Photo by Bohemianism
If you haven't heard Alton Brown plugging Heifer International lately, you haven't been watching enough TV.  Well good for you.
In any case, since 1944 Heifer International has been helping families and invigorate communities through livestock and training.  They have developed programs that alleviate hunger and poverty; and one of those programs is providing a family with a goat.
So you can't buy a goat for $5.  A whole goat costs $120, which even in the United States is a good amount of dough, so here's the deal.  
I have set up a PayPal donate button (see below) that will go into a goat fund.  For every $120 we collect, we will buy a goat through Heifer.  This will be an ongoing campaign.
So bring it on!  Tweet this, Like this, post about it, StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious, and Reddit.  Let's buy some goats!


Heifer Project International
One World Avenue
Little Rock, AR 72202
tel: (800) 422-0474
fax: (501) 907-2902
EIN: 35-1019477


Authordavid koch

Dr. Nammy Patel, the Toothhugger

Green dentistry pioneer, Dr. Nammy Patel is the first dentist to make a serious commitment to green sustainable business practices in San Francisco.  She takes a unique approach to combine dentistry and conserve the environment, using non toxic products, reducing waste and being minimally invasive.

Dr. Nammy conducts research and development to set standards in Green Dentistry and serves as a Enviro-mentor for the San Francisco Environment Agency to help small business become green.

Here is a recent interview we had:


1) Why the name Tooth Hugger?  You can't really hug a tooth unless you have really small arms!

It’s metaphoric, you see tree huggers save the trees, and toothhuggers save natural teeth!  That’s why we use small tools rather than arms to "hug" the teeth.

2) I'll bet you get this question all the time.  Do I really have to floss?

Absolutely yes!  Flossing is more important than brushing because it gets the bacteria in the gums and in between the teeth, so it cleans areas a toothbrush cannot reach.

3) By being green, do I have to use hemp floss that tastes like patchouli?

NO!  When it comes to flossing, you have the find the one that feels most comfortable for you. Some times people like thicker floss because they have larger spaces, some like it thin because their contacts are tight.  My personal favorite is Glide.


4) Can I use regular toothpaste, or do I have to use Tom's of Maine?

You can use any toothpaste that is SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) free. SLS causes sores in the mouth.

5) What natural things are good for my teeth, is there a secret blend of 13 original herbs and spices?

It’s great to eat foods that wash away easily. For example a apple is great becusec it does not get stuck to your teeth and saliva washes it away quickly.  Almonds are a great source calcium and protein, which helps maintain calcium in the teeth.

6) Can I still eat chocolate?  Coffee?  Marbles?

You can eat whatever food you like as long as you brush and floss!  Avoid the marbles they will crack your teeth!

7) What about mouthwash?  Most mouthwash that I've used in my life is already the color green...  

You technically don't need mouthwash!  The bacteria is removed by mechanical act of brushing and flossing. Mouthwash makes your breath fresh. It is best to avoid  mouthwash that has alcohol because it dries the mouth out.

8) I started using a tongue scraper recently, I'm not scraping my taste buds off am I?

 No, using a tongue scraper is like exfoliating your skin. Your body makes taste buds have a natural exfoliation process. Just don't scrape too hard.  My rule of thumb is scrape ten times.

9) If only do one thing to help my teeth last longer, what would it be?

FLOSS, use an electric toothbrush, and see your dentist



Thanks Nammy!

360 Post St. #704
San Francisco, CA 94108

Authordavid koch

After winning the prestigious TED prize of $100,000 last week in Long Beach, CA, Jamie Oliver has now been catapulted into the spotlight - he debuts his fist major network series in the US in March.  The video above is his heartfelt acceptance speech at the TED conference.  It may be 21 minutes long but sit down, grab a bag of butter-laden popcorn, an extra large box of Whoppers, a 64-ounce Dr Pepper, and watch it.

