Edan's Reviews > How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman
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Dec 03, 07

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Edan Don't worry, we still eat it (meat). We're just trying to expand our repertoire.


Edan I've tried it, and it actually wasn't bad. But I am, as a rule, against non-meat trying to be meat. Who are they fooling? Tofu (dressed as tofu) is as far as I'll go.


message 3: by brian (new)

brian   yeah, yeah... tofu is simply horrifying.

much better way to celebrate the holidays is grab a bird that's been stuffed in a cage for its entire life with no room to turn around, no sunlight, no affection, no fresh air, no healthy food, no -- wait. let's forget what this bird's life is like (let's push aside the fact that they've started sawing off the beaks of these birds when they're babies as they were pecking themselves to death in the factory farms). surely the bird's life is not an issue and not nearly perverse enough. i say we take the poor creature and stuff it's corpse with more food and then eat the whole mess. and let's get really into eating good food and talk a lot about eating good food and drink some nice wine and talk a lot about nice wine and then get dressed in some nice clothes and have some friends over to celebrate.

ah... aren't we civilized?





message 4: by Edan (last edited Nov 28, 2007 08:51AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Edan First of all, Brian, you've mistaken 'it's' for 'its'. Secondly, I was not speaking against tofu. I like tofu. Patrick and I ate it for dinner on Sunday, in fact. I just don't like tofu when it's dressed as meat. It's stupid. That's like dying a turkey green and calling it zucchini. I really wonder what else goes into a meat substitute, to make it look like a chicken finger or a rib.

Turkey eaters do not have to eat turkeys that have been raised in the conditions you describe. I would have no problem, for example, eating a turkey from the farm my friend Molly worked on in Maine (see my thread for Michael Pollan's new book, In Defense of Food).

I ate salmon for Thanksgiving.


message 5: by brian (last edited Nov 28, 2007 09:07AM) (new)

brian   great difference between "do not have to" and "do not". but i understand how a strange semantical distinction would be necessary when defending this stuff.

the tofu comment was directed at robert.

but i'm not the guy to discuss this with - perhaps the the only people i truly loathe in this world are the food obsessed. there seems nothing that smacks more of gluttonous middle-class self-satisfied nonsense and requires more orwellian doublethink than staring down at the charred flesh of an animal tortured to death (and, no, those who only eat free range food are sin free in my book) with a fat satisfied and 'how very civilized' grin. i wonder how they'd react if we stuck their dogs in factory farms?



Edan I know we will never agree, Brian, but I must take issue with the idea of 'food obsessed' people being so loathsome--what about those who aren't food obsessed, who simply just shovel into their mouths whatever cheap food they can procure, without a thought for how it got to their plates?

Not all animals raised to eat are tortured to death. You can buy meat raised humanely, it just takes more effort and money (and explains why perhaps only the annoying middle and upper class foodies can do it). Now, if you never ever eat meat, then perhaps the idea of killing an animal for food is intolerable, no matter the circumstances. Not so for me. That's where we differ, and probably always will.

I am going to look for my New Yorker copy with that article, Shauna. I want to read Buford's book, Heat. Have you read it?






Edan They can't?


message 9: by brian (last edited Nov 28, 2007 11:05AM) (new)

brian   yes, the people who shovel food with no thought are loathesome as well. i shudder when i think of the cows who were born into factory farms and die after a life of torture only to have their bodies ground into a mash of flesh and stuffed into a taco bell burrito to be half-eaten and have the rest of their ground-up body tossed in the garbage. a perfect example of the horror of our species: easily the most disgusting and loathesome on the planet.

it's funny that you write that the middle and upper classes are the ones that 'do it', when in fact, they don't. yes, free range meat costs a bit more (perhaps fifty cents more per body part) and requires more effort (a different aisle in the grocery store), but the middle class, who, according to you, can afford the time and effort... well, they generally don't do this. do you? how many people that you know do this? the time/effort thing and the lower/middle class thing is a straw man: if you care, you do it. if not, you don't.

while i believe there is an argument to be made that devouring any pain-feeling creature is evil, as i pointed out, i consider those who eat free range meat to be sin free.

also: i don't wanna get into the 'foodie' thing as i suspect that you consider yourself one. anything i write will seem too direct an attack and you have to know edan, that despite your ill treatment of the weaker species on the planet... i still love you. :-)




message 10: by Shauna (new)

Shauna Haven't read it -- but now I want to. I loved the essay.


message 11: by Kimley (last edited Nov 28, 2007 01:58PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kimley Is Brian "free-range"?

