Americans Eat the World’s Cheapest Food

I’ve been really busy with non-Asian American related activism, which is why I’ve been posting less frequently. It’s hard work. My activism has been food-related, so I thought I’d shoot out a non-Asian blog post about food and the crap we throw at our kids.

Here’s an article: Americans Eat the Cheapest Food in the World. For those of you who have kids, you know that there’s a divergent range of prices of food. You can get expensive organic chicken breast for $8/lb., or you can eat McNuggets off the dollar menu. Most people opt for the dollar menu, hence the explosion of cheap food and all kinds of health problems in the United States. But hey, we’re saving money (and spending it on healthcare later).

A libertarian would say, “You don’t like it? Don’t eat it.” But that’s a ridiculously simplistic argument. Truth is, food comes to us via a big chain, and we’re all in it together. People can call me an elitist, but I believe we should be all be pushing for organic, non-genetically-modified food. I don’t care as much about local–Florida is a much better place to grow oranges than Oregon, and it’s actually better for the environment to produce in areas of comparative advantage–but we really ought to get the antibiotics and pesticides out of all of our food.

139 thoughts on “Americans Eat the World’s Cheapest Food

  1. Funny you should mention this. I just began buying my own organic, non-GMO wheat berries (via the internet) milling them into flour with my Vitamix® blender and baking my own bread with my Zojirushi bread maker. I also mill my own corn meal from organic corn for breakfast cereal. As for your organic Chicken versus McDonald’s composite chicken, my answer is just to eat less meat. Quality cuts of meat are expensive, and Americans generally eat way more meat than is necessary. Just cut back on it and you’ll find that the price isn’t quite as daunting.

    Also, Monsanto Inc. is the Devil.

  2. Americans just generally eat WAY more than necessary. Not just meat, but in everything! It’s gross. One of the advantages of growing up in an Asian household is growing up with a diet that is mostly rice and veggies and not going to a Fast food place or American restaurant as the norm. I don’t plan on feeding my kids any fast food crap or frozen food crap.

  3. You can try to take out the hormones, antibiotics and pesticides, but to get your OJ and organic kale to Oregon you still need industrial sulfides for preservatives.

    I avoid “fast food” in general, since that’s a vicious cycle of MSG induced comas.

  4. King,

    Actually, to tell the truth, I’ve never paid for organic chicken breasts. I usually buy the chickens whole and break them down. At Costco, it’s like $2.29/lb. for organic whole chickens, so I probably pay a little less than that for the breasts and thighs. The carcass becomes stock. The problem, of course, when buying whole chickens (especially at Costco, since they come in twos) is that you wind up eating more chicken than you normally would. :)

    By the way, I think we spoke about this before–what is it about the American diet that makes people bigger than in some other countries, say India or China? Even Indian Americans and Chinese Americans are bigger than those overseas, even among urban populations. Is it the dairy products? Or the meat?

    Linda,

    I agree!

    mwei:

    Good point about the preservatives. Maybe I should stick with Washington apple juic

  5. …but we really ought to get the antibiotics and pesticides out of all of our food.

    The root cause of this is federally subsidized corn, most of which is not consumed by humans but used as livestock feed.

    Cows are not evolved to live off corn. However, cattle in the US are raised in densely packed conditions where they are force-fed obscene amounts of cornfeed to induce fast growth. This is why many cows get sick. Thus, antibiotics are regularly mixed in with the cornfeed.

    Also, corn requires lots of fertilizer, pesticides, and fossil fuels to grow.

    Corn subsidized with tax payer dollars is also the reason why High Fructose Corn Syrup is so ubiquitous. HFCS, of course, is the leading cause of obesity and diabetes.

    It is a perversity and an affront to all that is good and holy that the US has evolved a really disgusting, monstrous industrialized food culture, where it is a rational economic choice to choose unhealthy food. The US is also busy exporting it to the world in the form of fast food. This is one of the biggest reasons why the notion of rapidly rising China, with its 1.5 billion people, adopting the “American lifestyle” should make any sane, thinking person tear their hair out.

  6. “By the way, I think we spoke about this before–what is it about the American diet that makes people bigger than in some other countries, say India or China?”

    I’m thinking maybe it’s the vast variety. In the U.S. there seems to be an almost endless variety of foods to eat if you choose. I mean, if you like, you can even exclude fast food, pesticides, or preservatives. You just have a lot of choices, and food is readily available in quantity and at low costs. Most people in the world eat a few staples with occasional extras added when possible. The foods are often simple (which is good) but the lack of variety causes chemical and mineral shortages that reflect in growth/mass.
    There are 118 elements in the periodic table, and the majority of them need to be replenished in the human body. If you are just eating white rice and a few vegetables, cassava roots, yams, or maze, then you’re probably missing out on a lot of growth fuel during your formative years.

    “It is a perversity and an affront to all that is good and holy that the US has evolved a really disgusting, monstrous industrialized food culture, where it is a rational economic choice to choose unhealthy food.”

    What’s worse is that “fast food” is just the tip of the iceberg. MOST of the food sold in your typical supermarket is either covered in pesticides, genetically modified, pickled with preservatives, or pumped-up with nitrogen. I’m not saying that you can’t live on such food, and I’m not saying that it isn’t better than many alternatives. But it’s also causing a lot of side effects and disease cumulatively.

    This is one of the weak spots of capitalism. When money drives everything, the correction cycles can be very long indeed. it may take 100 years for people to realize the destructive trends and then react to them. In the meantime most people will never be eating the best diet for them and avoiding the side-effects predisposed to their particular genetic makeup.

  7. King,

    Good points. Maybe it is variety. I sometimes wonder if vegetarianism is good for kids, but perhaps people just need a little of everything to grow.

    That was a great TED talk, Kobu. Thanks.

    BTW, is anyone on this blog vegetarian or near-vegetarian? I’d like to know what a week of vegetarianism looks like. Most of my meals center on a meat, but if there is a better way to conceptualize eating, I’d like to know it. I’ve found some vegetarian cookbooks, but none seem to adequately address what the lifestyle looks like day to day.

  8. sorry not vegetarian or vegan here. however I don’t eat a lot of meat in general. Not b/c I don’t like it, just b/c I am not a big eater. I eat maybe 2-4 oz of meat a day if I eat meat that day. Is that alot of meat or a little bit of daily meat? My bf usually eats 16 oz of meat a day. I know this b/c he weighs and vacuum seals his meal portions and eats them throughout the week. He eats just meats and veggies. And a tiny bit of carbs in the morning in the form of granola/banana/yogurt. Ppl can be neurotic about their food I guess. I think I can live off of pickled radish and rice most of the time. =)

    I know of 2 vegans. One was super skinny and skeletal. The other was fat. Both were pasty white girls…and I didn’t like either of them. They both crossed me behind my back in one way or another so I distrust all vegetarians. lol!

  9. I’ve done vegetarian (But not vegan) for shorter spurts. When I have, I tend to eat a lot more noodles (Asian and Italian) There are also plenty of pretty healthy Pizzas you can make without any meat. There are also some good burritos with beans for protein and avocado, cheese, tomato, garlic etc.

    But then again Asians are way ahead on the soy-based vegetarian food. Think tofu +

    http://www.bhg.com/recipes/ethnic-food/asian/asian-vegetarian-dinner/

    http://heartschoicewellness.com/2011/11/19/what-is-vegetarian-meat/

  10. @ BigWowo:
    I’m vegetarian, have been for 15 years.

