The World’s 7 Most Dangerous Food Destinations

Anderson was also described as both a “wonderful” and “great writer” who was “sensitive and open to a wide variety of culinary experiences,” a critic with “high integrity, well-regarded by everyone in the field,” “straightforward but poetic,” and “a joy.” Tied for third for the critic chefs would most like to eat with, apparently, hes a great dining companion, too. Said one chef, “I had dinner with him once. Hes very knowledgeable and passionate about food.” CULINARY KNOWLEDGE: 3.3 stars, 2nd place (2012: 2.26, 15th) PROSE STYLE: 3 stars, 4th place (2012: 2.26, 14th) INTEGRITY: 3.63 stars, 2nd place (2012: 2.47, 8th) LIKE TO SHARE A MEAL?: 3.2 stars, tied at 3rd place (2012: 2.26, 10th) 4Michael Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle, 3.16 Stars The Daily Meal Another critic whose stars increased considerably, the San Francisco Chronicles Michael Bauer endured just one negative comment from a chef: “In an ever-growing culinary city, Michael certainly has his favorites. Its pretty clear who they are.” “Thoughtful,” “one of the best,” “the eternal critic,” said others. As for his prose style, one chef reflected, “Michael has evolved as a writer. I find his style to be very accessible and clear.” And integrity? “I understand Michael hates payola. I sense he loves his gig.” CULINARY KNOWLEDGE: 2.94 stars, 4th place (2012: 2.78, 4th) PROSE STYLE: 2.92 stars, 5th place (2012: 2.4, tied at 12th) INTEGRITY: 3.64 stars, 1st place (2012: 2.65, 7th) LIKE TO SHARE A MEAL?: 3.14 stars, 4th place (2012: 2.29, 9th) 5Corby Kummer, The Atlantic, 3.12 Stars The Daily Meal Last years mixed bag of chef comments included a couple of doozies, with Corby Kummer being called “persnickety,” “inclusive,” and “too intellectual for restaurant reviewing.” (He was even accused by one chef for not eating meat at restaurants he writes about, a claim Kummer said for the record is most certainly not true.) There were a few catcalls from the chef gallery this year, too. “Doesn’t understand the ins and outs of the restaurant industry,” said one. “Doesn’t seem to actually enjoy food,” offered another. But even several chefs who found criticism in Kummer praised him.

Ramen noodles again? For millions on U.S. food stamps, ‘This is not the way I envisioned my life’

An example of lunch items bought with Silva's food stamps.

Cash support, he says, would also be “simpler, easier, cheaper.” Many economists, including Harvard ‘s Edward Glaeser and Princeton ‘s Uwe Reinhardt have made similar arguments over the years. It’s a tempting idea, but ultimately a foolish one. Yglesias rightly notes the administrative chores that retailers must go through in order to accept food stamps. In contrast, no store needs training on how to deal with cash. Another criticism of the program is that food stamps lead to more spending on food than otherwise would be the case. They can’t be used to purchase other products, so the incentive is to buy until the benefits are exhausted. By some estimates, food stamps lead to over-purchases of food equal to about 15 percent of total benefits. If so, the $75 billion annual food-stamp program generates more than $11 billion in extra food spending. This was a huge reason legislators from farm states — most of them Republicans — were once such ardent proponents of food stamps: It was a hefty goodie for their agriculture constituents on top of the roughly $25 billion in explicit annual government handouts for agriculture. If food stamps were converted to a cash benefit it’s likely that the overspending — and thus a big piece of ag-industry pork — would diminish or disappear. What’s more, Yglesias says, the voucher system we now have breeds fraud and corruption, a standard plaint of Republicans. (In an amusing aside, he describes how some years ago he used to buy cigarettes — which can’t be purchased with the vouchers — for a neighbor who was on food stamps, who in turn bought him boxes of Diet Coke.

Arizona food bank helps Grand Canyon workers furloughed by partial government shutdown

An artisan gives finishing touches to an effigy of demon king Ravana in preparation for the upcoming Hindu festival of Dussehra in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh October 8, 2013. The effigies are burnt during the festival which commemorates the triumph of Lord Rama over Ravana, marking the victory of good over evil. REUTERS/Ajay Verma (INDIA - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

