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I can’t remember the last time that I truly experienced fabulous journalism in The Seattle Times, but here it is. Rebekah Denn details the story of a local energy bar maker who finds how difficult it is to control his product in, to borrow Denn’s vernacular, the industrial-food chain. After salmonella contamination was found in peanuts, this producer decided to get his peanuts from a small local peanut producer in would-you-believe Western Washington. Not a place known for growing peanuts. I highly recommend the article.

TWO MILES from the Kingston factory where Lunde hand-cuts his Caveman bars is an incongruous sight for Washingtonians: a small, family-owned peanut factory.

Clark and Tami Bowen run the certified-organic “micro-roastery,” CB’s Nuts, with — literally — an open door. Anyone walking into the remodeled fire station can peer from the small retail area to the factory floor, watching the peanuts move from enormous hanging cloth storage bags to the carefully tended roaster to the other stages of processing and packing.

“These guys were a lifesaver,” Lunde says, dropping by CB’s one day on the way to work. Their nuts smell better than any others, he says. They look better, more golden and robust. They taste better — a lot better.

“It’s night and day by comparison,” Lunde says. “At CB’s, I can actually go down and see what they’re doing.”

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Quote for the day

I’m often interrogated about being vegetarian (e.g., “What if you find out that carrots feel pain, too? Then what’ll you eat?”).

I’ve also been afraid to feel as if I know better than someone else — a historically dangerous stance (I’m often reminded that “Hitler was a vegetarian, too, you know”). But this book reminded me that some things are just wrong.

Natalie Portman’s column on the HuffingtonPost.

It’s a guilty pleasure reading the celebrity columns on HuffingtonPost. I usually don’t find fault with the ideas just the execution. Some of them are so unbelievably badly written. Not a fan of Jamie Lee Curtis or Alec Baldwin, but I like Steven Weber. Sometimes the celebrity you least think of as a good writer surprises you, as was the case with this column by Rob Thomas.

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lolcats1

Nearly seven months ago the Seattle Post Intelligencer newspaper converted to an online-only news source. So how’s that going? Judging by the fact that they’re looking to LOL cats to save the day, I’d say not so good.

Today seattlepi.com begins to feature content from the blockbuster site, where site users both submit the funny photos and decide which are good enough to make it to the home page.

By way of introduction, we asked Ben Huh, CEO of Cheezburger Network, formerly Pet Holdings, Inc., to explain what this “lolcat” thing is all about.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

lolcats2

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Bye bye gourmet

I am very saddened to hear that Conde Nast is getting rid of Gourmet magazine. I have so many favorite recipes from Gourmet. Some of my favorites include tarte tatin, chicken liver mousse and fondue. I used to get both Bon Appetit and Gourmet.

While the recipes in Bon Appetit were always nice, the writing in Gourmet was always superior. I remember a great article on eating marrow, or the one about eating a sheep’s head. They described eating things I would never eat in such an entertaining way that I felt like I was able to experience the sensation without actually experiencing it.

This is very sad news. The following excerpt really says it all:

Not only did Bon Appetit have more readers, according to recent statistics from the magazines’ media kits, Gourmet had circulation of 950,000 copies while Bon Appetit had 1.3 million readers. Additionally, Gourmet had a reputation of being a very expensive magazine to run, featuring long articles by well-known writers while Bon Appetit was focused on much more economical, recipe-driven content.

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Headline of the day

aurora

As long as we’re using a deadly pandemic disease to describe prostitutes, it might behoove us to acknowledge that the headline could also very well be “Aurora ‘plagued with johns'” or “Aurora ‘plagued’ with men wanting to pay for sex.” These women wouldn’t be there without paying customers.

As an aside, I think Seattlepi.com has been mostly a failure in a journalistic sense. I’m not reading anything nearly as interesting in their pages since they went online only. I do noticed that the Seattletimes has gotten a little worse too now that they don’t have any competition. Having said that the Times seems to have made a good choice to hook up with existing neighborhood blogs rather than doing what the PI did which is ask the community for volunteer bloggers.

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