I've now received my 5th e-mail asking if I've heard about the lawsuit filed a while back against Robert's American Gourmet Foods, who happens to make my absolute most favorite snack food ever, "Pirate's Booty." This comes as a bit of a surprise, because I thought that only two people were reading this blog, let alone caring about my Booty obsession. I can only guess that I'm a Google hit or something for Pirate's Booty searches (well, if there was anything I'd ever want to be noted for, that would be near the top of the list, so it's all good!).
Anyway, you can head over to the "Stupid Lawsuits" section of the Power of Attorneys site and read about it for yourself, but the gist is basically this: Good Housekeeping did some tests and found out that the claimed calorie count of 120 was actually 147, and the 2.5 grams of fat was more like 8.5 grams. A woman read this, and decided she was going to sue for FIFTY FREAKIN' MILLION DOLLARS because of "distress over weight gain, mental anguish, outrage, and indignation." Now, Robert's claims that this was a mistake, that they changed their formula and somehow forgot to re-label the packaging, which could very well be true.
But even if Robert's was intentionally skewing the Nutrition Facts (which makes no sense at all)... FIFTY FREAKIN' MILLION DOLLARS??? How much Booty was this woman eating that an additional 6 grams of fat per serving was causing enough weight gain and mental anguish that FIFTY FREAKIN' MILLION DOLLARS seemed like a fair settlement? Such a stupid-ass lawsuit has caused me at least $100 million dollars in "outrage," so where do I sign up to sue whatever lawyer thought that this was a worthwhile case to eat up taxpayer's dollars?
The lawsuit was filed to "represent consumers who ruined their diets and had to spend more time in the gym because they ate mislabeled Pirate's Booty." Well, you daft moron, don't do us any favors. Sane people understand that Pirate's Booty is a snack food (but a far more healthful alternative to most of the hydrogenated crap that's out there), not a weight loss tool. If an extra 6 grams of fat is enough to ruin your entire diet and spend extra time in the gym, then you obviously have far more problems that FIFTY FREAKIN' MILLION DOLLARS could ever solve, and should probably visit a few impoverished areas of the world where they don't have enough food to even keep children from going hungry, let alone worry about their weight.
I find it fascinating that there are people in the world who put so much time, effort, and energy into the destruction of the USA when all they really have to do is sit back, relax, and watch the show... we've got idiotic politicians, daft idiots, and piece-of-shit lawyers working overtime to make sure we destroy ourselves. What an ungrateful, petty, embarrassment of a nation we are that FIFTY FREAKIN' MILLION DOLLARS is considered acceptable restitution for 6 extra grams of fat on some idiots's lazy ass, when we should instead be thankful that we've got food to feed ourselves at all. So happy birthday to the United States, and long live the American Way of greed and frivolous lawsuits!
It's not the added security, long lines, rude people, freaky security agents, lack of seating, take-off delays, or even the noise that pisses me off about airports today... it's eating at the airport that sucks ass! On top of your choice of dining establishments being limited, your choices within those establishments are even further limited. Even if you manage to find a McDonalds, Burger King, or Taco Bell, you're assured of a gravely reduced menu that is extremely vegetarian hostile. And heaven help you if you have to use a crappy independent eatery... they have even fewer choices and far worse food than the shite they serve on actual airplanes! This morning in Milwaukee I stopped at a place that was selling a limited menu for "breakfast." The problem was not that hot dogs were considered a breakfast item whereas pizza wasn't, the actual problem went more like this:
me: Do you have any apples or bananas?
them: I'm sorry, we don't.
me: Oh. Can I get a toasted bagel please?
them: We don't toast bagels.
me: Hmmm... that's unfortunate, can I get it heated?
them: I could throw it in the microwave.
me: (realizing full well that a microwave will destroy a bagel) Okay then, I'll take a nuked bagel with cream cheese please!
them: We're out of cream cheese.
me: (refusing to pay $2.49 for a microwaved bagel without cream cheese, even if I was going to have to pay 49 cents extra for it) Alrighty... can I get a sandwich with cheese and vegetables only then?
them: You can take the meat off, but the sandwiches are pre-made.
me: Well, I guess I'll take a bag of Sun Chips.
them: Is that all? (oh the irony!)
me: Given that I'm a vegetarian, and my only food choices are a rubberized bagel with no cream cheese, a hot dog, or a meat sandwich, I think that's gonna have to be it, thanks.
them: Okay then, you have a good day! (Wisconsin folk are among the nicest people I have ever met, even when telling you that all you're getting for breakfast is a bag of chips).
