A few odds and ends that escaped initial online perusal thrust themselves forward during and actual perusal of the actual fishwrap:
1) With close ties to the pickle community, I guess I'm happy that the tide of brine lifts all boats, and suchlike, but seems like the pickle sickle either got a raw deal from Flo Fab or needs to tweak its marketing material. I'll blame the "deconstructed" headline on the Times -- my lonely struggle against retarded misuse of this term is well-documented, but it's not as clear where this idea "fresh-squeezed" pickles come from. To clarify, these are preserved vegetables, (i.e. not fresh) shipped by mail order (i.e. not fresh either) -- "fresh" here is not so much inaccurate as irrelevant.
2) Sort of nit-picky and a little bit trainspotty, but this is a blog after all -- in the print edition, the image accompanying the lamb is the only one without a photo credit. Interestingly, this image also turns up on Dean and DeLuca's site, I imagine this thing happens frequently, but had not noticed it quite like this. Someone with a keener journalistic and visual sense than I would be better equipped to address this question, but it seems at least a tiny bit dubious to run a foto of a food item that was styled and shot by the vendor. Considering that the other 3 items in this week's Food Stuff are credited to Tony Cenicola, would it be that hard to get a shot of the actual lamb, rather than relying on D&D?
3) Finally, and continuing yesterday's gripe -- read the damn Pure Food and Drug Act, the legislation (putatively) inspired by Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. What The Jungle has to say about animal welfare is what the PF&DA has
to say about animal welfare, which is what Daniel Plainview has to say about animal welfare, which is to say, sweet fuck all. So if actually "someone gave Upton Sinclair a video camera and a Web link," the chances are that he would probably use it to find ways to talk about how capitalism sucks balls, that is to say, chews up families, etc.
To clarify, there are things about the meat industry that are bad for its material (animals) and things that are bad for its labor (people) these are not the same. The dude in the video waltzing the downer cow with a forklift might have a sick dental plan, for all we know, and conversely, there could be some poor undocumented soul getting RSI slaughtering heritage turkeys that got to spend a year at Wesleyan before they got shanked by some poor undocumented soul. Ironically, the article concludes with a hint at its own betrayal of Sinclair with its penultimate graf:
With research, legal fees, production costs and accommodations, an investigation can cost as much as $67,000, Ms. Newkirk said. And investigators who work for the Humane Society and PETA say it is getting tougher to get hired at plants because managers are increasingly suspicious of applicants who don’t fit the profile of the typical slaughterhouse worker, often a Spanish-speaking immigrant.
So, its hard to go undercover to help save the cows, because PETA folk have a hard time passing as meatpacking laborers, because all of the laborers are "often a Spanish-speaking immigrant"? Is there not more than one problem here? I care about humanely raised meat, but I also think that Upton Sinclair was onto something when he showed how Packingtown chews up families and spits them out. I care about cows, but I care about Mexicans, too.