Friday, February 22, 2008

Going out to dinner.

Going out to dinner with me may not be for the faint of heart. I believe that last night was the first time I've been out to dinner since I became super-passionate about what I eat. Scott and I were in Denver for a concert (about which I will blog later) and stopped on 16th street for a quick bite to eat. We went to Tokyo Joe's. Tokyo Joe's is a small Colorado-based chain who attempts to be both healthy and respectful toward the environment and the animals they serve. Despite that, the meat options on the menu were not great. Coleman "natural" beef was an option, as were "natural" chicken, conventional pork, and mostly wild fish. Hooray for is tough to screw up. Yes, fish farms screw up the environment, but not on the scale of CAFOs and other industrial meat/poultry producing arrangements. I have little to no respect for "natural" labels on meat - it simply means that the animals were not given growth hormones or routine antibiotics. It tells you nothing about the living conditions of the animals, which are important as much for our health as for their happiness.

We ended up choosing the shrimp spring rolls and a few tuna and salmon sushi rolls, along with some miso soup. Dinner was tasty, but looking back I wish that I had expressed concern/interest about the meat choices to the guys behind the counter. After all, restaurants won't change until they know that consumers demand it. And this was at a restaurant that is, as restaurants go, forward-thinking. Imagine taking me to someplace like Applebee's...a disaster in the making. Yikes.

Along those lines, here is a San Francisco Chronicle article about Michael Pollan and his latest book (In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, which I saw today at Costco for only $13). If you think you might ever go out to a restaurant for a meal with me, you might want to read this article so that you're prepared for the experience. If dinner with me used to be pleasant (and I don't know that it ever was), it may no longer be so.

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