Starting on Friday, March 26th on ABC, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution will send him to "The Unhealthiest City in America," Huntington, West Virginia where he's going to get people to eat better.  In Huntington, over 50% of the residents are considered obese and in the show's trailer, they "don't want to sit around and eat lettuce all day."

But Jamie says, "This is about life and death."

In case you hadn't heard yet, for the first time in history this generation of children is expected to have a shorter life span than its parents.  So now with $100,000 in grant money, another book (Jamie's Food Revolution), and a six-part TV show - Jamie Oliver is set to change the way we eat... will we let him?

Most of you reading this are likely already "Foodistas," but  we all know people we care about and/or are related to people who don't understand the intricacies between OPEC petroleum, corn, Cargill, Monsanto, McDonalds, and heart disease.  The more media devote attention to awareness, the more the tides will shift towards Americans caring what they put into their bodies.

It pleases me that ABC is building on the success of NBC's The Biggest Loser and addressing this country's weight/health connection; whether or not they have altruistic or financial reasons to fund the show, I don't really care.  The fact that they are bringing yet another "Fat Camp" to prime time makes me think we really are going to witness a revolution.

Jamie started a petition to sign which he plans on presenting to the White House after the ABC series airs.  It simply reads, "I support Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. America's kids need better food at school and better health prospects. We need to keep cooking skills alive."

Sign the petition and/or donate to the cause:  I did.


Authordavid koch

I recently watched the documentary Food Inc. by Director Robert Kenner.  I loved it!  Being a big fan of Michael Pollan, documentaries, and double cheese burgers, I found the plot as thick as my arteries after powering down a Carl's Jr. Double Six Dollar Burger.

Michael Pollan: There are no seasons in the American supermarket. Now there are tomatoes all year round, grown halfway around the world, picked when it was green, and ripened with ethylene gas. Although it looks like a tomato, it's kind of a notional tomato. I mean, it's the idea of a tomato. 

Joel Salatin: A culture that just uses a pig as a pile of protoplasmic inanimate structure, to be manipulated by whatever creative design the human can foist on that critter, will probably view individuals within its community, and other cultures in the community of nations, with the same type of disdain and disrespect and controlling type mentalities.


  1. McDonald's is the #1 buyer of ground beef and potatoes, and one of the top for lettuce and tomatoes.
  2. The average supermarket stocks over 47,000 products.
  3. 100 years ago, the average acre of corn yielded about 20 bushels, today that number is more than 200.
  4. NAFTA flooded the US Mexico with cheap US corn (because it is so heavily subsidized), this put nearly 1.5 million corn farmers out of work.  Many of whom have migrated into the US to find work.
  5. In 1900 the average farm fed 6-8 people, today the average farm feeds 126.
  6. Americans eat about 200 pounds of meat per year - this could not be financially possible without subsidization and corn being sold below the cost of production.
  7. In the 1970's the top 5 meat packing companies processed about 25% of the market.  Today the Top 4 (Tyson, Cargill, Swift, and National Beef) process more than 80% of the meat we eat.
  8. 13 massive slaughterhouses manufacture the vast majority of all the meat consumed in the US.
  9. Tar Heel North Carolina's Smithfield Packing plant is the largest slaughterhouse in the world, processing 32,000 hogs a day.  That's 2000 per hour.
Authordavid koch
4 CommentsPost a comment

I was sent this video from multiple people last week.  It is from an exposé by ABC 7 (WJLA - Washington DC).  They tracked down the source of many of Whole Food's brand 365 Organic (by looking at the label on the back) and found that many come from China.  It appears as if the footage aired in May 2008. 

The video raises several questions.  Can organic certification be trusted in China?  What's better, organic produce flown in from half way across the globe, or a little FDA approved pesticides on produce grown locally?  If the "California Blend" of frozen vegetables comes from China, shouldn't they call it the "Chengdu Blend"?  Why are people just circulating this video now?


I know that I love the deli section of Whole Foods and have been known to drop some coin on a gourmet lunch every now and then.  I don't think Whole Foods sucks, do you?  What are your thoughts?  If you had to choose only one... would you go with local?  Or, organic?

