Wednesday, March 31, 2010

McDonald's Customer Crawls Through Drive-Thru for Fish Sandwich

A customer in South Brunswick, N.J. crawled out of his car and into the drive thru window to get his fish sandwich, after slapping the McDonald's employee in the face.
"His Filet-O-Fish was taking too long at 4:30 in the morning," said the police.
The customer yelled at the employee and pushed him against the counter.
After he slapped him, he took his sandwich.
If that wasn't enough, the customer then threatened the employee by telling him "I'll be waiting for you when you get off work."
The suspect walked out of the store with his fish filet sandwich, went to his car, still parked in the drive thru lane and left.
He never came back for the employee.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Central kids don't like chef Oliver's school lunches, survey finds

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. --  Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver wanted to start something big, but instead he there's a revolt.
A survey of the school in his new ABC reality show found that school kids overwhelmingly wanted regular school food to his freshly made creations.
It's come to the point that many stopped buying lunch altogether.
The survey, conducted by the West Virginia University Health Research Center discovered that these kids
wanted pizza, chicken nuggets and the other school entrees they were used to by a margin of 4-to-1, with nearly eight in 10 "very unhappy'' about Oliver's creations.
As a result, there' been a revolt and kids have simply stopped buying the chef's lunches.
The survey found children also drank less milk after Oliver removed the sugary chocolate and strawberry varieties, offering only plain white skim or water.
While Central City is still serving Oliver's food, they put the pink and brown milk back on the lunch menu because the children need the nutrients.
WVU researchers Carole Harris and Drew Bradlyn agree with that decision and call the lower lunch-participation rates "very concerning.''

Monday, March 29, 2010

Wasting The Strawberry Fields

At strawberry farms across southwest Florida workers aren't picking strawberries, they're destroying them.
"We've got more berries than we know what to do with," said Matt Parke, a strawberry farmer.

Parke said that he was forced to tear through 60 acres, nearly half of his crop, to save his farm. He said that prices have dropped so much that it seems cheaper to let the fruit spoil than ship it to market.

Strawberry farmers can usually sell a flat of strawberries, about 12 pounds, for $12 this time of year. Today, there's so much fruit for the picking, a flat sells for as little as $3.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Billionaires Pankaj Oswal and Radhika ban workers from eating meat on their property

Construction workers have been told by Indian-born billionaire Pankaj Oswal and his socialite wife Radhika, that any food containing meat must not be consumed on the site.
Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union Western Australian assistant secretary Joe McDonald said the ban was "absolutely wrong".
"She still wants them to build her $70 million mansion, but she's telling them what they're going to eat . . . it's wrong," he said.
"I respect everybody's right to practice their religion, but I totally disagree with anyone forcing it on others.
"That has caused more wars and destruction throughout the world than anything else I know of.
"If people are working on the job and they want to have a ham sandwich or a bacon and egg sandwich, they should have one."

Mr Oswal, who is in New York this week helping Mrs Oswal prepare for the launch of her vegetarian fast-food chain, Otarian, defended the meat ban, saying "This is our home".
Mrs Oswal has previously accused the meat industry of "raping the earth".
"Meat eating is creating bad karma and you are also creating a vicious cycle," she said.
"It's destroying us environmentally, economically and socially. I'm putting my money where my mouth is. I've always been a vegetarian so I have always felt strongly about it.
"First, because of religious reasons, but then later because I realized the greater good associated with it."
The family does not eat meat out of Hindu tradition - although Radhika has previously said that the family is also keen to promote vegetarian diets as a sustainable option.

Below is a view of  the construction site.

The riverfront mansion being built over eight blocks will feature seven bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, a fitness centre, beauty salon, dance area, meditation room, telescope room, waterways, extensive gardens, parking for 17 cars and a swimming pool 10 times the size of an average backyard.
But beneath the Oswals' ostentation lies a tale involving allegations of some unpaid bills, claims of broken promises and eccentric behaviour.
The Oswal's property, in Perth's top suburb Peppermint Grove, and is expected to be worth about $70 million when complete.
It is set to be the biggest home in the country on the most expensive block, which is alone worth $22.7 million.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Japanese beverages you may not know about

Sodas seem to be a popular subject these days and we thought we should include beverages made for the Japanese.
Here is a collection of some Japanese beverages you may not know about:

 Curry and Wasabi Ramune   
Ramune is a popular fruit flavored Japanese soda.
Ramune also makes two strongly flavored sodas: Curry and Wasabi.
The curry flavored Ramune is actually a combination of curry and lemonade flavors.

