Friday, April 02, 2004


Still more Amandagate: I have heard theories ranging from intentional give-her-enough-rope sabotage by Sam Sifton (both in letting the review go to press in the first place and in the "correction"?), because of fear that she is going to take over the section, to "she did it on purpose to attract attention." The latter seems unfeasibly uncharitable, but then again, how does one explain Mr. Latte? My own feeling is that the "correction" was a panicky/impotent reaction to the disastrous, and possibly insane, review, but that doesn't explain how the review got printed in the first place.

Let me reiterate that much of the opprobrium she is subjected to is unfair, brought on by jealousy or visceral anti-intellectual hatred of "foodie" preciousness. (Also, I have to admit, some bad prose, like the infamous "olfactory amuse-bouche"). I bring this up because I have to say something unkind, which is that the star-fucker quality of her writing about JGV is not dissimilar from Mr. Latte's own loathesome writing about different famous people.

Moving right along, the aforementioned indiscriminate collection of links: The italians too are not interested in GM wheat; Charles Benbrook explains why the US food supply is not the safest in the world:

[T]he U.S. food supply would probably be at the top, in terms of safety, in pesticide residues, natural toxins, mycotoxins and mercury and other environmental toxicants. "But in four other areas, the U.S. food supply would not rank in the top 10 percent of countries, and maybe not even in the top one-third," he said: ... foodborne pathogens of animal origin, animal drug and hormone residues, antibiotic resistant bacteria and transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). Benbrook said he is not sure how the ranking would be for the ninth category -- microbiological contamination -- because it is complex and dynamic. Several countries would score much higher than the U.S. in terms of food safety, including Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Japan, he said.
[article by Keesia Wirt, quoted in ABE #335]; the FAO is alarmed by the state of domestic animal biodiversity [plus, pdf review of recent literature]; flying pigs; Concorde auction; Rob Morse writes about TX oysters as only he can: brilliantly, irritatingly [via eGullet]


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