Weekend Reading, 12.29.13
December 29, 2013

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

This is the final installment of weekend reading for 2013. This little series is one of my favorite blog developments of the year! It has certainly made me a better and more avid reader of news, and it has also helped me to reconnect with food blog reading and recipe gazing (which I missed). I look forward to more of these posts in the new year.


This harissa stew with purple sweet potatoes from Vegan Miam looks incredible.

Raw Pecan Tart Truffles

I made a lot of pecan themed sweets this holiday season (pecan pie, cinnamon vanilla pecan milk), and these raw pecan tart truffles from the Simple Veganista look like a wonderful variation on the theme. Yum!

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I’ve also been thinking a lot about breakfast this week, and The Vegan Stoner’s carrot and tofu scramble is making me eager to break out my skillet tomorrow morning. Flavorful and colorful.


Speaking of carrots? The wonderful Callie England has created carrot basil ice cream. Genius, Callie.


And last but not least, the very talented Ali of Farmer’s Market Vegan has created a sumptuous dish: za’atar spiced eggplant rounds on chickpea cauliflower puree. Well done, Ali.


1. I recently linked to Mary McKenna’s excellent article on antibiotic resistance. She’s writing on the topic again, this time addressing why the FDA’s ban on growth promoting antibiotics, while possibly a step forward, won’t be enough to address the growing problem of resistance.

2. A solid round up of GMO controversy from 2013, courtesy of Grist. Lots of attention to nuance, which is rare in this particular debate.

3. On that same topic, the MIT Technology Review‘s cover story this month, on GMO foods and global hunger.

4. Also from the MIT Technology Review, an interesting article on the implications of prenatal DNA sequencing, a technology that may be less hazardous than amniocentesis, but may also lead parents to difficult and grave decisions. Amanda Schaffer, the author of the article, writes,

The catch, though, is that as the accuracy of these tests continues to improve, they will be able to detect a greater range of genetic variations, including some with murkier implications. For example, rather than indicating something with certainty, they could reveal elevated risks for certain diseases or disorders. These advances could collide with the politics of abortion and raise the ugly specter of eugenics. When, if ever, should parents terminate pregnancies on the basis of genetic results? Do we have the wisdom to direct our own evolution? And perhaps most important, are there limits to how much data parents should have—or want to have—about their children before birth?

5. Coverage, via Yoga Journal, of a proposed five-year study to investigate why yoga has such profound physiological benefits.

A bunch of interesting stuff. I hope you enjoy the links, and I’ll see you, friends, tomorrow!


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  1. Love both of the MIT Technology Review articles. Prenatal genetic testing is something I scratch my head over from time to time- I liked that they pointed out that many “genetic abnormalities” may pose a risk to the child but far more often the child develops completely normally. All that anxiety over the potential for something that probably won’t happen. But the risk is there, what to do? And CAN you do something? SHOULD you do something? I honestly don’t know what is going to happen there but it is troubling to think about, to say the least. One thing is for sure, there is no stopping the technology and this is a problem we will see play out in our lives, one way or another. I cringe.

    For the GMO article- maybe this is a simplistic view, but in the context of vegan values, if we are worried about feeding the world, wouldn’t encouraging adoption of a plant-based diet be much more important than developing GMO crops? If we freed up all of that land that is used for animal agriculture (grazing and growing the crops to feed them) we could surely increase total crop yield and feed more people if the focus was on plants as food instead of animals, even if the crops weren’t necessarily more productive. Or am I missing something?

    • Nope, not missing anything, Amy. But I wasn’t necessarily presenting the article in the context of my vegan values–more as a reader who found that opinion/argument interesting, since it’s one I’m rarely exposed to in my work. So yes, I agree and believe that promoting plant based diet would be an effective solution to global hunger. But hunger persists whether the world is vegan yet or not, so right now, a multi-pronged approach seems important to me, and I’m interested in lots of different kinds of tools/solutions.

      • I understand. I continued to mull this over yesterday after I left that comment and I concluded that my frustration with the GMO article is that, like so many things these days, it is a band-aid approach. They spend much of the article talking about global warming and the developing world raising the need for these GMO crops in the future, and it IS a valid way to look at it, but the solution, as always, lies in prevention. I fully recognize that I’m stubborn as hell, but I just tend to turn my nose up at these band-aid “fixes” when it is so clear to me that we need a drastic change at a much larger level that addresses the actual cause. It is not too much to ask!

        • I agree, Amy, about the “band-aid” phenomenon. And I’m not sure that GM foods are the best solution. As I said, I’m more interested in reading about another potential tool — one of many, some of which do a better job at addressing the root problems.

  2. Really great articles in this round up. I always think you find interesting gems, but this bunch features particularly good reads.

    Also, that ice cream! There’s a homemade organic ice cream place here in LA called Sweet Rose Creamery. That sounds like a flavor they would create. They’ve had flavors like curry and olive oil in the past. (Those are two separate flavors.) Unfortunately it’s not a vegan place, though they do have a selection of vegan flavors every day. Why are 100% vegan ice cream shops so hard to find?! Makes me sad. 🙁

  3. Just chiming to echo the sentiments of previous commenters…I adore this weekend reading feature and am thrilled to read you plan to keep it going into the new year! Thank you for taking the time to share with us some of the highlights of your weekly reading. Much appreciated!

    • Amanda, I’m thrilled to hear that you like the series so much. Thanks for reading, and happy new year!

  4. I agree, I think this Weekend Reading series is fantastic.. especially for me as a reader! It introduces me to so many other blogs, articles and issues. I’ve fallen in love with it as well 🙂

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