Fanta Furufuru Shaker
This begins as a semi-gelled beverage, but when you shake it, the Fanta turns into a carbonated drink.

Pepsi White
This Pepsi blends the taste of cola with the creaminess and flavor of yogurt.

Coolpis Kimchi
 Fermented cabbage and hot peppers, as a Kimchi drink.

Yes, this is Sweet Bean Pepsi.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Birmingham Pub Blacklist from 1904

Even back then, in 1904 the Birmingham Pub Blacklisted customers for being drunk and disorderly.
Although this is a small collection, the Black pictures some of Birmingham’s most debauched characters from the turn of the last century.
The Black List provided licensed liquor sellers with photos and descriptions of ‘habitual drunkards’ who were not to be sold alcohol due to their reputation and past delinquencies.
let's take a little look, shall we?
Click on to the photos to enlarge them.

U.S. Soda Sales Fell - But at Slower Rate

After all the bad press about drinking soda you might think there would be this amazing drop in sales, right?
Well there was a drop in U.S.soft-drink sales, but the drop was less than previous years, as consumers switched from expensive juices and teas and back to less-expensive soda.
Soft-drink sales fell 2.1% in 2009, compared with a 3% decline in 2008 and a 2.3% drop in 2007, according to Beverage Digest, an industry publication and data service that tracks soft-drink sales in supermarkets and other retail outlets, vending machines and restaurants.

Soda sales may have fallen for five years in a row, but the fact that the drop in sales has slowed was a bit of good news for the industry.
Coca-Cola was still the best selling soft drink in 2009, but its market share fell 0.3 percentage point to 17%.
After years as the third most-popular soda, Diet Coke reached a near tie with Pepsi-Cola for the No. 2 spot, with 936.3 million and 936.4 million cases respectively. Diet Coke and Pepsi-Cola both scored a 9.9% market share last year.
Among the top 10 soda brands, only Diet Mountain Dew, marketed by PepsiCo Inc., and Diet Dr Pepper posted growth.
Bottled-water sales have declined two yearsr in a row, after a decade of great sales.
However, Nestlé Pure Life, a line of water you'll find in retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., enjoyed a 14.6% increase in volume.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

PepsiCo Develops 'Designer Salt' to lower Sodium Intake

PepsiCo Inc. plans to start producing batches of a secret new ingredient to make its Lay's potato chips healthier, not necessarily taste better, just healthier.
This should be an interesting experiment because salt adds body to foods as well as enhancing flavor, and little is understood about how salt is perceived on the tongue.
The secret ingredient is a designer, powdery salt, where the crystals are shaped and sized in a way that reduces the amount of sodium (25%) when consumers eat the chips.
The new salt could also reduce sodium levels in seasoned Lay's chips like Sour Cream & Onion, PepsiCo said, and it could be used in other products like Cheetos and Quaker bars.

At an investor conference the company said it is committed to cutting its products' average sodium per serving by 25% by 2015 and saturated fat and added sugar by 15% and 25%, sometime this decade.

Pressure is growing on U.S. food companies to act, because most of the salt Americans consume is in processed foods.
Michelle Obama is pressing food companies to cut fat, salt and sugar in their product, and New York City, as well as some health organizations,want restaurants and makers of packaged foods to cut salt 25% within the next five years.
They also want all Last Supper pictures burned, just kidding; that will come later.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Has the Last Supper become the vast supper?

Has the Last Supper become the vast supper?
With nothing better to do, researchers examined 52 paintings, which date between 1000 and 2000 A.D and found the sizes of loaves of bread were bigger.
The main dishes and plates were calculated with the aid of a computer program that could scan the items and rotate them in a way that allowed them to be measured.
To account for different proportions in paintings, the sizes of the food were compared to the sizes of the human heads in the paintings.
The researchers' analysis showed that portion sizes of main courses depicted in the paintings grew by 69 percent over time, while plate size grew by 66 percent and bread size grew by 23 percent.

Even though the results of the study were based off a painting, and Leonard Da Vinci was not at the last supper, and it was painted nearly 1500 years after Jesus died, and he had no idea what size the plates were or what they actually had for dinner, let's not allow that to get in the way of the April issue of the International Journal, called, (what else?) 'Obesity.'
So, if your gaining weight, you can blame the Last Supper.

