Eating & Reading: Sports, Soldiers, and Sriracha

Every week, we'll let you know what the Washingtonian food staff is reading in the blogosphere and off the bookshelves.

Emily Leaman, staff writer and Well+Being blogger:

•  A former Marine Corps sergeant, now an organic farmer, and his wife started a program on their farm in Valley Center, California, to give Marines a whirl at working in the dirt: Helping Soldiers Trade Their Swords for Plows.

• Despite getting flack from the other side of the aisle, First Lady Michelle Obama forges ahead with her anti-obesity campaign by working with the National Restaurant Association: Obesity: The First Lady Takes on the NRA (No, Not That NRA).

Rina Rapuano, assistant food and wine editor:

•  From the February issue of Food & Wine, a healthy recipe from Nicolas Jammet, co-owner of Sweetgreen: Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Cabbage and Pine Nuts.

•  Another awesome Christmas present: Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It: And Other Cooking Projects by blogger Karen Solomon

Todd Kliman, food and wine editor:

• Well, I'll be: Amare' Stoudemire is more observant than I am. Last summer, the Knicks' stud power forward "discovered" his Jewish roots, and now it comes out that he's keeping kosher. I'm choosing to see this as karmic payback for Charlie Ward and his disturbing Jesus freak prayer circle of the late '90s Knicks: Mike Prada Tumblr account.

• Even though my words that gently mocked gluttony are being used to support the point that I celebrate gluttony and my anti-foodie essay is being twisted into an example of foodie-ism, I encourage you to read this for B.R. Myers's attack on piety and elitism. He's blind, though, to the idea that these pieces exist now because our previous, Puritanical food culture is being upended: eaters are having fun, indulging in all sorts of cultures and cuisines—the great buffet now spread before us. Seeing it as (mere) sinfulness is silly and self-serving: The Moral Crusade Against Foodies.

• To help you understand Chick-fil-A and its unsavory mix of religiosity and chicken patties comes this interesting piece on fast food chains and their long history of sneaky proselytizing: Fast Food Chains' Religious Leanings Flavor Patronage.

• Great. First my dentist says diet sodas eat away at the enamel of your teeth, now a new study emerges to report that they lead to greater incidence of heart disease: Daily Diet Soda Tied to Higher Risk for Stroke, Heart Attack.

Kate Nerenberg, assistant food and wine editor:

• Fish, fish everywhere, but not a bite to eat. Natural Resources Police found more than ten tons of illicitly netted rockfish in the Chesapeake Bay: Seizure of Illegally Caught Striped Bass Shuts Down February Gill Season.

• Sriracha—that fiery hot sauce with the rooster on the label—is maybe the best thing to happen to the culinary world since, well, sliced bread. An interview with Randy Clemens, a guy after our own heart who wrote The Sriracha Cookbook: King of Sriracha

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