Saint Raphael’s Annual Bazaar

I have to admit, I feel like it’s Christmas for adults. The Saint Raphael’s Annual Parish Bazaar starts tonight (thru Sunday). And that means I get to eat funnel cake and hot sausages and play bingo. My kids will be spending their whole evenings in the bouncy house castles. My wife and I will buy some raffle tickets for contests WE NEVER WIN.

There’s local rock bands, all kinds of junk for sale in the “indoor yard sale”, games of chance, and lots and lots of people getting out of the haus to soak up some of that humid, August-evenings elixer at the carnival.

It’s going to be great.

Chipotle Ad for an App is More Than Just an Ad for an App

I watched this ad from Chipotle the other day and couldn’t get it out of my head. It is such a striking message to come from a mass-production food company, especially one owned by McDonald’s (they are not owned by McDonald’s). I am not sure how to let the competing interests balance in my head, especially since I love going to Chipotle!  It could be, of course, that they are truly paving a new road in balancing the consumer demand for reasonably-priced, high quality convenience foods with a responsible approach to the living animals that are that food and the lands and resources and people that produce them.

I understand that, as our population continues to explode, mass consumption of beef is simply not sustainable.  As a Westerner, I am understandably hesitant about the potential future of an insect buffet instead of pulled pork or marinated beef.  And I hope you understand that I really, really, love burritos.  But canI I avoid Smithfield pork while I conveniently consume?  Can I expect more convenience dining to include tofu or simple black bean substitutes?

McDonald’s Presses Pig Farmers to Stop Using Gestation Stalls

It is too bad that it is “news” when a major animal harvester decides to be an iota more humane in the way it procures its product. Shouldn’t people demand that suppliers already behave in humane ways towards the treatment of the animals we eat? It should only be news if some restaurant fed us food that was horribly treated and processed instead of vice versa. It isn’t about animal welfare, necessarily. It is about our own humanity. Are we not a civilized society? Do we not have the world’s most technologically advanced resources at our disposal? Are we not living in an age of unprecedented knowledge sharing, idea-sourcing, and iterative circle-back thing-a-ma-jig consensus building? It only stands to reason that reason is not a driving force in McRib production. If the McDonald’s corporation was reasonable, it would ethically source its animal products (Wassup Chipotle! see CMG), staking a forward leaning position on the direction of food production and consumption in our nation and, via franchise, the world market. The incentive is there. Consumers are already going “green.” Michelle Obama wants us to eat healthy. The NFL wants us to Fuel up to Play 60. And McDonald’s throws pork offal slurry HFCS-rich BBQ sauce at us? For $2.99? Homer Simpson excepted, people will probably get sick after one McRib and stop eating them until they are reintroduced to the menu 12 or 18 months later. Is the degradation of our pork stock worth the semi-annual indigestion that the McRib causes? McDonald’s should take a cue from the international slow foods movement and others who don’t need movements – farmers, hunters, and smarty-pants researchers: grow and harvest livestock with dignity and respect. Food, like meetings, become nightmares when they are run from a corporate boardroom.