MGZ's Profile

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Massie and Pingree Introduce Landmark Bill on Custom Meat Processing - Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund

Thanks for the link, Melanie. I have to confess, I get an odd, almost perverse pleasure out of watching how the effects of money will shape positions on issues like this.

1 day ago
MGZ in Food Media & News

No kids allowed?

"finishing school"???

No kids allowed?

Generally speaking, how long a kid is tolerated at a bar will be tied to two factors:

1. How many seats are still open?
2. How pretty is Mommy?

Aug 01, 2015
MGZ in Not About Food

Neighbor Compains to Cops About Smoke From Barbecue

Yeah, as much as I like cracking "A Florida man . . ." jokes, I had a similar experience even here in the (relatively) hillbilly free Northeast. Granted, it was almost fifteen years ago when slow-cooked, Southern-style barbecue wasn't something one could readily find in Manhattan, much less see someone cooking in Coastal Jersey.

The fact remains, I had gotten up at half past two in the morning to start the fire in the massive, old barrel-style rig I had lugged back from Asheboro (it wasn't something one found at local Home Depots then). An older neighbor, several houses down, smelled the smoke from the just ignited logs and called 911. Not aware of this fact, I nearly shit myself when a local cop came racing around the dark house. He saw what was happening. We laughed, drank a beer, and talked about Dallas.

Funny thing is, that cop is still on the force (a captain now, I believe), and every time I bump into him in town, he invariably asks, "Make any barbecue lately?"

Aug 01, 2015
MGZ in BBQ, Smoking, & Grilling

No kids allowed?

I'll settle for a smirk,.but, one of these days, I'm gonna get a guffaw from you.

Aug 01, 2015
MGZ in Not About Food

No kids allowed?

You know, from my perspective, I'd say the opposite would be historically more accurate. Generally speaking, people are significantly more tolerant of the behavior of others in public spaces than ever before. The difference is that now, when those who want to bitch about something do so, they do it over the web, not a neighbor's hedge.

As to a restaurant's decision not to allow young children, what's changed most is the fact that it puts them in a minority. The presumption was that children were not welcome, but some places were exceptions. That's why places would tout their "family restaurant" status when marketing. This has been flipped in the past twenty years or so, coinciding pretty nicely with an observable and documented change in parenting techniques.

Personally, I have a distaste for "one size fits all" approaches or environments. As I noted above, I see value in at least a few spots holding onto an old school, "adults only" policy - thereby maintaining options for diners. After all, children are neither appendages nor accessories. For those who insist upon seeing them as such, the majority of restaurants will continue to be happy indulge them. Nevertheless, data is beginning to suggest that they might want to be prudent and save some of that disposable income for the therapy bills coming down the road.

No kids allowed?

I'm in. It's not just not having kids around, it's also how much cooler grown ups are when there are no kids around. Any place where I don't have to hear well-educated, forty-something dinner companions say the words "poopie", "frickin", or "lady parts" works for me.

Do Fish Names Encourage Fishy Business?

Jeez. Can you imagine how much money adopting a proposal like Oceana's could save? Both to an outfit like Sysco and then, obviously, to consumers like us?

(Honestly, I'm dumbfounded by the idea of the cost of DNA testing every fish!)

Jul 31, 2015
MGZ in General Topics

Do Fish Names Encourage Fishy Business?

But even that DNA test only tells the seller that the fish is one of fifty-some species that can be called "snapper".

Jul 31, 2015
MGZ in General Topics

Do Fish Names Encourage Fishy Business?

You're welcome. This is actually a topic that I thought I knew a pretty decent amount about, but there were a couple surprises to me as well. 64 different fish all called "grouper", for example.

Jul 31, 2015
MGZ in General Topics

Remington's, Pascal & Sabine...

Actually, I think you guys may both be right. I've heard d'Ennery is moving on to a new venture; but apparently, Sean, his sous chef at Trinity, and more recently at Remington's, is in charge of the kitchen now.

I'll look forward to hearing about your dinner, aklein (damn spell correct keeps wanting to call you "alien").

Jul 31, 2015
MGZ in New Jersey

Do you pray before a meal?

Yeah. You'd think there'd be non-virgins lining up to sue us for not throwing them in a volcano, but it turns out, all they really want is to go to a Midnight showing of 'Rocky Horror'.

Jul 31, 2015
MGZ in Not About Food
1

Do you pray before a meal?

