Sunday, June 6, 2010

Not Putting the Pieces Together Well

First, we have a review of a book about steak and travelling to eat it in seven different countries known for beef. I will preface the Cookbook review and food news hilarity to come with this passage:
After Schatzker meets Bill O’Brien, who keeps 50,000 cows in Texas and champions the use of corn-based feed, he spends the rest of “Steak” railing against such a diet. Among other reasons, it doesn’t produce what one expert calls “a rounded flavor profile,” and it requires antibiotics to keep livers and guts from failing.

The steaks from grass-fed cattle, by comparison, show more complexity and communicate terroir, the influence of place. One such meal, Schatzker recalls, was “so intense that I was reminded of extremely ripe fruit. . . . It was like steak with headphones on.” Unfortunately, grass feed doesn’t guarantee good flavor. “Bad grass,” he explains, “equals bad steaks.” One particularly horrific example evokes “an old, atrophied, abscessed organ left in the trunk of a car sitting in a Miami parking lot for two weeks in July.”
On May 28, 2010 you got to read this:
It’s hard to be cynical about homemade jelly. And everyone likes to save money. These are the sentiments publishers are hoping will still exist a year after they put this summer’s cookbooks into motion. Instead of trotting out the usual spate of celebrity grillers, this season’s bookshelf instructs us to get back to basics, preferably those practiced by our great-grandmothers. I’m sure home-butchery manuals will be ready by the fall, complete with brown- paper dust covers. In the meantime, we’ll be making jams and syrups from foraged berries, churning butter and clotting cream, griddling our own English muffins, mastering the fundamentals of gadgetless cooking and turning out meatballs that would make anyone’s nonna proud. Even celebrity chefs have kicked it down 20 ­notches. When Emeril Lagasse is pushing a farm-to-fork book, you know it’s Michael Pollan’s world. We just cook in it.
Then one week later on June 4, 2010, you get this:
If Americans ate only foods advertised on TV, a new report says, they would consume 25 times the recommended amount of sugar and 20 times the amount of fat they need, but less than half the dairy, fiber and fruits and vegetables.

For the study, being published this month in The Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers taped 28 days of prime-time television as well as Saturday-morning programming on the four major broadcast networks. They identified 800 foods promoted in 3,000 ads and used a nutritional software program to analyze the content of the items, comparing the foods’ nutritional values with the government’s food guide pyramid and recommended daily intake values for various nutrients.
Really? You're surprised? I didn't think so...

A guy goes out and tries to discover the perfect steak only to find two things. 1) He can't. And 2) There are so many variables you can't even follow his attempt well. The one that did come through is that corn is right out as the primary diet for tasty steaks. But then the related issue of 100-years of automation has removed us from the true heritage least you can still find Brandywine seeds (for now).

Then after we find out we'll never have a perfect steak we at least take solace in the fact that we can can tomatoes and peaches and get closer to our inner-Mamaw. This is a good thing.

Until you keep reading a week later and find out that we're doomed to be crushed under an epic plastic-wrapped avalanche of processed crap that will turn us all into Baron Harkonnen from fat we will only be able to conquer the universe when we 1) control the spice and 2) we control gravity to keep us from being crushed under our own weight.

What? Geeky reference?

Yeah, check the blog title...

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