Posts filed under ‘Food’
I love reading bad restaurant reviews, especially the few-and-far-between ones that don’t soften their language and beat around the bush when they obviously hated the place. Here’s one of the best I’ve read yet, from Ryan Sutton over at NY Eater, about the famous Tavern on the Green restaurant in New York City:
Tavern on the Green is a former sheep barn that Robert Moses, in 1934, turned into what would eventually become one of New York’s most famous restaurants, under the management of great names like Joe Baum and Warner LeRoy, and with cameos in films like Ghostbusters and Wall Street. It’s one of the few New York hangouts that an out-of-town culinary novices could name with ease, which probably explains why it was once America’s highest grossing independent eatery — a title it could very well claim again, as it currently feeds 900-1000 guests on weekdays, and up to 1,700 on weekends.
Those numbers themselves mean the Tavern is a de facto gastronomic ambassador for the Big Apple, an unfortunate phenomenon for a venue whose $22 mac ‘n’ cheese is real prison slop. And when the waiter upsells you into topping it off with salmon — because what’s better than oily fish to pair with cheese-y, mushy, pasta — you’ll have spent $32 on what is surely one the worst things anyone can eat outside of Rikers.
This could be a turnip. This could be a potato. This could be anything,” my companion says of the roasted Japanese eggplant, devoid of flavor. Gruyere and goat cheese sandwiches, two tiny halves for $14, boast more grease than a lube job. Mushrooms, nominally affordable at $9, still overpriced because they’re the same criminis you could find at a supermarket for $1.50. They sit in bowl above a slice of baguette to soak up all the juices. Except there are no juices.
You go Ryan!
Keep reading. At the end the author calls it a “shitshow.”
August 20, 2014 at 1:21 PM
Want: This T-Shirt from Snorgtees: “That’s too much bacon. Said No One Ever.”
July 1, 2014 at 9:03 PM
I predict Republicans will start hating on the U.K. now, like they did during the French Fries/American Fries crisis:
Many people who value science education are hoping the US takes note of the UK’s good example, but that seems unlikely considering that the UK appears to have taken note of the US’s bad example. Lawmakers in the UK probably realized that if they didn’t make it absolutely clear that creationism wasn’t allowed today, then tomorrow they’d be discussing the need for language banning the teaching of Loch Ness Monsterism.
If the U.S. banned the teaching of creationism,or more realistically, increased funding for teaching — I know it’s a bad word — SCIENCE, we might get off the Loch Ness Monster thing.
June 19, 2014 at 7:23 PM
When you picture Chinese people do you picture fat people? When you picture Chinese food, do you picture fatty meats? Me neither, but I guess it’s time to. Look at this chart showing how the Chinese obesity rate has exploded since 1980:
(Image via Economist.com)
More than a quarter of the adult population, or roughly 350m people, is overweight or obese (more than 60m squeeze into the latter camp).
The Chinese are not actually eating more as they get richer: the average daily intake has dropped a little over the past ten years, from 2,100 calories in 2002 to a little more than 2,000 today. This suggests that a sedentary lifestyle may be hurting people’s health as much as changes in diet. Rapid urbanisation means more people are leaving the fields to work in less strenuous manufacturing jobs. Meanwhile in the cities, walking and biking have been replaced by driving cars and sitting on public transport. Recent surveys show that less than 10% of urban dwellers exercise regularly.
Childhood obesity has grown hugely in richer coastal cities. During summer breaks parents send off their pudgy little emperors to weight-loss camps that have sprung up everywhere. The exam-oriented education system doesn’t help matters either: although schools are required to set aside at least an hour for exercise every day, they routinely cancel gym classes to make room for other courses. In May the Lancet, a medical journal, published a study showing that the obesity rate among Chinese boys is 6.9%, almost twice as high as that among adult men.
June 15, 2014 at 4:12 PM
I’ve been good, now I’m being bad: Bermuda onions, tater tots, a sliced fried hot dog, grated cheddar and Ranch dressing.
May 21, 2014 at 8:52 PM
(Image via Wikipedia)
I’m waiting for the wingnut freak out about this.
Maybe it’s just me but I’d rather not sit next to a guy with a Lugar under his belt:
Chipotle: Don’t Bring Guns in Our Stores
Chipotle is asking customers not to bring firearms into its stores after it says gun rights advocates brought military-style assault rifles into one of its restaurants in Texas.
The Denver-based company notes that it has traditionally complied with local laws regarding open and concealed firearms.
