Food, Glorious Food

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Scepticalscribe, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. Huntn, Jul 13, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019

    Huntn macrumors demi-god

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #226
    One night about 1996 we woke up to a loud clanging out back, a raccoon had somehow climbed up the bird feeder pole and was on the bird feeder cleaning it out. What was making the clanging racket was the bird feeder swinging back and forth so much, due to his weight, the squirrel baffle attached to the pole was banging against the pole. I went to fetch my pellet gun, but he skidaddled before I got to the door. One time occurrence that we know of. :)
     
  2. hawkeye_a macrumors 65816

    hawkeye_a

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2016
    #227
    I appreciate your use of the word 'skidaddled'.
     
  3. ejb190 macrumors 65816

    ejb190

    #228
    This is a soapbox issue for me. There are no hormone supplements approved for use in chicken. They were experimented with, and banned, in the 1950's. So chicken sold as "hormone free" is attesting freedom from something that does not exist!

    Now fillers has to do with how the chicken was processed. And I totally agree with you there!
     
  4. LizKat macrumors 603

    LizKat

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Location:
    Catskill Mountains
    #229
    Excessive use of antibiotics during raising of chickens, and chlorine washes during processing are problematic, not only for some American consumers but for some other countries regarding prospect of importing chickens from the USA.

    That doesn't stop me keeping some canned chicken breast on tap in the back pantry as some of my emergency protein supply. But it affects how I otherwise shop for fresh chicken. I also find myself just skipping meat and poultry, using tofu more often, either fresh or shelf-stable. And for the pantry bumping up stock of little tins of fish like mackerel and sardines, the ones less likely to have scarfed up so much heavy metals.

    I swear if I don't get a grip on myself I'll end up back milking a cow or a goat again (and eating meat from the offpsring or the culled parent from time to time) so I know what's in the milk from the grass it eats from my pesticide-free land. I thought I left that livestock handling routine behind when I was 10 and we settled into living in suburbs. But when one ends up back in the sticks it does cross the mind to wonder more about what goes into the food that's not grown locally.

    Anyway it all seems ludicrous to me sometimes to get obsessed over what's in my food at my age. I spent 30 years smoking tobacco before the year 2000, and all that time it never crossed my mind to figure hey bacon's really bad for ya, ya know... I was busy fending off suggestions that cigarettes were lethal. First things first. Protect my addition to nicotine!! Meanwhile bacon was a regular thing in my fridge, I often ate things like egg salad or tuna salad sandwiches from delis, dirty water hotdogs and falafel from street carts... and god knows what was in the veggies I bought in Manhattan at open-air produce racks parked 20' from street traffic. Yet here I am, wondering about chlorine washes on commercially processed chicken. Go figure.
     
  5. Zenithal, Jul 15, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019

    Zenithal macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #230
    Yeah, I'm usually skeptical of the term organic. Organic produce can be sprayed with organic chemical pesticides (yes, they exist) and not ones you can find off of a blog and make yourself. A large number of them pose a serious health issue to those doing the spraying if it's done close up on foot. When you read the legal language for various countries, or groups like the EU, you soon realize their standards for upkeep are terrible. The standards for housing units were tightened up after a certain date but I know farms sell those to newer ones because I know people in the EU who run free range chicken and egg farms. They all skirt the law without violating it. The whole care for animals or produce is a farce once you begin investigating things yourself. I can tell you right now the EU requirements for egg laying chickens in feed space at X amount of chickens is laughable. These are the minimum requirements and these are ones a lot of European farms adhere to to keep costs low. The EU directive for chickens on quality is mainly on vegetation, and states no specific amount of coverage. Anything else are size minimums, again, which farms go just above to keep costs low.


    Having eaten mass produced eggs, cage free, and ones taken mere moments ago from a hen's bottom from under her, I can tell you the flavor tends to be the same. Yolk color comes from what they eat and isn't indicative of quality of feed. You could feed mass produced, cramped, dirt hens paprika or cheap probiotic powders and the yolk color would deepen. Certain vegetation will give it a green hue. We have a neighbor who owns a small plot of land way out in the middle of nowhere and they often bring some eggs from their chickens. Covered in dirt and straw. Tastes the same as the store bought stuff. Yolk color is a bit deeper, but that's because of the feed. They were surprised when I asked how often they fed their chickens carotenoid rich food.


