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Everything posted by ScoopKW

  1. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/mad-cow-case-raises-the-issue-of-tracking-livestock/2012/04/25/gIQAjqvshT_story.html Here's the Washington Post's editorial about the case in California....
  2. So I put on my robe and my wizard hat, wave a wand and incant, "Zombie thread, arise!" First infected cow found in California. http://www.mercurynews.com/health/ci_20469701/mad-cow-disease-found-central-california-dairy-cow?source=most_emailed
  3. I agree that foie isn't exactly a popular item. However, many of these big corporations have the mentality, "It's not enough that I should succeed. Others must fail." When you get down to it, this is a battle between the artisan salumi makers and Hormel. Between the artisan foie producers and Tyson (chicken livers inna bucket). Between artisan cheese makers and Sargento. They don't WANT an educated market with developed palates. Knowledge is bad for business. They've got chicken nuggets and hot pockets to sell, after all.
  4. I think your first and main mistake is considering someone walking into your shop to be a problem. (Unless they're walking in with a flamethrower. That's a problem. Someone in need of a toilet is NOT a problem.) You see a problem. I see an opportunity. Post your specials on a corkboard in the bathroom. Put a stack of coupons near the towel dispenser. "As a reward for washing your hands, here's a coupon for a free coffee with the purchase of a dozen of our wonderful chocolates." (Or something similar.) You have people walking into your shop, man. Don't insult them. SELL THEM SOMETHING. And do s
  5. And let's not forget that it is impossible to learn what is going on without diligent research on the internet. The media is not interested in reporting problems in our food supply. Our food suppliers buy a lot of advertising, and newspapers lost their backbone years ago. The government is not interested in legislating safer (or more honestly labeled) products for us. Our food suppliers buy the legislators. And although that's been going since before the Roman Era, these days it's blatant and pervasive. (Unfortunately, we no longer punish those convicted of bribery by placing them in a canvas
  6. Or what if some unscrupulous Japanese distiller whipped up a batch of inexpensive dark rum (colored with caramel coloring) and then bottled it and slapped a "Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey" label on it? Bourbon distilleries all over Kentucky would howl about it. That's what. Yet we do exactly that, with impunity, to other nations. Parmesan cheese, Champagne, Kobe beef, balsamic vinegar -- if it's trendy and spendy, there are producers in this country who will gladly counterfeit the product. It is obvious our government is never going to grow a pair and legislate this behavior away. The mar
  7. As expected, you'll find me on the side of "make sure the product IS what you call it." There are a dozen restaurants in Las Vegas that STILL call their meat "Kobe beef." They charge a premium for these items. And they seem to rely on an ignorant customer base. That's like selling "Cuban-seed Dominican cigars" as "Cuban cigars." Both items are banned in the US. But the cigar people know enough about cigars to avoid being ripped off. The average American beef consumer doesn't know squat. And nobody is getting the information out there so he or she can make more informed choices. The mass media
  8. I'd like to second Bogel Old Vine. A very nice wine. There are other old vine zins that can be found in the Napa area. I like all of them. Pair with a well-seasoned flatiron steak and root vegetables.
  9. I've known about Pink Slime since seeing a whistleblower video about how Chicken McNuggets are made -- about five years ago. While it's nice that people are coming around, I have a feeling that once Pink Slime is outlawed, public concern will wane. And the rest of the disgusting practices perpetrated on the American consumer will continue unabated. And when those of us who care about such things try to bring them up, we will once again be shot down by people who think we're trying to usher in some kind of nanny state.
  10. Actually, I don't think everyone agrees about that.
  11. And I would point out that since our knowledge of medicine is incomplete, consumers should know exactly what goes into their food. What percentage of the shopping public in America knows what's in BHA or Red #40? Pink slime is just another symptom of an industry that is rotten to the core.
  12. Well, I'm certainly glad the US consumer is taking pink slime seriously. Perhaps they will start to investigate this particular rabbit hole, and learn that it's basically bottomless. It appears to me that people are incensed about this because now that the pink slime is no longer marketable to adults, so they're fobbing it off on kids lunches. Me, I'm thinking, "Well of COURSE they are." They'll send that slime down to the people who are least-informed about food. That's how these companies roll. Yet, advocate clear honest food labeling, and an embarrassingly large segment of our citizenry wil
  13. If I had that knife, I would DEFINITELY keep it in my knife bag -- for conversation. "Here's my French knife. Here's my carving knife. Here's my pairing knife. Here's my serrated knife." "What's THAT knife?" "That's my STABBIN' knife. Don't worry, I'm not a stabbing hobo, I'm a singing hobo. [Picks up banjo and begins to sing] Nothin' beats the hobo life / Stabbin' folks with my hobo knife!