But in a statement Monday, the company said that “the display of firearms in our restaurants has now created an environment that is potentially intimidating or uncomfortable for many of our customers.”
Gee. Ya think?
People who don’t want to be around guns have rights too.
May 19, 2014 at 6:35 PM
Good ad by ROCUnited, an organization whose mission is to: Improve wages and working conditions for the nation’s 10 million restaurant workers.
May 14, 2014 at 11:02 AM
Here’s an interesting pictorial about what kids are fed for lunch at schools around the world This is the photo used to illustrate lunch in France and man-oh-man, look at all that food.
A school lunch is laid out on a tray at the Anne Franck school in Lambersart, northern France. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
Anyway, if you’re interested, check out the other photos and descriptions here.
London looks scrumptious.
May 7, 2014 at 1:33 PM
From Business Insider:
Whole Foods shares are getting destroyed this morning.
The stock is off 16% after earnings yesterday showed weak same-store sales growth.
What’s holding back the company?
On the company’s conference call, CEO John Mackey explained. Organic food is now everywhere. Whole Foods just isn’t that special anymore.
Whole Foods opened a gorgeous, fun store here in Boulder about ten years ago. If I were rich, I’d do all my shopping there but I’m not and I don’t. I have two or three things I like to get there but otherwise I shop at King Soopers, a local chain akin to Safeway.
I take my husband to the YMCA twice a week for an exercise class. The Y is 100 feet from Whole so sometimes I wonder over there while I’m waiting for Dan’s class to end. I swear, there have been times when I’ve purchased maybe an energy drink and two pieces of cake and I’m out $20. It seems as if nothing there costs less than $7. (I saw a juice/energy drink there the other day for $11. $11 for a 16 oz. drink! (I kid you not.)
Is Whole Foods getting its comeuppance? The organic food chain Trader Joe’s opened a store here about a month ago. Given the hype (er, hysteria) surrounding that ahem, momentous event, I didn’t get it after I checked it out. But I will say I bought some frozen foods to try — taquitos, egg rolls and chicken burgers to have for quick lunches — and I actually walked out after paying $17. I’m guessing those three things, which fed us for six meals, would have run more like $30 at Whole Foods.
So, maybe Whole Foods will get down off its high horse now because again, they’re just not that special anymore.
May 7, 2014 at 8:20 AM
What would we do without people who make videos like this?
April 30, 2014 at 9:17 AM
Greenpeace put this video up this morning which I initially thought was sort of a sarcastic parody of what might happen if bees disappeared. Then I realized it was for real. Instead of figuring out why real bee colonies are collapsing and preventing it, we’re developing robobees which I think is a sickening, bassackward way to run a planet.
Read more here.
April 28, 2014 at 8:18 AM
The last sentence here is the killer:
You probably wouldn’t knowingly eat a substance known to induce death in human cells. But that’s what millions of people are doing every day, even when they’re enjoying foods with “natural” on the label.
Norwegian scientists just published a new study that will appear in the June issue of Food Technology showing high levels of glyphosate—the active weed-killing chemical in Roundup—are turning up in genetically engineered (GE) soy. That herbicide-laced soy winds up in thousands of nonorganic packaged foods and in animal feed for livestock like pigs, cows, chickens, and turkeys.
Why is this happening? Genetically engineered crops are manipulated in a way that could never occur in nature so plants like corn, soy, canola, cotton, and sugar beets can withstand high doses of glyphosate-containing herbicides that would normally kill them. The result? Roundup in food that people and farm animals eat.
As more and more weeds become resistant to glyphosate and GE technology fails, farmers spray heavier glyphosate applications—and more often. Glypshoate is systemic, meaning it’s take up inside of the plant. As nonorganic farmers crank up glyphosate use, the Environmental Protection Agency has been slowly increasing allowable levels of glyphosate in food.
So, Monsanto’s Roundup is doing a number on the planet and, here in the U.S. at least, the so-called Environmental (cough) “Protection” (cough) Agency is enabling them.
The corporations really do run the place.
What a country.
April 27, 2014 at 10:19 AM
The Humane Society of the United States is running ads like this one in Washington, D.C. and Des Moines, Iowa:
(Image via HumaneSociety.org)
It says: “Try spending your whole life in a bus seat. Most breeding pigs in the pork industry can’t even turn around.”
Oh, and they wanted to run ads in Raleigh, N.C. but the Transit Authority there turned them down.
