One size fits all!
Via Costume Shopper
"McDonalds' McRib and its cult-like following are back. Thank goodness the "disconcerting" sandwich is only returning for a limited time only, says Meredith Melnick at TIME. Because if you knew about all the unpronounceable ingredients packed into the McRib, you might think twice about wolfing down the sauce-drenched pork concoction. Think you can stomach what's inside? "
Get the gory details Via The Week
( Photo: CC BY: Calgary Reviews )
1. The food industry is a big fat monopoly. Agribusiness is concentrated to a point that would make a Wall Street master of the universe blush. Vast globe-spanning corporations, many of them US-based, dominate the industry.
"The bulk of corn and soy grown by US farmers ends up feeding animals in vast factories, and here, too, the consolidation is dramatic: Three companies now process more than 70 percent of all beef, and just four firms slaughter and pack upwards of 58 percent of all pork and chicken."
"Dr Bajpai said: 'The search for non-food ( he should have said non-plant) sources of biodiesel already has identified a number of unlikely candidates, including spent oil from deep fryers in fast-food restaurants and sewage.
'Alligator fat could join that list. Each year, the alligator meat industry disposes of about 15million pounds of alligator fat in landfills.'
Via the journal, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, as reported in the Daily Mail.
Cruising through one of Florida's biggest supermarkets, I paused in the chicken section, seeking organic wings for my...dog. What passes for the butcher in these places was putting meat in the cooler, so I asked him why seemingly there were no organic wings available. I said I didn't want any chicken filled with antibiotics, even for my...dog.
He paused, smiled, and looked at me, as if gauging what type of shopper I was. "You know, everybody should have access to chicken free of antibiotics, chickens not raised eating other chickens. None of our food should be anything but the best!"
"But, unfortunately," he went on, wiping his hands on a white cloth, "People these days can't afford the best chicken. Or they won't. They won't pay the extra for organic wings, so.....we don't even stock them."
"What we eat, our fuel, though, it should be worth eating, right? It should be healthy," I said.
"They can afford soda and chips," he said.
We both sighed.
For more on soda and chips, see the New Yorker piece on Pepsico, and the push of its CEO, Indra Nooyi, for "healthy" drinks/snacks. Here's an idea: stop producing Pepsi!
Having written here myself about the Prince of Wales' admirable Home Farm, I am delighted to find this take, from a woman who seems to know her eggs from her offal. Rachel Laudan's blog is dubbed A Historian's Take on Food and Food Politics.
"Prince Charles inherited 135,000 acres, much of it excellent land in the south and west of England. His manager farms the Home Farm, the organic bit, 1000 acres where he in time-honored tradition raises rare breeds.
His tenants are not required to farm organically, without doubt use as much of the latest agricultural technology as they can afford, and accept farm subsidies. His estate agent Smiths Gore I presume collect the rents and handle the accounts.
Like corporate agribusiness, Prince Charles has integrated vertically by producing a line of food products, Duchy Products. These he sells not in farmers’ markets but through the large grocery chain, Waitrose. (True, they pay some royalties into his charity, but that is in trouble at the moment, having to bail out some land investments made by the Prince). He advertises these industrially-produced foodstuffs by appeal to tradition (a technique pioneered by big wine in late nineteenth-century France).
In 2008, rents from tenant farmers (and presumably from sources such as The Oval cricket ground and holiday rentals in the Scilly Isles) provided him and his family with an income of $26.4 million.
So when I read rave reviews of Prince Charles at the Future of Food conferencegoing on in Washington, D.C., I have to wonder.
Is Prince Charles’ decision to farm 1/135th of his land organically really so compelling? How can his admirers, most of whom I suspect, distrust agribusiness (and by any standards, Charles’ landholdings have more in common with large corporate landholdings than small family farms), overlook the scale of his operation?
Because of a sneaking deference to royalty? Because he claims as his own, standard British agricultural practice, such as dung spreading?
Whatever the reason, I find the deference amazing. Prince Charles is, in my view, agribusiness personified."
