Quote of the Day – 2012-10-18

From Zermoid, in a comment at Sebastian’s blog “Shall Not be Questioned“.

There is something very wrong with America when you can have a serious discussion about “you won’t need to smuggle in a Big Gulp. You can buy one legally.”.

There’s really not much I can add to that.


Kalifornistan strikes again – Achievement unlocked: Science Fail

No, not some new anti-gun law this time. This time, they’ve passed a law that is forcing both Coke and Pepsi to change their recipes to avoid having to put a carcinogen warning label on the cans.

Coca Cola and Pepsi will make a manufacturing process modification for the soft drinks caramel colouring to avoid a California law that would have forced them to label the drinks carcinogenic.

Coke, for one, insists it is not “changing our recipe or formula in any way.”

“The Coca-Cola Company asked its caramel suppliers to make the necessary manufacturing process modification to meet the requirement of the State of California’s Prop 65,” company spokesman Ben Sheidler said in a release. “As a result, no warning is required.”

So, where did this come from?

An American watchdog group accuses the world’s two biggest beverage makers of using unsafe levels of a chemical called 4-MEI they say has been linked to cancer in animals. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ban the colouring agents that contain 4-MEI.

Well, if that’s the case, why hasn’t the FDA banned it? Carcinogens are bad, right?

“A consumer would have to consume well over a thousand cans of soda a day to reach the doses administered in the studies that have shown links to cancer in rodents,” FDA spokesman Doug Karas said in a statement.

Over 1,000 cans a day. If my math is right, that means you would have to drink one can every 86 seconds, for 24 hours straight, to reach the levels in the studies. Fail.

If your hypothesis can only be verified by using an unrealistic premise, then it is wrong. Yes, 4-MEI can in fact be linked to cancer. But the dosages where that link exists are only realistically achievable in either an industrial accident directly involving the undiluted chemical, or in a laboratory setting. The follow-up hypothesis, that since Coke and Pepsi contain 4-MEI they can cause cancer, can easily be falsified with basic math and critical thinking.

Heck, drinking that much that fast could conceivably kill you from hyperglycemia as you outrun your body’s ability to produce insulin and your cells’ ability to take up the sugar. Either way, you’d be dead from obesity induced diabetes long before you have to worry about cancer.

Government stupidity from the nanny state, in its finest form.


[Source: Edmonton Sun article, retrieved 3/9/12]


Mmmmm, venison!

Made this for dinner today, using half a venison loin, sliced thin.

The rice was cooked with lime juice and just a little bit of sugar for flavour. The venison was browned with butter in a skillet with fresh ground black pepper, minced garlic, curry powder, and ground ginger. Then I added half a can of Ro*Tel Milder Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies, about 2-3 tablespoons of lime juice (I eyeballed the amount), and a little beef broth, and let it simmer a bit. Then I added a bit of flour (mixed in with a little more beef broth) and let that thicken the juices just a little bit before serving.

It turned out a little spicier than I thought, but still pretty good. It was an improvisational variant on one of Mom’s recipes. She pounds the venison thin with a meat tenderizer, doesn’t slice it up, and uses plain stewed tomatoes instead of the Ro*Tel. I’ll probably use plain stewed or chopped tomatoes myself the next time I do this. I think that will work out better with the other flavours, especially the venison.


[2012-01-19: Edited to add the lime juice to the skillet, which I originally forgot to mention.]

Good wine for a Good Cause – Jarhead Red

I was browsing through my grocery store the other day when I ran across this in the wine section.

Click to embiggenate

(Sorry about the picture quality. It was taken with my phone’s camera in my kitchen, which has horrible fluorescent lighting.)

It’s called “Jarhead Red“, and in case the logo isn’t discernible in the picture, it’s a gold-leaf embossed image of the Iwo Jima flag raising. The name caught my attention first, then the logo. Then I looked at the back label.

Jarhead Red is a wine on a mission to support the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. True to its name, Jarhead Red boasts a robust character with rich black fruit flavors and a finish that doesn’t quit.

After reading that, I had to buy it. Try a new wine and support the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation at the same time? No hesitation. Into the basket it went.

