News to Chew On

Some food related items in the news. Appropriate for lunchtime news chum, no?

  • Humane Food/Blood Sausage. The St Louis Post-Dispatch has an interesting article regarding the standards for “Humane Food”. Evidently, this is the next big thing, and refers to food that was produced in an “humane manner”. The problem is that there is no definition of what that means. Related to that, I’ve noticed that I’m growing increasingly conscious that animals gave their lives when I eat meat. This isn’t stopping me from eating meat, only that I feel that if an animal gave their life for food, we shouldn’t be wasting that gift and letting food spoil or throw it away. This dovetails nicely with an article in the NY Times about an Estonian custom of making blood sausage for Christmas. Evidently, this comes from the cultural notion that one needs to consume the entire animal, and not to let the blood go to waste. As one of the cooks said, “It’s 7% of the animal down the drain.”. Still, I’m not sure I could bring myself to eat it.
  • Best Delis. An article in Haute Cuisine purports to list the 5 best delis in Los Angeles. Perhaps on the West Side, although the inclusion of Cantors on the list (venerable, yes, but best?) makes me question the author. However, they completely eliminate any mention of the San Fernando Valley. Most valley folks swear by Brents in Northridge, and I’m quite partial to Weilers Northridge. There’s also Art’s Deli in Studio City, which is the regular deli of the North Hollywood crowd. [Note: There are two other Weilers locations (Warner Center and Canoga Park), numerous Jerry’s, Fromin’s and Abe’s, but those don’t rank in my book]
  • Healthy Breakfasts. The LA Times is reporting that McDonalds is following the lead of Starbucks and Jamba yet again, and introducing oatmeal to their breakfast menu. I’m pleased to see this as I’m an oatmeal lover, but I’m worried that they will ruin it with their mix of raisins, cranberries, and cream. Add too much to oatmeal, and it becomes deadly… just like how a single plain cheeseburger can be OK, but a triple with mayo and fries can clog those arteries. Still, its a good thing to see. Last week at the conference I lived on Starbucks Oatmeal for breakfast, at a cost of under $3 vs. $12 for the oatmeal in the hotel restaurant.
  • Ice Cream! Folks that are old enough may remember the Farrell’s chain and their gigantic ice cream concoctions. Farrell’s died in the 1980s, and has only been recently resurrected in limited locations. Good news for the fans of the Zoo. According to the OC Register, Farrell’s plans to expand in Southern California and around the country. Warning, if you go: bring a crowd.