TIME fashion

‘Death Becomes Her:’ 100 Years of Exquisite Mourning Dresses

Widow's wear was once a rigidly codified corner of the fashion world

“Widows are all much in demand,” sings the titular character in an English-language translation of The Merry Widow. “And if the poor things should be rich / Then there’s no end to the suitors at hand!”

And with so many gawkers gawking, a widow ought to be well dressed.

Mourning attire from 1815 to 1915 is the subject of a new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire,” opening Tuesday in New York. And though Harper’s Bazaar urged “nun-like simplicity” of widow’s weeds in 1868, many of the frocks on display are very grand, embellished with lace, fringe and beads.

The period’s dichotomy of dress reflects the opposing aspects of widowhood: on one hand, a widow’s two years of wearing black reflected her chaste sadness. On the other, it signaled that she was sexually experienced, maritally unattached and possibly endowed with a new fortune of her own.

Some also found all-black attire to be quite fetching. After Queen Victoria’s death, Consuelo Vanderbilt’s husband observed her in her mourning outfit and paid her a “rare compliment:” “If I die, I see you will not remain a widow long.”

Upper-class women like Vanderbilt could afford to have black gowns made in the contemporary fashion, reflecting current trends in all but color. If one could not afford a new wardrobe of mourning clothes, one might apply some advice from the Rolling Stones to their existing wardrobe and “Paint It Black” (or dye it, anyway).

Different expectations of attire were in place depending on what family member a woman lost — a husband’s death required the most, a parent or sibling’s a bit less. As they moved into later mourning periods, they might incorporate white or gray stripes, checks and accents and even mauve was considered acceptable.

The strict codification of mourning attire only eased up during and after World War I, when so many lost husbands, fathers and sons. As Vogue noted in 1918, “Women felt, and rightly, that the indulgence of personal grief, even to the extent of wearing mourning, was incompatible with their duty to themselves, to their country, and to the men who cheerfully laid down their lives.”

TIME movies

The Best Soundtracks of All Time, As Chosen by Directors and Composers

From The Wizard of Oz to American Beauty, Hollywood's finest pick the soundtracks and scores that made the biggest impact in the movie industry and beyond

  • John Landis

    (Director, Animal House, The Blues Brothers)


    The best needle drop example I can think of is the way Stanley Kubrick used an existing Deutsche Grammophon recording of “The Blue Danube” by Johann Strauss as the music for the space station sequence in 2001: A Space Odyssey. George Lucas’s use of rock and roll in American Graffiti and Marty Scorsese’s use of rock and roll in Goodfellas are two more terrific examples of “needle drop.”

    As for scores written for specific movies, there are many wonderful examples, from Elmer Bernstein’s rousing music for The Magnificent Seven to his very different scores for The Sweet Smell of Success, The Great Escape and To Kill a Mockingbird. Bernard Herrmann’s Hitchcok scores are all wonderful, as are the Maurice Jarre collaborations with David Lean.

  • Amy Heckerling

    (Director, Clueless, Fast Times at Ridgemont High)

    American Graffiti

    When I first saw it, I was a teenager, and I just went crazy for it. I had never been to California, and suddenly there was this sparkly land of cute people and tons of music, and they were in cars, and I thought you had to be really rich to be young and have a car! It just seemed incredibly magical to me, and I had no idea that such a place existed.

    I always loved movies with tons of music, and I was always a fans of musicals. In American Graffiti, it was so organic, because you have car radios, so it made sense. It was automatic to what they were doing, which was running around in cars, and cars have soundtracks. There was a sense of humor to the way it was used. You didn’t feel like, oh, here’s a sad guy and they’re playing a sad song. It was Richard Dreyfuss — who was, I think, about the cutest human being there could be then — “The Great Pretender,” and hanging around with the gang, the Pharaohs, but he was obviously the smart nerd guy. It was just adorable the way it fit together. And then when he goes to the radio station and hears “You Saw Me Crying in the Chapel”? Well, it was a radio station and not a chapel, but it was a form of religion. But it wasn’t saying that in a serious way — it was saying it in a humorous way.

  • Pete Docter

    (Director, Up, Monsters, Inc.)

    Alexander Nevsky and Raiders of the Lost Ark

    My parents are classical music lovers and I was introduced to the music from Alexander Nevsky (1938, by Sergei Prokofiev) years before I ever saw the film. It’s bold and sweeping, with themes that get stuck in your head, and dramatic moody parts. I love the “Battle on the Ice” sequence — it starts quietly with great tension, and builds slowly to a driving peak. I used this as the soundtrack for many films I made as a kid, which created the illusion of them actually being interesting. Apparently Prokofiev wrote the music after seeing a rough cut from director Sergei Eisenstein. Inspired, Eisenstein reshot and cut footage to the music — an unusual way to work, which tells of their mutual respect and admiration for each other’s work. It was kind of a shock to me when I finally saw the film; it sounds like they recorded the soundtrack on tin foil and used that to wrap borsht. It’s tinny and thin, a completely inadequate representation of Prokofiev’s dynamic, powerful music. Luckily there are many great re-recordings of the score available.