    The key is to know how to cook tasty food, and to know what nutrients you need. Every meal I have is made with the idea of always having some protein, and I try to get some vitamin-rich fruit/vegies in my diet everyday, and leafy greens at least every couple of days.

    Each meal I have tends to be built around one the following protein sources:

    Soy (tofu, tempeh, mock meat)
    Legumes (Lentils, peas, chickpeas, beans)
    Cheese
    Eggs

    That might seem a little limiting, but I don’t find it to be. I do aim to eat less carbs at night, so bread/rice/pasta is more a feature of my breakfasts and lunches.

    This is what I’ve eaten in the last week or so:

    LUNCHES:
    Mock beef rendang with rice
    Toasted cheese and tomato sandwich
    Indonesian fried noodles with egg
    Ethiopian-style split pea curry with rice
    Baked zucchini/carrot/cottage cheese slice.

    DINNERS:
    Turkish feta cheese omelet, tomato/cucumber salad.
    Stir-fried kimchi with boiled tofu.
    Salad of pan-fried haloumi cheese/tomato/cucumber/capsicum.
    Baked potato with sauce of cottage cheese/sour cream/dill/chives
    Tempeh stir fried with sweet soy/kaffir lime/chili; stir-fried chayote leaves.

  11. Oh, and on that diet, I wouldn’t say that I’m buff, but I’m far from pasty and emaciated. I’m 35, play soccer with a bunch of guys in their early 20s and am fitter than almost all of them.

  12. Eurasian,

    Thanks for the info! Those dishes sound great! I imagine being vegetarian makes one much more conscious of what one is eating.

    I’m actually going to check out the mock meats this weekend. (I tried yesterday, but an employee told me that they didn’t stock it and that I had to go the higher end supermarket. Hopefully my prices will remain reasonable.)

  13. B, a warning about mock meat: the quality of it varies immensely. In my experience, the stuff you get in Chinese groceries tends to be the best, although again, there’s good and bad stuff.
    If you’ve ever been to a Chinese vegetarian restaurant which specialises in mock meat, you’ll get an idea of what varieties are ok. Some stuff is not great on its own, yet becomes pretty good if you cook it a certain way.

    Also some of them are fairly high in protein, but some of them are mostly starch and thus not that nutritious.

  14. I agree with Eurasian on mock meat. You really have to try out a lot of it before you come up with your own list of favorites. Some brands are clearly better than others, but again, there are differences between products within brands.

    One company may make great mock fish products but miss the mark on mock beef etc. It’s also important to see mock meats as a new kind meat that is very *similar* in taste and texture to what it is replacing, but not as an *exact* copy of the real meat. And finally, you have to recognize that to some degree, the meat is only the medium. A chef uses seasoning, cooking techniques, sauces, and food combinations to make things taste good. If a chef prepares a dry and tasteless steak, you would probably conclude that the chef needs more cooking classes, not that “steak doesn’t taste good.” Similarly, there are people, and indeed entire companies who can’t prepare mock meat in an appealing way. But their inability to come up with a tasty recipe does not mean that “vegeburger” tastes like dog food. It may simply mean that they are poor cooks.

  15. Ah… one more thing about pricing. In many case meat reduces in volume once cooked because you are cooking a lot of the moisture and fats out of it. On the other hand, mock meat comes pretty much pre-cooked. So you have to convert for this quantity difference. For example, you may think that a vegetarian ground beef substitute is more expensive than ground beef, but fail to consider that the vege-meat volume is already at it’s final useable volume while the ground beef is going to fry down to a much smaller end volume.

  16. I don’t understand this pre-occupation with not eating meat, but I come from asia in the first place where meat is a lot more expensive. I hope you understand how offensive it is to proseletyse vegetarianism when so many generations before this one had to do with less meat (and thus less sports excellence) and I also hope there will not be a repeat of that pre-2008 olympics fiasco where fucking white people thought this would be a good time to talk about asians being “globally responsible” by eating insects and worms, because you know, Asian middle classes will threaten the entire planet.

    Fucking nonsense.

  17. Eurasian and King,

    Thanks for the advice! I read Eurasian’s post before we headed to the market today, and I read King’s afterwards. Eurasian, your post was definitely useful for my shopping; and King, your post addressed exactly what I was thinking–“Man, these tiny packages are EXPENSIVE!”

    Eurasian, I think our Asian vegetarian food selection isn’t as good as it is in Australia. You guys are a little closer to the motherland. Things might be better in New York, LA, or SF, but I live in Portland. (There might be some speciality shops in the city itself that has a better selection. I should check it out.)

    So here’s what I bought:

    (Apologies for the bad photo quality. I have yet to convert to a smart phone.)

    Fake bacon, ground beef, and chicken. I do wonder about how processed this stuff is. I bought in the refrigerated section rather than the frozen section. Don’t know if that makes a difference.

    For lunch today, we had this:
    http://www.theppk.com/2012/03/roasty-soba-bowl/

    I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to eat raw miso, so I cooked it. No fake meat, but the food was great, and the kids LOVED it. They ate everything.

    We’re doing real fish tonight, but I’m thinking maybe Seitan tomorrow.

  18. @ Raguel

    One reason is because in America we eat like… 2o times more meat that is necessary or healthy. So we try and find ways to still have that “meat-like experience” without actually downing so much meat.

    Mot Ameicans easily eat enough meat casually to feul an NFL linebacker.

  19. Oops, the picture in my last comment didn’t make it the first time. Here’s what I bought:

  20. @ Raguel:

    You come from Asia… which is also where vegetarianism originated. At least a quarter to a third of all people in India are vegetarian. Buddhism has a long vegetarian tradition in China, Japan and elsewhere.
    So your perspective on the offensiveness of proseletysing vegetarianism is a little skewed, methinks.

    @ King:

    You never fail to surprise me with the number things you say that I agree with 100%.

  21. Vegetarians here never proseletyse vegetarianism, certainly not the buddhists. Well, not until recently anyhow.

  22. @ Raguel

    I think it depends on WHY they are vegetarians. If they are vegetarians for some kind of esoteric or religions reasons then they may believe that people must come to this religious truth without guidance. However, if it’s just a health/lifestyle decision then, like most such things people just share what seems to be working for them.

    However, I do know what you mean though. If you’re talking about the kind of vegetarians who try to guilt people for eating meat, or who take every opportunity to run down all the horrible things that will happen if you eat it, then I’m with you.

    I’m not a vegetarian myself but I’m meat conscious. I try to keep my ratio of meat to a reasonably healthy level. But there are some strict Vegans who would love to be able to have me arrested for eating chicken soup.

  23. Thanks for the advice, King and Eurasian! I’ll check out those brands.

  24. @ Chen:
    going vegan for a girl does sound kinda stupid. I wouldn’t recommend veganism to anyone who didn’t have some powerful personal reason to do it. Lacto-ovo vegetarianism is far easier to manage. I’ve known a few vegans who eventually flipped out and started eating meat; having deprived themselves of so many good things, they ended up going the complete other way.

    @ Raguel:
    I agree with you on two points: that some vegetarians can be annoying and too in-your-face trying to sell its merits; and that less meat equals less sporting excellence.

