Morning Ed: Food {2017.03.02.Th}

Marie-Helene Rousseau writes of the Ethopian restaurant community in DC.

How did this not debut in the United States?

I love pork so I hate stories like this.

Meet the man Jordan Anaya calls the the Donald Trump of food science.

What do people use food stamp money on? Well, food.

Quentin Fottrell makes the case that Trump was right to force the meatloaf onto Chris Christie, and not out of Christie-animus.

So, yeah. Jamestown.

This is a delightful little story.

It may be better for the chicken, but eggs from free pasture hens are not better for you.


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Will Truman is a former professional gearhead who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He also writes fiction, when he finds the time. ...more →

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108 thoughts on “Morning Ed: Food {2017.03.02.Th}

  1. One of my guilty habits is watching restaurant travel shows like Food Paradise. Many of the restaurants featured on their show have extreme eating contests or some very caloric item on the menu. The extreme eating contests or the very caloric item always make me feel slightly sick. I had a same reaction to the the Chizza. That does not look tasty. It looks disgusting.

    Food stamp program functions as intended. Conservatives freak.

    Jamestown: It took the English several attempts to get the entire colonization strategy down right. It turns out that hard-working religious people make for better colonists that lusty gentleman adventurers trying to make a pound.

    Eggs: Its probably because of the same logic that leads people to think that brown eggs are healthier than white eggs.

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    • If there was ever a notion that Brown Eggs are more nutritious that White Eggs (and I’ve never seen that before), it might have been a second order deduction. An early commercial production breed was the White Leghorn, which produced white eggs.

      Most of the “regular” layers that wandered farmsteads produced brown eggs… Rhode Island Reds, Delawares, New Hampshires, and the various -Rocks and the like.

      If you were one step removed from the farm, and depending on the era and location, you could infer that there was a chance that the Brown eggs were farmstead while the White were almost certainly commercial.

      Now-a-days there are high-producing brown egg sex-cross breeds, which is why you see many more brown eggs in the grocery stores. So, yeah, there’s no correlation between color and nutritional make-up in a grocery store (today).

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    • It turns out that hard-working religious people make for better colonists that lusty gentleman adventurers trying to make a pound.

      Or to put it another way, it took them several tries to figure out why they were there. Those lusty gentlemen adventurers were there looking for gold, which turned out not to be there. Those hard-working religious folks were there to build the New Jerusalem. Then had their own problems figuring out how to do this, but they at least understand that this would involve farming.

      Suppose, by way of counter-factual, that there turned out to be useful amounts of gold in the Rappahannock. The Virginia adventurers would be following, at least arguably, a rational economic model. The profits from mineral extraction would far outweigh the profits from farming. The gold would easily pay to transport salt pork from England (or better yet, the Caribbean).

      I’m not saying that this would have led to a functioning healthy economy. See also: Potosí. But on an individual level, the plan was perfectly rational, albeit based on false information.

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      • Even if Virginia had gold, the English colonists might suffer. The Spanish conquistadors were able to feed themselves initially because they conquered the most densely populated parts of the Americas and had millions of indigenous Americans with a long history of settled agriculture to exploit. The number of Native Americans in Virginia was much fewer and the area more of wilderness.

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        • A lot of the Spanish conquistadors/settlers had serious problems with niacin deficiency because they didn’t realize the maize grown at the time needed to be treated a certain way to release that vitamin. (Though this wasn’t a problem for the conquistadors that took prepared food directly from the people they conquered)

          And, as mentioned in the article, the early Virginia colony had stuff to trade (or was expected to be resupplied) they just didn’t have anyone to trade with because the boats from overseas never showed up, and the local indigenous tribes put them under a loose seige.

          (Which is probably why Roanoke failed too)

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          • Was just doing a Roanoke lesson with my little ones and learned that the failure of the colony was due to the Spanish Armada preventing overseas travel for 3 years straight. No one could get back from England with supplies. I hadn’t ever heard that before.

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          • The Spanish colonists still had better access to food than the early English colonists though. They might have had nutritional problems for the reasons you outlined but that’s better than starving to death.

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  2. Pastured Eggs… says Dr. Darrin Karcher who’s primary funding at Michigan State was the Michigan Poultry Industry and who’s primary research at Purdue is on behalf of the poultry industry.

    Numerous studies of which this one by Penn State is just an example have shown that:

    “Compared to eggs of the commercial hens, eggs from pastured hens eggs had twice as much vitamin E and long-chain omega-3 fats, more than double the total omega-3 fatty acids, and less than half the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids”

    …and that’s not talking about the much lower Cholesterol content (which may or may not be bad for us) as well as differences in vitamin concentrations/uptake (about which the jury is still out), plus it is silent on elements such as trace minerals.

