GOOD

Food for Thinkers: An Online Festival of Food and Writing

Six days, 48 writers—from space archaeologists to music bloggers, plus everything in between—and one topic: what makes food so interesting?


As promised, all this week GOOD's new Food hub will be hosting a blog festival—a multi-site online conversation looking at food writing from as broad and unusual a variety of perspectives as possible. Over the next six days, more than 40 of my favorite writers—from science bloggers and human rights reporters to design critics and food columnists—will be sharing their perspectives on what makes food so interesting.

We're calling it "Food For Thinkers," and although most of the participants will be posting on their own sites, you can keep up with the entire conversation here at GOOD Food HQ, where I'll be hosting links, adding my own responses, and asking for your comments. We'll also be using the Twitter hashtag #foodforthinkers on @GOODFoodHQ, if you prefer to follow along that way.


In last week's launch post, welcoming you to GOOD's new Food hub, I said that one of the most important ideas behind the site is the belief that food is an incredibly useful lens through which to understand and re-imagine the world we live in. The other, connected idea that shapes the site's editorial direction is that we think food is too important a topic to restrict the conversation to self-identified foodies (ourselves included). My hope is that by the end of this week, after this amazing group of writers and researchers from very different fields take a look their own subject matter through the lens of food, we'll have a whole new set of answers to the question: What does—or could, or even should—it mean to write about food today?

Put another way, I want to know what happens when a music blogger thinks about food. What does a space archaeologist or an architect want to read and say about food? What kinds of things interest a science writer in food, and why?

Another aspect of this is that food writers think about what they're doing and why it's important in profoundly different and interesting ways—and I want to question those assumptions, have a debate, and figure out, in the process, what isn't being covered yet. I want to ask why we food writers are excited about what we're doing, but also where we can turn for new inspiration—and why non-food writers might find inspiration in food, too.

And I want to provoke comments from readers—readers who read food writing and readers who don't, GOOD Food readers and tech blog readers—about why food matters to them.

And most of all, I want to get people excited about how many interesting ways there are to write and think about food, and feature links to the community of writers and thinkers who inspire me. Getting a bunch of those folks all together to talk about what's interesting about food and what's not is genuinely exciting to me, and I hope it will be to you, too.

So: Watch this space! We'll be hearing from Varick Shute (Urban Omnibus) Alice Gorman (Space Age Archaeology), Evan Kleiman (KCRW's Good Food), Daniel Fernández Pascual (Deconcrete), Zackery Denfield (Center for Genomic Gastronomy), Rebecca Federman (Cooked Books), Annie Wang (Frites and Fries), Jonathan Bloom (Wasted Food), Jeremy Cherfas (Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog), James Casey (Swallow Magazine), Lisa Bramen (Food & Think), David A. Garcia, Rachel Laudan, Yen Ha & Michi Yanagashita (Lunch with Front Studio), Tom Nealon (Cruditas/Hilobrow), Colleen Morgan (Middle Savagery), Katherine Sutcliffe (Boring History Girl), Bryan Finoki (Subtopia), Maggie Schmitt (The Gaza Kitchen), Helena Bottemiller, Danielle Gould (Food+Tech Connect), John Thorne (Simple Cooking), Aki Kamozawa (Ideas in Food), Steve Silberman (NeuroTribes), Geoff Manaugh (BLDGBLOG), Nicholas Jackson (The Atlantic Tech), Robin Sloan (Snarkmarket), Marion Nestle (Food Politics), Jessica Helfand (Design Observer), Alexandra Lange (Design Observer), Dechen Pemba (High Peaks Pure Earth), Tim Maly (Quiet Babylon), Smudge Studio (Friends of the Pleistocene), Alex Trevi (Pruned), Kristen Taylor, Drew Tewksbury, Laura Brunow Miner (Pictory), Dan Pashman (The Sporkful), James Reeves (Big American Night), Jonah Campbell (Still Crapulent), Dan Maginn, Scott Geiger, and Nick Sowers, as well as GOOD's own Morgan Clendaniel, Alissa Walker, Andrew Price, Peter Smith, and Allison Arieff.

And, I hope, we'll also be hearing from you, either in the comments, or perhaps on your own blog or Tumblr (if so, please email me at nicola[at]goodinc[dot]com with the link).

It's time to tie on our bibs, pop a Rolaid, and get ready to dive in to an all-you-can-read feast of new ideas and fresh perspectives—I can't wait.

Articles
via Thomas Ledia / Wikimedia Commons

On April 20, 1889 at the Braunau am Inn, in Upper Austria Salzburger located at Vorstadt 15, Alois and Klara Hitler brought a son into the world. They named him Adolph.

Little did they know he would grow up to be one of the greatest forces of evil the world has ever known.

