Fact-Checking Michael Pollan, Worst Pickup Lines, Fast Food Outlets From Space: Eating & Reading

Our tasty roundup of the best stuff we’re reading this week.

By: Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Tanya Pai, Jessica Voelker, Sophie Gilbert

Belly Up

Only in the restaurant world would robbery victims sniff at what the burglar stole (the vodka, not the “fabulous single-malt Irish whiskey”). [NYT]—Ann Limpert

Yes, bartenders can hear your conversation. Including your terrible pickup lines. ’Tenders around the country share the worst ones they can remember. [Serious Eats]—Tanya Pai

Get the scoop on the much-ballyhooed White House beer recipe from POTUS himself, who explained its origins to David Letterman. [Grub Street] —TP

Funny ’Cause It’s True

I love the title of this post, and the post itself doesn’t disappoint. If only that were the title of a forthcoming book by Ted Allen. [Chefsandwich]—Todd Kliman

Favorite characterization of the week: “ [Guy] Fieri, who is roundish and bleached blond, looks like a children’s plush toy that joined the Insane Clown Posse.” [New York] —AL

Depressing ’Cause Its True

Sad and infuriating story on political corruption in India. The victims: the poor, who else? According to Bloomberg News, “As much as $14.5 billion in food was looted by corrupt politicians and their criminal syndicates over the past decade in . . . the state of Uttar Pradesh alone.” [Bloomberg]—TK

And then there’s this equally sickening item: The UK bank Barclays is “profiting handsomely” from the global food crisis, according to the Independent, thanks to cynical speculations. It made more than 500 million pounds in 2010 and 2011 alone. [The Independent]—TK

The Fat Chronicles

Today in news that makes you say “duh,” researchers have found that fruit and vegetable consumption directly correlates with lower obesity rates. So put down the Lean Cuisine and pick up a papaya already. [NPR]—Sophie Gilbert

This is beautiful and terrifying at the same time: a map of fast food outlets, as seen from space. [datapointed]—SG

News of the Weird

Apparently in some parts of the world you can purchase live crabs from a vending machine. How do you say, “No, thanks,” in Chinese? [HuffPo]—TP

Isn’t that what younger siblings are for? This popcorn machine launches kernels into your mouth every time you command it to do so. [newsfeed]—Jessica Voelker

Did Fifty Shades of Grey Christian Grey’s preference for Hendrick’s martinis with a slice of cucumber was about the best thing about it. Behold:Fifty Shades of Chicken, in which innocent, unsuspecting chickens are bound, trussed, and roasted into subservience. [HP]—SG

Foodie Files

Interesting. A blog that purports to fact-check Michael Pollan, written by “a PhD candidate in mathematics at University of California, Berkeley, where Pollan is a professor of journalism.” [Saywhatmichaelpollan]—TK

Get ready, diners—there’s a lot of fried moss in your future. The Washington Post magazine spotlights the insanely famous Copenhagen restaurant Noma, and the Middle-Earth-esque culinary supertrend it hath spawned. [WPM]—JV

Far be it from me to let a week pass without directing you toward an article about Eleven Madison Park. [NYT]—JV

Apocalypse Now?

If Pepco is your electricity provider, this is probably worth bookmarking. The Post provides a handy guide for what to chuck and what’s worth saving during a power outage. [WP]—SG