    I was 12 when Raiders of the Lost Ark came out (in 1981, with music by John Williams), and it instantly lodged in my brain. I came out of the theater humming the theme, and to this day it conjures up images from the film whenever I hear the music. The musical themes evolve along with Indy; the music tells the story. It’s an integral part of the film; you can’t imagine the movie without this score. If that’s not a great movie score, I don’t know what is.

  • Kristen Anderson-Lopez

    (Composer, Frozen)

    The Wizard of Oz

    If I have to pick one (which is unfair because I’d really like to make my top 100 list), I’d have to say The Wizard of Oz (songs by Harold Arlen and E.Y. “Yip” Harburg) is the biggest game-changer [and the] most entertaining score of all time. Ask anyone age 5 to 105, and chances are they can sing the iconic melody of “Over the Rainbow,” but more importantly, they can point to a moment in their own experience when they felt what Dorothy feels when she looks to the sky and sings: “If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow / why oh why can’t I?” The story structure is referenced in every single writers’ room on the planet. And let’s not forget: it has a strong female protagonist driving the story.

  • Robert Lopez

    (Composer, Frozen, Avenue Q, Book of Mormon)

    South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut

    South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut (songs by Trey Parker with Marc Shaiman) is by far the funniest movie musical of all time and one of the greatest. The songs (“What Would Brian Boitano Do,” “Blame Canada,” to name two out of the 11) are all shockingly hilarious spoofs, as you’d expect — but also carry the story forward engagingly with grace and masterful economy. Without this movie there would be no Avenue Q or Book Of Mormon – it changed everything for me.

TIME Food & Drink

The Last Days of WD~50

One of the world’s most famous chefs prepares to close the doors on his landmark restaurant

“I’m just gonna go downstairs and put on my prom dress,” Wylie Dufresne says one afternoon in September at his restaurant on New York’s Lower East Side. He’s wearing a hoodie and he’s changing into a chef’s jacket. Nothing fancy, but there is an air of ceremony in the kitchen. After 11 years of service, wd~50 will close in November, ending an era for modern cuisine.

Over the last decade, Dufresne made a reputation for himself as the mad scientist of New York’s kitchens, putting out brain-teasing dishes like shrimp noodles (that’s noodles made from shrimp), cylindrical quail, fried hollandaise cubes and edible eggshells. Such inventions left some scratching their heads—why fix an egg that ain’t broken? But others embraced his creativity, and over time, his reputation congealed.

Tasting those shrimp noodles never came all that cheap. Today, the restaurant offers two tasting menus: 12 courses for $155, or five courses “from the vault” (a sort of greatest-hits selection) for $90.

And like so many New York stories, price is what has brought this institution to an end: a new building is being developed on the site. This development is driving Dufresne out of the address that gave his restaurant a name: 50 Clinton Street.

Dufresne was on the American avant-garde in using many of the chemical and mechanical innovations (see that WD-40 joke) that define “modernist cuisine” or “molecular gastronomy”—immersion circulators, sous vide precision cooking, foams and the rest. Such methods are often associated with the name Ferran Adrià, the chef behind the now-closed elBulli in Spain, which Dufresne says “blew the doors open” for imaginative cooking.

Dufresne’s enthusiasm for chemicals and high-tech gadgets came as many American chefs ran in the opposite direction, embracing the farm-to-table ethos of whole foods prepared simply. The laboratory of culinary magic tricks at wd~50 couldn’t have seemed more different.

When Dufresne perfected his condiment-frying technique, he thought it would be his big break: “You know, I can fry hollandaise, I can fry ketchup, I can fry mustard,” he says, “I thought, ‘This is gonna be my meal ticket.’ I bought a red and yellow phone because I thought McDonald’s would call, and it was just going to ring. And they were going to say, ‘Please come to us. Show us how we can fry our condiments. We’ll give you the key to the city, and Ronald McDonald will be at every one of your kids’ birthdays until they’re 28.’ Of course that didn’t happen.”

It is hard to think of any other top-tier chef who would get so excited at the prospect of partnering with the Golden Arches. But Dufresne has no qualms about mixing fancy thinking with mass production. He’s explored the idea of patenting some of his inventions. And he says he takes inspiration from the supermarket aisles. “Whether it be cereal technology or candy technology or snack technology, puff snacks,” he says, “I’m always curious to know how those things are made and how we can take that technology, those ingredients, and apply it to a stand-alone restaurant.”

As much as he seizes these methods himself, Dufresne does wish they didn’t have such a bad rap. He wants people to know that his selection of chemical ingredients is just as discriminating as his selection of the meat or fish he serves based on their source. He wishes scientists had done better PR for themselves in developing the new ingredients he uses.

And as much fun as these tricks are, Dufresne maintains that he owes much more to his mentor, culinary superpower Jean-Georges Vongerichten (who is a co-owner of wd~50), than anyone else. He praises Vongerichten’s dedication to lightening and simplifying traditional French cuisine. “For me,” he says, “it begins and ends with the French.”

For all Dufresne’s flash, he does stay true to this ethos. While his dishes are surprising, they’re seldom overwhelming. Take a hanger steak tartare he recently served accompanied by Asian pear, an amaro sauce and a scoop of Béarnaise ice cream. That last ingredient had the intrigue of invention: it didn’t even hint at melting until it was eaten. But the flavors were subtle, complicated only by the bitter sauce smeared on the plate. As Dufresne likes, there was nowhere to hide any imperfection.