Authordavid koch
2 CommentsPost a comment

I'm no vegetarian, in fact I firmly believe that if God didn't want us to eat animals, He would not have made them so darn delicious.  To compound that, have you seen my canine teeth?  They're like razors; and furthermore, I do love me some good-good In-N-Out, crisp bacon wrapped around a tender Fillet Mignon, and some Panko encrusted Veal Parmigiana.

The fact remains, that much of the US meat industry is riddled with problems.  Government subsidized corn and soy artificially drive down the price of meat in this country to the point where a double cheeseburger costs less than a large tomato.  I love double cheese burgers, but still, that shouldn't be so.

Hormones, antibiotics, animal rights.  Cardiovascular disease, cholesterol, obesity.  Hinduism, Zen Buddhism - even Catholics abstaining from "meat" on Fridays.  Mass production, pollution; there's a new pun in "pork-barrel" corruption.  Your own health, the overall health of the animals.  The reasons to eat less meat are many, why do we consume so much of it?

It is practically "Un-American" not to have meat at every meal.  A wonderful Spanish professor of mine, the late Tim McGovern, told me a story about

Authordavid koch

photo by richad ling

We've all seen them but for most of us Lionfish seem reserved for aquariums; sometimes in public places, sometimes in the homes of friends bold enough to pull off salt water boxes.  Unfortunately for other fish, people have been seeing them in the Atlantic (where they are not native).  Unfortunately for us, we are not seeing them enough on our plates.

In a recent article in The Economist called, Eat for the Ecosystem, that's exactly what Sean Dimin, one of the owners of a firm called Sea to Table is proposing.  In order to help fend off the invasive species - eat them. Sea to Table "partners with local fishermen from sustainable wild fisheries, finding better markets for their catch."

The problem is not just that Lionfish are non-native, it is that they eat nearly everything

Mark Hixon, an Oregon State University professor of

Authordavid koch

Somewhere between McNuggets and a McRib

On his blog, Weather Sealed, Stephen von Worley asked the question, "just how far away can you get from our world of generic convenience?"  More specifically, he sought to answer the question - How far could one possibly get from a McDonald's...

He compiled the locations of all 13,000+ McDonald's locations in the contiguous 48 - and then mapped them.  What you see below is a speck of light emanating from each:  the grid forming tight clusters around metropolitian areas and outlines pf the major freeways like a geographically correct Lite-Brite.

Stephen then proceeded to work out the math to determine where in the United States is the farthest place from any McDonald's

Authordavid koch
CategoriesHumor, Politics
2 CommentsPost a comment

My wife was craving some KFC the other day (it's not Kentucky Fried Chicken anymore) and I didn't feel like cooking... well that, I was exhausted from work and I could walk there too were all factors that helped her cause.  We got some combos with the requisite Mashed Potatoes 'N Gravy (which I call wallpaper paste), Cole Slaw (which I shamefully enjoy), and their biscuits (which have gone dreadfully downhill since my youth.)

What caught my eye was the packet titled "Colonel's Buttery Spread" which beyond its title bore only the following two tidbits of information: "Keep Refrigerated" and "Artificially Flavored."  What is this magical spread?  Was it outsourced to the Keebler Elves and made churning Yeti milk with a unicorn's horn?

I went online to take a peek at the KFC Nutrition Guide...

Authordavid koch
7 CommentsPost a comment

We've covered Burger King's controversial ad campaigns in the past (Fast Food Frenzies) like their Whopper Virgins and the Whopper Sacrifice but this time, Burger King deals another foul ad, managing to offend only a billion people, Hindus.  In a print ad, they depict the goddess Lakshmi straddling a meat sandwich with a tagline of  "Snack is Sacred." 



I suppose no one in the Marketing Department knows much about Hinduism - which advocates vegetarianism; and those Hindus who do eat meat, nearly all abstain from beef.  The cow is considered a symbol of life and will likely never be successful on a Burger King menu in India.



