Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Most inventive menu of the day award goes to Junnoon in Palo Alto! Check out those cocktails! I am slightly annoyed, however, at the overall club-feel of the web site. It makes me feel like I am not hip enough to be seen there. Ha...


Of course I don't eat out much, save for my columns and when I go on vacation, but obviously, I love restaurants and am fascinated by the industry itself. I am not sure why everything lately has come into legislation question. See here...

I'm sorry, but... why can't people remain the judge of their own diet? We can choose whether or not to carry a baby to term but can't get the foie gras in Chicago. What is up with that?

If people are stupid enough to eat fried crap everyday and not as an occasional treat, then they deserve to be overweight and have chronic health problems. I am really tired of people blaming others for their own problems. Even the spilled coffee bit was the clutsy lady's own d*mn fault, and not the McD's problem for serving it too hot, because God forbid they would serve it too cold and she would get eColi or some bacterial disease and then presto! another lawsuit. Ah... rant over.

I WILL post about my wine classes sometime this century. Promise.

Just had an email discussion that got me really jazzed about trying some vino this weekend! Then there is that whole press kit that Roy's FedExed me with a sample menu. Hellloooo...MORE SELECTIONS THAN WHAT IS ON THE WEB. I almost fell off the arctrainer as I was reading it a few days ago. Friday will be a good meal, even if the proprietor is now aligned with a major chain restaurant.


ACK said...

The problem of obsity does not just affect the individual...the public often ends up paying for the high medical costs involved. So it is a public health issue. I still don't get why people compare frois gras to abortion. But that is a whole other issue.

As far as the issue of the coffee lawsuit, It was discussed once before on a talk board and this guy summed it up pretty good:

"Claims that we are too litigious are usually a thinly veiled attempt by those profiting from the status quo to keep their profits.

Happy meals? When you eat a big mac you're signing up for 1,000 calories, not for the drug-induced cravings they serve you that make you eat another 4,000 excess calories the next week. McDonalds has been lying about its ingredients and disregarding evidence that its food is incredibly bad for people. They have been adding unnatural, unhealthy ingredients developed by their suppliers to save money and increase consumption. Now it finally comes out that the exotic new ingredients that affect people's metabolism and food regulation mechanism. These chemicals were simply not part of our diet beforehand. They didn't warn us, didn't even tell us, and it's not something a consumer has any way of understanding. These ingredients kill. It's as bad as lacing the food with a drug, like the tobacco companies did.

Spilling hot coffee? The 79-year-old woman was a passenger in a drive through window. The coffee was far hotter than a home coffee machine or Starbucks --- 180 to 190 degrees in fact, nearly boiling. Hotter than all recommended safety standards. Have you ever accidentally poured boiling water on your clothing? It causes third degree burns in 2-7 seconds of contact. When it soaked through her clothes it gave her third-degree burns over 16% of her body, her crotch region, necessitating skin grafts and causing two years of disability. Her physician said it was one of the worst burns he had ever seen. She asked for $20,000 but McDonald's refused to settle. In court she eventually won $500,000. McDonald's knew about the risks for ten years from 700 men, women, and children already burned by their coffee, something it refused to do anything about. Customers did not expect that the coffee was that hot, and McDonald's didn't warn them. There was no reason other than convenience and saving money why it had to be hot.

Both cases are widely misrepresented by pro-big-business politicians and lobby groups in an attempt to shield themselves from liability. All they want to do is make money by killing people.

Those who deride women for standing up for their rights in the workplace, same thing. Law is not perfect but it is better than the alternative, it is fixing a huge social problem. Businesses are just after an easy profit.

Don't be their dupe."

cakegrrl said...

But its junk. Junk makes one obese!!!!!! People cannot understand this? wtf? I really had more faith in the human race.
A cheeseburger and fries is not healthy and OF COURSE it's loaded with calories. DUH!
It's all about choices, that's all I am saying. Don't take away my right to choose if it is already there.
Same goes for abortion, foie gras, cheeseburgers... I wouldn't choose any of those for myself, but I am not the boss of others.
Starbucks and the Chrysler PT Cruiser are much more abnoxious than McDonalds in my book.

cakegrrl said...

