Omnivore - Poisonous yogurt, popcorn, TV and more
Watch what you eat, read, and watch
Random reading on the Internets turns up these stories of poison.
It's not green! I'm talking about trendy Greek yogurt. USA Today reports:
The production of Greek yogurt creates a nasty byproduct called "acid whey." The liquid waste can't be dumped, because it would prove too toxic to the environment, ruining waterways and killing fish, reports Modern Farmer.
But with the Greek yogurt market now worth $2 billion and still growing, it's a problem that's only going to get larger. New York State alone produced 66 million gallons of acid whey in 2011, reports the New York Post.
I'm not the only one. Sitting in a movie theater, listening to people crunch popcorn, drives me nuts. Slate writer Rosecrans Baldwin recently ranted about popcorn's undeserved popularity.
Americans consume about 16 billion quarts of popcorn annually. That's 52 quarts per person, which isn't so bad if we're just talking about stove-top corn popping. But not listed is how many of those quarts have melted "butter" pumped on top. A lot, I'd guess - which is a scary thought. A November 2009 study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest found that a medium popcorn at a Regal-chain movie theater contains 1,200 calories and 60 grams of saturated fat (the fat of an entire stick of butter). Popcorn even inspired our obesity epidemic: In The Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan says that the inventor of "supersizing," David Wallerstein, experienced his Newton moment while observing people in movie theaters. He noticed that although customers were ashamed to hit the snack bar for second helpings, they didn't mind paying more in the first place if their popcorn was served in a bucket.
- In my youth
Ouch. I thoroughly enjoyed Brad Kaplan's review of Joli Kobe. I should say I enjoyed it after I got beyond this first paragraph:
Twenty. Eight. Years. That's how long the little French-Japanese bakery by the name of Joli Kobe has been baking bread and building a clientele in Sandy Springs. Can you even imagine what this congested stretch of Roswell Road looked like 28 years ago? How much the neighborhoods around it have changed? How the dining tastes of the people around it have evolved?
I went to Joli Kobe not long after it opened. Yes. 28. Years. Ago. It's true. That stretch of Roswell Road wasn't even paved. It was dangerous to walk across the street at night because it was hard to avoid stepping in the piles of shit left by buggy-pulling horses. Mornings, it was usual to see buckskin-clad men lined up outside restaurant kitchen doors with fresh kills, like muskrats and possums. Eventually, Sandy Springers' taste evolved to include other free-range, organically farmed creatures like squirrels and groundhogs.
Okay, not that bad. I spent my adolescence in Sandy Springs and, actually, the area's nickname was "The Golden Ghetto," because it was largely privileged. So, if anything, tastes were as "evolved" as anywhere else in the city, maybe more so. I'm hurt. And so are my deceased parents.
Oy. Whippersnappers! Off the lawn! (But, seriously, y'all read the review.)
I don't watch TV, but the whole celebrity chef thing strikes me as bizarre. I'm glad some of our local chefs have gotten attention - they deserve it - but I'm also aware that some of our very best haven't. I'm guessing that has more to do with stage presence than talent.
The latest outrageous episode of reality programming is from Gordon Ramsay's "Kitchen Nightmares." The couple who own Amy's Bakery Company, Amy and Samy Bouzaglowent, went so ballistic on camera that Ramsay literally walked away.
Since then, it's been revealed that Amy served jail time for bank fraud. And Samy, an immigrant, is under investigation for not disclosing arrests allegedly related to drugs and extortion in Europe. He is banned from France and Spain. Meanwhile, the couple has been waging war with online commenters.
Now, why in holy hell would a couple with such a background agree to participate in a nationally viewed TV program? Did they not realize they would come under scrutiny? Or does the intoxicating draw of fame turn people into brainless zombies?