This Blog Has Been Reincarnated

For anyone who finds there way here to, I apologize for not updating lately. I am now devoting my energy to my new blog on True/Slant, where I write about matters of arts and culture.

Check it out at The Culture Spoke. It’s way better than this blog ever was anyway.




Stumptown Coffee

It was only a matter of time before Stumptown Coffee came to the East Coast. When I lived on the West Coast, in the home city of the now fabled roaster, I was well acquainted with Stumptown and its beans. I worked for a coffee magazine for Christ sake and went to all the coffee events and trade shows. I met Duane Sorenson, the man now known as a “coffee messiah,” at these events. Word is that he has now relocated to has relocated to Brooklyn even. And the press has followed him, with articles coming out every few weeks it seems, all wondering with amazement about the coffee companies successes. Now, the New York press has gone and done it, they’ve published the official Stumptown take-down piece. Enjoy, but be warned, most of this article is bullshit posturing and ranting. There are some interesting points made about Fair Trade, however, and they should be noted, though Stumptown is by far not the best example to position for the firing squad.

Rising Food Prices

food price index

Remember last year when we were paying 5 bucks for a loaf of bread, when eggs were a dollar or two above what we were used to? Well, hopefully that does not happen again, especially while we find ourselves in the throes of a recession. But, as the New York Times reports today, food prices unexpectedly rose 1.5 percent in April.

For those of you who live in New York City, as I do, the idea of rising food prices is a nightmare scenario. Anyone who has a backyard, I encourage you to invest now in chickens and making your own bread. Build a cement bunker while you at it. No one knows if Pakistan will be able to keep its nuclear arsenal safe from terrorists.


Unlimited Breadsticks…and Snake Head

Imagine, you go out for a nice evening meal out at T.G.I. Friday’s, your enjoying your plate of broccoli and assorted vegetables. Mmmm. Vegetables are so good, so high in fiber and nutrients. But you know what else is high in fiber, snake head. So who can blame T.G.I. Friday’s chefs for maybe throwing in a little bit of extra nutritional value to the meal?

A question here. What the hell happened to the rest of the snake? Surely other happy diners must have eaten it. A long, slender snake body might have camouflaged nicely in a basket of never ending breadsticks? Hell, cooked down to a slimy, malleable strand, it could have slipped into a big bowl of pasta, added a meaty finish to the meat balls?

The best part of the article is how the guy is not going to sue T.G.I. Friday’s You can practically still hear the sigh of relief coming form that boardroom. They probably had already written out the check and were just waiting to get the guy’s name right.


Obesity News

fat-heartThis latest news about obesity should be filed under least surprising study findings ever.

In other news, and just to drive the point home, there’s this, a pictorial guide to the findings above.


Changing Gears

After all the pork is still safe to eat talk and all the protect the pork industry maneuvering, it seems maybe the common ol’ scared off its ass public was onto something. The Wold Health Organization just issued a new statement saying that maybe it’s not such a good idea to eat that pork infected with Swine Flu.

Maybe Egypt was right after all?


The Madness Continues

The pork consumption panic continues today with a new story in The Independent about how Russia is banning the import of pork from Great Britain. A little further down in the article, though, it is added that the ban is a formality, as Russia has already banned pork imports from Great Britain due to fears over foot-and-mouth disease. I’m confused, Russia?

Great Britain is the latest addition to Russia’s growing list, which includes Spain, Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and the country of Spain. Russia has cast an even wider net when it comes to other countries: All meat, including pork, beef, and poultry has been banned as an import from Mexico, Central America, Caribbean countries, California, New York, South Carolina, and Texas. The country has also banned imports of live pigs and pork that have not been heated above 176 degrees F for no less than 30 minutes from Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, New Jersey, and Ohio.

To counteract these moves, the pork industry has enacted a campaign to reassure pork consumers that the meat is safe to eat. Russia claims that since the H1N1 virus is so new, and since it is an evolved strain of several other viruses, there is too much uncertainty not to play it safe.

So Egypt is killing all its pigs and Russia doesn’t want any pigs. The saddest victim in this flu game is of course the pig, a smart, sweet animal that has, like other domesticated, feed lot livestock, been abused since industrial farms became the norm. The Swine Flu outbreak is yet another call for clean farming practices, for a national body that oversees all farming conditions on food determined for export.