Last time I checked, coffee from McDonalds is gonna be um, HOT.
Unless the cashier deliberately splashed the coffee in the woman's face ala wizard of oz wicked witch & water style ... I don't think that amount of litigation was righteous/necessary.
I could have sued the hospitals and doctors over my drug reaction, but its not like he made me sick on purpose...
It was my fault for taking the drug. Oops.

cakegrrl said...

I have ALWAYS burned my tongue/legs/other body parts my clutsy self has spilled or ravenously tried to chow/chug--be it soup or other hot menu items like coffee from somewhere. Until recently a lightbulb went off and now I place icecubes in my heated liquid items if I feel the need to ingest them right away. This tip was provided free of charge. You can thank me later.

Unknown said...

I have to agree on the coffee, it should be hot, but not skin graft hot. I mean, that means she literally had flesh boiled off of her. I would have sued too.

As for NY, screw that, if you order fatty food, you know what you are getting. If you have a question about if something is trans fat or not, ask. I like deep fried, and my foie gras. Let me have it.

Power to you, K!

Unknown said...

Lucky you for Roy's! I hope you enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

Eh. I just read the trans fats article. I'm all for banning them, they are created in labs and were used as a super fat additive to create longetivity in food that would otherwise spoil, or go bad and lose the "good mouth feel". There's perfectly good fried food that is made with normal fats found in nature, both animal and vegetable. Perishable should expire naturally.

Trans fats are NOT found in pate, and NOT in goose liver. Cholesterol and saturated fat, sure. But a normal average goose raised for liver pate does NOT contain trans fatty acids. I cannot vouch for geese in labs.

I don't think it's a diet/choice thing. What they said was not all fat is created equal and if it's harmful, pull it. Sorta like Viox and other crap. The article pointed out that "labeling" is not good enough, because it's not like milk that comes from rSBT treated cattle. That stuff is purportedly harmful and not in any level of consequence. I still won't give it to my daughter. That's my choice.

When something is made with a harmful additive, like when certain red dye was pulled and replaced with innocuous stuff, it's not a "choice; I don't think you are seriously arguing that people should be allowed to eat fake chemical additives that are harmful; you were stating that based solely on calories and information, people should make choices. But surely you recognize that you don't have the choice to go to Mc'D's and have a non trans fatty acid treated burger? The fat and calories have nothing to do with it.

And yeah, there's a lot of food additives that should probably be pulled.

And yeah, they discover new bad things every day and yes indeed, we need someone to pull items that are bad.

Wingnutamy said...

Oh, and the coffee thing? if it's too hot, measured by recognized industry standards and OSHA regulations, then it's too hot. If your crotch is literally boiled off into coffee crisped chunks, which is what happened to that poor woman, you should sue. That is a torte case waiting to happen. If it can burn 79 year old flesh from the bone, it's too hot. When I first heard about the coffee thing, I thought it was dumb. Until I found out she sustained 3rd degree burns all over her ancient hoo hoo that required skin grafts, and McD's hadn't even offered her a free sundae. That's why you have to look into these things a little more intensely.

ACK said...

And don't forget Amy...putting ice cubes in coffee ruins the integrity of your drink. Who would want watered down coffee? If you have to do that...then you better ask McDonalds to make your coffee stronger Kristy. You can thank me for that tip later.

Anonymous said...

Just thought I'd show some support for you here Kirsty.

We're told pretty much every day that McDonalds has dodgy stuff in it. People are still choosing to eat it despite that. If they're unaware of what goes into the food, then that's their fault. There's enough information out there for them to find out.

And I totally would argue that adults who want to eat harmful chemical additives should be allowed to. Believe it or not, some people don't care much about what they put in their bodies so long as they have their burger. They LIKE the flavour and texture the trans-fats impart. They prefer that to something healthy. If they're adults then they should be allowed to control what they eat.

Wingnutamy said...

Dude, that is a completely ridiculous way to support someone's inaccurate view of the world. I firmly believe that Kristy is NOT that stupid as to make a statement that is totally refutable and then stick by it. I know her personally and I just do not consider her that dumb, and I'm sorry that she has friends that do.