What's not to love? My fave baseball team, the Tampa Bay Rays, has two edible farm team affiliates--the A team is the Charlotte Stone Crabs, the AA Team is Montgomery, Alabama's Biscuits. I could eat them up, honestly.
Now if there were only the Chattanooga Cole Slaw, and the Schenectady Sauvignon Blancs, we would have a full meal.
I am the very proud owner of some beautiful ex-bat girls who were rescued from slaughter by the British Hen Welfare Trust. Watching these frightened, tatty hens blossom into confident, cheeky little characters has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Who would have thought that hens have their own distinct personalities, likes and dislikes? That they would learn what the word ‘bedtime!’ meant? That hens who initially froze in fear when a bird flew overhead or the wind rattled the fence would learn to build nests, roost, forage, dustbathe, preen, flap their wings and all the other natural behaviours that are denied to the 16,000,000 hens currently caged in the UK?
Years ago we got to know hens well, including one who became our pal---snoozing outside on a blanket with us, helping us weed our garden, climbing on our laps for attention. Hens are fine people, when they can be hens.
Found One Little Egg via Tweet from Stephen Fry, BTW.
Golf Week: "George Schwartzel never required his son to work on the family’s chicken farm outside of Johannesburg. Charl Schwartzel worked in the fields because he enjoyed the quiet and solitude, the same reason he likes to pilot his private plane.
“It was never a job for me,” Schwartzel said. “I like working with my hands. I like to sweat. There’s nothing like early mornings on the farm.”
Schwartzel beat back a slew of rivals, including a guy in a red shirt supposedly named Tiger, to win the fabled tournament with a 13 under final round of 66.
You have seen them, right? Via an online eagle cam, 80 feet up, looking right into a seven foot wide and deep nest? A pair of eagles and their recent hatchlings. If you haven't, rectify this immediately. Be a good, caring nature freak!
The menu thus far? For certain, a crow, a rabbit, a trout, and a muskrat.
The eagle at left--Mom? Dad?-- is hunkering down over the well-fed eaglets, methinks....
4 April 2011
Sweet success for Lindt in chocolate Easter bunny case Lindt says other firms must not confuse shoppers with similar rabbits.
The Swiss chocolate firm Lindt and Spruengli has won a marathon court battle to protect its golden Easter bunnies from an Austrian rival.A Vienna court has told the Hauswirth company to stop making its own chocolate rabbits wrapped in gold foil.The legal battle dates back to 2004. The Lindt bunny, sporting a red ribbon and bell, first appeared in 1952 was given EU trademark status in 2000.The Vienna court said Hauswirth's bunny could be confused with Lindt's.A Lindt manager, Adalbert Lechner, said the judgement had confirmed his company's view that "Hauswirth harmed our trademark"."We hope the legal proceedings are finally closed with this judgement," he said.Hauswirth had argued that Lindt was using its trademark clout to crush competitors.
Bunnies fight back, softly.
$6 a dozen? I never imagined I would willingly pay this much for eggs, much as I love them. But during my Florida sojourn, thus far, we have not found a reliable local source for eggs produced by hens scratching freely under the palms, fed on decent grain and bugs. So we began buying eggs from The Country Hen, Hubbardston, MA, ( sold by the Publix chain,) laid by happy gals fed organic top secret feed.
The eggs are delicious---amazingly so. And loaded with Omega 3's, "six times that of a normal egg." Their shells are brown and substantial. The hens are free to walk all over their barn, and sun themselves on large porches. And a bonus to all who purchase the eggs--I have never seen them other than in recyclable six packs--"Farm News" from the CH folks, a nifty, folded-up writeup about something. Once, it was about George Bass, the owner, who was recovering nicely from a stroke.
Currently the CH scribes are talking Easter eggs, or Spring eggs, if you will. They insist their brown eggs dye up nicely. And suggest you try Red Cabbage Leaves for blue, Beets for pink, and Saffron for yellow, if you flinch at the thought of food coloring. ( Apparently paprika and red onion skins did not work as well as they had hoped for orange and red...)
