How ‘Buy Nothing’ Facebook Groups Are Emerging as Sites for Mutual Aid

Kate Green/Getty Images

Alongside gifts of Ikea furniture and outgrown toddler clothes, some groups are becoming de facto food distribution networks

This story was originally published on Civil Eats.

Yulia Koudriashova is a single mom and teacher living with her two daughters in San Francisco’s Outer Richmond neighborhood. Her parents moved in with them in March when they were evacuated from Kiev after Russia invaded Ukraine. With Koudriashova’s salary as the household’s only source of income, the family has come to rely on the boxes of food they pick up nearly every week from a neighbor’s garage.

“For my parents, it’s very helpful because they see the support of the members of our community,” Koudriashova said. “They have nothing, they don’t have money, and we are sharing the same budget for five people.”

If Koudriashova can’t make a pickup, which typically takes place on Saturdays, she will likely receive … Read more

Salmonella contamination not unusual in chicken

One-third of samples tested by Consumer Reports showed Salmonella contamination of ground chicken, including product from one of the nation’s largest producers.

The investigation by the non-profit consumer watchdog group included testing of 75 samples of ground chicken from Perdue and other companies. Purdue sells under its own brand and supplies chicken to Trader Joe’s and Wholesome Pantry. Consumer Reports also found Salmonella in samples from Isernio’s, Walmart and Whole Foods. Overall, no single brand stood out as being statistically better or worse than another, and CR found no difference between ground chicken from organic and conventionally-raised birds.

“Dangerous salmonella is far too common in chicken and sickens hundreds of thousands of people every year,” said James E. Rogers, director of food safety research and testing at Consumer Reports. “The USDA has pledged to reduce illness from salmonella contamination for more than a decade, but CR’s tests show that more … Read more

A Bona Nosh

Why Polari, Britain’s lost gay language, employs so many food words for subversive concepts

Typically, if I said that I’d recently eaten an especially memorable dish, I’d probably mean I’d tried something new at a restaurant. But in Britain 60 years ago, to the mostly (but not entirely) gay male speakers of a dialect called Polari, this phrase had a different, codified, deliciously lurid meaning: Dishes have rims, if you know what I mean.

Polari has a complex hybrid genealogy, as it developed out of terms used in what was known as “Cant” as far back as the 16th century among thieves, evolving into fairground and theater jargon in the 19th century when it was known by its speakers as Palyaree, which then evolved into what we now call Polari. (As a stealth, informal practice, spellings for both the lexicon itself and its vocabulary somewhat varied; the term “Polari” was … Read more

FDA doesn’t name food behind outbreak, but Daily Harvest company president does

The FDA is investigating an outbreak of “adverse events” related to a frozen food that has been recalled, but the investigation notice does not identify a specific product.

As of June 29 there have been107 people who reported what the Food and Drug Administration is referring to as adverse events. Traceback, testing and on-site inspections are ongoing in addition to the recall of the product.

All facts — including a statement from the company’s CEO — point to the product being Daily Harvest brand frozen French Lentil + Leek Crumbles.

“We have spent the past ten days working with the FDA, state agencies and multiple independent labs, as well as experts in microbiology, food safety and toxicology to conduct testing. These tests cover common foodborne pathogens, toxins, and allergens,” Daily Harvest founder and CEO Rachel Drori said in a written statement released June 27.

She said the company has used … Read more

How to Survive the Sriracha Shortage

Huy Fong isn’t the only sriracha brand out there. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

There are plenty of alternatives to Huy Fong

As countless news outlets have breathlessly reported over the past week, a sriracha shortage is looming. Huy Fong Foods, the California-based producer of the country’s most popular brand of sriracha — the one with the rooster on the bottle — says that it will have to scale back production of this much-beloved hot sauce due to an “abysmal” spring crop of red jalapenos imported from Mexico. This means that folks who are obsessed with putting sriracha on just about everything they eat are now scrambling to stock up on the sauce, or find a suitable alternative.

The shortage is so dire, in fact, that one Los Angeles restaurant is asking its patrons to bring in unopened bottles of sriracha, specifically the Huy Fong brand, in exchange for free food. … Read more