Coca cola was made with cocaine. They removed the cocaine, boosted the caffeine, and no one noticed. Benefits: health related.

Certain red dyes made with coal tar caused cancers. They found less harmful red food dyes and you can eat pink food again. Benefits: health related.

Fen-phen, two drugs that caused rapid weight loss, also caused heart valve malfunctions when used together for too long. Removed as a double-up medication. People were VERY upset. Benefits: health related.

Viox/Celebrex, drugs for arthritis that allowed recipients to be pain free for longer. Had heart-deteriorating effects on some patients. Removed. Benefits: health related.

We use unleaded gasoline because aerated lead turned out to be unhealthy for everyone involved. Benefits: health related.

Yes, these were all fought in courts and begrudgingly changed to fit the new legislation and departmental enforcements requirements. The sluggish bureaucracy won out in the end. Possibly too late for many. The fact that we remove BAD things means that someone rushed them through the control and R&D process without fully understanding how they work. The problem I think you don't understand is just how much MONEY is coming from the food processing lobbyist firms and the restaurants. They don't WANT to go back to using volatile fats that become rancid over time when exposed to air. They want to make a cookie and have it last and last. They will pay big money to kill you, Alisha is correct.

When you inject hydrogen into fat, it becomes superfatted. It's a chemical that before the 1960s DID NOT FUCKING EXIST. Scientists often mistakenly assumed that hydrogen was benign because it is in water. It is NOT benign. It does NOT oxidize like regular fats. When you take sunflower oil (linoleic acid) and inject hydrogen under the right conditions, it's like creating an immortal monster fat. Not only is it impossible for the body to process, it DOES NOT DEGRADE IN AIR. It's the fat equivalent of a superplastic.

the magical chemical scientists of the 1960s, the same guys who were creating new abominations every day from petrochemicals, eventually found that using the superhydrogenated fats in baked goods ensured that the FOODS DID NOT BECOME RANCID. Normal fats oxidize. This is a good thing. It means they can be broken down and compartmentalized by cells. I am not going into the krebs cycle here, but suffice it to say that you receive no benefits from trans fats. They only build up in your body.

Before hydrogenated and superhydrogenated fats, people baked with suet, lard and tallow fats and had pretty successful results. The home run pies had tallow (rendered beef fat/palmitic acid or stearic acid) until the 1980s. They were flavorless and held up well at room temperature.

And at least your body can actually process the stearic and palmitic acids (rendered animal fats, i.e. saturated); it doesn't know what to do with the trans fats, they become fatty deposits in arteries and actually cling and hold onto the saturated fats, making cholesterol easier to build up in arteries in the heart due to the imbalances. The science is amazing. But the scientists who are discovering the errors of their predecessors have no power to change the food additives they find harmful.

They can only warn us. And the warnings change all the time.

It takes legislators to make the right changes and they need the right guidance.

When the food creators started putting hydrogenated fats into fast food, bread, canned goods, and sweets, they did NOT give consumers the choice because they assumed they were safe.

Sure, a meal of locally grown produce, grass fed lean beef and raw milk is MUCH healthier than a McDs or any other fast food restaurant could provide. It's also about $10 a person and completely removes that choice from someone on a low income budget. Why should poor people be forced to eat crap?
Why should companies be allowed to feed crap to the world?
Why are you so special that you get to eat healthy foods when you want to eat, but much of the US population cannot afford raw broccoli on a regular basis?

To me, that is elitist nonsense. Everyone should be given the same deal, the same information, and the same level of safety.

If someone wants to eat a big mac full of SATURATED fats, fine by me. Full steam ahead, and I'd call them "dummy". But McDs' should lead the way in removing the unecessary trans fatty acids in their breads, burgers, fries and other goods. It's in their best intrest to do so. The more we know about false foods, the more their additions to "meals" leaves the provider open to litigation.

That is a self regulating feature of the crazy democracy we live in. I have a lot of problems with the way that government runs, I won't get started on that. But when they actually get around to properly regulating foods and additives? It makes me proud to be an American.

As for the ice cube thing, PF does that. I always laugh at him for being so childish. My mother taught me to sip carefully and not be an idiot. But to each their own. I prefer my foods trans fat free and not watered down. Ice cubes or not: a REAL choice.

