The Stuff We Eat in Our Meat

Sunday, December 29, 2013
Posted in category Food Politics

Mother Jones ran a piece this month, “5 Surprising Things We Feed Cows.” Sawdust, chicken shit, candy, crab guts, ground limestone. Two things to note that are wrong with this piece. First, it’s not “we” – it’s the industrial system propped up by subsidies and government dictates favorable to unsustainable, unhealthy, industrial farming practices. The second mistake is leaving out the fact that cows get fed dead cows that have been ground up. Michael Pollan wrote about this in the New York Times way back in 2002.

Of course the identical industrial logic — protein is protein — led to the feeding of rendered cow parts back to cows, a practice the F.D.A. banned in 1997 after scientists realized it was spreading mad-cow disease.

…Until mad-cow disease, remarkably few people in the cattle business, let alone the general public, comprehended the strange semicircular food chain that industrial agriculture had devised for cattle (and, in turn, for us). When I mentioned to Rich Blair that I’d been surprised to learn that cows were eating cows, he said, ”To tell the truth, it was kind of a shock to me too.”

Joel Salatin has also spoken about this often, except everything that he attempts to do outside of the industrial system, as a small grower, is illegal. The demand for grass-fed beef is increasing exponentially, and the market response is an upswing in suppliers who are stewards of the land.

The Amazing Camille Paglia

Saturday, December 28, 2013
Posted in category Feminism

Bari Weiss has a fantastic article up on the Wall Street Journal on one of my favorite people: “Camille Paglia: A Feminist Defense of Masculine Virtues.” This article is about all things Camille, from the societal neutering of males to upper-middle-class women being Pilates clones (love that comment) to her idolization of iconoclastic women who have been able to compete with men without castrating them.

Ms. Paglia argues that the softening of modern American society begins as early as kindergarten. “Primary-school education is a crock, basically. It’s oppressive to anyone with physical energy, especially guys,” she says, pointing to the most obvious example: the way many schools have cut recess. “They’re making a toxic environment for boys. Primary education does everything in its power to turn boys into neuters.”

…Politically correct, inadequate education, along with the decline of America’s brawny industrial base, leaves many men with “no models of manhood,” she says. “Masculinity is just becoming something that is imitated from the movies. There’s nothing left. There’s no room for anything manly right now.”

My favorite quote from the article: “Talking to her is like a mental CrossFit workout.”

The Industrial Big K: Women, Cereal, and Fat Talk

Friday, December 27, 2013
Posted in category Food Politics

Kellogg’s is playing to the dumbed-down, Oprahized female masses with its latest campaign, “Fight Fat Talk.” The website is all about “positive posts that are helping silence the negativity.” Seriously – here it is.

Kellogg’s is using its signature chick cereal, Special K, to sell women on the notion that “fat talk” is a “barrier to weight management success.” Look at the “Gains Project” page and tell me this isn’t targeted for the stereotypical, confused, fearful-of-everything female. Maybe women talk so often about being fat because they are fat, and that’s why they keep talking about it. And since they are eating everything the government and the government’s nutrition satellites have told them to eat to stay healthy, they are confused. They don’t understand they have been hoodwinked by a government-industrial alliance and lied to by the science-medical establishment that reaps mega-profits from selling deception and developing standard protocols that make people sicker and fatter. Furthermore, this racket turns them into longer-term, high-revenue patients.

In the end, the goal is two-fold: (1) Kellogg’s is fighting to keep its chick cereal a hot seller in times where people are finally questioning the legitimacy of the government’s long-standing nutritional standards that favor industrial food machinations, and (2) The industrial giant is yet again confirming for you - without you having to think - that eating processed wheat and sugar out of a box will help you lose body fat. In essence, these ‘don’t-feel-bad-about-being-fat’ campaigns are nothing more than propaganda for the masses to condition them into self-acceptance for being fat and abnormal. When folks accept being fat and don’t work to change it, the government-industrial machine keeps on churning out and selling its subsidized-politicized, food pyramid-approved industrial slop that is promoted as healthy food.

Now put down your beverage to avoid a keyboard spitting incident before you go to this page (click on “Products”) that tells fearful women what to eat to nourish their bodies: processed, frozen waffles; sugar bars; fudge-dipped pretzels; brownie bites, etc.