    However, sporting excellence is, in the scheme of things, not all that important. In a world with major problems in feeding everyone, one of the best things to do for the planet and for people would be to reduce meat intake and increase that of vegetable foods.

  25. i was kind of curious myself so it wasnt a total wash. Things were learned.

    eating meat is awesome, but if you are coming back to it from a vegan diet, do it gradually. I celebrated with kebabs, a reuben sandwich, cheese fries and a bowl of cole slaw. Shortly after when driving home, I had to stop the car, in the middle of traffic, and evacuate my bowels behind a bush by the side of the road. This happened in broad daylight.

  26. I like Anthony Bourdain’s take on vegetarians and vegans:

    “Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter-faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn.

    To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living.

    Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food. The body, these waterheads imagine, is a temple that should not be polluted by animal protein. It’s healthier, they insist, though every vegetarian waiter I’ve worked with is brought down by any rumor of a cold.

    Oh, I’ll accomodate them, I’ll rummage around for something to feed them, for a ‘vegetarian plate’, if called on to do so. Fourteen dollars for a few slices of grilled eggplant and zucchini suits my food cost fine.”
    ― Anthony Bourdain

  27. ^ But isn’t Anthony Bourdain the same guy who recently called Paula Deen the “Worst Unhealthy Cook” for her fatty southern cooking recipes?

  28. A week in, and:

    I liked the mock chicken, but the family didn’t like it. I don’t know if we’ll get to have it again.

    The Tempeh bacon was HORRIBLE. God, it was bad. Never again. It smelled like bacon, but it looked like tofu and tasted worse than any tofu I’ve ever had before.

    I bought some Morningstar veggie burgers. Will let y’all know how it is.

    Haven’t had the mock ground beef yet.

  29. @ ES: “However, sporting excellence is, in the scheme of things, not all that important.”

    Yes! :D

    “In a world with major problems in feeding everyone, one of the best things to do for the planet and for people would be to reduce meat intake and increase that of vegetable foods.”

    No. :(

    The best thing to do for the planet and the people, is to actually get involved in learning about the true causes of the endemic famine and malnutrition in many parts of the world, and taking steps to improve the economic and POLITICAL forces these people are subject to. Because frankly, if a person pretends to care but does not look too deeply, then that person is just a coward looking for something to salve his privilege-guilt with.

  30. King,

    I liked both the Morningstar burgers and mock beef. HOWEVER:

    I was wondering why New Seasons wasn’t carrying Morningstar. It’s because almost all Morningstar products use genetically-modified tofu. :(

    http://www.morningstarfarms.com/faq.html

    “We recognize that some Morningstar Farms® consumers may prefer foods that do not contain biotech ingredients, so we offer Morningstar Farms® Breakfast Patties Made with Organic Soy. At this time, all of our other products contain biotech ingredients. The ingredients we use have been approved by the appropriate regulatory authorities, and all of our products comply with food labeling requirements in markets where they are sold throughout the world.”

  31. ^ Ah!! The genetically modified soybean!!! -Bane of my existence!!!

    Actually thanks, I didn’t realize that! Now I will have to start pressuring Morningstar ® to switch. A GMO pact with Monsanto is the like selling your corporate soul to the Devil!

  32. I think we should send them letters. Those burgers are good, but we can’t be supporting Monsanto. Nor should we be putting that stuff in our bodies!

  33. ^ That article focuses on a guy who is a long-distance runner. That’s one sport that veganism would be okay for. For other sports that require a more muscular physique, I just don’t think a vegan would be able to compete, unless they were naturally extremely gifted.
    Lacto-ovo is a different story. Once you add eggs and dairy into the diet, it’s virtually as good as meat for building a physique.

  34. I think you’re right, ES. It’s the explosiveness that disappears somewhat with veganism. Jon Fitch and Mac Danzig are vegan MMA fighters, but I think they’re the only ones!

  35. I’m surprised there are any vegan MMA fighters at all. I would imagine that building muscle would be the problematic aspect of being a vegan athlete, but I guess when you take into account soy-based protein powders and the like, anything is possible if you have the will to do it.

    Also I’m not sure how the vegan philosophy, which generally revolves around not harming any living thing, gels with the MMA philosophy of beating the living shit out of people.

  36. King,

    Have you seen this:

    I haven’t fact-checked, but it looks right to me. Damn. Organic may be the only way to go. Even if you buy a generic brand, there’s no guarantee that it doesn’t come from the same source (and indeed it probably does.).

  37. Eurasian:

    “Also I’m not sure how the vegan philosophy, which generally revolves around not harming any living thing, gels with the MMA philosophy of beating the living shit out of people.

    HAHAHA. Good point. Maybe animals don’t agree to be hurt, but anyone who signs a contract with Dana White does? :)

  38. The way Westerners typically eat is very meat-centric, and so it seems odd just to try and replace the meat with lentils or whatever.
    Think about the traditional Asian diet; rice tends to be the core, with lentils/tofu, vegetables and maybe meat on the side. Lentils and beans are not complete protein unless you complement with a grain food like wheat or rice (it’s about the right combination of amino acids). So a typical Indian meal of rice, lentils, some sort of vegetable dish and a little yoghurt on the side is healthy and nutritionally complete.
    I tend to eat more legumes and carbs at lunch time, and have a lighter meal for dinner based around egg, cheese, tofu or mock meat, with a few vegies and little or no starchy foods.
    One product I’m using more and more now is low-fat cottage cheese. It doesn’t taste particularly amazing, but its quite high in protein (14%) and low in fat (3%), and I’ve figured out a few ways to use it in cooking which make it worth eating.

  39. I love cottage chesee! The taste is quite bland, but that only means you’re meant to add other flavors to the dish. :D

  40. I’ve also seen vegans promoting mushrooms as a protein source.

    I don’t know. I’ve cut down on meat, but I don’t think I’ll ever go full vegan. It just seems so risky when you have to count protein, or B12, or whatever.

  41. As much as I love mushrooms, from what I’ve read they are not especially high in protein – considerably less than what you’d find in tofu or cheese for example. Remember that mushrooms are very high in water. I also don’t think they are a complete protein in terms of amino acid profile.

  42. We’re not talking about the ‘magic mushrooms’ that You like, Eurasian! :-) We’re talking about regular mushrooms!

  43. Those animals can digest cellulose, that is already an unfair advantage if you do not take into account the continuous flatulence and never-ending passing of stools.

  44. So you believe that they are receiving their protein from the cellulose? Even the primate?

  45. Honestly I don’t know, but I suspect so. These animals spend all their time munching grass lol.

  46. Lol! indeed they do. But cellulose is a complex carbohydrate, not a protein. Of course it contains some proteins (as almost everything does). But it’s more about how the body chemistry lab converts non-proteins into proteins when the right elements are available for it.

    There is nothing extraordinary about a Gorilla’s digestive system that is so different than that of the human primate. However gorilla’s munch on all day and gain huge muscle mass.

    My point is this—The conventional wisdom is that in order to build large amounts of muscle that you need to eat a LOT of meat. Clearly, that wisdom is wrong. Some of the most muscular animals on earth are/were plant eaters:

    http://maggiemcneill.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/rhinoceros.jpg

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_D8EJZv930x8/S_5XB6jL9MI/AAAAAAAAACc/x5zAy5n3m04/s1600/jpbr1.jpg

    The whole ‘big meat’ thing is a myth. Yes, you can clearly get protein by eating a lot of flesh, but you can also get it by eating the right combinations of grains and legumes, or other plant-based protein combinations. I’m not saying that people should stop eating meat, I’m just saying that it’s not some sort of superfood.