Wingnutamy said...

Oh, and I was wrong about these fats coming up in the 1960s. I assumed that's when it started happening, because that's when food additive R&D started making loads of money. Turns out, the powers that be started hydrogenating vegetable oils back in the early 1900s. They've had a LONG time to change this food additive, and that speaks to the amount of money going into support of/dependency on the product by the food industry. I heart wikipedia.

cakegrrl said...

I use coffee ice cubes when I am at home....

cakegrrl said...

and I dont get coffee from McDonalds or starbucks, either. *yawn*

cakegrrl said...

and I am on vacay. me so lucky... :) workin home the hotel.
thanks for the support. ros.
So, what about tobacco, what is everyone's stance on that?
Why are we outlawing it EVERYWHERE?
That is something else I don't do, but I don't want to take away the privilege of someone else to do if they so desire. I would hope people would practice common sense and not smoke directly in contact with their kids or other kids. But, those are the same types of people who eat cheeseburgers and spill coffee on themselves. Why are people sooo quick to play the victim?
Now, the old was one case, and OK, I admit that I didnt know the lewd & crewd details, but I was speaking generally about ridiculous lawsuits with fast food companties. There is always someone blaming big fast food for their thighs rubbing together.
I also think there was more than one coffee tipper. I feel bad for the old lady. Can someone post a link to her story? Thanks.

Wingnutamy said...

Here you go Kristy:

And fyi: debridement in a burn case means scrubbing the skin off with a sterile plastic scrubber DAILY, similar to what you scrub pots and pans with. The object is to keep the skin from healing over on the top so that the center/deeper part of the burn heals better. Otherwise the meat of muscle that is burned below the epidermis atrophies, scars, and becomes unusable/inflexible/a virtual crippled pit of scar tissue. If you expose it and let it heal from the inside out, it accepts skin grafts better and heals more a little more flexible. Also, new layers of epidermis can be built by the body. This woman suffered greatly from her coffee. Her ENTIRE CROTCH was cooked off and had to be scrubbed daily to keep it from scabbing over. DAILY.

After all of her pain and suffering, all of her court wins for punitive damages and the like were reduced in total to about 1/10 of a day of coffee sales for Mc Donalds.

And FYI: I found this link by googling "mcdonalds coffee lap."

cakegrrl said...

It's unfortunate she had to experience the pain and suffering. It sounds like something far worse than I have ever gone through (I reference this because I had mentioned sparing my doctors from litigation over my drug reaction).
You sounded at the end of your comment as if the settlement she receieved was not enough (which maybe it isn't). But, what do you see as justice in her case? I am just curious.

Wingnutamy said...

Justice? I suppose it's the victim's decision to call fair or foul, but I wouldn't have been satisfied.

Let's put it this way.

If a 79 year old granfather lost his nut sac to a cup of coffee, that entire company would be out of business. That's a fact.

So no, 640K is not enough, not when she was initially awarded over 3 million. Not when she lost days of her life to this fiasco and was humiliated by everyone calling her a klutz. If it had happened to a man? And he burned his wank off?

McDs' would have been castrated by the public. No one would call the loss of a wiener a clumsiness issue, everyone would have been horrified that the coffee as THAT hot.

Too bad there isn't a class action suit pending with all 700 victims of the coffee burning phenomena. If each of them got 20K for their pain and suffering and humiliating treatment, that would take the wind out of some very humbled sails.

And anyway, it turns out there is a "user error" clause built into the system of business law. You cannot mass market a product and then expect that since only a few people out of millions will hurt themselves, and of those only a few will be disfigured for life, it's totally okay to keep offering the same product without making proper accomodations to lessen the user error if there is any.

cakegrrl said...

You sound pretty livid at McDonald's. Or me or both, not sure. Curious now to know if you have eaten there since the coffee incident.

Anonymous said...

"If a 79 year old granfather lost his nut sac to a cup of coffee, that entire company would be out of business. That's a fact."

