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Pot Luck

by: JayinPhiladelphia

Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 19:00:00 PM PST

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Pot Luck | 74 comments
Chicago! (4.00 / 1)
Hopefully this time, my train won't be six hours late and my layover will actually be... a layover!

My plan for Tuesday morning and afternoon.  Rent a locker at Union Station, dump my stuff off.  Walk around, see things.  Don't have enough time to feel comfortable leaving The Loop, so I'll stay around there.  One PM-ish, hit Reza's for lunch.  

On the way back down to Union Station and the Empire Builder connection, stop in at the Chicago French Market for Tuesday night's dinner (another sandwich) and train snacks.  Nuts, maybe some hummus / baba ghanoush, possibly a salami and some bread, etc...

This trip was great for me in more ways than one, but still.  Can't wait to get back home to Portland!  Thursday, late morning Pacific time.  Allegedly.  We'll see though, heh.

Linkie goodness (4.00 / 2)
Don't have a TV here at home, but there's always clips on the internet of the good stuff without having to wait through the nauseating stuff. . 60 Minutes visited Givaudan, a huge flavor maker -- artificial and natural flavors.

Also, a link Why McDonald's Fries Taste So Good from a 2001 Atlantic magazine. Until 1990, McDonald's fried their fries in 93% beef tallow. When they switched to vegetable oil in 1990, they added beef flavor powder to their fries to make up the difference. The article lists the ingredients of a typical artificial flavor, "like the kind found in a Burger King strawberry milk shake"

amyl acetate, amyl butyrate, amyl valerate, anethol, anisyl formate, benzyl acetate, benzyl isobutyrate, butyric acid, cinnamyl isobutyrate, cinnamyl valerate, cognac essential oil, diacetyl, dipropyl ketone, ethyl acetate, ethyl amyl ketone, ethyl butyrate, ethyl cinnamate, ethyl heptanoate, ethyl heptylate, ethyl lactate, ethyl methylphenylglycidate, ethyl nitrate, ethyl propionate, ethyl valerate, heliotropin, hydroxyphenyl-2-butanone (10 percent solution in alcohol), a-ionone, isobutyl anthranilate, isobutyl butyrate, lemon essential oil, maltol, 4-methylacetophenone, methyl anthranilate, methyl benzoate, methyl cinnamate, methyl heptine carbonate, methyl naphthyl ketone, methyl salicylate, mint essential oil, neroli essential oil, nerolin, neryl isobutyrate, orris butter, phenethyl alcohol, rose, rum ether, g-undecalactone, vanillin, and solvent.

Then this morning I listened to a BBC podcast featuring American Mark Bittman interviewing three British food activists. Interesting. They have many of the same food issues we have here.

Why did they switch from the beef tallow in the first place? nt (4.00 / 2)

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Answering my own question (4.00 / 2)
apparently (from reading some forums and what not on the net) it was because beef tallow was seen as 'unhealthy' and corn/soybean oil was seen as 'more healthy'.

Makes sense that they'd add flavorings. Apparently the tallow determined the flavor of the fries, and when you swich oils you change the flavor profile of the product. That's why I use EVOO for some things like salad dressing. If I don't have EVOO, I just don't eat raw greens in a salad. Period. End of story. Unless I can make some other kind of dressing. Although vinegarette is my favorite....

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Tallow is very unhealthy (4.00 / 2)

A few years back McDonald's got a class action lawsuit because when they switched to vegetable oil, they touted their 'pure vegetable oil' when a devoted Hindu found out he had been eating beef in his french fries. I was quite pissed at them myself. Haven't been back and see no reason to.

I wonder if they used their hamburger fat drippings as part of their fry oil back in the old days? It seems it would have been economical. Wendy's par-boils their burgers and they use the collected hamburger pieces from the bottom of the boil tank to make their chili. I used to eat that stuff a lot back in my youth.

THis Thanksgiving I tried making sweet potato french fries. I ran one of those ones with the light-colored flesh trough the slicer. The fries were great and I was surprised when the old oil went back in the jar how little had been used! Perhaps they're one of those foods which form a perfect seal when put into hot oil. We didn't eat a darker red-colored sweet potato, so I'm going to try that one too, and see if it uses more oil than the light-colored one.

[ Parent ]
The dark red sweet potatoes (4.00 / 2)
are higher in sugar than the white ones and scorch pretty easily when deep fried. They are also softer, so they don't work as well. I've done both. The red ones do better when the strips are baked in the oven.

I have a hard time believing that beef tallow (aka lard) is so unhealthy. We've been using that for millenia as a cooking fat. I think the reall issue with lard would be the amount consumed vs activity levels. In other words, if you live a sedentary lifestyle, you probably shouldn't be eating very much lard.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
I'd bet that the other issue (4.00 / 2)
is what the cow's life was like and what it ate. If it grazed or if it sat in a feedlot eating corn, I mean.

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
That, I would think (4.00 / 3)
would be the biggest factor in determining how good the lard is for you. Other than intake vs activity level.

I'd think that it'd make quite a bit of difference also, in a similar way and for the same reasons that the nutrient levels are different between eggs from hens fed exclusively on layer ration and eggs from hens eating layer ration plus vegetation, bugs, etc.

I'll bet that the lard tastes different too. If there's one thing I've learned about raising animals to eat, it's the fat more than anything else, that determins how the meat will taste like when it's cooked. And that's because it's the fat, not really the meat, that's flavored by what the animal's been eating.

