Saturday, January 28, 2012


My daughter insisted that I watch the above TED talk by Homero Cato and Ben Roch, owners of the cutting edge Moto in Chicago. These guys specialize in "Foodtrips," the culinary equivalent of dropping a tab of acid. They blow minds with dishes like barbecue sauce made of straw and crab apples and a vegie burger that tastes like beef.

But this is more than a gastronomic gimmickry. These guys aren't bending the time-space continuum just for the hell of it. They're out to save the world one meal at a time by transforming local produce, including plants that we normally don't eat, into delectable dishes.

No more blowing carbon to transport produce half way around the country. Feed lot contamination becomes a thing of the past. And tuna avoids extinction.

It's a revolutionary idea, one that has the potential to transform diets and agriculture. Given climate change, overpopulation and environmental degradation, something like this is probably inevitable. As "traditional" foods dwindle, we will need to get innovative. We could well end up subsisting on grass and straws manipulated to taste good with "real" food an occasional treat.

I have mixed feelings, but it's better than the Soylent Green solution.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Deen of Diabetes

So Paula Deen has diabetes. What a shock. I never would have guessed.

I don't want to be unkind. I feel bad for her. It's a terrible disease with potentially devastating and deadly consequences.

That said, Paula's over-the-top, artery-clogging cooking almost surely played a role in her illness. And she isn't just harming herself. She openly encourages her fans to overindulge, to eat that extra cookie, to ignore the experts and pound Crisco and butter until they are immobile on the couch. She got rich and famous off that schtick.

She gets diabetes three years ago and does she announce it? No. She waits -- until there's money to be made. She inks a deal to promote an expensive diabetes drug and her son launches a new show on lighter eating. Then she makes her revelation.

So basically, Paula got rich making people diabetic and now she's going to get richer selling them drugs for their condition while her son expands the Deen franchise hawking a slimmed down version of the very food that made her mother and others sick.

And she's shocked that people aren't more sympathetic? She's so clueless she ought to be in Congress.