Guilty Planet

Are You an Eco-Douchebag?

The test is simple: read this sign (recently photographed at my local Vancouver market, which is owned by Whole Foods) then gauge your response…

i-c8ab4e5b821c1d7e057c86d95a22a116-bread_sign.JPG

Comments

  1. #1 Kahomono
    August 31, 2009

    And yet this directly echoes what Kosher consumers expect, and we’re all “respectful” of THAT insanity because it’s based on religion…?

  2. #2 AJew2Far
    August 31, 2009

    In a word, yes.

  3. #3 TwoBees
    August 31, 2009

    But that insanity is religous mumbo-jumbo and admittedly so. The organic advantage is allegedly fact-based and objective. Except when it comes to bread slicers.

  4. #4 Rob
    August 31, 2009

    I’ve been saying for year that the more uptight kind of veganism (and even vegetarianism, if your talking about folks who won’t throw their veggies on a grill that’s had meat cooked on it. “That thar’s CONTAMINATED carbon!”)serves the same purpose as eating Kosher. That is, it’s an effective way to isolate its practitioners from the rest of the population, since they can’t even sit down and eat with nonbelievers.
    The Kosher laws might have had some connection to sanitation originally, but, since the diaspora, the primary purpose has been to help prevent the culture from being assimilated by the larger, and often hostile, culture surrounding it.
    In the case of the eco-douchebags, the isolation helps them avoid interacting with folks who might question their dogma. They also get to feel more pure and saintly the more uptight they are about their ascetic trip.

    The above might just be two ways of saying the same thing, for all I know.

    -Rob

    -Rob

  5. #5 Bob
    August 31, 2009

    In favor.

    Another bit for the culture war and self selection. Besides, there are worse kinds of douchebags than me out there, and I mean you no harm.

  6. #6 Chunk
    August 31, 2009

    Rob- Actually the grilling thing (at least for me) isn’t about the chunks of carbon, it’s about the meat that’s still there – it doesn’t ‘burn up’ that quickly.

    While I think that a few crumbs on the bread slicer might be taking things a bit too far, there’s a similar sign on the coffee grinder at a local Whole Foods, and its logic is understandable given the grinding mechanism involved and high probability of significant ‘contamination’.

  7. #7 Bob
    August 31, 2009

    Isn’t Veganism Eco-craziness a religion itself?

  8. #8 Andy
    August 31, 2009

    it is most likely a legal requirement under the USDA’s organic rules. Vendors are required to prevent ‘contamination’ of organic by non-organic.

  9. #9 george.w
    August 31, 2009

    I broke out in laughter. OK, organic food, yeah I get that, but the residue of perfectly good conventional food on a slicer blade? That’s down to a few parts per squillion of evil. Tinfoil hat territory.

  10. #10 James
    August 31, 2009

    It’s a legal requirement. If organic produce so much as touches conventional produce, it can’t legally be sold as organic anymore.

  11. #11 Jack Reacher
    August 31, 2009

    It’s more about capitalism than anything else. I’m not sure if this is required, or if the Kosher thing is. But even if it is, they’d still put it, because it helps them make sales to people of that persuasion. In America, no one is too big a fanatic to “buy my product.”

  12. #12 Dana
    August 31, 2009

    Kahomono,

    You make an interesting point, but — by singling out one specific religion, especially the religion of a people that have been persecuted, you are being anti-semitic. Many religions have dietary restraints, and if your point had been more general it would have been less offensive. Please watch how you say what you say.

  13. #13 Kyle Armbruster
    August 31, 2009

    Dana:

    You are a nut.

  14. #14 michael
    August 31, 2009

    The sad thing is that the sign probably exists solely becuase some customer made a stink about this issue…

  15. #15 Jill
    August 31, 2009

    Regarding the kosher issue, beyond the laws of humane slaughter that are the crux of what qualifies meat as kosher, there are laws about the handling of kosher meat. Using knives that have come in contact with meat that is *not kosher for use on kosher meat will render the meat not kosher hence the need for a dedicated slicer. The organic/conventional issue, on the other hand, looks like it’s more political than anything else.

  16. #16 Alan
    August 31, 2009

    It’s about supply and demand, freedom of choice, and catering to customers. Whole Foods is a great company. Don’t postdoctoral research fellows have better things to do than engage in name-calling? Something smells fishy…

  17. #17 Jhicks
    August 31, 2009

    Is there any legitimate purpose served by arguing over something so asinine on a comment forum on the internet where any fool can have their say?

