Category Archives: food

Follow The Links, People

[UPDATE]:

Thanks to my friends at Wonkette, it appears this whole smear started in the most predictable of places: the lying liar Frank Luntz:

LuntzTweet

Well, nobody could’ve anticipated ….

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This almost seems too petty to be believed, except it’s such a classic example of how the right-wing smear machine works that I just had to share it.

Our travel through the conservative cesspool begins at The New York Times, where we have this innocuous little story about the White House executive pastry chef leaving his position in June. Here’s the tantalizing lede:

WASHINGTON — The first lady, Michelle Obama, is soon to lose her executive pastry chef, Bill Yosses. And she is partly to blame.

Ooh, yummy! What did that wretched woman do now? Ah, it’s all fun and games, as the story goes on to say that FLOTUS has inspired Chef Yosses’ newfound interest in healthy food. Oh, okay! They were joshing us. Indeed, Yosses was originally famous for his rich desserts, but he changed his ways at the direction of Mrs. Obama and has a new culinary calling. Not only has he changed his own diet, he’s found a new passion for creating healthier yet still delicious dessert treats:

She has piqued his interest in the relationship between food and health, he said in a recent telephone interview, so the man who made the Hawaiian chocolate-malted ganache for the White House state dinner for France is now headed to New York with an aim to teach children and adults about eating better. In the meantime, he has given up his usual breakfast doughnuts for a smoothie made with apple, kale, spinach and ginger — from time to time.

Oh! So the Times was just using a time-honored literary device to pull readers into the story. Nicely done. The chef further tells the Times,

The result — oatmeal bars, baked apples and pear-quince cobblers, among many others — will have a lasting impact on his eating habits, as will Mrs. Obama.

“She has done it with humor and good will, without preaching, just the way you would hope the ‘Mom in chief’ would do,” Mr. Yosses said. He called her “definitely an inspiring boss, a combination of spontaneity and seriousness.”

Hugs and kisses all around! The openly gay chef will get to finally live with his husband of three years — they’ve been separated for their entire 11-year-relationship — and Chef Yosses has found a new career direction. So, a nice little (dare I say it?) fluff piece, yes? Nothing to see here, move along.

Unless you’re The Daily Caller, of course! Over at Tucker Carlson’s Little Conservative Lie Machine, a nothing little story about the White House pastry chef is given a complete 180 and turned into a major smear of FLOTUS.

Here’s the screen shot:

daily_caller_smear

Nice way to take quotes out of context there, guys! See how they mashed up the Times piece to put an entirely new spin on what Chef Yosses actually said:

White House executive pastry chef Bill Yosses is resigning after First Lady Michelle Obama fundamentally changed his job duties to focus on healthier food.

Yosses is leaving the White House in June to work on a new project focusing on “food literacy” and The New York Times says Michelle is “partly to blame.” The openly gay chef was hired by Laura Bush in 2007 to make his trademark cookie plates and sugar sculptures. Mrs. Obama took over in 2009 and ordered Yosses to make healthier plates in smaller portions.

Yosses began replacing butter with fruit puree and sugar with honey and agave. But Yosses was never fully committed to the new policy.

“I don’t want to demonize cream, butter, sugar and eggs,” Yosses said, noting that his departure from the White House is a “bittersweet decision.”

Oh, I see what you did there! That nice twisting of facts and quotes to give them an entirely new context is what we in the business call “fundamentally true but essentially bullshit.” Just enough plausible deniability to prevent a lawsuit in these United States — but don’t try that shit in Britain, Patrick Howley! You’d get your ass sued.

Oh, and give them extra points for actually linking to the original New York Times story. That takes balls. It appears the business model of The Daily Failure is to assume nobody follows links. Considering how lazy the right wing readership is, I’d say that’s a pretty good gamble.

But our little story isn’t finished, kids. Nope: along come the usual rabble of right-wing idiots like Tennessee’s own Marsha Blackburn to post the “smear” version of the Chef Yosses story on Facebook, with a snarkly little anti-Obama quip to feed her brain-dead followers:

blackburn page

This takes talent, it really does. This is how the conservative bubble operates. None of this would work if just one person followed the links from a Daily Caller story and actually compared the two versions. But they don’t. Clearly Marsha Blackburn didn’t — she didn’t need to. Because what matters to them is not what’s actually true, but what they want to be true. And they want to believe that even the White House pastry chef hates Michelle Obama. The entire right-wing spin machine is created to make a fringe minority believe they are a persecuted majority. It’s how the outrage stays alive.

