If you've got decisions to make at the meat counter (or at a burger joint) and want to do right by the environment, you have a couple of options.

You could skip the beef entirely, which is what some environmental groups say you should do. Or you could go for meat with a "grass-fed" or "organic" label.

Bunches and Bits {Karina}/flickr creative commons

Cider-baked pork with red cabbage and apples… baked risotto with butternut squash, sage, and parmigiano… Provençal beef with olives, tomatoes, and oranges… Sunday Casseroles is among the best one-pot meal collections we've ever tried. In fact, we're going to make the lobster corn casserole for New Year's Eve. Betty Rosbottom knows how to elevate far beyond the ordinary. We just finished dining on her Venetian chicken. Mouth watering, and it's all prepared in advance of your company.

Did you hear the one about the McDonald's hamburger that still hadn't decomposed after 14 years?

And "pink slime" — how much goes into McDonald's beef?

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Repair and boost the bacteria in the gut with the right food, prebiotics and probiotics, and you'll feel better and lose weight. That's the theory of Dr. Raphael Kellman of New York, author of The Microbiome Diet.

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Good Morning Paleo is a cookbook that features breakfasts the paleo way. Plus, they're gluten-free and grain-free… breakfast burritos, Portobello bacon mushroom scramble… how about lime salmon cakes with paleo sour cream?

Sonny Abesamis/flickr creative commons

Repair and boost the bacteria in the gut with the right food, prebiotics and probiotics, and you'll feel better and lose weight. That's the theory of Dr. Raphael Kellman of New York, author of The Microbiome Diet.

Mike Wallis/flickr creative commons

That was our test—could anyone tell Robert Landolphi's recipes were gluten free? None of us could, nor could anyone else who tried them. All we know is that they're delicious, and well they should be. Landolphi, head of culinary operations at UConn, says he spent 14 years perfecting these recipes after his wife was diagnosed with celiac disease.

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The paleo diet emphasizes the basics: meat, seafood, fruit, vegetables, and nuts. It's based on the foods our paleolithic ancestors ate. The diet has also been touted as the solution for food allergy relief and better health. But healthy eating shouldn't mean you have to give up flavor. 

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Real, great-tasting food. Nutritious. Quick cooking for busy people, families and new cooks. That's what we love about Dinner: The Playbook by Jenny Rosenstrach. When we told her we were entranced by her chicken parm meatballs she burst out with, "That's the single most popular thing I've ever done." But that's not the only delicious eye candy in her book, and I do mean candy. 

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On the menu… real polenta in under 15 minutes, no lie! Mouth-watering acorn squash… Alex Province's early autumn bourbon cocktail… a fantastic crisp rosé from California in our $15-and-under discovery category… and wowza spaghetti carbonara from The Farmstead Egg Guide & Cookbook.

Supermarkets and restaurants serve up more than 400 million pounds of food each year, but nearly a third of it never makes it to a stomach.

With consumers demanding large displays of unblemished, fresh produce, many retailers end up tossing a mountain of perfectly edible food. Despite efforts to cut down on all that waste, in the U.S., the consumer end of the food chain still accounts for the largest share. It comes down to shoppers demanding stocked shelves, buying too much and generally treating food as a renewable resource.

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On this week's fresh edition of The Food Schmooze​®: good gluten-free dishes… taco ideas… and delicious acorn squash… 

Nicholas Tang/flickr creative commons

Celebrate the end of summer with one of your last meals from the grill. This one's fresh and memorable, so savor every bite. I came up with what I call BLT Chicken by making a salad and adding flavors I love together—chicken, fresh corn, tomatoes and, I thought, why not—let's butter and grill the cornbread. Grilled cornbread has a crispy edge that makes me buckle in the knees, caramelized and buttery on the tongue.  

Henk Sijgers / Creative Commons

A nationally recognized research center dedicated to food policy and issues of obesity will leave Yale University at the end of the year and partner with the University of Connecticut.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

"Comic book movies, family-friendly animated adventures, tales of adolescent heroism, and comedies of arrested development do not only make up the commercial center of 21st century Hollywood, they are its artistic heart." So writes critic A.O. Scott in a somewhat controversial essay from this week. We will discuss cultural immaturity on this episode of The Nose.

Then, we'll probe the delicate subject of "Fingerprint Words". The premise is that each of us has a word or two - a perfectly good word which we use correctly - that we use a lot. One of mine, I happen to know, is "warranted". I also know where I got it, and to whom I have spread it.

Finally, we'll explore reports that eating cereal is in steep decline. An entire civilization of elves and leprechauns now teeters at the edge of extinction. How about you? Has your perfectly warranted retreat from maturity caused you to give up cereal?

Credit Justin Smith/flickr creative commons

We have the vintage recipe, Meatloaf Baked in A Brown Paper bag, so moist, so crispy. City Steam Brewery designed a delicious beer, lemonade martini for The Food Schmooze called the Shand-tini. 