Earlier this year Burger King released a rare apology over one of its ad campaigns in Spain after it offended the 150+ million Mexican people globally.  The ad in question was for its "Texican Whopper" - a cheeseburger with a chile and a spicy mayonnaise. 

The ads portray a short-stature Mexican wearing the Mexican flag and a professional wrestling mask co-inhabiting with a tall American cowboy character.  At one point in the ad, the American lifts up the Mexican character so that he can place a trophy on a high shelf.

The most notable reaction came from Mexico's ambassador to Spain who wrote a letter to the company.  Burger King quickly replied in a statement "Burger King Corporation has made the decision to revise the Texican Whopper advertising creative out of respect for the Mexican culture and its people" (via Reuters.)


Authordavid koch
CategoriesHumor, Politics

Coffee fans unite!  Starbucks has blended beans from East Africa to make this 'promotional' bag for the ongoing (RED) Campaign to support The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Africa.

This stuff is REALLY good.  I like the idea behind the (RED) Campaign, but this IS a foodie website, and I promise I wouldn't hype the stuff if it sucked.  If you're looking for another great charity, my friend Nyla started Mama Hope, which founded a health clinic in Kenya.

Back to the coffee... The (RED) blend is quite nutty; almonds, chestnuts, cashews.  It also has a mild acidity that balances well with the earthiness.  They describe it as having floral and citrus notes, which I don't get, but it is a great blend nevertheless. 

Starbucks will donate $1 for every bag you buy.  I think everyone should buy one bag. 

Go.  Now.  Here.  Buy a bag, don't be a chump:

What is the (RED) Campaign?  Well, if you've been living in a bubble, it is the partnership between American Express, Apple, Converse, Dell, Emporio Armani, Gap, Hallmark, Starbucks, and Microsoft to help aid The Global Fund.  This is where you can find your red ipods, your red credit card, red laptop, red sunglasses, red T-shirts, and your red copy of Windows Vista.

What is The Global Fund?  It is one of the largest public/private partnership organizations to disperse international health financing.

"Since its creation in 2002, the Global Fund has become the main source of finance for programs to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, with approved funding of US$ 15.6 billion for more than 572 programs in 140 countries. It provides a quarter of all international financing for AIDS globally, two-thirds for tuberculosis and three quarters for malaria.

Global Fund financing is enabling countries to strengthen health systems by, for example, making improvements to infrastructure and providing training to those who deliver services. The Global Fund remains committed to working in partnership to scale up the fight against the diseases and to realize its vision – a world free of the burden of AIDS, TB and malaria."


I like my beans ground on a number 2.  They always ask, "What's that for?"  I deduct that number 2 is a vestigial grind, left over from some more flamboyant era because no one uses it anymore.  Anyways, when you're using a paper cone, a number 2 grind works perfect for me. 


I also like my coffee best when it's served in a wacky mug...



Authordavid koch
8 CommentsPost a comment

photo by Antoinne von Rimes

The Germans have a word for it: Schadenfreude.  It loosely translates as taking pleasure in other people’s misfortune.  I experience this gleeful emotion every time I watch a show like the CHOPPING BLOCK, NBC’s reality, restaurant, cooking-game show which seems to be a blend of the Last Restaurant Standing, the Apprentice, and that fiasco with Rocco di Spirito a few years back.

The Chopping Block is back on the air after suddenly being dropped off the schedule a couple of months ago.  I guess that was because of low ratings or something, but happily for me it is back on now.

I like the show, even with the over the top monarchial attitude of host Marco Pierre White, noted chef and restaurateur.  Chef Pierre White seems to believe he is Machiavelli giving advice to members of the de Medici clan.  Chef Pierre White gives basic lectures on the blatantly obvious, but it seems to be brilliantly acute advice for these contestants.

I do not know if it is the hot lights or the cameras that make people on Reality shows lose every ounce of common sense and drains them of the ability to think.  There should be a mathematical equation which states: As the value of the prize increases, the contestant’s I.Q. and ability to reason decreases, and this is inversely proportional to their greed.

