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Old 04-16-2016, 08:23 AM
Dizzy Dizzy is offline
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Default Once Again, Your Foodism Is A Lie

Stunning proof!

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IF YOU EAT FOOD, you are being lied to every day.

The food supply chain is so vast and so complicated. It has yielded extra-virgin olive oil that is actually colored sunflower oil, Parmesan cheese bulked up with wood pulp, and a horsemeat scandal that, for a while, rendered Ikea outings Swedish meatball-free.

Everywhere you look, you see the claims: “sustainable,” “naturally raised,” “organic,” “non-GMO,” “fair trade,” “responsibly grown.” Restaurants have reached new levels of hyperbole.

What makes buying food different from other forms of commerce is this: It’s a trust-based system. How do you know the Dover sole on your plate is Dover sole? Only that the restaurateur said so.

And how can you be sure the strawberries your toddler is gobbling are free of pesticides? Only because the vendor at the farmers market said so.

Your purchases are unverifiable unless you drive to that farm or track back through a restaurant’s distributors and ask for invoices.

I did.

For several months, I sifted through menus from every restaurant I’ve reviewed since the farm-to-table trend started. Of 239 restaurants still in business, 54 were making claims about the provenance of their ingredients.

For fish claims that seemed suspicious, I kept zip-top baggies in my purse and tucked away samples. The Times had them DNA tested by scientists at the University of South Florida. I called producers and vendors. I visited farms.
This mere food critic was doing higher level research than most Vox pundits. Seriously, DNA testing food from restaurants? Anyways, enjoy.
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Old 04-16-2016, 12:34 PM
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Turns out escolar is actually tastier than albacore!

EDIT: Turns out escolar also allegedly gives you explosive anal leakage! Will return after more testing.

DOUBLE EDIT: Eat less than 6 ounces for a safe and sane next day!
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Old 04-16-2016, 04:31 PM
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EDIT: Turns out escolar also allegedly gives you explosive anal leakage! Will return after more testing.
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Old 04-17-2016, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam View Post
Turns out escolar is actually tastier than albacore!

EDIT: Turns out escolar also allegedly gives you explosive anal leakage! Will return after more testing.

DOUBLE EDIT: Eat less than 6 ounces for a safe and sane next day!
Escolar is goddamn delicious, too, but I've gotten... er... "the runs" while eating about three ounces. Not to a leakage level, but I certainly wouldn't eat a sashimi plate before going on a long car trip.

Note that it gets sold as "white tuna" or "super white tuna" in many sushi restaurants.

EDIT: "Butterfish" is another name for escolar.

Last edited by Droewyn; 04-17-2016 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 04-17-2016, 12:46 PM
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Finally read through the whole article. The premise is great, the conclusions sadly predictable, but the sheer magnitude of times it repeated the narrative of "went to restaurant, took information to alleged food supplier, presented results to restaurant, restaurant changed story" made it tiresome to finish.

And as always, fuck the authenticity movement aka "making quick bucks off white guilt".
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Old 04-18-2016, 08:25 AM
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It's not an entirely bleak picture as the article does dive into restaurants that are authentically farm-to-table but it also shows the brutal reality of trying to keep them afloat because it's quite expensive and almost anti-profitable operation to run.

People just don't want to pony up for the true cost of trying to eat healthy and environmentally safely in most cases.

