Bookmarks–February 6, 2022

A bit of a mixed bag in this week’s bookmarks: a few articles on the importance of food diversity and agroecology, the impact on the seafood industry of changes in Louisiana’s environment,  plus swapping different types of yeast, and the surprising versatility of air fryers. 

The extinction crisis that no one’s talking about

I’ve shared articles on this subject before. We are in dire need of more diversity in our food systems. This article features an interview with journalist Dan Saladino, author of the book Eating to Extinction: The World’s Rarest Foods and Why We Need to Save Them, which I have just added to my must-read list. 

“As we grow and harvest fewer varieties of plants and animals, the foods you can buy in the grocery store may become less nutritious and flavorful, and — as the current state of coffee demonstrates — the global food system could become less resilient. That’s why it’s so crucial to lift up communities that are protecting foods from disappearing…Vox

These women are making bread better for everyone

When you talk of foods lacking diversity, wheat is high on that list. It turns out there are many innovative female bakers using heirloom and locally grown varieties of wheat in their breads. Recipes–including one for gluten-free bread–are part of this article too. 

The women bakers I most admire seek a complex palette of ingredients, swapping common for ancient wheat, rye, oats, barley, and corn. They honor the tradition of unleavened and naturally leavened breads, whether it’s with sourdough-style country loaves or with flatbreads. Preserving or innovating on the lineage of regional recipes is a given for them. Bread entrepreneurship is their way to pursue a more sustainable food system, a tool for social activism and personal expression.” Food & Wine

‘An act of rebellion: the young farmers revolutionizing Puerto Rico’s agriculture

Puerto Rico’s young farmers and “foodies” are helping turn attention to the benefits of locally grown foods and the principles of agroecology. 

“Eating is a political act, and reducing our dependence on imported food will help create a locally based more sustainable economy and environment. We’ve a long way to go but I’m going to die trying.” The Guardian

On the Cajun coast, a chef grapples with threats to a seafood tradition

Land use and a changing climate threaten the seafood industry and the people who depend on it in Louisiana. 

“Land on Louisiana’s coast, which is at the heart of the state’s energy business, is vanishing at an alarming rate. Oil exploration and fossil fuel pollution — a direct cause of the global warming that is driving the rise in sea levels — are also hastening the coastal erosion chipping away at wetlands that are crucial habitat for fish and other wildlife.New York Times

How to swap different types of yeast

I needed an answer about using instant yeast for traditional active dry and found it in this brief but informative article. 

“…yes, you can totally substitute one yeast for another, as long as you do it right. Here’s what you need to know so you can make the swap and still achieve that perfect rise.” Epicurious

How the air fryer crisped its way into America’s hearts

I’ve wondered about getting an air fryer. I had heard they were just like cooking with convection, which our toaster oven already does, but this article makes the technology sound different from convection and very versatile. And those corn ribs sound pretty tasty. 

Cooks stuck at home during the two years of the pandemic have turned to the air fryer, in part, because it can replicate deep-frying, lending crunch to foods while using little or no oil. But they have also discovered that it can do more than just crisp. An air fryer can make breakfast, lunch and dinner. For some cooks, it has nearly replaced ovens or microwaves for heating frozen finger foods, refreshing leftovers or cooking meals and desserts.” New York Times

Book image: 95141101 © Dzhamilia Ermakova |

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