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Jun 19th 2010 6:03PM I'm with Jonathan Gold - basil has no place in a classic carbonara. Maybe it adds some color to the photo but detracts from the complex flavors that make carbonara the rich dish it is. I make mine a million different ways, duck confit, guanciale, anchovies...but not with green things. Carbonara is creamy, heavy, and umame. Add basil if you want but don't call it carbonara on the internet.
Jun 19th 2010 5:57PM meh, I think 'some' is perfectly acceptable - you should try cooking with my grandmother. I'd love to even have a complete ingredients list. The spirit of a dish is never captured by adding 50 mL of this or 1 cup of that. Recipes are general outlines that are likely to produce something close to what is intended.
May 7th 2010 3:10PM not to be preachy but what about consolidated food processing plants makes food safer? They do a great job of guaranteeing widespread foodbourne illness outbreaks. I don't understand that piece of the "Modernization of Food Safety Act" now in congress. Small farms have a great track record and forcing them out of business or into this system won't make me sleep easier.
Apr 7th 2010 10:46AM @Michael but I never hear people complain about bbq more than NC style. My favorites are subtle NC bbq or hybrid varieties that have some vinegar but components of other bbq styles from around the country.
I have to say I don't love the 'bread' that comes with good bbq. Hearty artisan bread doesn't fit either but at least its bread. The soft, sweet, dough-ball crap everyone eats ruins it for me. I understand I'm a yank out of place in the south but never should a meal include bread-like food product glued to the roof of your mouth (or melting in your hand) nor diabetic-coma sweet tea. Allen and Son in Chapel Hill has been my best "authentic" bbq experience in NC. The pork was pulled, not shredded, and lightly vinegared. The tea was sweet but subtle and not syrup.
Mar 7th 2010 7:50AM @Brad
I don't think you can take Food Inc at face value or anything else for that matter. Its another data point we all can use to make up our minds. Feeding the world is not an easy problem to solve. Growing more food isn't the only solution. We need cut back the some 1200cal/day that americans throw away. We need to cut back the some 3500+cal/day we eat. I don't expect your position to change I hope you can grant me the same.
I'm no fan of government mandated regulations nor am I a fan or a few special interests dictating how the whole country runs. True or False what I said is the premise of the movie and the argument being made. No one sees farmers as the problem tho they are made to look like helpless pawns. There is a lot of accumulated wisdom in conventional farming but the point is we've taken it too far. We always take things too far. You hit the nail on the head saying "Methane is not the only source of elemental hydrogen in the world, but it is the cheapest" - sure we could use the astronomically more expensive electrolysis of water but we will always use the cheapest (today) fuel source until its gone and then worry about the next thing. I think that destroying mountain tops for coal and rain forests for beef will come back and bite us.
I disagree about super-weeds and bugs. Industrial Ags biggest supporter, Monsanto, expects their products to become less effective over time and actively develops new technologies to replace the old ones. If you take antibiotics as an example there are many that are now ineffective against a number of microbes and newer, more toxic antibiotics have to be found and developed. MRSA is a huge problem that came from the overuse of the best tool we've ever discovered. Pesticide resistant weeds are around - do you really want even more toxic material on your food (which degrades into other toxic material)? Creating superpests is only one of the issues surrounding petroleum based farming additives. Runoff causes all sorts of problems downstream ending with deadzones in the oceans.
>"It is cheaper to use ammonia-derived fertilizers to replenish the soil than it is to rotate high-cost low-return legumes and the like."
There is a dutch saying "fertilizer is good for the father and bad for the sons." Soil health depends on the bacteria, fungi, molds, and other microbes that make up the its flora as well as insects, worms, and other bugs. They take complex compounds (leaf litter, bits of wood, organic and inorganic matter) and break it down into simpler compounds that plants can then use as food. Petroleum based fertilizers kill the flora and bugs. Ergo the soil becomes sterile dirt. We've made a big "terraponic" system from [now] inert growth medium and chemicals.
As for health - Its much cheaper to prevent problems than to treat them with drugs. Our problem solving approach has always been to make a new product to sell, not address the root cause. Where do you think our expanding waistline is coming from? Diabetes, cardiovascular disease and others are on the rise. Our sedentary lifestyles and crappy diet are largely to blame. Can you honestly say that a mountain of refined corn is healthy or that monoculture is a stable and safe why to farm? The robustness of natural systems comes from diversity. When one thing flounders another flourishes. Growing 1 thing and eating 1 thing is not healthy, safe, or smart.
If nothing else consider that humanity has largely burned up millions of years of surplus in a few hundred years. Our entire country is wholly dependent on cheap energy. What will we do when its not cheap anymore? What will we do when its really really expensive and our trees are gone and our soil is barren and we can't kill the bugs that attack us?
Mar 5th 2010 8:03PM You should never complain about farmers with your mouth full. It is not the farmers but rather the special interests that continue this system.
The point of the film and books is that we are producing unhealthy food in a non-sustainably manner. That means that "cheap" food is actually very expensive but the additional costs are hidden in government subsidies, future health care costs (from the calorie dense nutrient deficient food made from said corn), and other hidden actual costs. The process guarantees that more pesticide is needed next year than this year, guarantees that super-bugs will plague crops, that land will continue to be barren and need chemical fertilizer, and that every step of the way is wholly dependent on oil which is quickly becoming scarce. We have become dependent on converting oil to food and need to rethink that system or die. Very soon.
Mar 2nd 2010 2:32PM "the chemicals are largely thought to be harmless" should send up red flags. That's like the FDA's "generally regarded as safe." I don't care one way or the other here and like people pushing the culinary limits but that statement along is enough to warrant a 2nd look.
Feb 22nd 2010 4:34PM I'm not quite as upset as mike.d.moon, however, as a childless hot dog lover I'd hate to see a wide scale redesign. I don't mind if they make a new child safe "hotpuppy" or "kiddie dogs" (i'm sure marketers can find a better term) and still turn out the adult friendly version. Like shrimp and honey worried parents could just not feed their kids hot dogs instead. Perhaps the perfect choking hazard is just something they shouldn't have.
Feb 11th 2010 5:34PM I always find this a hard question to answer because I'm surprised but what disgusts some folks and I eat a lot of excellent tasting food that disgusts a great many people. Jugged Squirrel (braised, sauce made from blood) is probably high on many lists, but I also love all those nasty bits from nose to tail (mmmm cheek, tongue, stomach, and testicles). But in general I'd say most people are grossed out by parts of things or animals not usually found on menus.
Also weird but awesome - microwave a snickers bar til gooey, then add hot fudge and a slice of sharp cheddar. I used to work at a country store and ate that all the time.
Feb 10th 2010 11:42AM I just always think "but what does it taste like?" Fondant is terrible and inside always seems to be plain white cake. I don't watch the shows a lot so maybe I'm missing it but I'd take a plain ol'single tier carrot cake over most of what I see there. Art for sure, but after I'm done eating with my eyes my gut wants some too.