I am constantly amazed at the dumb things people do on these shows.  It is beyond me why people who have never worked in a restaurant would want to open a restaurant, and who are convinced they can operate a successful restaurant.  I can cook a mean breakfast, and can cook eggs like the no one on earth, but you do not see me jumping to the conclusion that I have the knowledge base to open a little breakfast nook someplace and make a fortune on my superior ability to roll a French omelet .

No, what I just stated to you was how I am a good cook----eggs mainly.  I did not say I knew anything about cooking eggs day in and day out for weeks on end, dealing with suppliers, employees, banks, landlords, acts of god, and the government.  No.  I said I like to cook eggy things and I am pretty damn good at it — nothing more.

The people on these shows have not taken a true stock of their situation, abilities, and limitations.  Most of them would be better situated as caters, private chefs, corporate chefs, and backyard/weekend soirée chefs.

The cowboy world of the chef owner operator is a rarified world reserved for those men and women who leap tall buildings in a single bound, pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger, and would slap Mike Tyson simply because it would feel good.  The kind of people who become successful chef owner operators are more than often neurotic, misanthropic, angst ridden, demon plagued, narcissistic, ego maniacs who are just as likely to end up in prison as in front of a hot pan.

These creatures called chef owner operators are akin to the frontiersmen of days of old.  Those brave psycho bastards who did not go out into the wild to discover unknown territory, but went out there to be where no one else was because they could not stand other people.

This is not the caliber of individuals who populate restaurant Reality shows.  No, these people/contestants are acting like some guy who just got his girlfriend to pay for dinner and he now thinks he can be a pimp.  Well, pimpin' ain’t easy and neither is running a restaurant.

Running a restaurant is war.  Running a restaurant is like running the U.S. State Department in high heel Manolo Blahniks and carrying a heavy tray over your head.  Running a restaurant is what God plans to do when he retires.

Running a restaurant makes for very good comedy though.  Watching the Chopping Block is as close to Three Stooges slapstick comedy as it gets.

So, watch the Chopping Block, and thank your lucky stars you are not one of those poor bastards clawing for their own restaurant to run.  I for one will be home holding my side while I laugh an even bigger stitch into it as these unprepared dreamers try to catch a tiger by the tail.

Schadenfreude... damn good word.


AuthorAntoinne von Rimes
CategoriesHumor, Politics
The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Michael Pollan
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Keyboard Cat


Author Michael Pollan goes on the Colbert Report to explain how the food-industrial complex is destroying what we eat by processing and synthesizing it.  He opines on how reducing a complex food down to a single component is fundamentally detrimental to our health.

One of the tenets of his newest book, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, is to only buy things with "5 ingredients or less."  He is steadfast that this is the most simple method for reducing the amount of synthetic food in our diets.

Interestingly, I recently tried Häagen-Dazs' new ice cream that is actually called five.  They boast that it only contains five ingredients: milk, cream, sugar, egg yolks... and then whatever flavor it is.  They make it in make Mint, Coffee, Vanilla, Ginger, Passion Fruit, Brown Sugar, and Chocolate and it's good!

Some of the highlights of the Colbert clip include Michael admitting to eating Yodels; how he got "busted" at the supermarket buying Fruity Pebbles, and he blasts infant formula but his mom is in the audience - and she tells him that he wasn't breast fed.  Zing!



Authordavid koch
3 CommentsPost a comment

photo by Antoinne von Rimes


This is an open letter to god, the supreme, supernatural being - or to whatever deity handles culinary matters.


Dear Great One:


I, a lowly human, offspring of Adam, request that you create a culinary fairy godmother, jinni, magical elf, or fantastical creature of your choosing to fill in the gaps, and/or black holes that plague the culinary world. My requests are as follows:


1.   I want California barbecue to taste like Southern barbecue. I want the same quality, taste, and awesomeness found in the South to be replicated here in the Golden State. Barbecue here sucks, and mail order Q takes too long and the best places in the South don’t know what the Internet is.