Harold used to tell me about times of the year when it was better to hunt certain animals. And it was all determined by what the animal was eating and how long they'd been eating it.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
you are right (4.00 / 2)
and recently had different types of lard at my friend the cook book authors house. The best tasting was from a local Hispanic market. Also delicious was rendered goose fat. Which buy the way is Kosher. (I'm not but thought that was interesting :)

[ Parent ]
Mmmm, goose fat.... (4.00 / 3)
I'm going to be raising geese and ducks next year for meat birds. And a friend is probably going to be bringing over some ducks next weekend for me to slaughter. I get to keep two of them for myself.

These are muskovy ducks so I don't know how much fat they'll have on them, but I plan to cook 'em in the smoker and I'm going to put a drip tray under them to catch all the fat. Can't wait for that.

When I do a young goose, I'm going to do the same.

If those fats are even half as good as smoked chicken fat, they'll be my cooking fats and I'll reserve the EVOO for things like vinegarettes.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
lard (4.00 / 1)
I listen to podcasts published in English from locations around the world, and I realize that people have different names for a thing depending on where they live or how they grew up, but I have never heard beef tallow equated with lard. Until this point in my life, lard has always been fat from a hog. Let's close our eyes and imagine the delightful uproar that would ensue if a Jewish or Muslim customer found that her supposedly beef dish contained pork fat.

Nevertheless, things change. Is lard = tallow a new trend?

[ Parent ]
Yup (4.00 / 2)
you're right, my bad.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Seven percent solution (4.00 / 2)
I wonder if Conan Doyle wrote that Sherlock used a 7% solution of cocaine, or if that was the subsequent invention of an American scriptwriter.

Anyway, the Atlantic article states that McDonald's fry oil was 7% cottonseed oil, without qualification. I wonder why. Why bother? Straight-run cottonseed oil looks bad, smells bad, tastes bad, and is so toxic it cannot be fed to livestock. Hydrogenation of vegetable oil was developed primarily to manufacture a marketable product from cottonseed oil. Processing cottonseed oil to make it fit for human consumption is difficult and expensive, and it was not economically competitive a hundred years ago. Apparently it is feasible now, because I see it in many ingredient lists, but I wasn't aware that much human grade cottonseed oil was available in the early days of McDonald's, unless it was hydrogenated.

The cottonseed oil wiki seems to have been written by someone from the cottonseed oil industry, so I don't know how accurate it is, but it contains an interesting bit.

Cotton grown for oil extraction is one of the big four genetically modified crops grown around the world, next to soy, corn, and rapeseed (canola)

I didn't know cotton was grown for oil extraction, but if it is, shouldn't those crops be regulated as food crops in the aspect of pesticide application?

[ Parent ]
vegetable oil (4.00 / 1)
I wonder what McDonald's fry oil is today.

[ Parent ]
They now use vegetable oil (I'm thinking probably mostly soy oil) (4.00 / 1)
From the articles and discussions I've read this morning, there's still some debate over whether they use the same fryers to cook fish and chicken as the fries. Some say yes, some say no. Given the law suit from the hindus and the bad PR from that, I would hazard a guess that they keep the french fries sepparate.

I find it ironic that McDonalds STOPPED using beef tallow for frying after being sued by hindus for using an animal product to cook their french fries. They didn't do it on their own, they were pushed into it by the lawsuit and subsequent bad press (i.e. public opinion).

Changing from one kind of fat to another will change the flavor profile of your product. That's why I use EVOO for my dressings. It's the flavor profile. If I don't have EVOO I won't make vinegarette as I don't like the flavor or corn oil, and vegetable (soy) oil has no flavor in the dressing. One of the reasons, perhaps the primary reason, for a brand to be successful is consistency of product. That is, when you go to McDonalds, you know what you're getting. Like it or don't like it, the french fries will taste the same in Portland, Oregon as they do in Chicago, Illinois.

You don't just go and change one of the major components of a product (in this case the flavor profile of the french fries) overnight. Hell, big chains like McDonalds don't even add new products without a lot of market research. So, they went to artificial flavoring so that the french fries would taste the same (or at least as close as you can get with artificial flavorings) and then they're beat about the head and shoulders for that.

I'm sure that McDonalds would have preferred to keep frying their taters in the beef tallow or the vegetable oil/tallow mix they were using prior to the law suit. So, if people are unhappy about them using the artificial flavors, y'all ought to be at least as upset with the hindus who brought the suit as with McDonalds.

Did McDonalds advertise their french fries as vegetarian or did the hindus assume they were because they were made with potatoes? I remember the lawsuit vaguely, and I've eaten regularly at McDonalds for most of my life (except for the past few years) and I don't remember if McDonalds advertised their french fries as a vegetarian selection on their menu or not. I do remember the occassional vegetarian saying that he/she could eat the salad and french fries at McDonalds because they don't contain meat. But that was based on assumptions on their part, not advertising by McDonalds.

So to preserve the flavor profile of the product, which will change when you drop the tallow from the oils mix, they went to using artificial flavors.  

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Got your timeline, wrong (4.00 / 2)
McDonald's switched to 100% vegetable before they were sued. They made a big marketing push for their new healthy 100% vegetable oil fries. They only said there was 'natural flavor' in their fries. They settled the lawsuit out of court. Hindus justified -- poor innocent McDonald's sucks as usual.

Here's some relevant paragraphs from the New York Times article in 2001:

Not surprisingly, Mr. Sharma, an electrical engineer for Boeing in Seattle, says that for years he never set foot in a McDonald's restaurant. But in 1990, when the fast-food chain announced with great fanfare that it was switching from beef fat to "100 percent vegetable oil" to cook its French fries, Mr. Sharma joined the legions of Hindu Americans and vegetarians who began venturing into McDonald's to nibble what they believed were vegetarian fries. Mr. Sharma's teenage son even took a job at McDonald's last year, and drawn by the generous employee discount, the Sharma family consumed countless bags of fries.

