Confessions of a Fat Bastard
: Texas Monthly's Daniel Vaughn
on the life of a full-time barbecue writer.
"Since Texas Monthly named me the nation’s first and only full-time barbecue editor
in March 2013 (previously
), my health has been a topic of international discussion. My job requires that I travel from one end of the state to the other eating smoked brisket, one of the fattiest cuts on the steer. And I can’t forget to order the pork ribs, sausage, and beef ribs. Of course my diet is going to raise eyebrows. Including those of my doctor."
An Oxford University study of over 50,000 participants, published this month in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Climatic Change
: Dietary greenhouse gas emissions in meat-eaters are twice as high as those in vegans
facts and figures about the animals we eat
Monsanto Is Going Organic in a Quest for the Perfect Veggie
- "The lettuce, peppers, and broccoli—plus a melon and an onion, with a watermelon soon to follow—aren't genetically modified at all. Monsanto created all these veggies using good old-fashioned crossbreeding, the same technology that farmers have been using to optimize crops
for millennia. That doesn't mean they are low tech, exactly. Stark's division is drawing on Monsanto's accumulated scientific know-how to create vegetables that have all the advantages of genetically modified organisms without any of the Frankenfoods ick factor." [more inside]
is the world's largest exporter of pork, killing approximately 100,000 pigs a week to cater to the growing global demand for meat. Alastair Philip Wiper
visited the company's abattoir in Horsens to capture a behind-the-scenes look at the entire process
, starting at the pens where the pigs arrive and moving through the spaces where the animals are slaughtered, butchered and packaged for sale.
Though humans often liken themselves to top predators such as lions, a new study
) used FAO data to calculate the human trophic level (HTL), i.e.
the position of Homo sapiens
in the food chain, and found that humans are actually on a par with anchovies and pigs with an average trophic level of 2.21
1 for plants to 5.5 for bears and orcas). Values vary by country, from 2.04 in the 97% plant-eating Burundi to 2.57 in the 50% fish-loving Iceland. As meat consumption is growing in countries like India and China, mankind is globally becoming more carnivorous and has been improving its trophic level by 3% since 1961. [more inside]
OK, this is a single-recipe post, but if you would like to host a steak dinner for more than like two people and get sous-vide-like results with less hassle and equipment, here's what you do
: Freeze the steaks, sear them hot, then stick them in a low oven for an hour. Nathan Myhrvold (Modernist Cuisine) explains
As if ticks weren't awful/awesome enough already, the Lone Star Tick (Amblyomma americanum
) has been shown
to transmit an allergy to meat
in humans. [more inside]
Two oxen are slated for slaughter at Green Mountain College (VT).
The Oxen, named Bill and Lou, have worked for 11 years on the rural campus. Now Lou is injured and, consistent with college policy, both are scheduled for slaughter to provide hamburger for the student dining hall. This has provoked much discussion, including editorials
from many sources. Many of the students, even vegetarians, support the decision.
It might still be September, but signs of halloween are already in the air. Or, rather, at the butcher's
The American Diet in One Chart
: "American eaters have gotten a windfall from the the era of cheap meat
that dawned in the early '80s. Meat prices tumbled as small farms shuttered, to be replaced by massive factory-scale farms
that stuffed animals with cheap, subsidized corn and soy
and kept them alive and growing to slaughter weight with daily doses of antibiotics
. ... Consumers put some of the savings into eating more meat
, and shifted some out of the savings out of food purchases altogether ... But what what they mostly did was shift cash that once went to meat into processed food
What's inside your filet minion could kill you.
-- Well, it probably won't, but would you order that $15 steak if you knew it was restructured
out of glued-together
Is it Ethical to eat meat? (SLNYT)
The NYT Ethicist asked reader to submit essays making an ethical case for eating meat. Here are the top six along with the results of the reader poll.
The Swedish Chef (Muppet Wiki)
is the incomprehensible preparer of foodstuffs for The Muppet Show. A rather literal variation of the Live-Hand Muppet concept, the Swedish Chef is a humanoid character, with human hands rather than gloves. An annotated list of every televised appearance of the Swedish Chef is after the fold... Børk! Børk! Børk! [Click here to view the thread translated fully into Mock Swedish] [more inside]
In a first-person tale of woe, a beleaguered New Yorker stranded in the Land of Lard related his struggle to find adequate vegetarian options
[NYT link, featuring obligatory pic of sullen, obese Midwesterners]. Reactions came swiftly, albeit indirectly
[also NYT] since, curiously, the article itself lacks a comment section. Best comment: the one touting the multiple and tasty options, including veggie dogs and veggie chili on coney dogs, at the dive bar just across the street from the KC Star.
