In a Competition at Shiyan Lake in Changsha, China, diving Pigs are popular amusement for visitors.
These young pigs are pushed if not thrown off diving platforms into pools and ponds before paddling back to land. Yet aquatic swine are not exclusive to China. Australia does it too, while Pigs frolic in the surf with tourists in the Bahamas. It seems brutal and inhumane to sightseers in china we are told, but is also a tourist draw and a selling point for pork. Over half the world’s pigs are raised in China.
Entrepreneurs claim that diving pigs are healthier, leaner and tastier. In Zhejiang located in Shandong Province there is an amusement Park called the Piggy Kingdom Family Park. Pigs are forced to dive and swim. Animal Rights advocates have been restrained in their criticism but they do say that “farmers should base exercise “on the needs of animals, not the amusement of humans.” Pig diving proponents insist they are doing both.
The wide spread popularity of the sport is remarkable but before we Westerners become overly sanctimonious and outraged perhaps we should consider the popularity of Dog and Rooster fights throughout the world. At least this sport is apparently less violent. NY Times, May 7, 2015
NY State Gov Andrew Cuomo wants to raise pay of thousands of fast food workers by asking State Labor Commissioner to form panel to consider the possibility. The amount of an increase was not specified. Fast food workers have rallied however for $15 an hour. Cuomo’s efforts are in sync with efforts across the country. NY Times, May 7, 2015
Gov Cuomo has taken his initiative to the editorial page of the NY Times where he argues that Fast Food Workers deserve a pay raise. He argues: Rather than pulling down the top to close the income gap….”I believe we should do it by lifting up the bottom….by raising labor standards, starting with the minimum wage (of Food Workers.) He points out that contrary to what many people believe, the majority of Fast Food Workers are women-73%- while 70% are over the age of 20, and more than 2/3 are raising a child and are the primary bread earners in their family. Cuomo draws from the arguments of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1938 who successfully launched the Minimum Wage Law, who said: “No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country.” See NY Times, May 7, 2015
When eating is a burden as opposed to a pleasure, it becomes painful to return home at the end of the day to prepare a healthy, nutritious meal. While some of us see this as a wonderful and creative opportunity, others see the opposite. They turn to fast food, frozen pizza, high sodium meals, or take out. Managing one’s hunger and feeding the kids are burdens to overcome quickly. Sometimes cheese and crackers, pretzels and soda, or a quick and filling burrito become the simple way to fill one’s stomach. Achieving flavor for many becomes less a goal than a hardship.
College or High Schoolers who are no longer living at home, and others 30 to 59 must also learn to cope with these “eating well” dilemmas. There’s so much advice given to us on T.V. and in the daily papers and magazines about how to stay healthy, trim and attractive that a common response of many is to stop eating altogether, or to merely view food as fuel. Foodies find this hard to believe. But it’s true. We all need to think about better solutions that are not costly, not time consuming, and better for us. Still, some groups don’t experience food choices as options. Decisions are made for us by income, health and whether we live alone or with others.
“Why Natural Doesn’t Mean anything any more”By MIchael Pollan
“It isn’t every day that the definition of a common English word that is ubiquitous in common parlance is challenged in federal court, but that is precisely what has happened with the word “natural.” During the past few years, some 200 class-action suits have been filed against food manufacturers, charging them with misuse of the adjective in marketing such edible oxymorons as “natural” Cheetos Puffs, “all-natural” Sun Chips, “all-natural” Naked Juice, “100 percent all-natural” Tyson chicken nuggets and so forth.”
The article provides a refreshingly different approach to a concept many of us take for granted. My favorite insight is the following: “Any food product that feels compelled to tell you it’s natural in all likelihood is not.” See longer article in NYT Magazine, May 3, 2015
1) ” Imagine Ice Cream that’s Healthy”. That’s what Michael Shoretz, who runs Enlightened Ice Cream tells us in his marketing. He promotes it as the “good for you ice Cream. The popularity is growing with 75% less sugar and twice the protein of regular Ice Cream. They hit $1 Million sales in 2013 and $4 Million in 2014. Whole Foods and A&P now sell the brand. NYT Business, March 5, 2015. Seems to be growing in popularity.
2) “McDonald’s is Moving to Limit Antibiotic Use in Chicken”. The fast food giant has announced they would begin using chickens that are not used to treat humans. NYTimes, March 5, 2015.
3) “The disease Listeria has Led to a Major Ice Cream Recall.” Blue Bell Ice Creameries, a favorite in the Southwest, has been banished off the shelves of HEB Grocery in San Antonia Texas. Blue Bell has recalled all its fronzen desserts over concerns of contamination by the potentially deadly bacteria listeria. NYT, April 22, 2015.
4) Tyson Foods says it plans to eliminate the use of human antibiotics in it’s production of chickens by 2017. NYT, April 29, 2015.
Well we have finally finished revising our blog—well about 80%. For those friendly visitors who have enjoyed Zox Kitchen in the past, I think you will like this version even more. And new visitors will find it especially friendly and informative.
Tell your friends. We are a food forum in transition focusing on what seems important to know as related to food and those who care about it.
Three changes to look for in our revised blog include 1) an easier way to locate recipes and international cuisine on the Menu bar called Recipes / Articles; 2) a faster, more accessible way to read my weekly food article which is published in the Long Island Weekly.Com as noted on the side bar of my Home Page. And, 3) Introduction of a larger, more participatory blog occupying the Home Page.
Every week the blog will include Editor’s Comments about special food issues , along with other sections on Food News, Food Politics, and Food issues of import affecting Seniors, Students and every day folks and Singles who eat alone. Healthy eating and how to enhance flavor and taste in our everyday lives will always be favorite topics along with recipes from all over the world.
If you have any special requests, recipes you are seeking, or kitchen insights you’d like to share I will publish them here. And if you disagree with any opinions I take, write me about it.
Think of this blog like a forum for foodies to vent. It will also be for vegetarians and animal eaters although we will probably error on the side of those who appreciate vegetables and greens more. If you’ve got an opinion just write us. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
By the way, I am not a vegetarian but I tend to often eat like one. But when summer comes BBQ becomes a favorite pastime; and Fall and Winter bring out the best in my yen for Braised Pot Roast.
Bon Appetite, Alan