    The science isn’t really disputed that there is a different nutritional profile for pastured eggs (NOT cage free eggs)… this is interpretive dance over whether anyone should care if your omega 3/6 ratios are proper in such a small thing as an egg. Its not science, its marketing.

    No one is going to live forever because you eat pastured eggs… there is no nutritional silver bullet; if you eat 3 pre-processed meals a day and have pastured eggs on Sunday, the eggs won’t save you. But if you are chipping away at the industrial distortions in your diet, then things like pastured eggs make sense.

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  3. Trump of food: more evidence that the incentives for scientific research are screwed up, especially for behavioral/polling studies. The top journals & universities are going to have to take the lead on fixing this, or at some point, governments will.

    Eggs: duh. I get cage free because industrial chickens have short enough lives as it is, the price premium is a hairshirt.

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  4. Bouche à Oreille, Bourges vs. Bouche à Oreille, Boutervilliers: I am a philistine: the lunch menu of the first sounds delightful; the second seems more like work, requiring careful attention to expressions of appreciation.

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  5. The Chizza looks like nothing more than a bad chain-restaurant chicken parmesan without the pasta on the side. I’m not sure why people are so upset this is not a US thing. (Standard disclaimer: I could make better for myself at home)

    As for free-range eggs: so they’re not “better” for you. Neither are they worse, and they TASTE better (and yes, I notice a difference). That’s reason enough for me to want them. And there are few enough things I still “can” eat that I want those things to taste as good as they can.

    I buy eggs with brown shells because it seems easier for me to spot and remove that fragment of shell that follows along every time I break an egg. I don’t fancy eggshell bits in my food.

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  6. re food stamps: I don’t think Noah Smith explains the conventional economic theory that he asserts is being challenged. From one of his links: “there should be no difference between giving households cash or food stamp benefits, as long as they would have spent at least as much on food as the dollar value of their SNAP benefits.” IOW, there is a basic food need that is met by food stamps and beyond that cash and food stamps are rough equivalents. We don’t know what that hypothetical point is, and it would be different for different consumers, but the two studies indicate that food stamps are set at about that level. The first one modeled a jurisdiction in which food stamps were increased, and each dollar increased resulted in approximately 55 cents increased food spending. In the second, food stamps were decreased, and each dollar in reduction resulted in approximately 37 cents decrease in grocery spending.

    Matt Yglesias’ argument against food stamps has to be considered in the context of whether food stamps are set at miserly or generous levels, and what level the cash handout alternative would be set. He seems to assume that food stamps are set at generous levels and if cash were given instead, that money could be used for saving or spending on goods that are not subject to the high transactional costs of the black market. I think cash handouts would be less generous than food stamps.

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    • ” The first one modeled a jurisdiction in which food stamps were increased, and each dollar increased resulted in approximately 55 cents increased food spending.”

      Note that this was 55 cents increased spending on food-stamp items specifically. It doesn’t describe actual increases in spending, and doesn’t discuss what percentage of SNAP-eligible purchases were made with cash rather than SNAP. (Smith gets this wrong in his summary of the study.) I don’t have access to NBER and cannot read the study. But, based on the summary and the study abstract, giving someone an extra SNAP dollar means that they take 45 cents of the cash they were already putting into SNAP-eligible purchases and move it to non-SNAP purchases. But, if you give them an extra cash dollar, they take 90 cents of the case they were putting into SNAP-eligible purchases and move it to non-SNAP purchases (this is an odd way to put it, but it maintains consistency for comparison; in reality they just spend an extra ten cents on SNAP stuff.) In both cases, actual total spending goes up by the same amount (one dollar), the proportions of spending just change differently.

      (Note that despite Smith’s assertion, neither of these studies suggests that SNAP recipients aren’t diverting SNAP resources to non-SNAP items; it ignores the standard black-market transaction where a SNAP recipient uses benefits to purchase goods for a non-recipient who reimburses with cash.)

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  7. Meat loaf is disgusting. This is definitely a legitimate complaint against Trump.

    Ethiopian sounds too similar to middle eastern food, not one of my favorites (I tolerate it for my wife.)

    Food stamps. Back in college, I worked for a short time as the overnight guy at a convenience store. Food stamps were script then, and they were not necessarily used for other things (other stores might have been different) but they were used as a sort of sub-cash, being sold for $.25 to the dollar. After a couple months of this, you knew who the players were. I suspect the new cards they use now eliminate this, as I can’t see any easy way to cheat this, but people will find a way. /shrug

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    • Not All Meat Loaf.