2.   The taste of all bad, retched food should last only three thousandth of a second in your brain before it morphs into the taste of cotton candy or bacon with only a fleeting memory of the afore-tasted bad food.

3.   I want quality Austrian pastry to be the standard for all pastry in the world. Sorry, French people, I love French pastry too, but you guys do so many things so well in the culinary world, whereas, the Austrians had to specialize in one area and command it.

I do not want to walk into another bakery in America and see the same selection of desserts, made in the same way, with the same ingredients, all tasting the same exact way. I want to bite into something new, and have my head explode with flavor and taste, and question myself if I was truly alive before I tasted this magnificent concoction of sugar, fat, flour and flavoring.

4.   I want there to be the equivalent of gourmet soup kitchens for poor gourmands who can not afford to eat at places like the French Laundry, Nobu, Fleur de Lis, Danko, and Le Cirque…. I want famous and talented chefs to operate an establishment where say for twenty bucks you could eat like Bernie Madoff, and enjoy the best of the best of everything in a grand dinning hall with free flowing wine. And this place should be wherever I happen to live.

5.   Every waitress in the world should be no less beautiful than Padma Lakshmi, and she should always give me her (real) phone number when I ask. Ok, that’s not really culinary, but I don’t care.

6.   There should be a global take-out teleportation system where you can get authentic ethnic cuisine from every country in the world within five minutes of ordering.

7.   Apple fritters should be as nutritious as broccoli, less fattening than water.

8.   Sugar should not make you fat, and the more you eat the fitter you get.

9.   Anything deep fried should be good for your heart.

10.   My favorite restaurants should never close---EVER!


That is a small portion of my list. I know you are busy creating universes, and making sure the cockroach survives anything thrown at it, but I would appreciate some action on my request. I don’t want to sound petty, but I don’t think it’s too much to ask for.

I mean, if you can make a quantum particle be in two places at the same time you can certainly conjure up a little Kazoo type creature to handle the above mentioned request. I have faith that you will.


Antoinne von Rimes

Human being

Offspring of Adam

Patiently waiting

AuthorAntoinne von Rimes
CategoriesHumor, Politics
3 CommentsPost a comment

photo by Waldo Jaquith

From an unattributed joke email my father recently sent me:


Q: Doctor, I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true? 

A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?

A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?

A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?

A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?

A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain...Good!


Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?

A: YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!!! ..... Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?

A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?

A: Are you crazy? HELLO Cocoa beans ! Another vegetable!!! It's the best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?

A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?

A: Hey! 'Round' is a shape!

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.

And remember:

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO HOO, What a Ride"


For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat
and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat
and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine
and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine
and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.


Eat and drink what you like.

Speaking English is apparently what kills you.


Authordavid koch
CategoriesHumor, Politics
5 CommentsPost a comment

photo by Antoinne von Rimes

Summer is almost here and that means that the pushers will be back on the streets en force.  You can hear them clanging their little bells in their motorcars from hell, offering innocent little kiddies a fix of their favorite treat in a variety of addictive flavors.  While uptown their parents dart into chic gelaterias and get a fix for themselves.

Yes, I am talking about ice cream, that subversive cohesion of cream, sugar, and (if you are a purest) eggs.  The devil’s ambrosia designed to get you on the slippery slope to cane sugar servitude.

Ice cream seems so innocent, but it is the one addictive substance that no law has been enacted against.  It is the one mood altering drug that everyone refuses to admit is illicit.  And, it all began at childhood.  What is the one (I’ll bet the first) treat your parents used as a tool to solicit your good behavior? 

It was not cookies.  Those were teething biscuits: machine stamped, sugarless, starch slabs designed to alleviate incoming tooth itch.  No. The first true treat you got your little mouth around was a dose of the frozen demon dairy treat. 

