Archive for May, 2008

Sunday Protein: 104 Chickens in Your Garbage This Year

Posted in MEAT POLITICS on May 25, 2008 by chomposaurus

American throw out way too much food. This fact is not under debate. Unless you believe the Armageddon is coming with in the next five to ten years, there is simply no excuse for throwing out over 25% of your food uneaten – that’s average for a typical American. The NYTimes offered a nice summary last week:

As it turns out, Americans waste an astounding amount of food — an estimated 27 percent of the food available for consumption, according to a government study — and it happens at the supermarket, in restaurants and cafeterias and in your very own kitchen. It works out to about a pound of food every day for every American.

So you throw out about two nice roasting chickens per week. That’s the equivalent of one hundred and four chickens being born, raised, slaughtered and possible cooked simply so you can have the pleasure of throwing them straight into the garbage because you impulse bought them but now feel like ordering a bucket of general tso’s tonight.

Sure, it’s a slightly exaggerated hypothetical situation, but the problem exists, and it’s massive. Most articles tend to focus on large scale ways to fix the problem: composting, collecting donations from restaurants and instituting federal programs. But there’s a much simpler solution: BUY LESS FOOD. Plan a bit before you go to the supermarket. If you’re not sure if you’re going to be able to eat something before it expires, don’t buy it. Yes it’s nice to have organic unpreserved hotdog buns, but if you’re not going to eat all eight in the two days before they become covered with mold (happens to me everytime w/Trader Joe’s organic buns), then consider sacrificing a bit of your hipster cred to buy the 7-11 hotdog buns that last two months.

As far as meat goes, do what I’ve always said: buy less and buy better. It takes like two minutes to come up with a menu for the week; do so and you will find yourself with a lot less crap to carry home and with fewer random, expensive impulse buys.

If you don’t make these small sacrifices, you’ll pay for it. Now that world food supplies are being squeezed, prices are rising, and you’ll end up paying a premium equivalent to the 25% of food that you waste.

For more (and better coverage) of this issue, check out the Wasted Food blog.

Ipswich Clams & Top Notch Mams

Posted in Seafood with tags , , , on May 24, 2008 by chomposaurus

I apologize for the subject of this post; P. Sundae demanded it in exchange for the pictures he took with his new SLR.

Ipswich, MA (and the neighboring town of Essex), located an hour north of Boston, is THE place to go for clams in northern New England. A half dozen restaurants specialize in serving them fresh; some in gourmet settings, but mostly in their famous fried configuration. My favorite place to go is The Clam Box, which has a secret double-frying method that leaves the batter firm but with a subtle chewiness and the clams with a lot of flavor.

Legend has it that Ipswich fried clams were invented by a local potato-chip entrepreneur looking for a way to make some money and/or delicious food out of the local delicacy. In those days, you could easily catch 200 lbs of clams per day in the Great Marsh around Cape Ann. Of course, pollution and over-harvesting have now devastated the area’s hauls. So, while clams are now brought in from places outside of Ipswich, including the southern coast of Maine, to meet the demand, it’s only in town that you can get them prepared just right.
Check out Road Food’s MA guide for more places to get great clams.

Click to see the best picture of your meat correspondent ever, along with a shot of The Clam Box’s menu. I recommend the “Two-Way Combo,” which will net you some zesty scallops as well as clams, onion rings and fries.
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Question of the Day

Posted in MEAT POLITICS on May 23, 2008 by chomposaurus

One of the best things about WordPress is that the stats page tells me what links people click to get to the site. It also lists search queries from various webpages, etc to let me know what searches are leading people to Chomposaurus. Here is, by far, the best of these searches so far:

“which part of the cow is steak?”

My anonymous friend, the answer is simple: ALL OF IT.

I Want To Eat Hogzilla

Posted in Pork with tags , , , on May 23, 2008 by chomposaurus

But I can’t because of the boar taint.

Ladies and Gentlemen, my new favorite Wikipedia category: Famous Pigs

Seriously, I was looking at Javelinas and seeing whether they were edible, which led to the entry on Razorbacks, which led to the entry on Hogzilla, which led to me reading about every famous pig on the site. They even have an entry for George Clooney’s pig, Max.