I'm wondering how many restaurants I've dined at where the food basically came from Sysco and US Foods.
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Old 04-18-2016, 08:45 AM
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Anecdotal here, but if it's a chain restaurant of any size yeah, you're getting one of the major corporate food chains going on. Local one-offs typically get their supplies from Costco/Sam's Club or other local wholesalers as they don't order enough typically to make a corporate service fiscally sensible.
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Old 04-18-2016, 10:46 AM
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Yeah, the logistics of trying to actually source everything as locally as possible for any chain of more than 2 or 3 locations would have to be a complete nightmare, I can't say I"m surprised that any place like that making those claims is fudging a lot. On the other hand, when we have a little place with a well-known chef who claims sources from farmers I actually see at the market on the weekend, I'm more likely to believe it. The real stuff is going to be small-volume and, yeah, not especially cheap.
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Old 04-19-2016, 08:52 AM
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Yeah, the logistics of trying to actually source everything as locally as possible for any chain of more than 2 or 3 locations would have to be a complete nightmare, I can't say I"m surprised that any place like that making those claims is fudging a lot. On the other hand, when we have a little place with a well-known chef who claims sources from farmers I actually see at the market on the weekend, I'm more likely to believe it. The real stuff is going to be small-volume and, yeah, not especially cheap.
generally what I think happens is that restaurants like these source what they can locally for when it's in season and cost effective, or in season and it can be a star player. I have a friend who runs the garden program at a local farm that provides stuff to a lot of local restaurants. (they also grow corn for grits and raise horses; most family farms are in multiple lines of business.) They had their squash blossoms on the menu at one of the best restaurants in town for about 5 weeks last summer, and it was a magical dish. but there were other components to that dish which I bet were *not* local.

the more that local restaurants order from local farms, the easier it is for farms to build out capacity. the more capacity local farms have, the easier it is for local restaurants to order from them. But virtually no restaurant is gonna go all-local.
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Dizzy View Post
People just don't want to pony up for the true cost of trying to eat healthy and environmentally safely in most cases.
Calculating the dollar value of the negative externalities involved in that consumption isn't easy, and even Thomas Keller isn't going to hire an economics PhD to price out his menus.
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:32 AM
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Furthermore you have to consider the impact of externality pricing placing 'normal' consumption beyond the grasp of workers in even the most affluent societies on earth.

Yes, paying the real cost of our consumption is morally and economically correct. Getting there without full robot communism or Jesus' return in glory is kind of a quandary.
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:33 PM
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Getting there without full robot communism or Jesus' return in glory is kind of a quandary.
What's your over/under on which one will happen first?
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Old 04-20-2016, 10:05 PM
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Jesus isn't real.
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Old 04-20-2016, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Dizzy View Post
Quote:
IF YOU EAT FOOD, you are being lied to every day.
Just... what exactly is being advocated for here then? Should we not eat food?
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Old 04-21-2016, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Googleshng View Post
Just... what exactly is being advocated for here then? Should we not eat food?
I think it's to just buy a regular sandwich for a regular sandwich price rather than an organic free range local sandwich for an organic free range local sandwich price.
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Old 04-21-2016, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Googleshng View Post
Just... what exactly is being advocated for here then? Should we not eat food?
Just... don't believe restaurants when they say anything is locally sourced, or humanely raised, or that what they are labeling a particularly fish is actually that fish. (And thus it's probably not worth paying the price premium for those items)
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Old 04-21-2016, 08:27 AM
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As a side note, there are no legal/regulatory requirements as to what "local" or "natural" means. Even "organic" sits in a partially defined legal/regulatory state. They're buzzwords, and often deliberately obscuring whatever they're appended to.
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Old 04-21-2016, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Googleshng View Post
Just... what exactly is being advocated for here then? Should we not eat food?
The ultimate recommendation is more ownership over one's consumption and not leaving it up to providers (restaurants, grocery stores, etc.) or regulators (local, federal, etc.) to be vigilant over one's consumption.

This mere food critic did a lot of legwork (as can be read in the article) to find out if the advertising from healthy food providers matched reality and found it lacking.

Now, that doesn't mean you should always be bagging up fish you eat from Long Silver Johns Silver for DNA testing at the local university, for example, but just to be more discerning in one's diet.

From the article:

Quote:
WE’RE NOT HELPLESS. Increasingly, there are ways for consumers to track where food comes from. There’s foodwaze.com, which verifies sustainable food businesses. There’s the chef who is also a Stetson University math professor developing a mathematical model to trace food.