Fast-food workers in cities across the country, from Los Angeles to Chicago to Hartford, Conn., rallied for higher wages during a day of demonstrations Thursday.

Union organizers, backed by the Service Employees International Union, are building a campaign for $15-an-hour pay.

At the corner of 87th Street and South Wabash in Chicago, an intersection that has a McDonald's on one corner and a Burger King on the other, workers chanted "$15 an hour" or sang "We Shall Not be Moved" as they blocked traffic.

Labor unions are looking for lessons in the recent worker victory at New England supermarket chain Market Basket. By using Internet technology to rapidly coalesce around a single demand, nonunion workers forced a sale of the company to their beloved CEO.

"I've never seen anything like it, that's for sure. And they prevailed, which is even stranger. They took on this and forced these people to sell their shares to this one guy," says Dennis Irvin with United Steelworkers Local 12012. "It's amazing, totally amazing!"

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On this fresh edition of The Food Schmooze®, we give you the recipe for grilled lemony lamb chops from The Calories In, Calories Out Cookbook. The authors tell you how much you have to walk or run for every low calorie dish.

It's not always easy to connect the dots between the food we consume and the people who grow it, or the impact of growing and processing that food on the health of our planet.

But a campaign called Behind the Brands, led by Oxfam International, an advocacy organization dedicated to fighting poverty, is trying to make the inner workings of the 10 biggest food companies in the world more visible.

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We've discovered one of the best rotisserie chickens in the country being served right now in New York City. And we’re serving up easy, delicious watermelon-lime martinis, along with a great, affordable Prosecco. Plus, Alex Province's recipe for a killer gazpacho. That’s on this week’s fresh edition of The Food Schmooze.

For many immigrants arriving in the U.S., opening a family food business can be a pathway to economic stability. While many fail, one Dominican woman in the Bronx has managed to get her family off food stamps, send her kids to college and share her heritage with new friends and neighbors. And it all started with cake.

Not just any cake — but bizcocho Dominicano, flavored with rum and vanilla extract, and layered with tropical fruit spreads and meringue.

In a deal that would create the third-largest fast-food chain, Burger King announced on Tuesday that it intended to buy Canada's Tim Hortons for about $11 billion.

The deal, reports Bloomberg, also moves the company's headquarters to Canada. Bloomberg explains:

Despite all the cheerleading for healthy eating, Americans still eat only about 1 serving of fruit per day, on average. And our veggie consumption, according to an analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls short, too.

When Jules Rabin lost his job teaching anthropology in 1977, he and his wife, Helen, turned to baking to keep their family afloat. For 37 years they've baked sourdough bread that people in central Vermont can't seem to live without.

The year before Jules left Goddard College, he and Helen built a replica of a 19th century peasant oven, hauling 70 tons of fieldstone from nearby fields. The stones covered an igloo-shaped brick baking chamber 5 1/2 feet in diameter.

Credit Renée S. Suen/flickr creative commons

Your family has a hankering--a yen for chicken tikka masala or queso fundido, for shrimp pad Thai or a Philly cheese steak--and they want it bad. So you decide to eat out at a local ethnic or roadside restaurant, or do a take-out. It's expedient, but is the food really good? Really, really good? Because Lucinda Scala Quinn's versions of all those dishes families crave will knock your socks off and prove beyond a doubt that the foods you love can be made better, faster, tastier, cheaper, and more healthfully at home. We tried her recipe for a velvety salmon using an aluminum foil packet. Fantastic! 

Chion Wolff

Here's my theory just in case I don't get a chance to say it during the show: I think food has become more like sports. People kind of root for things. Ted Allen and Anthony Bourdain are more like sport stars than people whom you would seek out for actual cooking information. People go to Chelsea Market just because they know the Food Network is somewhere upstairs. And, because of that, there's a lot more pressure on food to be exciting. When you pick up the sports pages you want news, not just the same old same old. So, driven by that pulse and a group of media engines that flow alongside it, we always have new things to cheer for. Yay bacon salt! Go gastropubs! Today on the show: where food trends come from and why they succeed, or fail. 

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Years ago in southern California, at ocean-side Montage Resort, I ordered the same thing for six lunches in a row—Thai summer roll with dipping sauce. It was a knockout, and now we can tell you how to make delicious ones at home. We can tell you how thanks to a respected chef, Gale Gand, author of Gale Gand's Lunch! As Gale told us, she learned from a Thai woman who was making them as fast as she could manage for thousands of hungry fans at the Lolllapalooza music festival. And wait till you try her watermelon gazpacho.

Discovery Channel set viewership records in 2013 as millions of people tuned in to watch sharks feed, sharks attack, extinct giant sharks and researchers catch and tag sharks. Discovery's "Shark Week" returned on Sunday, and this year, to the dismay of conservationists, restaurants and markets nationwide are feeding the frenzy with a slew of shark meat promotions.

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There's still some summer left and we have ideas for clam bakes, grilled shrimp, and cocktails, along with plenty of kitchen tips. We also have a great recipe for a portobello mushroom po' boy.