Next thing you know we'll have Bobby Flay doing a throw down with the meal from the Last Supper.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Eating less meat will not help the climate

We know that PETA and Paul McCartney may not agree, but eating less meat will not reduce global warming.
You remember Paul McCartney, the well known vegetarian, and his "Less Meat, Less Heat" campaign?
For a refresher, see video below:

The report by Frank Mitloehner, (an air quality expert at the University of California-Davis) says such claims about meat and climate change are distracting society from finding real ways to beat climate change. 

"McCartney and others seem to be well-intentioned but not well-schooled in the complex relationships among human activities, animal digestion, food production and atmospheric chemistry," said Mitloehner.

"We certainly can reduce our greenhouse gas production, but not by consuming less meat and milk," Frank Mitloehner said on Monday as he presented a report on meat-eating and climate change at a conference of the American Chemical Society in California.

Mitloehner, not an entertainer but an air quality expert at the University of California-Davis, said blaming cows and pigs for climate change was scientifically inaccurate.

He also dismissed a 2006 report by the United Nations, which he said overstate the role that livestock play in global warming.

The UN report - Livestock's Long Shadow - which said livestock cause more anthropogenic greenhouse gases than all global transportation combined, merely distract from the real issues involved in climate change and was a distraction in the quest for true solutions to global warming, said Mitloehner.

The notion that eating less meat will help to combat climate change has spawned campaigns for "meatless Mondays" and a European campaign launched late last year, called "Less Meat, Less Heat".

"Smarter animal farming, not less farming, will equal less heat...

"Producing less meat and milk will only mean more hunger in poor countries."

Developing countries "should adopt more efficient, Western-style farming practices, to make more food with less greenhouse gas production," added Mitloehner.

Rather than focusing on producing and eating less meat, Mitloehner said developed countries "should focus on cutting our use of oil and coal for electricity, heating and vehicle fuels."

In the United States, transportation creates an estimated 26 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions, whereas raising cattle and pigs for food accounts for about three per cent, he said.

The UN report, issued in 2006, said global livestock rearing was responsible for 18 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions measured in carbon dioxide equivalents.

The UN report said that was more than the greenhouse gases produced by transport.

The Food Labeling Truth or Dare Game

Truth and dare is an interesting game.
The idea is to uncover the truth or face the consequences.
Food labeling just may be the same game.

Watchdog group Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) recently sent a scathing report to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration itemizing what it said were false food-label claims and demanding action.

DNA studies done late last year by two New York City high school students found that one out of six products in their own kitchens had labeling that was flat-out wrong. This included cheese claiming to be made from sheep's milk that was actually plain old cow's milk and caviar that was Mississippi paddlefish instead of sturgeon, as advertised.
According to a study released in 2009, about 2 percent of food products without a "may contain" warning actually do contain allergens. Even a trace of some allergens -- peanuts, for example -- could be lethal to some people.

So, is the FDA doing its job?
While there are many who think not, others believe the fault does not lie entirely with the agency.

Regardless, consumers should not believe these labels just because it's printed on the package.

"The FDA is supposed to keep assuring accurate nutritional labeling .. but that takes a lot of time and a lot of staffing," noted Susan Kraus, a registered dietitian with Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. "I don't think it's that they're blatantly not doing their job."
"It's not just the FDA," added Dr. Robert H. Sprinkle, associate professor in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, College Park. "There are a lot of people involved here, a lot of parts of government and a lot of activities that aren't really under government purview, although people might assume they are, such as supplements."

"How many hundreds of thousands of food products are sold every day?" added Sprinkle. "They're sold many times to hundreds of millions of people. They're processed in different plants. They might have origins in different countries. Differences in composition may actually displace some components or affect what happens in cooking. The idea that you could continually keep up with that and continually revise the labels so you hit it on the nose, it's not going to happen."
"The FDA label tells you what went in the product but when you bite into it, in some cases the food ingredients may have changed -- as a result of temperatures during the storage period or conditions during distribution of the product -- and are therefore no longer true to the label," explained Kantha Shelke, a spokeswoman for the Institute of Food Technologists