April 24, 2014 at 4:38 PM
Looks so good: Ramen-crusted chicken wings:
(Via Ashley Lutz on Twitter)
April 24, 2014 at 10:52 AM
Yikes. This is such bad news for plants and animals (including we human animals) insofar as California went into this year in a dire drought situation to begin with. This chart represents ground water values from 1962 to roughly the present:
(Image via PacificInstitute.org)
More info and a larger, more readable version of this chart here.
I’m thinking a spike in food prices and all kinds of potential cascading ramifications.
April 19, 2014 at 5:48 PM
A few weeks ago I made Andrew Zimmern’s homemade tartar sauce. I don’t remember what I made that compelled me to do that but it was probably because I can’t stand flavorless, slimy, store-bought tartar sauce anymore. It ain’t worth the money, imho. Oh, and at the food bank the other month I stocked some jars of tartar sauce that had “settled” (I don’t remember the brand). The jars were at least one-third oil. It grossed me out.
I made another batch of his tartar sauce today to have on fish fillet sandwiches I’m making tonight for the hubby and I. Onion burger buns, sliced tomatoes, Romaine lettuce and a bunch of homemade tartar sauce. It’s great on burgers too and of course fried calamari and clams.
Here’s a pic and here’s the recipe.
I want to dive in!
I’m at the point where I want to try it on almost anything.
Oh, and by the way, I didn’t have sweet pickles the first time I made it so I used sweet relish. I didn’t have any tarragon either but it was delicious nonetheless.
Try it. You’ll never buy store-bought tartar sauce again which is as it should be — we shouldn’t pay good money for some of the crap they try to pawn off on us.
April 12, 2014 at 5:56 PM
From the Humane Society of the United States:
I think it’s wrong that the HUHS made light of, and joked about, gestational crates in this video (we can handle serious stuff people, can’t we!?) but hey, it’s better than nothing.
April 9, 2014 at 7:29 PM
I’m back from my volunteer job at the Emergency Family Assistance Association‘s food bank, something I do every Friday morning. The place was in good shape; the canned food shelves were full as was the cooler (we even had butter, which is a rarity) and the fresh produce bins were gorgeous.
We were very busy for about 90 minutes but there was a lull just before I left at noon so I wandered around and noticed that the baby food shelf was a little bare. I went to the storage area and pulled out a few boxes and proceeded to put the squeeze bottles inside on the shelf….and then I started paying more attention to what I was putting out:
“Chicken Risotto & Portabella Mushrooms” puree? Woah. Not your father’s baby food, that’s for damn sure.
April 4, 2014 at 3:07 PM
Hey Americans, we won a tiny round last week in the war to know more about the food we eat via labeling:
In its relatively brief but potentially exceedingly important opinion in American Meat Institute v. United States Dep’t of Agriculture, the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a meat labeling rule requiring increased specificity.
As the court explained, the 2013 rule regarding country of origin newly required the “production step,” so that instead of saying, “Product of the United States,” a label for Category A meat will now read, “Born, Raised, and Slaughtered in the United States.” Similarly, Category B meat might now have to be labeled, “Born in X, Raised and Slaughtered in the United States,” and Category C meat “Born and Raised in X, Slaughtered in the United States.”
The meat producers argued that the new rule exceeded statutory authority and that it violated the First Amendment. They sought a preliminary injunction which the district judge denied.
Again, it’s a tiny victory but hey, it’s nice to get some good news for a change.
March 31, 2014 at 1:38 PM
(Image via Wikimedia Commons)
Climate change is happening fast in the United States but state and federal governments are so dysfunctional they’re unable to respond. Chaos reigns. Central California’s San Joaquin Valley is an example. It’s referred to as America’s “bread basket” but it’s literally being sucked dry. And no, I’m not a drama queen blogger high on Cheetos:
When water doesn’t fall from the sky or flow from reservoirs, there’s only one place to find it: underground. So, three years into a devastating drought, thirsty Californians are draining the precious aquifer beneath the nation’s most productive farmland like never before, pitting neighbor against neighbor in a perverse race to the bottom.
The rush to drill is driven not just by historically dry conditions, but by a host of other factors that promote short-term consumption over long-term survival — new, more moisture-demanding crops; improved drilling technologies; and a surge of corporate investors seeking profits for agricultural ventures.
Now those forces are renewing an age-old problem of environmental degradation: Decades ago, overpumping sunk half of the entire San Joaquin Valley, in one area as much as 28 feet. Today new areas are subsiding, some almost a foot each year, damaging bridges and vital canals.
Yet in California, one of the few states that doesn’t regulate how much water can be pumped from underground, even this hasn’t been enough to create a consensus to stop.