So Mr. Sharma said he was horrified when he opened his India West newspaper in April and read, "Where's the Beef? It's in Your French Fries." He and other American Hindus were outraged to learn that McDonald's French fries are seasoned in the factory with beef flavoring before they are sent to the restaurants to be cooked in vegetable oil. Now Mr. Sharma is one of three plaintiffs representing the Hindus and vegetarians of America in a lawsuit filed on May 1 in Seattle that accuses McDonald's of deliberately misleading its American customers.
. . .
The news ricocheted to India, where restaurant windows were smashed, statues of Ronald McDonald smeared with cow dung, and Hindu nationalist politicians called for the chain to be evicted from the country. In Fiji, a majority of Hindus and vegetarians told pollsters they had heard about the beef in the fries and stopped eating at McDonald's.
. . .
He said McDonald's added beef flavoring to the fries before they were flash frozen, and complied with Food and Drug Administration regulations by saying that it included "natural ingredients," without specifying what they were.
. . .
Vegetarian groups had suspected there was beef flavoring in McDonald's French fries and petitioned the company and the Food and Drug Administration for full disclosure of ingredients with no success. Fast- food restaurants are highly secretive about their recipes, and it was only after the lawsuit was filed that McDonald's spokesmen widely acknowledged the beef ingredient.

[ Parent ]
I found the settlement (4.00 / 1)
Associated Press

(AP)  McDonald's Corp. has agreed to donate $10 million to Hindu and other groups to settle lawsuits filed against the chain for mislabeling french fries and hash browns as vegetarian.

McDonald's also posted an apology on its Web site, acknowledging that mistakes were made in communicating to customers and the public about the ingredients in the fries and hash browns. The vegetable oil used to prepare the fries and hash browns was not pure, but contained essence of beef for flavoring purposes. Many Hindus consider cows sacred and do not eat beef.

"We regret we did not provide these customers with complete information, and we sincerely apologize for any hardship that these miscommunications have caused among Hindus, vegetarians and others," the company said in an apology posted June 1 on the Web site. "We should have done a better job in these areas, and we're committed to doing a better job in the future."

[ Parent ]
And I still don't remember (4.00 / 1)
McDonalds advertising their french fries as vegetarian.

Healthier yes, and that was right in line with the push to get everyone off of animal fats and into plant and seed based fats. If I recall right, margerine was being pushed and butter was being demonized for the same reasons.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Interesting (4.00 / 1)
the french fries were advertised as being cooked with 100% vegetable oil. Not that they were vegetarian. The people who brought the lawsuit assumed that the fries were vegetarian.

Had I been on the jury, I would have voted against.

Plus, the flavoring was FDA approved although your quote doesn't say whether McDonalds claim that the flavoring was natural was approved by FDA.

I don't blame McDonalds from keeping the recipe secret. When you're in the food business, your recipe is your livelihood. Go to any number of BBQ joints and ask them for the recipe in their rub. They'll say "I'd tell ya, but then I'd have to kill ya".

But the lawsuit went through, and now McDonalds has to use artificial flavoring in order to not get sued by people who assume that their french fries aren't vegetarian.

Yup. That makes lots of sense. And really, it does, because in the legal world, it's better for McDonalds to use all of those artificial flavors instead of just cooking the fries in the beef tallow that they started out with.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
They still use the same formula (4.00 / 1)
Their french fries still contain meat. And their 100% vegetable oil still contains meat from the french fries. At least now they openly list their ingredients in a pdf file on their website . . . what a concept!

Now they're happy to serve whatever they wish, and if somebody is a vegetarian, they'll know not to eat their fries.

French Fries:
Potatoes, vegetable oil (canola oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, natural beef flavor [wheat and milk derivatives]*, citric acid [preservative]), dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (maintain color), salt.  Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.
*(Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients).

I think what really drove more openness about ingredients is not just the vegetarian thing, but the modern preponderance of food allergies.

[ Parent ]
openly listed (4.00 / 2)
Yes, but I think hydrogenated vegetable oil should be listed as a separate ingredient. To me, hydrogenated vegetable oil is not vegetable oil, and including hydrogenated vegetable oil in a fry bath said to be 100% vegetable oil should be consumer fraud.

Hydrogenation was the subterranean concern in my initial response to the Atlantic article. As I mentioned there, the wiki seems written by someone from the cottonseed oil industry and I question its accuracy. I see no justification why cottonseed oil, with 70% unsaturated fatty acids including 50% polyunsaturates, should be more time-stable or temperature-stable than other vegetable oils. The wiki attributes stability to a "high" concentration of tocopherols, which sounds like unsubstantiated industry propaganda. I was thinking that the cottonseed oil used in the original fry bath formulation probably was hydrogenated, but didn't write that because I had no backup. Now we see that McDonald's thinks hydrogenated veg oil is the same as veg oil, so there ye be.

Interesting - I wonder why today's formulation doesn't use cottonseed oil.

[ Parent ]
And you know that the french fries still contain (0.00 / 0)
beef how? The ingredienst for the natural beef flavor (which is actually only a partial list, not a complete list) may or may not contain beef.

Even if it contains an extract made from beef or tallow, then it still wouldn't have meat in it.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Hindu (4.00 / 2)
Although many Hindus are vegetarian, a Hindu objection could be based the fact that the cow is sacred, not vegetarianism. In either case, I would vote for the plaintiff if in fact the potatoes contained beef extract of some kind. Mind you, I don't have a clue as to what "beef flavoring" might be.

[ Parent ]
beef flavor (4.00 / 1)
Hmm. According to Crider's citation, the "natural beef flavor" seems to be neither natural nor from beef. How weird is that?

[ Parent ]
I believe (4.00 / 2)
that the wheat and milk derivatives are just part of what they call natural beef flavor. Perhaps their concoction contains as many ingredients as that strawberry flavor of that milkshake listed above.

[ Parent ]
Labeling can be reall tricky (4.00 / 2)
because of the way the laws are written. For instance, natural beef flavoring does NOT need to contain beef or beef products. It can be made completely from plant based materials. To be legally termed a natural beef flavor, it simply has to be made from a 'natural' ingredient (examples - oils and esters derived from spices, herbs, plants, meats, animal fats, plant oils, etc.), and taste like beef (that is contians the flavor profile that beef has regardless of whether it's been derived from beef) and be used to 'flavor' the product it's applied to.

Don't believe me? Check out 21CFR501:22

McDonalds can say it because FDA says they can say it.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
assumed? (4.00 / 1)
Do I correctly infer that you would have voted against the plaintiffs? I don't see how anyone could support McDonald's position.

According to that AP quote, McDonald's mislabeled french fries and hash browns as vegetarian, no assumptions necessary. Furthermore, despite the company propaganda, McDonald's didn't merely do a bad job of communicating, they resolutely stonewalled efforts to discover whether the products were vegetarian. In other words, they lied with malice aforethought.

The questions of natural vs. artificial, and FDA's role, is interesting. I agree with you that the flavoring ingredients used today must be artificial according to the disclosure cited by Crider below, but that same disclosure insists the beef flavor is natural. I'm with you - is this terminology approved by any government agency?

[ Parent ]
Count (4.00 / 1)
they did not advertise their french fries as vegetarian.

From the same AP article -

The Oak Brook, Illinois-based fast-food giant responded to the lawsuits by saying it never claimed the fries it sells in the United States are vegetarian.

Which jibes with what I remember of the switch from tallow to vegetable oil for deep fat frying.

They advertised the switch as being healthier, and I do remember that. But NOT as vegetarian.

And, it was 3 vegetarians plus two hindus who filed the law suit on behalf of all vegetarians who had ever eaten McDonalds french fries. It was these 3 vegetarians (and I'm sure many more) who assumed that the fries were vegetarian.

Now, had McDonalds actually advertised their french fries as vegetarian and had been using beef products to flavor them, then I'd have seen a case. But this was a pure case of someone making an assumption and suing the maker when they found out that their assumption was wrong. I have no respect for people like that.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Cottonseed oil (4.00 / 1)
We put our feet down last year and refuse to buy anything containing any of the 'big four' GMO oils. I feel sorry for the cattle they feed the cottonseed meal to, also.

Efficient use of byproducts, I suppose.

[ Parent ]
OK, I'll bite (4.00 / 1)
why do you feel sorry for the cattlee they feed cottonseed meal to?

The feed I buy has cottonseed meal in it. Would it be better if it was organic cottonseed meal?

What in cottonseed meal is toxic to cattle?

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
According to the USDA, absolutely nothing (4.00 / 1)
Cottonseed meal contains a weird substance called gossypol.

Wikipedia says it was tested as a male contraceptive in China. Interesting. It may also known as an anti-malaria agent.

Ruminants would rather eat grass, as far as I know.

[ Parent ]
Crider, (4.00 / 2)
how many ruminants have you been around? For one thing, cottonseed meal isn't fed as a stand alone ration. It's included in a feed blend. If you turn most ruminants loose around those blended rations they will litterally eat themselves sick because it's very palatable. When given a choice between grass and grains and blended feed products containing things like cottonseed meal, they'll pick the grains and blends over the grass every time.

The only time I've ever seen a ruminant refuse grain or a blended feed was when Harold's cow got into the feed bin and ate around 50# of sweet feed. That one time, right after we found her, I offered her some of the feed that she'd just spent all night chowin' down on, and she turned her head away. She had the shits for a while after that too. Went straight through her.

However, that having been said, the  very next day she was trying to get back in there.

Pasture, hay or grain? Grain is number 1 with a bullet.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Feed blends (4.00 / 1)
And that takes us back full circle to the ability of flavor peddlers to make inappropriate foods into delicious and desirable treats. Sure, cottonseed meal, beet pulp, molasses, corn kernels, soybean meal, etc. aren't natural foods for ruminants, but they'll love them mixed up (especially when delicious molasses is included.) They're meant to be grass eaters. Same thing with chickens. Commercial feed these days is heavy on soybeans, while a chicken in its natural habitat would prefer bugs for it's high-protein fix.

The right mix of weird-ass grains and beans and seeds will cause a steer to fatten up in much less time than eating grass would. The Western industrial-food fast food diet of starch, fat & sugar will cause a human being to fatten up in much less time and effort thanks to those appealing scientifically-created flavors that are added.  

[ Parent ]
Crider, I don't think you have a clue about livestock feeds and what's palatable to whom. (4.00 / 1)
I really don't. I feed beet pulp to one of my horses. It's an excellent source of soluable fiber and will put weight on a horse without increasing their glycemic index the way grain will. I don't put anything on it usually, but on the occasion I do, it's usually to hide the taste of the dewormer that I mix in with the pulp a couple times a year.

Corn doesn't need any flavoring, neither do oats, barley, black oil sunflower seeds (BOS), cotton seed meal, wheat midlins, etc.

I dare you to put a cow in front of a pile of any of those, put it on ground surrounded by sweet spring grass. I guarantee you the cow will go for the grains first. I also guarantee you that if you offer the cow (or any other grazing animal be they ruminant or monogastric) a pail of dry cob (that would be rolled corn, oats and barley with nothing added, just those rolled grains) they'll eat that before they eat the pasture, grass hay or even alfalfa. I've been around livestock for over 30 years and I have yet to see the hooved animal that wouldn't beat feet for a pail of grain.

And as to chickens preferring bugs to grains, I don't think so. Every time I come out with a pail of scratch (cracked corn and whole wheat) the birds all leave the scratching for bugs and worms and beat feet to me where I'm broadcasting the grains. Only when every last little kernel is gone will they go back to foraging for bugs, and that even when they have free choice pelleted layer ration. So it's not because they're hungry. It's because they love cracked corn and wheat.

In addition to eating bugs, chickens are seed eaters, as are turkeys, guinea fowl, peacocks, pheasants, and many water fowl. Grains like corn, wheat and barley are their NORMAL food. Go out and knock down some corn, I don't care what kind, it can be sweet corn or field corn. It can be in the milk stage or dry on the cob. They'll eat it up if they can get to it.

But back to cattle and feeding them grain. The whole point of feeding grain to cattle is to fatten them to a specific point. This is so the carcasses grade better. Remember, a 'Prime' carcass is worth more than a Choice' carcass and it's worth a hell of a lot more than a 'B' carcass. That's why cattle go to feed lots. And contrary to some memes that people have tried to put out there, the cattle are not force fed the grains. Cattle like grain. The problem isn't in getting them to eat the grain, the problem is keeping them from eating too much of it. Which is why grain in a ration is mixed with other things, like chopped hay, silage, hulls from cotton and other seeds (source of fiber which the animal has to have, and especially digestible fiber which those hulls are made of), etc.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
cottonseed meal (0.00 / 0)
The wiki says cottonseed meal is OK for adult ruminants, but not for monogastrics or juvenile ruminants before their gastric systems are fully developed.

[ Parent ]
Technical info on cotton seed and oilcake meal (4.00 / 1)
Feed Products Guide

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
In Great Britain (4.00 / 2)
Jaime Oliver got his way with school lunches, while we have not made a dent into the bureaucracies and past agricultural lobbyists.

[ Parent ]
Scotch eggs (4.00 / 1)
I had never heard of Scotch eggs and have never had one. This culinary delight was mentioned in a BBC podcast.

A Scotch egg consists of a hard-boiled egg (with its shell removed) wrapped in a sausage meat mixture, coated in breadcrumbs or rolled oats, and deep-fried.

At the Minnesota State Fair, true to fair tradition, Scotch eggs are served on a stick.

What could be better than that?

Scotch Eggs With Much Less Mess

January 14, 2011

Looking at recipes, the average seems to be about 1/4 lb. sausage per egg. Of course another ground meat could be used instead of the traditional pork sausage.

Crunchy Scotch Eggs With Horseradish and Pickles

January 14, 2011

6 large eggs
2 fat garlic cloves, finely chopped
Pinch kosher salt
1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Olive oil for frying
Cornichons or other pickles for serving.

1. Place 4 eggs in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat; remove from heat and cover for 3 minutes. Uncover and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Peel eggs under running cold water and pat dry.

2. Using a mortar and pestle or the back of a knife, mash the garlic with a pinch of salt until a paste forms. In a medium bowl, knead together the sausage, garlic paste and horseradish until just combined. Divide into 4 equal portions.

3. In a small bowl, lightly beat the remaining 2 eggs. Place the flour and panko in separate bowls. Coat each hard-boiled egg in flour and then enclose each one completely in a sausage patty, molding the sausage into place. Dredge the sausage-coated eggs in the flour, shaking off the excess. Dip them in the beaten eggs, letting the excess drip off, and roll them in the panko, coating well.

4. Fill a medium pot with 1/2-inch oil. Heat to 350 degrees, or until the oil is shimmering and bubbling slightly around the edges. Fry the eggs, 2 at a time, turning them occasionally until golden and cooked through, about 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with salt and serve while still warm, with pickles.

Yield: 4 servings.


they sell them at the Hillcrest Farmers Market (4.00 / 2)
in San Diego, CA.  

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
A few places... (4.00 / 1)
...around here have been doing them as bar snacks lately.  First time I'd heard of them, as well.

[ Parent ]
Kind of late, but ... (4.00 / 2)
I urge you to read THIS about Monsanto, Bayer and Dow, if you haven't already.

"If a man is as wise as a serpent, he can afford to be as harmless as a dove" Cheyenne

With regard to feeding livestock (4.00 / 2)
and what's healthy, what's not, what animals like and what they do well on, check this out -

If you buy an apple and feed it to a pig, is that solid waste?

Bruce King has a livestock farm up in Snohomish county, in Washington state. He feeds his pigs produce that he gets from stores in his area. His pigs are pastured, and he's chosen to feed his pigs this produce instead of commercial pig feed. I think he's doing a great job. The pigs are happy, they get a very broad selection of foods (vegetables, fruit, melons, leafy greens, etc.) it's a hog heaven! A smorgasboard of delectable goodies. It's no doubt healthier for the pigs than the commercial feed, they certainly love it, and by feeding this waste produce he's litterally keeping tons of the stuff out of the land fills each week. And the pigs are doing what pigs have been doing eversince our two species joined up for our mutual benefit. That is, turning waste from human activities for food production into more food instead of fodder for the local midden.

That is, until his neighbors started complaining. They don't like that the pigs are out on pasture, I think one person complained that the pigs had a mud wallow. And they don't like that he's feeding his pigs produce. So they call the police, animal welfare agencies, and now apparently the health department is involved.

They would prefer he feed his pigs commercial pig feed - more of that corn and soy based feed. According to them he could even pour it out on the ground the same way he does with the produce. Although the commercial feed wouldn't last half a day poured out onto the ground. Moisture would ruin it.

The reason they don't want him feeding produce to the pigs, is that they consider that material to be solid waste.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

Y'all ought to read the comments as well as the (4.00 / 2)
article that Bruce links to in the comments. Y'all want to know one reason why so many people feed grain based feeds to pigs? These are some of them.....

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
slop video (4.00 / 1)
Someone, probably Crider, posted an amazing video a while ago about feeding slop to pigs in Nevada. The food waste was cooked in that case.

[ Parent ]
That was probably the same farm that Mike Rowe was at on Dirty Jobs (4.00 / 2)
The whole reason to cook meat is to kill pathogens. The last outbreak of foot and mouth disease was in 1929 in California. That came from garbage that was being hauled over here from of all places CHINA. Go figure...

Also, the Missouri article cited a disease outbreak from feeding meat scraps to pigs. Those actually are the reasons for restrictions and requirements for garbage feeding of pigs. Pigs are excellent multipliers of viruses and often aren't symptomatic while shedding virus into the environment.

I think pretty much everyone thinks that the whole produce issue is loony. But the thing is that none of the government officials is willing to stick his or her neck out and interpret the law. Neither in Washingtong state or Missouri. Can't really say as I blame them, when they do and it backfires, then they get strung up by the neck they stuck out.

I know you can't do it if you're getting produce from the store, but if I were feeding produce from my own property to the pigs on my own property, I wouldn't call the produce I was feeding the pigs a waste product. I'd classify it as a feed crop. We are still allowed to grow our own forage and fodder for our own animals you know. The principal is the same as that behind the sale of straw and beet pulp, distillers grains, etc. It's not garbage, it's a CO-PRODUCT. When I grow crops on my farm, I try to grow as many crops that have more than one product. For example -

Cilantro - young leaves, mature leaves, flowers, young seed pods, mature seed pods, flowers, root.

None of those are waste products, they are co-products.

Cheese making - cheese, whey. I don't see one as a product and one as waste. They are both co-products.

Eliminate the garbage and you eliminate the problem.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
bureaucrats (4.00 / 1)
This is exactly what I meant when I commented about bureaucrats using and abusing regulations. As a simple matter of common sense, the Washington and Missouri bureaucrats are violating centuries of tradition and good practice in countries all over the world. The Missouri case seems to have some regulatory underpinning, except that the bureaucrats have pushed the idea to a ridiculous extreme. In King's case, the idea of relying on an interpretation of the solid waste code is ludicrous. Although I'm familiar only with federal regulations, and Washington regs may differ, neither the spirit nor the letter of federal solid waste regulations would support such an interpretation.

If a Washington farmer has fruit trees, would it be illegal for pigs to eat fallen fruit? In general, the Washington case seems very important because the state is a big producer of apples and cherries. If fruit doesn't get to market, is a grower required to landfill it? Pshaw!

I think I remember that the owners of Nature's Harmony Farm began making cheese at least partly because they wanted whey for their pigs.

Although I think Washington needs a legal test case, I think King shouldn't have to pay for it. Some industry group should back him up on this.

[ Parent ]
Nature's Harmony (4.00 / 1)
NHF is in Georgia.

[ Parent ]
School Lunch Gone Mad (4.00 / 1)
Sir Paul McCartney attacks French school over vegetarian ban

There will be no meat-free days in French schools for six million children following a new decree from their government that all students will have to eat meat if they want lunch at school. Taking a packed lunch is not an alternative as they are also banned.

The ban will shortly be extended to kindergartens, hospitals, prisons, colleges and old people's homes.

No "Welcome Home, Jay"?!?!? (4.00 / 2)
Well, fooey!


Train actually got into Portland Union Station 20 minutes early* this morning and I was home just after 11 AM.  If I didn't miss the 77 to 75 bus connection in Hollywood by 30 seconds (whoo, TriMet plays Amtrak!) I would have been home 15 minutes earlier, even.

Shower!  Excellent food!  AWESOME CITY!

My MacBook!

It's great to be home.  :)

Have a hundred things to do now, will be back later this evening...

*almost makes up for the 6 hours late into Chicago and the 3 hours late into New York, going 0 for 2 on connections on the way out...

We were allowing (4.00 / 2)
an extra day or two for Amtrak time. No kidding, I've not heard of a long U.S. train trip without substantial delays. Treasure this one.

[ Parent ]
Yeah... (4.00 / 1)
The whole trip was pretty much right on schedule, too!  

The NE Corridor regional train (not Acela) to take me from Jersey to DC showed up about 20 minutes late, and arrived in DC about 30 minutes behind schedule.  No problem there, though, as the layover was three hours.  I doubt I could have squeezed anything in during that time, anyway.  I wandered the block around the train station, witnessed an attempted bag-snatching and a brief fight right in front of an (empty) Amtrak Police vehicle, then met up with a friend who lives nearby, and was in town to visit one of her friends, for lunch at the little circular cafe just inside the Main Hall.  Had my first 'Maryland Crab Cake' in sandwich form, although I don't know how good a representation it was.  I'm sure there are much, much, much better versions out there.

The DC - Chicago train (Capitol Limited) left right on time and got to Chicago only about 20 minutes late.  Had a nice time there, but whoa... are they shitting me with that wind?  I couldn't even hold the friggin' camera still enough to get a decent picture there!  A sustained 40-mph gust almost took me off the Adams Street (?) bridge and deposited me in the Chicago River, too.  Had to duck into a FedEx Office place at that point, to escape the wind as much as to briefly check email.  Had lunch at Saigon Sisters inside the Chicago French Market, a pork belly banh mi.  Nice little market, though I didn't take pictures inside as I felt a little self-conscious about doing so, since the market was empty and the vendors there were eying me like I was their lunch.  And as someone once said elsewhere, every time I bought something from someone else, the other nearby vendors glared at me as if they had caught my hand in their tip jar or something.  An all-around weird vibe in there.  Great place and I'd go back for another banh mi, and maybe to try the Montreal Smoked Meat vendor and the hummus / falafel place, but I have to admit I didn't really want to hang around any longer than I had to.

The Empire Builder (Chicago - Portland), the final leg of the trip, left Chicago right on time and though it fell about 75 minutes behind schedule once on Day Two, it made the time up overnight in Montana and through Eastern Washington, and pulled into Portland early enough that my bags came in and I still had time to catch the 10:03 AM 77 bus from Union Station to Hollywood Transit Center that I never thought I would catch.  

Now if only the food wasn't so horrible.  Heh.  Good thing I had dried cranberries and roasted almonds from the Chicago French Market to tide me over for most of the trip.  The Amtrak food, even in the dining car, is microwaved vending machine fare.  They're not even trying in the dining car anymore.  I swear, five years ago, they at least used real china.  The plates this time were cheap plastic.  The 'omelet' was perfectly square and came with a rectangular piece of 'cheese' on top which I'm still not sure wasn't really plastic itself.  I did not eat it, even out of curiosity.  All food came out lukewarm, at best.  Fortunately, nothing made me sick.  They advertise "regional craft beers" on the train, which apparently means "Sierra Nevada Pale Ale" no matter if you're in DC, Chicago or North Dakota.  Another funny moment, I asked the dining car host what they had in the way of "craft beers" and she said "Miller, Bud, Bud Light and Heineken.  Oh, and Sierra Nevada."

[ Parent ]
Heh, talking about food going down hill (4.00 / 2)
Back in the mid 80s when I was still working with dad as his helper, we put tile in one of the operating rooms in what's now the oncology center and on a different occasion we tore the old quarry tile off the roof of the nursing school dorm building and replaced it with new, over at Good Samaritan hospital over in SW Portland.

We gave up bringing a lunch because the food in the public cafeteria was so good. Cream of asparagus and cream of broccoli soups, a salad bar that was to die for (and they sold by the pound, not by the plate). And the sandwiches were outstanding.

Well, last year, just a few weeks before dad died, he was over at the oncology building getting a transfusion. It was early in the morning and he was going to be there for a couple hours. I figured I'd go across the street and have breakfast in the cafeteria, remembering how good the food was in the past.

Whoo boy, had it gone down hill. Absolutely the worse food I've ever had. It was so bad it would make the quintissential hospital and air plane foods look good. They had the square pan of scrambled eggs, and the eggs were a sheet (I kid you not) of egg in the steamer pan. The potatoes were tasteless, the bacon tasted like it had been cooked, let get cold, and then heated back up and was soggy. The bread was terrible. And they charged an arm and a leg for the stuff.

Won't ever go back there.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Welcome home Jay! (4.00 / 3)
Glad ya had a great journey, and not too much in the way of train adventure. ;-)

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Simple wisdom (4.00 / 3)
I have a thing I do over at Facebook called Simple Wisdom. What I do is if I see something that someone's posted, or run across something I think qualifies as wisdom, I post it. Often there are quotes from the Dali Lama (whom I admire and respect tremendously), it may be something that one of my FB friends says (and then I post with attribution). On the very rare occasion, it'll be something that I've come up with.

I thought y'all would like today's posting. It kind of is a bit of a reality check.

"If you ever start taking life too seriously, remember that you are a talking monkey flying through the universe on an organic spaceship."

Too true. I think that technically, H. sapiens is classified as more in with the apes than the monkeys (I could be wrong on that), but the point's still valid.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

The above simple wisdom was sourced from (4.00 / 2)
Laugh It Out

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Yes, we are Great Apes... (4.00 / 1)
...but "talking monkeys" just sounds funnier, doesn't it?


[ Parent ]
talking monkey (4.00 / 1)
In Poe's Murders in the Rue Morgue, witnesses said the perpetrator spoke a non-English language. One said it was German, one said Spanish, etc., but in truth none of the witnesses recognized the language.

The murderer was an orangutan.

I wonder if Poe's short story was the first presentation of the idea of a "talking monkey". It was published well before Darwin's Origin of Species, which most of today's Republican presidential candidates say is fictional.

Our closest relatives are the two chimpanzee species, which are apes. When Poe wrote, "ape" and "monkey" were interchangeable terms.

[ Parent ]
"We've come a long way baby" (4.00 / 2)
going from monkey to ape. ;-)

As to the republican candidates, if they had a whole brain between the lot of them, they'd have read the book before they commented on it. I haven't read the bibile. Don't intend to. But I keep my opinion of it and its writings, to myself, because I havent read it.

One of the problems with people (and contrary to popular beliefe it's not just republicans who don't believe that evolution happens) is that they put themselves above every other living organism on this planet. Whether they believe that God, or Allah, or some other diety has put them here, a lot of them do infact believe that they've been given authority over all of creation.