For Thanksgiving, I went to a very good friend's house on Cape Cod. She's a vet and has 5 cats, 1 very large hound dog, two horses, two goats, about a dozen chickens, about a dozen ducks, two geese (so soft!), and maybe 8-9 turkeys! All are pets though she does eat the eggs and drinks the goat's milk. I'm trying to convince her to make cheese - one of my favorite food groups!

She e-mailed me that we were having a "home-grown" turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. I e-mailed back aghast - are we eating a "pet"???? Thankfully, no, it was from one of her friend's "artisanal" farms where the turkey presumably lived a happy life wandering around the land.

Brian, I think maybe you have a slightly antiquated though perhaps not entirely untrue stereotypical view of "foodies" (especially NYC foodies) as snobs who eat only at "fine" restaurants and who have a very elevated sense of themselves - which I also find repugnant but I'm a bit of a foodie in the sense that I love eating all kinds of food from street carts to high-end NYC restaurants (though I draw the line at places that require jackets and ties) and I love eating food from every part of the world. I think food can be a great cultural unifier. Food is sustenance. Food is sensual. Food can be very creative. Food brings people together. And I don't see how discussing food (which is required to stay alive) is any more "middle-class self-satisfied nonsense" than reading books all day and discussing them ad nauseum as we do here. Personally, I like food and books!

Edan and Shauna, I've read Buford's Heat and it's a very fun read. I definitely recommend it. Basically, instead of buying himself a Ferrari for his mid-life crisis, he became a line cook! I love it!


message 12: by Edan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Edan Wow, everyone is being so civil here (except Robert, who is a budding cannibal!). Brian, I agree eating well is less about money and more about commitment. The sad truth is, however, that it's often challenging to find the good stuff at your local grocery store. A 'free range' chicken doesn't necessarily mean the chicken was out roaming the earth; a farmer can cut a tiny square in the wall and it fits the free range rule. Also, I've learned that 'grass fed' isn't the same as 'grass finished' since all cows eat grass when they're calves, before they're moved off to the feed lots to eat corn and get stuffed with antibiotics. And most of the produce at a regular grocery story isn't organic, and much of it isn't local either. Finding that stuff can take time and effort, and sometimes a little extra money--but, really, not that much. I mean, Patrick and I are paupers, but we find the money to eat the way we want to.

I do consider myself a foodie, as Kimley does. But I do feel it can be a dorky, yuppie label, so I say it a bit in jest. Like Kimley, I love food!

Let's sit and discuss further over vegetarian pasta, Brian! You know I love you too.


message 13: by Edan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Edan Manny, as a meat lover myself, I see your point, but you might consider eating meat that's raised in a more humane matter--not for political reasons but for health reasons.


message 14: by brian (last edited Nov 29, 2007 10:20PM) (new)

brian   it's funny... manny's two arguments (man has been doing it for thousands of years so it's okay and pain is not pain when inflicted on a lower species) are the EXACT same arguments used to justify slavery. you keep great company. nice.

as far as 'not murder' -- ask edan if you shoved her dog in a cage for a few years with not enough room to turn around, zero light, zero fresh air, zero contact with another creature, and with a tube shoved down its throat timed so as to dump food in there so as to create oversized organs... and then you killed it... would it be murder?

it'd still be barbaric, but more respectable, manny, if you could admit that what you were eating was the result of murder... to deny that the tortured life and death of a pain-feeling creature with emotions is not murder so as to justify eating something yummy without guilt is a bit cowardly, wouldn't you say?


message 15: by brian (new)

brian   "Vegetarian food leaves a deep impression on our nature. If the whole world adopts vegetarianism, it can change the destiny of humankind." - albert einstein

"I will continue to eat meat, and I will continue to not feel bad about it. It's not murder." - manny chavarria

woo-hoo!


message 16: by Tosh (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tosh Stop it! You guys are making me hungry! But Edan brought up a subject that I find interesting: Why do we have Tofu that takes place of a meat product on the plate. No one has been able to explain this to me. And not only that, it really bothers me. It seems like we crave meat - even when it's fake. We even try to make it look like a meat product. That's Orwell in a nutshell. Have food that looks like meat and may even sort of have the same texture as meat - but don't worry, it's not meat.