  18. #18 Chris
    August 31, 2009

    Andy, Assuming that Vancouver is as in “British Columbia” I doubt the USDA has much juris-my-diction in Canuckia.

    As to Kosher, There’s tens of centuries old religious edicts specifically laying out what constitutes Kosher, and the cross use of cooking implements is specifically called out and given standards. You can disagree with the rules but it’s not precocious and arbitrary, but several thousand years of tradition.

    I doubt there’s some faded, cracked scroll written in Aramaic somewhere talking about the evils of pesticide.

    Dana, Kahomono’s is not anti-semitic in any reasonable definition of the term.

    In trying to make a point about religious dietary restrictions the obvious example is Kosher as it’s the one area that most people reasonably are familiar with.

    I suppose that adding examples like Rastafarian i-Tal and that under Islam only fish which die of suffocation in free air are Halal, that would have been OK even though 90% of the people who read it would have to go search wikipedia to even see what something means?

    Simplicity of an argument does not indicate prejudice and your haste in applying the antisemitic label like a giant red A on someone’s chest is, to my mind, just as troubling.

    Go read about Godwin’s Law and apply it in reverse. Screaming “Bigot” in a crowded theater accomplishes nothing.

    That sign exists because people complained, pure and simple.

    That someone would think that there was any measurable impact on their well being from an electric slicer cross-pollinating seven pesticide molecules is the Homeopathy cargo cult taken to it’s illogical extreme. It makes me sad, really.

  19. #19 Alice
    August 31, 2009

    Since when is douchebag blithely used as a pejorative? Forget about “eco”. How about “anti fem” and you don’t even get it. Yes I know it’s one of the current buzzwords but only if you have a disconnect between brains and being hip.

  20. #20 bev joy
    August 31, 2009

    ummm.. anybody ever hear of dry humor? tongue in cheek? sweet and sardonic sarcasm?

    lighten up, everyone. i read it as a joke… can’t believe any one took it seriously. if the author of the sign WAS serious, than its even funnier! as those wise old sages the beatles said long ago ‘there’s nothing to get on about..”

    p.s. did you know the original ‘strawberry fields’ [as in the next line of the above song] was an orpanage near where the fab four hung out? puts a whole new spin on it, eh? by the way, john paul george and ringo would have found delightful humor in the sign in question. they probably still all do.

  21. #21 Roberto Alsina
    August 31, 2009

    I am always amazed by people who think organic produce is pesticide-free.

    It’s full of “alternative pest control mechanisms”, which guess what? Are pretty poisonous themselves if badly used, just like industrial pesticides.

    Example: http://www.scienceinafrica.co.za/2004/september/organic.htm

    As I always explain to people: Poison ivy and arsenic-laced water are perfectly natural. As is hemlock and snake poison.

  22. #22 Chip
    August 31, 2009

    Chris:
    Just because an idea is old does not mean it automatically has merit. The concept of magical food contamination IS precocious and arbitrary and not scientifically relevant to reality. People practiced spiritual trepanation thousands of years before the kosher rules were laid out. Does that mean we should still drill holes in people’s skulls to let the magic in?

    Organic / inorganic bread contamination is magical thinking, just as kosher, halal, and any other voodoo food superstitions are magical thinking. It’s one thing to have superstitious hangups based on tradition (having it crammed into your head while you’re too young to know better), but to create new ones despite all logic is douchbaggery of the highest order. It should not be encouraged.

  23. #23 DaveX
    August 31, 2009

    I’m no big fan of having my veggies grilled next to a bunch of meat, either. Short-order cooking can be quite sloppy, and there’s more than a few times that this has resulted in meat bits winding up in my food, not to mention burger grease. This isn’t woo– it’s common sense.

    As for the bread slicer, that’s a bit over the top.

  24. #24 Julie Stahlhut
    August 31, 2009

    Actually, I’d like to applaud the folks who put up the sign, and it’s not because I worry about whether my organically produced bread has touched conventionally produced bread. It’s because our right to know what’s in our food has been systematically eroded by food industry lobbyists, and I’d rather have too much information about my food than too little.

  25. #25 Rachel
    August 31, 2009

    This is a whole lot-o-silly. Everyone needs to lighten up and not take everything so seriously.

    I agree with Chip.

  26. #26 Barry Foy
    August 31, 2009

    Dear Customers: Please be advised that the nozzle on our espresso machine is used to steam both soymilk and cow’s milk.