      (the kind I make -without celery or gross green peppers in it – is pretty good, or so I think).

      the real abomination is insisting one’s steak be cooked well-done. If we are gonna have a civil war over stuff like that, I am already assigning myself to Team Rare.

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      • Lately I’ve been increasingly suspicious that Aaron’s core values regarding politics and policy aren’t fully American, and his comments about meatloaf confirm that my skepticism was entirely justified.

        #notallmeatloaf

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      • Well, like a family torn apart, I will, reluctantly, be against you on this. In the name of liberty, I will eat cow like charcoal, before touching the loaf!

        (As a kid, one of my dads grad students had a weekend grilling, but they put raisins in the burgers. Fishing raisins! This ruined me for putting anything in with ground meat.)

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        • that sounds like my kind of meatloaf.

          I also often make lamb loaf, lest people accuse me of being too stolidly Middle American. Mmmm. Lamb loaf with Cumberland sauce….

          (I’m 3/8 Irish and I grew up in a part of the country with many Greek and Slavic immigrants, so lamb is a familiar meat)

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          • My meatloaf recipe (really, my mom’s and probably somebody before hers) is almost identical to the meatball recipe save for the final preparation.

            I generally use all beef, but many supermarkets in my area sell a packaged “meatloaf blend” combining ground beef, veal, and pork. Maybe I’m being a little egocentric, but that screams “I-TALIAN!” to me.

            My stepfather, who grew up primarily in small town Illinois, almost got chased out of the house when he prepared meatloaf with carrots and some sort of red glaze atop it. This was but one of many times he was almost chased from the house (almost all of them for culinary violations).

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            • Golly, it’s been years since I saw meatloaf mix, but I remember that from my childhood in Ohio. (Also “city chicken,” which was veal cooked on a stick. Apparently at one time veal was cheaper than chicken? Mind blown.)

              And yes – I have an Italian meatloaf recipe that can double as balls. Sometimes I make loaf, sometimes I make balls.

              Carrots or celery in things are a no-no for me these days: celery gives me hives and carrots give me God-awful GI tract symptoms. (Think the worst lactose intolerance you know, but with carrots).

              yeah. I’m a fun dinner guest. I pick everything apart….

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  8. I don’t understand the meatloaf article. Regardless of how one feels about the dish (I thoroughly enjoy it and even shared a recipe here once), what does that have to do with the appropriateness of ordering on someone else’s behalf?

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  9. Chizza:

    Earlier this week, Mayo asked what I wanted him to make for me in the play kitchen. I told him fried chicken. He told me they only had pizza (because he had dug out the pretend pizza). I told him I didn’t want pizza. He told me it was fried chicken pizza. I immediately realized this was a billion dollar idea I needed to capitalize on.

    Looks like we got beaten to the punch.

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  10. Apropos #chicken, #health, #industrial, #fraud, #cost, #cheapfood

    Subway is denying that their whole marinated chicken breasts are not Soy/Chicken composites… as alleged by CBC news via DNA testing.

    Now, I don’t much care if people want to each [alleged] Chicken/Soy composites… but I do object to the various price distortions that habituate people to underestimate the cost of food.

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    • I agree. Reporting like this is why we can’t have nice things.

      But it’s also very important to be periodically reminded that we don’t. The American Social Utility Calculus being what it is and all.

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        • One of the primary individual virtues of the post-modern “word as text in a context” theology is that the distinction between truth and falsity, as well as truth and lying, is completely obliterated. All you have to do is trace the subjective semantics of a word, any word, through enough muck and grime following a trail which ultimately takes you back out to the starting point again (ironically enough) and you can prove that no statement is ever false or a lie.

          Ahhh the wonders of the (post) modern world!!!

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  11. Kristin Devine: It’s amazing we survived the 70’s with our palates intact.

    Everyone smoked so nobody could taste anything anyway.

    (If there’s one thing that’s hard to explain to anyone under 30, and not really well depicted in period piece media, it’s how there was smoking anywhere and everywhere until about 1995)

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    • That’s a really good point! I never thought of how much having a society of smokers would affect food preferences, but it has to be huge. That might explain the desire for things that have weird textures and bright colors too. If you can’t smell anything and the dynamic range on your tastebuds is limited, you might start to find “broken eggshell with cottage cheese in jello topped with water chestnuts and Pop Rox” or “tuna salad with crushed candy cane topping” to be appealing just for the visuals and mouth feel.

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