You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘food’ tag.
I’m normally not a fan of College Humor. It’s juvenile and usually pretty horrible. But they do occasionally hit one right out of the park, like these travel posters for the lazy, very much in the style of the Steve Thomas work I’ve featured before.
Well done College Humor. Well done.
Other poster posts:
According to figures compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans bought $5 billion worth of perfectly round, perfectly red, and, in the opinion of many consumers, perfectly tasteless fresh tomatoes in 2009—our second most popular vegetable behind lettuce. We buy winter tomatoes, but that doesn’t mean we like them. In survey after survey, fresh tomatoes fall at or near the bottom in rankings of consumer satisfaction. No one will ever be able to duplicate the flavor of garden-grown fruits and vegetables at the supermarket, but there’s a reason you don’t hear consumers bemoaning the taste of supermarket cabbages, onions, or potatoes. Of all the fruits and vegetables we eat, none suffers at the hands of factory farming more than a tomato grown in the wintertime fields of Florida.
Especially this bit:
Perhaps our taste buds are trying to send us a message. Today’s industrial tomatoes are as bereft of nutrition as they are of flavor. According to analyses conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, fresh tomatoes today have 30 percent less vitamin C, 30 percent less thiamin, 19 percent less niacin, and 62 percent less calcium than they did in the 1960s. But the modern tomato does shame its 1960s counterpart in one area: It contains fourteen times as much sodium.
Although Florida’s sandy soil makes for great beaches, it is devoid of plant nutrients. To get a successful crop, they pump the sand full of chemical fertilizers and can blast the plants with more than one hundred different herbicides and pesticides, including some of the most toxic in agribusiness’s arsenal.
Workers are exposed to these chemicals on a daily basis. The toll includes eye and respiratory ailments, exposure to known carcinogens, and babies born with horrendous birth defects. Not all the chemicals stay behind in the fields once the tomatoes are harvested. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has found residues of 35 pesticides on tomatoes destined for supermarkets.
An industrial tomato grower has no control over what he spends on fuel, fertilizer (which requires enormous quantities of natural gas in its manufacture), and pesticides, but he can control what he pays the men and women who plant, tend, and harvest his crops. This has put a steady downward pressure on the earnings of tomato workers. Those cheap tomatoes that fill produce sections 365 days a year, year in and year out, come at a tremendous human cost. Although there have been recent improvements, a person picking tomatoes receives the same basic rate of pay he received 30 years ago. Adjusted for inflation, a harvester’s wages have actually dropped by half over the same period. Florida tomato workers, mostly Hispanic migrants, toil without union protection and get neither overtime, benefits, nor medical insurance. They are denied basic legal rights that virtually all other laborers enjoy. Lacking their own vehicles, they have to live near the fields, often paying rural slumlords exorbitant rents to be crammed with 10 or a dozen other farmworkers in moldering trailers with neither heat nor air conditioning and which would be condemned outright in any other American jurisdiction.
Paid on a “piece” basis for every bushel-sized basket they gather, tomato pickers are lucky to earn 70 dollars on a good day. But good days are few. Workers can arrive at a field at the appointed time and wait for hours while fog clears or dew dries. If it rains, they don’t pick. If a field ripens more slowly than expected, too bad. And if there is a freeze as there was in 2010, weeks can go by without work and without a penny of income. Unable to pay rent, pickers slept in encampments in the woods. The owners had crop insurance and emergency government aid to offset their losses. The workers had nothing.
And extra especially this bit:
And conditions are even worse for some in Florida’s tomato industry. In the chilling words of Douglas Molloy, chief assistant United States attorney in Fort Myers, South Florida’s tomato fields are “ground zero for modern-day slavery.” Molloy is not talking about virtual slavery, or near slavery, or slaverylike conditions, but real slavery. In the last 15 years, Florida law enforcement officials have freed more than 1,000 men and women who had been held and forced to work against their will in the fields of Florida, and that represents only the tip of the iceberg. Most instances of slavery go unreported. Workers were “sold” to crew bosses to pay off bogus debts, beaten if they didn’t work, held in chains, pistol whipped, locked at night into shacks in chain-link enclosures patrolled by armed guards. Escapees who got caught were beaten or worse. Even though police have successfully prosecuted seven major slavery cases in the state in the last 15 years, those brought to justice were low-ranking contract field managers, themselves only one or two shaky rungs up the economic ladder from those they enslaved. The wealthy owners of the vast farms walked away scot-free. They expressed no public regrets, let alone outrage, that such conditions existed on operations they controlled. But we all share the blame. When I asked Molloy if it was safe to assume that a consumer who has eaten a fresh tomato from a grocery store, fast food restaurant, or food-service company in the winter has eaten a fruit picked by the hand of a slave, he corrected my choice of words. “It’s not an assumption. It is a fact.”
