Friday, September 26, 2008

No Thanks For The Mammories

Following recent reports of a Swiss restaurant that will be serving breast milk in its food (they swear it's the greatest thing for stews and sauces), the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has sent Ben & Jerry's a letter asking that they replace all the regular dairy in their products with human breast milk.

"The fact that human adults consume huge quantities of dairy products made from milk that was meant for a baby cow just doesn't make sense," PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman writes. "Everyone knows that 'the breast is best,' so Ben & Jerry's could do consumers and cows a big favor by making the switch to breast milk."

Here's the letter:

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, Cofounders
Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc.

Dear Mr. Cohen and Mr. Greenfield,

On behalf of PETA and our more than 2 million members and supporters, I'd like to bring your attention to an innovative new idea from Switzerland that would bring a unique twist to Ben and Jerry's. Storchen restaurant is set to unveil a menu that includes soups, stews, and sauces made with at least 75 percent breast milk procured from human donors who are paid in exchange for their milk. If Ben and Jerry's replaced the cow's milk in its ice cream with breast milk, your customers,and cows,would reap the benefits.

Using cow's milk for your ice cream is a hazard to your customer's health. Dairy products have been linked to juvenile diabetes, allergies, constipation, obesity, and prostate and ovarian cancer. The late Dr. Benjamin Spock, America's leading authority on child care, spoke out against feeding cow's milk to children, saying it may play a role in anemia, allergies, and juvenile diabetes and in the long term, will set kids up for obesity and heart disease, America's number one cause of death.

Animals will also benefit from the switch to breast milk. Like all mammals, cows only produce milk during and after pregnancy, so to be able to constantly milk them, cows are forcefully impregnated every nine months. After several years of living in filthy conditions and being forced to produce 10 times more milk than they would naturally, their exhausted bodies are turned into hamburgers or ground up for soup.

And of course, the veal industry could not survive without the dairy industry. Because male calves can't produce milk, dairy farmers take them from their mothers immediately after birth and sell them to veal farms, where they endure 14 to 17 weeks of torment chained inside a crate so small that they can't even turn around.

The breast is best! Won't you give cows and their babies a break and our health a boost by switching from cow's milk to breast milk in Ben and Jerry's ice cream? Thank you for your consideration.


Tracy Reiman
Executive Vice President

And just when I thought PETA couldn't possibly go farther "out there" -- as always -- they never cease to surprise me. Have these folks considered and/or actually vetted the "diets" of some of these human donors? But even beyond that, I guess the overall idea of my Ben & Jerry's Chunky Mocha Fudge coming to me compliments of a faceless lactating female with a check in her hand for services rendered, wouldn't exactly get my taste buds going in a particularly good way, either.

By the way, to the letter above, Ben & Jerry have rendered -- no response.

In any event, all I can say here, is that for me this is "udder" nonsense.

Hey PETA, listen, I'm 100% for the cause of humane treatment toward animals. But guys...let's be real here. 'Kay?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Rachael Ray...Every Freaking Day!

It's kind of a scary thought, even if I have on occasion found Rachael Ray's "perkiness" to be, well, kind of refreshing.

Anyway, despite the otherwise spoofy resemblence, look a little bit closer, as well as how the name "Rachell" is spelled. (Clever, huh?) It seems a new book titled, Every Freaking Day! With Rachell Ray by Elizabeth Hilts, parodies the food lifestyle magazine Every Day With Rachael Ray via some laugh out loud and "biting" hilarity.

This unauthorized spoof, released on Sept. 3, is packed with recipes and commentary from "Rachell" and photos of a "perky" brown-haired model who bears a striking-but-weird resemblance to the real Ray herself.

"She's very easy to parody," says Freaking author Elizabeth Hilts. "She has a lot of very recognizable mannerisms: talking with her hands, singing to the food, referring to food as an almost human entity."

In any case, even if the parody sells well, it's stll very unlikely to match the 7.2 million copies in print of Ray's six (yes, count them, SIX!) cookbooks. The seventh of which, is due out in November 2008.

So there...I guess. Once again, the real Rachael Ray has the very last laugh.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Shake And Ache


As it turns out, athletes aren’t the only ones with on-the-job injuries. Some food-and-drink pros feel the pain while pulling the perfect espresso or mixing a stiff martini. And this includes:

Cocktail Shaker Shoulders:

Starbuck's Coffee Barista Arm:


Saute Slump:


And the list goes on in an article in this week's Time Out New York here

Note to self: My own magazine article pitch on the aches and pains of cooking in "home" kitchens.

Yeah...think I will.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Food Writing 101

The Institute for Culinary Education has launched the Center for Food Media, a program of academic courses for aspiring food writers, publicists, TV personalities, and -- even bloggers.

In this class, students will learn the essential tools for becoming a food journalist--without going to journalism school. Veteran food writers Ramin Ganeshram and Marge Perry, will share how to write a pitch letter that sells, how to get your work published even when you're just starting out, along with basic editing skills, the difference between the various types of food stories, and research tips and tricks. You will do in-class writing exercises in essay format and reviews based on tastings. And yes, you'll actually get to eat...and write about it. (Now, I ask gastronomically cool is that?).

A program for Wine Writing will follow in early 2009.


Read more about it here.