“It’s our savings account, and we’re draining it,” said Phil Isenberg of the Public Policy Institute of California, a former Sacramento mayor and assemblyman. “At some point, there will be none left.”
I recommend reading the whole article. Growers are plowing hundreds of thousands of dollars into drilling wells and well drilling companies are booked 12 months out. Well permits have tripled this year over last, and this year is only three months old. What’s happening there is a not-so-slow-motion catastrophe the corporate media will talk about — and people will know about — when it’s too late.
March 30, 2014 at 7:35 PM
Adult Stage Western Corn Rootworm (Image via Commons.Wikimedia.org)
We humans are stupid to think we can outsmart bugs who have the ability to mutate and adapt much faster than we give them credit for:
One of agricultural biotechnology’s great success stories may become a cautionary tale of how short-sighted mismanagement can squander the benefits of genetic modification.
After years of predicting it would happen — and after years of having their suggestions largely ignored by companies, farmers and regulators — scientists have documented the rapid evolution of corn rootworms that are resistant to Bt corn.
Until Bt corn was genetically altered to be poisonous to the pests, rootworms used to cause billions of dollars in damage to U.S. crops. Named for the pesticidal toxin-producing Bacillus thuringiensis gene it contains, Bt corn now accounts for three-quarters of the U.S. corn crop.
First planted in 1996, Bt corn quickly became hugely popular among U.S. farmers. Within a few years, populations of rootworms and corn borers, another common corn pest, had plummeted across the midwest. Yields rose and farmers reduced their use of conventional insecticides that cause more ecological damage than the Bt toxin.
In the new paper, Gassmann describes further incidents of Bt resistance in other parts of Iowa. He also found rootworms resistant to a second variety of Bt corn. Moreover, being resistant to one variety heightened the chances of resistance to another. That means corn engineered to produce multiple Bt toxins — so-called stacked varieties — won’t do much to slow the evolution of rootworm resistance, as was originally hoped.
Shorter: Rootworms have figured out a way around Bt corn and they’ve begun destroying corn crops in Iowa again. Farmers don’t want to do the “hard” thing, i.e., rotate the fields they plant their corn on — i.e. crop rotation (Remember that old fashioned thing? Hello!) — which has been proven to work against rootworms:
Breaks in the corn cycle naturally disrupt rootworm populations, but the approach fell from favor as the high price of corn made continuous planting appealing. “Continuous corn is the perfect habitat for rootworm,” said Gassmann.
Greed rears its ugly head again.
I predict we’re heading toward more and “better” GMO corn. The thing is, rootworms will become resistant to that version too. We can alter this seed and that seed and pour chemicals on fields all we want but Mother Nature will win in the end. It’s about time we got off our high horse and accepted that. But will we? Sadly, probably not.
March 21, 2014 at 5:33 PM
(Image via Wikimedia Commons)
As if we need more reason to get Americans addicted to soda, a biotechnology company has just introduced a way for that to happen. California-based Senomyx has just announced that it is licensing a new “sweetness enhancer” called Sweetmyx exclusively to Pepsi and that it will start being used in soft drinks as early as this year.
When Senomyx first announced that Sweetmyx would be commercialized, it relased a statement saying, “Sweetmyx has been determined to be Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) under the provisions of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, administered by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).”
Shortly afterwards, the FDA issued a rebuke to the company stating that “the agency had not made this determination nor had it been notified by Senomyx regarding a GRAS determination for this food ingredient.”
Why the confusion? Sweetmyx is considered a flavor ingredient, which means that it doesn’t need to go through any sort of FDA approval process to get to market. These flavor ingredients can be evaluated by an independent third party and, if they meets that body’s criteria, that third-party evaluator gives it GRAS status and doesn’t even need to notify the FDA that the ingredient has passed muster. In this case, the third party is the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association of the United States, an organization made up of flavor manufacturers and other industry members.
Manufacturers get to decide whether food additives are safe or not. Manufacturers get to decide whether to bother to tell the FDA the additives are in the food supply, and even if they do. Manufacturers get to decide who sits on the panels that review the evidence for safety.”
It sounds like the food industry’s lobbyists earned their money big time in setting up how these rules work, huh? What an unbelievable racket and as usual, the looser isssssss: You and me!
Anyway, this is another reason to stay away from sweet things. You never know what’s making the sweet thing sweet because manufacturers can lump weird sweeteners like this new on under the term, “artificial flavors.” Don’t expect to see “Sweetmyx” on a label any time soon.