    Most Americans eat WAY more meat than is necessary or good for them.

  47. @ WOWO

    NO!! But thanks for the info, i’ll check it out! Monsanto’s covert GMO activities are nothing less than atrocious. While I don’t consider myself a food fanatic, I certainly don’t like corporations screwing with the genetic makeup of my food. I used to think the whole organic movement was hogwash… until I started looking into what the stuoid chemical companies are doing to commercial grade food stocks.

    I go Organic now just to avoid what those idiots might be spraying on my food, or worse yet, mixing or manipulating the genes. Just leave my food alone!

  48. Hi King! I agree that the meat-eater and protein shakes thing is way overblown to the point of even being harmful to health.

    There seems to be a trend of puffy bigness in popular sports culture. I didn’t realise this years before, but this is quite strange. A lot of human physical activities require not just puffy bigness but quite a lot of endurance – a reliable level of strength (hopefully a good level) that can be called on for as long as needed. An excess of protein will not help in this. For starters even in the middle or short term I suspect (because I’m not sure) that you need glycogen stores and ways of processing these stores or you fatigue and start metabolising muscle immediately under severe, adverse conditions. For example, trekking across rough terrain, kayaking, wood-chopping, etc. Even sword-fighting requires years of conditioning to strengthen the forearm muscles so that not just strength and endurance but also flexibility, speed and dexterity is achieved.

    Basically I think that a lot of men have been successfully duped into believing that puffy bigness is the epitome of strength because we live existences so divorced from the physical now, the only reasons we can think of for activity is things like display, violence to dominate others, posturing etc. It’s quite sad really.

  49. Hey Raguel!

    “Basically I think that a lot of men have been successfully duped into believing that puffy bigness is the epitome of strength because we live existences so divorced from the physical now”

    I totally agree with you. If you ever look into military special forces selection, you will find that most of these bulky, strapping, specimens are weeded out by the testing/training process. They are not, in fact very much stronger (except in specific things like bench pressing) than their less bulky counterparts, and they lack endurance because their bodies need SO MUCH oxygen to feed all of that bulky muscle. They are also heavier, less buoyant, and less agile.

    The biggest guy isn’t always the best

    http://cityhunter7.bravehost.com/myPictures/Bruce%20Lee%20Muscle.jpg

  50. ^ Geez… maybe I need more meat to help my brain to remember to close my quotes properly!

  51. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhZRhbKNHZU

    Do you see this program from “tru” tv? I mean, even if most of the viewers know that everything is fake and scripted, just what sort beliefs does this program pander to?

    This type of confrontation and posturing only leads to severe facial injuries from beer bottles and mugs broken over heads. Just terrible!

  52. King,

    I think I’ve become a food fanatic in the last few months. Damn, I used to just go for cheap, but when I see what these evil people spray on food or how they manipulate genes, it’s scary. I also know so many kids with genetic or allergic disorders. It’s gotta be from the food.

    I don’t know how we can stop Monsanto, but if there’s a way for the U.S. population or politicians to do it, we should.

  53. @ WOWO

    Well just look at all the things that have “suddenly” become toxic? Oh… We can’t eat wheat!! We can’t eat soy! I’m allergic to peanuts!!! Carbohydrates make me fat!

    If you go back 100 years nobody would know what you were talking about. Why should people suddenly be allergic to Wheat protein? Man has been eating wheat as a staple of their for thousands of years… Or is it that people are allergic to GENETICALLY MODIFIED wheat protein? And perhaps GENETICALLY MODIFIED breads make you fat, because that’s one of the few things that have changed recently just before all these problems started to occur. And Monsanto just keeps getting richer as they drive traditional farmers out of business all around the world.

    They should be stopped.

  54. Monsanto and the companies and people behind them, the interests and the strategic focuses are not only concerned with pushing gmo crops, they are also very interested in cornering the market for natural seed stock for crops, as well as patenting the genetic structures of these plants so that they can “own” them via dubious IP rules.

    This is just a wild guess on my part and I could be full of shit. But it’s interesting to me to see this confluence of events and strategic moves all moving together in the same direction.

  55. I concur with your “wild guess” Raguel, and if you follow the trail of corporate lawsuits, you will see that Monsanto has been pushing “terminator seeds” that cannot reproduce after one planting and has been trying to litigate small farmers out of business. So they are:
    a) screwing up common seed stocks with their GMO witchcraft
    b) trying to get rid of as much traditional heirloom seed as possible

    These guys need to go down.

  56. Here’s a theory on allergies and dirt:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/opinion/lets-add-a-little-dirt-to-our-diet.html

    It’s probably partially right. And the theory may be correct concerning much of the population today–kids today grow up amid hand sanitizers.

    BUT…it can’t be everything. Kids are developing these allergies really, really early, and I think . It has to have something to do with the GMO stuff too–there’s just so many issues that were never issues before. I remember when I was in school, they put a big jar of peanut butter out for anyone to use. Now, that would be a health issue because a number of kids could die from it.

    I don’t know how long pesticides have been used, nor do I know when they started getting vegetables ultra clean prior to the supermarket. But I’m guessing there’s more to this than just germs. Autism is on the rise too.

  57. The hygiene theory may be a red herring, someone’s pet theory that can explain some of the auto-immune symptoms being observed, but then given too much weight in order to perhaps hide darker theories.

    Has the Western world become CLEANER, or has it actually become more contaminated and polluted by all sorts of chemicals approved to be “within safe limits”, but that accumulate in the environment?

    In addition, things like peanut and wheat allergy. If you had a guy with that allergy eat natural peanuts or wheat he would get the same symptom too. So perhaps its no longer the food, but a sign of immune system modulation/alteration or even transferrable genetic damage.

  58. There’s already blowback from India with the Monsanto GMO fiasco, but here in the US they have the media and the lobbies keeping it quiet.

    Why does the US government even give all that “subsidy” money to GMO corn that not even livestock can eat?

  59. “There’s already blowback from India with the Monsanto GMO fiasco””

    Good!! What’s taking the U.S. so long?

  60. Haha! Oh my goodness–you’re totally right, it’s Atkins with a fancier-sounding name. I figured “hunter-gatherer” meant grains and vegetables mostly. I’d be willing to bet that’s he’s wrong about the amount of meat our ancestors ate anyway; it’s mighty hard to kill moving animals with spears and rocks, and so we probably didn’t eat all that much.

  61. Hunting is less about the actual killing than it is about knowing the prey animal’s habits and temparaments completely, and ambushing it effectively. Hunter gatherers probably didn’t just hunt and gather. There would probably have been small scale agriculture as well as activities like trapping, etc. the food culture probably depends on geography cos if a population is situated near a river or sea they would not have a shortage of protein. However protein certainly doesn’t fulfil all a person’s calorie needs.

    I think hunters could be quite successful, but ithink the limitation is that no matter how successful you are, youcan really build up reserves and stockpiles of food. Until humans evolved the capacity to maintain emergency food reserves they were very vulnerable to sudden food crunches. If the cycle of activity is interrupted for any reason these people might actually have NO food available to them for miles around for months.