Dufresne has flourished in this intersection of old and new. “Clarence Birdseye knew more about frozen foods in 1920 than you and I do today,” he says. That overlooked trust of the past shows in his kitchen’s enthusiasm for trying new techniques with ancient roots. On a recent visit, one line cook was stomping on plastic bags of dough with clean sneakers, a method for making udon noodles easier to form that Dufresne says Japanese housewives were doing centuries ago (sans the plastic or sneakers).

Most of the wd~50 has agreed to stay on until the restaurant closes in November. Malcolm Livingston II, the pastry chef, has a job lined up at Noma in Copenhagen, voted the world’s best restaurant. Dufresne says that he’s on the lookout for a new space and would be open to trying a new neighborhood, but nothing has stuck yet. In 2013, he opened Alder, which offers a more affordable but similarly playful menu, not far from the restaurant he’s now closing.

Dufresne has a lot of history on the Lower East Side, and especially at 50 Clinton Street. He met his wife, Food Network Magazine editor-in-chief Maile Carpenter, in the restaurant when she came to interview him about its opening when she was a food editor for Time Out New York.

Dufresne is a cookbook obsessive (he estimates he has about 1,400 or 1,500 at home) and he’s working on adding his own to the canon. It will be the story of wd~50, co-written with Lucky Peach editor Peter Meehan. “We’re trying to figure out how to capture 11 years, and we have a lot of dishes to choose from,” he says. “Some people might not have enough recipes for a book. We probably have too many.”

For now, though, Dufresne says he’s focused on the restaurant that bears his initials: “We’re gonna try and really make it very special to the very end, because it’s still special to us.”

Vongerichten, for his part, said he’ll mourn the passing of his student’s restaurant. “For those who have been lucky enough to eat there, [it] will never be forgotten.”

At 44, Dufresne is too young for his legacy to be complete. But the legacy of wd~50 will be its invitation to young chefs to think different, to ask why certain standards are followed and dare to break them.

“Our hope is that when it’s all said and done, we have left the industry a little bit better off,” he says. “Not that we found it in disrepair or anything like that, but that we’ve contributed to the body of knowledge…That we’re helping people understand things a little bit better, and that we’re making ourselves smarter, we’re making cooks smarter, we’re making diners smarter.”

TIME Diet/Nutrition

The Future of Food: Experts Predict How Our Plates Will Change

Foodies and futurists on vertical gardens, low-carbon fridge stocks and more solutions

  • Marion Nestle

    Lou Manna

    Unless there are big changes within the next 20 years, I foresee a two-class food system. One class will eat industrialized food produced as cheaply as possible at the expense of its workers and natural resources. The other will enjoy home gardens and locally and sustainably produced food, at greater cost. I’m hoping for the enormous expansion of this latter approach. For that, we need a farm policy inextricably linked to health and environmental policy. We can achieve that, but only with serious advocacy and political engagement.

    Marion Nestle is professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University.

  • Mark Bittman

    New York Times food and opinion columnist, Mark Bittman.
    Evan Sung—Wiley/AP

    Looking forward, there might be some higher tech food but I don’t see a lot of soylent in our future. The highly processed junk that dominates our diet takes advantage of the way we grow and process crops and turns them into food-like substances that to many people taste good, provide enough calories, and are cheap and familiar enough to tolerate, but they barely sustain basic nutrition. There might be some fancy footwork but a 3D printed cheeseburger will still be a cheeseburger.

    We could fix that, and if we did … well, then we could be looking at a much better scenario. But this would take big-picture change in diet and in agriculture. The changes go hand-in-hand – a diet more heavily reliant on plants and less on animals and junk, and a more sustainable agricultural system that moves away from chemical-intensive monocropping – but they are not going to happen without a fight. Or a tragedy.

    Mark Bittman is a writer for the New York Times and the author of How to Cook Everything.

  • Stewart Brand

    Stewart Brand poses for a portrait during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival at on Jan. 19, 2013 in Park City, Utah.
    Larry Busacca—Getty Images

    The arrival of “cruelty-free” meat grown in vats (or whatever) and not in living animals will have wide consequences, if it comes. It could free up enormous quantities of grazing land worldwide to return to nature. It would reduce the water demand of agriculture. It would be a big win for animal welfare. And it would help establish biotech as a benign source of improved food. (Many, of course, will reject that whole package.)

    There’s a good chance for some industrial districts of cities turning into semi-agricultural districts with year-round vegetables and fruits grown in dense indoor farms using LED lights and surprisingly little water. They would fill the old industrial buildings floor to ceiling. The short distance to market and savings of energy and water would make them economically viable. Really fresh vegetables—pick ‘em yourself.

    Stewart Brand is the author of Whole Earth Discipline: Why Dense Cities, Nuclear Power, Transgenic Crops, RestoredWildlands, and Geoengineering Are Necessary.