"Processes are changing and labeling technology hasn't kept up, and it's in the interest of some that it stay that way," Shelke said. "It's sort of like the police department. Do you take care of the big murderers or all the petty thieves? The FDA is in a similar position with a whole bunch of things in front of them.
Then there's the convenience factor. Americans want something that can stay on the shelf for six months, if need be, Shelke said, and adding more preservatives often means upping the calorie count. Salt is a big preservative, but too much doesn't taste that good, so manufacturers may add sugar or fat to compensate, he said.
Add to that the FDA's own built-in "fudge factor."
"The FDA allows up to 20 percent variance [on nutritive counts]," said  medical director Marina Kurian.
But even though labels may be confusing, some of the responsibility rests with consumers, she said.
"I think it's important for people to realize that they're not necessarily always getting what they think they're getting," Kurian said. "You can't just glance at the label. You have to really read it."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Hump charged with serving whale meat

Typhoon Restaurant Inc., which owns The Hump restaurant, and sushi chef Kiyoshiro Yamamoto are in a whale of trouble.
Federal prosecutors filed charges against a sushi chef and a Santa Monica restaurant on allegations that they served illegal and endangered whale meat, a misdemeanor.

According to a search warrant, marine mammal activists were served whale during three separate visits to the restaurant. Federal labs confirmed the meat came from a Sei whale, an endangered species protected by international treaties.

In October, two activists posing as customers went to The Hump and ordered "omakase," which means they let the chef choose the choicest fresh fish. They also requested whale and pocketed a sample.

The two activists women worked with Louie Psihoyos, remember him?
he was the director of the documentary "The Cove," to record the meal with a hidden camera and microphone.

"These are endangered animals being cut up for dinner," Psihoyos said. "It's an abuse of science."

Psihoyos took their findings to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which started an investigation.

Activists claim the whale meat came from Japan's scientific whaling program and was illegally exported, but the U.S. attorney's office is still investigating the source of the meat.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sidekick for lonely Travel host - Anthony Bourdain - Alternate Universe

Anthony Bourdain is now accepting applications for a new sidekick to assist him on his travels.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Alternate Universe, Anthony Bourdain and the travel bug strikes again

Seated in a doctor's waiting room, Anthony Bourdain
tries to calm the anxiety of 2 guys who have caught the bug.


Coca Cola - The official beverage for the Commonwealth Games

Mr Atul Singh, President and CEO, Coca-Cola India, with Mr Suresh Kalmadi, Chairman, Organizing Committee, Commonwealth Games, after signing an MoU for official beverage, in the Capital.

The organizing committee for the Commonwealth Games 2010 has announced that Coca Cola India will be the official beverage for the XIX Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi later this year.

Coca-Cola India's product will be sold to the spectators, served to athletes, team officials and volunteers.
 The association includes all of Coca-Cola India's beverage products.

The Organizing Committee Chairman, Mr Suresh Kalmadi said, “Coca-Cola has a strong legacy of supporting Olympics. Today is an important day for all of us as we are just 200 days away from the Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi.” Mr Atul Singh, President and CEO, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, said, “We will continue to spread the awareness of sports and a healthy lifestyle in future as well. We want to build a spirit of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.” The Coca-Cola Company has been associated with the Olympic Games since 1928.

Just as Pepsi is dropping out of the school soda business promoting a healthier lifestyle, Mr Atul Singh, President and CEO, Coca-Cola India says, “We will continue to spread the awareness of sports and a healthy lifestyle..."

Go figure!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Cambridge Tavern Bacon Eating Contest

f you love bacon like we do, then the place to be was at Atwood's Tavern in Cambridge, Mass.
The bar held the Fourth Annual Atwood's Bacon Eating Contest this past weekend,
There was even bacon-infused vodka which was described:
"It tastes like toilet water and feels like a hangover."

Each competitor had a different strategy, some ripped the bacon up into tiny pieces and others tried to stuff as much into their mouths as possible, hoping it would find its way down.

The big winner was Dan Del Rossi who consumed 10 ounces of the thick, chewy bacon.

"I feel great," Dan said afterward. "It was meant to be. I'm a fat kid."

Monday, March 15, 2010

She wants to be the World's Fattest Woman

A very big woman has a goal, she is trying to put on enough weight in order to become the world's fattest woman.

Donna Simpson, from New Jersey, weighs in at 602 pounds, but said she had her sights set on reaching her goal weight of 1000 pounds over the next two years.

The 42-year-old already holds the title of the world's fattest mother after giving birth to her daughter in 2007 when she weighed only 531 pounds.
She needed a team of 30 medics to deliver her daughter Jacqueline during a high-risk Caesarean birth.

