Food for Thinkers: Your Complete 16-Course Tasting Menu

Your handy bookmark-able guide to the all-you-can-read extravaganza of ideas, stories, opinions, and proposals that was GOOD's Food for Thinkers week.

Last week, as I hope some of you may have noticed, we hosted a six-day Food for Thinkers blogfest. With the launch of GOOD's new food hub, I wanted to stake out an expanded territory for food writing, and at the same time, start building a community of influences and inspiration.

I emailed a bunch of my favorite bloggers, designers, and critics, and asked them if they would mind writing something that shared their perspective on what makes food so interesting. Forty-three of them said yes, and the result was an incredible week-long, full-spectrum rollercoaster ride of stories, ideas, opinions, proposals—and a lot of really, really good writing.

To make it easier for you to go back and check out posts you missed, or revisit favorites, as well as to serve to a guide to the range of perspectives and themes we covered during the week, I've put together a 16-course tasting menu with links to each of the 54 posts. There is enough nutritious reading material in here to keep you sated for weeks, so bookmark this page, and enjoy!

~ Old Food ~\n

"Digging Up and Eating Fish in Qatar" (Colleen Morgan at Middle Savagery)
"De Condimentis (8): Food History" (Tom Nealon of Cruditas at Hilobrow)
"Medieval Soldiers Illuminate Modern Stunting" (Jeremy Cherfas at Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog)
"Why Do I Write About Food?" (Rachel Laudan at Rachel Laudan: A Historian's Take on Food and Food Politics)
"The Way to a Good Tourist's Heart is Through Their Stomach" (Kitty Sutcliffe at Boring History Girl)

~ New Food ~\n

"Teaching Transgenic Food" (Zackery Denfeld at the Center for Genomic Gastronomy)
"Spaces of Food #2: Inflatable Greenhouses on the Moon" (Geoff Manaugh at BLDGBLOG)

~ Non-Food ~\n
food rocks, in both a literal and non-literal sense\n

"And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Our Bread" (Drew Tewksbury at Das Blog)
"Food for Thinkers: Takes a Geologic Turn" (Smudge Studio at Friends of the Pleistocene)

~ Fictional Food ~\n

"Harry Potter and the Farmers' Market" (Robin Sloan at Snarkmarket) (served on the side: a crowdsourced list of Famous Fictional Eating and Drinking Establishments)
"Old Mr. Flood and A Boston Breakfast of Cod's Cheek, Tongue, and a Flotation Bladder" (Peter Smith at GOOD)
"Food Writing Gets Hot and Heavy" (Scott Geiger at GOOD)

~ Law & Order: The Food Unit ~\n
crime and Nutraloaf, with a cameo appearance from George Clooney\n

"Distributed Bureau of Agricultural Crime Investigation" (Alex Trevi at Pruned)
"WANTED! Prison Food Writers" (Bryan Finoki of Subtopia at GOOD)

~ Food Cultures ~\n
sausages and sweet tea as a vehicle for pride, resistance, and self-loathing \n

"What You'll Find in a Discarded Can of Vienna Sausages" (John Thorne of Simple Cooking at GOOD)
"Consuming the Space Age: The Cuisine of Sputnik" (Alice Gorman at Space Age Archaeology)
"Tsampa Eaters and Sweet Tea Drinkers: Tibetan Identity Assertion Through Food" (High Peaks Pure Earth)

~ Food and the Shape of Space ~\n
from dinner tables and city streets to the surface of the planet\n

"Spaces of Food #1: Agriculture On-The-Go and the Reformatting of the Planet" (Geoff Manaugh at BLDGBLOG)
"Spaces of Food #3: The Mushroom Tunnel of Mittagong" (Geoff Manaugh at BLDGBLOG)
"Spaces of Food #5: Madeira Odorless Fish Market and the Templehof Ministry of Food" (Geoff Manaugh at BLDGBLOG)
"Five Borough Farm" (Urban Omnibus)
"Food As Eating Choreography" (Daniel Fernández Pascual at Deconcrete)
"Food As Public Space Editor" (Daniel Fernández Pascual at Deconcrete)
"Food As Geopolitical Subjugation" (Daniel Fernández Pascual at Deconcrete)

~ Activity Break: Design Challenge! ~\n

"What If Your Food Hired an Architect to Redesign Your Kitchen" (Nicholas Sowers of Soundscrapers at GOOD)
"What Should Food Look Like?" (Alexandra Lange at Design Observer)
"Food and Architecture" (David Garcia at David Garcia Studio)

