Sunday, November 19, 2017

Thursday, November 16, 2017

What Happens to All the Food on Food Network Shows (Rant)

Why do they have to make so much food on Food Network shows? Is it necessary to have full entrees in Chopped? What happens to all the food that the judges don't eat? Is it thrown away? Do employees on set eat it? There's talk on Food Network shows about respecting ingredients -- wasting food is obviously not respectful. They do support charities -- No Kid Hungry is mentioned a lot -- but how much food is wasted in all of these shows that put food at the center of contests?

Guys Grocery Games -- all the produce, all the meat, all the dairy -- I once read somewhere that some of the food from the grocery store (a set, I think, not a real grocery store, but I don't know for sure) gets donated. But again, huge plates are made in three rounds -- how much food is thrown out and never used?

I am a devoted Food Network viewer -- I like watching people cook food, I like learning a thing or two from watching the shows, I like getting ideas about what to make -- but I'm getting obsessed with food waste especially when we consider tens of millions of people in poverty in the U.S. alone who have trouble putting food on the table.

Can Food Network do Foodtainment in a way that focuses on food conservation? Or at least is honest about where the food comes from and how much of it gets tossed away in the process of making television? Can less of the shows be about games and contests, please? Or ask contestants to make small plates, damn it.

Tweet of the Day

And Durkheim screams ANOMIE from the grave.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Lunch Break (Radish Endorsement Dream Edition)

If I could endorse one product, it would be radishes. Some people dream of a lucrative sneaker endorsement. Me, I want to spread love the radish way. If you know anyone in the business of advertising radishes, let them know I'm ready, willing, and able to enthusiastically do an endorsement.

Social Capital and Cultural Capital

This week in Introduction to Sociology I'm covering social class. Yesterday in class, I focused on income distribution and class identity. Tomorrow, I'll spend some time covering social capital (networking and social contacts) and cultural capital (knowledge, resources, practices). On the syllabus I have a reading from my friend Peter Kaufman in which he discusses these concepts in the context of succeeding in college. In a related reading that I'll share with my students, Karen Steinheimer talks about the significance of networking. One of my examples of cultural capital will be borrowed from Shamus Khan's Privilege, here where he talks about NASCAR to make the point that knowing a thing or two about NASCAR is not the same thing as actually fitting in at a NASCAR race. Cultural capital isn't only about knowledge, it's also about practice and "interactive capacity":

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Presentation of Soup in Everyday Life

I'm calling this Chicken Sweet Potato Corn Chowder but it's probably not thick enough to constitute a true chowder. I would have been Chopped in the first round. But even though it's not Instagram perfect it's pretty good and I'll improve it next time. The family liked it for dinner. Let's begin with some players in our lineup.

First thing I did was peel and dice the sweet potatoes, toss them in olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and cumin, and then roast them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile I did what I had to do with store bought rotisserie chicken. I seriously just spelled rotisserie right the first time.

Next, I threw diced onions and garlic in my soup pan and let them dance in a little bit of chicken stock. Then I added more chicken stock and threw in frozen corn. Then it was time for the sweet potatoes and chicken to join the party.

You could add hot sauce to taste and stop there if you like. That's a nice soup for ya. But here's where I slowly added evaporated milk and ended up with this:

I didn't use flour or cornstarch to thicken. I think I lost my mind when the Buffalo Bills were getting a beatdown by the New Orleans Saints.

Despite the flaws, it was tasty. I served with some small dinner rolls. I'm already looking forward to the leftover soup/almost chowder for our dinner tomorrow. When I warm it up I'll thicken it and hot sauce it up.