I had a glass with dinner that night, and again last night. I generally prefer white wines to red, but I can enjoy a good red, too (especially a good merlot, for some reason). True to the description, there’s just a hint of fruit flavour with a very robust finish. I’m not a wine connoisseur, but it compares well to other reds that I like.

You probably can’t tell from the picture, but it’s a very dark red wine, with good clarity, and a maybe a hint of purple or maroon to the colour. The aroma again compares well to the reds that I enjoy, though it is perhaps a little more subtle and understated than most. Overall, I found it enjoyable, and probably would have liked it even more if I had paired it with a dinner that matched it better – something a little peppery or spicy, I think (you know, like it suggests on the label) – instead of the Swedish meatballs or turkey and ham that I had.

But how do they support the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation? The bottle doesn’t say. I had to go to their website’s FAQ page to find out, but what I read makes it even better.

We donate the net proceeds (i.e. what’s left after we recover costs for farming, grapes, winemaking, labor, materials, shipping, and, of course, Federal and State taxes) of all wine sales to USMC-based charities, primarily the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. The net proceeds can vary on where the wine is purchased (typically, the further from the winery, the higher the costs). At a base minimum, we donate $12 per wholesale case sold, and $24 per retail case when purchased directly from the winery. We also encourage our wholesale distributors to participate in supporting our mission.
[Emphasis mine – Jake]

I expected something like “One dollar is donated for every bottle sold,” or something like that. But no, it’s even better. All proceeds from the sale of this wine are donated to USMC-based charities. In other words, they make no personal profit off this wine, it’s made entirely for charity.

Semper fi, indeed. I plan to see if I can also find their white wine, Jarhead Chard. If I can, I will buy some. You should too.

Good wine for a good cause. Spread the word.


Mmmmm, venison – Part II

Well, my experimental dish finished this morning, and I brought some to work for lunch today. Here’s what I started with.


And this, which I forgot to put in the original picture (and almost forgot to add to the pot!).

Stewed tomatoes

The actual “recipe” (which was more of an improvisation than an actual recipe)?

  • 1 lb venison steak, cubed
  • 1 can (14 oz.) low sodium beef broth
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) Hunt’s Stewed Tomatoes
  • About 1/2 cup chopped onion (I used a medium yellow onion)
  • 1 cup rice (I used medium grain white rice)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 can (5 oz.) condensed milk (optional)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. ground mustard
  • 1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic (Christopher Ranch minced garlic in olive oil)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix the broth, stewed tomatoes, condensed milk, water, rice, and ground mustard in the slow cooker. Brown the venison in a skillet and add to the pot, then sauté the onions and add them. Deglaze the skillet and add that to the pot as well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook on “low” for about 6 hours (adjust to fit your slow cooker).

What did I end up with? This.

Yummy! I hope.

Yummy! (I hope.)

Mine cooked for seven hours, which looks to be a little bit too long – there’s a little crust of rice along the side of the pot, and the rice in the dish looks a little overdone. I probably should have gone for six hours instead, but that would have meant either staying up an extra hour last night or getting up an hour early this morning, and since I’ve never done this before I wasn’t really sure how long it would need.

I haven’t actually tasted it yet, but I brought some to work for lunch, so we’ll see how it turned out later.


Update: I couldn’t wait and snuck a bite early. It turned out pretty good!


Mmmmm, venison.

Dad bagged a couple of deer a year or two ago, and my parents were kind enough to give me some of the bits. The bulk of what I got was ground venison (my choice), but I also got a couple of steaks and a couple of tenderloins, too. I had been saving those for when I got a grill so I could do them right, but I still haven’t actually gotten around to buying one yet. I was starting to worry about freezer burn, so last night I took the steaks out of the freezer to thaw, and this is tonight’s dinner.


Unfortunately, I overcooked them a bit (I used the oven, and judged it wrong), but they’re still good eatin’!

I actually got to them just in time – they were starting to show a little freezer burn on one end – so I took the unburned ends for tonight (that’s half of each steak in the picture), and the the other ends have been cut up for an experiment in my slow cooker that I’ll be starting tonight. I’ll take pictures of that, too, and post the results tomorrow.


%d bloggers like this: