Chew on These Lunchtime Links

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Here are a few lunchtime links to chew on with your meal. And feel free to borrow some of Fido’s floss in case anything gets stuck between your teeth.

  • Last month the eponymous founder and head of the Dr. Bronner line of products was arrested at a protest staged in Washington, DC. His “crime”? Pressing a few hemp seeds. You’re not the only one who thinks that’s stupid.
  • The CDC says foodborne illness is not on the rise. Armed with that evidence, there’s a new food-safety law on the books that a former USDA official (now a professor at Iowa State) says “won’t stop food-borne illnesses.”
  • A story on horse meat includes a number of breathless comments about how terrible it is to dine equine. And this comment: “I hope any monster who eats horse meat dies a slow death.”
  • Why does white bread dominate the market? A book reviewer suggests (convincingly) it’s because of “governmental and business interests that collude.”

So what’s for lunch?

Baylen Linnekin

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22 Responses to “Chew on These Lunchtime Links”

  1. #1 |  John Thacker | 

    Tyler Cowen’s recent book offered a similar story about white bread, but without the New York Times reviewer’s misguided comments that follow.

  2. #2 |  omar | 

    I ate horse. Tasted like shit.

    A week later, I was bed-ridden with Meningitis. Coincidence? Nay, I almost did die a slow death.

  3. #3 |  (B)oscoH, Yogurt Eater | 

    So what’s for lunch?

    Yogurt. Walk with swagger, friends!

  4. #4 |  omar | 

    *Missed opportunity for bad pun.

    Neigh, I almost did die a slow death.

  5. #5 |  Pete | 

    Off topic, but RIP Andy Griffith, who’s long-running television character, Sheriff Andy Taylor, exhibited all of the traits that a community could possibly want in a law enforcement officer … Friendly, honest, humble, non-violent (and didn’t carry a gun), concerned, caring, able to think out-side the box, more concerned with the spirit of the law (and positive outcomes) than the letter of the law. Imagine such a world.

  6. #6 |  Johnny Clamboat | 

    “So what’s for lunch?”

    Not sure but I see a food truck downstairs. Time to go.

  7. #7 |  Danny | 

    Wishing a “slow death” on somebody sounds rather extreme at first blush, but a slow, lingering death is pretty much the norm these days, in large part because of our dietary habits, including eating large quantities of animal fat in meat and dairy. So really, it’s kind of like saying “I hope somebody who drives drunk and speeds at 90 mph dies in a car wreck!” Not very nice, but kind of apt.

  8. #8 |  nobody | 

    @ #7

    Yeah, and death at a young age was pretty much the norm in the old days, thanks in part to their dietary habits.

  9. #9 |  a_random_guy | 

    Horsemeat, yum. They are herbivores like any other. Properly prepared, it’s not much different from beef – and a lot better then venison.

  10. #10 |  Dante | 


    All of life is merely “slow death”.

  11. #11 |  Nancy Lebovitz | 

    The founder of Dr. Bronner soaps is dead. I assume the person who was arrested is a relative.

  12. #12 |  Mattocracy | 

    Such silly double standards when it comes to meat.

  13. #13 |  Sean D Sorrentino | 

    The reason white bread dominates the market is because wheat bread (and basically every other type of alleged bread) tastes like hell.

    Occasionally pumpernickel is pretty nice. Mostly though, non-white bread is crap. If I wanted to chew tree bark, I’d go outside and gnaw a tree.

  14. #14 |  KR | 

    #1 John Thacker : I was interested in the bread article, but once I saw it was a NYT review I felt some trepidation about reading it. Read it anyway, and sure enough, the reviewer’s comments were… well, exactly what you’d expect from a NYT review.

    I really should read Cowen’s book, I’ve heard a lot of good things about it.

    #13 Sean D Sorrentino: De gustibus non est disputandum, I guess.

  15. #15 |  croaker | 

    Do these people realize where most race horses end up? For every entry in the Triple Crown, 1000-1500 end up on a plate or in a can of dog food.

  16. #16 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    White bread doesn’t dominate in many countries, though. It dominates in America precisely because it’s cheap to make. The very corporatism you further enable leads to it being the primary bread offering.

    Moreover, the premise that there are more cases of food poisoning, etc. today is bunk. What’s happened is that mass cases have become NEWS, rather than the deaths waved away as something inevitable in society – the same way “plague” was waved away in the middle ages.

  17. #17 |  NL_ | 

    The bread article is about to go somewhere interesting but then the author (in what is probably supposed to be a flash of insight) ignores the larger lesson. Rather than the storyline being “watch out for nags” because it’s easy to be overconfident and overly certain, we instead get the simpler moral “those busybodies weren’t as smart as we busybodies are today.” Which is totally useless since we all think of ourselves as smart.

  18. #18 |  John Thacker | 


    Leon, the thing is, there’s a story about why white bread. “Corporatism” is a thing, but by itself it doesn’t explain *why* white bread versus wheat bread. Corporations, including when working with government, are perfectly happy to sell something that is expensive to make and charge more for it, particularly when the government can outlaw the cheap versions.

    It’s like answering “the government” or “the market.” It’s a mechanism, but it’s not the story.

  19. #19 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @18 – The market is the medium. When you get a distortion, as you do in America, where poor food FOR the poor is essentially subsidized, always look to Corporatist influence on the government.

    Between that and food stamps, starvation isn’t an issue. Now, this is a good thing and discontinuing them isn’t a smart idea, but the basis for them is most certainly corporatist, corporate welfare.

  20. #20 |  Goober | 

    @ #7 – I read a funny the other day that asked “How can you tell if someone is vegan?”

    The answer?

    “Oh, don’t worry, they’ll f@&#ing tell you. Over and over and over again.”

    I guess my point here is that I actually like eating animal meat, and I’ve never actually met an old vegan. In my experience, vegans are pale, sort of green colored, and do not look all that healthy. I have relatives who ate steak and potatoes their entire lives who lived to their 90’s. And, like I said, I’ve never met a vegan that old.

    I don’t know if you are one or not, but as far as eating animal fats and the like, I think I’ll stick to it and let you have your tofu.

  21. #21 |  Jess | 

    Back when these morons ended horse slaughter, all rational knowledgeable adults (e.g. every single veterinary association) predicted the widespread equine neglect we see today. (See, or drive down any country road.) These do-gooder jackholes are more worried about signaling to each other how much they care than they do about animal welfare.

    Our effective ban on horse slaughter makes even less sense than India’s on cattle slaughter. If you’ve been to India, you know that cattle there are like stray dogs, except bigger, more numerous, and more destructive. At least they have primitive superstition as an excuse.

  22. #22 |  Pricknick | 

    Horse meat.