The Conversation

Culture: Cultural happenings and discussions.

We All Scream for Fennel!

Feb 27, 2013 7:59 AM PT

In response to Fennel, It's What's for Lunch:

I think I could come up with a reality TV reference for anything.  In this case, I'm reminded of the challenges in Top Chef when they've had to feed kids.  One episode had the White House chef and Michelle Obama (of course).  Some cheftestants tried to please the judges and White House chef by going overboard on the healthy stuff.  The kale salad? It stayed on the plate.  One genius thought she would get extra points by serving yogurt, then had to add a pound of sugar in order to get the kids to eat it.  The successful chefs were the ones who seem to already know what the kids in this article were saying -- we "miss the French fries, pizza, burgers and cheesesteaks."  They did healthier versions of these foods.  As I recall, the winner did zucchini "fries" with dipping sauces because kids love dipping things.  Fennel salad and other unfamiliar lunch items are just another example of bureaucrats pleasing bureaucrats rather than paying attention to what constituents (in this case, kids) actually want and will eat.

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Fennel, It's What's for Lunch

Feb 27, 2013 6:35 AM PT

A Philadelphia area charter school, People for People is one of four schools participating in the "Eatiquette" program.  On the menu: baked ziti with a side of roasted fennel salad and, for dessert, cinnamon apple rice pudding.

The program was designed by a local chef, Marc Vetri, to provide low cost, nutritious lunches to schools. The lunches are served family style, with students passing around large bowls of food and helping themselves to a serving. (Why do I think there will be plenty fennel salad left over?)

Eatiquette is predicated on the use of fresh ingredients prepared on site. Processed meats are prohibited, and schools follow seasonal menu cycles to ensure there's no need for canned or frozen produce. The Vetri Foundation For Children donates round tables and chairs to replace traditional rectangular tables and bench seating.

At People For People, where about 80 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price meals, the staff prepares nearly 540 lunches per day. The meals fully comply with federal school lunch regulations and cost about $1.50 to make, excluding labor.

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How BET Destroyed "The Game"

Feb 26, 2013 6:08 AM PT

Originally created and directed by Kelsey Grammer, "The Game" used to be one of my favorite shows.  It was the only sitcom, to my knowledge, that had three right leaning black leads.

Malik is the Libertarian; a "Do You" attitude and he celebrated his success everyday.

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Totalitarian barbarians

Feb 25, 2013 8:50 PM PT

In response to Lena Dunham: Let's Save the Nasty Lookist Attacks for Women Who Aren't Feminists:

Collecting this sort of anecdote is a personal hobby of mine.  Lena Dunham's quote is a sturdy expression of totalitarianism, which most of us learned in grade school is a Very Bad Thing.  The totalitarian mindset bends all other rules to those of politics; there are no absolute standards, just applause for the Party and contempt for its enemies.  Dunham is saying this quite literally: nasty comments based on appearance are to be forbidden against the Party and its loyal allies, but they're fair game against the Enemy.  

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12 Reasons Your Man Doesn't Respect You (or Your Body)

Feb 25, 2013 9:31 AM PT

Actually, it's pretty simple:  He finds a year's worth of Cosmopolitan in your house. 

Ever since I read the book Spin Sisters by Myrna Blyth I've looked at women's magazines in a new light.  We all know they're written by liberal New York women, but seeing all the examples given by Blyth (a former magazine editor) was astonishing.  In addition to the silly sex tips and scare tactics like the health risk in your purse (it turned out to be the actual weight of the purse), there are articles that could actually harm women, such as the recent anti-gun response in Parent magazine.

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