cook on a Food Stamp Budget — Food Matters

In 2013, 49.1 million Americans lived in households struggling with hunger, a stark number which includes 15.8 million children and 4.8 million seniors. Food insecurity is a daily reality for about one in seven households. So why do we only seem to talk passionately about it when a celebrity is involved?

If you paid any attention to the recent controversy surrounding Gwyneth Paltrow's $29 SNAP grocery shopping challenge, you know what I mean. When she posted a photo of the groceries she purchased with the weekly budget of a typical SNAP (food stamp) recipient, Paltrow inspired a lot of snarky editorials poking fun at the actress's cluelessness and comments naming all the ways her charmed life is not like the typical SNAP recipient's, but in the end, it was just more media coverage of a wealthy celebrity.

What are the challenges of shopping, meal planning, and cooking when your budget relies on SNAP benefits? Someone who spends a week trying it out isn't the right person to ask. Instead, I spoke with regular people with real experience with SNAP — some who receive benefits, others whose jobs involve working with recipients — to learn more about the individuals behind the statistics and the realities of feeding yourself and your family with the help of SNAP.

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What Happens to Grocery Store Waste? — The Grocery Insider

In my grocery store marketing days, I spent my time getting things — ideally groceries, via a financial transaction — out of the store. Unfortunately, the grocery industry creates literally tons of waste, both in product and packaging, and thus my job sometimes involved finding responsible alternatives to the dumpster.

For larger retailers, finding avenues for that waste is a full-time job. Here is what happens to the waste in your grocery store.

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The Story Behind the Wonderbag: The Non-Electric Slow Cooker

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What you see above is not a beanbag chair or a sleeping bag. No, it's actually a slow cooker. You might have even seen it around the last year or so as it gained momentum in the media. Designed by South Africa-based entrepreneur Sarah Collins, the mission behind the Wonderbag is to empower women in Africa. For every Wonderbag that you buy, another is donated to a women in Africa that needs help feeding her family.

Equally as interesting as how this slow cooker actually works is the story behind why it was created in the first place. Your slow cooker tikka masala will never be the same.

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