Beats the hell out of goin' to church, doesn't it?

Jul 31, 2015
MGZ in Not About Food
1

An Inconvenient Truth and environmentally friendly food choices

So. I look smoking hot in samite. Is that such a crime?

Do you pray before a meal?

I've wondered over the years whether folks in the UK understand how brilliant the decisions were to dump their religious crazies on one distant continent and their criminal crazies on another.

Do Fish Names Encourage Fishy Business?

For all those who have asked about "Dover Sole" over the years.

"Under current Food and Drug Administration rules, a single fish species can go by multiple names from the time it's caught to the time it ends up on your plate. Conversely, lots of different fish legally can be sold under a single name."

Jul 30, 2015
MGZ in General Topics

Do you pray before a meal?

Sacrifice virgins.

Main Street Kitchen in Manasquan preparing to open

There's a small menu taped to the inside of the window. It appears to be another sandwich shop.

Speaking of new things in the 08736, Grandma's Meatballs on 71 looks like it finally has a kitchen in place and flooring. Hopefully, that will be open soon as well.

Jul 30, 2015
MGZ in New Jersey

U.S. House Passes a Bill Banning GMO Labeling

"[S]o the only way to be fair in my eyes is for both the mandatory labeling of GMOs and the disclaimer on the label stating GMOs haven't been linked to any negative health effects . . . ."

Out of the mouths of babes . . . .

Jul 30, 2015
MGZ in Food Media & News
1

Do you pray before a meal?

My Grandmother often told a story of my second Thanksgiving. Apparently, her uncle, a priest, was among the guests at the table. In honor of his having been permitted time to travel and visit the family, as well as recognition of the collar around his neck, he was asked to bless the meal.

So as the old, Polish Father spoke on, the little boy at the other end of the food-laden table grew restless, figity, noisy, and eventually tossed a spoon against the wall. My Grandmother, embarrassed apparently, apologized to her guest and tried to quiet me. "What's wrong, honey?"

"The turkey's getting cold." I exclaimed.

Four decades later, the veracity of the story lost with the memories of the adults who were present, the point remains the same for me. I have no interest in deities, but you're free to make your burnt offerings to Odin, pay homage to Zeus, praise Allah, or whatever the hell else helps you sleep at night. But, for the love all of things holy, make it quick. Christ himself can't forgive cold gravy.

Remington's, Pascal & Sabine...

"I, of course, have a date."

Apparently, so do I.

Jul 29, 2015
MGZ in New Jersey

Remington's, Pascal & Sabine...

Depends. Do you still have that skimpy, pink dress?

Jul 29, 2015
MGZ in New Jersey

An Inconvenient Truth and environmentally friendly food choices

I know cutting down on my beef consumption is the proper thing to do, but if I do that, I'll be left with no flaws at all.

The Shrimp Box?

I prefer Red's (in Point) for that kind of simple, fried fare. The Shrimp Box, however, has a booze license and, if I recall correctly, a salad bar. One warning - Don't get adventurous at either one.

Jul 29, 2015
MGZ in New Jersey

What is it that really turns your stomach?

My first summer after college, I made a few bucks standing in a cooler, cutting through a truckload of rotten, maggot-laden potatoes for a local restaurant owner. I carry the experience like a jailhouse tattoo on my memory.

Jul 29, 2015
MGZ in Not About Food
1

Remington's, Pascal & Sabine...

If you're looking for a place to take me, I'd probably choose Remington's or the Shipwreck in Brielle. If you're willing to cross the river, I'd probably try and talk you into buying me a steak at the Shipwreck Point (you can still see Monmouth County from there, after all).

The only remaining question I have is, can I bring a date?

Jul 29, 2015
MGZ in New Jersey

U.S. House Passes a Bill Banning GMO Labeling

"We are dealing with the law and law is all about precedence."

Precedents (not precedence) are judicial decisions that carry authority for judges considering similar applications of laws to particular facts and circumstances. It is relevant to the principle of 'stare decisis' and the development of what we call 'common law'. The instant issues are not common law; but, instead, deal with the acts of legislatures and the agencies to which they have delegated power. Generally speaking, we call these statutes and regulations. Stare decisis is not a controlling principle in this area of the law.

"If a the product is labeled GMO-free it should have a disclaimer about no harmful human health effects have been linked to GMOs."