“I’m not trying to re-enact a scene from Portlandia,” said Hari Pulapaka, chef-owner of the award-winning farm-to-table Cress in DeLand. “But consumers have to take ownership.”
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Old 04-21-2016, 10:57 AM
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So don't trust suppliers, restaurants, chefs, grocery stores or the government but trust an app

ok
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:00 AM
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You can't trust anything that markets itself as "natural" or "local" since there's no governmental oversight of those terms, anything can call itself natural or local and you have no idea if it's true or not unless you do research on your own; all the government requires is Country of Origin on pretty much everything, since it generally only cares about foreign-based sourcing in case of sickness/disease outbreaks. Food Safety in the U.S. is very piecemeal and generally fucked as a result.
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThornGhost View Post
So don't trust suppliers, restaurants, chefs, grocery stores or the government but trust an app

ok
I'd say just be skeptical, not completely mistrustful.
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  #22  
Old 04-21-2016, 04:33 PM
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Default ThornGhost I'm confused as to your meaning.

IMO You'd find out if there was corruption on the app, because it already happened to these farmers and restaurateurs, right? We found out, one person did the leg work.

The, you know, yelplike apps and supermassive social mediabook sites? They ensure that if your app was found to be a scam, everyone would know quickly, especially the more popular it actually was. If you really think a scammy app can make it on the market you don't realize how spoiled we are here on this super-duper-tiny forum. People on reddit have been known to be 'doxxed' and called out for tiny, inconsequential mistakes or omissions in posts tertiary to the main article, in other words, in deeply nested comments. The internet doesn't forgive and is flooded with meticulous nitpickers with no jobs. I like to think of them as the watchdogs we didn't ask for or really need most of the time.

What do you mean, trust an app but not the gov et al... I mean, that's the big ass thing, right? Democracy Spring, Yelp, Trump and Bernie... these are all things the internet makes possible that weren't before. Because we can all talk to each other over borders and past controlled media lines...

Confused > < as to what you were intending to say there... it seems like what you said was "never trust incentivized information! But also never trust the whistleblowers, either!" which boils out to "Trust nobody" in my mind. Am I reading you wrong, ThornGhost?
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Old 04-21-2016, 05:55 PM
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Nope you got it.
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Old 04-21-2016, 06:48 PM
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I feel your attitude is harmful and misinformed but I'm not sure I can explain why properly.
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Old 04-21-2016, 11:31 PM
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Considering that the first post included "Only because the vendor at the farmer's market told you so", yeah. I think they're intentionally casting doubt on the legitimacy of every possible claim and claimant.

Like

The vendors at the farmer's markets I go to are the people who grew and harvested the food. I buy my fruit from Ela Farms, from Hotchkiss, Colorado. I've talked to Steve Ela about what I'm buying. Who else is gonna know?

oh christ the only reason I think they're the ones who worked on the farm and grew the food is because they told me. I never IDed Steve... IF THAT IS HIS REAL NAME
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Old 04-22-2016, 06:56 AM
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Guild, man, I dig a lot of your posts, but I think we're going to have to disagree here. Social sites and apps can be a useful tool, but to they are not immune from the same kinds of lies and misinformation present in other advertising vectors.

To cite a very current instance, Hillary Clinton's Super PAC is spending in the millions of dollars to hire sock puppet accounts to shut down Pro-Sanders discussion on social media.

Social media is just the media now. It's where the people are, it's where we put our trust, and it's completely compromised by people that want to manipulate the conversation. There's no reasonable safeguards against shill accounts.

This kind of food app seems particularly ill suited for any kind of policing by the masses. Tracking down food sources is hard. You can't google it, you have to do the legwork. The masses of pedantic internet sleuths you invoked above don't leave their keyboard while doing "research" for doxxing or whatever. They'll be useless here. The relatively small amount of users likely to do the hard work to find out exactly where a restaurant might get its food can be easily drowned out by a few lying sock puppet accounts.
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:32 AM
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Well... that sucks!!

e: Clinton should be fucking jailed for that.
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Old 04-22-2016, 11:44 AM
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Heck, my understanding is that Yelp itself is pretty infested with massively-incentivized sock-puppetry these days. But this is really a topic for a different thread.
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Old 04-22-2016, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
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Heck, my understanding is that Yelp itself is pretty infested with massively-incentivized sock-puppetry these days. But this is really a topic for a different thread.
conversation begins here in the campaign thread
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