Good Magazine, profiled before on Green Options, is one of my favorite magazines because it highlights good things happening in the world AND because they give 100% of subscriptions to the nonprofit of the subscribers choice that is affiliated with Good. It always has a variety of interesting articles, features a clean, modern design, and makes me feel like there are people who give a damn in this world. The March/April issue’s theme is food–how appropriate for Eat.Drink.Better., since Good really did their homework on what’s going on in the food world right now.
The feature segment contains several articles about better food choices and issues in the food and agriculture world. “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” explores the growing world of non-industrial animal products, from meat to poultry to dairy. They highlight the various questions those who seek to make conscious choices about their are compelled to ask. Smart move by starting their feature with this article. Their acknowledgment of the ambiguity that comes when making these kinds of choices was spot on and, in my mind, lent them immediate credibility. Organic? Free-range? Local? Hormone-free? Vegan? Writer Peter Rubin notes that there’s no one absolute better choice, and consumers must weigh the options about each product and it’s producers to decide what aligns with the values they seek to live, whether than be sustainability, animal rights, health, or simply consuming the best product available. Some people may disagree with this article because they vehemently oppose consuming any animal product, but I appreciated Rubin’s acknowledgment that those of us who do consume animal products still try to make ethical choices when doing so.
“Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” is followed by Adam Matthew’s story on America’s tastiest streets–seven streets in seven American countries where the eating is plentiful. I’m sure I’ll use it as a guide the next time I visit one of those cities, namely Chicago. Adam Leith Gollner explores the latest food trends in “The Next Sushi“, such as offal (which I’m even seeing on menus here in St Louis), dosas (Indian crepes filled with curried veggies), and bibimbap (a Korean veggies, meats, and rice).
I really loved photographer Vanessa Stumps exploration of five different meals in “What We Eat”. From an actually-edible-looking school lunch of broccoli and chicken (as a teacher, I was really impressed), to a complete MRE (I’ve tried them, they’re…interesting), the pictures of different niche meals, accompanied by facts pertinent to each meal or its respective corner of the food market, highlighted the various edges of the food spectrums that we choose to eat from and how many people’s appetites span said spectrums. Can I equally crave the Orange Crush soda from the Popeye’s meal and the mock tuna raw salad?
Maybe most informative to me was one of Good’s trademark information-disseminating charts, this one by Phil Howard on buying organic and how many of the organic companies you’ll find in your local grocery are indeed owned by larger industrial food companies. I knew that Boca was owned by Kraft (thanks, Better World Shopping Guide!) but I was unaware that Pepsi owns Naked Juice and Morningstar Farms and Gardenburger are both owned by Kellogg’s. Finally, the food articles wrap up with Zachary Slobig exploring the world of bow hunting in Los Angeles. I grew up in a Midwestern hunting family, so to hear about men scattering Sweet Doe Tang just north of the city was quite interesting to me, almost like an anachronism.
For foodies, this month’s issue of Good is well worth examining, and I’d recommend it even it if didn’t have a food theme. It’s smart, young, and hip without the sense of pretense and with a sense of responsibility. Find out more about Good by visiting their website.
Photo courtesy of Good Magazine–Sonja the cow graces their cover this month.