ron rothman.ron rothman
selectively conformist

Eating Well

I’m planning on attending two food events next month. Leave a comment below if you want to join me or just meet up afterwards for a debriefing.

I’m Cuckoo for Cocoa! (Hold the Puffs)

Update: We went.
See comments below and photos for details.

The first one (chronologically and gastronomically) is the 2006 Chocolate Show. I missed it last year, so I’m doubling my consumption goals for this year.

November 10-12. (We’re thinking of going on the 12th (Sunday). Change of plans: we’re going on Saturday.)

You Are What You Eat… But Do You Know What You’re Eating?

See comments below for details about the conference. (I also snapped a few photos.)

The second one, Food, Ethics and the Environment, is less tasty but more important. I’m not overly concerned with animal ethics; I’m much more worried about the health problems that modern farming techniques create. But the two frequently overlap, since, for example, a happier cow makes healthier beef.

That said, this conference interests me more for its guest list than its topic. Some of my favorite food authors will be there–and I don’t mean the the Ruth Reichl / Peter Mayle kind. I mean the Upton Sinclair kind. Check out this line-up:

Eating WellEating WellEating WellEating Well
  • Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation–the book that started it all for me.
  • Marion Nestle, author of Food Politics, which I’m reading now.
  • And the one I’m most excited about, Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma–the best nonfiction book I’ve read in… ever.
  • The conference is run by Peter Singer (author of Animal Liberation), whose recent book, The Way We Eat, presented some useful information, despite its annoyingly polemic tone.

From the conference’s web site:

Presentations, discussions and panel debate will include:

  • How industrial food production systems affect the environment, including such issues as water pollution, biodiversity and global warming.
  • Comparison of locally grown and organic foods versus large scale industrial food production systems.
  • Concern for the welfare of animals raised for meat, eggs and dairy products.
  • Issues for institutions of scale, (e.g. universities), regarding food choices.

November 16-17.

13 Responses to “Eating Well” [Leave yours »]

  1. Birthday Buddy said:

    Shoot! Our tickets to the Chocolate Show are for Sunday. You’ll have to pre-scout and tell me where all the good booths are. Make sure not to buy out all the good stuff, though- I have dibs on anything with chili powder in it. (Trust me, blog readers.)

  2. Sara said:

    Actually, as official “keeper of the schedule” I can verify that we always planned on joining you on Sunday. Which I suppose means we’ll have to jockey for the finest chili-chocolate nibs. May the best chocoholic win! :)

  3. Ron [author of post] said:

    oops. i’ve fixed the post; we’re indeed going on sunday. i hope we’re not left with dregs! (i mean chocolate dregs, not people dregs.)

    update: just bought our tix! :) don’t even get me started on the ridiculous surcharges that those Ticketmaster bastards tacked onto what was already an expensive ticket. this show had better be GOOD….)

  4. Ron [author of post] said:

    ugh: we’re really going on saturday, not sunday.

  5. Birthday Buddy said:

    OK- so what did you buy? I got a cinnamon milk chocolate bar, one of the above-mentioned spicy chile powder dark chocolate things, chocolate-covered potato chips for my Thanksgiving hosts and- the piece de resistance- spicy peanut butter. Which I am hoping to turn into faux Thai peanut sauce in preparation for our trip.

    We were there today from about 12 to 1:30- it’s 5:30 now and I’m still slightly buzzed! Hope you guys had fun.

  6. Ron [author of post] said:

    OK- so what did you buy?

    not much, actually; we got worn out faster than we expected. (we fought the chocolate, and the chocolate won.) we came home with:

    • one sampler box of chocolate, “Le Chocolat de Planteur,” which contains 20 individual pieces of chocolate (all 75%) from 10 different plantations in Ivory Coast. (want to join us for the tasting?)
    • one t-shirt (bittersweet)
    • one extremely bright hat (which we got for free when we bought the Ivory Coast chocolates.)

    that’s it. our friends also bought the Ivory Coast sampler, plus a box of truffles.

    i think i know the cinnamon chocolate you’re talking about. (if i’m right about which vendor it was, then they also had yummy samples of lavender-infused chocolate and a nice bar with black cherries in it.) i liked it too–but what i liked even more were the sweetriot dark chocolate cinnamon “peaces.” (didn’t buy any, though.)

    so guess who we saw waiting in line with us? Mr. G., the channel 11 weatherman! he was wearing a “CW11” fleece sweatshirt–but i recognized him before i even noticed that. i love Mr. G.; i never thought i’d say this, but seeing him was probably the highlight of the chocolate show.

    now guess who we didn’t see there? Lisa B., who, it turns out, was also there yesterday. (we just found that out today.)

    how long did you guys have to wait in line?

  7. sara said:

    Isn’t it sad when you realize how low your chocolate consumption limit really is? :)

    My favorites were the Tahitian vanilla bean caramels with black lava sea salt from the Cocoa Locoa booth and the green tea ganache from Mary’s. (both decidedly non-chocolate, oddly enough)

  8. Birthday Buddy said:

    We didn’t have to wait in line at all- we paid the same obnoxious Ticketmaster surcharge that you did.

    Sea salt definitely seemed to be the key ingredient in everything- but I didn’t get to try any because all the booths that had it were either mobbed or charging for their wares.

    10 PM and still buzzed. Perhaps it’s time for a juice fast…

  9. Ron [author of post] said:

    hah. we paid the offensive ticketmaster surcharge AND had to wait 35 minutes to get in.

    one day, ticketmaster will be a has-been–a pathetic little shell of its once powerful self. and, when that day comes, i will be on the street, rejoicing. <:-p

  10. Lisa said:

    still can’t believe we were there at the SAME time! anyways – wanted to chime in and share my sole purchase at “the chocolate show” : JEmanual Chocolateir wine truffles. is anyone really surprised?????

    btw – i think i’m STILL “chocolated-out” . . . .

  11. Ron [author of post] said:

    it would have been trippy to run into you there!

    yes, what are the odds? wine truffles for lisa. :-?

    i thought i was chocolated-out, too; but this morning i bit into a rich, dark brownie and realized that i was just fine.

    we’ll miss you on thursday!

  12. Gram said:

    How can anyone be chocolated–out ?? Can NEVER eat enough of the stuff. Now it is the new heart healthy medication !!

  13. Ron [author of post] said:

    just got back from the Food, Ethics and the Environment conference. sadly, i missed last night’s session:

    I. Moving Beyond Fast Food Nation

    Food as an Ethical Issue
    Peter Singer

    The True Cost of Cheapness
    Eric Schlosser

    but i did catch these:

    II. Eating Well and Eating Locally

    Environmental Determinants of Food Choice: The Ethics of Food Marketing
    Marion Nestle

    Ethics, Energetics and Diversity-Enhancing Benefits of Eating Locally
    Gary Nabhan

    III. Concerns for Oceans, Climate and Animal Welfare

    One Fish, Two Fish, Will There Be More Fish?
    Rebecca Goldburg

    Farm Animal Welfare Concerns and Progress in the United States
    Paul Shapiro

    Some Effects of Dietary Choices on the Physical Environment
    Gidon Eshel and Pamela Martin

    IV. The Omnivore’s Choices and the Corporation’s Responsibilities

    The Omnivore’s Dilemma: Ethics and Other Considerations
    Michael Pollan

    ‘Fork to Farm’ Responsibilities: A Perspective from the Golden Arches and Beyond
    Bob Langert, McDonald’s

    perhaps i’ll write up my impressions in a separate entry. in the mean time, if you want to know, just ask.


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