    What's worse is that a commercial orchard in the EU and the US, legally per language, can go from non-organic to organic in a matter of a few years. The issue is that a lot of chemicals remain in the soil for years and years. It's 1 year for swine and poultry in the EU, 2 years for grazing land. US is about the same.

    I feed my own fruit trees naturally derived feed. I can go overboard with nitrogen rich compounds and encourage general growth and then introduce phosphor rich feed to encourage flower development and fruit settings. I have an alright understanding of organic chemistry in this regard, including making blend products and slow release sticks myself. I'm highly manipulating what could be possibly all naturally.


    You want to see real organic fruit. Go out into the wild. It's going to be small. And I can guarantee you any organic farm worth their land will be doing what I do with organic, naturally derived products.
     
  6. ejb190 macrumors 65816

    ejb190

    #231
    I wasn't even getting into organic. That's a whole 'nuther ball of wax.

    USDA Organic certification takes 3 years of "Transitional" - being organic without being able to call yourself organic.

    To me, there isn't a lot of difference between traditional ag and the organic rules, especially at the processed food level. The rules, after all, were mostly written by the large food companies. But there's some guys out there going "old school" organic. They are building the soil first, tending the crop second. And many of them aren't messing around with the expensive and restrictive organic certifications that, in their books, don't go far enough, so they can't call themselves organic. If you ask around at Farmer's Markets, you can find these guys!

    Smaller from some combination of nutrition and inferior genetics. It will also be buggy and blemished.
     
  7. LizKat macrumors 603

    LizKat

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Location:
    Catskill Mountains
    #232
    They make great applesauce though. Any missed bugs are just protein... :)
     
  8. Scepticalscribe thread starter macrumors Westmere

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #233
    Agreed.

    Well, I'm in Europe, where different standards apply; and most (not all) of what I buy (vegetables, meat, fruit, eggs) is organic, (I place money - physically filthy lucre - into the very (occasionally actually grubby - you know, the horny hands of the soil stuff) hands of the people who put the time, money, resources, effort, energy, into ensuring that what they offer for sale meets these standards.

    Economically, financially, environmentally, - and from a greedy gustatory perspective - it works.
     
  9. LizKat macrumors 603

    LizKat

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Location:
    Catskill Mountains
    #234
    I buy organic pears and plums at the local farmer's market, they're not much to look at sometimes but they are delicious. I get a few apples out back each year but the trees are past their prime now and I don't mind them properly -- so I keep them more for their sweet blossoms and a couple token quarts of applesauce. Still have one pie-cherry left back in the meadow, the other got taken by straight line winds one year in my side yard and I didn't replace it. Have to battle the orioles for those cherries every summer, not sure whether they or I visit that tree more often as harvest time approaches.

    Fruit trees right around here are not raised for commercial production to end up at supermarkets --as they are farther north up near the Finger Lakes-- so there's not a lot of extra attention paid to their raising past early/late frost protection if possible, appropriate efforts to deter specific pests and then some netting to reduce attention from birds to the fruit. In addition some growers around here put climbing barrier strips around the trunks to deter insects like earwigs from getting up to the fruit. Otherwise some of those creepy crawlers will do a number from inside the fruit and ruin the crop; they look ok from the outside but offer rude surprises when opened.

    I do detest earwigs... I find them even in my roadside mailbox sometimes. Those and the large ants that like peony bushes do love to hang out in mailboxes for some reason, and I don't think they're waiting for the local newspaper or The Paris Review. Maybe the printed materials have some sort of residue on them, soy inks or something, that attracts them over time.​

    Anyway local fruits at the farmers' market can still have a few blemishes from flying insects (largely deterred by application of whatever organic pesticide the ag extension recommends for the situation) and they are a bit on the small side, but they are so tasty compared to the stuff stacked in plastic boxes in the supermarkets. I'm not a big fan of summer weather but I do love the variety of local produce that shows up in the season.
     
