Recently in Food Category

Spotted on the label:


And the close-up:


Seriously?  What ingredients? And the word "bioengineered" can cover a multitude of sins.
Are they sneaking mRNA in there or is it just some GMO Soybeans.

I use Avocado Mayonnaise myself - better for you.


Hmmm - something to remember...

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Swiped from Knuckledraggin'


A good case against vegetarianism

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A lot of veggies and vegans do not eat a balanced diet.  I am about 90% veggie but still crave animal protein.  I have known some die-hard vegans who looked like crap - sallow skin, low energy, constant depression.  This paper explains a lot.  From the National Library of Medicine:

Meat and mental health: a systematic review of meat abstention and depression, anxiety, and related phenomena
Objective: To examine the relation between the consumption or avoidance of meat and psychological health and well-being.

Methods: A systematic search of online databases (PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL Plus, Medline, and Cochrane Library) was conducted for primary research examining psychological health in meat-consumers and meat-abstainers. Inclusion criteria were the provision of a clear distinction between meat-consumers and meat-abstainers, and data on factors related to psychological health. Studies examining meat consumption as a continuous or multi-level variable were excluded. Summary data were compiled, and qualitative analyses of methodologic rigor were conducted. The main outcome was the disparity in the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and related conditions in meat-consumers versus meat-abstainers. Secondary outcomes included mood and self-harm behaviors.

Results: Eighteen studies met the inclusion/exclusion criteria; representing 160,257 participants (85,843 females and 73,232 males) with 149,559 meat-consumers and 8584 meat-abstainers (11 to 96 years) from multiple geographic regions. Analysis of methodologic rigor revealed that the studies ranged from low to severe risk of bias with high to very low confidence in results. Eleven of the 18 studies demonstrated that meat-abstention was associated with poorer psychological health, four studies were equivocal, and three showed that meat-abstainers had better outcomes. The most rigorous studies demonstrated that the prevalence or risk of depression and/or anxiety were significantly greater in participants who avoided meat consumption.

Conclusion: Studies examining the relation between the consumption or avoidance of meat and psychological health varied substantially in methodologic rigor, validity of interpretation, and confidence in results. The majority of studies, and especially the higher quality studies, showed that those who avoided meat consumption had significantly higher rates or risk of depression, anxiety, and/or self-harm behaviors. There was mixed evidence for temporal relations, but study designs and a lack of rigor precluded inferences of causal relations. Our study does not support meat avoidance as a strategy to benefit psychological health.

Sample size of 160,257 - can't wiggle out of that one.  Good sample size - no chance of spurious data - low p-value.
Not like the MMR Vaccination paper that "proved" autism - that had a sample size of 12 patients.

Like the restaurant says: There's plenty of room for all God's creatures. Right next to the mashed potatoes.

Good news from the food front

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Looks like reality is starting to take hold again for omnivores.
Three headlines - they link to the stories:

Beyond Meat is starting to lose ground to real meat, analyst says

Expert Ratings for Beyond Meat  (hint - not doin' that well)

The Dumb Money Driving The Plant-Based Meat Boom

What gets me is that there is an incredibly rich palate of vegetarian foods out there.  Different cultures, different types of meals, different ingredients.   There is so much wonderful food to try from so many different parts of the world, why are these people trying to torture some poor vegetable mixture into pretending that it is something that it is not.

If you want a vegetarian alternative to a beef burger, you have options.  They do not taste like a beef burger, they are not a beef burger but they taste good and are highly nutritious and good for you.

About 10% of my protein intake is animal but I have never had any of the "beyond" ersatz meats.

If I want beef, I am going to buy beef.  If it is a matter of the purchase price, you are still better off with a bean patty than a beyond patty - the beyond meat products cost more than good beef from a butcher.  A medium-size 80/20 chuck beef patty will cost about $3  (6-8oz raw weight)  A bean patty of the same size is about 40¢ (starting with dry beans and making them yourself) I make a big batch at a time - they freeze really well.

Read the label: ...crickets...

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No, really - from Don Surber:


Plant-based meat - the truth

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From Bayou Renaissance Man:


What gets me is that there is such a huge culinary library out there of delicious and nutritious vegetarian food, why would people try to force the plants into mimicking something that they are not?  If you want to be vegetarian, eat plants.  Don't expect to continue to eat a meat analog - expand your horizions a little bit for cryin' out loud.  It's a big world out there...

