Jersey paper wrong: steak tartare a bad idea

The Bergen Record, somewhere in north Jersey, ran a story on Dec. 8, 2010 entitled, Tartar steak and roquefort cheese log.

Tartar steak sounds gross but could be microbiologically safe. Unless the author, Susan Leigh Sherill, was referring to steak eaten by Tartars, the combined forces of central Asian peoples including Mongols and Turks who, under the leadership of Genghis Khan, conquered much of Asia and eastern Europe in the early 13th century. I can’t vouch for the safety of what they ate.

The roquefort cheese log is material enough for another post.

Some Americans, like the dead chef, James Beard, I guess dropped the ‘e’ in tartare as too Frenchy. Whatever, the stuff is raw beef and raw eggs, but James Beard’s American Cookery – cocktail food chapter, states, "This way of serving it has convinced many people that raw meat can be thoroughly delicious."

Choose your poisons.

But the crime is when Jersey Susan writes,

“Make sure you buy your beef from a good butcher who understands that you will be serving it raw. I got mine from Rosario’s Market in Montclair.”

That’s nice, but unless your butcher has meat goggles to provide divine insight into the microbiological components of raw beef and eggs, the statement is bio BS.

Stephen Colbert tried out meat goggles the other night.

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Why not barter a chicken for health care?

As issues like food safety, agricultural production and health care become increasingly intertwined, fake talk-show host Stephen Colbert took to the airwaves Monday night with a bold new proposal, and hopefully no salmonella or campylobacter from the creatures gathered on his desk.

Eat me daily wrote it up like this:

“The restaurant industry is rife with fully employed chefs and waiters, busboys and dishwashers lacking health insurance; now suddenly food professionals may have an edge. Sue Lowden, a Republican challenging Harry Reid for his Nevada Senate seat, recently suggested bartering for health care saying "in the old days [patients] would bring a chicken to the doctor." And she’s not the only one – Tennessee state representative Mike Bell suggested bartering with vegetables.

“If this is what Republicans are promising should they prove victorious in November’s mid-term elections, Dan Barber and Alice Waters may be all but guaranteed the best health coverage in America. Even Stephen Colbert’s on board, on last night’s Colbert Report the host suggested "just go for where they sell live chickens, they go for about $8… and when a doctor wants to charge $40,000 to put a stent in your heart, offer him the chicken."

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