Tag Archives: ground meat

Friday Linkage 8/28/2015

I encountered one of the most disheartening sounds in the world this week. On an aborted bike ride my tire made the noise of a full on blow out. This is not the gentle hiss of a pinch flat or a small puncture, but the full throated blast of air and the realization that you are walking home. Why walking? Because the tread area on my well-worn Kenda Kwicks was torn through. Whatever I ran across was bad news.

On to the links…

Here’s What Happens When you Try to Replicate Climate Contrarian Papers—Let me spoil the punch line: you can’t replicate the results.

Shocking: Prominent Climate Denier gets Money from Big Coal—Shocking? Not so much. Christopher Horner is a paid shill of the fossil fuel industry. Anything that comes out of his mouth is little more than coal stained propaganda.

The Incredible Shrinking Mineral: How It Went from King Coal to Coal Kills—If I was confident I would start playing “Taps.” Coal is not dead yet, but with continued pressure and an unfavorable market the dirty fuel may be in its final death spiral.

NYC Rooftops Could Host 11 GW of High-Yield Solar ProjectsMapdwell’s work on modelling what solar could do in eastern cities is some pretty amazing work. Think about 11 GW of solar power in America’s largest city. Now multiply that across other major cities in the U.S. like Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver, and so on.

California’s 40 Years Of Energy Efficiency Efforts Have Saved $90 Billion In Utility Costs—California has been a leader in trying to get people to use less electricity and it has worked. Furthermore, those efforts have trickled out—not trickle down because I do not believe in voodoo environmentalism—to the rest of the nation due to California’s sheer market heft.

Here’s Where The Rubber Hits The Road (Natural Guayule Rubber — Updated)—Apparently, rubber is a big import for the United States and we have been looking for a domestic alternative since before World War II. It also looks like guayule—a shrub that is drought and pest tolerant—could provide a significant offset to our imported rubber habit. Interesting.

New Study Finds Horse and Beaver in Grocery Store Ground Meat—As if you needed another reason to stay away from the case of ground beef at your local grocery store—pink slime anyone?—along comes the knowledge that we may actually be eating horse or beaver. Freaking beaver?

Salad Seems Really Virtuous, Right? It’s Not.—Salad, it turns out, is really just leafy green water. By the time we pick a few leaves out of that plastic clamshell most of the nutrition is gone. Never mind the fact that people end up throwing away tons of salad greens every year. Just go with the frozen peas.

Butter In Your Coffee and Other Cons: Stories From a Fitness Insider—I am really glad that people are calling bullshit on the people behind so-called Bulletproof coffee and food fads. If someone is trying to sell you something it is high time to get a move on. It’s probably bullshit.

28 Historic Photos of Yosemite to Celebrate its 125th Anniversary—Sometimes we forget to appreciate the amazing places we can visit right here in the U.S. Take a moment and appreciate the sheer awesomeness of Yosemite.


Tofu is not the Enemy

Tofu is a bad word for a lot of people.  Just the mere mention of the substance conjures images of hippies and natural food stores and other typical left leaning stereotypes.  I am sure Subaru Outbacks, Volvo Wagons, hemp shirts, and Birkenstocks are part of the iconography.

I have never really understood the visceral hate for tofu that a large swath of the American eating public harbors.  For the most part, it’s innocuous.  It takes on the flavor of whatever it is cooked with quite well.  It can be fried, which is a requirement for a lot of American cuisine.  It provides protein without the harmful health effects or ethical concerns of animal protein.  I am really missing why it is so disliked.

If I had asked my five year old daughter if she wanted tofu, I would have gotten an off look.  Why?  Because it was an unknown.  But, dredge cubes of extra-firm tofu in flour, pan sear those cubes in a little oil until crispy, and serve with a Chinese-inspired sauce like caramel fish sauce or General Tso…I guarantee that the stuff will disappear.  How do I know?  I watched my daughter—who turns her nose up at beef, chicken, and most pork without any prodding from mom or dad—wolf down her plate and proclaim how she loved the chicken.  Informed that it was not really chicken but vegetables only heightened her love.  Now we make “vegetable chicken” once a week.  Even my tofu-averse wife is a fan when it is prepared this way.

My nearly two year old son just eats everything on his plate, points at a cube of tofu on our plate, and cries out, “Meat!”

This is all part of my effort to move my family almost totally away from eating meat like beef, chicken, turkey, or pork.  Most of that meat is produced in just terrible ways—witness the industry’s attempt to silence activists who document animal abuse through the passage of “ag gag” laws—and the production of meat is a potent force in terms of environmental degradation.  Don’t believe your pork chop is bad news for the planet?  Drive by a CAFO on a sweltering summer day in Iowa, take a whiff, and tell me that there is not bad stuff going down.

Sure, the production of soy beans is not all roses but it is a far cry better than how most animals are raised for meat.

If vegetable based proteins are not the enemy, maybe ground turkey is the enemy.  Never mind the horrific conditions that these animals live and die in; the end product is essentially filled with bacteria from shit.  To be all scientific, the meat is usually tainted with salmonella, E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus and enterococcus.  Somehow, I do not think the term “poop burger” is going to take off anytime soon.

Just like the shocked meat industry person in Fast Food Nation said, “There’s shit in the meat?”