And torture seems to be part of the human chain of expressing one self. Either by slavery, keeping animals in cages (and zoo's, which I also find horrifying) or dressing up their animals to look like little cute humans.

All of the above I think shows the roots of humans - and it's not a pretty picture, my pets.


message 17: by Tosh (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tosh ....And Brian I don't see anything wrong with being a 'foodie.' There is the snob appeal of course, but you get that with classical or jazz music as well. Does that make jazz or classical music bad? And I had many many dinners with you my friend, and you show some traits of being a..... dare I say it.... a foodie!


message 18: by brian (last edited Nov 30, 2007 12:22AM) (new)

brian   while i wouldn't value the life of a cow over a black man (or a man of any color, for that matter), your treat their respective physical and mental pain as mutually exclusive. sympathy and empathy are not limited emotional resources: i can feel bad for a human slave and also feel bad for a tortured animal. dare i say that true humanity lies in our ability to think of a being outside of our own? but therein lies the chasm between, say, einstein and chavarria.

and as far as edan's dog: huh? if you eat it after torturing it, then it ain't murder? but if you torture it and then toss out the corpse... it is? really... what the fuck? you my friend, are a coward and a semantical jackass. at least ted nugent admits he murders his dinner. and he does it honorably. you buy a dollar burger at in-n-out and deny that murder has occured because of a lack of opposable thumb, reduced IQ, and torture with ingestion as opposed to torture and disposal? strange...


message 19: by Tosh (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tosh And I don't really disagree with you Brian, but again I like to get to the root of why we need subsitute food to look like meat? When you look at a piece of meat one would think 'torture,' dead animal,' ..... yet when we see something to 'pretend' its meat ...I mean what does that mean?


message 20: by Edan (last edited Nov 30, 2007 09:13AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Edan I think using my dog as an example in your argument should stop. Mostly because, he'd probably be a little gamey, like rabbit. Patrick and I think braising him with a Belgium ale might make him a little tastier. Then we will use his fur to make a handbag.

(I have opinions about this issue between Manny and Brian, but I am NOT getting involved!)


message 21: by Paige (new)

Paige Oh, Manny. Your comments made me smile this morning.

I'm with Tosh on the substitute meat. When I think about it, I don't like any "molded" food like tofu or even jello. Makes me think about the McRib. Ugh.

Brian, when we talked the other day I have to admit I was fascinated by your point of view. I eat meat and really enjoy it. Like some of the others here, I try to avoid anything pumped full of hormones for health reasons. Oddly enough, I also have to avoid tofu because it raises estrogen levels. To be honest, I guess I don't understand your argument. The human body is designed to eat meat (thus the sharp, pointy teeth near the front of my mouth), and we've been eating it for, well, as long as we've been around. Then you talk about inflicting pain... but at what point do you draw the line? So a chicken or cow is bad. Is a snake or fish? What about insects? There's plenty of scientific evidence that plants experience pain, but you don't here much complaining about the tortured plight of romaine lettuce. And I don't understand the torture argument, either. If an animal is killed for, whether living in a cramped pen or wandering hill and dale, why wouldn't both be "murder?" Do you believe that when a lion kills and eats a gazelle that that is murder? Brian, if you were a buddhist who didn't believe in taking another life, no matter how small, I'd probably understand better.

Oh, for those of you who haven't read "Heat," it's a great book.




message 22: by brian (last edited Nov 30, 2007 09:50AM) (new)

brian   you're wrong. murder - legally and morally - does not always go to intent. check it out.

do you really believe that if you tortured edan's dog, it'd make a bit of difference to her if you ate if afterwards or threw out the body?

your argument is weak and illogical because you are trying to suggest that because cows and chickens and pigs are 'lower' species they exist solely for us. whether they live life in a field and are are then slaughtered or whether they spend miserable horrible lives in a factory farm is irrelevant in that the animals are, more or less, widgits that exist for us to do with as we wish.

