Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Rants and Raves’ Category

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.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

WTF?


What happened to “Have it your way”?

What are the good people at Burger King trying to say here? Thanks to the 99 cent bacon cheeseburger, I can pay rent this month and still eat, too! Is this ironic? Am I a dick for thinking that this might be ironic? You know, because I’m an effete culinista, out of touch with the people, not eating the BK and telling people to buy a $15 chuck roast they can’t afford and don’t have the time to cook instead of a $1 cinnamon bun that is both affordable AND easily snarfable?

OK, so I’ll admit that I’d sooner blog about Burger King than actually eat there and that probably makes me an elitist asshole. And to top it off, I took the photo of the ad with my boyfriend’s iPhone! But self-flagellation and acknowledging the parody I’ve become is not the point. The point is that this ad is some weird shit.

Or actually, the point is this: Fast food (and processed food) is cheap. Cheaper than anything I’ve eaten in recent memory. There’s just no denying that. You can have a full meal at Burger King for around $3 if you order from their value menu. That’s a lot of calories for very little money. So hey, why *not* advertise that fact to people who might be interested in a little value?

There are actually a number of these ads around, one of which claims that you could have a meal at Burger King w/ the change you find in your sofa cushions – so maybe even $3 is off the mark. I can tell you that I haven’t dug around in the sofa cushions for change since I was about 7 – and that if I’d found that much money in there, then you can bet your ass I’d have gone to Burger King to celebrate. That, of course, was back when you could “have it your way” and I really, really wished my mom would feed me “real” (read: American) food like Fruit Roll-Ups instead of yucky rice and fish. Now that I’m being called a sadsack who can’t make rent by these venerable burger purveyors, I’m not so sure.

Of course, I *am* fortunate enough to be able to pay rent and not have to eat that crap, but that’s another story.

Read Full Post »

But here’s how my mom feeds 360 pounds of Asian:


Clockwise from top: boiled chestnuts, hard-boiled eggs, sliced meatloaf, broiled salmon, sauteed lotus root with sesame seeds, salt-pickled chinese cabbage with sesame oil, sliced persimmons, brown rice

There’s a great audio clip circulating the internet of an irate Texan giving Jimmy Dean a dressing down for shrinking their sausage packages from 16 oz to 12 oz. 12 oz of sausage, a couple dozen eggs and a T-bone steak are apparently *not* enough food for what he calls “600 pounds of MAN!” to eat first thing in the morning.

Now, food is a tremendously cultural matter, so I can’t really say that what this guy should do is ditch the cholesterol gut-bomb for breakfast and eat Mama Hoshino style. But then, let’s be serious here. Eating that kind of crap for breakfast is just not healthy, even if it makes me feel like a snooty food chauvinist to say so. 6 grams of saturated fat in a 56 gram portion?? How is that even possible?

And as an aside – I’m not really sure what this guy is so hyped up about. A cursory stroll through the Jimmy Dean website indicates that their sausage is indeed still available in a 16 oz. package (or a 32 oz., or a 48 oz., for that matter). Maybe Randy Taylor, Texas Man, should have reserved his ire for the local supermarket.

Read Full Post »


Sow in a gestation crate
Photo from
clstal’s flickr stream

No, really. I’m seriously asking that question. It’s not a rhetorical jumping off point for me or others to express their indignation.

See, the Humane Society of the United States, among other animal rights groups, is circulating a petition to get enough signatures to add a ballot measure in California that would ban the use of gestation crates, battery cages and veal crates in hog, egg and veal production, respectively. Being that I’m not a hog farmer, a manager of a laying hen operation, animal behaviorist, large animal veterinarian, etc., I honestly don’t know if this is a good thing or not. But I *am* a consumer of all those things (well, maybe not veal), I have an irrational love for farmers and I vote, so I wonder about the merits or drawbacks of these management systems.


Hens in a battery cage
Photo from clstal’s flickr stream

But as it turns out, it seems damn near impossible to get a well reasoned and impartial exposition of the issue. Virtually all the material on the pro side is from hysterical, Chicken Little PETA fascists who, you get the feeling, would inveigh in the most strident tones against anything hinting at people using animals for anything other than cuddling…or something. The pro side is basically non-existent, at least on Google (perhaps less so at a diner in Iowa, but I can’t get to that from my computer). So I turned to the American Farm Bureau’s blog to try to find a real, live conventional hog farmer to ask. In response to my request for more information, I got this nuclear blast of rhetoric.

I find this all unfortunate because this issue could in fact land on a ballot next year, and 36 and a half million Californians could conceivably be called upon to vote on it. And aside from that, we all eat and we have an ever-increasing number of opportunities to vote for or against a particular farming method with our dollars. It would be nice if we could all make an informed decision, both at the polling station and the supermarket. Wouldn’t it?

Read Full Post »


*Not* the soup to be used in your green bean casserole
Photo from landotter’s flickr stream

Here I was, ranting and raving about Kraft OWNING the holidays with their green bean casserole, not even realizing that apparently, they INVENTED the thing to begin with. At first, I felt like it was perverse that the dish that every red-blooded American has to have with their Thanksgiving meal is actually a 50 year-old marketing vehicle for Kraft to push canned soup and canned fried onions to the tune of $70 million a year.

But on the other hand, it *is* easy to make, people do really love it and frankly, you don’t have to have the foggiest idea how to cook in order to make a passable version of it. It may not meet my definition of what food is, but I suppose it’s a step up from some of the other insane crap food companies try to pass off as recipes…after all, not everyone has the time or the inclination to make food out of actual unprocessed ingredients, right? Right?

Read Full Post »


Are you ready for this dish to totally DOMINATE your holiday home?
Photo from m-e-c’s flickr stream


From a BrandWeek profile of Kraft’s plans for a “holiday comfort food home invasion”
(emphasis mine):

“Our goal is to own the holidays,” said Ken Stickevers, VP of marketing for Hearty Soups at Campbell Soup, Camden, N.J.
A Cream of Mushroom push will focus on Campbell’s 50-year-old holiday classic, the green bean casserole. “There are about 30 million green bean casseroles prepared between Thanksgiving and Christmas every year,” said Stickevers. “We will be driving awareness of the dish every week [now] through Christmas.”

I admit to being an insufferable food snob, but am I really crazy for finding it disquieting that Kraft wants to OWN THE HOLIDAYS? Sheesh.

Read Full Post »


No, no, no. EARL BUTZ, not butts.
Photo from cobalt123’s flickr stream

For some people, the name Earl Butz conjures up, well, nothing other than maybe some giggles. But for others, he seems to be famous for having uttered the following with regard to small farmers: “Adapt or die”.

Now, I’m not sure he actually did say this. And I’m also not in a position to pass judgement on whether or not he really did preside over the trend toward mega-agribusiness and relentless vertical integration in food production that currently prevails. That is something for the experts to decide.

But aside from the weighty questions of agricultural policy Mr. Butz’s name conjures up, what I’d also like to know is the following.

Did the man who is either admired for making American agriculture efficient or reviled for destroying small farms really SAY this, provoking a furor that led to his resignation?:

“I’ll tell you what the coloreds want. It’s three things: first, a tight pussy; second, loose shoes; and third, a warm place to shit.”

This statement was apparently preceded by an anecdote about “intercourse between a dog and a skunk”.


I swears I never fucked no dog, even if Mr. Butz sez I dids! Srsly!
Photo from fieldsbh’s flickr stream

WTF? What?
So if the naysayers are right, presumably Mr. Butz’s lapses in judgement were *not* restricted to unleashing the likes of ADM and Cargill on the American agricultural landscape.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »