Category Archives: Food & Dining

How to stop the Swine Flu

Want to help prevent future flu pandemics?  It’s easy.  You don’t have to lobby congress for billions of funding for pandemic research.  You don’t have to wear a surgical mask 24×7.  No, the best thing you can do is to vote with your dollars.  Buy pasture-raised pork and other meats.  Really, it’s that easy?  Indeed it is.  Read this fantastic article from Wired.com.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/05/swineflufarm/

So next time you go the grocery store to pick up a cellophane wrapped package of meat (how convenient!), or you order that steak or the pork chops off the menu at the restaurant, just realize that you are contributing to system that is killing us.  Sounds harsh?  Well, it’s time we faced the cold hard facts.  So what’s the answer?  Find local producers in your area that raise their animals on pasture.  They care about the welfare of their animals, their workers, the environment, and their customers.

http://www.eatwild.com/

EatWild.com is a great resource to find local producers.  Go to the farmer’s markets, or better yet go to the farms, and know where your food comes from.  It could prevent the next flu pandemic.

Pork I Can Get Behind

In Trial Run, Chipotle Heads to the Farm – washingtonpost.com

Chipotle is the only fast food restaurant where Lisa and I can actually eat meat.  She and I have been trying to follow a pasture/natural-raised meat diet.  Unfortunately, that means we end up eating vegetarian most of the time when we eat outside of the home.  However, Chipotle brings some hope that pasture-raised meat can become more prevalent in restaurants.

Who Mourns When a Business Dies?

I’m sad to report that the Woodstock Water Buffalo company has expired.  I tried to call them this morning to find out which retailers in NYC sell their mozzarella cheese and was greeted with a recording saying the company is closed and to press extension 17 if I was interested in purchasing their remaining assets.  I have only had their yogurt before, but it was really wonderful and I’m sad that we won’t get to eat it anymore.  I wonder why they closed?  They had been doing very well in the press and their products had been receiving rave reviews.

And what about the water buffalo, what happens to them?

Time with the ‘rents

My mom and dad left this morning after an enjoyable five day stay. Well… I enjoyed it; I hope they did too! We managed to do a few tourist-type things as well as just hang out and visit with each other and relax. We toured the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Central Park, the NYC Transit Museum, and the Greenpoint neighborhood (for Polish food). Here are some photos from their stay, as well as a video of a bag piper practicing in Central Park —

Mom & Dad
Click to view all photos

P.S. If you’re looking for good Polish food in Greenpoint, Happy End is sure to please (and it is super cheap).

Bring on the rat!

When Lisa and I were traveling in Vietnam, we the pleasure of dining on rat.  We were in Can Tho in the Mekong Delta and had stopped for dinner at a riverside restaurant.  Rat was on the menu and I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try it.  Lisa admonished me, “If that thing comes to the table with a head and a tail, I’m leaving!”  I had two choices of preparation method: steamed or grilled.  I think I made the right choice in grilled because, let me tell you, the Vietnamese know how to grill meat!  The rat was served on a plate with some rice and a couple vegetables.  It had been halved and grilled with some kind of sweet sauce that made the skin crispy, caramelized and so delicious!  Lisa and our traveling partner, Carol, both tried it and loved it.  And yes, the rat was without head or tail.

So, imagine my pleasure when I read this article from the WSJ.

Oh, Pasture-Raised Meat! Where are you?

I’m having an “I Hate New York” day. You would think that a city of 8 million people would have everything under the sun. You would think that there would be so many people with such broad interests that it would create enough demand, even in niche areas, so you could easily find whatever your heart desires. You would think. I’m here to tell you that it just isn’t true. As diverse as NYC seems, most people here are really the same. New Yorkers are much more “middle America” than they would ever admit.

Why is there not a butcher in all of NYC that carries locally-produced, pasture-raised meat? I have done some extensive searching and I found one, and all they carry is pork chops and pork spare ribs that are priced twice as much as what I can buy at the farmer’s market. And don’t tell me it is economically sustainable, that there isn’t enough demand. See here for proof that it can work.

So instead of heading off to the butcher shop any day of the week, I have to wait for Wednesday or Saturday to go to the farmer’s market to buy from the two producers who bring their product into the city (Flying Pigs Farm and Hawethorne Valley Farm). Thank God for the farmer’s market. Of course, if I really want to plan ahead, I can always order online, but that’s not the point.

P.S. If you want more info on pasture-raised meat, check out this great website. And if you want to read a great book that talks about pasture-raised meat and other meat-eating issues, then read The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

The Coffee Is Getting Better

When Lisa and I moved to NYC a year and a half ago, we had a hell of a time finding a good cup of coffee. I mean, we could find decent coffee and, believe me, there was plenty of crap coffee we suffered through as well. To get a really good cup of coffee, we have to travel well out of our neighborhood, unfortunately.

Here’s another one that is, again, not easily accessible for us. Though I may have to make the trek up to Williamsburg just so I can check out the Clover.

Eat for Victory > Serious Coffee Comes to Williamsburg