Eggs and melons and peanut butter, too

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.

Robuchon potatoes, in the freezer case

If you aren’t convinced we’re living in end times, consider what’s happening with corn. And I don’t mean GMO scariness. At the food show this summer, I saw butter designed in a cylinder to make rolling an ear easier. What, dragging your corn through a stick is too much work? But this, spotted in Philadelphia, was like a Fellini vision of elote. At least it’s gluten-free.

“Agradolce” in a Mason jar

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 bourbon harmed, at least

If you are what you eat, wingnuts sound mighty uppity. An invite to a male-only fundraiser down in Florida caused a big stir for the “tell the Misses (cq) not to wait up” condescension. But far more revealing was what was on the menu. Do real Americans eat oyster shooters with applewood-smoked salt, and pastrami smoked salmon, and goat cheese dumplings, let alone beurre blanc and brandade? (The Irish whiskey Jell-O I’ll grant them.) Seems like only yesterday the Big O was being lambasted as elitist for merely mentioning arugula. Now these loons are eating kale, and proud of it.

Tabasco in every MRE

I’ve laughed before about the Murdoch Crier running stories on $22,000 dresses while including slingers in the Saturday paper offering 20 cents off on a can of Goya beans. But the disconnect is deeper than that. In an alleged news story on how higher food prices were cutting into Labor Day grilling budgets, a woman was quoted as telling the caterer to serve anything but burgers. Yes. Because times are so tight you can’t do the cooking yourself. Or: Let ’em eat brioche buns. And put your palate on a pallet of pintos.

King looks like an uncle, too

Once upon a time the news that a huge fast food chain was engaging in legal but clearly unethical behavior would have gone unreported, or, even worse, have been covered with the usual obfuscatory biz-PRspeak. So I’m impressed that everyone got what it all meant from the get-go: The greedy fucks are getting and going to Canada in a “mailbox move” simply to cut their tax bill (evasion and inversion are so close). If there were a pink-slime God, this would at least mean employees could get that good, socialist, northwoods health care. But apparently America gets the shaft, covering food stamps and housing and Medicaid for those underpaid workers while the hope-there-are-shopping-malls-in-hell bosses plot their next gut-and-run. Youngs are gonna have to save us all.


“Obligatory Caesar” is redundant. // NYT should put corrections behind a paywall. And run more of ’em. Who wouldn’t pony up to see #Pelacciothirdfromleft? // Scarier than “melts” in cat food? “Single-cell protein.” Coming soon to a label near you. . . // The special K is karma as an editor learns you are not the boss of you. // Phrase I never expected to hear in a Key Food: grass-fed. But I suspect they’ll soon learn to lock up the Urbani. // Hope I was hallucinating. Thought I saw a young guy with Halloween Peeps at Chelsea Fairway. . . // “WTF is that?” should never be your first reaction to a fud foto. // 50 lashes with a salmonella-infected turkey gorgle for anyone sending out Thanksgiving releases right now. // Might not be the best time to boast that TOTG’s chef is a headliner at your event. . . // DQ patrons have $ to cyber-steal? // If bacon needs a national day, water must be dying of attention-thirst. // Saw a coat hanger symbol on a door in a restaurant. Thought it was the ladies’ room. // And: My mise will never be en place.

Gluten-free tears of a dove

Survival Rule 1 for NYC: Never. Make. Eye. Contact. Walking to the C train after dinner after “Chef,” my consort and I paused in Washington Square to see what everyone was staring at in a tree (last time it was a red-tail hawk), and I stupidly linked irises with some over-tanned nitwit in a baseball cap with a beanie propeller on top who wanted to inform me that he could tell said tree was 200 years old. “I’m a vegan, and I know things about plants — I can commune with them because I eat them.” And it was hard, but I stopped myself from responding: “Yeah, I’m the exact same way with cows.”

Two hours & no one has to charge a phone?

As for “Chef,” it has its problems as a film, but it definitely lives up to the chef hype. We usually never talk in movies, and still Bob had to lean over and say: “This food looks like real food.” Later, I said that just reflected all the other social media themes in the script — people now know what real food looks like thanks to all those much-maligned Instagrams and Tweets and Vines: No stylist involved. Otherwise, my favorite line was “the nanny can’t get on the airplane.” But my second favorite was “what if I have to poop?” Because that subtly cut to the real issue with rolling kitchens. Where do the food handlers do their business? A whiz behind a wheel is one thing. There really had better not be Adult Pampers stocked along with the rubber gloves.

Also, too, a little trip to the Women room at the bag-checking theater we braved reminded me of an observation by a friend while we were all in Paris many years ago on what I called a corporate boondoggle and they knew as serious hard work: “It smells different in the bathroom here.” And what was emanating from the stall next to me literally brought that home. American poop stinks; there’s a sweetly sickening aspect to it. You won’t smell that in Italy, or Turkey, or Spain etc., most likely because denizens don’t live on processed crap. My one trip to India was a nasal revelation. I’d gone there with a photographer friend’s tale echoing through my cranial sieve, about shooting the gorgeousness of the Taj Mahal while standing in what he soon realized was ankle-deep “human waste.” But all I smelled for two weeks from Kolkata to Bangalore to Mumbai was the opposite of GI/GO. It was spices in, almost perfume out.

First three letters in nutritionist . . .

I pay way too much attention to this mierda del toro, but the more I read about the kkkrazies attacking Mrs. O’s school lunch do-over, the more I realized the ol’ yellowcake/Whitewater media machine was getting spun on high yet again. And sure enough, after story after story of lunch ladies rebelling because healthy fud was being wasted, the real story comes out. Kids are indeed eating the healthy fud. And once again, a lie made its way around the world before the truth could get its apron on. Meanwhile, the “squirrel” distracted from another inconvenient truth: The new rules are just new marketing opportunities for Big Food. A sad thing I learned last winter is that factories are already churning out products designed solely to scarf up food bank dollars. Now I guess it’s all “let ‘em eat Whole Grain Hot Pockets” in school cafeterias.

Toto: No flushing, we’re capitalists

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. . .

The R in the four letters comes from “troll”

Somewhere a (metal) pot genius is spinning. He grants access to his suffering to promote his book and is “rewarded” with queasy-making descriptions of his short temper and sad nutrition-intaking. At least Senyor Adria can live in peace knowing he only had to stunt-cook with a cretin. A reporter got an audience with an appliance master and came away no smarter on how to make the white stuff fluffy?