  • Dan Barber

    Mark Ostow

    The protein-centric dinner plate, which America created and now exports to the rest of the world, is a culinary anomaly. By 2050, it will be obsolete. Instead, grains, legumes, and vegetables will take center stage, alongside under-coveted cuts of meat, such as neck or shank. In other words, Americans will feed themselves the way most cultures always have. Seeds will become an even more vital part of the conversation. We tend to think of seeds as a black and white issue—heirlooms on the one hand, genetically modified “frankenfood” on the other—but there’s a huge spectrum that exists between those two, and, 15 years from now, we’ll all know that the answer is somewhere in the middle. Farmers and eaters will collaborate with modern plant breeders to create new varieties of grains and vegetables to thrive in their regions, marrying classic seed selection with modern technology such as genome mapping. Yield, flavor, nutrition, locality, will all factor into the equation.

    Dan Barber is the executive chef and co-owner of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and the author of The Third Plate.

  • Richard Branson

    Sir Richard Branson attends a photocall to reveal his celebrity team taking part in this year's Virgin Active London Triathlon at Virgin Active Chiswick Riverside on July 3, 2012 in London.
    Stuart Wilson—Getty Images

    Twenty years from now companies like Beyond Meat will be making foods that taste just like meat but eliminate the need for cattle and other animals be eaten. This will result in us being able to utilize 35 times less lamb, 15 times less water and could be as much as 20 times less costly. I gave up eating cattle six months ago to see whether I would miss beef and surprisingly, for myself, haven’t missed it at all. If we could get many other people to do the same it would take the pressure of the rainforests and all the beautiful kind of diversity we are losing in the rainforests and people would be healthier as well. The worst thing that could happen is that as people come out of poverty in China and Africa the demand for cattle continues to rise. If that happened we would have little forest left in the world, little biodiversity and climate change would accelerate.

    Richard Branson is the founder of Virgin Group.

  • Bee Wilson

    Charlotte Griffiths

    Since writing a book about the history of kitchen technology, I get asked about the future of cooking a lot. And my wager is that the cooking of the future will look much more like the cooking of the past than anyone usually predicts. I can’t see wooden spoons becoming obsolete any time soon. I do think, however, that there will be innovations in the way we shop for food and the kinds of pans and stoves we use. Steam ovens will be the microwaves of the future and I also predict a pressure cooker revival, because this tool represents such savings not just of fuel but of time, without compromising on flavor. And in 20 years, I’m convinced that most Americans will be buying groceries through online delivery services and will feel amazed that they ever struggled to carry so many heavy bags from the car to the front door every week.

    Bee Wilson is the author of Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat (Basic Books). Her next book, First Bite: How We Learn to Eat, is due out in 2015.

  • Michael Pollan

    NEW YORK - JUNE 09: Author/professor Michael Pollan attends a special screening of Magnolia Pictures' "FOOD INC" hosted by Quintessentially at Angelika Film Center on June 9, 2009 in New York City.
    Charles Eshelman—FilmMagic

    The dream of a meal-in-a-pill has been with us at least since the Jetsons, and this “dream” keeps retreating further into the future. (The current manifestation is Soylent, a meal in a powder for people too busy to be bothered to eat.) Why hasn’t this dream been realized? Two reasons: we don’t know enough about nutrition to simulate a diet that will keep us healthy longterm. Example? Baby formula still doesn’t keep babies as healthy as mother’s milk, and we’ve been at that project for almost 200 years. The human requirement for food is more complex than we know. But the other reason the dream won’t be realized is that we don’t just eat to fuel our bodies—we eat for pleasure, communion, identity, etc. and you can’t get all that in a pill or powder.

    Michael Pollan is the author of Cooked, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and In Defense of Food.

  • Dorothy Cann Hamilton

    Culinary Institute CEO and Founder Dorothy Cann Hamilton
    Alen MacWeeney—Corbis

    My prediction for a game change in the way we eat food is not from the perspective of a science. It is not even from the perspective of a chef. It is from the perspective of diversity in our culture–and our wallet. We already see that food prices are being affected by weather, disease and geopolitical issues. Many commodities once taken for granted and free are now precious (think water in California). What will be the largest shift in the way Americans eat? They will forego expensive proteins, fresh and highly transported (pricey) produce, and will rethink how they take in calories. Hopefully with education, they will be nutritious calories. Where a prime rib might have been the ultimate American Sunday dinner, tomorrow we are probably looking at steak fajitas (3 ounces per person) with rice and beans. You know what? That’s a better diet for us and for our planet. I call that progress.

    Dorothy Cann Hamilton is the founder and CEO of the International Culinary Center.

  • Ray Kurzweil

    Inventor Ray Kurzweil attends the Tribeca Film Festival 2009 portrait studio at DIRECTV Tribeca Press Center on April 27, 2009 in New York City.
    Larry Busacca—Getty Images

    The next major food revolution will be vertical agriculture, in which we grow food in AI controlled vertical buildings rather than horizontal land: hydroponic plants for fruits and vegetables and in vitro cloned meat. Benefits will be profound:

    • Today over one third of usable land is devoted to agriculture (70% of which is for animals for meat production). Vertical agriculture will free up almost all of this.
    • Agriculture is today a major contributor to pollution of all kinds including 50 percent of antibiotic usage, one third of freshwater pollution with nitrogen and phosphorus, and almost all pesticide use. Vertical agriculture will be able to recycle all nutrients, capture all pollutants, and require no use of antibiotics and pesticides.
    • Costs will be subject to my law of accelerating returns which is an exponential improvement in the price-performance of information technology, leading to very low food costs.
    • Production will be decentralized allowing food to be produced near to the location of consumption.
    • Food can be healthier, for example meats with anti-inflammatory omega 3 fats replacing saturated fats.
    • The massive animal cruelty of today’s factory animal farming will be eliminated.