  10. Zenithal, Jul 18, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019

    Zenithal macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #235
    Yeah, looks like they follow the EU model. I did some more research. It's awful when you think how careless a land owner could be with chemicals and then go clean for 3 years before declaring the land and the fourth growth organic. I'd love to meet the brains at the EU or the USDA who agreed on those terms.

    Currently the EU/European Union has a 3 year transitional period. In 2014 they amended it to change it to a 5 year period. This allowed farms to slowly transition if they wanted to, and give American farms time to adjust, too. In January 2021, the 5 year transitional period will come into effect in the EU, and with it will come global importing as per usual. The EU imports a large percentage of American and Canadian grown organic and non-organic produce (provided they pass inspection for the latter), and import various nuts and legumes. I think 5 years in 2021 would be alright, because the current 3 year law is utter bull when you consider how long it takes some chemicals to denature. Don't even get me started on organic chemicals sprayed on organic produce. Though, as far as I can tell, this doesn't apply retroactively. So if you alert a controlling body the last week of 2020, you could get into that 3 year window. Utter stupidity.

    Anywhere from 30-40% of our grown produce and whatnot is exported globally. The EU purchases a large chunk of that. And while we're fairly independent, we import a considerable amount of produce and whatnot from the EU and South America. I've seen some fruit lately with sticker stamps stating South Africa which surprised me. Just regular produce, too.


    Anyway, once you read how much contaminants tea may have, even organic, you'll begin to feel sick.
     
  11. Scepticalscribe thread starter macrumors Westmere

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #236
    Dinner this evening was my own homemade pasta puttanesca.
     
  12. decafjava macrumors 68040

    decafjava

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Location:
    Geneva
    #237
    Had guests so found a nice sockeye filet at the supermarket. Not too often I get to have Pacific salmon so sliced lemons, herbs (oregano, marjoram , rosemary) garlic salt and olive oil and in the oven. Rice on the side with some endive salad. Although my kitchen got a bit too hot.
     
  13. Scepticalscribe, Jul 22, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019

    Scepticalscribe thread starter macrumors Westmere

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #238
    My pasta puttanesca:

    Initially, I roasted two dishes of organic cherry tomatoes (drizzled with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper added); then, in olive oil, I sautéed a finely chopped onion, chopped, stirred and melted the contents of an Ortiz tin of anchovies (and their oil) to the dish, added around 10 finely sliced fat cloves of garlic, a very finely diced chilli and some dried chilli; after the onion and garlic had softened, and the anchovies melted, I next added the roasted cherry tomatoes and their oil to this dish and let them bubble and splutter away at a low simmer for around 10-20 minutes, then added a generous squeeze of tomato puree, a tablespoon of capers, pitted black Moroccan olives, and a few tablespoons of the stock from the pasta. Let this bubble away for a few more minutes.

    Elsewhere spaghetti was cooked in boiling water, with olive oil and salt added. This was drained, dressed with olive oil and black pepper.

    Whereupon, dinner was served, - garnished with fresh chopped parsley - and damned tasty it was too.
     
  14. ejb190 macrumors 65816

    ejb190

    #239
    Just got back from Minnesota. Some combination of Scandinavian influence and a northern climate mixed together and it really shows up in the food. I guess when the seasons are shorter, you really take advantage of fresh produce while you have it. While my sample size was small and we ate mostly with family, food was made to be enjoyed, not just eaten. That was probably the most enjoyable part of the trip.

    What regional foods do you look forward to?
     
  15. anika200 macrumors regular

    anika200

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2018
    Location:
    USA
    #240
    Buffalo Chicken wings with celery and blue cheese sauce! Haha, of course they are over the place now but back in the early 80's you had to search them out and I still enjoy getting them in and near Buffalo, NY.
     
  16. Scepticalscribe thread starter macrumors Westmere

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #241
    Oddly enough, I really like this dish; blue cheese sauce with anything meets with my approval, but especially when served with buffalo wings it cannot but be a sure fire winner.
     
  17. JamesMike macrumors demi-god

    JamesMike

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2014
    Location:
    Oregon
    #242
    I agree you can find good chicken wings in many locations now, but Buffalo remains the gold-standard. Also, don't forget the emergence of new sauces like Korean barbecue to try on your wings.
     

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