How sad that you can't even get a piece of fruit for breakfast anymore. With every passing year, the American diet is heading further into the crapper, with the only thing available to eat on the road being foods littered with dead animal flesh, packed with deadly hydrogenated fats, or void of any nutritional value what-so-ever. Is it any wonder that, as a Nation, we're getting fatter and less healthy?
Here I am in lovely Spokane, Washington! Actually, I am not a big fan of the city, because it's hard to get excited about something when you have to drive 3 hours in 106-degree heat to get to it. The thing I am excited about is the opportunity to eat the best damn pizza on the planet at David's Pizza. This is no joke. I have eaten pizza in every major American city (and oh-so-many not so major cities) along with a good chunk of other cities around the world... and none of them compare to the fine fare you can get at David's. Chicago thick-crust pizza? Fantastic, but this is better. New York stuffed pizza? Excellent, but this is better. Authentic Italian pizza in Rome? Amazing, but this is better. If you ever find yourself in the backwaters of Eastern Washington near Spokane, you owe it to yourself to have a slice (or three) of their "Da Vinci" pizza (with Feta cheese, basil pesto, fresh tomato, and mozzarella) at David's. They've been voted "Spokane's Best Pizza" for 6 years in a row, but I find it to be true no matter where I go.
A while back I made note about the best bagels in the world coming from New York, and was just asked which shop there has my favorite. The easy answer is "all of them," because if you have bad bagels in New York City you aren't going to be around for very long! But, if pressed, I can say that the best I've found near to the Hilton Towers (where I usually stay) is Pick-A-Bagel on W. 57th. Of course, no discussion about New York bagels would be complete without mentioning H & H Bagels at 2239 Broadway, which is one of the most famous shops (deservedly so!), and I always eat there at least once when I'm in the city. Outside of New York City, my favorite bagel chain is Einstein Bros., but they don't have any locations in Washington, so I usually bump into them while traveling (I was pleasantly surprised to find an Einstein Bros. at the Detroit airport my last layover). My favorite bagel is sesame, lightly toasted and topped with a smear of cream cheese.
A friend was kind enough to take me to a traditional Buddhist/Vegetarian restaurant in Insa-Dong today (which is kind of a touristy area, thanks to the huge number of souvenirs and traditional Korean antique shops and restaurants). As a vegetarian, my eating options are fairly limited at home, so I was pleasantly surprised at the 16 courses that were served in no less than 25 bowls! As the goodies started to pile up, I was beginning to wonder if I would have a place for my soup bowl and plate...
Garlic, which is a staple of Korean cooking was present (nobody uses garlic like the Koreans!), but my favorite dishes were those with a kind of spicy chile paste, which kind of reminded me of enchilada sauce, but not exactly. I definitely have to see if I can find some of this stuff... perhaps in Seattle... when I get back, as I think it would be an amazing addition to any kind of fried or steamed vegetables (and sticky rice, of course).
It would seem my home state is under siege due to a possible occurrence of mad cow disease in the outskirts of Yakima (a city under two hours away from me). The scary thing about the disease is that if you eat infected nerves or other tissues, you can end up getting the disease yourself, which rots holes in your brain. Not a very nice way to go.
Which brings me yet again to a question I've pondered over the last decade... why in the hell to people continue to eat meat?
Commercial beef is a horrid substance that is filled with steroids and other crap that nobody should be consuming. It is risky food because, in addition to mad cow disease, it can also infect you with salmonella and E. coli... cause heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer... and make you fat. The cattle industry is astoundingly harsh on the environment, raping topsoil to produce feed, polluting waters with toxic cow waste, and consuming energy and resources at an alarming rate. So not only is beef one of the worst, most unhealthy substances you can eat, the industry is also destroying the planet to create it.
The funny thing is that meat is probably one of the most expensive foods in existence. It is only government subsidizing of the beef industry that keeps a Big Mac from costing you $35. Ironically, this means our government is spending huge sums of money to put its citizens at risk by making healthier alternatives to meat products (like soy burgers) be more expensive to purchase when they are far less expensive to produce. What kind of stupid shit is this? Shouldn't it be the other way around? Maybe when more and more people finally wise up and stop eating meat, the money wasted on the meat industry can be put into organic fruit and vegetable production so our country can afford to eat healthy foods again.
PeTA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is an organization I have a love-hate relationship with. On one hand they are tirelessly educating people about the rampant animal abuse that happens behind the scenes of the meat they eat... but, on the other hand, they sometimes do outrageously stupid crap that just makes people tune them out. Their latest endeavor is kinda in-between. It parodies The Matrix by having a cow (Moopheus?) explaining the horrible practice of factory farming.
Good information, but a really silly approach. Are you ready to enter The Meatrix?