    The 2020’s will be the decade of the vertical agriculture revolution.

    Ray Kurzweil is an inventor, author and futurist, and a Director of Engineering at Google.

  • Ferran Adrià

    Ferran Adria, chef of the former El Bulli restaurant, poses for a photograph in Hong Kong, China, on Monday, April 1, 2013.
    Jerome Favre—Bloomberg/Getty Images

    When we talk about the ecology of food, that message is directed towards a particular type of consumer. Someone who earns $1,000 a month isn’t the same as someone who earns $10,000 a month. What is clear, however, is that as a society our life expectancy is much higher than it has ever been and we should mind our diets to better our overall health.

    The diets and tastes of those interested in sports or in health or in the simple pleasures of food won’t be the same. We’re heading towards an “A la Carte” diet. That is to say, each person will decide for themselves. But it is fundamental to specify which foodways we are discussing to make an accurate reflection. Unfortunately, in the countries where hunger is still rampant, much of this would not make sense.

    Ferran Adrià is the chef behind elBulli and the elBulliFoundation.

  • Corey Lee

    The chef Corey Lee of the Restaurant Benu (San Francisco, USA) during the conference at the Congress San Sebastian Gastronomika in the Kursaal Auditorium
    Jose Ignacio Unanue—Corbis

    Food innovation in the next decade will be centered around understanding flavor—its composition, how we perceive it, ways to measure it, and even a new language to discuss it. I think chefs will be able to quantify just how much and what kind of tomato flavor is in their Bolognese, and consumers will be able to make choices according to their preferences. Someone perusing a label in a supermarket in 20 years will be looking at a totally different set of measurements than we do now.

    Cracking the code of flavor is at the center of both the best and worst outcomes. In the best scenario, it will promote sustainability as we learn better how to rely solely on responsible and plentiful ingredients to produce great flavor, and also allow for the enjoyment of delicious food to be a more democratic experience. In the worst scenario, this could lead to a revolution of synthesized foods, of which the ramifications are frightening.

    Corey Lee is the head chef of San Francisco’s celebrated two-Michelin starred restaurant Benu. His first book, Benu, will be published by Phaidon in April 2015.

  • Mark Stech-Novak

    Courtesy of Mark Stech Novak

    As a creator of the space were cooking is done, I straddle the line in two camps: high-tech and old school. I firmly believe in the historical value of techniques and traditions: a wood-grilled bistecca alla fiorentina is a gift from the Gods and we should have restaurants that can provide this kind of delight. We also have room for the el Bulli-styled culinary laboratories of the world. Those who straddle these realms: Daniel Patterson, David Kinch or René Redzepi for example, dwell in a world where a conscious decision to preserve and maintain the origins of quality can be tailored and adapted with modern techniques and manipulations without destroying the essence of the ingredients. All great chefs needs homes that can help them exceed their own expectations of themselves.

    Mark Stech-Novak is the principal of Mark Stech-Novak Restaurant Consultation & Design. This is an excerpt from his book in progress, Cuisinology.

  • Daniel Patterson

    Chef Daniel Patterson attends a cocktail party as Bulgari Hotel Milan Unveils 'Epicurea' at Bulgari Hotel on June 10, 2013 in Milan, Italy.
    Venturelli—Getty Images

    The best possible change for the American diet would be less meat, less processed food, more real cooking. If we can reach young people now and give them better options, they could upend the current way of eating in one generation. My hope is that high-level chefs can use their skills and experience to rethink our systems of institutional eating: fast food, schools, prisons and hospitals. The biggest innovations will be in large-scale food production.

    Daniel Patterson is the chef behind the two-Michelin-starred San Francisco restaurant Coi.

  • Paul West

    Courtesy of Paul West

    Feeding people in America now and going forward is three-part challenge. First, we need to grow more food on the current cropland. We’re already farming the best soils and expanding into new areas can destroy natural habitats or have other environmental impacts. Second, we need to grow food more efficiently. Globally, agriculture is the biggest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions and water use, as well as a major driver water quality degradation and habitat loss. Third, we need to use what we already grow more efficiently. In the U.S., about two thirds of all the calories produced on croplands are used as livestock feed. It takes a lot of feed calories to produce a calorie of meat. Further, from 2000 to 2010 the amount of corn production used for ethanol jumped from 6 to 38 percent. Further, somewhere between a third and half of the food we produce gets wasted in the food service industry, retailers, and our refrigerators. The good news is that even small changes in either diet or waste reduction can have a tremendous effect on food availability.

    Paul West is the co-director and lead scientist for the Global Landscapes Initiative, a program within the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota.