This is not something Democrats need to aspire to in any way, shape or form, but it is something we need to be aware of the next time someone tries to launch another Swift Boat attack on a war hero or tries to sell death panels and FEMA camps to the masses.

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Filed under conservatives, FLOTUS, food, media, Rep. Marsha Blackburn

Recipe Wanted

[UPDATE]:

Ribs came out beautifully. Falling-off-the-bone tender, flavorful, a bit of crisp on the outside but juicy and delicious on the inside.

No thanks to you ingrates. Geez, I ask for ONE thing, just ONE….

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Pork ribs were on sale at the grocery store. I bought some and plan to smoke ‘em on my stove-top smoker tomorrow.

However, I cannot find my favorite marinade and spice rub recipe. So, if you have a good recipe for pork ribs, lay it on me.

The smoker is non-negotiable though. I just love what it does to the meat (not to mention how yummy it makes the house smell at this time of year.)

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Filed under food

A Tale Of Two Federal Budget Items

Wow, to hear House Republicans these days, the food stamp program called SNAP is rife with fraud and corruption, has grown too big and is adding to the budget deficit. It must die.

Meanwhile, the same people overwhelmingly supported a new defense bill which, while offering some good protections to victims of sexual assault, also was padded with lots of extra spending. Such as:

The bill also restricts the transfer of detainees from Guantánamo Bay, funds construction of a new East Coast missile defense site and gives the Pentagon $5 billion more than requested for the war in Afghanistan.

Well isn’t that peachy! Sequester, semeshter! Because we all know the Pentagon is never, ever corrupt, fraud never happens, and the Pentagon would never add to our budget deficit. Hey, empires are expensive, y’all! :

huffpo-20120208-militaryspendingUS

What a bunch of fiscal phonies. Guess they’re going to force Senate Democrats to vote against this, so they can run those lovely ads accusing such-and-such liberal of voting against helping sexual assault victims in the military. I can hear it now: “They accuse us of waging a war on women, but look what Senator McLefty CommieHippie did!”

Assholes. Two can play at that game. Look who took food out of the mouth of a hungry child so they can continue to fund wars and killing? And you call yourselves Christians? For shame.

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Filed under budget, Congress, defense, deficit, food, Pentagon, Republican Party

Nashville Jumps The Shark

Did you hear Nashville is an “it” city? Yeah, we’re so cool, y’all. So cool that I actually saw this in a market today:

photo

I knew Nashville was headed down a strange road a couple years ago when I saw emu eggs in the produce section of our Whole Foods. But this? This is … strange.

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Filed under food, Nashville

First Draft Tuesday

I have posted a rant about Big Food, Badvertising, and corporate idiocy over at First Draft today: Capitalism Has Failed. Catch me over there.

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Filed under corporations, food

Weird Advertising Ploy Du Jour

You know how I always say voting for people who hate government is akin to shopping at a vegan butcher shop? Well, one would think that might be the idea behind this London butcher’s shop, where faux human “meat” kinda makes me not want to eat any kind of meat, not for a good, long while.

In honor of Meatless Monday, I give you Wesker and Son, located in London’s Smithfield Market. Click on the link for some really, um, interesting photos. And I’ll post this one picture, just ’cause I’m mean:

Giving New Meaning To The Term “Sausage”

So, what gives? Is this butcher shop courtesy of PETA? Sadly, no:

Annnnnnnd there are the penises. If you’re currently howling “whyyyyyyyyyy?” the answer is “because the Resident Evil 6 video game.” This shop is basically a fucked-up marketing gimmick. Which hardly seems like a sufficient reason.

Oh. A video game. Of course. Why didn’t I think of that?

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Filed under advertising, food

Why Americans Are Fat

America’s “obesity crisis” has many causes but dammit, people, this can’t help:

You Can’t Afford NOT To Buy Some!