no, heh heh, ted nugent is only politically correct in the mannyverse in which one will use any weird sematical distinction any strange tautology or euphemism and any utterly illogical twist of logic to justify oneself. nugent flatly asserts that man must eat animals, but it is cowardly and inhumane to do it the way you, and most people, do. to buy cheap meat which is the result of torture. nugent hunts animals and eats them.

all your agruments smack of supreme greed gluttony and, above all, laziness. i imagine if we applied your logical process to any of the world's problems... well, one can only imagine.

as far as the tofu/meat issue.... well, it's simple. we have lived with familiar images and tastes for a long time. with our eggs it would just seem strange to eat a link of black tofu. as with everything, presentation is more than half the equation. we have been raised with the flavor of ham, so they reproduce it. i've had nut flavored tofu as well and i've never heard the peanut crowd call it orwellian or a rip-off. it's odd and weird to reproduce flavor, right? something i know the fast food industry wouldn't do... uh, wait. aren't all fast food burgers doused with 'meat' flavor? this is all a bit disingenious. flavoring one's food to taste like another food has been around... uh, like, forever.


the argument is absurd, though. tosh is 100% right in that people just don't care about anything that doesn't directly touch them. they are cruel. i laugh to myself when self proclaimed liberals gripe about iraq, whereas i know that the only way to actually make them do a single thing is to reinstate the draft. they've only come to care about global warming as it's been celebratized and still, they don't do shit. as far as meat: it will take a health crisis to threaten their individual lives to make them react. till then it's yummy food before human compassion. woo-hoo! ah... humanity. celine was more right than any of us.



message 23: by Tosh (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tosh Brian it has been suggested that if there is a revolution, the new leaders should change the calendar system - without doing that we follow back to old practices.

In that sense, to get rid of the meat culture shoudn't veggie foods just be veggie foods and not pretend to be 'meat.' That for some reason is very hyprocritical to me. If I was a vegan I would want to abandoned the role of meat in our culture - including the fake sausage on the plate. If you have food that looks like 'meat' that means you crave meat, right or wrong?

And I understand the culture of 'meat,' but I think the vegan movement should deal with the issue of 'meat' in our culture as a desirable product. This I think would get to the root (no pun intended) of the problem.

Ted Nugent not only likes to eat meat, but he loves to hunt. He likes to kill the animal, skin it, and eat it. It's not a liberal or conservative guilt thing with him. It's a culture I have no understanding whatsoever.

And I want to speak up for the tofu. I love tofu. I actually went to a restaurant in Kitakyushu, Japan that served only tofu. Tofu drinks, tofu deserts and tofu main dishes. The unusual aspect of this restaurant is that they never pretend the tofu was a meat dish or something else. It was always tofu and it was quite a creative restaurant. Great meal!

And to be honest here I actually prefer veggie sausages than real one. Not due to the politics of food, but more to the taste. I just prefer the veggie sausage!

And the very last, I like to get rid of the words or phrase 'liberal guilt.' If there is something called 'liberal guilt' than there has to be 'conservative guilt' as well. It's a silly overstated phrase that really has no meaning whatsover. Like the term 'politically correct,' it has no meaning whatsoever. It's an emotional expressive phrase, but beyond that - it's totally loaded with no meaning.


message 24: by brian (last edited Nov 30, 2007 10:38AM) (new)

brian   1) have i ever equated an animal's life to a human's? wasn't it me who said it's not mutually exclusive? i can cry over a human slave and also over a tortured cow? -- you're dead wrong on this one.


2) moral absolutism? huh? let's consider one of two things: 1) there is a god and the bible is his word. the bible states that god granted us 'dominion' over the animal kingdom. do you think that was meant to suggest our taking care of them? or putting them in factory farms with sawed off beaks and tubes dumping food in them to blow out their organs? 2) in a universe with no god, in which we create our own morality, in which we are god... should this be our legacy? due to cost efficiency and laziness, we choose to treat the other creatures on the planet like widgits?

3) mahrya is a jackass. you ever hang out around a pig? they have the emotional life and depth of a dog. you ever see one in a pen with grass and air and dirt and other pigs? ever see one in a cage which is so small they can't turn around or lay down? one that has - literally - never known the feel of sunlight, or grass or fresh water, or another pig, and, in many cases might as well be blind as they've spent their life in a pitch black cage. (why spend the money on electricity, it's just a widgit!) -of course you've never thought of this, much less seen it... only three times a day, do you put before you and make this an organic part of your own body. no big deal.

