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Ask The Profussor – Didn’t We Just Do this?

February 8, 2010

Yes, we did.

But there are two things that have happened since then.

  1. You all have been asking a lot of good questions that I haven’t had time to answer.
  2. I was at a Super Bowl party last night, drinking lots of beer and eating lots of take-out wings and delivery pizza.

I am not feeling my best, and it is as much as I can manage to simply answer the good questions put to me over the past week.  Why do I insist on doing this to myself every year?  I’m getting too old for this nonsense.

Without further ado, onto the questions:

Vivian Krause had an unexpectedly long response to the post about farmed salmon.
[Did you know] Greenpeace [was] Paid $300,000 in a Veiled Alaskan Marketing Campaign Against Farmed Salmon?

In the infamous words of our former Vice President Dick Cheney, “So?”

Seriously, the global salmon farming business is so much larger than the producers in Alaska, it strikes me as funny that they are complaining about deep pockets getting involved in the debate between wild versus farmed fish.

When there is so much you disagree with in every line of an extended comment, there are really two paths to take.

1)    You can address the misleading claims one by one in a separate follow-up post.
2)    You can trust your readers are smart enough to see through it, and ignore it.

Given that Mrs. Fussy refuses to edit “yet another post on salmon” I’m going with option number two.

llcwine mentioned, “Another fish to avoid is Chilean Sea Bass as it’s still way over fished, I just noticed it on the Valentine’s menu over at Chez Mike’s.”

I am all over that one too.  There was a link ready to go that called out Mezza Notte in Guilderland about this deplorable practice.  However, I’m picking my battles.

But for the curious, their menu inclues:
Spigola Cilena – fresh Chilean Seabass, chef’s special preparation of the day – $29

Mr. Sunshine reminds everyone to,Check out seafoodwatch.com for the list of sustainable seafood from Monterey Bay Aquarium, updated monthly.”

I couldn’t agree more, which is why I have included the site on the blog roll under the header of “Important Food Resources.”  You may also be curious to read my post School of Fish where I cross reference a few different sources.

What I do not have a persistent link to is information on the Seafood Watch iPhone app.  I recently downloaded it, and it’s great to have it on hand.  You can find more on it here.  Did I mention it’s free? And awesome?

beck wrote, “Speaking of Lean Cuisine, which is owned by Nestle, and whose food is certainly not the epitome of haute cuisine, uses wild Alaskan salmon in some of their frozen meals. And yet restaurants can’t do it?

Just because a salmon is caught in the wild and is from Alaska doesn’t automatically make it worthy to be served in the finest restaurants.  The ones that do not make the cut end up as canned salmon or in frozen dinners.  The majority of canned salmon on supermarket shelves is wild caught from Alaska.  Does that make it better than fresh farmed filets?  Well, I suppose that depends upon what you care about most.  For me, I’d rather go without salmon entirely than support the current practices of salmon farmers.

Jennifer weighed in on this first.  So I’m using her question.  She asked, “Why the shame on the frozen veggies?

Here is where the shame comes in.  It may be a bit convoluted, but hopefully I can keep it simple.  The mass-produced frozen vegetables that I buy aren’t local.  Obviously.  And if I’m going to be buying something that isn’t local or seasonal (and that is mass-produced), I might as well be buying it fresh.

Although I am relatively confident that the frozen produce we buy is the best of its kind, in terms of taste and texture, that one can get in the area.

phairhead exclaimed,Klondike bars are nothing to be ashamed of!!!

Have you looked at what is inside a Klondike bar recently?  I hate to be a buzz kill, but here you go:

Light Ice Cream: Nonfat Milk, Sugar, Corn Syrup, Milkfat, Whey, Maltodextrin, Propylene Glycol Monoesters, Mono and Diglycerides, Cellulose Gum, Locust Bean Gum, Guar Gum, Locust Bean Gum, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Cellulose Gel, Polysorbate 80, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Vitamin A Palmitate, Annatto (for Color). Chocolate Flavored Coating: Sugar, Coconut Oil, Chocolate Liquor (Processed with Alkali), Milk, Whey, Soybean Oil, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Natural and Artificial Flavors, Soy Lecithin, Salt.

Mr. Sunshine left this question hanging out in the air,And your opinion of Pope’s?

