Archive for the ‘onward and downward’ Category

Take your toddler to Daniel

October 2014

I went off to college freshman year with a grant, a scholarship and a loan, and still the only way I figured I could get by would be if I lived on Del Monte green beans, which I loved and which cost 17 cents a can. (This was way back in the last century, when you could also save money by not buying bras.) Turned out the dorm had vending machines with everything nukable from honey buns to cheeseburgers for just a couple of coins. Not only did I not starve. I managed to pack on 30 pounds, fast. So the Murdoch Crier’s story on food pantries at New York colleges really jumped out at me. It’s actually come to this in the richest country in the world? Cereal handouts? The saddest deet is that much of the demand comes from the unemployed who are going back to school in a time of shrunken financial aid. I’m feeling lucky I only had to lose the weight, not the crippling debt. And you really have to wonder why the story is behind a paywall. Charging rich people to read about the poors makes you think it’s all just sports. Or “Hunger Games.”

Guanciale? “Similar to salami”

October 2014

And this is a great story on bacon mania that stops before it gets to the nasty bits: the shit lagoons and the piglet Ebola. Keep choking that drugged-up chicken, America.

H, H & raisins

October 2014

Now I read my three-year-old (literal) snail mail. And learn a bay leaf (or many) in the fancy flour will forestall a giant leap into the food of the future: Bugs. Guess this is also a good time to remember why sifting originated. Screening is everything.

Great Plains oysters & kkkrazy steak

October 2014

The digital haboob over the hometown paper’s clearly incompetent teevee “critic” raised another question beyond “how in holy hell does she keep her job?” And that would be: Whom do she and the Chimp Shill blow? But the most depressing thought is the response I got over to the Twitter from someone noting how bad political coverage is these days: “They are all Panchito now.”

RT/MT/UT

September 2014

Guess I should be glad they aren’t spelling it suckertash. // Every time I have a conversation with a farmer this time of year, I have new appreciation of the term “punch-drunk.” // POS is not what restaurants say it is. // Cross between scones and muffins — Scuffins — sounds like something you’d kick. Why not Mones? // Rare first-world problem: I buy eggs so fresh I can’t peel ‘em. // Louise Slaughter FTW on antibiotics in animals. // The more cookbooks you own, the more likely you are to cook the same things over and over . . .

Neo-Tuscan farmhouse by the neon light

September 2014

I’m late to the Olive Garden brouhaha, but I have the answer to why the water is unsalted, a question that had been bothering me because I went to an all-day “science of flavor” conference over the summer. One speaker there noted that food processors use so much sodium because the only thing cheaper is water. Turns out the company cares more about the warranty on its pots than about adding almost-free flavor to crappy fud. But the most unsurprising revelation about the vultures now pulling the strings is their real mission: sell off the real estate and rent it back to the poor suckers left holding the poop-filled doggy bags. It’s only amazing they aren’t planning to offer unlimited Twinkies. If it weren’t for screw jobs, there would be no jobs at all.

Eggs and melons and peanut butter, too

September 2014

Everyone else can wet their sponsored-post adult diapers over ISIS beheaders. I’m gonna lie awake worrying about MRSA, even if fetal steps are being taken to eliminate antibiotics in animals. Twenty-two aspiring firefighters can get infected in one training class, and have no cure, and we’re supposed to panic over scimitar-wielders halfway around the world who would have their holy water confiscated at airport security? Much smarter to freak out over the notion that I could cut my own hand in my own kitchen and go to the ER and pick up something that would cause my fingers to eat themselves.

“Agradolce” in a Mason jar

September 2014

Speaking of butter, the consciousness-raising @nyfarmer over to the Twitter posted a photo from the state fair of an elaborate butter sculpture of a food bank. Given that I have a soft spot for a silly comedy, I dutifully reTweeted but had to add that it actually made me sad. All we hear is that this is the richest, bestest country on the planet. And people still need handouts? At a time when a burger is a buck? One thing I learned on a reporting trip, though, is that Big Fud is figuring out how to cash in, with products developed specifically for food banks. The poor, once depicted only as whites to sell the Great Society, will truly always be with us. Mostly because they give cover for wingnut welfare.