  62. ^ I mean “can’t really build up reserves and stockpiles of food”.

    There seems to be a backlash against carbohydrates now but people forget that the type of carbs we eat today – heavily processed – is quite different from the ones our ancestors ate long ago. Carbohydrates back then would have had more fibre. Also, as anybody whose been on the atkin’s diet can attest, removing carbohydrates from your diet completely makes you feel very lethargic and makes you feel quite unwell. Something our ancestors would have felt keenly also, should they suddenly lack a source of carbohydrates.

    Another thing to consider is that in the past, markets were not as well developed as today, and currency is a relatively new innovation without which a lot of economic activities would be unfeasible.

  63. @ King:

    Well just look at all the things that have “suddenly” become toxic? Oh… We can’t eat wheat!! We can’t eat soy! I’m allergic to peanuts!!! Carbohydrates make me fat!

    While not discounting your theories about GM and the like, I think part of this is that life expectancies where once much lower, and a lot of people in the old days (or in less advanced societies today) wouldn’t survive childhood due to these allergies, even though the exact reason mightn’t be understood. Natural selection. It’s natural selection – if you grow up gluten intolerant in a village where people mostly eat wheat, you are less likely to survive and thrive long enough to pass on your intolerant genes. But now, our advancements in medical science allow people with these characteristics to survive and flourish, and thus we are seeing a prevalence of allergies and anaphylactic symptoms.

  64. @ Eurasian

    An intelligent point, but I still don’t buy it for the following reasons. Firstly, many of the effects of things like gluten intolerance cause varying levels of discomfort (in most subjects) rather than a highly debilitating reaction. For example, lack of energy, flatulence, upset stomach, anemia weight gain etc. These kind of things wouldn’t threaten anyones survival. Yet, even in the cases of food allergies where the reactions are much more severe (like peanut allergies) there is a distribution across populations of varying levels of severity to their reactions. Some people would clearly eat the wrong thing, and keel over dead, others would just get very sick and never eat peanuts again. That would not threaten their survival unless they lived in a peanut colony!

    My point is not that no allergies existed prior to the onset of GMO meddling, but I don’t know of any expert who is not aware of a very sharp increase in cases (especially among young children) that suspiciously happens to coincide with the rise of modern agribusiness growing schemes. Coincidentally, in places where people grow food as they always have for thousands of years, there is almost no record of these modern ailments.

    Correlation is not proof, but it should be a major red flag when observing something as blatant as trying to mix animal genes into wheat, or breed pesticides directly into the genetic code (both things that Monsanto has done)

  65. Natural selection theory is so STUPID, I don’t even know what to say. So I’m sorry if I’m blunt.

    Environmental and public health catastrophes don’t just happen in the third world, they also happen in the West with alarming regularity. The difference is that these incidences are better covered up and forgotten, so that they look like accidents instead of consistent bad policy.

    Unless you understand science, its limitations and its abuses, I suggest that you be highly critical whenever “science” is used to influence policy and public health matters.

  66. Eurasian,

    In addition to the fact that King mentions about allergies not being life-threatening, there’s also the fact that childhood mortality hasn’t changed all that much since when we were kids. In my grandparents’ age, yes, kids died all the time for all kinds of diseases and problems. Kids in this country have had very high survival rates since the Baby Boom following WWII. The explosion in child allergies and autism really only began to explode in the past few years.

    Here’s Bill Maher on GMO’s:

    If true, it’s amazing if they require labeling in China and Europe but not here. That 5% GMO food in Europe vs. 70% GMO food here is scary. I think that labeling ought to be required. If we get labeling on cigarette cartons, why not get labeling on Monsanto-created GMO food? I think he’s right to put the blame on Obama. Obama could turn a lot of this into a priority by simply mentioning it.

    I googled the pro-GMO guy whom Maher was debating. He’s a libertarian.
    http://www.amazon.com/The-Declaration-Independents-Libertarian-Politics/dp/1586489380

  67. Pingback: Disney uses its name to curtail childhood obesity | bigWOWO

  68. My point is not that something like gluten intolerance alone would cause death. But in less advanced societies, mortality is high amongst small children anyway. This is due to things like lack of decent medical treatment for otherwise curable ailments, and the effects of poverty, poor hygiene, disease, etc.
    A food intolerance is just another factor that makes it harder to survive. It’s important to bear in mind that outside the context of affluent societies, many people’s diets are relatively monotonous – if you live in a village in Northern India, for example, 80% of your diet is likely to be derived from say, wheat flour and lentils, every day.
    A lot of people struggle to understand how natural selection works in humans because we think about it in our modern context. But for the bulk of human history, and still today in much of the world, life is tough and fragile. Seemingly small comparative disadvantages can mean the difference between life and death.

    This is not to say that there is not a problem with GMOs and food additives, but I think there are several factors at play here. BigWowo mentions the spike in autism cases recently, but I also think that part of this is about improving diagnosis.

  69. The difference between King’s and Byron’s queries and yours is that theirs begins to examine the environmental factors that Westerners are subjected to – a clear lacuna – while your pseudo-scientific rubbish narrative invites the reader in the OPPOSITE direction.

    “Natural selection” and “improved diagnosis” tells the reader absolutely nothing that the reader does not already know in some form and in fact caters entirely to it, and with such easy, convenient explanations that assure you that everything is in fact well, everything is indeed as it should be and there is no cause for alarm.

    I’m afraid the only ones who will be affected by all of this are the true believers first and foremost.

  70. And make no mistake, E.S, the drivel you have told us IS pseudo-scientific, because those claims of natural selection and improved diagnosis holds so little water and stands on ground as flimsy as the wilder conspiracy theories floating out there.

  71. Well, to be fair, Raguel, I do think E.S.’s observations have application, and I do think it is a remote possibility. For example, I think heart disease has gone up because people are living long enough to experience and get diagnosed with that disease. It probably is a key influence for old people.

    For young people, it’s a bit more complicated. See below.

    E.S.:

    I do think you raise some good points.

    I guess I’m just looking at our country. Right now, we’re relatively affluent. Forty years ago, we were relatively affluent. Food allergies are much higher now than they were forty years ago, and this is true even in families who have been here for generations.

    I could see some medicinal changes causing food allergies, say, I don’t know, a kid gets a certain antibiotic to prevent him from dying before a certain age and develops Celiac’s Disease. If the antibiotic wasn’t available in 1940, the same kid in 1940 would have died. It’s feasible. But I don’t see it happening like this among the people I know. Most of them go through normal baby medicine and just…have it. As for autism, I know some people are saying that it’s just more frequently diagnosed. But based on what I’ve seen, I’m not sure I buy it. I know SOO many kids with serious autism these days, the kind that one can’t help but notice. I don’t remember it being like this when I was growing up. I wonder if it’s just an American thing.

    Is it like this in Australia? And with respect to Australia, does Australia require labeling of genetically modified food?

  72. I think it’s telling that in Europe (where GMO foods) are HIGHLY regulated and labelled, incidents of things like ‘gluten intolerance’ is much much lower than in the US.

  73. @ Raguel:

    I know abusiveness is your default operative mode, but believe it or not it’s actually possible to have a different opinion to someone without labelling it stupid, drivel, or whatever. Particularly when you choose to use those labels rather than actually giving any evidence. Or when you seemingly ignore the part where I make it clear that I’m not in disagreement, just adding other layers to the analysis.