  • Steve Case

    Obama met with a collection of business leaders who immigrated to the United States and went on to found successful companies in order to gain support to overhaul the nation’s immigration system.
    Ron Sachs—Getty Images

    It is gratifying to see so many passionate entrepreneurs now focused on disrupting the food industry. We know that what (and how much) we eat has a significant impact on our lives—so more innovation is needed to give people better tools to make better choices, and to serve up healthier and more convenient options. And that needs to start in schools. Healthier school lunches will help improve learning, and instil better habits. The notion that we are what we eat was first suggested more than two centuries ago. It is time we embraced that idea, and took steps to ensure a brighter future for food.

    Case is the CEO and chairman of Revolution, which invests in several companies dedicated to solving food problems.

  • Anna Lappé

    Clark Patrick

    Much the way that energy-efficient light bulbs, appliances and solar panels are now ubiquitous in homes around the country, refrigerators of the future will be filled with low carbon items like whole, unprocessed foods, organically grown produce, more plant-based foods and sustainably raised meat and dairy, with less packaging. People will understand food waste as not just a waste of money but a dangerous contributor to global warming.

    It will become commonplace for schools—from grade schools to colleges—to have on-campus edible gardens and farms and to be buying directly from regional farmers for school food. Just launched a decade or so ago, the Farm-to-School Network now boasts more than 12,500 districts in its network in every single state in the nation. Just launched a few years ago, the Real Food Challenge now has 300 college campuses that are encouraging the shift to “real food” purchases on college campuses.

    Lappé is the founder of Real Food Media Project and author of Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It.

TIME Food & Drink

Michelle Obama Thinks Pencils Are a Crummy Halloween Gift

First Lady Michelle Obama Hosts Poetry Reading In White House Blue Room
First lady Michelle Obama speaks during the Presidents Committee on the Arts and the Humanities poetry reading in the Blue Room at the White House, September 18, 2014 in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

“Are they sharpened so that they can stab you with them?” the First Lady asked the ABC host who says she hands them out to kids

The First Lady visited The Chew talk show on ABC on Friday to talk about school lunch, healthy snacking, and of course, Halloween treats. ’Tis the season, after all. But given her zeal for nutrition, we might have guessed that the First Lady would pass out apples on October 31. Not so: she says they give out White House cookies instead.

When co-host Carla Hall said she gives kids pencils in lieu of a treat, Mrs. Obama reacted with shock and disgust. “Really Carla?” she asked. “Are they sharpened so that they can stab you with them?”

Three school cafeteria directors presented their best lunches, judged by the hosts of the show. The winner was a spaghetti with meat sauce, with vegetables like squash and carrots “hidden” in a puree. A video spot also featured a farm, Amber Waves in Amagansett, NY, that grows many of the ingredients for pizza. Kids can visit, pick their own peppers and tomatoes, and bake themselves an individual whole-wheat pie. These kinds of projects, said Mrs. Obama and the hosts of The Chew, are the kind of thing that get kids involved in a conversation about food and health, rather than making them think of nutrition as a chore.

FLOTUS said that her own passion for nutrition came after realizing the “mistakes [she] made as a working mom,” being busy and ordering out too much. The family’s motto is now “finish your vegetables,” and she noted that she has trained Sasha and Malia to only indulge in desserts on the weekend.

“The president isn’t a big sweets eater,” she said. “I love it, but I’m always watching my weight, so that’s the first thing I pass on.” Hopefully all this conscientious eating won’t put the White House pastry chef out of business anytime soon.

TIME Food & Drink

America’s Greatest Cookbook

A 10 year old compiled recipes from Chris Christie, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal and 23 other governors

When most children hear “school project,” they think cardboard dioramas and baking soda volcanoes. But others? They aspire to greatness.

Such was the case with one Miss Lauren Wu, 10, of San Carlos, Calif., who asked every U.S. governor for his or her favorite recipe. Twenty-six said yes. (Twenty-seven if you count Hawaii, who came in past the deadline.) The below cookbook is the result.

“American Cooking” speaks to the nation’s deeply engrained culinary traditions—Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley submitted a recipe for crab cakes; Florida Gov. Rick Scott sent two variations on Key Lime pie.

But it also reveals much about the personal and professional priorities of those governors who did not participate. If Chris Christie found time to send his blueberry French strata recipe on April 1, while he was deep in the muck dealing with Bridgegate scandal, what excuse do his non-participating peers have?

Miss Wu, however, is not one to hold a grudge. “The governors are all very busy,” she says, “and I don’t know, I’m sure they get a bunch of emails every day.”

She embarked on this project to learn more about cooking, and has already tried a number of the recipes at home. So far, her favorite has been Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead’s chocolate chip cookies. “We usually have chocolate chip cookies at our house,” she says, “but these were different—they were really fluffy and good.”

In the above video, she watched her friend and TIME staffer Joel Stein try his hand at Christie’s strata. As for O’Malley’s native dish, Wu says, “The crab cakes weren’t my favorite, because I’m not a huge fan of crab, but they were good still.” Plenty of experimentation remains ahead: “There are a lot of good options. Maybe I’m gonna try Maine’s blueberry pie, or maybe Florida’s Key Lime pie. I’m probably gonna try a pie of some sort.”

Wu intends to participate in the program that invited her to do this optional project again next year, when she will be in sixth grade. By then, there’s no doubt she’ll have the clout to get recipe submissions from the likes of Angela Merkel and Kim Jong-un.

