Space Fries, Frog Salads, and Cooking With a Hair Dryer: Eating & Reading

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

Next time you grab a quick salad, make sure this guy isn’t hiding under the lettuce. Image via Shutterstocka.

Reading, and Then Not Eating

It was the lunch news that shocked America (’s middle-class urban professionals): A Wall Street Journal reporter found a dead frog in her Pret a Manger salade niçoise. [Gawker] —Sophie Gilbert

The takeaway from NPR’s piece on whether food should be used as punishment in prisons. The mysterious “nutraloaf”—which in some prisons is given to inmates when they’ve behaved badly—sounds pretty terrible, but not as terrible as grue, a “potatoey prison paste” that was outlawed in the ’70s. [NPR] —Ann Limpert 

Look, we all have jobs that require some occasional weird happenings. For these women, it’s an everyday fact. They eat awful food for a living. On purpose. [BusinessWeek] —Chris Campbell

Nearly all the chicken is tainted. Those Chick-fil-A cows probably don’t care. [Forbes] —CC

If throwing lobsters in a pot makes you squeamish, this is probably the closest you’ll ever get to eating live octopus. [New Yorker] —AL

The Final Frontier

Two chemists in Greece are conducting research about cooking French fries in space. If there’s anything that will renew interest in space exploration, it’s definitely space fries. [BBC] —Benjamin Freed

Millenial Crack

Forget kitchen slaves. The new way to get your foot in the restaurant industry door: busing tables. [Wall Street Journal] —Anna Spiegel

This supposed “trend” of bars that let you bring in your own food was a lot cooler when it was called, “Hey, can I get a pizza delivered here?” [Washington Post] —BF

Anonymity Revisited, and Revisited . . .

Good for Adam Platt for dropping his supposed “anonymity.” [New York] —BF

The Guardian’s critic weighs in on New York’s critic and his decision to go un-anonymous. [Eater National] —AS

New Year’s Resolutions

Given that it’s January 2 and everyone everywhere is eschewing carbs, going Paleo, or (madness) giving up alcohol, it’s worth reading this fantastic takedown of a new book about how carbs kill your brain by the Atlantic’s resident doctor, James Hamblin. [Atlantic] —SG

Also, more common-sense food-related resolutions you can actually keep, from Mark Bittman. [New York Times] —SG

Of all the year-end lists, this one from Smitten Kitchen is among my favorites—mainly because of all the beautiful pictures and promises of good things to come. [Smitten Kitchen] —AS

Chef MacGyver 

No butane blowtorch for your s’mores? No problem. Every woman—and almost every hotel room—has the only food-preparing gadget you’ll need this year. [NPR] —SG