Here's how: (Edited version.)
Bring 1 cup water and dye ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer 15 min to an hour until desired color is obtained. Strain dye from veg. Add 2 T white vinegar.
Once dyed and dried, it seems you can rub eggs with "cooking oil" to add that glossy sheen.
The sole survivor of its genus, Tubulidentata, and the tastiest, apparently, the noctural African aardvark increasingly is turning up on menus from Peoria to Pasadena. Returned Peace Corps volunteer Al Rowan zeroed in on the potential for aardvarkian meat- "it's dense, low in carb, and tangy, with a hint of watermelon--" on a return visit to his village in Burundi.
Locals head out at dusk with snype-catching gear to fetch the well-meaning, hapless animals home for processing. Rowan figures he will have aardvark farms up and running on a large scale soon, as the American burger chain, "Don't Ask, Cuz You Wouldn't Want Us to Tell," which specializes in burgers created from obscure ingredients, just placed a mega-order for the slightly mauve-looking ground meat.
The most remote inhabited bit of land in the world, as they say--it's only 1750 miles from South Africa...., Tristan da Cunha is a group of volcanic islands, a British Overseas territory, and lucky enough to wave a handsome 2002 flag featuring the Tristan rock lobster.
Said lobster, along with fish, and 200,000 delightfully-plumed little penguins, are underseige from oil spilled by a tanker that broke up off Nightingale Island, near Inaccessible Island, and cousins to T da C itself, which is home to 275 people. Named by a Portuguese explorer after himself, even though he never was able to set foot on the place, T da C survives because of focused agriculture--potato patches are worked by everyone here--along with fishing/lobstering.
In fact, up until WW2, potatoes were the island's currency. A one penny stamp costing 4 potatoes was designed, a few printed, but likely not used.
The local website of T da C states that a team of penguin cleaning experts is set to leave Capetown to help with the birds of Nightingale, that the fishing areas of the two uninhabited areas are closed, and that the Rockhopper Penguins of T da C itself have kept their toes out of the oil.
Not much word re the rock lobsters, though the season for procuring them apparently is officially over.
NB Even though he springs to my mind, what with rocks and hopping, Republican State Senator Randy Hopper of Wisconsin, whose soon-to-be-divorced wife backs the effort to recall him, is not related to the penguins of T da C.
As anyone with common sense would assume, early people foraged widely and inventively for their food. By foragers, of course I mean women, who had to keep their families fed on a daily basis, not just once every two weeks when the guys scored a deer or a moose. People ate grubs, mice, birds, bunnies, roots, fish, and berries, among other things.
Each other? A recent archaeological find in central Alaska coordinated by the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, raises this possibility---researchers found bones dating back close to 12,000 years ago likely belonging to a three year-old, charred bones. Hmmm. Tender young flesh. One Michael Kunz, with the Bureau of Land Management, Fairbanks, tossed this into the fire, so to speak, as a theory.
According to the AP story,
"The body was found buried in the fire pit, Kunz noted via e-mail, and "the bones that are missing are the bones that have the most flesh on them and would most likely be used for food."
"Cannibalism among humans is not new news," added Kunz, who was not part of ( Ben A.)Potter's team, ( of the University.)
The child more likely was cremated...
The bones, the earliest such found in the American Arctic, were in a settlement camp, not the hunting camps thus far excavated, along with a hearth, handtools, and the small bones of animals like squirrels.
If you can find this place, Linger Lodge, nominally in Bradenton, Florida, you'll be glad you brought the entire family, kids, aging Aunties and all. There truly is something for everyone, even laundry nuts. Since this is a campground/RV park, you can toss your scummies in a machine while you wait for your order of frogs' legs.
The Lodge is set on the Braden River, alive with fowl and gators--they had not yet woken up from winter when we were there--and the kayaking is dandy. You can rent a log cabin, sheets provided, or park your RV. Or simply eat at the restaurant, and then stroll past assorted dead animals, preserved lovingly by a former owner, the taxidermist.