  27. #27 Chris
    August 31, 2009

    Chip, for the record, I was probably not clear. As an atheist I find no “merit” in any religious based food restrictions.

    Your trepanation straw man notwithstanding you and I are arguing the same point in different ways. My point was simply as a counterpoint to the flawed – in my opinion – comparison between the sign and Kosher.

    “My God does not allow me to meat and dairy together” is not even remotely in the same arena as “my self important, misguided need to fit in combines with my utter lack of any rational thought process and thinks that a bread slicer will contaminate me with pesticides”. You can make an informed argument that neither is scientifically “rational”, but the first is rooted in millennia of social and spiritual epistemology whereas the latter is someone piecing together the soundbites of the last fifty years in ways that are convenient.

    And of course, Alice had to point out that this was somehow exploiting women despite the fact the original post was written BY a woman. Amazing. All we need is someone to come up with a white/rye bread angle and call the story racist and we’ll have the hat trick.

    I agree with those of you saying “Chill the hell out.” This is ridiculous. Thanks to the rest of you for reminding me why I don’t comment on blogs, must have let my guard down this morning.

    http://xkcd.com/386/

  28. #28 Ken
    August 31, 2009

    Dawkins’ Corollary to Godwin’s law: Admitting to atheism while debating a non-religious argument automatically makes the debate a draw, as opinions over religion quickly consume the original debate.

  29. #29 Yuri
    August 31, 2009

    I was going to write a long response hitting you on the wrist with a ruler for making fun of people who go by Kosher when that’s a cultuarly sensitive subject like how it is in Islam as well. Touching pork would get a muslim sent to hell but then again as far as Jews are concerned: Get over it. Just because you ignore Part II of “the good book” doesn’t mean its wrong.

  30. #30 Earth friendly, human friendly
    August 31, 2009

    Ok I have to agree with the article, you’re a Douche bag if you want a separate slicer, and a hypocrite. Creating the need for a second slicer makes waste, creates more pollution and production of unnecessary materials.

    Don’t confuse religion ( which is a crutch, but left to each individual to use one as such) with being a whinny ass hippie.

    If you are that ECO- Organic hard corp, you need to go move to a compound where you…type A neoconservative organic munchers can control your world right down to the grain of salt.

    Or quit yer cry’n and slice your own bread which wouldn’t need electricity, so your not wasting power and conserving energy!

    my two cents.

  31. #31 Peregrine
    August 31, 2009

    I think the sign is hysterical. As to vegetarians flipping out about food being cooked on a char-covered grill, that’s health related. (Ok, so there are some vegetarian douchebags who will make a big stink about it because MEAT IS MURRRRDUUUUR, but I speak for the sane amongst us.) After not eating meat for awhile, the human body loses the enzymes needed to break it, and meat-borne bacteria, down. Introduction of meat pollution into our bodies results in severe gastrointestinal distress for up to a week. Think food poisoning – because that’s basically what it is. So yeah, as a vegetarian, I won’t let my food be on the same grill as someone’s hamburger – but a nice sheet of tinfoil solves MY problems, as I can cook my veggies on that and not have to worry.

  32. #32 Nomen Nescio
    August 31, 2009

    “My God does not allow me to meat and dairy together” is not even remotely in the same arena as “my self important, misguided need to fit in combines with my utter lack of any rational thought process and thinks that a bread slicer will contaminate me with pesticides”.

    why on earth would those two need play in different arenas? they look entirely commensurable to this atheist. after all, what else is a god?

  33. #33 ABM
    August 31, 2009

    Oh my god! I for one would never eat good wholesome organic bread that had been tainted by the toxin-laced crumbs of corporate factory-farming GMO bread. You won’t catch me buying food for my family at that market any time soon.

    Anyway, I’m glad I’m not an Eco-douchebag, whatever that is.

  34. #34 Glendon Mellow
    August 31, 2009

    How do we know the bread slicer is electric? That doesn’t seem very green.

    Perhaps it’s the person slicing the bread referred to as the “Bread Slicer” on the sign. After all, in my house I’m the dishwasher.

  35. #35 Tim
    August 31, 2009

    I think an important point has been missed here – many consumers of organic foods avoid non-organic on a commercial basis. Purchasing foods which are not only organic themselves, but processed away from any non-organic foods, may encourage a retailer to consider stocking only organic items. I don’t think there would be a real fear of consuming pesticides, GMO or any other non-organic fear-products, but instead a firm belief that the consumption of non-organic products is incompatible with their pro-organic point of view. A similar point can exist re: vegans and a BBQ used for meat (although in this case the vegetables often end up being meat-flavoured, highly undesirable to most vegans).