American Cooking



Julian Assange Speaks in Nantucket — as a Hologram

The face of WikiLeaks spoke about Google, martyrs and political asylum

A ghostly Julian Assange appeared by hologram at the Nantucket Project on Sunday, beamed in from the Ecuadorian embassy where he has stayed under political asylum since 2012 (though he says he will soon leave).

Interviewed by the filmmaker Eugene Jarecki, Assange discussed digital analogues to the shops and services in the old town square: banks, stores, post offices and libraries.

“I am in some ways,” he said, “just a simple librarian who’s very good at saying no.”

However, as his self-appointed WikiLeaks title of editor in chief suggests, he’s also a publisher. And from inside the Ecuadorean embassy in London, he’s found it very hard to carry out that role. “I can’t physically meet sources,” he said, noting that this makes for a particular challenge when dealing with others who are also confined in some way, like Ai Weiwei, who cannot leave China.

Labels that Assange will not accept for himself include “vigilante” and “martyr.” He said he made his decision to leak the controversial Chelsea Manning papers with a level head, predicting that it would be “a hard time for maybe five to seven years,” but that there would be some benefits to his risk. Four years later, he stands by that decision.

He believes Tim Berners-Lee’s recent call for a Magna Carta of the Internet “probably should be done,” but he is skeptical that we can actually reach international consensus. “We will create norms as norms have always been created in the past,” he said, “not mainly by belief, not mainly be desire, but by action.”

Assange discussed his new book, When Google Met WikiLeaks, and noted that Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt’s book, How Google Works, also came out this week. “If you see Eric Schmidt’s book, the cover of it is remarkably similar to the cover of this book,” he said, brandishing a hologram version of his own. “So similar that I’m not sure the timing was a coincidence in publication.” Both covers are inspired by Google’s iconic homepage.

Google, Assange said, would pass itself off as a company of “fluffy graduate students,” or, “not even a company at all, but something that gives free services.”

“It’s not that,” he said. “It’s a normal company, just like other normal companies in the U.S. It should be seen as a normal company.”

However, Google differs from other “normal” companies, he said, in its project to “collect as much information about the world as is possible, store it, index it, make predictive models about people’s interests, and use that to sell advertising.” This, he said, is “basically what the National Security Agency is doing.”

When an audience member posed a question about Europe’s ruling that citizens have a “right to be forgotten” by Google, Assange said, “I don’t think the actual right to be forgotten itself is very interesting so I’m not going to talk about that.” But he is interested in the power dynamics of the case, arguing that the E.U. has recognized that Google is not just “something like a publisher,” but because of its enormous size and influence, is “more something like a government.”

Assange and Jarecki closed the talk with a hologram high five.

TIME White House

Larry Summers: Obama and Clinton Are Very Different Bosses

The current president is a stickler for punctuality and order, the former Treasury Secretary tells the Nantucket Project. But Clinton? Not so much

“There are differences in working for President Clinton and President Obama,” said Larry Summers in a panel on global finance at the Nantucket Project on Sunday. Summers ought to know: he served as Secretary of the Treasury under the first and Director of the National Economic Council under the second.

“If you have a 10 o’clock meeting with President Obama,” he says, “you should be in your office at 10 minutes before 10, because he might be running early. If you have a 10 o’clock meeting with President Clinton, it’s really okay if you cruise in at 10:05, because he’s not going to be ready until 10:20.”

The differences in meeting styles go beyond punctuality, Summers continued: “If you’re meeting with President Obama, if it’s a 30-minute meeting, at 10:26 his assistant will bring him an index card telling him about this next meeting, and at 10:30, you will be gone. That 30-minute meeting you were supposed to have with President Clinton that was supposed to begin at 10 and actually began at 10:20? At 10:50, he is just warming up.”

Number 42 and Number 44 differ in their approach to meeting prep as well. If Summers gave Obama a memo in advance, he says, “the probability that he would have read the memo was 99.5 percent, and if you attempted to summarize the memo, he would politely but very firmly say, “Larry, I read the memo.” President Clinton? “He might have read the memo. He might not have read the memo. He kind of welcomed your summary.”

While Obama focused on making decisions based on the information his advisers presented, Clinton wasn’t afraid to give his advisers some food for thought. Doing an impression of sorts, Summers recalled the way he’d go off on a tangent: “Larry, you’re talking about the unbanked, people without bank accounts. There was a guy, great guy, used to be mayor of Memphis, he had a program going to help the unbanked—beautiful wife—ran for Congress, I don’t know what happened to him, great guy, you really should look into that program to use unemployed youth to install ATMs.”

Though one was more disciplined and the other more freeform, he said both were effective leaders by staying true to their own styles.

Summers also came to Obama’s defense in the forum when Meredith Whitney, the former stock analyst turned hedge fund manager who correctly predicted the subprime crisis in 2007, said that we’re now in a period of over-regulation.

If it’s really true that there’s a bureaucratic “war on corporations,” Summers asked, then “why is it that the market value as measured by the stock market of American corporate business has grown more rapidly in the five and a half years of this presidential administration than any other administration since 1932? … why is it that corporate profits as a share of our economy are larger than they have ever been before?”

“It’s just an odd kind of war in terms of the results.”