4) clint eastwood ain't a nihilistic author. nor is he an effette bleeding heart. take it up with him.

5) take note: the dog/pig argument has been dropped. it's strange cultural relevatism. nobody really argues any more that since we in the USA declare dogs better pets than pigs that they feel pain any differently.

oh yeah: the morrissey stuff is weird and infantile. and wrong. i became a vegetarian five years ago. into morrissey a decade before that. also into the ramones. where's the leather jacket and long hair? should i suggest that your intense love for norman mailer is what makes you believe that he who shouts loudest is right? wait a minute...


message 25: by Tosh (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tosh So free range is sort of like the first class in an airline, and the non-free range is sort of like coach. But in theory both classes go to the same destination.

So a free-range animal goes to the same route as a small caged animal - which is to their death. Correct? Or when we are told about free-range, are we talking that it is much better to eat an animal from that farm due to the health benefits of the eater?

This is a fascinating subject matter by the way. I greatly admire the arguments here because it really focuses on why one eats what they eat.


message 26: by brian (last edited Nov 30, 2007 10:55AM) (new)

brian   paige: it's as simple as this: i'm not against meat eating. i was raised an omnivore.

it's the factory farms.

do you remember the scene in schindler's list in which schindler sprayed the overheated jews with water and the nazis laughed at him as the jews were all going to die anyway? this answers your question regarding treatment before death. what's the root of the poignancy to that scene?

my mom was raised on a farm. i've spent much time there. cows and pigs and chickens spend their lives running around the farm and then are killed and eaten.

no more. not the meat we eat. they are born into pitch black cages as small as their bodies. anyone have a dog? y'know what it's like when in the house for too long? all shaky and nervous? imagine it in a closet. smaller than a closet. and for five years. and take away healthy food. and any interaction with any other animal? and imagine that when their leg breaks or they get an eye infection or some other problem, they can't tend to it as they would in the wild. what happens? well, in the case of a broken leg it doesn't matter as so many of these pigs grow so fat they are held up on either side by the cage and their legs are meaningless. so, i suppose, broken legs are irrelevant.

the point is: i'm the only one here who thinks this is horrible. well, tosh does but his cyncism doesn't permit him to alter his diet or to do anything. some are all bluster, some make jokes and some honestly just don't get it...

as i wrote: celine was the author of the human race.



message 27: by brian (new)

brian   it's stupid to argue with you about this, manny. stated plainly, you don't feel that factory farms or the suffering of animals is a bad thing. it kinda ends there doesn't it?

this is obviously something i love to debate and care pretty strongly about, but for you it's merely a question of a cheap and yummy lunch. so, how about we drop it?


message 28: by Tosh (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tosh The relationship between animals and humans are very interesting to me. And it seems that one can't keep the control issue of some sort out of the picture. I am always sturck with the way people portray their pets - as sort of little humans with lots of fur. And I think the basic reason is that humans need a sense of family of some sort. Either by design or fault - we need to feel that we are part of some sort of system. This also includes the nature of street gangs as well.

I bring this up now because I think it has to deal with the food we eat. And how we deal or don't deal with the subject matter of animal as our food.

I am probably a veggie in the making due to a series of issues. Mostly health as well as the fact that no way would I ever eat a meal prepared by Ted Nugent. It's gross! If it is in a cute package, well that's another thing! But seriously I realize that fact, and I think it's important for people to realize where their food is coming from and why.

The bigger issue I see on the plate (pun intended) is do we need to eat other living animals - and should this not be a moral issue? Forget the torture aspect (which is totally true) but the fact that do we need to support the financial aspect of killing our food, or can one avoid the whole procedure of eating meats, etc.

I can admire the militant vegans for their stance, and in theory I can even agree with them. But on the other hand it's very difficult for me to live that lifestyle. So one makes choices and they are not always choices made in great confort.


message 29: by Paige (new)

Paige Brian, xoxo. I actually agree with you that the way we raise animals for meat is disgusting and needlessly cruel. Having grown up for part of my life on a farm, it's hard for me to reconcile the way that I grew up -- with farm-raised meat and veggies -- and our country's mega food production. Corn production now scares me. Genetically engineered seeds trademarked by Monsanto. It's enough to make your head spin.

