Archive for Food

A Kitchen Without Animals is a Dining Room Full of Vegetarians

Posted in Humor with tags , , , , , on July 13, 2010 by Wiggy

Ok, I’ve posted my contest entry on the Anthony Bourdain website. What I need you all to do now is to vote. VOTE ONCE A DAY!! It only takes a few seconds. Here is the link.

I need as many votes as possible for exposure. It’s not so much about the most votes, it’s about getting seen on the site. Although having the most votes will definitely help. I’ve got a little ways to catch up but I’m sure with some help I can get into the top 10 if not into first place. You can also leave comments.

Please don’t forget to vote once a day. Don’t worry, I’ll remind you.

Lactose-Laced Peculiar Pork Products

Posted in Humor with tags , , on March 28, 2010 by Wiggy

The following is the first in the “Wiggy’s Favorite Places to Not Ever Live” series which highlights the social, economic and cultural benefits of various locales throughout the world and why you couldn’t pay me enough to ever live there. Visit maybe, permanent resident, no way!

This particular spotlight is on Rochester, New York. A city of 208,123 residents…1,098,201 if you count the outlying suburbs…Rochester is located on the Genesee River…yes, inspiration for a really bad beer popular in the 1970s…in Monroe County near Lake Ontario in upstate New York. Sandwiched between Buffalo and Syracuse, this jewel of almost-Canada was founded on November 8, 1803, by a couple of Revolutionary War soldiers. Because of its proximity and potential for water power, the city quickly grew from a population of three in 1803 to 15 by 1811. By the 1950s, the population had reached a high of 332,448, no doubt because the majority of residents figured if nuclear war broke out with the Russians, the Kremlin would never waste an ICBM on such a worthless piece of real estate. With the end of the Cold War and the start of a new millennium, the population has steadily declined to its current level of just more than 208,000.

Known as the Flour City, by 1838 Rochester was the largest flour producing city in the U.S. By the early 1900s, Rochester also became a center for the garment industry, particularly for men’s fashions. Coincidentally, New York’s oldest gay and lesbian monthly community newspaper, the Empty Closet is published here. It’s also home to several pioneering businesses including the Cunningham Automobile Company…oops…was home to. The city also was once the location for corporate headquarters for Western Union, Xerox, Champion Sportswear and French’s (as in mustard), key phrase being “was once.”

Proximity to major transportation infrastructure has played a major role in the development of the city and its flourishing industry. Located along the Erie Canal, maritime transport as well as air transportation is important to the vitality of this city. Greater Rochester International Airport, serviced by air carriers including Air Georgian, AirTran and JetBlue, connect the city with neighboring Canada. Recently a high-speed passenger ferry, “Spirit of Ontario I,” linked Rochester to Toronto. Unfortunately the cost to the city was upwards of $42.5 million annually and it was sold to a German company for $30 million. Not to be outdone by other burgeoning metropolises, Rochester’s light rail underground transit system called the “Rochester Subway” opened in 1928. I guess the creatively-challenged residents couldn’t come up with a more original name. At the time, Rochester was the smallest city in the world to have an underground rail system. The system now serves as shelter for the city’s homeless, as it was abandoned in 1957, again in part to the fact the tunnels didn’t need to serve as fallout-shelters as the city wasn’t on anyone’s target list. The city has recently proposed to fill in the tunnels with dirt leaving the less-fortunate to migrate to nearby Buffalo.

Climate also makes Rochester, home to the largest population of deaf people per capita in the U.S., an attractive place to raise a hearing-impaired family. With winter temperatures approaching -17 and an average snowfall of nearly eight feet annually, indoor ice skating and shopping at Rochester’s many shopping centers tend to be the popular past time from October through April. During the summer month, Rochester is home to several cultural festivals. These include the “Image Out/Gay & Lesbian Film Festival and the Clothesline Art Festival.”

With Rochester’s ethnic diversity comes a plethora of cultural culinary masterpieces. One local specialty is known as the “white hot.” Essentially a hot dog made from uncured and unsmoked pork, this local favorite is infused with powdered milk to enhance its white color. Home to French’s Mustard, it’s fitting a lactose-laced hot dog is Rochester’s gastronomic gift to the world. Another of the regional restaurant fare is called the “Garbage Plate.” Just take your choice of a cheeseburger, hamburger, steak, red hot, white hot, Italian or breakfast sausage, fish, fried ham, grilled cheese or eggs. To complete it just pile on top one of either, home fries, French fries, baked beans or macaroni salad, and smother with a greasy hot sauce containing ground meat. And to wash down these exotic epicurean delights, the “Made for Living” city hosts such premium beverages as Jolt Cola and Genesee Cream Ale. Also readily available in various box sizes is Rochester’s answer to Boones Farm Wine, Arbor Mist. When one fruit and two bottles aren’t enough…

