Saturday, May 17, 2008

Mostly About Food

Okay, so my friend B., who's generally a terrific source for random nuggets of news from the blogosphere (especially if it will debunk anything I've said) suggested that the doomsday scenario referenced in my last post got the chances of an impending astroid hit wrong by a factor of around 30. He also mentioned that it was some high school kid who said NASA got it wrong. Something like that. Well, I couldn't find anything about that kid so I put it all aside.

Then I was reading in this week's New Yorker a well-written article by Bee Wilson (what a great name!) who poses the question "Is the world's food system collapsing?" -- and culls from the recent (and not so recent) publications some illuminating answers from books, from Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation and back to the grim predictions of Thomas Malthus.

"Our current food predicament resembles a Malthusian scenario --- misery and famine -- but one largely created by overproduction rather than underproduction. Our ability to produce vastly too many calories for our basic needs has skewed the concept of demand, and generated a wildly disfunctional market."

Depressed yet again by my leisure reading, I headed up to Citarella where I spent way too much for an Asian pear. No locavore, I. I did, however, refrain from buying a big box of California strawberries, alas. They smelled so good, just like fake strawberry jam. Yum.

Speaking of food, I finally made it to Nobu with B. last week, apparently a good ten years too late. While inventive, it was slightly disappointing. I wanted the omakase, since I get so indecisive when ordering Japanese food, but it takes an hour to prepare (I guess the chef has to spend some time thinking about me and what would please me the most). The sushi I ordered was the size of my little toe (which is very, very small) and the salmon was pale, tasteless and (shudder) farmed, to boot.

We were both very annoyed at a couple next to us from Long Island (hadda be) who felt it was fine to set a video player of some sort right on the table in front of their squirmy seven-year old son who made faces and let food fall from his mouth on at least one occasion. Anyway, the tempura (pumpkin) and desserts were really, really good. That said, I won't be going back, even if I could actually afford to.

This just in (to me, anyway). And now I really really hate global warming.

Photo (salmon tartar) courtesy B.'s cell phone


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