Are You Smarter Than Your Dinner? Not if You're Eating Octopus

Pan-Seared Octopus with Italian Vegetable Salad © Con Poulos
By Pamela Kaufman Posted October 06, 2014

Here, thought-provoking reads to increase your food IQ.

Here, thought-provoking reads to increase your food IQ.

Are octopus too smart for us to eat? The New Yorker discusses the surprising intelligence of these creatures (They have 500 million neurons! They can pick World Cup winners!) and gets a bunch of chefs to weigh in on the ethical issues. A few of them, not so surprisingly, call BS.

The Independent considers a "Baking Bad" future in which chemists create food in (sort of) the same way that Walter White cooks meth in Breaking Bad. Father of molecular gastronomy Hervé This calls this Note by Note cooking, which involves chemical compounds instead of actual ingredients. And he predicts, ominously, that we'll all be eating this way by 2050.

Time reports more cheerfully on a new way of farming developed by MIT researchers called aeroponics, in which plants grow suspended in a kind of fog chamber that sprays a nutrient-filled mist into the air. This somehow leads to the provocative question, could the world's best strawberries come from Detroit?

Is kosher cool? The Atlantic explains that millennial Jews are following Jewish dietary laws at double the rate of baby boomers as  part of an explosion of interest in artisanal, eco-friendly, ethical food. #kugel.

Carnitas are so not kosher but they are awesome. In BuzzFeed, Nicolás Medina Mora writes about how really good pork tacos can, in BuzzFeed-speak, "fix everything that's wrong in your sad, horrible life." A teeny overstatement; a very nice essay.

In her inaugural column for The New York Times Magazine (she'll alternate with Mark Bittman and Sam Sifton),  ex-Chez Panisse chef Tamar Adler writes about eating alone and why it can be "shockingly freeing" and "an assertion of dignity." That means, sadly, no Dancing with the Stars to keep you company—but a half bottle of wine, definitely. And a nice corn salad too. Learn more about Adler in this Food & Wine story.

Related: 9 American Farms Changing the Way We Eat
23 Amazing Tacos
30 Delicious Mexican Dishes

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