Got a good point there:


California.  The name says it all.  Don Surber has a good back-room analysis:

California is too communist for Red China
Red China announced it is closing its pork facility in California citing too many regulations and taxes.

The facility is owned and operated by Smithfield Foods of Smithfield, Virginia, which in turn is owned by Red China.

The company announced, "Smithfield Foods, Inc. today announced that it will cease all harvest and processing operations in Vernon, California in early 2023 and, at the same time, align its hog production system by reducing its sow herd in its Western region. The company will decrease its sow herd in Utah and is exploring strategic options to exit its farms in Arizona and California. Smithfield harvests only company-owned hogs in Vernon. Smithfield will service customers in California with its Farmer John brand and other brands and products from existing facilities in the Midwest.

"Smithfield is taking these steps due to the escalating cost of doing business in California.

More at the site. I remember when they were called Smithfield Hams and their hams were top of the line.  Something you would spring for for a special occasion - an Easter or Christmas feast.  Now?  They are just another generic "food-product" manufacturer owned by some entity from another country.

More at the site.  Don advises that there will be a drop in pork prices as they close out their herds but then prices (and their profits) will increase.  Pork freezes really well...  Just sayin...

From The Danish Morel Project:

Controlled Indoor Cultivation of Black Morel (Morchella sp.) All-year-round
The morel mushroom is known as one of the world’s most coveted edible mushrooms. During the last hundred years, it has only with limited success been possible to cultivate black morel mushrooms under controlled, indoor conditions. We are therefore very pleased to announce that we finally, after many years of intensive research at the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University and the University of Copenhagen, have invented and developed a method for controlled indoor cultivation of black morel mushrooms all-year-round under well defined conditions in climate chambers. We are able to produce 4.2 kilos of first-class morels per square metre within a total cultivation period of 22 weeks, corresponding to an annual production of 10 kilos of morels per square metre. The method is so well developed, that a commercial production can be started after an appropriate automation of the cultivation process.


This post is from four months ago - no additional news yet.  Just heard about it.
Probably looking for licensing and funding now.

Great source for bulk organic foods - good prices and top quality stuff. Unfortunately, they will be running at reduced capacity for a while.
From Oregon's Columbia Gorge News

Fire destroys Azure Standard Headquarter Facility
The headquarters of Azure Standard, the nation’s premier independent distributor of organic and healthy food, was destroyed by fire overnight. There were no injuries. The cause of the fire is unknown and under investigation. The loss of the facility and the impact on companywide operations is being assessed and expected to be limited and temporary. No other Azure Standard facilities were affected.

Azure Standard founder and CEO David Stelzer issued the following statement: “While the HQ facility is a total loss, and a few product lines will be affected for the short term, other Azure Standard facilities are operating as close to normal as possible. Most importantly, we are grateful no one was injured. Our dedication to providing the highest quality food and products will continue as always. We ask for your patience and prayers as we take steps to adjust and rebuild. We appreciate our Azure community and the many expressions of support we are receiving and will continue to update our vendors and customers as needed. We expect the impact to be short-term, limited in scope and manageable.”

What is nice about them is that they maintain a fleet of delivery trucks and run a nationwide route.  Communities can get together and place a large order and then everyone meets the truck to pick their order up.  They handle payment and labelling so it's easy to keep track of who gets what.  Keeps the costs down a lot over buying ones and twos.  Good people too.

Never a big fan but I still drink Diet Pepsi (used to be Coke before they went WOKE).
This will raise a few eyebrows - from SciTechDaily:

Researchers Uncover How Sugar Substitutes (Artificial Sweeteners) Disrupt Liver Detoxification
Results from a new study suggest that two sugar substitutes disrupt the function of a protein that plays a vital role in liver detoxification and the metabolism of certain drugs. These sugar substitutes, also known as non-nutritive sweeteners, provide a sweet taste with few or no calories.

“With an estimated 40% of Americans regularly consuming non-nutritive sweeteners, it’s important to understand how they affect the body,” said Laura Danner, a doctoral student at the Medical College of Wisconsin. “In fact, many people don’t realize that these sweeteners are found in light or zero-sugar versions of yogurts and snack foods and even in non-food products like liquid medicines and certain cosmetics.”

The mechanism?