What a mess.
March 21, 2014 at 3:40 PM
I swear, we so underestimate the intelligence of every single animal below us:
Bees Capable of Learning Feats with Tasty Prize in Sight
They may have tiny brains, but bumblebees are capable of some remarkable learning feats, especially when they might get a tasty reward, according to two studies by University of Guelph researchers.
The researchers presented bees with a series of artificial flowers that required ever-more challenging strategies, such as moving objects aside or upwards, to gain a sugar syrup reward.
When inexperienced bees encountered the most complex flower first, they were unable to access the syrup reward and stopped trying. Bees allowed to progress through increasingly complex flowers were able to navigate the most difficult ones.
She and Kevan consider the study an example of scaffold learning, a concept normally restricted to human psychology in which learners move through increasingly complex steps.
In a second study recently published in Psyche, the researchers found bees learned by watching and communicating with other bees, a process called social learning.
Good reason to respect the humble bumble bee. Oh, and here’s another one: They have a lot to do with feeding us. We’d better take care of them:
March 18, 2014 at 5:14 PM
(Image via Wikipedia)
Make it permanent France!
On Saturday, France’s agriculture ministry temporarily banned the sale, use and cultivation of Monsanto’s MON 810 genetically engineered (GE) corn—the only variety that had been authorized in the European Union (EU).
France’s reinstatement of its previous ban of Monsanto’s controversial genetically engineered crop … is another encouraging sign that the biotech industry’s iron grip on foreign government’s is slipping and that resistance to these flawed products is continuing to take hold,” said Dave Murphy, founder and executive director of Food Democracy Now!.
The decision was strategically timed to block the seasonal planting of Monsanto’s corn by French farmers before a draft law is debated on April 10, which is aimed at banning the cultivation of foods made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
“The sale, use and cultivation of varieties of [Monsanto's corn seed] … is banned in the country until the adoption, on the one hand, of a final decision, and secondly, of European Union community action,” a French decree stated.
The annual planting of corn in France typically gets under way in the second half of March.
Things like this can happen when politicians aren’t wholly owned corporate puppets like they are here in the U.S.
March 18, 2014 at 1:04 PM
Here’s a peppy little video from Buzzfeed showing typical breakfast food in countries around the world. Check out the UK’s.
March 13, 2014 at 8:58 AM
Aye yie yie.
Unfortunately they’re probably delicious but the last thing I need is a new way to crave hot dogs more than I already do. I love them (and bacon).
(Image via Fooddiggity.com)
March 12, 2014 at 11:18 AM
(Image via Wikimedia Commons)
You probably heard that azodicarbonamide, the industrial chemical foaming agent used to make yoga mats (and other things), was found in bread served at Subway a few weeks ago. Un. Believable. Where in the hell is the Food and Drug Administration? (Yeah, I know. In bed with food and drug makers.)
Anyway, I guess it’s the wild, wild, west around here and it’s up to each one of us to protect ourselves against this insanity so thanks to Rodale News for publishing a list of the 500 foods that contain that ingredient.
Here it is. Check it out. It’s very well organized and easy to use. In a word or two, don’t eat prepared pastries or flour products (like pizza crust).
February 28, 2014 at 5:19 PM
Bacon wrapped fried Snicker’s bar.
(Image via Matt Waite on Twitter)
Aye yie yie. That’ll kill ya.
February 22, 2014 at 4:23 PM
I love this:
(Image via RoccosLittleChicago.com)
Arizona Pizzeria Refuses to Serve Legislators
In the wake of Arizona’s legislature recently passing a law that allows for discrimination (under the guise of religious freedom), a pizzeria in Tucson has decided that it will no longer serve Arizona legislators.
Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizza is taking a stand against the politicians who have voted in favor of Senate Bill 1062 which gives Arizona business owners the right to deny service to gays and others on the basis of religious freedom.
On Thursday the pizzeria posted a photo to its Facebook page (seen above) along with the message “”Funny how just being decent is starting to seem radical these days.”
“A customer posted the sign to my Facebook feed, so I printed it up and laminated it,” owner Anthony Rocco DiGrazia told The Huffington Post Friday (via Facebook). “The response has been overwhelming and almost all positive from across the globe. I just want to serve dinner and own and work in a place I’m proud of. Opening the door to government-sanctioned discrimination, regardless of why, is a huge step in the wrong direction. Thanks for all the support.”
If you want to send a note of support to Rocco, the address is email@example.com.
Good move guys!
February 22, 2014 at 10:18 AM