Food and Politics
Big Brother Recommends
the Garden Salad
Poor neighborhoods typically have few grocery stores where residents can buy fresh fruits and vegetables, and a disproportionate number of fast-food restaurants. Public health problems ensue. The LA City Council tried to legislate its way out of this mess in July, when it passed a moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in low-income neighborhoods. But that didn’t fix the problem of the lack of grocery stores, and even if the areas had been flooded with fresh produce, there’s no sign that people would be buying. “It’s our body, we choose what we put in it,” said one ruffled resident, as reported in a Reuters story on the ban. Largely unexamined: In a city where bacon-wrapped hot dogs are a beloved street food, slowing down the spread of Burger King may not be a comprehensive solution.
The Liquid Edition
No matter what they chose, presidential candidates couldn’t get their drink orders right. Hillary Clinton’s whiskey- and beer-drinking stunt at Bronko’s Restaurant and Lounge in Crown Point, Indiana, was widely publicized and mocked by then-opponent Barack Obama: “Around election time, the candidates can’t do enough for you,” he said. “They’ll promise you anything … and even come around, with TV crews in tow, to throw back a shot and a beer.” The irony of trying to win over the American working class with a shot of Canadian whiskey (Crown Royal) was quickly pointed out across the Web. But Obama was also caught playing blue collar with his boozing in Pennsylvania when he tried the local brew Yuengling: “Trying a Pennsylvania beer, that’s what I’m talking about. Is it expensive though?” he was quoted as saying. “Wanna make sure it’s not some designer beer or something.” Oops, said the Union-Free Employer blog: “Yuengling has been the subject of a Teamsters boycott since the company went non-union last summer.” Bad handlers; no beers for you.
Let Them Eat Moose
Alaskan populism goes hand-in–Polartec glove with killing your own moose and cookin’ it up, something Governor Sarah Palin apparently indulged in on numerous occasions, when she wasn’t pulling rank on her police chief, hiding her pregnancy, or shopping for designer clothes. Say what you will about her, one thing’s for sure: She single-handedly put the edible moose onto America’s radar screen, if not its menus, in 2008.
“Passion Fruit Moussegate” Never Really Resonated
In light of what came later in the presidential campaign—Troopergate, Angry Preachergate, Neiman Marcusgate—the Cindy McCain recipe kerfluffle is a mere footnote. In early April, a John McCain website section called “Cindy’s Recipes” was revealed to be “Cindy’s Recipes Directly Appropriated from the Food Network with Minor Changes.” What does it say about a candidate that his wife’s home cooking is stolen wholesale from the Food Network? Not much, apparently; when people were polled about why they didn’t vote for McCain, passion fruit mousse didn’t come up a lot.