Archive | September, 2010

Gawkerverse

30 Sep

My current obsession: The gawkerverse. Foodgakwer. Dwellinggawker. Weddinggawker. Craftgawker. I love them all. Y’all should check out what these folks have been doing with the gawkerverse. I think it’s pretty amazing.

The popularity of the site does support the theory that the internet is transforming us into a “generation of magpie minds, as users hop from one bright trinket to another, rarely focussing long enough on any one topic to comprehend it thoroughly.” But, I’ll overlook that for now. Let me enjoy what is the gawkerverse for the time being. I’ll analyze the potentially detrimental effects it’s having on my intellect later.

-E.Kim

P.S. Stay tuned for a post on White Russian Cupcakes. And yes. They will be spiked.

Food Truck Nation

23 Sep

I’ve been meaning to read this article by Jonathan Gold for a while now and finally got a chance to. Even though I’d consider myself a moderately serious foodie I had no idea that food trucks were duking it out with their restaurant competitors.

When I think about it though, it makes sense. Just look at the area surrounding USC where food trucks are abound and so are the crowds following them. Students will make 15 minute treks to their favorite food truck without even considering the dining commons 5 minutes away. Restaurants are falling short in the competition. And instead of improving their appeal, they’ve turned to food fratricide by trying to kill the business of their mobile brothers.

But even if legislation that restricts where food trucks can operate passes, will it really help return business back to restaurants feeling the pains of this national obsession? I don’t think so. Even if I have to walk, bike, or even drive farther to satisfy my food truck cravings, I’ll do it. It’s not because the food trucks will guarantee an amazing meal or that the prices are necessarily better, it’s because of the experience they provide. Jonathan Gold eloquently sums this up:

The draw could be the communal experience, or it could be the feeling that you belong to a fraternity of the plugged-in. It could be that moment that defines street food of all types — your food is cooked, served and consumed in what seems like a single fluid motion; desire and fulfillment becoming one. Or it could be the impulse of citizenship: This sidewalk looks a lot like Los Angeles.

For me, eating is about connecting with friends over (hopefully) good food in the city I have grown to love for its fast-paced, unpredictable nature. You can’t achieve this while dining in a restaurant that boxes you into a set dining environment.

For those of you who experience life through food, we can’t let legislation win. I’ll see you all at the food trucks today and for many days to come.

-E.Kim

Why are we Obese?

22 Sep

Several days ago, Hank Cardello focused on the consumer’s role in our current battle against obesity. As a Kinesiology major, his take on why consumers should be held accountable intrigued me. He argues that much of it can be blamed on our personality type. He even goes as far as to define two major groups of consumers:

Consumers are not a homogeneous group like grocers, restaurateurs, or food activists are. They run the gamut from solid-like behavior (that ability to consistently say “no”) to a more combustible gaseous state (feeling they must say “yes”).

He later explains that those with gas-like behavior tend to be more susceptible to weight gain than those with solid-like behavior. I agree with him to a certain extent.

While I do believe that personality has a lot to do with how we eat and view food, I do not think it’s the root cause. If you go one layer deeper, it becomes obvious that environmental factors contribute to how our personalities dictate our relationship with food.

One main environmental factor that commands more attention is parenting. As my professor put it: If your parents are overweight they’re more likely to overeat. If they overeat, you overeat as well because they’re the ones who set the food on the table. And it’s not like you’ll magically change your eating habits the day you turn 18.

Even if your New Year’s resolution is to adopt a healthier lifestyle by exercising more and eating healthier, you probably won’t succeed unless you’re like Jack LaLanne. It’s a sad, but true fact about how we work as human beings.

So what can we do? Most of our initiatives to stop rising obesity levels depend on individuals changing who they are. Hank Cardello sums up my response to the efficacy of this approach:

But demanding that consumers change who they are is a dead-end street, as evidenced by our lack of progress.

This implies that comprehensive, permanent change must come from another source.

Easier said than done. Even with Michelle Obama’s new wellness initiative called “Let’s Move” program targeting parents, school physical education programs, and consumer education on nutrition facts, how effective can these programs be?

Look at the Healthy People 2000 initiative. Funded by the US government, this program aimed towards improving nation’s health through increasing physical activity and adopting healthier eating habits has had little to no success. After 10 years we’re still getting fatter.

So what can we do? Even though I hesitate to agree with Michelle Obama’s one year goal, I support her approach. Parents need to be educated on how to provide optimal environments that teach kids healthy habits, and children need to learn how to retain these habits on their own.

So kids, listen to your parents if they tell you to eat something healthy (even if it might not be delicious) and speak up if you don’t think you should be eating one of those big breakfast meals from McDonalds (even if you think you can finish it.) And parents, just put some goddamn vegetables on the grocery list. You can keep ice cream on the list–just remember to pair the bad with the good.

NEW Nomshots!

15 Sep

I’m finally making use of my camera that I got for Christmas last year. Check out the “Nomshots” page to see some scrumptious pictures of my recent eating adventures in L.A.!

Coming up next: Yummy memories of Hawaii, L.A., and maybe even some other places!

Happy eating,

E.Kim

Star Wars Cookies = Amazing

15 Sep

Seriously, this is the best thing ever.

Although, I wouldn’t mind if Williams Sonoma came out with a Lord of the Rings cookie cutter set. Now that, I would definitely pay $19.95 + shipping and handling for.