Weekend Reading: Instagram Etiquette, Hip-Hop Culinaria, and More

A look at what we're reading, cooking, and clicking this week

Kelly Waters

• Dear Mom and Dad: Thank you from the bottom of my heart for raising me in the kind of eating environment where the concept of levying a fine against diners who fail to finish their meals seems completely and utterly abstract (not to mention absurd). —James Oseland

• Though this interview with gourmand comedian Aziz Ansari in the Onion's AV Club is ostensibly about modern love, the following quote is some of the best commentary I've seen on food, social media, and etiquette in a while: "Not hearing back from someone you're interested in, and then seeing them post a photo of a pizza on Instagram. Isn't that kind of a rude thing to do?" Brilliant, and true! —Gabriella Gershenson

• Pop quiz time, people: Jonathan Gold's Food and Hip Hop Quiz, to be exact. I got a 40%, a solid F, but I did answer correctly to form the following rhyme from Rakim: "You scream I'm lazy, you must be crazy, You thought I was a doughnut, you tried to glaze me." So there's that. —Sophie Brickman

• The first page I turn to in Harper's is the last one in the magazine, called "Findings," an amalgamation of scientific discoveries assembled to create a list whose contents are always surprising and surreal. I was delighted to realize that Harpers.com has an engine that lets you assemble your own such lists. A few of my favorite food-related "Findings" so far: "The Japanese developed a robot wine steward capable of chemically analyzing and identifying foods; when presented with human flesh, however, the robot thought it was prosciutto" ; "Cows with names produce 3.4 percent more milk than nameless cows" ; "Rich people are likelier to steal candy from children." And, my favorite: "Mothers who eat a lot of chocolate give birth to happy babies." —Karen Shimizu

• There's been so much ink spilled over organic foods labelling in the past decade, but for me, the more important label is "certified humane," connoting products that come from animals raised in a caring way that allows them to live as naturally as they can, free of cages, antibiotics, hormones, cruelty, and stress. Chickens lavishing themselves in dust baths, a sow rooting in the sun-warmed mud, cattle roaming and munching—the label translates into happy animals and better eating for us, with food that tastes delicious and that we can feel good about. The Certified Humane program, which helps more than 77 million animals a year, is on my reading list and in the news this week because it's turning 10. The program's website includes a helpful, interactive map that helps you find Certified Humane products at stores near you. It's the way I shop for my meat and dairy. —Betsy Andrews

• Some of my favorite things: Watercolor paintings, and obsessively chronicling every restaurant I go to via Instagram. San Francisco artist Kelly Waters is someone after my own spirit: Her delicate paintings of some of the city's best menu items--currently on display at Mission kitchenware shop Pot + Pantry, and pictured above—are beautiful, mouthwatering, and visually inspiring. —Helen Rosner