  74. Really ES, really?

    Have you even given thought to any of these issues before, or are are you just regurgitating what you read in some papers?

  75. I’m not regurgitating any paper. What I’ve said is a reasonable enough conclusion for someone to make if they know their history and science.

    I think the high rate of allergies and the like IS caused at least in part by pesticides, GMOs and other types of tinkering with our food sources. But the other factors at play – improved scientific diagnoses, improved life expectancy through better medical science, the “hygiene theory” – make it difficult to establish just how much this tinkering is to blame. Modern scientific advancements are improving people’s food sources while simultaneously corrupting them.

  76. Improved scientific diagnosis, improved life expectancy and medical services, and the hygiene theory has been proven to come into play significantly with some diseases.

    But answer me honestly if any data or studies have been done that proves that the increased incidences of auto-immune disorders, allergies, sudden onset autism etc can be significantly attributed to the three hypothesis you broadly proposed.

    You didn’t give us any science, ES, you gave us a story.

    You are right of course, that the broader environmental factors make epidemiological conclusions extremely difficult to be produced. At least, that’s what they keep telling us. You must have heard that zinger on Fukushima where it was said that despite all that radioactive fallout being spewed into the air and ocean, nobody will be able to say for sure how much mortality would have been caused by this.

    There will be mortality, ES. You just won’t know why and you won’t be able to do anything about it.

    Until you pull the blindfolds off.

  77. Please challenge me, ES. Please challenge me to explain what the blindfold is and what people can do about all of this.

  78. Raguel, I don’t even know what I’m supposed to be arguing with you about, and honestly I cannot be bothered getting drawn down the path of mindless antagonism that you seem to favour with numerous other commenters here. I really don’t have enough invested in this issue to waste my energy on your challenges.

  79. I read earlier when you guys were comparing the Paleo diet and the Atkins (I have no comment to the GMO thing except that I don’t trust it and would like to see things to be err on the side of caution).

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304458604577490943279845790.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

    Basically it seem to add credence that the enemy is carbohydrates rather than fat that been pounded since at least since the 80’s to my knowledge.

    I noticed the connection between the Paleo proponents and the thinking of the Atkins before, but it seems for the case of this thread, it should be viewed separately. My understanding of the philosophy of the Paleo diet is to eat what our ancient ancestors ate, while it might mean a diet higher in protein and lower in carbs, it might not necessitate what Atkins, to my understanding, call for no carbs and only protein. Even just reading the NPR link, it seems to give more flexibility than Atkins. As he said, the man interviewed believe highly in red meat, but he indicates other advocates disagree that other sources of protein are better. Atkins also doesn’t give any advice towards habits like barefoot running, though I don’t know that’s good or bad.

    Perhaps all the success of a higher protein diet is because Monsanto have to corrupted the food like they allegedly did to gains. But point is I think the study above give credence that a higher protein diet might be better than the skepticism and borderline mockery given above with linking to how horses and gorillas done just fine being herbivores.

  80. I don’t think King was doing anything close to mockery at all when he brought up those herbivores. He was just raising a point he thought was interesting.

  81. I wonder how much love for the Paleo diet is borne out of fanciful myths of the strong, conquering hunter who hunted mammoths and fought sabretooth tigers.

    But in practice that’s probably a crazy idea. It might be possible if your tribe is large enough and you already do have food surpluses and stores. But if you’re part of a small tribe and you roam around a lot and what you plant can barely feed extra mouths, why the hell would you want to risk your life and do something hard and kill a mammoth?

    Elephants can actually recognise people, you know. They can recognise the land too. That means that if you hurt an elephant but don’t kill it, or you kill one but it is witnessed by the others, well you’ll be shit out of luck because if these elephants are really familiar with the land its not beyond them to hunt your settlements out and then stamp you out of existence, as they have been known to do even today. :(

    No thank you! I will stick to killing weak four legged animals with bolas and deadfall traps.

  82. I don’t think King was doing anything close to mockery at all when he brought up those herbivores. He was just raising a point he thought was interesting.

    Possibly. My greater point is about about paleo/high protein-low carb diet might be better for us than the conventional teaching of that we should for low fat and how eggs, meet, and all that stuff are bad for us. The high protein-low carb idea doesn’t have to be identified as paleo as paleo is just the argument to the why.


    I wonder how much love for the Paleo diet is borne out of fanciful myths of the strong, conquering hunter who hunted mammoths and fought sabretooth tigers.


    ..
    No thank you! I will stick to killing weak four legged animals with bolas and deadfall traps.

    So was that just a tangent or were you trying to argue high protein diet is wrong because we couldn’t possibly go after elephants?

  83. It was a tangent, but only sort of. As for whether it may be good for people, well you could always try it. Personally I’m going for a more balanced, low fat diet nowadays.

  84. Monsanto is scarier though, as their GMO seeds are blowing all over the place into other peoples’ farms. Even farmers who want to be organic sometimes have trouble doing so.

  85. EVERYTHING tastes “just like chicken!” lol!

    No, I’ll have to try that!! Looks good!

  86. “EVERYTHING tastes “just like chicken!” lol!”

    But why does chicken taste so bad in the US? They don’t even label if its a rooster or a hen. Yes, the gender does make a difference in taste. Americans are in general (on the average, and the median) richer than people elsewhere. But food tastes quite bland, flavorless here. Even if I want to spend a bit more, I won’t get more flavorful food. The industrial food production has gone crazy. Quantity but no quality.

  87. King,

    It’s really good. Try the goat cheese and cranberry chicken. Or the chicken tenders.

    Doe,

    One thing that struck me in Malaysia was that the markets just put out the chicken on a display. There’s ice, but not all chicken is touching ice. It’s mostly just out there in regular air–mounds and mounds of chicken. It doesn’t look like the shrink-wrapped stuff on our shelves.

    I actually had an argument with an American friend. I told him how they did that, and he said, “They just aren’t sanitary.” I told him, “You’re basically worried about salmonella. If people in Malaysia aren’t dying and aren’t getting sick, there probably isn’t a problem with them being unsanitary. And the chicken TASTES better.”

    He didn’t believe me. He said something like, “It’s all fun and games until someone gets sick.”

    I said again, “Dude, no one’s getting sick! And it tastes better!”

    In the U.S., they generally have large, large chicken farms where the chickens are packed tightly into cages. Unless the packaging explicitly says that it doesn’t use antibiotics, they usually use antibiotics. They grow them extra fast with the antibiotics, so the chicken probably tastes inferior because of that fast unnatural growth.

    I know one Malaysia woman who says that air chilled chicken tastes better, so she buys chicken here that hasn’t been frozen. In order to get that, you’d have to buy local. Here in the Pacific Northwest, that usually means Draper Valley. I can’t tell the difference between air chilled and not, but I mostly buy organic (which usually has been frozen), and I think it tastes pretty good. At least I know there are no antibiotics, hormones, and that the chicken had room to run around. (This is with the current definition of “USDA Organic.” This could unfortunately change in the future.)

  88. Funny John, I find just the opposite to be true — that Americans tend to over season their foods to the extent that only one or two flavors dominate the entire dish and totally mask all of the more subtle variations of taste present. Americans like to make everything very sweet, or super spicy… it’s a juvenile kind of lowest-common-denominator cooking that hearkens more to Pepsi and Doritos than to fine wine and aged cheese.

