One Hot New York Minute

February 16, 2011 · Posted in In My World 

Phew.  What a few weeks it has been.  New city, new job, new…..apartment….sort of?  It’s a small space in Hell’s Kitchen, about the size of my old bathroom.*  And that’s saying a lot, since my old apartment wasn’t big at all.

Outside of a few excursions to Blue Bottle and Saltie’s, this guy is pretty lost so far.  Granted it’s only been a couple of weeks, and I’m sure by fall it will be a whole different song.

Thankfully our foodiverse never seems short of ridiculous things to keep us busy and somewhat amazed.

I’m going to go with the recent okay’ing by the Obama administration and FDA of certain GMO’s.  And possibly to follow some form of “salmon”.  Mark Bittman’s op-ed in the Times is a great place to start.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/15/why-arent-g-m-o-foods-labeled/?hp

This is nothing more than a sweetheart deal for corporations, and there’s no way to disguise it.  As Mark points out, 87% – 87%!!! – of Americans are opposed to GMO’s.  There may in fact be something we can agree on after all!

If you’re a conservative economist this should rankle you to the absolute core.  Before you go quoting Milton Friedman on me, remember that he valued choice and access to information.  One of his most wide-read books is called “Freedom to Choose.”  How, pray tell, can one choose if you don’t know what you’re buying?  87% of the people oppose this!  That’s the market talking.  The market has said we don’t want this.  If it’s less profitable for companies to produce something the market doesn’t want anyway, then those companies shouldn’t be producing those goods.  This is barely Econ 101.  Or maybe first week of Econ 101, I don’t know.  Either way – the American people have stated pretty conclusively that they want these foods labeled.  So we can choose what we put in our bodies, and choose what we feed our families.

Okay perhaps that’s not enough for you.  Perhaps you don’t care about what you eat.  (Which begs the question why you’re reading this blog but…I digress.)  How about this one?

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/16/auditors-find-federal-oil-and-gas-oversight-still-lacking/?hp

Thaaaaaaaaat’s right, now that you’ve read it.  Potentially billions of dollars of oil and gas are being extracted from our soil…from American soil…without companies paying anything for it.

In the meantime let’s not fix this problem.  Let’s cut the Peace Corps and pell grants.  Let’s make it more difficult for underprivileged children to get to college.  Bravo, government!

Now this one’s my personal favorite, if only because it combines the Tour de France AND factory-farmed meat!  I watch the Tour pretty religiously if I can, despite the doping and slightly ridiculous nature of the whole thing.  It is truly the first Amazing Race, and if you don’t watch it, you should tune in for at least a couple of stages.  Preferably a mountain stage so you can at least enjoy breathtaking shots of France.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/16/sports/cycling/16contador.html?ref=sports

Basic gist is this.  Contador, a three-time winner, failed a drug test.  This drug is a common steroid called clenbuterol used to fatten cattle.  He claims he failed the text because he ate bad meat.  AND HE MIGHT BE RIGHT!  The article states that of 28 non-athletes who traveled through and ate meat in China, 22 tested positive for clenbuterol and would have failed a drug test.  China is known to use this chemical in their livestock production, as is Mexico.  So “conventional” farming and livestock methods are now depositing levels of chemical and steroids in humans that are so prevalent as to cause failed drug tests.  What about this seems wrong?

Know your meat people!

Also, and ostensibly for comedic purposes, this article describes a table tennis player who was suspended for failing a drug test because of clenbuterol-laden meat.  Who knew table tennis players even TOOK drug tests!!!

That’s about all I’ve got for now…

Until next time –

JG

*slight exaggeration

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