They found that acesulfame potassium and sucralose inhibited the activity of P-glycoprotein (PGP), which is also known as multidrug resistance protein 1 (MDR1). PGP is part of a family of transporters that work together to cleanse the body of toxins, drugs, and drug metabolites.

“We observed that sweeteners impacted PGP activity in liver cells at concentrations expected through consumption of common foods and beverages, far below the recommended FDA maximum limits,” said Stephanie Olivier Van Stichelen, PhD, who leads the research team. “To our knowledge, we are the first group to decipher the molecular mechanism by which non-nutritive sweeteners impact detoxification in the liver.”

The experiments also showed that the sweeteners stimulate transport activity and likely bind to PGP, and thus compete with and inhibit the transport of other substrates such as xenobiotics, drugs and their metabolites, short-chain lipids, and bile acids.

These are just the preliminary findings but still, if they bear out in clinical studies, it will shake up the "diet" sweetner industry quite a bit. Some big money there and they do not want anyone fscking with their rice bowl.

There has been a big dietary shift over the last 60 years or so.  Saturated and animal fats got a really bad rap. Everyone switched over to seed and vegetable oils.  Whoops... From The Epoch Times:

Groundbreaking Conference Reveals Health Risks of Seed Oils
Medical doctors, researchers, and other experts spoke on March 3 at the “Future of Fat” virtual summit, the first-ever meeting dedicated exclusively to the harmful effects of oils made from vegetables or seeds, including canola oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil, and sunflower oil.

Such oils have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, cancer, macular degeneration, and other chronic diseases.

“There are other conferences that focus on oils and fats broadly speaking. We don’t know of any other that have brought together MDs, Ph. Ds, doctors, and environmental scientists to discuss the impact of vegetable/seed oils specifically,” said Jeff Nobbs, co-founder, and CEO of Zero Acre Farms, in an email interview with The Epoch Times.

“Vegetable oils are ubiquitous in restaurants and fast-food and packaged food including bread, crackers, cereal, granola, chips, dried fruits, salad dressings, mayonnaise, sauces, fried foods, ice cream, baked goods, and other snacks,” he said. “Vegetable oils now account for 20 percent of our daily calories, which represents the greatest increase in sources of calories in the last 100 years, since the globalization era began.”

The conference website is here:  Future of Fat

Just preliminary information so far - it will be interesting to see how much traction this gets with the general public. Lisa and I are both watching our diet and it was amazing how much Omega-6 I was consuming.  Dropped a lot of it out a few months ago and feeling great.

The voice of truth

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They make a damn fine burger too - wish they were in the Pacific Northwest



Apple slices and fresh-ground peanut butter for a light dinner. Got a lot done today.
Stopped in at Costco and the beef Tri Tip roasts are still at $10.99/# - see if this holds when I am up there next week.
Also saw something interesting in the tomato isle. They have been carrying the San Marzano 'maters for a while.
Now, it seems they are carrying some more and those are not quite exactly as advertised:


The real deal - there is a D.O.P. serial number stamped on the back of the label.
Absolutely delicious and totally worth the price ($4 for a 28oz. can).


Not even attempting to fake it - CENTO is a decent brand. There is no mention of San Marzano.
Also, San Marzano tomatoes are only canned as whole fruit or as filets.  Never diced or crushed.



Here, CENTO is faking it.  The name San Marzano is being used as a brand and not a Designated Place of Origin.
There is no D.O.P. certification.  It says Certified on the can but certified what? Certified fake?
I was tempted to buy a pack and see how they are - maybe next time I am shopping there.

Shame on CENTO and shame on Costco - this is a new product and I hope it is only a test batch as this is not good.

Dang - why didn't I think of that.

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Round dogs. Go and read here: Round Hot Dogs Exist and I Ate Several

A good question - food preperation

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From Seattle station KING 5:

Wildfire 'smoke taint' compromises Woodinville winery's 2020 vintage
Wine that tastes like an ashtray -- that's what happened to a Woodinville winery's latest vintage, due to last year's wildfires in Washington, Oregon and California.

Betz Family Winery announced Tuesday it will not release wine from its 2020 vintage due to "smoke taint," which impacted their grapes used for wine.

Betz Family has a tasting room and winery in Woodinville but their vineyards are located in drier eastern Washington, along the Columbia River valley, Walla Walla and Yakima Valley.

Wildfires from September and October last year impacted their grapes in varying degrees. "You can just smell the smoke literally on the bunches," said Bridgit Griessel of Betz Family Winery.