Rochester is one of the few American cities which host at least seven professional sporting teams. These include the Rochester Raging Rhinos (soccer), Rochester Rattlers (field lacrosse) and Empire State Roar (Women’s professional football team). The city’s also home to the Next Era and NWA Upstate professional wrestling leagues.
Sister city to Bamako, Mali; Krakow, Poland; Novgorod, Russia; San Felipe de Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic; and Rehovot, Israel; Rochester’s famous sons and daughters include:

• Susan B. Anthony – suffragist and inspiration for ill-advised coinage
• Kenneth Bianchi – one of the Hillside Stranglers
• Angelo Buono, Jr. – cousin to and the other of the Hillside Stranglers
• Emma Goldman – anarchist
• Lou Gramm – lead singer of the rock band Foreigner
• Seth Green – pioneer in fish farming
• Norman Kerry – silent film actor
• Joanie Laurer – professional wrestler, a.k.a. Chyna
• Chuck Mangione – flugelhornist
• Frank Ritter – dental chair pioneer
• Savanna Samson – porn actress
• Lee-Hom Wang – pop/hip-hop superstar
• Wendy O. Williams – vegetarian and suicidally-deceased lead singer for the punk-rock band Plasmatics

Rochester’s proximity to Canada, abandoned subway system, sub-zero temperatures, not one but two professional wrestling leagues and its peculiar processed pork products make this city one of “Wiggy’s Favorite Places to Not Ever Live.”

Marc “Wiggy” Kovacs
Raconteur of Rochester Ranting

Half-Baked Healthy Habits

Posted in Humor with tags , on January 30, 2010 by Wiggy

I’m sure all of you have heard about the fact cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. But is this really true? Your heart is only good for so many beats and that’s it…don’t waste them on exercise. Think about it. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer. That’s like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

There are all types of studies suggesting everyone should cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables. But what if you think about this factoring in the logistical efficiencies? What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables into your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

What about the concerns regarding trans-fat and fried foods? Aren’t fried foods bad for you? Most fried foods these days are cooked in vegetable oil. In fact, they’re permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Is chocolate bad for you? Are you crazy? Cocoa beans! Another vegetable!!! It’s the best feel-good food around!

Should you reduce your alcohol intake? Not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, which means they take the water out of the fruity bits so you get even more of the goodness. It’s like drinking fruit concentrate. Beer is made out of grain. Cheers!

Worried about your BMI (body mass index)? How do you calculate your body/fat ratio? Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc. According to the National Institute of Health you’re good up to a BMI of 25 so don’t sweat it.

Speaking of sweat, are there some advantages of participating in a regular exercise program? One philosophy is “No pain, no gain.” Since when is pain a good thing? The philosophy should be “No pain…keep doing what you are doing.”

A what about all those fad ab workouts? Will sit-ups or an ab-buster workout help prevent you from getting a little soft around the middle? Think about it. When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach. And swimming, forget it. If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food, diets and exercise.

And remember: ‘Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways – Chardonnay in one hand – chocolate in the other – body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO HOO, What a Ride!”

AND…..

For those of you who watch what you eat, here’s the final word on nutrition and health. It’s a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

CONCLUSION

Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

Marc “Wiggy” Kovacs
Narrator of Nutritional Neurosis

Fat-Fighting Fresco Fare

Posted in Humor with tags , on January 12, 2010 by Wiggy

Want to shed those holiday pounds in a hurry? Are you looking for those washboard abs to show off by swimsuit season? Are you too smart or too cheap spend the $6,000 a year to try Jenny Craig? You may want to consider making a run to the border. I’m not talking Canada or Mexico, well kind of not talking about Mexico… I’m referring to that fast-food savior of the drunk 2:00 am in the morning college student, synonymous with a talking Chihuahua, Taco Bell.

Apparently too cheap to hire an advertising agency who could come up with original ideas, Taco Bell has decided to launch its own Subway Jared-like ad campaign. They have enlisted the help of 27-year old Pensacola, Florida resident, Christine Dougherty to help mislead television-watching, overweight, taco-craving Americans into thinking they have found their miracle diet. According to the company, Dougherty ate from Taco Bell’s lower-calorie “Fresco menu” five to eight times a week and dropped 54 pounds.