This is actually a tolerable idea. As I've repeatedly stated, more information for the consumer is always preferable to less. The burden to label contents should not, however, fall upon those who have to 'prove a negative'. It is easier for those food producers who know that they are using GMO ingredients to disclose the knowledge than for those who are not to have to prove that every single ingredient they use does not contain any genetically modified materials. As you will see below, these types of economic factors are a controlling principle in the area of law at issue.

"I don't think what people want has anything to do with the law. I want to speed through traffic lights and use recreational drugs. Yet, the law prohibits these actions."

Actually, in any sort of legal system based upon democratic ideals, what the people want has everything to do with the law. It is the very foundation of the United Sates of America. Although our constitutional structure places some controls on the vigor with which popular opinion can shape many laws - in order to protect minority interests from the "tyranny of the majority" - ultimately, there are democratic principles available, in the laws, to remove even those controls. Think through your own examples, you should surely be able to see how silly the position you posit is - if not go to Colorado or Oregon, you'll get it quickly.

"The laws of this nation for better or for worse are based on science not whim."

Not even close. If that were true, there would be no 'Free Exercise' clause in the First Amendment and no Second Amendment at all. Alcohol would be illegal and marijuana would be sold at 7-11s. There would be: no coal powered electric plants; limitations on how many children people could have and maybe limitations on who could even have children in the first place; free education and health care; gasoline powered cars in museums; no contemplation of drilling in the Arctic preserves; jail terms for climate change deniers . . . . The list could go on and on.

Economic factors play a huge part in the creation and implementation of our laws - both formally and informally. For example, regulatory agencies (those components of the executive branches of governments to whom legislatures have delegated some of their law making authority) are required by the laws creating them to perform cost benefit analyses before exercising their rule-making powers. This is why it takes a decade to get something like trans-fats banned even when the industry has ceased using them and acknowledged their dangers, why cigarette packages have such small labels.

Informally, economic incentives are used to elect the law makers and therefore shape the appointments of the rule-makers. Economic incentives are also used to shape the laws and rules themselves; we pay an entire industry of lobbyists and think tanks to pressure representatives, agencies, and shape public opinions. Do you sincerely believe that there are United States Senators seeking to force NASA to stop atmospheric studies because of scientific concerns?

Honestly, I hemmed and hawed about whether your post was satire. If it was, then touché - you got me. If it wasn't, go to a library and pick up some books - otherwise, you'll have to start paying my lecture fees.

Why everyone should stop calling immigrant food ‘ethnic’

Jul 28, 2015
MGZ in Food Media & News

Americans Are Finally Eating Less

The Times has been continuing to print articles on the subject. Today's is "How Changing Attitudes Went Along With a Drop in Calories", and notes, in part:

"America had its misgivings about excess weight, even as it packed on the pounds. There have been fitness booms and diet crazes for decades. But in the early 2000s, something changed, many public health experts say: Many people started seeing obesity as a health crisis instead of a personal problem. This shift explains the surprising reduction in calorie consumption since about 2003, the first in decades. Obesity became a national issue — and not just a health issue but a cultural and economic one, too."

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/28/ups...

Jul 28, 2015
MGZ in Food Media & News

U.S. House Passes a Bill Banning GMO Labeling

"Therefore, GMO labeling is irrelevant and thus useless information. We don't need our packaging filled up with clutter."

Your conclusions regarding the relevance of the information is fundamentally missing the point, but it's also useful to help illustrate why increased disclosure on packaging is warranted. When making a decision concerning consumption, the buyer should be permitted access to relevant information and thereby not be in a disadvantaged position in the transaction. The buyer is then capable of making a decision from an educated perspective. It's at this point that you are free to draw your conclusion.

Personally, the information isn't going to change my consumption patterns nor those of many, but that doesn't in any way diminish my desire to see it on products. Adding a half dozen words to a package label is far from "cluttering it up"; but, even if it did, so what? The first priority of any package should be to truthfully disclose the nature of its contents. Customer manipulation and aesthetic values should never be more than merely secondary concerns.

Disclosure of known facts is not official judgment. We put all sorts of material facts on labels, but no one thinks that mentioning 25% of the RDA of Vitamin C means Vitamin C is unsafe. Our securities laws (another area of consumer protection) actually require significantly greater disclosures - and they're only dealing with money. Hiding information that a majority of consumers want distorts the market, is disingenuous to the citizenry, and dangerous to the function of governments.