  36. #36 James Sweet
    August 31, 2009

    Regarding Dana’s nutbag comment, is any person making an analogy to religious dietary restrictions required to list all of the dietary restrictions in all of the bullshit religions in the entire world, lest they be accused of prejudice against one that is excluded? That’s retarded.

    We’ve reached a point where people are being called anti-Semitic for accurately describing a point of Kosher law. WTF. Cultural relativism needs to end now.

  37. #37 tbell
    August 31, 2009

    my reaction: i’m registering a massive failure to give a shit.
    I don’t care about the real or imagined cross-contamination, but it doesn’t bother me if there are people around who do. Why should it? There are no protestors outside the door of the place, picketing and harassing customers who use the unholy organo-tainted slicer right?

  38. #38 ildi
    August 31, 2009

    I don’t see this as the same as worrying about grills contaminated w/ meat, because vegans tend to be vegans for philosophical rather than health reasons, whereas eating organic is a health issue (exceptions noted). This reflects a basic misunderstanding of risk assessment.

    Reminds me of a study I read about years ago (I have no citation) that found a surprising percentage of people interviewed in a health food store did not wear their seat belts when driving. Moral of the story is that people perceive a higher risk from something they don’t feel they have control over.

    OTOH, even if it is an over-reaction, one can compare shopping in a health food store to going to a religious service; there are certain expectations, and why mock people on their own turf, even if it is silly?

    I live for the day when we are all rational freethinkers (ha!), but as long as it doesn’t impact me in a negative way, I try not to let silly behaviors/belief systems bother me too much (including my own).

    On the third hand, blogs as public venues are good educational opportunities, so while I give you kudos for the picture, I probably would have spent a few pixels ‘splaining why this is an example of eco-douchebaggery.

  39. #39 JN
    August 31, 2009

    As a non-judgmental vegan nihilist, I don’t understand why all you carnivores can’t just stop worrying and learn to love the fact that, yes, meat IS murder.

  40. #40 ildi
    August 31, 2009

    Must buy the t-shirt: “Meat is murder. Tasty, tasty murder.”

    I’m pretty sure I can hear the carrots scream when I pull them out of the ground…especially the baby ones… (yum-o)

  41. #41 DrObvious
    August 31, 2009

    If it’s important enough to put up a sign for your douchebag customers, then just get another damn slicer. Worse than eco-douchebags are the corporate-douchebags, putting up signs telling us how much they care. But don’t actually DO anything about it, that would cost money… print a sign, placate douchebag customers, profit!

  42. #42 ScaryDAve
    August 31, 2009

    I like to be complicated.
    On the one hand everyone has the right to make their own decisions as far as their food goes. If it’s a requirement by law to disclose such as kosher then all the better.

    BTW kosher is not about silly religious superstition. I am not going to break it all down for you since you can easily look it up but it is not about basic religious mumbo jumbo. It is mostly about being compassionate to the animals you consume. You separate meat from dairy because pagans used to boil calves in their mothers milk. It goes on from there.

    Now, as much as I am fine with others living by the rules which make them feel good about themselves, I think it’s perfectly fine to tell people who try to tell ME what to do to go take a flyin leap. I also think it’s perfectly fine that if someone comes up and pours paint on your leather or fur clothing, to mercilessly beat the everlovin stuffins out of them until the bleed enough to match the paint they dump on you.

    People who just wanna yap all day bout what I should or should not do, who cares? I just ignore them. As long as people allow me to ignore them I am fine. Once then try to stop me from ignoring them then it gets a little ugly.

    I think the best way to deal with that sign is to print up another one which is very much like it, secretly stick it to the face of that one when no one is looking and see how long it stays there saying, “The cook was just treated rudely by another vegan and got caught whipeing his ass all over the bread slicer again.”

    Why get angry when you can simply have fun at your protagonists exspence instead?

  43. #43 JN
    August 31, 2009

    @ ildi: exactly. I’m not vegan because I love animals, but because I hate plants.

    @ everyone: We could settle all this with a nice, shiny eco-douchebag slicer.

  44. #44 ildi
    August 31, 2009

    BTW kosher is not about silly religious superstition. I am not going to break it all down for you since you can easily look it up but it is not about basic religious mumbo jumbo. It is mostly about being compassionate to the animals you consume. You separate meat from dairy because pagans used to boil calves in their mothers milk. It goes on from there.