In the commercial, Dougherty shows off her svelte body in a form-fitting dress and later a purple bikini while showing photos of her once-chalupa-sized self. “I lost about two pounds a month over a period of two years by reducing my daily calories and replacing my typical fast-food lunch or dinner with something from the Taco Bell Drive-Thru Diet,” Dougherty says in the commercial. “I just chose smarter options.” Somehow I’m pretty sure these options did not include cheesy gorditas or half-pound burritos.

Is it just me or does losing two pounds a month over two years sound a little slow, especially if maybe you don’t eat fast-food at all and throw in some exercise once in a while? Dougherty started in 2007 and claims she cut 500 calories from her diet and limited herself to 1,250 a day. She replaced her regular Taco Bell meals with the chain’s Fresco items: seven tacos and burritos that range from 150 to 340 calories. The question begs to be asked, how many tacos did she eat in one sitting?

Taco Bell’s “Fresco” fare is not cooked any differently than the rest of their gorditas, chalupas, tacos or burritos. The same burritos and tacos on the regular menu are stripped of shredded cheese and sauce. The Fresco menu items instead contain a tomato, onion and cilantro salsa. This substitution shaves off 20 to 100 calories, according Taco Bell. I’m sure it also shaves off most of the taste. Those calories added up over a two-year period are the equivalent of about 100 thirty-minute walks…or about one walk a week over the same two years. Am I missing something?

Although the company calls this ground-breaking marketing effort the Drive-Thru Diet, among several flashing disclaimers is, “this is not a weight-loss program.” No kidding!! “The disclaimers at the bottom say this is part of a lower calorie effort. You should exercise,” said Tom Wagner, Taco Bell’s company spokesman for the Drive-Thru Diet. “We don’t in any way try to market this as a miracle solution to lose weight.”

If you eat fewer calories, it doesn’t matter whether you eat Taco Bell, Subway, grapefruits or sliders from White Castle. The idea is, you eat less calories. Daugherty lost weight because she didn’t eat a lot. Throw in some exercise and she probably would have lost the weight in six months!!

And if I were Taco Bell I’d fire the ad agency and I might rethink the name of their revolutionary weight-loss regiment, the Drive-Thru Diet. Isn’t one of the issues perpetuating weight problems is that overweight people tend to be more sedentary. At least park the car and walk in and buy your ½ pound burrito.

And just so you know, the Fresco items are high in sodium with one Fresco bean burrito packing half the 2300 mg/day recommended sodium allowance.

Marc “Wiggy” Kovacs
Challenger of Cheese-free Chalupas

People Eating Tasty Animals

Posted in Humor with tags , on November 22, 2009 by Wiggy

First there was “F is for Freegans.”  Then came “V is for Vegans.”  Now thanks to my favorite animal rights group, PETA, I can add another letter to the list of understandably perplexing vegetarian dining choices.  This time it’s the letter “M” for Meagans.

The misunderstood free-range radicals from PETA have offered a $1 million prize to any scientist who can create lab-grown meat which is both commercially appealing and indistinguishable in taste from real meat.  They’d like some Dr. Frankenstein wanna-be to sprout chicken-meat in a growth medium to help eliminate the need for the birds to be caged and treated poorly on poultry farms.

A spokesperson from PETA has stated the money would go to the first scientist who could create and market such a meat by the summer of 2012.  The group said the winning scientist had to be able to produce the meat in large enough quantity, so it could be sold in 10 states at a price competitive to the prevailing chicken price.

Additionally the meat has to have the “taste and texture indistinguishable from real chicken flesh to non-meat-eaters and meat-eaters alike.”  Does chicken taste different to vegans…and how would they know the difference?  A taste-test panel would determine if the lab-produced meat satisfied the criteria.  If PETA is serious about truly critiquing the resultant fabricated-fowl, this panel should be plucked from a list of experts in related fields.  These should include the following:

  • Rachael Ray – annoying TV cook…chef is too strong of a word.
  • Martha “Stewart” Kostyra – vegetarian, polish business magnate, former model, stockbroker and former resident of Alderson Federal prison camp, from Nutley, New Jersey.
  • Ricky Williams – vegetarian, former and current member of the Miami Dolphins and smoking partner of Lenny Kravitz.
  • Ingrid Newkirk – vegetarian, George Clooney fan and founder of PETA.
  • Jim Bohlen – vegetarian, former American, Atlas ICBM engineer and converted Canadian…co-founder of Greenpeace.
  • Chelsea Clinton – vegetarian, Arkansas born, blue-eyed graduate of Stanford University, named after the Joni Mitchell song “Chelsea Morning” about a west side Manhattan neighborhood formerly and ironically known as the meat packing district.
  • Pamela Anderson – vegetarian and former Canadian star of Bay Watch…this wouldn’t be the first strange thing she’s put into her mouth.