Despite an apparent unfamiliarity with such staples as grilled cheese sandwiches, the cub reporter's failure probably won't keep him down for long. [more inside]
All across the world you'll find different varieties of dumplings
. However, starting in Eastern Europe and spreading across central Asia and into northeast Asia, you'll find a remarkably similar variety
featuring a thin skin and a meat filling. Variants can be found all the way from Poland (Pieorgies
) to Korea (Mandu
), a distance of nearly 5,000 miles (more than 7,500 km). [more inside]
A never-aired fourteenth episode of Carl Sagan's groundbreaking PBS show Cosmos
has been discovered, detailing the one of the strangest planets yet discovered
A revolutionary new food supply
, announced by author Mykle Hansen. [more inside]
I eat roadkill.
Meet Jonathan McGowan
, who has spent 30 years eating only roadkill. The conservationist makes owl curries and rat stir fries because he doesn't like the way farmed animals are treated.
Barbecue (or barbeque) Porn
And on flickr
(Sorry about that: Myself, I’m been a vegetarian for over 41 years, so this is not for me)
It's Friday, which means it's time for some meat eating, surfing, burger flipping fun
With Jack O'Shea, Making Pfannkuchen
(a sweet yeast dough fried in oil) with Lars Siebert at the oldest bakery in Berlin, Mannfred Otte baking Apple strudel
and 6 similar culinary videos
from The Department of the 4th Dimension studio .
Also, Making Espresso
in Venice, (CA).
Other tasty topics at 'Perfunkt' with support from Emil Rathenau
Your future food being kicked, stamped on and inappropriately stunned.
"Sickening" footage of British slaughterhouses captured by animal welfare charity Animal Aid
may lead to CCTV footage being installed in all British abattoirs. Via The Guardian
She read from notes, stumbling occasionally, and did not so much lean on her metaphors as wrestle them to the floor and grind them underfoot; but they loved it anyway - all 15 minutes of it. She attacked everyone from the president on down, demanded stricter standards for America's service personnel, espoused an aggressive red-meat constitutionalism, and proposed a new policy which she summed up as "if you don't like it - go home."
The 2,000-strong crowd cheered wildly as she literally howled her frustration before leading them, fists pumping, in an anti-incumbent chant of "Go home!" A strange mix of patriotism and petulance, it was a rough kind of stump speech that hadn't been tested in a focus group or tried out on a campaign aide, and which was delivered with complete disregard for how it might play in the media.
Witness the startling political debut
of Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, American citizen.
Although Americans' appetite for local, grass-fed beef is growing, regional livestock farmers face a nagging problem: a shortage of slaughterhouses. Now some of them are turning to mobile operations to butcher their animals on their own farms
. Mobile slaughter units feed the local food movement
"You know that moment when you are at your favourite restaurant and you bite into a juicy steak? Well, we create those steaks by sharing the wine with the cattle."
So says the mission statement for Sezmu Meats. You've probably heard of Kobe beef
which according to popular belief is fed one beer per day, massaged with sake daily, brushed to set their fur, and fed on grain fodder. "The cattle at Semu Meats are raised in the beautiful Okanagan Valley located in British Columbia, Canada. They enjoy a diet of grass until they reach a desirable size at which point their diet matures. Then they are fed a proprietary blend of grains with a cow sized glass of red BC wine every day until production. A cow sized glass is well over a bottle of wine! Then the beef is dry aged for 21 days to achieve maximum flavour." Check out their blog: Okanagan Daily Special
to view some pictures that compare beef fed without wine and those with.
A new study suggests
that you will gain more weight if you eat meat
, even if you eat the same amount of calories as someone who eats less meat.
It might be a good idea to cancel that meat party. [more inside]
A history of well-done meat in America. "I prefer my meat cooked through, gray, no trace of pink. Shoe leather? To me that signifies 'food safety.' Mine is the hockey-puck, the charcoal, the hunk of tuna that is still on the grill. Gourmands consider well-done timid, even cranky. It's the gradation of people who don't really like to eat."
American Meat Is Even Grosser Than You Thought
In the focus
on E. coli and salmonella, meat contaminated by heavy metals, veterinary drugs and pesticides has been slipping through the bureaucratic cracks. PDF report
from USDA via
. Pesticides previously
Forget about cupcakes, meat's the thing.
Somehow chopping up animals has worked its way into the hipster mainstream
, creating a nexus of locavorism, animal protection, and transgression
If you've got a live animal that you want to eat, you will need to kill it. Here's some people sharing ways to get the task done.
Killing and dressing a chicken.
Shooting and butchering a pig.
A goat is slaughtered.
Time.com on killing and roasting a goat.
The New Age Cavemen and the City:
"The caveman lifestyle in New York was once a solitary pursuit. But Mr. Durant, who looks like a cheerful Jim Morrison, with shoulder-length curly hair, has emerged over the last year as a chieftain of sorts among 10 or so other cavemen." - Joseph Goldstein, writing in The New York Times. [more inside]