Tosh, fascinating observations, as always.


Patrick Brown It seems that Brian is hinting at something that goes deeper than whether or not you eat meat (or at least, I'm more interested in the larger idea, so maybe I'm just putting words into his mouth). Factory farms, feed lots, the cages they keep egg-laying hens in -- all of these are indefensible. Whether you believe eating meat is wrong or not is irrelevant. But to look at the issue and decide that not eating meat is the solution is to treat a symptom rather than the disease.

Meat production in this country is a nasty and disgusting business, but it's only a part of a horribly broken system of food production and consumption that is destroying the people in America as well as the animals. Why are cattle sent to feedlots where they are fattened on corn, a food they can't naturally digest (leading to infections and the rampant over-use of antibiotics)? To get more cheap meat is one answer, but the other is to get rid of the corn. This may sound ridiculous, but it's the truth. We produce so much corn in America, and so many companies profit from it, that we are constantly coming up with new and insidious ways to use it.

It would seem to me that being a vegetarian is half-right -- it certainly wouldn't hurt to stop eating meat. But it stops short of addressing the larger problem of changing the way America grows food (both plants and animals). Those "vegetables " that Vons passes off as produce haven't lived the greatest lives, either. They're the feedlot cattle of the vegetable world, so to speak. The chemicals used to grow them and to keep insects off them are damaging the earth and damaging our bodies as well.

The only real answer to the problem is for people to step outside the food production system and change they way they shop for all foods. Does anyone think it's morally righteous to walk into a Subway and order the veggie sub? Better never to buy a single thing from Subway (or Albertsons, or Whole Foods, or Trader Joes) ever again. Is this realistic? Probably not, but it doesn't mean it's not an ideal to strive for. Buy as much of your produce from a local, organic farm. Buy your meat (if you choose to eat it) from a farm that grass finishes its cattle. Never buy supermarket eggs .

I've been thinking a great deal about what I eat for the past year. Before that I never did. It started when I read the Omnivore's Dilemma, and it continues to this day. It's a long process, changing something as fundamental as what you eat, but I've found it to be a rewarding one. I'm to the point now where I probably buy 90% of my produce from farmer's markets, 100% of my fish is wild, and I've reduced the amount of meat I eat. Do I still buy some meat whose origins I can't attest to? Yeah, sadly, I do. Eventually, I hope that will stop (It's mostly a logistical problem, as obtaining meat that has been grass finished often involves ordering through the mail or traveling all the way across town (no small feat in a city the size of LA) to get it). I don't plan to become a vegetarian, but for health reasons (and partially due to the logistical difficulty in finding good meat), I will continue to reduce the amount of meat I eat.

On the subject of meat substitutes, Brian is also right, I think, that culturally, we are accustomed to having a big protein accompanied by several little servings of vegetables and other starches. I enjoy eating vegetarian meals, but not when they feel like some sort of ascetic sacrifice. When I was younger, many of the vegetarians I knew seemed to hate eating, that it was something they did begrudgingly. Maybe this came from a life of feeling marginalized, being cordoned-off to one or two menu items at most restaurants and looked at as being picky or difficult by fellow eaters. Half of the vegetarians I knew were vegetarians for dubious reasons. In fact, it's only recently that I've met vegans I didn't suspect of being closet anorexics. Many, many people seemed to have adopted vegetarianism as a way of controlling their weight. Kind of like how exercise is so often nothing more than Yuppie bulimia. But as I grow older (and maybe a little wiser...nah, probably not), I meet more and more people who eat a vegetarian diet and are healthy and happy and good cooks.

I don't know. I appreciate the arguments people have made here. Carry on.


message 31: by brian (last edited Nov 30, 2007 11:55AM) (new)

brian   that's the best posting so far, patrick. you schooled me and all those i've been arguing against. and you did it with slabs of raw meat on your head.

will carry on tomorrow. for now, i must get outside and into the first great rainfall of the season. woo-hoo!




message 32: by Edan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Edan Yes, Patrick, that was so well said. You are so smart. And hot. Will you wear that meat hair to bed tonight?



message 33: by Paige (new)

Paige The meat hair is kinda hot!