    I hate to disillusion you, but your example IS one of silly religious superstition, not of any “compassion to animals”. Are you seriously arguing that the cows knew their calves were being boiled in their own milk? WTF? According to your next statement, it was a way to distinguish themselves from the pagans. Sounds like a religious reason to me!

    Feel free to practice any dietary restrictions for any reasons, but at least be honest about the reasons for them.

  45. #45 Binx
    August 31, 2009

    I love this bumper sticker: “If we’re not supposed to eat animals, why are they made out of meat?”

  46. #46 WTF-ever
    August 31, 2009

    Okay, Alice… “Since when is douchebag blithely used as a pejorative? Forget about “eco”. How about “anti fem” and you don’t even get it. Yes I know it’s one of the current buzzwords but only if you have a disconnect between brains and being hip.”
    Posted by: Alice | August 31, 2009 10:08 AM

    How the effing-hell is the use of douchebag as a pejorative anti-fem? That might be an acceptable argument, if douching were actually a positive thing. Rather, it was created by men who disliked their wives’ odors and didn’t understand that flushing water and vinegar into a vagina can actually cause deep infections. Actual douchebags are anti-fem. Using the term to describe morons who think they should control the world is point-on.

  47. #47 Prometheus
    August 31, 2009

    AAAAAARGH!

    My bread has been morally contaminated!

    I have been eating sandwiches of sin.

    The way we think about radiation is the same model proposed for holy “relics” that acquired magic power through proximity to saints and now that same model is now being applied to unethical food contaminating ethical food. Gee, we sure are dumb.

  48. #48 Interrobang
    August 31, 2009

    Dear Customers: Please be advised that the nozzle on our espresso machine is used to steam both soymilk and cow’s milk.

    You know, speaking as someone who’s very very allergic to cow’s milk, I’d actually appreciate such a sign, because then I’d be sure not to get my soy latte steamed. I’m not quite in the Sabrina Shannon category, but that might only be a matter of time.

    On the other hand, I’m not sure that organic/non-organic issue has anything whatsoever to do with what you might call “compulsory preferences.”

  49. #49 Michael Teply
    August 31, 2009

    I don’t don’t know how this issue got into jewish kosher. But I use to work in a kosher slaughter plant in Omaha Ne. and I worked in the blood pit. The shackler would shackle the cattle with a chain on the hind leg of the steer. He would pull a rope and the steer would be drown up into the air with all it’s weight on the one leg[very painful] while waiting for the rabi to cut it’s throat. Somrtimes the steer would hang there for 15 minutes. What a nutty thing to do for religious purposes.

  50. #50 Sarah
    August 31, 2009

    Re: Sign

    Who cares?

  51. #51 Kevin Carson
    August 31, 2009

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if those who blame it on regulatory requirements are correct. That’s one reason I prefer to buy stuff that’s clearly organic (wink, nudge) without actually meeting the legal requirements for “organic” certification. The “no spray” almonds at my natural foods co-op are about two thirds the price of the certified organic. Certification is just another example of a regulatory cartel, creating market entry barriers and imposing artificial capitalization and overhead costs that effectively criminalize small batch production.

    Such imposition of mandatory minimum overhead is a central function of most zoning and “safety” regulation. Low-overhead microenterprises in the informal and household economy, engaged in small batch production with the “spare cycles” of ordinary capital goods most people already own, are shaping up to be the rats in the dinosaurs’ nests–all set to eat the corporate dinosaurs alive. Imposing artificial levels of overhead on them is a way of making them function with a ball and chain on their leg.

  52. #52 Alan Clifford
    August 31, 2009

    I had to chuckle when I saw this. Surely, you should be slicing your own bread with a hand powered bread knife. Having your bread sliced for you, powered by hydrocarbons no doubt, is just so riduculous. What world do you people live in?


    Alan Clifford

  53. #53 isiah
    August 31, 2009

    Would like to remind all here that this is really not a big deal. I have always tried to have a laid back attitude about this type of thing. If someone out there wants it well more power to them.

    Me personally? I LIKE MEAT!

