Tag Archives: sustainable eating

incanto, sustainability, and the connection between foie gras and self-determinism

for me, an important part of this blog is to consider the idea of ‘sustainability’ in food. sustainable is a word i use often, despite the complexity of issues surrounding the idea of sustainable eating and the difficulty of even defining the word as used to describe food and food production. the owners of incanto, where i ate last week,  address this topic and much more in a lengthy letter on their website entitled Shock and Foie: The War Against Dietary Self-Determinism.

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anthrax sausages! (aka why i don’t eat industrially processed meat anymore)

i just read a fascinating yet terrifying article in the new york times on food safety problems.  it’s shocking and disgusting how many health issues are found during private inspections of food processing plants and then completely ignored. a stomach-churning excerpt:

“The only thing that matters is productivity,” said Robert A. LaBudde, a food safety expert who has consulted with food companies for 30 years, adding that “you only get in trouble if someone in the media traces it back to you, and that’s rare, like a meteor strike.”

Dr. LaBudde said a sausage plant hired him five years ago to determine the species of bacillus plaguing its meat. But the owner then refused to complete the testing. “I called them ‘anthrax sausages,’ and said they could be killing older people in the state, and still they wouldn’t do it,” he said, declining to name the company.

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ethicurean? eco-gastronome? conscious foodie? what’s in a name?

i’m having issues distilling the immense amount of information from last night’s panel, so here’s a quick snippet of an issue i wanted to address. i took a brief glance at Ethicurean.com before the panel last night (the group blog of the panelist Bonnie Azab Powell), and I’m intrigued by their explanation and definition of the blog title:

eth•i•cu•re•an n. (also adj.) Someone who seeks out tasty things that are also sustainable, organic, local, and/or ethical — SOLE food, for short.

i’ve been searching for a concise way to describe my personal food choices recently, and this definition encapsulates many of the considerations i try to keep in mind when deciding what to eat.  the word ‘tasty’ is a key point in the definition, and i appreciate inclusion of all four of the SOLE initials (oh acronyms..so often ridiculous yet also so useful). what is organic isn’t necessarily local, what is local isn’t always ethical, etc., but it’s important to try to cover as many bases whenever possible. however, i also feel a bit  pretentious and preachy describing myself as an ethicurean or someone who eats SOLE food. aron, a friend in one of the food photos last night, suggests the phrase eco-gastronome to address both the love of food but also the environmental angle, but that doesn’t really do it for me either. i’d like to just say i care about food and i care about how it becomes food, but there often seems to be a need to define yourself in just a few words.

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826 valencia and an incredible food discussion. for now, food but no discussion.

i just got back from a fascinating and thought-provoking food science and politics discussion at 826 valencia. yeesh. i don’t even know where to start with all the incredible topics covered over the three hour talk and it’s almost 2am, so i’ll leave the heavy thinking for tomorrow. for now, i’ll post some photos of the incredible food served at the event. i didn’t even know until fifteen minutes before it started that they were serving food, and then it showed up on mission mission like a specially delivered message from the blogosphere to my stomach.  thanks interwebs, for saving my ass from eating dinner so i didn’t show up full when they’re serving stuff like this:

chanterelles

and this:

s6300105

ooh, you ask, what are those, mei? and i’m like, ummmm, you know,  some delicious mushroomy shit and some awesome creamy asparagusness bruschetta thingy. okay, i don’t know. but they were mighty tasty. luckily, the creator of most of the dishes, a chef named leif hedendal, not only knows how to cook but knows how to get all arts and craftsy:

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