Starbucks Uproar on Twitter

The makers of a documentary film critical of Starbucks labor practices are calling upon supporters to take their protests to Twitter via the hashtags #top3percent and #starbucks, which Starbucks happens to be using for a contest to market a new ad campaign.


Zip Code win·ery

Zip Code win·ery (noun): A winery whose vineyards may be located in one place, but seeks to associate itself with another area.


In her profile of wine business mogul Fred Franzia in the May 18, 2009 issue of the New Yorker, Dana Goodyear describes how Franzia's popular Charles Shaw wine (also known as "Two Buck Chuck") gains from the prestige associated with the Napa Valley wine region -- where it is bottled -- even though it is made from grapes grown in vineyards in California's less desirable Central Valley:

Although Charles Shaw wine falls under the generic California appellation, the broadest possible desig­nation, it can legitimately be labelled “Cellared & Bottled by Charles Shaw Winery, Napa, CA,” a practice that strikes many in Napa as unsavory. “It’s called a Zip Code winery,” Vic Motto, a business adviser to Napa Valley wineries, says. “The unsuspecting consumer may not realize it’s not Napa wine. Fred uses that to his advantage.”

Agenda Addendum: Fulton Stall Market Opens Friday


A new outdoor food market will open on Friday, May 22, at the Seaport District, occupying the space on South Street between Fulton and Beekman Streets where the fish market formerly stood.

The "Fulton Stall Market" will be open Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., featuring fruits and vegetables, seafood, cheeses, breads, cut flowers, and potted plants.

Per the press release, here is a list of the 2009 vendors, including descriptions.

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The Great Land Grab

The Economist reports that rich governments (like Saudi Arabia) that may have relied on buying food on the international market in the past are now buying up huge tracts of farmland in poor countries to grow food. Is it beneficial investment or a new form of imperialism?


One Small Sip for Man . . .

On Wednesday, astronauts aboard the international space station got their first taste of drinking water recycled from their own urine.

As they toasted one another with their drinking bags, American astronaut Michael Barratt marveled, "The taste is great." When Russian astronaut Gennady Padalka gulped a drop of the water that floated in front of him, Barratt added that the water formerly known as pee was "worth chasing."


Measuring Spoons for Odd Sizes


Flummoxed by how to measure an 1/8th of a teaspoon of salt? This set of five odd-sized measuring spoons includes tools to measure a "pinch," 1/8 Tsp., 2/3 Tsp., 1½ Tsp, and 2 Tsp. $15 at The Spoon Sisters.


Watercress Gone Wild

Wild watercress is the next big thing for the foraging crowd, but beware of Fasciola Hepatica, a parasite that also goes by the foreboding name of “common liver fluke.”


The Asparagus Looks Amazing. What's Next?

In the Los Angeles Times, Russ Parsons offers some tips on how to cook from farmers market produce. The takeaway: it's all about improvisation.


The Story of Sriracha

John T. Edge explores how this "polyglot purée with roots in different places and peoples" has become an iconic "American sauce."