PETA states researchers have already begun to produce in-vitro meat…that’s meat created from animal stem-cells placed in a medium to grow and reproduce.  Now that sounds like something I’d want to marinade with lemon, pepper, tarragon and dill and throw on the Bar-B, right next to the kangamoo filets and whale steaks.  Fortunately for those of us who find Petri-Poultry less than mouth-watering, PETA states on its Web site: “We’re still several years away from having in-vitro meat be available to the general public.”

In PETA’s defense of this fallacious-fowl-fare, the group says it’s supporting the endeavor because more than 40 billion chickens, fish, pigs and cows are killed every year for food in the United States in “horrific ways.”  Its rumored petri-poultry may also serve as the long sought after cure for Alekorophobia or Fear of Chickens.  Ricky Williams, alleged proponent of a Meagan lifestyle, has been quoted as saying “I wouldn’t eat a chicken if it dropped dead in front of me holding up a sign that said, Eat Me*.”  I’m not sure if this stems from Alekorophobia or some sort of ganja-inspired Jamaican voodoo curse.  *(quote taken from the website http://www.famousveggie.com/quotes.cfm)

Vegetarian sushi chefs from around the world are hailing this Darwinistic triumph over nature.  Grown in a sterile environment, Petri-Poultry would be free of salmonella and other potentially health-threatening bacteria, opening the way for such delicacies as Spicy Chicken Rolls…raw Petri-Poultry, avocado, wasabi and artificial cream cheese, rolled in tofu rice and recycled free-range seaweed.

No word yet from the ACLU on the potential animal stem-cell rights violations or ethical dilemmas associated with the growing of meat in a Petri-dish.  And you thought eating out of a dumpster sounded appetizing…

 

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Petri-Poultry: The Other Other White Meat – Choice of Meagans and Alekorophics alike.

Marc “Wiggy” Kovacs

Mastermind of Meagan Menus

“V” is for Veat

Posted in Humor with tags , on November 20, 2009 by Wiggy

World Vegan Day is a holiday celebrated by Vegans to commemorate the anniversary of the founding of the Vegan Society in 1944.  It’s held every year in Melbourne, Australia, probably because the Australians are so laid back and no other country would allow that many hippies in one place at the same time.
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There are many different kinds of veggies.  Not all vegetarians are vegans, but all vegans are vegetarians.  This community of V-8 swilling, Volkswagen driving Bohemians includes:

Lacto-ovo-vegetarians – don’t eat meat, but do eat dairy products and eggs.

Lacto-vegetarians – eat dairy products, but not eggs.

Ovo-vegetarians – eat eggs, but not dairy.

Pesco-vegetarians – eat seafood, but not meat…similar to us Catholics on Fridays during Lent.

Vegans – don’t eat or use anything even remotely related to an animal or animal by-product.

Fruitarians – strict form of veganism where the hippie only eats fruits, plants and trees…granola is extra crunchy with oak tree bark included.

Raw veganism – radical form of veganism which excludes all food of animal origin and all food cooked above 115 degrees…E. Coli gives uncooked food that extra zing.

Freeganism – dumpster diving, communal living, spade wielding, smelly, Cum Baya singing Anarchists.

But what do all of these multifarious groups of non-carnivores have in common?…weird food.

Tofu is the chameleon of the food world and can mask itself as anything including meat.  Tofurkey (tofu turkey) is actually a loaf of vegetarian protein made from Veat (vegetarian meat) such as tofu or seitan.  Anything named Seitan just sounds evil and unappetizing.

Milk is not off limits to vegans or ovo-vegetarians.  Just pour yourself a big glass of almond milk, sesame seed milk, barley milk, pea milk, or every vegetarian hippie’s favorite…hemp milk.  Goes nicely paired with magic mushrooms which cause you to see UFOs and want to hang out with Shirley MacClaine.  Just make sure you don’t exceed the daily recommended allowance as specified by the Vegan Food Pyramid.

The Vegan Food Pyramid, while similar to the USDA, includes such items as Yuba which is tofu skin, hemp milk, tofutti which is tofu cheese and ice cream, nori an edible red algae and favorite of University of Alabama vegetarian alum, and finally vegan wine…yes, there is such a thing.

So today, instead of a big juicy steak, baked potato with sour cream and bacon bits and steamed…that’s somewhere above 212 degrees…broccoli with cheddar cheese, grab yourself a loaf of tofu.  You can pretty much make your entire meal out of it.

Marc “Wiggy” Kovacs

Tireless Tormentor of Tofu