Farm To Table


This is a clip from the film Samsara, directed by Ron Fricke (also the director of Baraka and the director of photography for Koyaanisqatsi) packs a real punch, without saying a word. If you are not too squeamish, stick to the end, the last scene is the kicker. This is not comfortable or pleasant viewing. It is dystopian and confronting and robotic. Both tragic and beautiful. And definitely worth a watch.

Don’t let this stop you from watching the entire film though.

Samsara is a Sanskrit word that means “the ever turning wheel of life” and is the point of departure for the filmmakers as they search for the elusive current of interconnection that runs through our lives. Filmed over a period of almost five years and in twenty-five countries, Samsara transports us to sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial sites, and natural wonders. By dispensing with dialogue and descriptive text, Samsara subverts our expectations of a traditional documentary, instead encouraging our own inner interpretations inspired by images and music that infuses the ancient with the modern.

Farmer’s Toast

Before most of us sit down to gluttonously gorge on our Thanksgiving Day feasts, we should take a moment to thankfully reflect on all hard workers who plant, harvest, process, pack, transport, prepare, serve and sell our food.

Farmer’s Toast (Godspeed The Plow)

Come all jolly fellows that love to be mellow,
Attend unto me, and sit easy;
A pint when it’s quiet, come lads let us try it,
For thinking can drive a man crazy.

By plowing and sowing and reaping and mowing,
King Nature affords me a plenty;
I’ve a cellar well-stored, and a plentiful board,
And my garden provides every dainty.

I have lawns, I have bowers, I have fields, I have flowers,
And the lark is my morning alarmer.
So you jolly boys, now, here’s a health to the plow,
Long life and success to the Farmer.

Let the wealthy and great roll in splendour and state,
I envy them not, I declare it.
For I eat my own hams, my own chickens and lambs,
And I shear my own sheep and I wear it.

Were it not for my seeding you’d get but poor feeding,
I’m sure you would all starve without me.
I’m always content when I’ve paid my rent,
And I’m happy when friends are about me.

Draw near to my table, my lads if you’re able,
Let me hear not one word of complaining.
For the jingling of glasses all music surpasses,
And I love to see bottles a-draining.

For here I am king, I can laugh, drink, or sing,
And let no man appear as a stranger.
But show me the ass who refuses a glass,
And I’ll treat him to hay in the manger.

This song was originally published as a broadside in the early 19th century, the verses can be found on plates and mugs produced at the time. Nobody knows who wrote it, but he was probably not a farmer.

An Inventory Of Live Animals Being Sold On Amazon.com

  • Ladybugs – 1,500 per order. Can Devour Up To 50 Aphids A Day. $11.49
  • Crickets – 1,000 per order. One inch long. $25.99
  • Gutloaded Mealworms – 500 per order. Packed full or calcium and other essential nutrients. $9.99
  • Small Dubia Cockroach 100 per order. Can’t fly, climb smooth surfaces, or make any annoying noises. $16.99
  • Littleneck Clams – 100 per order. Don’t have necks. $64.19
  • Trapdoor Snails – 50 per order. Hardy. Trapdoor snails do not attack plants. $103.70
  • Adult Delphastus – 25 per order. Will Stay In The Area After They Are Released. $21.99
  • Oysters 24 per order. Ready to shuck. $39.99
  • Soft Shell Crab – 12 per order. The actual shedding of the shell can take anywhere from one to three hours. $36.00
  • Freshwater Cherry Shrimp – 12 per order. Includes both males and females (mostly females). $26.33
  • New England Lobster – 2 per order. Four to six pounds. $122.24
  • African Dwarf Frogs – 2 per order. Hours of fun. $39.95

  • Fake Sriracha

    How To Tell If Your Sriracha Is Fake

    Over at Eat Drink & Be Merry blogger Dylan James Ho points us out to a bottle of counterfeit Sriracha he found in Little Saigon (Los Angeles). The fake is pretty easy to spot (the blue cap and the unicorn on the front are dead give-a-ways) but it’s obvious it’s produced to deceive the customer. Huy Fong Foods Inc., the original manufacturer of Sriracha, reports that its sauce is often poorly imitated and suggests these four ways to be sure you have the real thing:

    1. That taste is not identical to our product.
    2. Below the green cap of our bottles, there is a protruding plastic ring, which is the same diameter of the green cap. The counterfeit product’s ring is much smaller.
    3. Our product’s batch code consists of two lines printed with a laser etcher, which produces a clear, colorless imprint. The first line states the product/batch code (must start with an H) and the second line states the expiration date. The counterfeit does not have a product/batch code but has an expiration date that may be either be printed in black ink or or hot-stamped resulting in a colorless, blurry imprint.
    4. Finally, our bottle has ‘Huy Fong USA’ embossed on the bottom of our bottle. The counterfeit does not.
    Read More

    The 57 Varieties Of Heinz

    The “57 Varieties” slogan was not developed because their product line included exactly 57 varieties. In fact, there were over 60 products when the slogan was proposed. The number 57 was picked by H.J. Heinz by combining his and his wife’s luck numbers. However, to print his “57 varieties” in his cookbooks (The Heinz Book of Meat Cookery, 1934, H.J. Heinz Company) he needed to combine a few products. The list, as it was printed in their cookbooks, can be found below. Today, the H.J. Heinz company has over 5,700 products.

    apple butter
    apple jelly
    baked beans in tomato sauce without meat
    baked beans with pork and tomato sauce
    baked beans without tomato sauce with Boston-style pork
    baked red kidney beans
    beefsteak sauce
    black raspberry preserves
    blackberry preserves
    cherry preserves
    chili sauce
    chow chow pickles
    cooked macaroni
    cooked spaghetti
    crab-apple jelly
    cream of celery soup
    cream of pea soup
    cream of tomato soup
    currant jelly
    damson plum preserves
    dill pickles
    distilled white vinegar
    evaporated horseradish
    fig pudding
    grape jelly
    green pepper sauce
    homestyle gravy
    India relish
    manzanilla olives
    mayonnaise
    mince meat
    peach preserves
    peanut butter
    plum pudding
    prepared mustard
    preserved sweet gherkins
    preserved sweet mixed pickles
    pure cider vinegar
    pure malt vinegar
    pure olive oil
    queen olives
    quince jelly
    red pepper sauce
    red raspberry preserves
    ripe olives
    salad dressing
    sour midget gherkins
    sour mixed pickles
    sour pickled onions
    sour spiced gherkins
    strawberry preserves
    stuffed olives
    sweet midget gherkins
    sweet mustard pickles
    tarragon vinegar
    tomato ketchup
    worcestershire sauce

    Peak People

    I love this new term I have recently run into: Peak People. It refers to a time when the world’s population reaches a maximum, after which it steadily declines due to reduced birth rates (possibly due to disease or pandemic) or global shortages of energy, food, and water. The phrase is a take on the controversial term peak oil, coined in 1956 by the geologist M. King Hubbert.

    Many would correlate Peak People with Peak Oil and say that both will coincide at a time when the global rate of oil extraction reaches a maximum. The results thereafter would be both energy and population declines which would steadily lead to either a paradise of sustainability or a nightmare of barbarism (hence the controversy).