"I'd love to be 1000lb ... it might be hard though, running after my daughter keeps my weight down," Ms Simpson said.

Ms Simpson, who needs a mobility scooter to go shopping, eats huge amounts of junk food each week and tries to move as little as possible so she doesn't burn off as many calories. (smart thinking)
"I do love cakes and sweet things, doughnuts are my favourite," she said.

Her 49-year-old partner Philippe (seen below) she met him on a dating site for plus-size people — was encouraging her to reach her goal, she said.

"I think he'd like it if I was bigger ... he's a real belly man and completely supports me," she said.

To put on enough weight, Ms Simpson will need to eat 12,000 calories a day, which is six times the recommended daily intake for women.

In order to pay for the enormous amounts of food she is eating — her weekly grocery bill is $815 Ms Simpson makes money by running a website where people pay to watch her consume fast food.
'I love eating and people love watching me eat,' she said.
'It makes people happy, and I'm not harming anyone.'

She insists she's healthy.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bobby Flay and America's Next Great Restaurant

Bobby Flay will join NBC to help pick "America's Next Great Restaurant" next season.

The Food Network star and restaurant owner will be one of five investors and judges on the show, which will crown the winner with opening it's own restaurant chain.
"America's Next Great Restaurant" comes from "Top Chef" executive producers Jane Lipsitz and Dan Cutforth. The show will put contestants through a series of tasks to decide the best restaurant concept.
The five judges will also put up some of their own money to invest in the winning restaurant, which will open in three cities.

Interested applicants for the series should go to the link below to pre-register for an open casting call at one of the eight stops on the nationwide casting bus tour.
Along with a completed and signed application and a photo ID, casting teams want applicants to bring anything they feel would help pitch their restaurant concept.
The presentation could be visual, edible or even wearable and applicants will have a limited time to pitch their idea.

So, if you have that great restaurant idea sign up at:
NBC Casting

Friday, March 12, 2010

The great tomato famine

Restaurants everywhere are feeling the pain after what the winter freeze did to Florida's tomato harvest.
Because of one of the coldest winters, 60% to 70% of Florida's tomato crop was destroyed, and tomatoes prices across the country have skyrocketed.
A 25-pound box of tomatoes from south Florida is selling for $30, up more than 300% from a year ago, when a box of tomatoes was $6.50 to $7.
Some restaurants are only offering the fruit "upon request," or taking tomatoes off their menus altogether. Burger King was so low on tomatoes in the last couple weeks that some of its restaurants were forced to stop offering them.
"We just didn't have them for a few days, so we put up a sign from corporate saying we're sorry, we're out of tomatoes," said an employee at a Burger King.
Since last week, Wendy's has been including tomatoes in its sandwiches and burgers only upon request, said Denny Lynch, a company spokesman."We're doing this in all U.S. stores for two reasons," Lynch said. "One is availability -- we can't get as many tomatoes as we need -- and secondly, the color, size and quality has been affected by the deep freeze in Florida, so the quality might not meet customers' expectations."
Lynch said Wendy's has placed signs explaining the situation outside the restaurant near the drive-through window and next to the cash registers inside, and that so far, customers have been very understanding.
"We've actually had a number of people compliment us that we told them about it beforehand," he said. "Everybody knows that we've had a harsh winter, so they're very understanding about it."
Maybe people will understand, but they will still feel the pinch.
At supermarkets, customers are starting to see an increase in prices and as a result reworking their shopping lists.
As if the winter damage wasn't enough, there is another culprit damaging tomato crops, the Late Blight, a fungus is threatening the tomato industry.

Late Blight, which has the botanical name Phytophthora infestans, (seen in photo above) is the same fungus that caused the Irish Potato Famine in the 1840s.
The cool, damp weather this summer has been perfect for the blight.

We know all this famine news is bringing tomato lovers to their knees as they weep in sadness, but this too shall pass.
In the meantime we will just have to weather the storm.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

PETA - Trash and Colorado Springs

PETA has made an offer to help the city of Colorado Springs by paying to put trash cans back in parks —but there's a catch.  The cans have to carry an anti-meat slogan and a picture of a woman in a lettuce bikini, like the one you see in the photo above.
The city stopped picking up trash in parks to save money, and all the trash cans were taken away.
So, PETA offered a deal to city officials, they'd pay for new trash cans. if the cans read  "Meat Trashes the Planet" and "Go Vegan." The cans must also have PETA logo and the lettuce-clad model.
Mayor Lionel Rivera says he'll consider the offer if PETA is also willing to pay to have the trash picked up and hauled to the dump.
But he also said that the Colorado Beef Council might demand equal time.