~ The Manifesto Course ~\n

"Why We Don't Need Anonymous Critics" (Alissa Walker at GOOD)
"Does Not Butter Ennoble Enough?" (Jonah Campbell at Still Crapulent)
"A Lunch Manifesto" (Yen Ha and Michi Yanagashita of Front Studio at Lunch Studio)
"Why I Write About Food: It's Journalism at Its Best" (Paula Crossfield at Civil Eats)
"The Rise of White People Food" (Morgan Clendaniel at GOOD)

~ The Ethical Epicure ~\n
on the (a)morality of food: supermarket gray zones and plant pain\n

"Panic in Aisle Five" (James A. Reeves of Big American Night at GOOD)
"The Cyborg Ethics of Eating" (Tim Maly at Quiet Babylon)
"High-Futurist Cyborg Syrup" (T. Vanderkemp at Echo and Boom)

~ The Communal Table ~\n
food to bring people (and data) together\n

"What Does It Mean To Write About Food Today" (Evan Kleiman at KRCW's Good Food blog)
"Why I Write About Food: Creating Community" (Danielle Gould at Food+Tech Connect)
"What Does It Mean To Write About Food Today?" (Annie Wang at Frites and Fries)

~ The Proustian Madeleine ~\n
memoirs of a restaurant critic, a timid shopper, and more \n

"The Meal That Ended My Career as a Restaurant Critic" (Steve Silberman at NeuroTribes)
"You Never Go Down the Candy Aisle" (Jessica Helfand at Design Observer)
"I Like Coke" (Dan Maginn of El Dorado, Inc., at GOOD)
"Blame it on the Bouillabaisse" (Allison Arieff at GOOD)
"Consuming Passions: The Culture of Food Writing" (Kitty Sutcliffe at Boring History Girl)

~ Writing About Writing About Food ~\n

"Wait, How Many Cooks Spoil the Broth?" (Laura Brunow Miner of Pictory at GOOD)
"On Food and Writing" (Jeremy Cherfas at Another Bastard Weblog)
"On Food Writing" (Aki Kamozawa and Alex Talbot at Ideas in Food)
"Has the Food Fetish Gone Too Far" (Lisa Bramen at Food & Think)
"Eating: A Fact of Life" (Dan Pashman of The Sporkful)

~ Surprising Subgenres ~\n

"A Few Good Menus" (Rebecca Federman at Cooked Books)
"Online Advertising, Or Where Toaster Strudels and Chez Panisse Meet" (Kristen Taylor of at GOOD)

~ Exotica ~\n
postcards from foreign lands\n

"Bring In Da Ponk!" (Jessica Helfand at Design Observer)
"Spaces of Food #4: Betel Nut Beauties" (Geoff Manaugh at BLDGBLOG)

~ Don't Forget Your Leftovers! ~\n

"Why I Write About Food" (Jonathan Bloom at Wasted Food)

Thank you for all your comments and tweets—please feel free to keep telling me what you enjoyed, disagreed with, and felt I missed! And a huge thank you to all the talented and generous people who shared their writing here on GOOD during Food for Thinkers week.
via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

Keep Reading

Childbirth is the number one reason American women visit the hospital, and it ain't cheap. In fact, it's getting more and more expensive. A new study published in Health Affairs found that the cost of having a baby with employer-sponsored health insurance increased by almost 50% in the past seven years.

The study evaluated "trends in cost-sharing for maternity care for women with employer-based health insurance plans, before and after the Affordable Care Act," which was signed into law in 2010. The study looked at over 657,061 women enrolled in large employer-sponsored health insurance plans who delivered babies between 2008 and 2015, as these plans tend to cover more than plans purchased by small businesses or individuals.

Keep Reading

A meteorite crashed into Earth nearly 800,000 years ago. The meteor was 1.2 miles wide, and the impact was so big, it covered 10% of the planet with debris. However, scientists haven't been able to find the impact site for over a century. That is, until now. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal believes the crash site has been located.

Tektites, which are essentially rocks that have been liquefied from the heat of the impact and then cooled to form glass, help scientists spot the original impact site of a meteor. Upon impact, melted material is thrown into the atmosphere, then falls back to the ground. Even if the original crater has disappeared due to erosion or is hidden by a shift in tectonic plates, tektites give the spot away. Tektites between 750,000 to 35.5 million years old have been found in every continent except Antarctica.

Keep Reading
The Planet