  54. #54 Ummmm...
    August 31, 2009

    I’m disturbed by the comments here which clearly indicate that there are meat BBQ chefs who are amazingly sloppy with their grills. Your vegetables will “taste like meat” if cooked on a “char covered grill”? People, you need a better class of friends! I, a meat eater, would never serve my guests fish that tastes like beef simply because I am too lazy to clean my grill. These sloppy BBQ owners need to take a little pride and responsibility in their craft. If the coals are properly heated and you are not using cast iron grills then you’ll end up fouling up the taste of your MEATS, let alone whatever bean-patty you’re having to toast.

    High heat, a wire brush and cast iron grills will get you a non-stick, contamination free grill that hang-up free food lover would be absolutely safe eating from.

  55. #55 Tercel
    August 31, 2009

    I’m neither kosher nor vegetarian of any kind, but I don’t think the comparison between the two is accurate in this context.

    Whether or not you believe there is merit or logic to eating kosher (I don’t, but it doesn’t bother me much either), the dietary rules are all about what you can or cannot ingest. In that case, if you believe that it is wrong to ingest non-kosher food, then contaminated food would indeed be a problem. Therefore, if a restaurant wanted to cater to kosher customers (and note I’m not saying that this should be required) then they must keep the kosher things separate.

    On the other hand, a preference for organic food is primarily a statement about farming practices. In other words, by eating organic, you are refusing to support the conventional farming industry, or “voting with your dollars.” This goal is achieved simply by paying for the organic food instead of the regular food, and is in no way diminished by a few crumbs of regular food from the bread slicer.

    Of course, in my experience, kosher Jews are far more reasonable and pragmatic about their traditions than are the organic food zealots.

  56. #56 Azkyroth
    August 31, 2009

    But was the bread slicer constructed from free-range iron?

    You want douchebaggery, apparently there was a serious debate in some quarters of the vegan movement about whether oral sex violated Vegan tenets due to the ingestion of substances of animal origin. Seriously.

    I like the idea of going around telling the sort of people who’d get upset about this that even “organic” vegetables contain adenosine triphosphate and a few other scary-CHEMICAL-sounding biological molecules. I’ll refrain from telling them that a glass of dihydrogen sulfate is a very effective weight loss tool, though.

  57. #57 Siamang
    August 31, 2009

    I for one am glad that my delicious, bleached factory-farmed genetically-modified, refined-flour white bread won’t be tainted by, wheatless, gluten-free, whole meal, organic, free-range, gathered not scattered, vegan, raw-food, organic fruit-juice sweetened hippy bread-like vegetable-matter “loaf”.

    I can’t stand that crap.

    Pass the bacon.

  58. #58 Siamang
    August 31, 2009

    Sorry, my phrase “pass the bacon” was not meant to be derogatory to any religious or cultural group.

    Also, it’s not meant to be anti-feminist.

    Also, also:

    Sarah wrote:
    “Re: Sign
    Who cares?”

    To: you.

    Re: your post.
    Why post, if you don’t care?
    Love:
    The rest of the people on the internet.

  59. #59 Joshua Zelinsky
    August 31, 2009

    Kahomono, The comparison to kashrut(which is the proper noun for the system of rules. Kosher an adjective describing foods which adhere to those rules) is an interesting one. I think the obvious answer is that you are free to mock any dietary restriction one wants to. The distinction presumably between what is going on in the kashrut situation and this one is that if one accepts the premises of the system then the restrictions make sense. But if one accepts the premises that lead to organic food one doesn’t get the same results. It just doesn’t make sense.

    That said, I know multiple vegetarians who grew up keeping kosher and have more or less transferred a lot of their old attitudes about kashrut to how they act as vegetarians. In all these people, it seems like they are more than willing to state that this a completely irrational artifact of the sort of dietary system they are used to dealing with. That is, there is almost an ingrained habit of foods one avoids eating contaminating utensils in some fashion.

    ScaryDAve, the claim that kashrut has some substantial element to do with how the animals are treated is simply not accurate. While that is a minimally plausible argument for the prohibition on milk and meat being mixed together it doesn’t address the myriad other rules, such as land mammals to be split-hooved ruminants or the requirement that sea creatures have fins and scales. Some modern kashrut supervision agencies have tried to add supervision of how the animals are treated, but that’s a very modern innovation.

  60. #60 princeminski
    August 31, 2009

    I WAS going to say that I love the title, till I found out I was anti-fem for doing so. Not to mention anti-Semitic and anti-Our Furry Pals for laughing. It’s this kind of reflexive whimpering that makes jokes like “I’m a vegan because I hate plants” and “If we’re not supposed to eat animals, why are they made out of meat?” so hilarious. Kudos, at any rate, to Dr. Jacquet for her scrumptious title.

