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Culinary Signs of the Apocalypse: 2010


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Further to mkayahara's comment is an understandable scientific caution about releasing new _organisms,_ which historically caused trouble even when the organisms were natural, just borrowed from elsewhere. (As Jared Diamond put it with several examples, once released, life forms tend to act and evolve in their own interest, not ours.) If a new food or drug reveals severe side effects later, you can just stop making it. I've seen that happen several times. It's different if what you create is self-reproducing.

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Well the argument with alien breeds doesn't really work with salmon. Rodents and birds and kudzu can breed like wildfire. Salmon just doesn't. It's rapidly dying out from overfishing, all around the world. Introducing another breed of salmon just mean an alternate harvest -- trust me, fishermen aren't going to somehow ignore catching these giant salmon if they should somehow "get loose." The main objection to farmed salmon is that it's messy, lots of coastal pollution. This fish would be no different than other farmed salmon. Both put the ease off of wild salmon. If people are going to object, don't object to eating GMO salmon. Object to eating salmon, period.

And back to the topic: nothing offends me more than seeing packages of pre-boiled pasta at the supermarket. "Just add water, nuke, and serve."

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-__-

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Well the argument with alien breeds doesn't really work with salmon. Rodents and birds and kudzu can breed like wildfire. Salmon just doesn't. It's rapidly dying out from overfishing, all around the world. Introducing another breed of salmon just mean an alternate harvest -- trust me, fishermen aren't going to somehow ignore catching these giant salmon if they should somehow "get loose." The main objection to farmed salmon is that it's messy, lots of coastal pollution. This fish would be no different than other farmed salmon. Both put the ease off of wild salmon. If people are going to object, don't object to eating GMO salmon. Object to eating salmon, period.

And back to the topic: nothing offends me more than seeing packages of pre-boiled pasta at the supermarket. "Just add water, nuke, and serve."

Suppose the GM salmon gets out into the wild. It grows at an exponentially quicker rate than natural salmon. If that happens, we might as well kiss natural salmon good bye, because guess which one is going to win.

Currently Michigan is suing the state of Illinois in an attempt to stop the potential invasion of Asian carp into the Great Lakes with the fear that if these fish make it to Lake Michigan, all of the Great Lakes will be decimated. Much like GM Salmon, Asian carp were originally brought to the US as a food fish, but now virtually no one eats them and they are considered a distructive, invasive species. Yet we're still considering doing the same thing with GM salmon. It's as if we're too ignorant to understand we've already went down this path before and it just didn't work out quite the way we planned.

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Whichever breeds faster, has more resistance to diseases and parasites found in the wild, is better at avoiding predators and is generally better adapted to the environment it encounters is going to "win." If growing faster gave salmon in the wild a big advantage, wild salmon would grow faster. That's how natural selection works.

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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Well the argument with alien breeds doesn't really work with salmon...

To clarify, the introduced-species problem I mentioned is not about the species' known or expected role in its new environment. All past experiments of this sort (predators, microbes, plants, etc.; most, again, were natural species but exotic to the new place they were introduced) made perfect sense by human reasoning about some existing problem and the role the exotic was expected to play.

The problem, rather, has been when the new species acted or evolved in some way not contemplated in the theoretical reasoning, by which time it was too late to "recall" the new species.

(N.B., I don't consider myself informed enough about GMO's, let alone these GMO's, to advocate any strong opinion about them. I'm just alluding to the long history of ecological surprises of this kind -- some authors such as Diamond, already mentioned, review important historical cases.)

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Cheez Whiz was bad enough, but now they have waffle batter in an aerosol can. Can this really be happening?

Uh, yep. It's quite the success, too. It doesn't mean you have to buy it.

Here's a post I made linking to an article on the money the pancake batter-in-a-can is making (click here).

I never said I'd buy it. I'm just sad that it exists..

Why? have you ever tried it? Should i call you when i need a single 5" pancake for my 15 month old on a Wednesday morning for breakfast to make the batter, use a ladle full, throw away the rest and clean up?

It's supremely convenient, rather tasty, and the ingredients are exactly what you would put in your batter, as well as being organic.

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A person might be allergic to shellfish and the allergy is severe, possibly fatal.

For instance, say a genetically engineered fish has some of its genes manipulated and a gene from shellfish substituted so the fish grows more rapidly.

When you consume that fish your system will recognize the fish as shellfish and react to it.

This has happened with plants that have been genetically modified.

Just a note: the BW article makes it sound like the particular GE salmon in question has had fish genes (from Chinook Salmon and Ocean Pout, the latter of which has also contributed genes to efforts to make ice cream creamier), rather than shellfish genes, added.

Someone asked for a simple explanation of resistance to GM and GE foods. I think people are just generally creeped out. I know I am.

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Another Culinary Sign of the Apocalypse:

Ben & Jerry's to drop 'All Natural' from labels

Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's is dropping the phrase "all natural" from all labels after a request from a health advocacy group.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest and the company confirmed the move Monday.

The CSPI told the company last month it should not use "all natural" if products contain alkalized cocoa, corn syrup, hydrogenated oil or other ingredients that are not natural.

:shock::sad:

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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How is corn syrup not natural? Bacterial enzymes eat corn and spit out sugar (glucose). Our bodies do the exact same thing. Bacterial enzymes are what turn milk into yogurt and cheese. Are they not natural?