The Daddy Long Legs of Crabs

This giant of a crab was taken from the depths of the Pacific Ocean, and it measures an amazing ten feet from claw to claw.
We know what your thinking, it would go great with drawn butter, but sorry, it currently resides in Britain at the National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham, and many are saying, it's the biggest crab ever seen.
Believe it or not, this crab is still growing and could live up to 100 years, its legs will eventually reach fifteen feet.
Know one is certain how old the crab is, but its body is the size of a basketball.
“Our open-topped ray tank has the icy cold waters Crabzilla needs, and will be his home until the end of March. He absolutely dwarfs the other crabs in there, but he’s not aggressive and they should have nothing to worry about,” says Graham Burrows, curator of the National Sea Life Centre.”

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

This Bud's For You - Or Not

Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Budweiser, is suing Baby Beer Bottles, a Maryland company,  for selling 16-ounce Bunwiper and Little Tike baby bottles because they say it infringes on its trademark.
The Baby Beer Bottles cost $19.99 product, in case you're interested.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Puffer Fish is Killer

Unethical vendors in Thailand have been selling meat of the deadly puffer fish passed off as salmon, causing the deaths among the unknowing.

Even though it was banned in 2002, puffer fish continues to be sold in large quantities at local markets and restaurants.
Some of the vendors dye the meat of puffer fish so it looks like salmon which can be deadly.
The ovaries, liver and intestines of the puffer fish contain tetrodotoxin, a poison so potent that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it can “produce rapid and violent death.”

The fish is called fugu in Japan, where it is consumed by thrill-seeking Japanese gourmets for whom the risk of poisoning adds excitement.
Every year, there are reports of people dying or falling sick in Asia from eating puffer fish. Eating the fish can cause paralysis, vomiting, heart failure and death.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Seal meat to be on menu at Canadian Parliament

Canada's parliamentary restaurant will be serving seal meat on Wednesday in a gesture of defiance aimed at a European Union ban on imports of seal products.

In the above photo we see Canadian Minister of defense Peter MacKay cutting into some seal meat.

Canada's Conservative government says it's going to fight thel fight the EU ban, which was imposed last July on the grounds that the annual seal hunt off the east coast was cruel and inhumane.
A meal of double-smoked bacon-wrapped seal loin in a port reduction will be on the menu the office of Senator Celine Hervieux-Payette said.
"All political parties will have the opportunity to demonstrate to the international community the solidarity of the Canadian Parliament behind those who earn a living from the seal hunt," she said in a statement.
Ottawa says the hunt -- which takes place in March and April -- provides valuable income for Atlantic fishing communities. The seals are either shot or hit over the head with a spiked club called a hakapik.
An aide to Hervieux-Payette said that, depending on supplies, seal meat could be available once a week when in season. 

You may remember the poll we conducted some months ago:

The question? Would you try seal meat at a restaurant?

With 705 total votes, you said:

Yes, I'll try anything once (389)

Yes, I like seal meat (38)

No, it's a cruel industry (226)

I don't eat meat (52) 


Japanese fishing village defends its practice of hunting dolphins

Taiji Japan, a  Japanese fishing village that was the subject in the ocscar winning movie (best documentary) defended its practice of hunting dolphins as a part of a long tradition.
The movie, filmed footage of the slaughter and it claims that dolphin meat is contaminated with toxic mercury.
Taiji, a little fishing village in southwestern Japan, kills only a very small number of dolphins hunted by Japan each year.
The town kills about 2,000 dolphins every year for their meat,
some are captured and sold to aquariums.
But environmentalists have targeted Taiji because it uses a method called "oikomi," in which the dolphins are chased into shore, making the hunt easier.
"They won't stop this hunt because of such pressure," said Hisato Ryono, a local councilman who appears in the film.
The mayor's office released a statement that said Taiji's dolphin hunt is lawful and argued that the movie contained statements that were not based on science.
"There are different food traditions around the world," the statement read. "It is important to respect and understand regional food cultures, which are based on traditions with long histories."

