No Cupcake For You

Today on Serious Eats, Ed Levine mentions a piece in The New York Times about a crackdown on parents sending kids to school with cupcakes for birthday celebrations.Apparently, in an effort to stave off childhood obesity, cupcakes are now forbidden.

Folks in the comments section bring up some relevant issues, such as:

  • How can schools get away with selling/providing pizza and french fries in the cafeterias, yet ban occasional treats?
  • If you’re banning cupcakes, does that mean kids are going to stop selling candy bars or Girl Guide cookies as fundraisers?
  • Maybe sending kids to school with a healthy lunch as opposed to cash to spend at McDonald’s every day would mean the occasional cupcake would actually be okay.

The thing to consider is that in the original case, in a Texas suburb, every child was bringing cupcakes for the class on their own birthday. Over the course of the year, that’s a whole lotta cupcakes. It’s also creates a mini class-system within the school; kids whose families cannot afford to supply the class with treats, kids whose parents send store-bought cupcakes instead of homemade, or kids whose birthdays fall outside of the school year, are all kinda screwed in the cupcake wars.

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The Case For Taste

So in the great “eat local” debate, what if it all came down to taste?

Ed Levine posts a really interesting piece today on Serious Eats debating the ethics of eating local over taste.

What if your local produce is actually crap? What if the stuff from waaaaaay across the continent tastes better than the stuff within that stupid 100-mile radius?

Almost every person espousing the 100-mile diet admits to at least one caveat (usually coffee), but local doesn’t always equal better in terms of flavour. What if we’re all missing out by rejecting the imported stuff?

Now, in most cases, local produce is still going to taste better because stuff loses flavour in transit – but what about the things that don’t?

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