Iranian and Israeli Special Olympics Athletes Pose an Example for Sports Diplomacy

Players from the two nations became friends on the flight to Los Angeles.

Israeli athlete Alon Dolev (left) and Iranian trainer Yaser Tahmasbi (right) are pictured here. Photo courtesy of the Israeli Delegation to the Special Olympics.

Although the Israeli and Iranian Special Olympics teams came to Los Angeles in search of athletic achievement, they ended up modelling a heartwarming example of sports diplomacy—before even landing in California. As the two otherwise conflicting nations made headlines in the dispute over the proposed America-backed Iranian nuclear deal, by some stroke of cosmic irony, the Israeli and Iranian teams ended up on the same transatlantic flight to California from Rome. But if anyone expected the members of these two teams to act out the political animosity between their governments, they would have been grossly mistaken. Instead, the Iranian and Israeli athletes became friends.

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Anti-Austerity Protesters Pelt Potatoes at Prime Minister

The PM gets tarred-and-feathered with mayo and fries, Belgium’s favorite street snack.

Belgium’s Prime Minister Charles Michel just received a Christmas present nobody wishes for: a fries and mayonnaise shower attack. During a business event in Namur yesterday somehow a slew of anti-austerity protestors—most of them women, it seems—got close enough to the PM to throw fries over his head and douse his suit in several squirts of Pollock-ian mayo. The entire attack was captured on video, including the PM’s affable response; he seemed to find the creativity of the attack amusing, at least. Mayonnaise fries, in fact, are a popular national street food in Belgium and the Netherlands.

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Here’s a Radical Thought: Hospital Meals That Are Good For You

Why your local hospital ought to start a farm

It’s hard to believe in this era of hyper foodie-ism—much of it health-focused—that the quality of hospital meals continues to be on par with prison food. A solution to the problem is gathering momentum, however. Modern Farmer calls it “farm to hospital bed” and describes a trend in which a dozen hospitals in the U.S. are maintaining on site farms so that they can serve from scratch meals for their patients. At Watertown Regional Medical Center in Wisconsin, for example, 60 acres of farmland allows for foods like house-made pepperoni or pumpkin cranberry muffins to be sourced and prepared on site for all patients. No heat and serve here: All of the meals are cooked fresh to order with locally sourced ingredients—even down to the pigs, poultry, and cows they butcher. Amazingly, the costs don’t seem like they’re passed onto the patient, but are borne out of hospital budgets.

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The Underappreciated Role of the Holiday Table

You spend a lot of time thinking about your holiday meal. But what about the table that’s underneath it?

Like mistletoe and ugly sweaters, the communal table is an undeniable component of any holiday celebration. Be they priceless heirlooms or thrifted card tables (perhaps artfully hidden beneath holly-embroidered tablecloths), these pieces of furniture stand witness to the most significant meals of our lives, along with the arguments, the jokes, the stories, and the prayers we share year after year. With this in mind we asked some of our favorite chefs, food writers, and culinary thought leaders to share with us their favorite memories of the communal tables that have carried their holiday feasts. Here’s what they had to say.

Molly O'Neill

Food Writer and Cookbook Author

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Enough with the Food Porn

Little BIG Books will tell the micro food histories of regions and cultures across the United States.

Photo by Mackenzie Smith

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This Couple Spent Six Months Eating Garbage

Premiering on World Food Day, the new documentary Just Eat It highlights American food waste from soup to nuts.

Just Eat It director and film subject Grant Baldwin is shocked to find a swimming pool sized dumpster filled with discarded hummus.

A fair warning: Watching the new documentary Just Eat It may result in a rush to the kitchen, where you will feel compelled to make a big pot of soup with whatever you have on hand. You may also end up blending all your rotting fruit into a smoothie and throwing a huge barbecue to empty all the aging condiments from your fridge door (yes, we’re all guilty of the sin of multiple mustards). Just Eat It is the story of husband and wife Grant Baldwin (director) and Jen Rustemeyer (producer) as they set off on a six-month journey to consume only “wasted” food—discarded, “ugly,” or simply poorly labeled items that are otherwise fully edible. The result is a surprising and eye-opening story about the state of food waste in North America, where 40 percent of the food produced is never consumed (a $165 billion loss), despite our skyrocketing rates of hunger. It’s a stunning thing to see—agricultural fields full of non-marketable produce or dumpsters full of fresh food—when one in five households with children in the U.S. is food insecure.

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