True: His idea of football is soccer, not gridiron

Who’s that smooth-talking Paraguayan (or Argentinian, or Spanish, or American, it was all confusing) dude talking on pet safety and Super Bowl parties on KSHB in Kansas City?

It’s Dr. Gonzalo Erdozain of Kansas City Veterinary Care, who tells you what is pet safe and what to look out for.

Gonzalo did his Masters of Public Health with me, published a couple of peer-reviewed papers on petting zoo safety, got his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, and this one time, took me to the emergency room.

So he’s in Chapman-and-Blaine-land of students who help out their advisors.

All the best to you and your family.

Jon Stewart: Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus threatens Super Bowl parties

Bad news snacking Super Bowl lovers, a number of food shortages across the country could impact football fans with a case of the munchies, Jon Stewart told “The Daily Show” viewers on Monday’s jonstewart2-618x400program.

“This year, the match-up is between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos, two teams hailing from states that have legalized marijuana,” Stewart said. “Which makes this year’s shortage all the more tragic.”

However, some reporters are getting to the bottom of claims by Velveeta that there may be not enough of the processed cheese on store shelves to meet consumer demand. One newscaster noted that a visit to area supermarkets revealed that there was plenty of the gooey stuff to go around.

 “Are you implying that the makers of Velveeta would attempt to pass off as real some sort of blatantly artificial, clearly unnatural, synthetic creation?” Stewart asked. “You sir, clearly don’t know Velveeta.”

Threats to Super Bowl cheese dips everywhere aren’t the only food-related danger to the big game. An outbreak of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus has been reported in several states, potentially making pigs in a blanket a dicey proposition.

“Porcine diarrhea virus, we’ve all been there,” Stewart said.


Beware the double-dipper on Super Bowl Sunday? Or is it just like kissing

In a 1993 episode of the television series, Seinfeld, George Costanza was confronted at a funeral reception by Timmy, his girlfriend’s brother, after dipping the same chip into the dip after taking a bite.

“Did, did you just double dip that chip?” Timmy asks incredulously, later objecting, “That’s like putting your whole mouth right in the dip!” Finally George retorts, “You dip the way you want to dip, I’ll dip the way I want to dip,” and aims another used chip at the bowl. Timmy tries to take it away, and the scene ends as they wrestle for it.

In 2008, food microbiologist Paul L. Dawson at Clemson University oversaw an experiment in which undergraduates found on average, that three-to-six double dips transferred about 10,000 bacteria from the eater’s mouth to the remaining dip.

Each cracker picked up between one and two grams of dip. That means that sporadic double dipping in a cup of dip would transfer at least 50 to 100 bacteria from one mouth to another with every bite.

In anticipation of much dipping during Sunday’s Super Bowl, the Is It True video series af the Wall Street Journal’s Health Blog presents this animation, and concludes it’s not like putting your whole mouth in the dip but could be compared to sharing a kiss with your fellow dippers.

Food police targeting Vegemite?

I first heard the term Vegemite near the beginning of the worst decade of music ever, in 1981’s hit, Down Under, by Men at Work.

He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich.

What’s a Vegemite?

This was the old days – before public access Intertubes and Google and Wikipedia.

I’ve since learned, and wiki confirms, that Vegemite is made from leftover brewers’ yeast extract, a by-product of beer manufacturing, and various vegetable and spice additives. The taste may be described as salty, slightly bitter, and malty – somewhat similar to the taste of beef bouillon. The texture is smooth and sticky, much like peanut butter. It is not as intensely flavoured as British Marmite and it is less sweet than the New Zealand version of Marmite. Fred Walker’s company first created and sold Vegemite in 1922.

The New Zealand Herald reports if the Australian Government has its way, Vegemite could be banished from supermarket shelves because of its high salt content.

A preventive health task force, set up by Canberra to examine ways of tackling Australia’s obesity problem, has canvassed the idea of taxing foods high in fat, sugar and salt. Although its final report is not due until June, the Australian Food and Grocery Council is already warning that Vegemite is under threat.

The Australian online news website Crikey suggested the Vegemite controversy had been cooked up by the industry body as a pre-emptive strike.

Below, a fine example of just how bad popular music became in the 1980s. Oh, and did anyone catch the worst band ever, Journey, performing their 1981 – what a terrible year – power ballad, Don’t Stop Believin’ for Super Bowl tourists as part of the pre-game show in what could only be termed a tune-up for their upcoming State Fair extravaganza? And Springsteen sucked. He usually does.

Top Chef Super Bowl

The Super Bowl of football (at least in the U.S.) is Sunday so Top Chef on Wednesday decided to do a football-themed challenge that was probably taped 6 months ago.

The football metaphors used in the show were as corny as the ones in a recent press release — USDA gives food safety advice to kick off your Super Bowl party – but at least USDA provided accurate cooking advice:

“Color is not a reliable indicator of safety — internal temperature is. Use a food thermometer to be sure meat and poultry are safely cooked. Steaks should be cooked to 145 °F, ground beef should be cooked to 160 °F and all poultry should be cooked to 165 °F.”

On Top Chef, Jeff and his excessively complex meals were sent packing, although the always entertaining Fabio should have lost for overcooking venison.

Judge: The deer was already dead. You didn’t have to kill it again.
Fabio: It was still bleeding when I sliced it; it was beautifully pink.
Judge: That’s medium-rare?
Fabio: Yes

Use a thermometer, Fabio. It will make you a better cook.

Oh, and Carla (below) won, and proclaimed, “Hands up, whoa. Touchdown Carla”