High-fiber ice cream

And in other old-media fail, I only tuned in to the arsenic-in-rice brouhaha after another food writer at an over-the-top press event mentioned it. My first question was: How does the lethality get into the grains? When I came home and searched online I turned up way more “OMG, we’re all gonna die!” than science and sanity. If I had a cynical side, it would suspect we’re all supposed to switch to KraftP&GSmucker’s quinoa — gluten-free, of course. It just depresses me how many people freak out about every health scare but refuse to consider it’s a corporate-controlled food supply really doing us all in. Latest proof: Researchers actually had to document the obvious and found too much sugar water makes you fat. Next, maybe they can determine whether drain cleaner makes you dead.

Batteries for farm eggs

At the same time, I can’t blame anyone for tuning out the unending shitshow that is coverage of industrial agriculture. One day it’s about a turkey plant getting fined for essentially enslaving the mentally deficient, the next it’s a roundup (so to speak) of how many animals are being slaughtered right now because farmers just can’t keep feeding them. Don’t even ask where the “other white meat” campaign money came from, went to . . .

Salmon “picatta” on “corn” beef

Given how much of my life I squander on the Twitter/FB/Wingnuttialand, I really was  amazed when a friend dropped by the other day and mentioned she still pays attention to the wack in the hat. She said his blaring siren for hours had wailed about a dodgy chef’s deli having allegedly been vandalized by anti-Semites; I responded that it was news to me even though I squander much of my life on Twitter/FB/wingnuttialand, not to mention the whole excitable world of food blogs. Of course my instant reaction was that I’d seen that movie before (and I don’t exactly mean “The Godfather”). I forget who first said that “sometimes the news is in the noise, sometimes it’s in the silence,” but it is more true than ever in a multimedia era. A crime against the Jews fell on Columbus Avenue and only the anti-islamists heard it? Call that a good reason to check to be sure your credit card was not hacked as you walked past the string of Chapter 11s.

Heirloom tomatoes and bland cheese

And if your bio is longer than your blithering introduction to a venerable book, you might need to worry about a tornado in a Colonial graveyard. The horseshit is six feet high and rising if you can actually imagine that a cook who was writing recipes for only what was on hard-scrabble offer was actually a locavore making a political statement. WTF else was she supposed to cook with? Tuscan olive oil and the finest sriracha?

“Mocked, ridiculed and ignored”

If not for the Twitter, I might have totally missed the coffin-nailing of a restaurant every critic in the eons I’ve lived in Manhattan has felt compelled to evaluate. My first reaction as the Tweets started was: Shouldn’t that be a TONY “who goes there?” When, really, was the last time that particular circus came to town in anyone’s cognizance? So I slogged through the dis and was rather stunned that the service is the only thing four-star about it these days. Wonder what could possibly have happened to change the arrogant assholes who tapped their order pads and wondered “did you come to talk or come to eat?” and then upended chairs around us as we finished our big-deal dinner after getting suckered in by my lunch with a big-time editor at which the asshole-in-chief did some serious butt-kissing himself? So I did a little poking around online and was reminded of another young un who was disabused of the notion that the temple of haute cuisine was anything but a private club, and then I turned up a story of how that same temple is now dependent on websites offering discounts. So file this under Dover sole served cold, the incomparable Seymour Britchky in 1990 on the ringleader now reduced to kowtowing to the hoi polloi: “With his slicked-down hair and accidental face, in his surely hand-tailored but too-tight suit, [he] is not aware that, though the moneyed and the powerful are his clientele today, in any reverse revolution, he and they will be separated at the first cut.”

Accent by Stanislavski

Thanks to great friends from my 18-month layover in Louisville who were in town recently, I know the mixology trend has a long way and many bottles to go in NYC. Having been born and raised in Kentucky, the non-wine-drinker at the table ordered a Manhattan with Woodford Reserve, and the waitress had to go check the bourbon stock before announcing the bar had “Maker’s Mark, Jack Daniel’s and Southern Comfort.” He settled, then we all laughed. My laugh was: “Southern Comfort is bourbon?” And his: “Neither is Jack Daniel’s.”

Tide candy

I realize no one will ever be able to think straight about the soda “ban” and how it’s not Big Gubmint restricting liberty but actually a feeble attempt to warn Big Fud it will face tobacco-level settlements unless it reins in its own greed. Everyone railing about loss of liberty seems to have no problem with far creepier legislation — there really are laws being pushed to require women to let the state literally get all up in their lady parts. Compared with spreading ’em, having to fill a soda cup twice seems rather minor. There’s also the little problem beyond the obesity that the law is meant to thwart: New research is calling Alzheimer’s Type 3 diabetes. And how might you acquire adult-onset diabetes? Maybe by filling that soda cup repeatedly? Some days you have to wonder if the Depends manufacturers aren’t the ones really pushing the high-fructose corn syrup.

Calling Dr. Guzzi

On a related subject, I know talking about the obese is politically incorrect, but there’s obese and then there’s morbidly obese. The other morning I read two jaw-droppers. The first was about a condemned man suing to stop his execution because he’s too fat for the lethal drugs to work. And I don’t mean 300 pounds — the guy is packing 480. (How you get/stay that big on a prison diet escapes me.) The second sad report was on how companies are designing ever-larger medical equipment as America keeps gorging and gorging and ballooning and ballooning. The lede was about a man who needs back surgery and can’t have it until he gets an MRI, but he’s too ginormous to fit into the scanner. And I don’t mean 500 pounds  — the guy is packing 680. I do not envy the surgeon who will eventually have to slice through all that avoirdupois to get to his spine while no one sends him off for lessons in eating more sanely. The last line of the piece was the saddest: It would be best to prevent obesity, but instead the European manufacturers plan to keep capitalizing on the American market by manufacturing ever-larger machines. Wonder how things worked out for the dinosaurs . . .