  61. #61 Alexandra Highcrest
    August 31, 2009

    So the sign said, “Long-haired freaky broads can’t slice their bread.”

    So I tucked up my hair under my hat and told them I was dead.

    And the baker said, “That’s OK cuz no one cares what the dead do.”

    So I took off my hat, fluffed up my hair, and said, “Hmm…fuck you.”

  62. #62 Josh in California
    August 31, 2009

    And yet this directly echoes what Kosher consumers expect, and we’re all “respectful” of THAT insanity because it’s based on religion…?

    Who says we all respect magical diet restrictions? =P

  63. #63 Adrian Gardner
    August 31, 2009

    Did anyone here happen to watch “Penn & Teller: BULLSHIT, Season 7, Episode 6: Organic Foods? I really enjoyed it. The material is relevant to this post. Great stuff!

  64. #64 dudeForReal
    August 31, 2009

    This is not kosher vs. non-kosher, its organic vs. hormone-fed, pesticide-covered ingredients. Why the anti-semitism? Jews break break with everyone, organic and non-organic.

  65. #65 Nomen Nescio
    August 31, 2009

    Why the anti-semitism?

    what anti-semitism? some folks here — i among them — have been mocking irrationality, of which the kashrut rules are an example, but that’s a far cry from denigrating or hating jewish people.

    humans are more than any given set of rules they may choose to follow. yes, even if they’re people who choose to eat only “organic” foods, or vegan foods, or kosher foods. all three are arguably (certainly usually) irrational and silly rules to choose to follow, and the silliness of the rulesets does invite mockery. that doesn’t mean we need or want to make life harder for the people who choose to follow them.

  66. #66 SBT
    August 31, 2009

    See? White people just have too much time to get weird.

  67. #67 Hank Roberts=
    September 1, 2009

    > organic and conventional items

    You forgot to read the back side, where it goes on:

    We use it for salami; we use it to open our mail; we use it to trim our fingernails and hair; and … well, that’s all the conventional items we use it for.

    We sometimes use it for unconventional items as well.

    Do you want to know this?

    We apologize if we are oversharing here.

  68. #68 butch
    September 1, 2009

    Hitler was a vegetarian

  69. #69 Colin
    September 1, 2009

    Sounds like most of the douchebaggery is occuring on this site.

  70. #70 rita
    September 1, 2009

    Aren’t you all glad we live in a society where:
    A: we have never been hungry
    B: have multiple choice when it comes to food
    C: can debate on philosophical, religious, political and social levels about food and food preparation
    D: can feel superior if we don’t eat meat or dairy

    North Americans TALK a great deal about food but not like the French do!!!! North Americans have the highest amount of FOOD-related social and health issues.

    And we fill pages about a bread slicer.

  71. #71 Joshua Zelinsky
    September 1, 2009

    The anti-Semitism claim is simply stupid: There’s one obvious reason that everyone here has focused on kashrut as an analogous system: Kashrut is a very common system with many people understanding the basic outline. Even if there were other systems that were as common, focusing on the one isn’t anti-Semitism. The accusation is idiotic.

  72. #72 Conor
    September 1, 2009

    Please tell me that was at the Whole Foods-owned store on 4th near Vine, because if not, I just saw another one of those signs . . .

  73. #73 Lisa
    September 2, 2009

    Nice Wal-Mart ad.

  74. #74 CLiF
    September 2, 2009

    My Grannie used to say, “Oppinions are like a**holes; everybody’s got one and they all stink”!

  75. #75 The Doctor
    September 3, 2009

    This has been going on for a while: http://drwho.virtadpt.net/pictures/hardcore_about_organic.jpg

    That picture was taken in 2006 in Washington, DC.

  76. #76 Kevin
    September 4, 2009

    – What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him unclean, But what comes out of his mouth, that is what defiles him.

  77. #77 jim
    September 4, 2009

    This makes perfect sense to me. I don’t really care about food being organic or not. But if I was someone who was paranoid and obsessed with non-organic food being food full of dangerous pesticides put there just to give me cancer like people talk about it, then I would probably care alot that harmful residues from non-organic wheat flour had tainted the bread slicer. Its for the customer base of whole foods – people who will pay a ridiculous amount more of their money so that the industrial food bogey man doesn’t get them.

  78. #78 bellaAM
    September 9, 2009

    Rita, (#70)

    *Applause* well said! I’d like to propose that your point about N. Americans talking about food, but not like the French do… that’s a stand alone point (if not a whole chapter) unto itself.