That may be a fact, but what do you base this on... I think it's just the general belief that because there is discrimination against women then it extends to every aspect of life...but funding for breast cancer treatment for years been proportionally much higher than funding for prostate cancer, even though tons of dudes die from prostate... and when John W. Bobbit got his unit cut off it was treated like a joke, but if he had done something similar to his wife, I doubt that Jay Lenno would of made jokes about it. So the idea that just because we as a society discriminate against women generally, we therefore treat them more poorly in every instance does not seem to have good evidence to back it up, but it you have some it would be interesting to read

I tend to agree that MacDonald's was at least partly to blame for serving their coffee so hot, but on the transfat issue, would you ban climbing mountains like everest because doing so is lethal a very high % of the time. A lot of these arguments you make are pretty weak, and when they're delivered with the "what an idiot you are" attitude, it makes them even less palatable...


Wingnutamy said...

Dude, you ASKED for a link, I googled and found you one. I feel like that is something you could have done on your own, but what the hey.

You ASKED what I personally thought was justifiable. I said no and gave you a REAL analogy: change the sex of the victim, different scenario entirely thanks to the ability to visualize the suffering.

Cam chose to attack a verifiable fact that women are treated inequally in this country and said that there were no proper studies to back up anything that alluded to that idea. Wow. I am not even going to counter that. I am not dumbing myself down for the truly stupid.

Kristy made statements I found objectionable and I countered them with links, facts, working analogies, and opinions. If all she wanted is validation for faulty reasoning, she should put a header on the blog that says "Anyone who doesn't agree with me should not post here." and I would have happily complied.

I would have left it alone. Except that I actually read the article you linked to and realized that you hadn't. The statements you made were ENTIRELY not reflective of the article, not even a little bit. Either you didn't understand it, or you didn't read it. One of the two.

The article was NOT about a challenge to choice. It was NOT about junky dense poor nutrient calories vs healthful calories. It was NOT about spilled coffee, the ice cube technique, or foie gras. It was definitely NOT about abortion, Mt. Everest, alopecia from drug reactions, or anything else even close. It was about the ubiquitous nature of transfatty acids and the silent alarm that OTHER countries are banning them but the US food industry apparently wants to keep them around unnecessarily. The question on your lips after reading the article should have been WHY????? NOT "Why the hell not?"

You are entitled to your opinions, but I have always thought that opinions should actually have a basis. I wasn't attacking on purpose, I honestly thought I was dutifully informing someone who asked for information.

If you think I have now formed an unflattering opinion of you based on the things you have espoused on your blog and comments, you are correct. And I for one am saddened by that fact.

cakegrrl said...

Why do we have to agree on everything to like/respect each other?

cakegrrl said...

Also: I stopped eating at McDonald's regularly about five years ago. Though, their Monopoly game fires up again today and ohhh man... does that only help fuel my addiction to fast food!! Always in recovery...

I have never ordered coffee there and the last time I bought anything there it was a diet soda or vanilla cone. So, I am not a McD's advocate either. I used to eat there (on average) twice a day (damn, it was yummy and man it was convenient) when I weighed in the 150s and didn't exercise and yes, I was overweight caused by my actions and my choices (not because I didn't know what I was eating).

Anonymous said...


I said that while the US has admitted problems with sexual prejudice, it does not extend to absolutely every facet of life. I gave two examples...

instead of addressing my examples, your characterization of my claims was "Cam chose to attack a verifiable fact that women are treated inequally in this country and said that there were no proper studies to back up anything that alluded to that idea."

well that's not really close to what i said but i guess that in combination with calling me "truly stupid" you think that you nailed that argument. I must say that you do have remarkable powers of insult, but i don't know why you can't stand disagreement without stooping like that.

no hard feelings, at least not from me, and i appreciate the openness of this forum, but i guess speaking your mind in a courteous way just makes some people see red and that's kind of a sad comment

-truly stupid cam

p.s. sorry my blog is down, but i took it down just cause i don't like name-calling, but i guess there's no escaping it any more.

cakegrrl said...

Thank you for posting Cam.
I love discussion. I hate personal attacks based on disagreement. Please post and continue to post whether or not you agree or disagree with something I say. Please do not post to intentionally insult or personally attack someone.
It's not very ladylike to poo on someone else's lawn. :)