Pope isn’t foodie enough for NPR – whatever that means

Only state-sponsored jazz, otherwise known as National Public Radio, could invoke derision about the new Pope’s eating habits.

In a piece titled, Yes, the new pope cooks, but he’s no foodie, NPR lays bare
its fondness for food porn.

I don’t care. I’m not Catholic; I’m not religious at all. But why NPR would deride Jorge Mario Bergoglio, or Pope Francis, for his preferred diet of fruit, skinless chicken and salads – which is mine – as not foodie enough seems pompous.


Larry David’s Thanksgiving and pretentious foodies

I saw the Larry David Thanksgiving thing last year during the one hour it was on-line before it was inexplicably pulled.

It’s back again this year.

Also, check out the raw foodist Thanskgiving: “I’m thankful for the raw food diet that is going to help me produce an ideal bowel movement in about 24 hours.”

Does organic food turn you into a jerk?

Do you like to pontificate about organic food, your CSA and the evils of big ag? Then you may feel morally superior to others; you may be a jerk.

Continuing with Dr. Oz-inspired themes of insufferability and sanctimony, a new study confirms what I’ve anecdotally observed for decades: preaching organic makes you a jerk – and not in the adorable Steve Martin way, more in the self-perceived moral superiority way.

A paper published last week in the Journal of Social Psychological & Personality Science found that exposure to organic foods can “harshen moral judgments.”

As cited by Time magazine, “There’s a line of research showing that when people can pat themselves on the back for their moral behavior, they can become self-righteous,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Kendall J. Eskine, assistant professor of the psychological sciences department at Loyola University in New Orleans, told NBC’s Today show. Eskine and his team showed research subjects photographs of food, ranging from überorganic fruits and vegetables to fattening brownies and baked goods. He then gauged the primed eaters’ moral fiber with stories that warranted judgment, like one about a lawyer who lurks in an ER to try to persuade patients to sue for their injuries.

Reacting to the events on a numbered scale, the organic-food participants were more judgmental than those in the comfort-food category. They were also more reluctant when asked to volunteer time to help strangers, the study found, offering only 13 minutes vs. the brownie eaters’ 24 minutes. It’s like the group had already fulfilled its moral-justice quota by buying organic, so it felt all right slacking off in other ethics-based situations. Eskine labeled it “moral licensing.”

“There’s something about being exposed to organic food that made them feel better about themselves,” he told the Today show. “And that made them kind of jerks a little bit, I guess.”

The research doesn’t mean much, and I’m probably citing it only because it confirms my worldview, but still, there are a lot of preachers out there.

I’ll stick to focusing on food that makes people barf: organic, sustainable, local, dolphin-friendly or otherwise.

The abstract is below:

Wholesome foods and wholesome morals? Organic foods reduce prosocial behavior and harshen moral judgments
Social Psychological and Personality Science
Kendall J. Eskine
Recent research has revealed that specific tastes can influence moral processing, with sweet tastes inducing prosocial behavior and disgusting tastes harshening moral judgments. Do similar effects apply to different food types (comfort foods, organic foods, etc.)? Although organic foods are often marketed with moral terms (e.g., Honest Tea, Purity Life, and Smart Balance), no research to date has investigated the extent to which exposure to organic foods influences moral judgments or behavior. After viewing a few organic foods, comfort foods, or control foods, participants who were exposed to organic foods volunteered significantly less time to help a needy stranger, and they judged moral transgressions significantly harsher than those who viewed nonorganic foods. These results suggest that exposure to organic foods may lead people to affirm their moral identities, which attenuates their desire to be altruistic. 

Ted Allen’s Pretentious Foodie BS; for people who rave about poo coffee

If cat poop coffee is just too passé, then coffee made from beans that have passed through the digestive tract of the rare South American Jacu bird may be for you.

The bird apparently eats only the best, ripest Arabica berries and excretes the beans in piles under the coffee trees, which are then collected, washed, dried and roasted in the usual way.

It’s being sold in Brisbane at Merlo cafes during December (they claim to be the only importers of the coffee in Australia). This particular Jacu coffee comes from Camocim Estate, a certified biodynamic/fairtrade farm in Pedra Azul, Espirito Santo, Brazil.

For those who lwant to pay $10 for a cup of poop coffee, Food Network star Ted Allen teamed up with The Onion’s “Today Now!” to prepare a meal to try and impress pretentious asshole friends with.

Ingredients include:
• stupid ass trendy piece of fish?some kind of nut you never heard of?; and,
• puree of baby something or other.

1. Chose the most expensive piece of fish you can find?
2. Spend way too much time processing nuts?
3. Dredge fish in nuts?
4. Cook for 3 minutes per side?
5. painstakingly prepare turnips when you could just have gotten them from a can.

The video promoting Ted’s book is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RMUDw4_e93Y. Language warning.

Chefs know tartare about food safety; foodies may know less; UK food critic poisoned by his dinner

Gourmet and food critic Michael Winner, 75, was hospitalized with E. coli poisoning after a meal of steak tartare at home in London.

"For some reason I fancied steak tartare and I had it four days in a row – the steak was bought from the best butcher in town," says Winner.

We have extensively documented that celebrity chefs know squat about food safety; we have extensively documented that self-proclaimed foodies and critics may know less; this goes to a new level of dumb.

Doctors spent four days getting the infection under control – with his wife of two months, Geraldine, bringing him specially prepared meals because he did not dare risk eating hospital food.

"I was in an ordinary NHS ward and they were quite marvellous – except for the hospital food, which you mustn’t eat or you die."

Winner had to be flown back to Britain from Barbados in Sir Philip Green’s private jet after he suffered a serious bout of food poisoning in 2007.

He nearly lost his left leg after being infected by the vibrio vulnificus bacteria from an oyster.