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Samizdata quote of the day

To be fair: I don’t eat food. Food here is so unsafe I decided years ago to subsist only on internet memes.

– Perry Metzger, in response to this breathtaking absurdity.

24 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Clovis Sangrail

    It is pathetic at best, deeply manipulative at worst. The US has very high food standards – they are just slightly different from the UK’s and these tiny differences are seized upon by the anti-American media as further evidence that Americans are mouth-breathing rednecks with guns. I know Which is not the media, but it might as well be.

    Sorry, I know I’m preaching to the choir, but I need to vent.

  • How on earth did we survive World War II, when so much of our food came from the US and practically none from Europe. Hitler’s U-boats tried hard to prevent us getting this food – if only we’d known they were really protecting us from it.

    🙂

    (To paraphrase a common WWII slogan, is your emoji really necessary?)

  • Nullius in Verba

    Ironic that their headline mentions the greatest risk to food since the BSE crisis, isn’t it? I gather the news is just out that the US will soon – soon! – be lifting its ban on UK beef imposed during the BSE crisis. Only 24 years and counting…

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/us-to-lift-ban-on-uk-beef-exports

    Everyone plays this game. It’s not, and never has been, about food safety. It’s about Protectionism and corrupt politics. Industry lobbies government to keep out cheaper competition, but they can’t admit that’s what they’re doing, so they use the environment and safety concerns to get what they want.

  • Agammamon

    Research by Which? shows that 72% of the British public do not want products such as chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-fed beef to be allowed on sale in the UK at all.

    Then don’t buy them. If you don’t buy them then, at worst, they’ll be niche products. Most likely US producers will arrange for sale of beef and chicken that meet UK standards if you won’t buy what we eat.

    The BSE, or mad cow disease, crisis in the 1980s and 1990s was devastating for UK farmers.

    You’ll note that is was not devastating for US farmers – despite our ‘lower food hygiene standards’.

  • Flubber

    chlorine-washed chicken – bad

    chlorine-washed salads – universal

    Clown World 2020

  • Zerren Yeoville

    The kind of people who are clutching their pearls over the prospect of chlorinated chicken finding its way onto the British dining table probably – I’m taking a wild guess here – have a low correlation with the kind of people who buy snacks from the chiller units in petrol stations and convenience stores.

    Which means they are probably unaware of a thing called the ‘Grabit.’

    This delicacy, which accurately describes itself as ‘chicken on a stick’, consists of a wooden stick with processed chicken meat wrapped around it. Haute cuisine it is not.

    The small print on the label indicates that the chicken used in the product originates from Thailand.

    Now, with all due respect to Thailand, does anyone think that their food safety and animal welfare standards are likely to be superior to those of the United States, to the extent that the presence of Thai-origin chicken in the refrigerators of UK stores arouses no controversy while the mere prospect of USA-origin chicken potentially finding a niche next to it causes the heavens to split asunder?

  • bobby b

    Chickens live, work, eat, play, fornicate, sleep, and daydream lying in chicken droppings and rotting organic matter. Factory chickens – living on a steel mesh all their lives – are slightly cleaner.

    After disemboweling and defeathering a chicken, I have always washed it in a very dilute water/bleach solution, unless I’m going to cook it up right away. It’s just common sense.

  • Eric

    Everyone plays this game. It’s not, and never has been, about food safety. It’s about Protectionism and corrupt politics.

    Yep. US farmers certainly do it – for awhile you couldn’t buy strawberries from Mexico because a Mexican farm had produced a batch of strawberries contaminated with Hepatitis decades previous. Might still be in place for all I know.

    Seems like we get recalls for US produce contaminated with e. coli on a regular basis, but that doesn’t generate any calls for banning food from a particular area.

  • Agammamon

    bobby b
    June 15, 2020 at 10:40 pm

    Chickens live, work, eat, play, fornicate, sleep, and daydream lying in chicken droppings and rotting organic matter. Factory chickens – living on a steel mesh all their lives – are slightly cleaner.

    I keep chickens – if they’re doing that then its the owner’s choice. Given room to move around, they do not.

  • bobby b

    Well, Agammamon, mine never have either, but most of the world doesn’t buy or raise them like us. We get the good stuff, they get the factory sludge. Which is what REALLY needs the rinse.

    (Even so, I always did the rinse even on the clean ones. Got a bad meal when I was young, and nearly died, or at least was wishing hard that I would. Never again.)

  • Phil B

    The Japanese too are using the “OUR food is fine but you don’t want any foreign muck” on the subject of importing rice. Since the land area in Japan suitable for agriculture is limited, then rice prices are high.