Changes to the flavor profile of the wine became apparent during the fermentation process and lab tests confirmed the smoke taint, Griessel said.

Yikes - they knew about it going in but fermentation completely rewrites the flavor profile so maybe they were hoping to get lucky. A bit more from the story:

Hundreds of barrels of red wine from the 2020 vintage will not be bottled and potentially be kept for an indefinite amount of time to further study the impacts of smoke taint, according to Betz Family Winery.

That is going to suck big-time too - the barrels are $400 each or thereabouts (wide range in price/quality) and once the taint gets into the wood, it will color anything else put into it.

Who knows, the wine might clear up after a few years.  They could always sell it to a blender (hello? Mogen-David?) or a rectifier and have them distil it down to pure ethanol but that would be a huge loss of revenue.

Their website is here: Betz Family Wine and we can see that their "entry-level red wine" sells for $35/bottle. Other offerings are in the $50-on-up range.  This is a big loss of revenue for them.

Good point there:

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Serious health hazards over a many-year span:  hereherehereherehere and here...
Throw in some child labor law violations in 2020 (from Time Magazine - judgement was a $1.3 million fine)

Now this - from Eat This, Not That!

This Fast-Food Chain Is the Likely Source of a New Norovirus Outbreak
About a dozen people in Aurora, Colo. have come down with gastrointestinal symptoms similar to those caused by the norovirus after eating at a local Chipotle restaurant, health officials have confirmed.

According to Food Safety News, shortly after eating at the location of the fast-casual chain on 6710 S Cornerstar Way, as many as five high school students and six other people from the area came down with symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, low-grade fever, and body aches.

And of course:

Ryan contacted the chain's location as well as the corporate headquarters located in California, but the chain didn't provide anyone who could talk to the family and simply directed her to their website. She said she wants someone from Chipotle to take responsibility for her family's food poisoning.

Have not eaten there in many years because of their reputation.  The food was tasty but I do not want to take the chance. Carelessness like this is a manifestation of corporate culture and until that is profoundly changed, this chain will be a ticking time bomb. They are spending too much time on their shareholders bottom line and not enough on basic training, procurement and sanitation.

From Seattle station KOMO:

Borracchini's Bakery closes after 100 years, family cites pandemic as reason for closing
Remo Borracchini’s Bakery, a South Seattle landmark on Rainier Avenue South, announced on Facebook Saturday that it is shutting down after 100 years of business.

In the post, the Borracchini family cited the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason for closing its doors.

The bakery is known for its cakes and Italian delicacies. The Borracchini family says their bakery is in the party business and the cancellation of weddings, birthdays, parties, and celebrations has been devastating to their bakery.

The family thanked all of their customers and employees writing “You have all given us a lifetime of memories that will never be forgotten. It has been a privilege to be a part of all your birthdays, anniversaries and important lifetime celebrations.”

An amazing old-school food destination.  I always stopped by when I was downtown grocery shopping.
Hit PFI, Uwajimaya and Remo's in one trip. Foodie heaven.

Hmmm - going to have to try this salsa

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Found this at Atomic Fungus:

The lovely thing about this salsa is that it is not the kind of thing you pop into your mouth and go, "AIGHH HOT HOT WATER ICECREAM SOMETHING" oh no. The first bite is sweet. The second bite is sweet-ish. Third and fourth, okay, this is starting to grow on me...and after a bit you can feel the heat begin to build. I try to make it on the mild side, by removing about 1/3 to 1/2 of the jalapeno seeds before dicing the peppers. In truth I could probably stand the full-strength stuff, but my mother-in-law cannot, and so I'm in this habit now.

If it wasn't such a process to make it, I'd probably try making a full-on batch. You need 12 ounces of cranberries, a quarter cup of green onions, and a quarter cup of cilantro; half a cup of sugar, a decent pinch of salt, two jalapenos, and a couple tablespoons of lime juice. I use lemon juice since that's what I have on hand, but it's still four ingredients I do not habitually stock.

Anyway, you take all that stuff and whiz it in a food processor until it's salsa texture. You have to let it sit for at least an hour so the flavors can marry. Then--serve atop a bed of cream cheese with some good hearty crackers that won't break when you try to scoop up a mouthful of delicious salsa atop mellow cream cheese. Wheat Thins are the recommended variety to use.

Already made the cranberry sauce for dinner but will file this away for future ideas.

Whoopsie - a fine whine

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Fun story from The New York Post:

Couple at NYC eatery served $2,000 Bordeaux in error after ordering cheap wine
A young couple who ordered an $18 bottle of wine at a popular Soho brasserie instead got served a $2,000 bottle meant for a table of businessmen — who didn’t even notice that they ended up drinking the cheap stuff, the restaurant’s owner said.

Managers at Balthazar had poured the pricy 1989 Chateau Mouton Rothschild Bordeaux and the budget pinot noir — the restaurant’s cheapest wine — into identical decanters, the eatery’s owner, Keith McNally, recounted on Instagram this week.

A bit more:

The two wines got switched, and the managers accidentally delivered them to the wrong tables.

Still, the Wall Streeter who had ordered the Bordeaux for himself and three friends tasted the cheap pinot and — fancying himself a connoisseur — promptly praised its “purity,” McNally wrote in his post, reported by Decanter, a wine review and news site.

Likewise, the lovebirds didn’t notice they had been served the highbrow wine, the most expensive bottle at the restaurant.

“They jokingly pretended to be drinking an expensive wine” while poking fun of themselves for ordering the cheap stuff, McNally recalled.

The restaurant owner ate the difference and both parties had a fun time when it was explained to them.

Heh - coffee

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From My Penseive:


What is it about...

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...the Allium family that makes them smell so wonderful when cooking. Taste is pretty scrumptious too.

Must be all of the Spem

Problems with China

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China once again proving that China is asshoe. From Yahoo/Associated Press:

260 Chinese boats fish near Galapagos; Ecuador on alert
Some call it a floating city, a flotilla of 260 mostly Chinese fishing vessels near the Galapagos archipelago that is stirring diplomatic tension and raising worries about the threat to sharks, manta rays and other vulnerable species in waters around the UNESCO world heritage site.

Yet the vast fleet is in international waters, outside a maritime border around the Galapagos and also outside coastal waters off Ecuador, which controls the archipelago. That means the fleet, one of the biggest seen in years off South America's Pacific coast, is likely to fish with minimal monitoring until its holds are full.

The Chinese fleet is “very close" to the edge of the exclusive economic zone around the Galapagos, which extends 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers) from the archipelago, said its governor, Norman Wray. He said that, because of overfishing in recent years, “what we're seeing is that each time fewer species return to the Galapagos."

The floods and heavy monsoon has cut into their food supplies so they are looking elsewhere. This is nothing new - from The Guardian:

The Ecuadorian navy has been monitoring the fishing fleet since it was spotted last week, according to the country’s defence minister, Oswaldo Jarrín. “We are on alert, [conducting] surveillance, patrolling to avoid an incident such as what happened in 2017,” he said.

The 2017 incident he referred to was the capture by the Ecuadorean navy within the Galápagos marine reserve of a Chinese vessel. The Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999, part of an even larger fleet than the current one, was found to be carrying 300 tonnes of marine wildlife, mostly sharks.

“We were appalled to discover that a massive Chinese industrial fishing fleet is currently off the Galápagos Islands,” said John Hourston, a spokesman for the Blue Planet Society, a NGO which campaigns against overfishing.

This article at Forbes highlights their domestic food problems:

China Food Crisis? Rising Domestic Prices And Large Import Purchases Send A Signal
China has a food problem. To a nation whose leaders are old enough to have been directly impacted by The Great Famine, the seriousness of food shortages cannot be overestimated. China’s burgeoning population, growing industrial economy, and expanding culture of consumerism are all contributing to a steady rise in demand for agricultural products.

But agricultural production, lest anyone forget, is subject to the biblical forces of floods, fire, pestilence, and a host of other variables, some of which are right now upsetting China’s delicate food stability. The world’s most populous nation will certainly not run out of food, but prices are rising and hints of tightening supplies are beginning to appear. Things may get worse before they get better.

And, lest we forget, The Great Famine was a direct result of Mao's meddling in things he did not understand. Nobody could tell him anything different because if they did, they would be considered disloyal to the communist leadership and they would be murdered before they could spread their capitalist heresy to anyone else. It lasted from 1959 through 1961 and 70 million people died. Socialism and communism never work. Never have. Never will.


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Started in Hawaii but they are looking to spread to the mainland. Check out their Hawaiian page.