Director Louie Psihoyos said The Cove isn't meant to bash Japan but that it is "a love letter to the Japanese people."
"Our hope is the Japanese people will see this film and decide themselves whether animals should be used for meat and for entertainment," Psihoyos said backstage after receiving his Oscar.

The Japanese government, which allows about 19,000 dolphins to be killed each year, acknowledges that dolphin meat is contaminated with mercury, but denies it's dangerous unless consumed in huge quantities.

Ryono, the local councilman, and Tetsuya Endo, an associate professor at Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, both appear in the current version of the film and say they were interviewed under false pretenses. Both say they have asked the filmmakers to remove footage, and Endo says he hasn't ruled out legal action.
"I feel that they should have declined the award," Endo said.

Psihoyos was unable to get permission to access the cove where the dolphins are killed. Fishermen blocked it with fences. So he and his film team secretly broke into the restricted area which is in a national park — at night to set up cameras that capture the slaughter.
Japanese government officials have defended the fishermen's right to hunt dolphins and called the film unbalanced.
"There are some countries that eat cows, and there are other countries that eat whales or dolphins," said Yutaka fisheries division director at Foreign Ministry. "A film about slaughtering cows or pigs might also be unwelcome to workers in that industry."

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Food Cost Maze

Your emails tell us that some of you don't understand food costs calculations, and that food cost formulas are like a confusing maze for some. 
So, we decided to discuss costing out menus, and show you how we do the math.
The simplicity comes down to how much you pay for food and how much you need to charge for it.

We like to see food costs around 30-35%, this means if it costs you $1.00 for something, you need to charge minimum of $3.34.  Some want the food costs even lower, that's fine if you are worth it and people are willing to pay it.
But for our purposes here, the food cost are set between 30% and  35%.

Lets say we are serving a steak dinner.

The initial cost of the steak dinner can be divided into two areas:
  1. Let's pretend the meat costs you $7.00 per portion.
  2. Let's say the plate also includes a starch, vegetable, salad and bread, so we'll add an additional $3.00 for that.
This makes he plate cost total $10.00.

Remember, every thing that goes onto the plate needs to be accounted for.

So how do you decide on the menu price?

Here's the formula:

Cost of your product/.35=menu price or $10.00/.35= $28.57

If you want even a lower food cost, let's see what 30% gives us.
Cost of your product/.30=menu price or $10.00/.30=$33.33

We have seen many formulas, but this is the one we use, it's simple and it gets the job done.
But if you need something more sophisticated to determine your food costs, we may have just the thing for you.

Singapore has put it's foot down on chewing gum

Singapore has put it's foot down on chewing gum.
They say the ban on chewing gum has contributed to a sparkly clean Singapore.
This ban began in 1992 as a way to reduce gum-related litter and vandalism, so says Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, parliamentary secretary of the national development ministry.
"We remain concerned that lifting the ban could result in chewing gum litter resurfacing as a problem," Mohamad said. "The government stands by its decision to ban chewing gum as the rationale is based on maintaining a clean and comfortable living environment."
"Let Singaporeans be accountable for the consequences, and not let our behavior be shaped by so many sticks."
Phua said. "If Singaporeans were seeking liberty in so many areas and the government does concede in some of these areas, why not liberalize the chewing gum ban?"
Phua also expressed frustration that Singapore is so well-known internationally for banning gum.
A clean city is more important than the freedom to chew gum, Mohamad said, adding that before the ban gobs of gum had stopped subway doors from closing, creating delays.
"Our efforts at creating a clean, green and safe living environment have garnered much more international acclaim than criticisms of the ban of chewing gum," he said.

Here's a odd little video about government oppression and the Singapore ban:

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Happy Pigs Just Taste Better

A city in China, (it really doesn't matter which one) has imposed mandatory rules on all slaughterhouses to make pigs more comfortable and happy before they are killed.
Because it's believed, this will make the meat tastes better.
Pigs are to be left alone for at least 12 hours before they are slaughtered, Music should also be played and some walking and patting will be required.
An official from some commission said that these humane killing methods would produce the sweetest meat: “After long-distance transport, the rest can help pigs get rid of tiredness. It will ensure the pork has the best taste and will prevent water-logged pork entering the market.”
Any slaughterhouse found in violation of the new rules would be “severely punished”, facing a fine of ¥50,000 (US$7,300), the commission said.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bobby Flay Dishes up $800.000 to Settle Claims

Chef Bobby Flay has agreed to dish up over $800,000 to settle claims that staffers at his Southwestern-style restaurants were cheated out of wages and tips.
In the suit, the workers claim Flay forced them to buy and launder their own uniforms, and didn’t give them a share of the mandatory tips charged to private-party tabs.