I really liked Pope’s.  It’s tasty greasy pizza.  The grease was great.  But I was properly advised by the good folks on Yelp to ask for my slices well done, or extra crispy, or something like that.

This is critical.  I had two slices.  One was limp, and the other was much better.  It needs the extra time in the oven.

I can’t say that it’s worth the drive, but if it were closer, it would be in heavy rotation.

snickel wondered, “So, you were drunk for the judging of the wing competition?

Heavens, no.  Sadly, out of necessity there was a lot of spitting at the spirits tasting.  And then there was the hour-long hours d’oeuvres reception afterwards.  I had to drive from Saratoga Springs to Albany, and I can assure you I was sober for the drive and the competition.

Which is one of the reasons I was so happy that the distillers from Finger Lakes Distilling and Long Island Spirits sent me home with bottles to further evaluate on my own.  And this time I get to swallow.

At last someone calls me out on my shame. renée remarked, “Frozen pizza!?!?!? are you enjoying the vacuum sealer?

Yes.  Frozen pizza.  I hate it.  But I have kids.  And sometimes you need something faster than the local pizza joint can deliver.  It’s for emergency use only, and often for when I am away.  But I still buy it for the family.  I am the enabler.

The vacuum sealer is great.  But I just don’t use it all that frequently.  It’s one of those tools you could imagine being collectively owned by a neighborhood.  It seems silly to buy one when most of the time it will sit unused and unloved.  Still, it allows me to buy a lot of food and break it down into smaller portions for the freezer.  It’s a luxury and a convenience.

This is really outside the area of my expertise, but I did say I would try and answer all questions.  So Jennifer wrote, “In my relationship I am the more dominant force and my partner is way more sensitive than I. Also more likely to cry. Does that make him less of a man? He doesn’t drink either. But he does own guns. And tools. Lots and lots of tools. Now where does he stand? Where do I?

Yes.  By the ruler I was using of the typical American man, being more likely to cry makes you less of a man.  In his case, from what you have told me, the tools and guns do not compensate for his submissive role in your relationship, ease in showing emotions, and temperance.  I do not have enough information to make a judgment call on you.

I do not believe your husband should not be reduced to a stereotype.  But you made me do it.  Hopefully we can move on, because this topic is more suitable for OTE.

Mr. Sunshine was up in arms about the spelling of the cold leek and potato soup.Probably a typo, but it’s vichysoisse, not vichyssois (a pet peeve).” And then, “Gaa! It’s vichyssoise, not vichysoisse!

For the record, I spelled it “vichyssois” in the post.
Julia Child agrees with Mr. Sunshine (the second time around) spelling it “vichyssoise”

I left off the final “e” on my first attempt.  This is what happens when I try to amend a post after it has been copy edited.  I try to do this as little as possible, for what are now obvious reasons.

But as Mr. Sunshine demonstrated, it is not an easy word to spell.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah M. permalink
    February 8, 2010 3:49 pm

    Soooooo unrelated. But it’s a question. Can one purchase paneer at India Bazaar? Could I get it at the Hford or PChops, and if so, would it be good? I figured you’d know if anybody would.

  2. February 9, 2010 11:20 am

    Hi Daniel,

    I agree the wild vs farmed Salmon debate will continue going round and round.

    I think it is actually laughable that both industries need each other to be sustainable. Wild fisheries need farmed because they are seasonal and any breakdown in the supply chain of Salmon is undesired by supermarket chains. And Salmon farmers need wild Salmon for broodstock. If they actually worked together we could have year round fresh Salmon, that is the desired end goal right?

    As for where the money comes from, everywhere! I can not read a scientific report without questioning the backing on the researchers. I wish the governments of major fisheries could support scientists financially to create unbiased reporting so they are not afraid to skew their data and research to favor their ‘backers’ beliefs … so the shiny PR piece can be released!

  3. Ellen Whitby permalink
    February 9, 2010 10:28 pm

    Re: the over-fishing discussion, there’s a wonderful book called “Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World” by Mark Kurlansky. In addition to offering old world recipes for cod, Kurlansky eloquently traces the history of cod and the cod fishing industry in seas around the world until current day depletion of the cod population. It’s a very interesting read.

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