It was soft enough for you to gum, and a familiar taste.  Familiar because they primed us with

AuthorAntoinne von Rimes
10 CommentsPost a comment

photo by Antoinne von Rimes

Eat more duck?  I don’t know why we (Americans) don’t eat more duck.  I just had a pan roasted duck breast with coca sauce, served on a bed of lentils with cipollini onions the other day at Citizen Cake here in San Francisco, and throughout the meal I could not stop asking myself why I don’t eat more duck.  I love duck.

Duck has so much more flavor than chicken, and roasted duck fat and crispy skin surpasses that king of fatty delicacies bacon any day.  And, I really love bacon.  But, duck is another realm of sensuous eating pleasure.  Duck is like an affair with an exotic beauty who barely speaks your language.  Bacon is a fling with the hot bartender around the way.

Duck is never mentioned in those poultry scares.  I cannot remember any duck recalls, bans, poisonings, or governmental white papers against it.  The only thing we hear about is the whole foie gras flap.  Is it cruel, or is it not cruel?  If I were a duck I think I would say it is cruel to force me to eat when I do not want to eat, but if I were a duck I would also feel the evolutionary need to stuff myself silly for the long flight South and would feel it even more cruel if my keeper did not feed me all I crave to eat.  Other than that duck is free from controversy (to my limited culinary focused knowledge).

So why do we not eat more duck?  Expense?  Hell yeah, that’s one reason.  Duck is expensive here in the States.  You may give the old chicken purchase the once around the brain and compare it to the cost of hamburger, but duck…that’s a stop and ponder this for awhile purchase.

Availability?  Yeah, that is also a problem in most areas.  You can’t just pop down to the market and pick up a fresh duck or duck breast.  Well, I live in San Francisco, and I can go to Chinatown and have them slaughter the duck of my choice for me.  If I was inclined to do that, and if my Cantonese was up to snuff to get it done. I assure you, I have not and it is not… so relax.  But availability is a problem because the only duck you are going to find is more than likely whole and frozen, and then you have to plan, thaw and wait.  Ok, duck seems really impractical now.

Treatment?  This is the last obstacle I see with duck.  Not the ethical treatment of them; although, that crosses my mind too.  I mean how should you cook it?  Should you butcher it and pan roast or grill the breast, and make confit out of the legs and thighs?  Or, should you break out the bike pump and fan and Peking that sucker?  That’s the dilemma.  

If I was Chef Gary Danko I could turn it into duck breast prosciutto, but there is only one Danko and I am not he.  If I was uber Chef Thomas Keller, I could create some dish out of duck that could revive the dead, but I am not Thomas Keller either.  I am just an ordinary cook who loves duck and cannot get past the Expense, Availability, and Treatment of duck in order to EAT duck.

If I lived in France, I don’t think I would have this problem.  I could buy fresh duck breasts, pay a bit more for it than chicken, go home and pan roast them, and use the rendered duck fat to fry some potatoes.  I could eat duck at will, and then ponder why I don’t eat more pheasant.  I’m still going to try and eat more duck.  

How about you?

AuthorAntoinne von Rimes
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16 Ingredients: water, concentrated crushed tomatoes, onions, jalapeno peppers, distilled vinegar, green bell peppers, salt, high fructose corn syrup, xanthan gum, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate as preservatives, citric acid, chili powder, natural flavor, garlic, spice.



I'll have to say, there ARE 5 vegetables in here; however, there are also 3 chemicals that are both mysterious and difficult to pronounce. Let's review some of these chemicals (content is from wikipedia):

Xanthan gumis a polysaccharide used as a food additive and rheology modifier. It is produced by fermentationof glucose or sucrose by the Xanthomonas campestris bacterium.

Sodium benzoate - also called benzoate of soda, has thechemical formulaNaC6H5CO2.  It is the sodium salt of benzoic acid and exists in this form when dissolved inwater. It can be produced by reacting sodium hydroxide with benzoic acid.

Potassium sorbate - the potassium salt of sorbic acid.  Its primary use is as a food preservative.  Potassium sorbate is effective in a variety of applications including food, wine, and personal care.


In case you were wondering, no, the stuff doesn't taste very good.

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Authordavid koch
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