Sooty shearwaters feeding in the surf (everything eats)

Sooty shearwaters feeding in the surf (everything eats)

Each summer flocks of sooty shearwaters fly low over the Monterey Bay, diving and squawking as they feed on masses of bait fish – anchovies, sardines, squid, and krill – that school just below the water’s glistening surface. You see them coming in the distance, an impressive mass a mile or more in length; thousands of birds flying low over the water forming a cacophony of feathered missiles plunging headfirst for food.

Green beef or well-traveled cows?

Green beef or well-traveled cows?

Unless you have the room to pasture a cow in your backyard, the meat you consume has to travel. Taking carbon footprint, environmental, and health concerns into account, how can we make thoughtful choices on the meat we purchase? Here are a few considerations.

Old school backyard foodie: Oysters Rockefeller

Old school backyard foodie: Oysters Rockefeller

The oysters smelled like the air on still, foggy mornings when the tide is low and kelp is heaped on the sand and the only footprints are from marauding nighttime snails – an ancient smell of brine and salty tears.

Who figured out a beaver’s behind tastes like raspberry?

Who figured out a beaver’s behind tastes like raspberry?

By now you may have heard, thanks to Jamie Oliver and Dr. Oz, that castoreum is a natural flavor behind some of the products we consume. I use the word “behind” literally, since castoreum is the product of a beaver’s anal glands. Castoreum is totally unique, chemically speaking, to the beaver – not to be confused with that stinky defensive spray that comes from a skunk’s anal glands, or reason dogs walk in circles sniffing each other’s rear ends. Same place, different thing. Urban myth or no?

Greens gone wild

Greens gone wild

Winter’s untended and forgotten greens, gone wild in the overgrown vegetable bed.