  14. I'm not familiar with the Momofuku recipe. But there could be some curing salt added to keep the interior pink and to more effectively kill off the nasties. Most of the pâté recipes I come across use a little Prague #1.
  15. "Thousands of bottles of Piper Heidsieck feared lost in Titanic disaster. In other news, many Irishmen also killed."
  16. I'm not talking about orange juice from concentrate. I'm talking about "Freshly Squeezed" -- which then goes to tanks and sits for a year, thus losing all it's flavor. Then orange flavor is added back in and the juice is still sold as "squeezed from fresh oranges." THAT'S the kind of food dishonesty I'm talking about. http://yalepress.typepad.com/squeezed/2009/07/behind-the-label-orange-juice.html#more All I ask is for clear, honest labels on food. Then the market will decide what products stay and what products go. What is the advantage of deceptive labeling and marketing? How does anyone be
  17. If the ignorant people are getting a wholesome product, then I agree with you that it doesn't matter. You are lucky in that you live in a part of the world that still sells honest food. (I don't like the term "honest" either.) But what do you call orange juice that's sat in a tank for a year, and then had artificial orange flavoring added back? "Dishonest" certainly fits as far as I'm concerned. And that's what most US consumers are drinking, when they think that this juice isn't far removed (distance or time) from the tree. If there wasn't a massive, pervasive and nearly invisible effort on t
  18. My wife and I were both HOWLING reading this. This was easily one of the funniest things we've read in months (years!). Spot. Freakin'. On.
  19. My problem is that most of the individuals I know seem to think that if it's sold in a grocery store, it must certainly be wholesome to eat. They get the fact that unhealthy stuff is sold in the market. But they can't seem to wrap their heads around the fact that bacteria laden meat and chemical additives are standard operating procedure these days. They seem to think that the FDA and the USDA has their backs, when in fact those agencies are now little more than cheerleaders for agricorp. The attitude seems to be, "They wouldn't sell it if it wasn't any good." They don't realize when they buy
  20. Google is your friend. They are used in damned near everything, and they're used because they're cheaper, or because marketers think petroleum based dyes will help a product sell better. (EDIT -- And many preservatives are petroleum based.) http://www.thestreet.com/story/11012915/1/12-food-companies-that-serve-you-wood.html http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-500803_162-4151130-500803.html http://chemistry.about.com/od/foodcookingchemistry/a/bha-bht-preservatives.htm EDIT -- Also, when did I say "hire more inspectors?" I said inspections should be a surprise, should be more often, and results should
  21. One of the things that irks me is that we are 80-90% there with the laws and regulations we already have. Companies are required to list what is in the package. Except for "trade secrets." So everything that might shock consumers is now a trade secret. Get rid of that loophole, and consumers might find out how much petroleum and wood pulp is in their packaged food. Current USDA wholesomeness inspections are a joke. They should be surprise inspections and given more often. Inspector's reports should be made public as quickly as possible -- much like Nevada's Health Department's restaurant insp
  22. 1) Bouchon is worth it. Ad Hoc is also worth it. Even better, just go to Oxbow Market in Napa and sample, sample, sample. 2) There are hundreds of small wineries that don't charge much for a flight of wine tastings. So many, in fact, that the question isn't "can we afford it" but "can we go to this many places and still be OK to drive?" Just ask the locals, and tell them you're students on a budget. They'll send you to appropriate places. (There's this attitude out there that wine country is populated by snobs. But that simply isn't the case. Wine country is populated by wine geeks. Find a ge
  23. There's a difference between a sponsor trying to sell a product and a sponsor who replaces "honest" food with wood pulp and petroleum distillates. (And then lobbies to have the FDA protect those products as "trade secrets." And then has their partners in television sell the product to an uninformed and unprotected market.) The US consumer has precious few advocates. What good is it to try to tear down what little we've got?
  24. Well, I DO watch Food television, mainly because my wife watches it. So I watch it. I find FoodTV annoying at best, a public nuisance at worst. These TV Food Porn peddlers never, ever, ever mention anything that might cause the viewer to think about where their food comes from. The only thing you can get out of them is the occasional admonition to "use the good maple syrup." They never mention what good maple syrup is (or more importantly, what it ISN'T.) Because that might upset their advertisers. In this case, Pinnacle foods -- makers of Log Cabin and Mrs. Butterworth's brand table syrup. I
  25. I haven't been -- so I assume they offer Dungeness that isn't a Crab Louis salad? That would be a GREAT idea for a restaurant in the Little City area: "Here's-A-Crab" Guests walk in, sit down at long communal benches. The benches are covered with mallets, lobster crackers, chopsticks, ramekins and carafes of various sauces. As soon as guests sit down, the servers drop a steamed crab in front of them and take their drink order.
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