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Super Simple Shepherd’s Pie

A 20-minute dinner doesn’t get much better than this classic Irish comfort food. It’s perfect for your St. Paddy’s Day celebration, but it’s plenty delicious enough to make all year long. Shepherd’s Pie is one of those foods you’ll find on any March 17 restaurant menu. You’re practically required to eat it at some point in the month of March. It has become as synonymous with the St. Patrick’s Day celebration as pints of green beer — which is to say, that neither the green-dyed drinks nor this beef-based dinner are exactly Irish. Traditional Shepherd’s Pie uses lamb or mutton (It’s Cottage Pie that uses beef). But here in the U.S., we’ve definitely put our own spin on the holiday, so I think this dish gets a pass, too. I like to cut corners with this recipe and get everything pre-chopped so all I have to do is brown some…

What is corned beef and why do we eat it on St. Patrick’s Day?

Dig your “Kiss me I’m Irish” T-shirt from the drawer, get ready to guzzle pints of green beer, and crank up your Crock Pot for corned beef and cabbage because St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner. Wait… what’s that you say? None of these things are actually Irish? You would be correct. They’re about as Irish as a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake. The now iconic T-shirts are for sale only in touristy gift shops. The Irish would never pollute good beer with green dye, and while they do eat corned beef and cabbage sometimes, they’re probably not sitting down and eating it on March 17. So how did this meal become synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day — especially in the United States? The Irish have a long history with cattle that shaped their views of eating beef in general. From early on, cows were not slaughtered for their meat…

Report shows restaurants that use most antibiotics in meats

Consumers Union has released its third annual “Chain Reaction” report on the prevalence of antibiotics in meat products in America’s most popular chain restaurants. Sadly, the results show most of the restaurants have failed to improve, even in the face of drug-resistant superbugs. The rankings are based on each companies’ own policies for the use of antibiotic in meat and poultry products that they buy. Pumping chickens, cows and pigs full of antibiotics intended for humans is slowly destroying our ability to treat common infections. The U.N. has called it a growing concern and potential global health crisis. More than 23,000 people die annually in the U.S. from antibiotic-resistant infections each year, according the the CDC. To combat this problem, doctors and hospitals use antibiotics more judiciously than in the past, yet 70 percent of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. aren’t intended for human use anyway, but rather in animal agriculture. “The nation’s fast food restaurant chains are…

This one dietary change could help America reach greenhouse-gas emission goals

For many Americans, the idea of giving up meat is unfathomable or even alien. What’s the 4th of July without a hamburger? But a new analysis of beef consumption in the States shows that our carnivorous habit is holding us back from reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Conducted by a team of scientists from Oregon State University, the study states that if more people switched to a plant-based diet, America could still come close to meeting the greenhouse gas goals set by former President Barack Obama in 2009 — even in the face of current president Donald Trump backing the nation out of the Paris Climate Accord. If every American were to replace the beef in their diets with beans — even while continuing to eat chicken, pork and dairy products — the country could reach 46 to 74 percent of the previously set 2020 target. This is true even without any changes to the current energy infrastructure…

A surprising number of adults think brown cows make chocolate milk

Seven percent of all adults in America believe that brown cows produce chocolate milk, according to an online survey commissioned by the Innovation Center of U.S. Dairy. That’s about 16.4 million misinformed folks who don’t know that chocolate milk is made of milk, cocoa and sugar. It’s jaw dropping for most of us, but for decades, educators and observers of all things agriculture have been telling us that we’re basically illiterate when it comes to what’s on our kitchen table. Many people don’t stop to consider where their food is grown or how it gets to the store — or, like chocolate milk, how it’s made. On study commissioned in the early ’90s found that nearly 1 in 5 adults didn’t know hamburgers are beef. Even more adults didn’t know basic farming facts and practices such as what animals eat or how big a U.S. farm typically is. Seemingly, not…

This burger chain was just voted best burger in America

In the battle of the burger chains, it’s not the golden arches Americans are longing for. For the first time ever, Five Guys, was named Burger Restaurant Brand of the Year — ousting two-time honoree In-N-Out Burger — according to The Harris Poll. The Washington D.C. based burger joint beat out In-N-Out Burger, followed by Shake Shack, Wendy’s, Culver’s, Whataburger, McDonald’s, Sonic, Smashburger, and Steak ‘n’ Shake to take the top spot. Not surprisingly, McDonald’s still hold the highest in familiarity across all brands. “The burger brand category has become less fragmented, as regional brands expand and become available in more parts of the country,” said Joan Sinopoli, vice president of brand solutions at The Harris Poll. “This is certainly the case with Five Guys, who has shed its ‘small regional player’ designation as it expands its footprint and marketing budget along with its fandom, which is a tremendous contributor…