Here's an interesting Bill Buford article from this week's New Yorker (which still hasn't found its way to my mailbox yet -- grrrr).

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics...



message 34: by Tosh (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tosh Well-thought out thoughts Patrick! It seems we have more choices out there but it's very difficult to actually 'live' those choices. Due to various reasons. For me it is partly economic, and the issue of time is a huge factor as well.




Kimley First of all, don't you people have jobs? Damn, you've been distracting me from my job all day with your interesting and insightful comments (all of you!) on a subject that is actually very important to me. I've been dying to pipe in but now you've all pretty much addressed the issues I wanted to bring up and of course done it far more eloquently than I ever could.

Patrick and Cal - really great comments! I think you've both really gotten to the heart of the matter - we must all think about what we shovel in our faces and where it came from! It is supposedly the vast power of our brains that puts us at the top of the food chain after all.

And I do actually think about this issue a lot both for moral and health reasons. I've lived in big cities most of my life. Much of the meat that I consume is so far removed from the animal that it came from that it's very easy to even forget that it came from an animal. I love animals (frequently preferring them to people!) and have had pets my whole life. I do eat meat and don't have any moral problems with the idea of humans eating other animals but like many of you, I'm appalled by the factory farms and the cruel treatment of these animals. I do make an effort to buy free-range but I am cynical about what that really means. I think Tosh's analogy to coach and first class has the right idea except I think it's more the difference between cargo and coach. First class would be animals from small farms that actually get to roam around on some land. Living in NYC, or L.A. where I think most of you live and I used to live, makes it difficult to buy from small farms. I have a farmer's market but they don't actually sell that much meat and it would mean taking 2 hours or so out of my work day to go so it's not very practical.

I'm not really sure what the answer to this problem is. I do already limit the amount of meat I eat, although probably more for health reasons and fortunately I just really like a lot of non-meat food. Indian and Asian cuisines are very vegetarian-friendly and I love them all! I happen to love tofu but only when prepared in more traditional asian style foods - NOT as a meat substitute! But you know, some crispy bacon every once in a while is also mighty tasty!

And lastly, I wanted to thank Tosh for outing Brian as a foodie! The idea that Brian didn't enjoy eating actually really surprised and dismayed me. It's like saying that you read books simply to gather information.

And now I think I'll go make my dinner - some scallops with garlic and onions and roasted asparagus with grated parmesan! Mmmmm. Yummy.

Oh, and Edan, is this book any good???


message 36: by Edan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Edan Yes, Kimley, the book is good--basic and informative. We just got it, but so far, so good: we've made delicious tofu stir fry, fried rice, and braised turnips. It's extended our vegetarian eating, but it's not our only source. Another great cookbook, by the way, is A Beautiful Bowl of Soup by Paulette Mitchell--all the recipes are vegetarian.

There are many LA farmers market (ones on weekdays and weekends, most during the day but a few in the afternoons/evenings). The one in Hollywood on Sundays does have a meat guy, and the bison lady (one of the most enthusiastic people I've ever met!), and those two sisters with the terrific wild fish. Just gotta do the research.


message 37: by Marion (new)

Marion This book? Fifty comments?


Kimley Fifty comments is apparently nothing. Check this out everyone. You can actually take a class at New York's New School called "Contemporary Food Controversies: What We Eat and Why"

http://ceregistration.newschool.edu/r...


message 39: by Edan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Edan That sounds like a cool class. Ah, college!


message 40: by Edan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Edan Oh shut up, Robert.


Kimley Wait, did I miss something? Who's Omar? Is that your too cute but decidely untasty pooch, Edan?


message 42: by Edan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Edan Yes, Omar is my adorable white dog in my photo, who was used in Brian and Manny's argument (of the "What if Edan's dog were caged and tortured" variety)--so as a joke I discussed braising him and then using his fur to make a purse. Robert was really disturbed, and I told him to just relax. Omar loves to joke about this kind of stuff! I know he would eat me if starving, and we both agreed Patrick would be quite tasty too (though his legs are bit too skinny).




Kimley Well, Marshall - look at Omar. Not enough meat there! It's all fluff.

Edan, I'm glad that Omar has a good sense of humor. I'm constantly telling my cats that they would make lovely accessories. They seem pretty unconcerned... And yeah, I'm sure they'd eat me in a heartbeat.


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