I took this picture at the local Harris Teeter the other day, but it could easily have been taken at Kroger, Safeway, Ralph’s, or any other mega grocery chain. The never-ending “buy-one, get-one FREE” sale on potato chips has puzzled me for a long time: it’s not even accurate to call it a sale anymore, because they’re just always sold that way. And it’s been this way for years.

Ya know, I don’t ever see a buy-one, get-one deal on broccoli or spinach. Just sayin’, guys.

I really despise junk food, fast food, frankenfood, you name it but I do have a weakness for Lay’s sour cream & onion potato chips. I don’t always eat potato chips but when I do … you get the picture. And if I pick up a bag of these, the check-out clerk never fails to remind me, “Hey, they’re buy-one, get-one free!”

To which I respond: “But I only want one bag.”

At which point he or she looks at me like I just dropped in from the planet Xthazgarban and forgot to deploy my Humanoid Lifeform Image Shield.

Look: it’s great to tell people they need to have “personal responsibility” and make healthy food and lifestyle choices. It’s great to inform people about what’s in their food by posting nutritional information everywhere. It’s fine that people in Washington are talking about the impact farm policy has on what ends up on our store shelves. Great, but at the same time you’re doing all that good stuff, we’ve got another conversation happening in the grocery aisle which goes something like this:

“You want some potato chips? C’mon, you know you do. You really, really want some. Look how pretty and bright we are! Here, take two! The second one is free, it’s on us! For later. No, really, take it. You know you want to. Take it! TAKE THE DAMN POTATO CHIPS!

Yeah, that’s about how this goes. What does it say about America when the junk food companies are literally giving their product away? Look, I know it just kills you that consumers are educated enough to be turned off by ads like this one, but you can stop shoving your crap in my face now.

Oh, and Regal Cinemas? That goes for you, too. Stop making your employees ask if I want a slice of pizza when I order a bottle of water. If I wanted damn pizza I’d have asked for some.

Next They’ll Tell Us Cigarettes Are Good For You

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Filed under corporations, food

Four Out Of Five Big Food Execs Agree

Hey, Coca Cola: Big Tobacco called, they want their playbook back.

Seriously, I’m trying to figure out what the point was behind this interview with Katie Bayne, Coca-Cola’s President and General Manager, Sparkling Beverages in North America (yes, that’s her title). I guess it’s better than working behind the scenes with one of Rick Berman’s phony front groups, like the “Center for Consumer Freedom” — except of course Coca-Cola is operating in that shadow realm, too. But whatever.

Anyway, I’m sure it will come as news to no one that Coca-Cola’s President and General Manager, Sparkling Beverages in North America thinks sugary sparkling beverages are so waaay awesome and there’s no scientific evidence that they’re harmful to your health! None! In fact, this is what Coca-Cola’s President and General Manager, Sparkling Beverages in North America feeds her family! For realz!

Now, before I dive into this, I think Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed ban on supersized soft drinks is a tad too authoritarian for my tastes. But I understand his frustration, because even though we all know better, millions of Americans still drink this crap. So clearly the whole “education” route hasn’t worked. As for me, I say: tax the shit out of it. Tax all of it, just like we do cigarettes and alcohol, put the money toward health and nutrition programs. There’s no reason for the bad stuff to be more affordable than the good stuff. That’s the definition of “doing it wrong.”

But all that aside, I also think it’s incredibly lame to give Coca-Cola’s President and General Manager, Sparkling Beverages in North America, a platform to spread misinformation and corporate propaganda. Get a load of this:

Q: Is there any merit to limits being placed on the size of sugary drinks folks can buy?

A: Sugary drinks can be a part of any diet as long as your calories in balance with the calories out. Our responsibility is to provide drink in all the sizes that consumers might need.

That’s utter bullshit. There are 273 calories in a Snickers bar. You can also eat 273 calories worth of chicken and broccoli. Let’s see which one has more nutritional value. Perhaps Coca-Cola’s President and General Manager, Sparkling Beverages in North America would like to eat one of these for lunch every day for a month? Let’s see which she picks.

And this:

Q: But critics call soft drinks “empty” calories.
A: A calorie is a calorie. What our drinks offer is hydration. That’s essential to the human body. We offer great taste and benefits whether it’s an uplift or carbohydrates or energy. We don’t believe in empty calories. We believe in hydration.