 

Amid Detroit’s Bankruptcy, A New Vibrancy Emerges

Friday, December 27, 2013
Posted in category Detroit

Here’s my article that was just published by the Heartland Institute, a conservative-libertarianish think tank in Chicago.

In spite of the same-old, same-old media garbage about Detroit grabbing the usual headlines, it’s interesting to note that so many free-market organizations, online papers, magazines, websites, etc. are interested in all of the good things going on here that are fueled by private interests.

I also did a podcast with Steve Stanek of the Heartland Institute that will be up on the website sometime around January 1st.

The Bing & Bowie Duet: You Be the Judge

Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Posted in category Music

Is the renowned David Bowie-Bing Crosby performance of “The Little Drummer Boy / Peace on Earth” a dazzling and unforgettable performance or a completely bizarre and insufferable episode in TV and music history that should be entirely forgotten? The following passage is from a 2006 Washington Post article on how this duet happened:

One of the most successful duets in Christmas music history — and surely the weirdest — might never have happened if it weren’t for some last-minute musical surgery. David Bowie thought “The Little Drummer Boy” was all wrong for him. So when the producers of Bing Crosby’s Christmas TV special asked Bowie to sing it in 1977, he refused.

Just hours before he was supposed to go before the cameras, though, a team of composers and writers frantically retooled the song. They added another melody and new lyrics as a counterpoint to all those pah-rumpa-pum-pums and called it “Peace on Earth.” Bowie liked it. More important, Bowie sang it.

The result was an epic, and epically bizarre, recording in which David Bowie, the androgynous Ziggy Stardust, joined in song with none other than Mr. “White Christmas” himself, Bing Crosby.

Remember that the TV special did not air until after Bing Crosby died, which was about a month after taping his Christmas special in England and the duet with David Bowie. I remember very vividly watching that Christmas show. I always watched the Christmas specials of Crosby, Andy Williams, Dean Martin, and all of the others of that generation. My mother kept talking about how weird Bowie was, and she kept asking me if he was a homosexual. I was only 14 – so I had no opinion on such matters. At that time I was already a huge Crosby fan, and I had been since childhood. I think the song is touching and unique, and Bing’s baritone is well-set against Bowie’s tenor of his younger years.

Abbott & Costello: The Economics of Mustard

Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Posted in category Music/Movies

Here’s Abbott & Costello doing a routine about mustard, worcestershire sauce, husbands, aging, and a few other unrelated topics. The skill with which they perform and ad-lib is splendid.

 

Anthony Bourdain Does Detroit

Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Posted in category Detroit

Say 30 Nice Things About Detroit

Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Posted in category Detroit

Ian Douglass sent me his article he published on the Movoto blog: “30 Things You Need to Know About Detroit Before You Move There.”

I think Ian’s rundown is a refreshingly positive and artfully humorous view of the Detroit brand. I especially like his reference to Vernors, the “oldest surviving ginger ale brand in the United States.” Typically these Detroit narratives include mention of our coney island dogs, but not Vernors. And more importantly, #19 on the list refers to the fact that we say “pop” here, not soda. The use of soda in this part of the world will identify you as an outsider and you will forever be branded with a label of blasphemy. Literally, locals despise the term soda. I know I do.

A minor slip does occur, however, when Detroit is noted as the consumption capital of potato chips, but our Better Made potato chip factory did not make the cut. Other mentions that are notable:

(1) Motown Museum, where all the groove started.

(2) The repurposing of land via urban agriculture. My friends over at Brother Nature farm get a mention.

(3) #16: the photo of the “welcome to Detroit” sign with a bumper sticker slapped on it that reads “Kwame Killed My City.” He may have killed it, but a citizen-entrepreneur army is taking it back.

One super-epic failure that needs to be mentioned here: #30 points out that “Mexicantown restaurant edges Xochimilco as the best” Mexican restaurant. Horrors, horrors, horrors! These restaurants all serve up the usual “Mexican fare”: Americanized junk food dressed up in flour tortillas with mounds of processed cheese piled on everything. These restaurants attract what I refer to as the “suburban tourists.” They do not serve Mexican food. If I needed any confirmation on this, I have that in three of my Mexican-bred co-workers who all live and function in Mexicantown and can attest to my skills for identifying Mexican food as opposed to Americanized nonsense. Remember Chi-Chi’s, those awful chains? These restaurants serve up the same constitution. Blah!

