How are blogs impacting traditional journalism?
A while ago I received an email from a student and blogger, Leena Trivedi-Grenier, in Australia, asking for help spreading the word about a survey she was creating for a graduate thesis:
“I am trying to discover the impact of food blogs on traditional food journalism by looking at how people use the two forms of media.”
It’s an intriguing premise. The more people who take the ten-minute survey and answer thoughtfully, the more valuable it will be. She'll post results in the spring. Our spring. Please note this survey is for U.S. residents only.
Asking yourself, "Did It Have a Head? Do I?"
Several people have emailed me today’s NYTimes story by Julia Moskin on chefs who announce their sympathy for the animals they cook and serve and ask more people to be aware of these animals and the quality of their life. It’s a sentiment I’ve talked about before and one shared by just about every chef I know. What’s disconcerting about the Times article is the peculiar slant the story takes: "How far will chefs go to display their empathy and respect for the animals they cook?" Moskin writes. "All the way, it seems, to the barnyard and the slaughterhouse.
"Leading chefs like Mr. Oliver, Dan Barber and David Burke seem to be wallowing in — and advertising — a new intimacy with the animals they cook."
As though concern about animal husbandry were a kind of marketing gimmick. What the story goes on to report is good and certainly it’s a story deserving of the space, but chefs have been thinking this way for years. (I’m reading San Francisco’ chef Chris Cosentino's book proposal today which, as it happens, begins, “My life changed a few years back [itals mine] when I had finally decided to take an animal from start to finish, from slaughter to supper, myself.”) When I was writing Charcuterie three years ago, I made a point of being present at the slaughter of two hogs, catching the blood in a Home Depot bucket then elbow deep in entrails to harvest the intestine to fill with the blood for sausage, because I thought it was important to know and see and feel (and because the Amish guy who did the actual sticking wasn’t technically allowed give me the blood); I didn't do it as a stunt. I wonder if this reflects a gathering cynicism toward chefs or is simply the writer’s attempting to make the story more “newsworthy” or “timely.”
Regardless, the story focuses our attention once again on what more and more people consider an urgent issue: our acknowledging the costs of our appetite and the humane treatment of the animals we eat.
In today’s Chicago Tribune, reporter Monica Eng writes about Cleveland (via yours truly, because I’ve got such big mouth about it). I’m honored by the attention she gives my fair city.
Swank new site: Gourmet.com
Monica Eng also has a story on Marco Pierre White in this month’s Gourmet magazine, and I see that they’ve just put up a sleek, well-organized and diverse site. Used to be you’d have to get an actual copy of the magazine to read Monica’s story—now you can read it here. You can also read my hot dog love song and a profile on Rocco, when he stood like Icarus on the cliffs of Manhattan fame, poised to fly. And also, a recipe for creamed woodchuck, according to Ruth (she’s got straight hair! a new sleeker look for the new sleek design!). I’ve just started exploring the site. Video quality is excellent: Marco fries Dorade, David Chang makes his mama’s kimchi—no recipe, drat! That’s one I’d really like. So far I find it impressive. I thought Gourmet, to which I happily contribute on occasion, was hopelessly stuck in an old publishing model, maybe it’s not … or almost … I just tried to find a great story by Daniel Zwerdling on chicken slaughter from last June. Apparently not everything in the magazine is on the site. Gourmet should at least make all its political stories available. Kudos to all those who put this site together—get Zwerdling's story up, and others like it, and it will be fantastic. (UPDATE: And now it's up, so it IS fantastic.)