The Hitlers moved out of the Braunau am Inn when Adolph was three, but the three-story butter-colored building still stands. It has been the subject of controversy for seven decades.

via Thomas Ledia / Wikimedia Commons

The building was a meeting place for Nazi loyalists in the 1930s and '40s. After World War II, the building has become an informal pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis and veterans to glorify the murderous dictator.

The building was a thorn in the side to local government and residents to say the least.

RELATED: He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

For years it was owned by Gerlinde Pommer, a descendant of the original owners. The Austrian government made numerous attempts to purchase it from her, but to no avail. The building has served many purposes, a school, a library, and a makeshift museum.

In 1989, a stone from the building was inscribed with:

"For Peace, Freedom

and Democracy.

Never Again Fascism.

Millions of Dead Remind [us]."

via Jo Oh / Wikimedia Commons

For three decades it was home to an organization that offered support and integration assistance for disabled people. But in 2011, the organization vacated the property because Pommer refused to bring it up to code.

RELATED: 'High Castle' producers destroyed every swastika used on the show and the video is oh-so satisfying

In 2017, the fight between the government and Pommer ended with it seizing the property. Authorities said it would get a "thorough architectural remodeling is necessary to permanently prevent the recognition and the symbolism of the building."

Now, the government intends to turn it into a police station which will surely deter any neo-Nazis from hanging around the building.

Austria has strict anti-Nazi laws that aim to prohibit any potential Nazi revival. The laws state that anyone who denies, belittles, condones or tries to justify the Nazi genocide or other Nazi crimes against humanity shall be punished with imprisonment for one year up to ten years.

In Austria the anti-Nazi laws are so strict one can go to prison for making the Nazi hand salute or saying "Heil Hitler."

"The future use of the house by the police should send an unmistakable signal that the role of this building as a memorial to the Nazis has been permanently revoked," Austria's IInterior Minister, Wolfgang Peschorn said in a statement.

The house is set to be redesigned following an international architectural competition.

Communities
Center for American Progress Action Fund

Tonight's Democratic debate is a must-watch for followers of the 2020 election. And it's a nice distraction from the impeachment inquiry currently enveloping all of the political oxygen in America right now.

For most people, the main draw will be newly anointed frontrunner Pete Buttigieg, who has surprisingly surged to first place in Iowa and suddenly competing in New Hampshire. Will the other Democrats attack him? How will Elizabeth Warren react now that she's no longer sitting alone atop the primary field? After all, part of Buttigieg's rise has been his criticisms of Warren and her refusal to get into budgetary specifics over how she'd pay for her healthcare plan.

The good news is that Joe Biden apparently counts time travel amongst his other resume-building experience.

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via Mike Mozart / Flickr

Chick-fil-A is the third-largest fast food chain in America, behind McDonald's and Starbucks, raking in over $10 billion a year.

But for years, the company has faced boycotts for supporting anti-LGBT charities, including the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home.

The Salvation Army faced criticism after a leader in the organization implied that gay people "deserve to die" and the company also came under fire after refusing to offer same-sex couples health insurance. But the organization swears it's evolving on such issues.

via Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes explicitly announced it was anti gay marriage in a recent "Statement of Faith."

God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.

The Paul Anderson Youth Home teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is "rage against Jesus Christ and His values."

RELATED: The 1975's singer bravely kissed a man at a Dubai concert to protest anti-LGBT oppression

In 2012, Chick-fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy, made anti same-sex marriage comments on a radio broadcast:

I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, "We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage". I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

But the chicken giant has now decided to change it's says its charitable donation strategy because it's bad for business...Not because being homophobic is wrong.

The company recently lost several bids to provide concessions in U.S. airports. A pop-up shop in England was told it would not be renewed after eight days following LGBTQ protests.

Chick-fil-A also has plans to expand to Boston, Massachusetts where its mayor, Thomas Menino, pledged to ban the restaurant from the city.

via Wikimedia Commons

"There's no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are," Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow. "There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message."

RELATED: Alan Turing will appear on the 50-pound note nearly 70 years after being persecuted for his sexuality

Instead, the Chick-fil-A Foundation plans to give $9 million to organizations that support education and fight homelessness. Which is commendable regardless of the company's troubled past.

"If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families," Drew Anderson, GLAAD's director of campaigns and rapid response, said in a statement.

Chick-fil-A's decision to back down from contributing to anti-LGBT charities shows the power that people have to fight back against companies by hitting them where it really hurts — the pocket book.

The question remains: If you previously avoided Chick-fil-A because it supported anti-LGBT organizations, is it now OK to eat there? Especially when Popeye's chicken sandwich is so good people will kill for it?

Lifestyle
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr and nrkbeta / flickr

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) dropped a bombshell on Tuesday, announcing it had over 900 emails that White House aide Stephen Miller sent to former Breitbart writer and editor Katie McHugh.

According to the SPLC, in the emails, Miller aggressively "promoted white nationalist literature, pushed racist immigration stories and obsessed over the loss of Confederate symbols after Dylann Roof's murderous rampage."

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Politics