All this dough, minus more than $250,000 for lawyers' fees, is set to be served up to servers, bartenders, bussers and runners who worked at Flay's Bar Americain in Midtown, Mesa Grill on lower Fifth Avenue and the now-defunct Bolo Bar & Restaurant in the Flatiron District between January 2003 and last September.

Even though Bobby denies any wrongdoing he has decided to pay up rather than go to trial, according to papers filed yesterday in Manhattan federal court.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

This restaurant charge will leave a bad taste

Click to enlarge the ticket, you'll see the charge.

There are some restaurants in San Francisco that are charging a few extra dollars to the tab to cover the employers' mandatory contribution to the City's "Healthy San Francisco" health-coverage system.
The restaurants explain that they are charging separately to let customers know how much they're paying for employees' health coverage.
The restaurants are saying these aren't hidden charges, "It's not hidden; we print a notice on our menus."
San Francisco seems to be the only city with these charges, for now.
But, how long before this idea catches on at a restaurant near you?
Nothing succeeds in the hospitality industry like a bad idea.

Olympics advertising fast food make health experts worry

The Vancouver Winter Olympics were not politically correct and that makes health experts worry.

The health experts fret that we’ll remember some of those athletes eating burgers and fries and Egg McMuffins.
Figure skater Patrick Chan, speed skater Cindy Klassen and snowboarders Crispin Lipscomb of Edmonton and Brad Martin were among the athletes who talked about their love of fast food in McDonald’s restaurant ads.
With all the eating disorders the experts are talking about, the winter Olympics have gone and made things worse.
“I think it really messes up the whole clear public-health messages we’re trying to get out there,” says the University of Alberta assistant professor of physical education and recreation, whose research focuses on health promotion.
“If you’re not somebody who thinks about exercise or eating healthy a lot of the time ... seeing these Olympians, who are absolutely physically amazing, and seeing them tied to some fast-food restaurant, without even thinking about it, you start making associations.”

It sends the message that it doesn’t really matter what you eat as long as you exercise, and it’s hammered home by the sheer volume of ads that overwhelm those promoting healthy foods.

Dr. Peter Nieman of the Pediatric Weight Clinic in Calgary says he was disappointed with the message the McDonald’s ads send.
“Ideally these ads shouldn’t be there, but they’re there because McDonald’s provides money.
“It absolutely does not help at all (in the fight to stem obesity), but it’s a free society and people are allowed to do these ads.”
“If you can get maybe like a Wayne Gretzky to say ‘eat more fruits and vegetables,’ that would be great. It could be very powerful, especially with children, because the messenger is so important,” Nieman says.
Until that day, Berry says, it’s important for people to know that competitive athletes “eat quite carefully, so I seriously doubt these people are eating McDonald’s or any fast food regularly.”

In related good news: McDonald's announced the renewal of its worldwide Olympic Partnership through the 2012 Games, continuing the company's long-standing commitment to the Olympic Movement and the athletes who compete in the world's premiere sporting event.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Rocco and the Low-Calorie Meal Makeovers

We haven't seen Rocco in a while, but here he is, with a cookbook and low calorie makeovers.
So now, for what it's worth, Rocco DiSpirito.


Rachael Ray's Burger Bash

What's not to like about he annual Rachael Ray Burger Bash, held Feb. 25 at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Miami?
There were celebrity chefs like, Bobby Flay, Daniel Boulud, Masaharu Morimoto and Michael Symon. serving burgers.

The Michael Symon's pastrami-topped Fat Doug burger, won the People's Choice award.  (below)

Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto won accolades for the Best Dressed Burger.
Morimoto's Pork "Kakuni" Burger topped with Japanese pork belly and served with a house-made pickle. (below)

Runner up: fellow Iron Chef Bobby Flay's Bobby's Burger, Palace's Dallas Burger, "Crunchified", a spice crusted burger with coleslaw, Monterey Jack, BBQ sauce and pickles.
It took over 7,500 pounds of 10 varieties of ground meat to make 48,600 portions of 27 different hamburgers the Burger Bash.

Monday, March 1, 2010

More Fun With Journalism

Once again we look at some fun journalism, and even though it's non food related, we still enjoy it.