1Syria With an ongoing civil war, violence, and threat of terror attacks and bombings, visiting Syria is highly dangerous, and should be avoided. But despite the current unrest, Syria is still famed for its culture and cuisine, and in 2007 the capital Aleppo was awarded with a cultural gastronomy prize by the International Academy of Gastronomy in Paris. The regional cuisine blends Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors, and includes many varieties of kebab Halabi, or spiced kebab, traditional mezze dishes such as hummus and baba ghanoush, and za’atar, a dried herb and spice mixture, often eaten by dipping it with bread in olive oil. According to Khaled Yacoub Oweis, writing for Reuters, the best place to enjoy za’atar is restaurant Qubrusi in Aleppo, which “is a favorite among locals.” Another restaurant well worth a visit is Beit Sissi, rated as “Aleppos finest” by Lonely Planet. Located in a restored house from the 17th century, the restaurant servers French and Syrian cuisine, including items such as sujuk, spicy pork sausage rolled in bread, and ratatouille. 2Yemen Reuters You should really not be in Yemen, even on a visit. The U.S State Department is clear with the message, as terrorist activities and civil unrest have pushed the security threat level to “extremely high.” But for daredevils, Yemen can also provide plenty of unique food experiences, distinct from the more commonly known Middle Eastern flavors. Simple stews and breads might not sound intriguing, but spices such as ginger, cardamom, and aniseed give Yemeni food a unique aromatic touch. Each region has a slightly different version of the national dish, saltah, a meat stew with chiles, tomatoes, garlic, and herbs, and usually mixed with potatoes, scrambled eggs, or even rice. Chicken, goat, and fish are other typical proteins, and dairy products, such as butter and cheese, are rarely used. The capital Sanaa is home to several restaurants, from high-end to budget eats. Freelance journalist Adam Baron, based in Sanaa, recommends Matam Taiz for the peculiar Yemeni specialty aseed a doughy dumpling of fish meal, covered in gravy. 3Cote DIvoire Peeter Viisimaa/iStock Cote DIvoire is yet another country stricken by civil war and political unrest, and its capital, Abidjan, is recognized as the third most dangerous city in the world. Street crime, robbery, and car-jackings are common here. But when it comes to finding a taste of traditional local cuisine, the country has plenty to offer. Good places to sample the food are maquis, outdoor markets unique to Cote d’Ivoire. To be considered a maquis , the restaurant must sell braised food commonly chicken or fish, served with onions and tomatoes.

And thats a good thing, she says. I’m really excited we are on our way to self-sufficiency, Warrick says. I’ve taken the class offered by the Job Council about those who become dependent on food stamps, and I’ve learned ways to help us feel OK about spending cash on food. It’s all part of breaking free and becoming independent. For now, though, her familys $1,500 monthly income necessitates aid from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program colloquially called food stamps and precludes them from shoveling out $600 a month for child care for their 2-year-old daughter, Aleyah, a sum Warrick says can be a bit steep when trying to balance a budget. An added difficulty is her husbands atypical autism, which has made it tough to find and keep a job. The Warricks story isnt rare. Nearly 48 million Americans, or about 1 in 7 of us, collect SNAP assistance, an increase of about 1 million from June 2012 to June 2013. Shortly after that jump, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to slash $40 billion in food stamps over 10 years, a cut 10 times larger than what the Senate proposed. Meanwhile, enrollment doubled and costs ($78 billion in 2012) tripled over the last decade, Reuters says . Americans on SNAP receive, on average, $1.47 per meal. ( Access to SNAPs data and website is shuttered during the government shutdown, but because it has dedicated funding, its payments like some Social Security and Medicaid are unaffected. Some state-run sites still operate.) View gallery . Warrick’s 2-year-old daughter, Aleyah. SNAPs critics say that when families like the Warricks buy groceries, that assistance doesnt stimulate the economy because, as the conservative Heritage Foundation argues , $100 of tax-subsidized food stamps pulls money from a private sector that would have better spent those hundred bucks. Other concerns are myriad: Food stamps should be stop-gap assistance, not long-term entitlements.

Replacing Food Stamps With Cash Is a Terrible Idea

8, 2013, in Tusayan, Ariz. The Grand Canyon remains closed to visitors because of the partial government shutdown. CAPTION By Associated Press, TUSAYAN, Ariz. One hotel worker was called and told not to come to work. Another has seen a slowing pace of rooms needing to be cleaned. And a hotel manager has decided to shut down after renting out one room on what normally would be a busy October night. Business leaders in Tusayan (too-say-ahn), just outside the Grand Canyons South Rim entrance pleaded with the federal government Tuesday to reopen the park that is the lifeline of the tiny town. Meanwhile, an Arizona food bank delivered hundreds of boxes to help out concession and government workers who have been furloughed from their jobs or had their hours cut. Mondays photos of the day Its definitely going to affect my paycheck, said Louise Mendoza, a hotel room inspector who picked up a box of nonperishable food at the local fire station. Its really hard because we have only a few to do every day, and the hours are short. The pastor of a church inside the park reached out to Phoenix-based St. Marys Food Bank for help after he realized he couldnt meet the needs of people with donations he distributes out of his garage.