    However, housewives march in the streets demanding that the Government severely restricts the importation of rice grown elsewhere.

    But as with a lot of things, a steady diet (pun intended) of misinformation will have people voting and demonstrating against their own best interests.

  • APL

    Phil B: “But as with a lot of things, a steady diet (pun intended) of misinformation will have people voting and demonstrating against their own best interests.”

    Just demonstrated with the COVID-19 hysterical farce. The BBC should be shutdown and its employees banished to …. South Sandwich Island or the first Martian colony.

  • Stonyground

    Our chickens have plenty of space but it seems to be a thing with them that they are really not bothered about contact with their own droppings. It doesn’t seem to harm them at all, they seem to be immune to any bugs or diseases that might be lurking there.

  • Eric

    But as with a lot of things, a steady diet (pun intended) of misinformation will have people voting and demonstrating against their own best interests.

    That’s true to a point. You could shut down all Japanese trade with a dozen modern submarines, so you can’t really blame them for seeing food as a strategic resource.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “That’s true to a point. You could shut down all Japanese trade with a dozen modern submarines”

    Or you can also shut it down with some Protectionist laws, and a Protectionist publicity campaign. Same effect. Lots cheaper.

  • Mr Ecks

    Time to use Sky satellites as missile target practice.

  • Stephen Houghton

    I intend to live on the first martian colony so please do not send the BBC there. IT is part of what I want to escape from.

  • Schrodinger's Dog

    As I’ve heard elsewhere, surely chlorine-washed chicken is better than salmonella chicken.

  • Dr Evil

    I have visited the United States over 60 times and indeed had a work visa for years. I ate their excellent food every day for many weeks at a time. Most meals were homely interspersed with damn fancy cuisine. Did this for over a couple of decades. I’m still hale and hearty. Why not let the market decide as in the UK public? If it’s crap we won’t buy it twice. I don’t need nannying.

  • llamas

    bobby b. wrote:

    “Chickens live, work, eat, play, fornicate, sleep, and daydream lying in chicken droppings and rotting organic matter. Factory chickens – living on a steel mesh all their lives – are slightly cleaner.”

    – but are, in many cases, fed their own litter and refuse as part of their ration. And we’re worried that they’re cleansed with a chlorine solution? Heck, to me, that’s a positive.

    I wouldn’t have a chicken around the place if you paid me. They’re called ‘land carp’ for a reason. However, I’m more-than-happy to eat them, and their eggs, when properly cooked.

    To the higher point – this whole issue simply has nothing whatever to do with food safety, or indeed, with food at all. It’s pure protectionism, with a side of public misinformation.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Agammamon

    Dr Evil
    June 16, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    Why not let the market decide as in the UK public?

    Because if you don’t exercise your power – and all power comes down to making people do things they don’t want to do – then you have no power.

    And these people can’t be having that. Power is all they have.

  • Nico

    @Dr. Evil: Huh. If you came here and ate our food… surely you’d be dead by now, just like us Americans.

    @Agammamon:

    Because if you don’t exercise your power – and all power comes down to making people do things they don’t want to do – then you have no power.

    And these people can’t be having that. Power is all they have.

    I nominate that for QotD.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Why not let the market decide as in the UK public?”

    Because the public might make the wrong choice, and buy the cheap foreign competition, instead of the product of our own nation’s farmers!

    Producers are always in favour of excluding the cheaper competition, which kinda makes a short-sighted sense, but consumers often agree with them, electing to support their nation’s producers to their own cost, which doesn’t. Protectionism is popular.

    “If you came here and ate our food… surely you’d be dead by now, just like us Americans.”

    Just like if you Americans came here and ate our British beef, you’d be dead (or mad) just like us Brits have been for the last 20 years.

    The US are wellknown for it, too. And Protectionism is of course the primary raison d’etre for the EU. But every other nation is the same. The UK are currently unusual in actually having a government openly talking about supporting Free Trade as a positive thing, and even though the practice always falls short of the rhetoric, it’s a sign of hope.

    In fact, the fact that the trade press are spending money kicking up this fuss about it now is indicative of their intense worry that the UK government are about to start dropping some of the Protectionist measures and negotiating real Free Trade deals with the likes of America, giving us hope that they might really be serious about it. British chicken farmers clearly think they are, anyway.

    When you start getting flak, you know you’re over the target. Now, if only someone had the wit to take this opportunity to drop a few truth bombs about Free Trade and Protectionism on the public…

  • thefattomato

    which is the media, what it certainly is not is a bunch of actual scientists.
    forget free trade deals, go unilateral free trade.
    @nico for agammamon QOTD, seconded.

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