No colon, still rollin’, no coincidence?

September 2014

I’m so old I remember when donut peaches were the new fruit on the block. And then, again, when mango nectarines first came to supermarkets. Now I can find mango donut peaches. At the Greenmarket. And love ‘em. But I will never buy into the smokescreen that they qualify as GMO. There is BS. And then there is seeded fertilizer.

Toto: No flushing, we’re capitalists

July 2014

All that said, I am, as John Hiatt put it, mixing up drinks with mixed feelings about Mrs. O’s endorsement of water as a soda alternative. I’m all for getting kids to step away from the diabetes/obesity funnel, but I’m not sure getting them hooked on plastic is the answer when the oceans are awash in continents of crap. Water fountains have become fraught, which I also realize. But what’s most disturbing is that selling water as something you have to buy makes it easier for what’s happening in Detroit to happen. They want to privatize the second most important need in life. Beware the introduction of Fiji Oxygen. . .

China arm dropping McNuggets

July 2014

After tackling the “which comes cheaper, the cooked or the raw chicken” question, Kevin Drum proves burger math is hard. Or, too bad they never thought of letting ‘em eat eighths.

Like lard for ultrasounds

July 2014

Foie gras is up there with avocado and cheese and chunky sea salt eaten right out of my hand as the last tastes I would want as I headed off into the nothingness that is the afterlife. But I still have to say the news that 13 states are petitioning the Supreme Court to lift bans on it would have the hairs rising on the back of even Marie Antoinette’s neck. Of all of the issues in all of this country, this is the one they want to go to the gilded mat over? The whole problem could be easily solved by declaring a taste for foie gras (and please: can everyone quit shorthanding the name?) a religious right, one held by only a tiny minority. The robed ones would be on it like stink on merde. I agree with the insanity of outlawing any consumable that does not come in a 64-ounce cup. But I also have this silly idea that all the increasingly loony restrictions on abortion merit a lot more activism. Then again, maybe there’s a way to kill two birds with one message. Why is force-feeding ducks any crueler than making a human being gestate and then pop out an unwanted larva?

(Sorry. Shoulda suggested you get out the Chateau d’Yquem before reading that.)

Oral cavity, indeed

July 2014

Don’t ask why, but I had to spend way too much time recently in the baby food aisle of every store in our neighborhood. And there was not a jar of lamb and rice to be found, as the vet prescribed. There was, however, a generation of diabetics foretold. Nearly all the options, jarred or pouched, were fruit or fruity vegetable. Even the turkey had to be sweet-potatoed up. Maybe Darwin is intervening from the Great Galapagos Beyond, though. All those thirsty kids set loose in a water-deprived world will speed up extinction. And then the planet can finally right itself.

Eat your meth for school lunch

June 2014

Also, too, I never thought we’d see the day when riot cops would show up at a McD’s shareholder meeting, but we are living in interesting times: repeating history by refusing to learn from it. All the money can’t go to the bosses without necks starting to look a little blade-worthy. Protesters weren’t too happy about the marketing of processed crap to kids, either. Which must be the only reason they aren’t saying: “Let ’em eat Happy Meals.” Pitchfork Factories R Us.

And a whiff of barren witch

April 2014

File this trollbait under: Someone is wrong on the Internet. If we lived under a dictatorship, I would be the first to lay all the blame on the White House for the lack of huge progress (as opposed to “the fail”) in changing the way Big Ag forces America to eat. But it is impossible for one branch of government to push back hard enough when the two others have been bought off along with much of the media. (Even the so-called heroes among the latter are villains to dairy farmers, BTW. Lookin’ at you, Mr. Cream Cheese For Me, Not For Thee.) I do want to hope that one day, when all the black smoke has cleared, the country may see the bigger picture. But look at what’s happening with the fight over the minimum wage for fast-food workers. What the NRA (either of ‘em) don’t want, the country don’t get. The 10.10 bucks don’t stop in the Oval Office. But at least now it’s perfectly clear: Kale was brought in as the arugula assassin. Call it the Manchurian Crucifer.