You must get out of the “tourist section” of Mexicantown to visit the truly Mexican restaurants that actually serve Mexican food. Taqueria Mi Pueblo on Dix is one of the more authentic places, but even better are the Mexican taco trucks that are conveniently placed at neighborhood hot spots (legal) or conveniently hidden from street view (illegal). These places are beyond magnificent with their freshly-made (locally) double-wrapped corn tortillas, fresh herbs and spices, everything bathed in cilantro, and no processed cheese piled on American-style.

 

Source: Flickr user rain0975
Source: RealTimeFarms.com

No Carbs, No Energy? Wrong.

Sunday, December 22, 2013
Posted in category Paleo/Primal

Here’s a nice Dorsey Kindler article in Men’s Journal: “Paleo’s Latest Converts.” Mr. Kindler points to three endurance athletes who have become paleo and have drastically improved performance and/or lengthened their careers: a professional cyclist, an ultramarathon runner, and a triathlete.

Typically the carbohydrate-heavy diets of pro cyclists coupled with massive amounts of mileage lead to a lowering of testosterone, and by extension, less power on the bike. This explains the appeal of illegally supplementing the hormone – to aid in recovery in multiday stage races.

The results for Zabriskie were impressive, DeVore says. Over the course of their time together the 6-foot cyclist dropped his body weight from 168 pounds to 154 while improving his dead lift from 150 pounds to 245. This while increasing his power on the bike by about 15 percent. He performed well in the Volta a Catalunya, an early-season Spanish stage race, before dropping out in the last stage due to illness.

“I don’t think he ever thought he would improve this much,” DeVore said. “For a guy who’s as elite as he is, and we’ve added that much power on the bike in one off season? That’s huge.”

It’s pretty amazing that the conventional wisdomists have insisted – forever – that one needs carbs for energy for intense exercise or performance athletics, as well as the day-to-day sedentary living that describes the lifestyle of most folks.

This brings up something that has always left me dumbfounded: It’s even worse when the amateur “nutritionists” (meaning family member, cousin, neighbor, co-worker, man on the street, etc.) all can’t wait to lecture folks on how their lower-carb and higher-fat diet is both deleterious to health and “not how we were meant to be.” My response is that Hot Pockets, bagged snacks, donuts, sugar beverages, and 3-hour energy drinks surely kept our paleolithic ancestors going, and it’s a darn good thing the modern, westernized-industrial diet mimics evolutionary lifestyle!

Still, I find that I am badgered by folks for how I eat, and other real-foodists tell me the same stories. Even with my waist size, at age 51, being the exact same size as when I was in junior high school, very overweight people at the office will scoff at me for walking by with a plate of (pastured) bacon, a pile of juicy lamb steaks floating in real butter and dumped on with celtic sea salt, or a salad piled high with five meats and eggs (gasp – with yolks). I’ve actually received the nutrition lectures from these folks, though those are getting fewer and fewer, thanks to the new reality crashing in on their world due to the barrage of media information on traditional foods and diets. Meanwhile, they discuss their anti-depression meds, post-lunch carb comas, and unsustainable periods of starvation in desperation to lose weight. Thankfully, my floor at the office is slowly starting to become paleo-central – if not in adherence (due to hard-to-break habits), at least in a new appreciation of the facts and a willingness to look at other options that defy the conventional bull**it.

The NBA Goes Paleo-Primal

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Posted in category Paleo/Primal

So many players, so many paleos. CBS Sports has published a fantastic article on NBA players who have gone paleo to retard the aging process, heal up after injuries, and kick sugar addictions. Ray Allen of the Miami Heat had become entirely dependent upon anti-inflammatory meds to keep him going until he went paleo.

I stamped out a rare autoimmune disorder I was diagnosed with in 2003 by rejecting the conventional wisdom of know-nothing doctors, their “research-based” protocol, and Big Pharma meds, and instead, I adopted the paleo diet before I even knew it was the paleo diet.