Cocaine is natural and organic. So is cyanide. Cyanide doesn't even need digesting or enzymes. It's naturally occurring in apples, mangoes, cassava, etc. It's also, you know, lethal in high dosages. Caffeine is also lethal in high dosages, and is natural and organic. Unlike cyanide and caffeine, eating a lot of of corn syrup isn't immediately lethal.

A little bit of noludge iz a dangeris thing...

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I'm one of 'em. Celiac = no fun. I don't miss beer, and I mostly don't miss bread, but I really do miss Chinatown dives.

Right -- there are a lot of people dealing with celiac disease out there. What makes me shake my head is that 1 out of 4 US adults avoid gluten. With celiac disease prevalence at less than 1% of healthy adults, it would seem that the other 24% are the same folks who were "allergic" to MSG or who swore off bread back in the Atkins days.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I know many will disagree, but I feel that the large number of pre-chopped veg in the supermarkets and "meal kits" is a bad sign. I feel that soon, people will lose even the basic skills of preparing food like grating a carrot, slicing onion, etc. I know people are busy, but it still makes me sad that they cannot even face chopping up a little veg.

Sometimes I get home after a long day, often after cycling for an hour through bad traffic, but I still always cook a fresh meal and I find it relaxing and satisfying. I know not everyone thinks of cooking that way, but I still think that it is not that bad to chop some veg up after work.

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And I'll admit to buying the odd bag of "baby carrots" and pre-washed lettuce when I'm feeling a bit lazy.

Me too, or when I'm pressed for time. There's one brand of "baby carrots" that are the perfect size for roasting... wash, dry, toss with butter and seasonings, roast... maybe 90 seconds of work for a vegetable that adults enjoy and that my kids will actually eat. On a busy weeknight, that's a great deal.

Edited by John Rosevear (log)

John Rosevear

"Brown food tastes better." - Chris Schlesinger

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I fear that most people lost those skills long ago, if ever they had them.

You are probably too young to remember the odd diagnosis of "can-opener thumb" that was so prevalent some 35-40 years ago.

I worked for an orthopedic surgeon who saw a lot of patients with a peculiar symptom in the right thumb (if right-handed) even worse in the right hands of people who were left-hand dominate because the right hand muscles were weaker and they did not manufacture left-handed can openers.

My boss recommended an electric can opener and the symptoms cleared up after a few months.

He usually treated them with a cortisone injection into the affected joint and that relieved the symptoms while they were waiting for nature to heal the area.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I think it's better to use pre-chopped than buy some pre-made processed crap. So if that's the choice people make, i think it's still OK.

I heartily agree. I use frozen vegetables on a regular basis in my home kitchen and occasionally some canned fruits and veggies. There was actually a thread awhile back comparing fresh versus frozen and it was put forth that frozen could actually be better than some fresh because much of what we buy as fresh has been picked long before it gets to us.

Right now on the weekends I am cooking for a Renaissance Faire guild and almost all of what we prepare and serve is fresh. The only exception to that I can think of is that we buy edemame (sp?) that has already been cooked.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

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Pretty soon we'll need to have schools where they teach people to cook....

I realize this is (probably?) a facetious reference to culinary school, but I'm all in favor of making Home Economics mandatory at the Jr. High and High School levels. I'm not particularly skilled or knowledgeable in the kitchen compared to most people here but the general public has a way of surprising me by finding ingenious new ways of screwing things up trying to cook.

Not trying to be some kind of elitist foodie, just asking that people be taught how to safely prepare and handle food ferchrissakes.

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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I know many will disagree, but I feel that the large number of pre-chopped veg in the supermarkets and "meal kits" is a bad sign. I feel that soon, people will lose even the basic skills of preparing food like grating a carrot, slicing onion, etc.<snip>

It's not only the loss of rudimentary cooking skills to worry about. Anytime a food is handled or processed it adds another opportunity for contamination (bacterial, mechanical etc). It will also generally incur higher costs in transportation and energy/other resources consumed than a lesser-processed version. Additionally, many even nominally processed foods (like salad mixes) have stabilizing ingredients/antioxidants etc. added to maintain their color or extend shelf life. Yum.

The Big Cheese

BlackMesaRanch.com

My Blog: "The Kitchen Chronicles"

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"The Flavor of the White Mountains"

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The coca leaf is natural and might be organically grown, I'm sure it can be organically grown (but don't know how it's usually grown in Peru, Bolivia or Columbia), but cocaine is the result of processing w/a variety of non-"natural" or organic chemicals such as: sodium carbonate (might be found in nature, in combination w/other carbonates), sulfuric & hydrochloric acid, potassium permanganate, ammonia water, acetone. I wouldn't categorize cocaine as "organic", at least, not within the meaning of the term as it's used in the US (defined by the USD) it's a product that requires fairly extensive processing to manufacture.

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Pretty soon we'll need to have schools where they teach people to cook....

Should be mandatory in Gr. 12, a special package of "survival skills":

-Basic cooking

-How to read and understand ingredients

-Basic sewing

-How to put together, say, an Ikea bed. I'm not kidding here, my bro. in law is 45 and has never seen or held an allen key in his hand yet. Wanted to surprise my sister, I had to come over to show him how.....

-

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