My own personal point of view (are really in the grand scheme of things no more or less valid or important than theirs) is that humans are just another organism on this planet. No more or less important than the myriad of other life forms here. And we're no more in charge of the other animals on this planet than the cow is in charge of the grass or the lion is in charge of the zebra.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Bye bye, Kettleman's Bagels... (4.00 / 1)
Portland has lost its only decent representation of New York-style bagels...

Bagel giant Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc. of Lakewood, Colo. has purchased local bagel chain Kettleman Bagel Company for an undisclosed amount.

Kettleman's five Portland stores will be folded into one of Einstein's other lines, which include the Einstein Bros., Noah's New York and Manhattan bagel brands. (There are seven Noah's locations in the Portland metro area.)

I can't "hate" on the guy, as they say, or begrudge him his opportunity to retire comfortably, but still.  This really sucks.  They weren't even great bagels, really, but they definitely stood up decently to the little mom & pop shops I grew up with in New Jersey.  Visiting family always agreed the place would fit right in on a random Lyndhurst, NJ street corner.  Portland currently has no such place left, now.  I will not be eating Noah's.  No thanks.

The place up on Fremont at NE 42nd does decent bagels, and my favorite in town are the Montreal-style bagels at Kenny & Zuke's (will be around forever!  heh), but now there's definitely an opening for "better than average" New York-style water bagels here in Portland these days.  If only I knew how to make them, heh...

Heh. (4.00 / 1)
Perfect comment, from EaterPDX -

There used to be a Noah's Bagels located on 23rd, just a few blocks from Kettelman. They shuttered a while back because it sucked and no one went.

What a business model: buy the successful competitor that beat you, and change their formula to your crappy version that wasn't popular.

[ Parent ]
Tastebud! (4.00 / 1)
Ah, just remembered.  Another good bagel in town.  But also a Montreal-style bagel.

[ Parent ]
New York bagels.. (4.00 / 2)
:)In Fire Island they sell everything bagels and they are delicious.

[ Parent ]
Ever had... (4.00 / 1)
...a Montreal-style bagel?  I never did until just a few years ago, and I actually much prefer them to NY-style these days.  Smaller, denser and generally more flavorful.  When done right, of course.  Still appreciate a good NY-style for memories' sake, though.


Oh and hey, just off Rittenhouse Square now!

[ Parent ]
great article in my daughters College Bulletin about Chester Food Coop (4.00 / 2)
Chester is REALLY poor

I've never met Tina Johnson (founder of Coop) but my daughter worked on her campaign when she ran for State Rep and she's sounds incredible.

Great to hear... (4.00 / 1)
...especially in Chester.  I've been through a few times.  The city, not the co-op, of course.

[ Parent ]
its a beacon of hope (4.00 / 2)
in an otherwise really sad place

[ Parent ]
What struck me... (4.00 / 1)
...most about Chester (and its immediate surrounding area) is the number of prisons there.  On the Amtrak from NJ to DC on Monday, I rode past the side of town along the NE Corridor tracks for only the second time ever, and noticed at least three (possibly four?) jails, prisons and / or youth halls along just a three or four mile stretch back there in that area.

Says something about us, and not good things.

[ Parent ]
I didn't watch it... (4.00 / 1)
...and when I do watch games (or anything else on teevee, for that matter), I always watch them with captions and no sound.  But apparently, the PA announcer (from the conference, not the usual person) down at Autzen for the Pac-12 Championship Game last night (Ducks three-peat as conference champions, going Rose Bowl-ing!) can't pronounce "Oregon" properly.

Yeah, knowing how to properly pronounce the name of the state you're in, and the name of one of the schools playing in the game, should probably be a requirement to perform that job, no?

Apropos of nothing... (4.00 / 1) new favorite rhyming phrase is "ricotta frittata."


LOL (4.00 / 2)
sounds good in more ways than one... ;-)

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
OK, so today has been the big cooking day (4.00 / 2)
Baked a batch of bread (this time with herbs, onion and garlic - turned out mighty tasty too), baked a batch of biscotti, got my lamb rib roast in the oven and I'm putting on a pot of beans to cook overnight. Ol' Chazie boy and I are going to be eating high on the hog for a little while.

I've been making a LOT of beans over the past couple months. I just took a close look at my bean bin and I'm going to have to buy more beans soon. I think I'll get 'em over at Bob's Red Mill. That way I can pick up another half pound of yeast at the same time. Dad bought me a brick of yeast at Costco last year just before he died. It was a one pound brick in a vacuum pack. Since I've been baking bread every other day, I've gone through most of it.

Looks like I'm going to run out of beans about the same time I'm going to run out of yeast...

Anyone have a favorite bean mix? I think I'm going to leave out the chickpeas this time. They just take too long to cook. Either that or I'll keep them seperate and soak them ahead of time.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

the kind of yeast makes a huge diff (4.00 / 2)
I go through a lot too as I make all my breads :)

I buy yeast i bulk at my food coop. I don't know what kind it is but I recently ran out and used one of the package yeast and the bread sucked.

[ Parent ]
Yup, (4.00 / 2)
once you get into baking and fementing, you find out just how many types of yeast there are out there, from different bread yeasts, wine yeasts, different types of yeast for beers, etc. It's amazing.

I'm using Red Star right now. I'm interested to find out how the yeast from Bob's does. I'm thinking it'll probably be pretty good quality, knowing the quality of all the rest of the products.

Normal people scare me.... But not as much as I scare them.

[ Parent ]
Pot Luck | 74 comments
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