As Hawaii’s plant-based distributor, we find the most innovative plant-based specialty food brands, and distribute to foodservice, retailers, and individuals. We hope to inspire others to “Go Vedge!” by making specialty plant-based foods accessible and affordable, and by supporting our local community.

I am not 100% vegetarian but I would sure shop there if there was one nearby. Even worth the occasional drive to Seattle. Quite the selection.

Cute commercial - coffee

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Veteran owned Black Rifle coffee:

Not surprised at all - diet

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From The London Daily Mail:

Eating meat may IMPROVE mental health and one in three vegetarians are depressed, study suggests
A vegetarian or vegan diet may be increasing the likelihood of depression, a US-based study suggests.

People with a plant-based diet were twice as likely to take prescription drugs for mental illness and nearly three times as likely to contemplate suicide.

The report, which looked at more than 160,000 people, also found that a shocking one in three vegetarians suffer from depression or anxiety.

160,000 is a good sample size - they are not going to have to argue their findings.

There are some health benefits to a veggie diet - I am about 80% veggie and 20% carnivore. Still, studies like this really point out the strong links between diet and mental health.

Time for a simple pasta sauce for dinner. Was at the "business" Costco today and saw these on the shelf for the very first time:


There are your basic canned tomatoes (Hunts, Del Monte, Contadina, etc...), there are your really good canned tomatoes (Muir Glen, Cento, Kirkland, etc...). The crème de la crème are San Marzano.

Costco just started carrying authentic (it has the right markings on the can - there are a lot of fakes out there) San Marzano canned tomatoes. I used to get them from PFI back when I lived in Seattle and would occasionally order them from Amazon but they are expensive - almost $10/can. The Costco cans are under $10 for three - $3.30+ each.

I will be making a simple pomodoro with basil sauce - maybe sauté a bit of pancetta and garlic too. See how these are.
Looking forward to a bite of heaven and/or springtime...

Cute tee-shirt

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I would wear this if I had one:


Eat your veggies

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A wonderful video on the joys of hunting:

Fun times at Chipotle Restaurant

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Come for the health issues: here, here, here, here, here and here...

Stay for the Child Labor Violations - Time Magazine:

Chipotle Fined $1.3 Million for More Than 13,000 Child Labor Violations
Chipotle was hit with a $1.3 million fine over more than 13,000 child labor violations at its Massachusetts restaurants, the state’s attorney general announced Monday.

Attorney General Maura Healey ordered the largest child labor penalty ever issued by the state against the Mexican restaurant chain after finding an estimated 13,253 child labor violations in its more than 50 locations.

Not a well-run business. I cannot find a stock symbol so it looks like a privately-held company. Wonder if this is just a large money-laundering operation. North Korea? Russia? M.E. opium money?

So many people think the finer grind the better for extracting a good crema. Not so. From interesting engineering:

Fewer Coffee Beans Ground Coarsely Brews the Best Espresso, New Research Shows
Forget coffee sommeliers, scientists think they found the answer to brewing the best shot of espresso.

A team of mathematicians, physicists and materials experts at the University of Portsmouth in the UK, found the secret to the best cup of espresso lies in the number of coffee beans and how they are ground.

According to the researchers which included Dr. Jamie Foster, a mathematician at the University of Portsmouth, fewer coffee beans and grinding them more coarsely is the secret.

The researchers started with the question many espresso drinkers have: why do two shots of espresso made the same way taste very different. They applied mathematical theory to the question and when they began to look at a single grain, many of which create the coffee bed found in the basket of an espresso machine, they found the answer. It's more reliable from one cup to the next if fewer beans ground coarsely.

"When beans were ground finely, the particles were so small that in some regions of the bed they clogged up the space where the water should be flowing," Dr. Foster said in a press release announcing the research.

Brews faster, easier to clean the portafilter, uses less coffee and tastes really good. What's not to love. When I managed the bakery, I had everyone standardize on this - a lot of surprised people but we served a lot of really good coffee.

Brilliant business idea

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From the: "Why didn't I think of that" department - from Boston, MA's station WHDH:

Airline opening restaurant that only serves plane food
Out of the many repulsive things about air travel, airline food probably ranks high. But not for AirAsia.

Asia’s largest low-cost carrier is betting people love its food so much that it opened its first restaurant on Monday, offering the same menu it sells on flights. It’s not a gimmick, either: AirAsia, based in Malaysia, said it plans to open more than 100 restaurants globally within the next five years.

