"We Don't Shill for Anyone …"
An exchange between Slate and the producers of The Infinite Mind.
Back to the Dickerman article, and food journalist Judith Weinraub came in to defend her colleagues against the charge that they did not deal with money issues carefully enough when writing about cooking:
Reporters writing in food sections are supposed to report, not opine…I do agree that people have to cook--not with haute cuisine culinary skills, but with basic skills that can take advantage of seasonal produce and less expensive proteins. And that can be a problem for people used to relying on the commercial food system. As for actual dollars and cents, that can be (and is) done in general terms. But stories that do that with hard numbers will always risk being wrong, depending on where readers shop, and how often prices change. These are all complicated issues, and of course the press should reflect readers' concerns or just plain what readers want to read about. I share similar concerns about food costs and how to serve readers best, but it's just too easy to damn the so-called food press.
Completing Food and Drink week in the Fray, there was the kosher wine article—we've read le-idiot's post several times and still can't tell if he's serious. The first part is a quote from someone else's wine review, so scroll down to the bit about "penetrated my tooth enamel, regrew my tonsils and finally pulled my small intestines onto the floor of my mouth; lifted my tongue to my palate so it could both escape the relentless flow and prevent projectile vomiting; and the long, long finish that complemented both the texture of the shag rug and cat hair on the sofa...let me tell you -- it just doesn't get any better!" We're thinking that Passover went well in his house. MR … 17.00 p.m. GMT
Friday, April 25, 2008
Earlier this week, Will Saletan covered PETA's latest initiative: a $1 million dollar prize offered to anyone who develops a commercially viable "in vitro chicken-meat product." For the entrepreneur lucky enough to win, phil_white99 already envisions the publicity campaign:
look at the free marketing that this future company already got (and will continue to get) from PETA! Imagine Pamela Anderson chowing down on lab-created chicken breasts on YouTube, while shaking her lab-created human breasts.
p_w99's enthusiasm for the idea put him in the minority. Skeptics mostly ruled the roost, so to speak, in Science Fray, egged on by Daniel Engber's derision of the PETA prize as nothing more than a publicity stunt. Firstearth_wiccan, then quillsinister explain why lab-grown meat will never be comparable to the real thing. sepiaprincess gets queasy over "Frankenmeat," while lotsy00 evokes "Chicken Little," the lab meat product in 1953 sci-fi classic The Space Merchants.
Even assuming the success of such an experiment, "what happens to all those 40 billion pigs, cows, fish and chickens?" asksMara5525? (The answer here from Trebuchet: They will be set into the wild and "make good hunting in a few generations. Hopefully they won't evolve into killer chickens!")
Wouldn't "true vegetarians" be repulsed by the taste of meat anyway, "no matter what form it comes in," wonders cmarinelli? Self-proclaimed "animal rights activist" Chicachew agrees, while veg-partisan infornographer says "the prospect of lab-grown meat has me incredibly excited." Read why.
LeRoy_Was_Here zooms out to the global picture:
Moira Redmond, a former "Fray" editor at Slate, is a freelance writer living in England. You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photograph of Michael Chabon on the Slate home page by Mark Mainz/Getty Images.