Again, bullshit. If you want hydration, drink water.

This was my favorite:

Q: How much Coke should a kid drink a day?

A: We don’t make recommendations on what kids should drink. But a 12-ounce can of Coke has 140 calories, the same as a lunch-box-size bag of pretzels.

Those are our options? How about some apples and almond butter?

The entire article goes on in this “perfectly fine as part of a balanced diet” vein, an absolute sop to the Coca-Cola Corporation and Big Food. I can’t imagine why USA Today did this. Were they afraid of losing ad revenue? Seriously, when the Summer Olympics are upon us, let’s ask how many of athletes include 32 oz. Coke as part of their training diet. I’d say, none.

I don’t drink a lot of soft drinks, obviously. Maybe four times a year I’ll get a hankering for a sugary Coke or a Dr Pepper. If I do, I try to find the Mexican Coke, made with cane sugar not corn syrup. It just tastes better to me. Mr. Beale, on the other hand, used to be a Pepsi fanatic. He’d guzzle the stuff by the gallon. Once while at the beach I had one of his Diet Pepsis. It tasted nasty and was so salty, it never quenched my thirst. In fact, I found myself craving another one almost immediately. That’s when I realized this shit is like crack in a cup. No, it’s not part of a healthy balanced diet. No it’s not okay in moderation because there is no moderation. Once you start you can’t stop.

And what’s really not okay is you guys presenting your crack in a cup as a perfectly wholesome, normal thing for people to consume on a regular basis. It’s really not okay for USA Today to print this corporate propaganda and pretend they’re offering “news.”

[UPDATE]:

Mark Bittman’s column on this issue is a must read.

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Filed under corporations, food, Media

It’s The Ron Paul Family Cookbook!

Not a hoax, apparently this is a real thing. You gotta love a cookbook that includes a chicken recipe submitted by a vegetarian. What could possibly go wrong?

Mrs. Sciulli, despite being a vegetarian, contributed to the 2009 edition Golfer’s Chicken, a dish made of chicken parts coated with powdered onion soup mix, salad dressing and apricot jam. “You have to fall off the wagon now and again,” she said.

I think I just threw up in my mouth.

Or this:

For the traditional White House Super Bowl Party, what about Spicy Crackers? The cookbook says they are simple: Empty a box of saltine crackers into a jug, add 1½ cups of oil, 3 tablespoons of crushed red pepper flakes and a package of dry Ranch dressing mix. Roll the jug around to mix the contents, “allow the crackers to set for several hours and then, enjoy!”

I’d love to but I’m still trying to figure out how to get the damn saltines inside a jug.

This cracked me up:

Peggy Paul said some Ron Paul supporters have told the family they framed their cookbooks. “But then,” she said, “how would you use it?”

Indeed! Then again, the executive chef of Washington’s Ritz-Carlton hotel told the Wall Street Journal he tried a few of the recipes and thinks the book is better framed on the wall than used for meal planning.

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Filed under food, Ron Paul, weird stuff

Your Food Now Fetus-Free

Seriously, WTF Oklahoma?

An Oklahoma lawmaker files a bill to ban the making and selling of food or products that use aborted human fetuses.

State Senator Ralph Shortey says he’s done research and found reports that companies have used stem cells in the research and development of food.

“I don’t know if it is happening in Oklahoma, it may be, it may not be. What I am saying is that if it does happen then we are not going to allow it to manufacture here,” says Shortey.

The lawmaker that represents Oklahoma County couldn’t give any specific examples.

Well, thank God for Oklahoma. Because just when you think Tennessee has become a national laughingstock for stuff like, I dunno, filing a bill that would take away the courts’ ability to declare a state law unconstitutional, along comes Oklahoma to do something even crazier.

Here’s a thought for legislators: just because you read something in Newsmax or Wingnut Daily, that doesn’t mean you need to pass a law about it. Sometimes these folks — I know, hard to believe — are yanking your chain.

For his next trick, State Senator Ralph Shortey will outlaw Bonsai Kittens.

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Filed under food, food supply, Republicans, stem cell research