  89. King’s point reminds me of another odd thing I find about food in the US.

    Any time I look for a recipe for something that comes from a US website, it’s amazing how many American recipes rely on branded processed tinned products. These recipes will tell you how to say, make a green bean casserole using tinned cream of mushroom soup as one of the key ingredients. Or something using a particular kind of ketchup, or cornbread mix, or tinned chicken broth, and so on.

    I rarely see this sort of thing in recipes from the UK or Australia. I dunno if that is an indication of some kind of addiction to processed foods and convenience products, or that its greater in comparison to other parts of the Anglosphere, but I just thought it was interesting.

  90. @King,

    “Funny John, I find just the opposite to be true”

    I was referring to the raw ingredients not the prepared food.

    Of course taste is subjective, and the following is just my opinion. White American propensity for putting so much fat and sweetness in their cooking comes across as odd to my own cultural sensibility. In my culture we use spices (not just chillies) to add flavor. With spice you can get away with using less fat to make food taste good. When I first visited US I found the cooking style here very bland (that includes Italian as well). Its not just me, others from similar cultural background often complain about the cooking here. Over time I have grown to love and appreciate the more “bland” style of Italian cooking. Sweet food … I am not there yet, except for desserts.

  91. In Asian wet markets we make it a point to observe the meat for freshness, usually a familiar eye will be able to tell how long ago the animal was killed and if it was slaughtered properly (i.e all the blood drained out), or if any preservatives such as boric acid/formalin has been added, by the look and the smell.

    It is considered good practice in the wet markets to never sell the meat from diseased animals as it is considered unfit for consumption. This may be possible as slaughtering is still done traditionally and by hand as opposed to factory style abattoirs using machines. However, it still takes a trained eye to recognise if the fresh meat comes from a healthy animal or a sick one, as butchers have been known to accept diseased and old animals for butchering. That sort of meat might be sold to restaurateurs and other parties equally susceptible to economic pressure though, as opposed to housewives and culinarists who might be more careful.

  92. Yes, the cross pollination of GMO crops is horrendous, and will eventually cause an environmental catatrophe. :(

  93. “I was referring to the raw ingredients not the prepared food.”

    Ah! In that case I agree with you.

    As WOWO mentioned above, I think Big Agri-business is to blame. Technology has been one of the main factors that has driven the U.S. to lead the world in so many fields. The problem is that it just doesn’t improve every problem. Agri-business has been trying to “improve” the way food is processed and brought to market for years now in the U.S. The first advances in things like mechanized harvesting and refrigerated storage were fine. But since then, we’ve progressed to hens becoming imprisoned biological egg laying machines. Meat is grown in a box and fed steroids to make it bulky. Crops are grown with chemicals for fertilizer and growth promoters. Foods are routinely sprayed with more and more pesticides in an attempt to save a $mall percentage of crops from insects.

    In short, everything is done as if an Accountant were in charge instead of a Farmer. The result is tasteless, spongy, pasty, bland, and less nutritious food accross the board. So what do you do? Process and covered it up with sugar and chili peppers and then go chasing gluten allergies as the cause celeb to distract from the crap in cans you’re pumping out.

  94. “Yes, the cross pollination of GMO crops is horrendous, and will eventually cause an environmental catatrophe.”

    Totally agree Rag… not if but when.

  95. There was a recent news about how tomatoes have become flavorless. The culprit is genetic modification. The genes that were turned on (or off?) so that tomatoes are ripe uniformly across the fruit also effects the production of sugar in the fruit making it less flavorful. Trying to grow my own tomatoes probably won’t help as I will get the same lousy seeds.

    Blaming the corporation is fine but perhaps if we as customers demand better tasting food without breaking the beaks of the chickens to pack them tightly in farms, then we might get better tasting food at reasonable prices.

  96. Tomatoes without flavor… this is a crime against nature.

    I think it’s right to blame the corporations but it is also important to look at their entire network of influences. If corporations effectively create monopoly or oligarchical situations that means that consumers have effectively no choice beyond what is allowed to them. If they manage to influence policy makers in government via corrupt practices or other means, things are even worse.

  97. @Raguel,

    ” Tomatoes without flavor… this is a crime against nature. ”

    Hmm … maybe a crime, maybe not. I was mostly amazed at the scientific efforts that were put into it just so that the consumers got wholly ripe tomatoes. Science interests me, its a lifestyle, I live it. Science might not appeal to everyone but that’s okay too. Thats besides the point.

    The point was perhaps consumers should be more interested in more flavorful food instead of everything in large sizes (BIG ripe tomatoes, BIG FAT chickens made extra moist by saline water, etc.,), and extra low prices.

    Ironic, I grew up eating what Yuppies would call top quality organic food living in a poor country, and now eating crappy tasting, pesticide, industrial fertilizer loaded food living in the richest country. American dream is not all that cracked up to be (well okay maybe if I had Bill Gates’ wealth … ).

  98. “There was some recent news about how tomatoes have become flavorless. The culprit is genetic modification.”

    The culprit is also a process where you pick everything way green and then ripen it just before sale using chemicals. Yes the tomato gets red, but it tastes like a 3-month-old rice cake.

  99. McDonald’s and their likes aren’t the cheapest and most unhealthy of foods, at least here in NY. We have Chinese take outs in almost every corner of every street that serves a plate of food that can be had for under $5, consisting of fried chicken, french fries and egg rolls. What differs from these places is that you’ll get a few packs of duck sauce with your fries and a complementary msg laden soup instead of a soda, which can be a meal for more than 1 serving. Not bad and reasonable, and unsurprisingly, poor racial minorities dubbed it “ghettonese” aka Americanized Chinese food. It’s time to poop on Asians again for undercutting the competition and encouraging the consumption of junk food

  100. There goes Chr.. with another Asians Suck post… even our junk food can’t aspire to be as good as the White Man’s McDonald’s… LOLOL

  101. there is nothing wrong with take out chinese food. Don’t listen to those so called nutrition experts. Eat it every day, It is good for you.

  102. Yah, I actually thought takeout Chinese is pretty good for you. Lots of veggies, tofu, etc. Chr., do Chinese restaurants really serve french fries now?

  103. “There goes Chr.. with another Asians Suck post… even our junk food can’t aspire to be as good as the White Man’s McDonald’s… LOLOL”

    ROFLMAO

  104. I mean I tried to understand the guy’s points and defend him at some point, but dude, really, does every thread have to be hijacked to twist it into the Asians Are Inferior worldview? It gets old and does just confirms the stereotype that we’re a bunch of whiners. Back on topic, however, cheap Chinese food can be really good!! Ever had food from a hawker center in an Asian country? It really is cheaper than the McDonald’s they have over there (they command high prices because of the “Oooh, ahhh, American, must be prestigious!!” factor) and it is soooo good!

  105. Chr is exactly the type of Asian Male, this so called “Man” wants to see. He’s subservient to him. Sees him as a superior being. He thinks AMs aren’t good enough for WFs so the Man will never have to worry about him taking his women. He also thinks AFs are worth nothing so the Man can take Chr’s women if he chooses to. Works a 9-5 job for the man but never aspires to be anything more. Goes on blogs wanting every other Asian Male is going through what he is so he won’t feel bad about himself. The sad thing is, the most important thing to him is Sex with White Women but the barriers he puts on himself stops from from even asking one out. He thinks he sees other Asian Males (who I have much more respect for since they actually ask) are losers for getting turned down. Chr wishes he was white and probably curses at God why he was born an Asian Male each day. Yes, Chr wants to have sex with White women but is satisfied enough to not do much about it except maybe the occasional skank white prostitute. To him, an Asian person’s destiny is to serve the Whites although many Asians through history have proven otherwise how Whites aren’t at all any better than Asians.

  106. A few thoughts:

    1. Grow your own veggies if you can, or buy from farmer’s market. Support local farms versus the big corporate farms. You might pay a little more at the farmer’s market, but it might be worthwhile to get farm fresh eggs (they really do taste better), or pesticide free apples or peaches, etc..

    2. Public policies are susceptible to lobbyists from the big food corporations. I think it’s online on youtube, but there was an epsiode of “Weight of the Nation” documentary which showed how the federal subsidies are directed to corn and soybean producers. That’s the very shit that is being fed to us, according to the documentary, and it’s cheap and plentiful—-which makes high fructose corn syrup abundant in lots of consumer food goods. Their profit margins are huge. Yet for veggie and fruit growers, their profits are really small. There may have been good intentions by public policy makers, some who’ve been bought off by Big Agro lobbyists, but low cost food, while great, isn’t always healthy food.

    3. Any Chinese restaurant serving french fries does so because it’s feeding what their clientele wants. That’s part of an economic reality. There’s a Chinese joint down the road from me near a bunch of section 8 housing, low income garden apartments, and this place makes good Chinese meals, with authentic stuff. Beef brisket with radish in hot pot, yu choi in garlic sauce, salt fish and chicken with chives, etc…Yet, their carry out menu also includes fried shrimp platter with fries or fried rice; 5 piece chicken wings with fries or fried rice, and other typical American fare. There’s simply not enough guys like me going in there versus the ones around the neighborhood who don’t or won’t order something like claypot chicken.

  107. oh yeah:

    4. Chr ‘s postings are just tedious to the point now where I just gloss over them now. No point in reading what he has to say, you already know it.

  108. mojo rider wrote: 3. Any Chinese restaurant serving french fries does so because it’s feeding what their clientele wants. That’s part of an economic reality. There’s a Chinese joint down the road from me near a bunch of section 8 housing, low income garden apartments, and this place makes good Chinese meals, with authentic stuff. Beef brisket with radish in hot pot, yu choi in garlic sauce, salt fish and chicken with chives, etc…Yet, their carry out menu also includes fried shrimp platter with fries or fried rice; 5 piece chicken wings with fries or fried rice, and other typical American fare. There’s simply not enough guys like me going in there versus the ones around the neighborhood who don’t or won’t order something like claypot chicken.

    True. I’ve also seen French Fries and Buffalo wings being served in Middle Eastern Joints. Again, I’ll never understand why Chr always equates everything Asians do with inferiority. Just strange.

  109. And those Middle Eastern places aren’t considered low level places for the ghetto. They cater to an assortment of clientele from all classes. Also, I noticed a Pho place advertising they now serve fried shrimp.

  110. I don’t know if you all know, but Asians certainly have authentic fried shrimp recipes.

  111. @Mojo Rider,

    “Grow your own veggies if you can, or buy from farmer’s market. …”

    I thought about this and my feeling is that the local farmers are loading me up with chemicals as well.

    Here is the thing… I tried my hands at growing some veggies … soon they get infected with stuff … solution, go to the store and get some chemicals to fix it. My grandfather, who used to farm, would actually spread soot from firewood burn instead of chemicals… I don’t cook my food on firewood so thats not an option. Now, I read the labels and try to be careful. Will a farmer who farms to make a profit (unlike my grandfather who grew for the family as was the custom back then) not use industrial fertilizer and pesticides? Whats the guarantee? Unlike my grandfather, the farmer uses more than just cow dung and compost to fertilize I would think. Would I not be safer with the big name brands unless I actually know the local farmer personally, and what he is doing? Farming is not easy.

    Just some thoughts.

  112. @ John Doe
    You can have pretty good luck with tomatoes, if you don’t try to grow too many of them. Organic farmers have plenty of methods to keep pests and blight to a minimum. In some cases, it’s as easy as spraying your plants with a diluted hot sauce concoction that you just wash off once the fruit is picked. I know plenty of people who grow squash and turnips in their back yard gardens with no problems.

    Just stay away from the chemical crap and consult organic growers websites for advice and solutions.

  113. @ Byron,

    “Yah, I actually thought takeout Chinese is pretty good for you. Lots of veggies, tofu, etc. Chr., do Chinese restaurants really serve french fries now?”

    You are an ex-New Yorker so you should know what I’m talking about. Dingy joints outside of any Chinatown with names like Oriental Garden and Golden Wok that have Fried Chicken, Fried Wontons and French Fries, besides the healthy stuff on the menu. They usually cost under $5 and the portions are big enough for 2 servings. Worse, a lot of these take outs seem to be in every street corner and are predominantly in every low income Black and Hispanic neighborhood. McDonalds, KFC and the other fast food joints set up by the other ethnic groups, wouldn’t stand a chance with these Chinese guys who can undercut the competition ruthlessly by serving a lot more junk cheaply and conveniently (they also deliver).

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Mayor Bloomberg decides to go after them (by forcing them to eliminate the deep fried items from the menu) just like he did with the cigarette ban in bars, and now his soda ban. One plausible reason would be that these Asians are preying on low income racial minorities.

  114. “There goes Chr.. with another Asians Suck post… even our junk food can’t aspire to be as good as the White Man’s McDonald’s.”

    “Again, I’ll never understand why Chr always equates everything Asians do with inferiority. Just strange.”

    If Lu Kim of South Park calls his restaurant S-h-i-t-y Wok in a cartoon, then we know what’s the deal with Asian inferiority.

  115. Chr:

    “You are an ex-New Yorker so you should know what I’m talking about. Dingy joints outside of any Chinatown with names like Oriental Garden and Golden Wok that have Fried Chicken, Fried Wontons and French Fries, besides the healthy stuff on the menu. “

    Oh, that. You’re right. I remember going into one of those places, and a friend told me, “You gotta try the rice with the egg and sausage. It’s 3 bucks.” The food was totally not Chinese. I didn’t see the french fries, but I wasn’t looking for them either.

    Still, I think these places–even though I now remember what you’re talking about–are not all that common in general. They don’t do that in Portland, and I’d venture to say that most Chinese food places in New York don’t do that either. Most of the places that do this kind of thing don’t exactly advertise it either; it’s not as if Chinese restaurants are developing a reputation for french fries.

  116. “Still, I think these places–even though I now remember what you’re talking about–are not all that common in general. They don’t do that in Portland, and I’d venture to say that most Chinese food places in New York don’t do that either. Most of the places that do this kind of thing don’t exactly advertise it either; it’s not as if Chinese restaurants are developing a reputation for french fries”.

    Then why are these take out places found in almost every street block of Manhattan? Besides serving up bad food, everyone here in the city is fed up with these establishments for being intrusive. That is they surreptitiously hand out menus with names like Panda Restaurant even when the situation has no calling for it. I was at a meeting with some colleagues, and a Chinese guy out of the blue bursts into the room and drops off some of his menus.

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