After months of crisscrossing Florida, speaking with growers, trade association executives, owners of tomato-packing companies, lawyers, federal prosecutors, county sheriffs, university horticulturalists, plant breeders, farmworker advocates, soup kitchen managers, field workers, field crew leaders, fair housing advocates, one U. S. senator, and one Mexican peasant who came here seeking a better life for his family only to be held for two years as a slave, I began to see that the Florida tomato industry constitutes a parallel world unto itself, a place where many of the assumptions I had taken for granted about living in the United States are turned on their heads.
In this world, slavery is tolerated, or at best ignored. Labor protections for workers predate the Great Depression. Child labor and minimum wage laws are flouted. Basic antitrust measures do not apply. The most minimal housing standards are not enforced. Spanish is the lingua franca. It has its own banking system made up of storefront paycheck-cashing outfits that charge outrageous commissions to migrants who never stay in one place long enough to open bank accounts. Pesticides, so toxic to humans and so bad for the environment that they are banned outright for most crops, are routinely sprayed on virtually every Florida tomato field, and in too many cases, sprayed directly on workers, despite federally mandated periods when fields are supposed to remain empty after chemical application. All of this is happening in plain view, but out of sight, only a half-hour’s drive from one of the wealthiest areas in the United States with its estate homes, beachfront condominiums, and gated golf communities. Meanwhile, tomatoes, once one of the most alluring fruits in our culinary repertoire, have become hard green balls that can easily survive a fall onto an interstate highway. Gassed to an appealing red, they inspire gastronomic fantasies despite all evidence to the contrary. It’s a world we’ve all made, and one we can fix. Welcome to Tomatoland.
How did I not know about this?????
Given that I’ve been either sick or locked in the library for the last 3 weeks, my thoughts turn inexorably to the two things I miss most about life on the outside. First to beer, of which I am not drinking enough and second to all the TV I am missing. To sustain me in my darkest hour I have turned to my ancient and venerable collection of beer ads saved in my favorites on Youtube. So here are the 20 greatest beer commercials of all time, according to me, ranked roughly from good to greatest. (I am intentionally excluding the Most Interesting Man in the World because…well…it just wouldn’t be fair. He is in a class by himself. Which he also teaches)
Everyone probably remembers this one:
This one is only funny retrospectively. Because now I cannot see this without thinking of Robin Cherbotsky:
The Bubble Boys! These were my absolute favorite ads when I was a kid:
Bud Ice Penguin:
This is the least Wes Anderson-y thing Wes Anderson has ever produced:
More Bubble Boys! Let’s just admit it. These barely have anything to do with beer. But ze leetle french canadian accents are so cute!
The rest are going after the jump because the videos are making the page slow to load.
I just found the Value of a Dollar Project, a photojournal chronicling the amount of food you can get for a dollar, both healthy and otherwise.
Photography is used to deceive. Millions, if not billions of advertising dollars are spent annually photographing food and obfuscating reality. Fast food conglomerates are certainly the worst culprits, but everywhere we see glamorized versions of what we eat. [The value of food] is determined by the price of oil, its transnational transport contributes to Global Warming, its ingredients entice America into obesity, and its production processes animals into floss and mush.
The photographs in this project attempt to strip back the artifice; to depict food items as they were sold, (minus packaging,) without styling, retouching, or artificial lighting. Each image represents a dollar’s worth of food purchased from various markets in New Mexico. The subjects exist as equivalent amounts of commodity, and nothing more.
A MacDonald’s cheeseburger vs 10 organic blueberries
$1 of ramen vs $1 of rice
4 grapefruits from Supersave vs 1 organic grapefruit from WholeFoods
$1 of ‘potted meat product’ vs $1 of beef shank from Supersave
$1 of Shurfine flour vs $1 of Shurfine bread
$1 of tea biscuits vs $1 side salad from Burger King
Some food for thought.
My world has been rocked by new coffee technology:
Coffee Joulies work with your coffee to achieve two goals. First, they absorb extra thermal energy in your coffee when it’s served too hot, cooling it down to a drinkable temperature three times faster than normal. Next, they release that stored energy back into your coffee keeping it in the right temperature range twice as long.
This amazing feat of thermodynamics happens thanks to a special non-toxic material sealed within the polished stainless steel shell. This material is designed to melt at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and absorbs a lot of energy as it melts. This is how Joulies cool your coffee down three times faster than normal. Once it reaches this temperature, the special material begins to solidify again, releasing the energy it stored when it melted. This is how Joulies keep your coffee warm twice as long.
I have been rendered speechless by the sheer awesome of this idea. If these work even half as well as they say then my life will be totally changed. It is well known that I cannot maintain an acceptable level of civilized behavior without my coffee, so the prospect of perpetually hot coffee fills me with the glee of a stoner with a medical marijuana card.
I must own these, pronto