Let’s Grill Hot Dogs As We Go Over Niagra Falls

Posted in BBQ, Meat Devices, Sausage, Seafood with tags , , on May 23, 2008 by chomposaurus

Courtesy of Engadget, we can now safely say that all your needs for floating cooked meats will be taken care of by a German company’s new “lifesaving” flotation device, the BBQ Donut. It’s a round pontoon boat with a real horkin’ full-size bbq grill stuck in the middle. Time to defy those environmentalists and engage in some offshore grilling!

It has a built-in umbrella, a battery-operated motor and a drink holder. Personally, I can see no better way to make your lazy day on the lake more gloriously lazy than not having to return to shore for a freshly charred wurst. You could even catch, gut and grill a fish without getting up from your seat. All they have to do is install a mini kegerator and this thing will be a bestseller at Wal-marts nationwide.

The Chomposaurus World Street Meat Map!

Posted in Fast Food with tags on May 22, 2008 by chomposaurus

Meat Friends & Family, we’re proud to announce the launch of the Chomposaurus World Street Meat Map, with photos! Our goal is to put together a picture of how, where and what meat is sold on the avenues and alleys of all civilization. Right now, there are only two entries on the map – because we’re waiting on entries from viewers like you. Email us at chomposaurus[at]gmail[dot]com with a picture, address and description from your favorite vendor. Bonus points if it’s a location outside the U.S.

Hopefully, this map will provide a new way to look at how food is produced and eaten in its simplest forms across the globe. But it can only succeed with help from our readers.


The $175 Hedge Fund Whopper (with fries!)

Posted in Burgers, Fast Food with tags , , on May 22, 2008 by chomposaurus

For those traders and fund managers looking for a way to spend their windfall oil profits, Wall Street Burger Shoppe now offers a $175 burger and fries platter. As per usual with these expensive burgers, the beef is all-kobe, and there is plenty of foie gras and truffle oil to go around. But what I want to talk about are the french fries. They appear, in the picture, to be wrapped in newspaper. NEWSPAPER? Sweet Enola Gay, at $175 that better be a vintage New York Times from the day the Titanic sank or I want my money back. Also, you’d think they could afford some high class ketchup.

Suck On Some Bacon

Posted in Pork with tags , on May 21, 2008 by chomposaurus

It’s been well-covered on the interwebs, but I just had to post a picture of the Maple-Bacon Lollipop made by lollyphile. Now someone needs to invent a way for me to eat bacon, eggs and homefries on a stick. Maybe by injecting all three into a giant turkey leg?

The Freedom to Eat Better Food

Posted in MEAT POLITICS with tags on May 21, 2008 by chomposaurus

Via Andrew Sullivan, Ezra Klein of The American Prospect comes up with a good idea for making eating out healthier without actually banning anything.

If caloric information was posted, a lot of currently popular items would become unpopular (the awesome blossom, say), and restaurants would innovate towards lower calorie, but still filling, foods. In the absence of that information, the incentives to do so are weak. It’s one of those soft ways of making the market work better towards a social end: We agree that people should be healthier, people agree that they want to be healthier, and all this would do is give them the information to make healthy decisions.

It’d be nice to know just how much more you were eating by picking the 20oz. porterhouse over the 8oz. flilet.

Building a Better Cowreactor

Posted in Beef, Fake Meat, MEAT POLITICS with tags , on May 21, 2008 by chomposaurus’s Green Lantern blog takes a closer look at the reality of making beef in a lab. The article tells us some utterly fascinating details about how labmeat is made to taste more like real cow:

There has also been talk of adding polysaccharide beads to the bioreactors; as the temperature or acidity of the solution changes, these beads would expand or contract, thus providing the necessary workout for the nascent tissue. The beads would likely be made from the exoskeletons of arthropods and are completely nontoxic.

However, it throws cold water on the idea that you’ll be buying artificial wursts in your local Safeway next year:

Despite considerable hubbub over the technology in recent months, we’re still years—or, more likely, decades—away from affordable lab-grown meat. The current experiments are taking place in bioreactors that measure only a few hundred milliliters in volume, and the longest complete muscle tissues are just 2 centimeters long. Researchers are nowhere close to scaling up their production to market-ready levels, to say nothing of market-ready prices. A Dutch team’s lab-grown pork, for example, would cost around $45,000 per pound—assuming they could make an entire pound of the stuff.

But it’s good to dream about having my own portable beef-growing bioreactor in the basement.