TIME 2014 Election

Colorado’s Gubernatorial Race Could Determine the U.S. Senate Race

And 7 other states to watch

November’s election will be close for a handful of Senators and Senate hopefuls. But in Colorado, Democratic incumbent Mark Udall and Republican hopeful Cory Gardner (currently a Congressman) may find their fate determined in part by another election in the state.

So says Ben Barnes, a Democratic consultant with deep roots in Texas politics, who we caught up with at the Nantucket Project on Saturday. As Barnes explains, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s Democrats were very popular in the last election—but that was when the they had marijuana on the ballot.

“It’s not there now,” he says, “and the Governor passed what I think is a very reasonable gun control bill that has hurt him with the gun people,” whose support he had last time around. With Coloradans divided on their Democratic governor’s report card, Barnes fears, their Democratic Senator’s star may fall. This state, Barnes says, “is the only place where I think a governors’ race could have an effect on the Senate race.”

But that doesn’t mean it’s the only exciting Senate race to watch. Far from it: Barnes counts seven other states where tight polls make the election too close to call, for now.

Take Louisiana, where Mary Landrieu (D) will defend her seat against Rep. Bill Cassidy, who has pulled ahead in the polls. But Barnes asks, “Will Louisiana give up the chairmanship of the energy committee—when hydrocarbons are so important to Louisiana—for a doctor who will have no seniority and will not have good committees even if the Republicans control the Senate?”

In Alaska, he says, it’s impossible to predict the tight race between Sen. Mark Begich (D) and Dan Sullivan—a race in which the NRA recently declined to endorse either candidate. “The national pollsters are having trouble even running polls in Alaska,” Barnes says, because cell phone-based polling doesn’t work there.

In Kansas, Barnes says, it looked like a fairly clear victory for Republican incumbent Pat Roberts—until the Democrat in the race, Chad Taylor, pulled out and endorsed the Independent candidate, Greg Orman. Orman is now ahead in the polls.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is one of the biggest names in American politics, but even this will not protect him from a testy race. His opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes has given him a run for his money at the polls, and garnered plenty of media attention. “That could be an upset,” Barnes says, “as it was when Tom Daschle, the Majority Leader of the Senate, got defeated in South Dakota, which I thought was impossible. But it’s not impossible for a leader of the Senate to get defeated.”

Close-call races will make for an interesting month in North Carolina, Iowa, Kansas and Georgia as well. “The races are so close,” Barnes says, “and it’s the people, the public, the voters. I’ve never seen them as turned off as they are today with both parties. The people are not for people, they’re against people, and there’s just utter disgust because we’ve not been able to get more done in Congress.”

Barnes, who has close ties to several of the Democrats on the ballot this fall, believes his party has tried to keep the issues simple and appearances by national Democrats rare. “There aren’t people coming in from outside the state like the President or the Vice-President or the cabinet officers” to stump for candidates, he says.

If nothing else, Barnes hopes this cycle sends a message to Congress that it’s time for change and action. “I hope that it’s gonna make the leaders of both parties understand that they cannot go to Washington and create gridlock just for the political benefit of a party,” he says. “I’m a Democrat, but the Democrats have not been as responsible as they should have been, along with the Republicans. I’d like to see the voters punish a Congress that was a do-nothing Congress.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the year in which marijuana was on the ballot in Colorado.

TIME Smartphones

Walt Mossberg: Apple Made a Big Misstep With Faulty iPhone Update

The personal tech columnist spoke on fastest-changing technologies

Walt Mossberg famously began his first tech column for the Wall Street Journal in 1991 by writing, “personal computers are just too hard to use, and it’s not your fault.”

Twenty-three years later and now working at his own tech site, re/code, Mossberg doesn’t see the situation as having changed that much.

“People still have guilt that they’re dumb,” Mossberg said at the Nantucket Project on Saturday, “because they pick up their smartphone or tablet and can’t get it to work, so they think they’re idiots.”

This is one of his biggest concerns about the tech landscape. He points out that even Apple, to his mind the most user-friendly company, made a big misstep in pushing an iOS 8 software update this week that caused some iPhones to be unable to make calls or send texts. Facing thousands of customers furious over the flaw, Apple apologized, and hastily released a fix a day later. “That’s kind of basic,” Mossberg says.

Nevertheless, Mossberg thinks Apple has finally begun to show new momentum under Tim Cook, who took over as Apple’s CEO following Steve Jobs’ death in 2011. He expects Apple is the company that stands the best chance to revolutionize digital payment in the next two or three years, thanks to its existing credit card database and its promise never to send users’ real credit card numbers to the cloud.

With so much changing so quickly, Mossberg says, artificially intelligent “assistants” like Siri and Cortana (Microsoft’s Siri competitor) “are all excellent for what we have now. [But] they’re all going to look ridiculous in not 10 years—four years.”

Outside of AI and sensors (Mossberg says “we’re still in the first inning of wearables”), he predicts two technologies must—and will—change drastically in the next few years.

One is cars. In terms of in-cabin electronics, he says, “until a few years ago, when you opened the door to your car, it was like stepping into a time machine to 1957.”

The other: television. Every tech company knows how to redesign the current interface, which he says is the worst of any that we use—“That’s low-hanging fruit.” That is, until you get the networks and distributors involved, which is where Apple, Intel and other tech companies making a go of things in TV have had to hit pause.

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