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Quick Bites

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Mar 13, 2008 3:00PM


  • The biggest, and most sickening, food-related news this week was yesterday's admission to a congressional panel by Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. President Steve Mendell that "downer cattle" were forcibly slaughtered by his now-defunct company and forced into the American food supply. The result was last month's recall of over 143 million pounds of beef. Mendell was forced to watch undercover videotape of downer cattle, which are too sick to stand on their own and barred from being slaughtered because of their higher risk of infection, being dragged by chains, jabbed by forklifts and shocked as they met their fate. Mendell's admission contradicts earlier written testimony that the downer cattle were headed for euthanization. In a perfect world perjury would be the least of Mendell's concerns right now. The folks at Crooks and Liars have small clips of the video via MSNBC, and it isn't for the faint of heart.

  • Speaking of butchers, we're wrapping up reading Bill Buford's Heat and were glad to find these two new bacon blogs (via Drive Thru) that have so far kept us nearly as engrossed as Buford's account of apprenticing in Tuscany under a Dante-quoting butcher.

  • Phil Vettel at The Stew reports that Jerry Kleiner's Room 21 is sponsoring a "Last Meal on Earth" contest. Beginning, fittingly, on April Fool's Day, diners are encouraged to submit a dream three-course meal (appetizer, entrée and dessert) to this here e-mail addy. The winning entry will receive dinner for two at Room 21, a hotel room for the night, and free limo service. Get rid of the dinner and that's actually a good package. For what it's worth, our dream dinner would be the truffle parmesan fries at Sola, salmon al carbon at Mundial, and the "ballpark" dessert at moto. Discuss.

  • We know that Stefan Nadelman's "Food Fight" short film has been making the rounds for a couple of months now, but it's still fun to watch even now. We wished we'd watched it sooner (Thanks, Laura!).