Here it is: the truest expression of crap food at its most elemental; the crap sublime, if you will

OMG, someone actually TRIED that nauseating-looking German cheeseburger in a can. The enterprising – and undoubtedly iron-stomached – folks over at the Onion had the nerve to actually eat something that, one suspects, is really more an object for parody than degustation.

I’d venture to bet they’re the only people in the world to have actually eaten the thing instead of buying it and then exhibiting it proudly on a shelf, where it would glow the pure essence of crapitude as it was meant to.

Blech! Chocolate-flavored cheese singles? I’d write more about this if I weren’t about to puke.

More overseas eats

Via Alexis Hayder’s Liberian Living blog, a snapshot of a street market in Monrovia:

Read the post that goes with the photo here.

From the looks of it, I see 3 different kinds of eggplants, okra, chilis, squash and a number of things I can’t identify. Of course, if none of these thins tickle your fancy (and you can afford it), you can apparently also get sushi or Lebanese food over there. Who woulda thunk it?

Inside the slaughterhouse

Photo from knox_tri’s flickr stream

It’s not often that slaughterhouses allow reporters inside to photograph the proceedings. So I was surprised to this slideshow in North Carolina’s Charlotte Observer.


I wouldn’t normally think of doing a news round-up since so many other websites do a great job of that, but I came across a couple of morsels I just couldn’t pass up:

Photo from mes_tiza’s flickr stream

The U.S. Olympic team will be dining on American food during this year’s Games in Beijing. Major sponsors will be Tyson’s, which is shipping around 25,000 lbs of meat to China for this purpose; and Kellogg’s. Apparently, we’re scared of possible contamination in Chinese-produced foods, which, given the stakes, is not surprising. But come on now. We all know there are no weird growth hormones in American food….right?

Photo from Tracy O’s flickr stream

The American Farm Bureau is concerned with possible means-testing in the Farm Bill up for debate in Congress right now. Apparently, $500,000 in adjusted gross income shouldn’t be too much to exclude you from receiving government aid. Again, damn! Why don’t I have my hand out?

Photo from iLoveButter’s flickr stream
Beef magazine is reporting that high fertilizer prices could drive producers to reconsider their pasture management practices. I don’t think it’s good news when American farmers and ranchers face higher production costs, but perhaps there’s a silver lining here somewhere?

These two paintings are from Olechko, a cool blog I just came across through Global Voices Online – which I also highly recommend for anyone wondering about what the world outside the U.S. is blogging about.

Anyhow, this is pretty hardcore. Seriously, it’s got to be freezing in the Ukraine around this time of year. But that isn’t stopping some enterprising people from bringing what their garden produces into the city for some extra income. Looks like a pretty decent haul for the dead of winter – leeks, daikon and some root vegetables.

That said, I still feel very lucky to be living in San Francisco, the land of inexhaustible food and dining options.

This just in!

Hey guys! Guess what? Maybe the USDA inspection process isn’t bulletproof!
After a Humane Society worker released disturbing footage of animal abuse at a Chino, CA slaughter plant that supplies (of all things) the school lunch program, the USDA shut the plant down and is scrambling to cover its sprawling, bureaucratic ass.

He’s watching…even if the USDA isn’t
Photo from Mark Lorch’s fllickr stream

Actually, I *am* disappointed that this kind of oversight could occur. Honestly, I don’t know what the fuck these people are doing. On the one hand, you have small-time meat producers who can’t get their product to market because of USDA regulations and on the other, big, USDA-inspected plants where all kinds of shenanigans are going on while the inspection regime is asleep at the wheel.

This is just bullshit.

Beyond belief

I am not making this up, people. Some idiots in the Mississippi legislature are actually trying to ban restaurants from serving the obese. Right, because of course, if the overweight can’t go out to eat, they’ll just go home and let their bodies digest themselves until they’re skinny enough to appear in public.

Earl Butz, postscript

Corn harvest, Minnesota 2005
Photo from rsgreen89’s flickr stream

The man arguably most closely identified with modern industrial agriculture (at least in the U.S.) died in his sleep on February 2. Memorials are predictably very divergent in tone, from those extolling to those decrying the changes wrought under his reign as Secretary of Agriculture under Presidents Nixon and Ford.

Tasteh brussels sprouts

Many people loathe brussels sprouts because they were force-fed them as a child or because they only know them as a gross, overcooked mess on their cafeteria lunch tray. And sadly, that is probably how most people will continue to encounter them since the vast majority of U.S. production winds up in the frozen section, where larger specimens are de rigeur.

But brussels sprouts really are delicious, and it is the sprouts that are too small to meet processed food standards that are the tastiest. Although all vegetables are better fresh, this is especially true of brussels sprouts. Fresh, they’re nutty, sweet and meltingly tender. Once they’ve been sitting around for too long, they become flatulent and flabby-tasting. I cannot warn you away from most supermarket sprouts strenuously enough. They’re usually too big, which means they’ll have leathery, slightly bitter outer leaves; and packed into a plastic-covered tub that’s been shipped however many miles it is to you from Monterey County, Ca, where most of the U.S. supply is grown.

So if you see them at the farmer’s market, snap them up. They’re quick and super-easy to cook. Here’s how I cooked a batch I got from Phan’s Farm at the Heart of the City Farmer’s Market:

Simple Brussels Sprouts:

1/2 – 3/4 lb smallish brussels sprouts
1 pat butter
1 tsp salt

Cut the bases off the sprouts, then slice them in half. Set them face-down in a shallow frying pan and put enough water in the pan to cover them just over half way. Cover the pan and put over high flame. Once the water is boiling, add salt and lower heat to medium. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and return to pan. Add 1 pat butter and swirl sprouts around in pan to coat. Done!