The quick-service restaurant’s first location is in a mall in Kuala Lumpur. It’s called Santan, meaning coconut milk in Malay, which is the same branding AirAsia uses on its in-flight menus.

Entrees cost around $3 USD and include local delicacies such as chicken rice and the airline’s signature Pak Nasser’s Nasi Lemak dish, a rice dish with chilli sauce. Locally sourced coffee, teas and desserts are also on the menu.

Makes a lot of sense. They already have the delivery infrastructure, the commissaries and their menus have been tried and tested. Because it is fixed portion and a simple menu, they can keep the prices cheap.

Fake News Olive Oil

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L mentioned that Extra Virgin Olive Oil coming from Italy might be corrupt and/or contaminated. Found the video she was talking about and it is #1) - sobering and #2) - recent:

60 Minutes Agro Mafia - Full 14 minute story from Corto-Olive Co. on Vimeo.

I think I am going to stick with California or Spain for my EVOO from now on. I do like that some of the farmers and producers are standing up to the Mafia on this - nice to see the pushback against the bullies.

Now this is interesting - MREs

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Someone from our local preparedness group turned me on to these. We all know about the millitary MREs - Meals Ready to Eat. This is shelf-stable food packaged in a foil pouch and is ready to eat. Some of them even have heating strips so you pull a tab and five minutes later, a hot meal. Not for the epicurians out there but tasty and nutritious.

Well - DOH! - it turns out that other military services have their own MREs and Amazon sells them. Check out:

There is more if you click on the vendor and search their products. A good bit more expensive than 50 pounds of rice, 50 pounds of beans but looks really good and just the thing to stash in your car's emergency pack. Keep you well fed for a couple of days.

From Barf Blog:

Man had hundreds of tapeworms in brain, chest after eating undercooked pork
Alexandria Hein of Fox News reports a 43-year-old man in China who was suffering from seizures and loss of consciousness went to the doctor after his symptoms persisted for several weeks, only to discover that he had hundreds of tapeworms in his brain and chest, reports say.

The patient, identified as Zhu Zhongfa, allegedly had eaten undercooked pork, which was contaminated with Taenia solium, a parasitic tapeworm.

“Different patients respond [differently] to the infection depending on where the parasites occupy,” Dr. Huang Jianrong, Zhongfa’s doctor at Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, told AsiaWire. “In this case, he had seizures and lost consciousness, but others with cysts in their lungs might cough a lot.”

Jianrong explained that the larvae entered Zhongfa’s body through the digestive system and traveled upward through his bloodstream. He was officially diagnosed with cysticercosis and neurocysticercosis, and given an antiparasitic drug and other medications to protect his organs from further damage, according to AsiaWire.

Jianrong said his patient is doing well after one week, but the long-term effects from the massive infestation are unclear.

Chinese agricultural practices are also to blame:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends cooking meat at a safe temperature and using a food thermometer in an effort to avoid taeniasis. Humans are the only hosts for Taenia tapeworms, and pass tapeworm segments and eggs in feces which contaminate the soil in areas where sanitation is poor. The eggs survive in a moist environment for days to months, and cows and pigs become infected after feeding in the contaminated areas.

Chinese farmers spread human manure on the fields - the critters get into it and become carriers for the tapeworm. Proper food handling is not rocket science. Just a few temperatures and practices to learn.

Heh - what to bring for a potluck

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Not just Thanksgiving - any potluck:


Mmmmmm... Deconstructed Potato Gravy - yummy!


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I have never met a vegan that seemed healthy. I was a vegetarian for about ten years and that is a sustainable diet but to eliminate all animal products from your diet is - to put it mildly - stupid. From Kim DuToit:

Quote Of The Day
From the normally mild-mannered Prof. Reynolds:

“Vegans should just be grateful for not being pantsed on sight.  Veganism is stupid and immoral, and mostly a marker for mental illness or deficiency.”

True dat.  He left out a lot of other endearing vegan traits, but the Treacher Man has his back:

“You just can’t please vegans, because if they were capable of happiness, they wouldn’t be vegans.  You can’t cater to them — in this case literally — because their entire philosophy is anti-human.  They’re ashamed of their own existence on this planet, and that shame has turned them into totalitarian wackjobs.”

Absolutely - Treacher nails it.

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