    My heart breaks whenever I walk into a ‘discussion’ about food… why do we so rarely exchange actual recipes without getting some moral judgment passed upon us?
    _____________

    (Kosher and Halal ‘rules’ are based on observed sanitation practices that pre-dated refrigeration. Porcine foods are forbidden because of observed associated illnesses: trychnosis and influenza, for example. Shell fish, probably because it lives on muck. That, or it’s Leviticus wot hates shrimp… after that, cross contamination with dairy products in prep, and dietary restrictions become pretty self-evident.
    Why the tradition persists as an identifiably religious one is moot. Furthermore, its observance, being ‘endemic’ habit, is far less ‘in your face’ sanctimonious than most hip, smug, urban fashionista vegans.

  79. #79 Woody Tanaka
    September 10, 2009

    “Kosher and Halal ‘rules’ are based on observed sanitation practices that pre-dated refrigeration. Porcine foods are forbidden because of observed associated illnesses: trychnosis and influenza, for example.”

    Nonsense. One would also observe associated illnesses from permitted food, poorly prepared, such as fowl. Further, people in those same pre-refrigeration times (often in the same locales as those who observed the kosher and halal rules, ate pork. Basically, those rules are religious rules, useful for religious reasons (i.e., for control and separation of adherents to the religion)

  80. #80 becca
    September 14, 2009

    @Berry Fox-
    Actually, that’s quite reasonable as both soy and cow milk are common allergens. Or is:
    “Dear Customers,
    Please be advised that our bread slicer is used for peanut-containing and peanut-free bread.”
    only magical thinking?

    Basically, I think it’s silly to care about the crumbs with cooties. But I think a lot of things are silly. Would all the people who think this is irrational or “magical thinking” be totes cool with their hotdogs having human flesh in them?
    Personally, as a rational semi-vegetarian, I’d *prefer* my hotdogs having human flesh in them to having beef in them, seeing as it’s a valuable source of protein that wouldn’t add much to my carbon footprint (providing society doesn’t get to the point where we kill people or increase the population *in order* to eat them… that would be wrong by compassionate eco-douchebag standards).

  81. #81 jeci
    November 14, 2009

    I lul’ed

  82. #82 A guy
    January 24, 2010

    It’s gross to use the same knife to slice organic and non-organic bread! I don’t want this organic stuff in my food, ewww!!

  83. #83 The Guy
    April 3, 2010

    I’d like to thank the author and all commentors for one long running giggle. You is the silliest peoples :)

  84. #84 iansand
    April 4, 2010

    Perfectly reasonable. I reckon that slicing inorganic bread would blunt the blades.

  85. #85 Grill Savvy
    July 8, 2010

    It is very sad, but reality is that most busy restaurants or grill bars don’t have time nor do they care to use proper equipments for grilling veggies seperately.

    If say the bar has pork or duck BBQ on offer, and then you try to order something like smoked asparagus, nine out of ten time they are cooked on the same charcoal grill grate, with all the burned fatty oils left over from previous cook.

    Unless you are paying the price for Gourmet food, then it might another story.

  86. #86 orjin yüzbakım seti
    February 25, 2011

    KIRIŞIKLIKLAR İÇİN HAREKETE GEÇME ZAMANI!

    Orjin, yaptığı araştırmalar ve deneyler sonucunda kırışıklık önleyici, cildi sıkılaştırıcı ve düzgünleştirici “Orjin Anti-Aging Kremi” geliştirdi.

    • Kırışıklıklar, sarkmalar, cildin zamanla sıkılığını kaybetmesi gibi problemlerde cildi hızla yenileyerek görünümünü düzgünleştirir.
    • Cildi sıkılaştırır ve dolgunlaştırır.
    • Cildin yıpranan tabakasını hızla onararak düzeltmeye başlar.
    • Teninizi ipeksi bir tazeliğe kavuşturur.
    • İçerisindeki hücre yenileyiciler sayesin-de yüz ve göz çevresi sorunlarına karşı etkilidir.

  87. #87 orjin yüzbakım seti
    February 25, 2011

    CİLDİNİZİN BEKÇİSİ ORJİN SİVİLCE KREMİ İLE PÜRÜZSÜZ BİR CİLDE KAVUŞUN!

    • Bitki özlerinden oluşturulan Orjin Sivilce Kremi sivilce, siyah nokta gibi cilt problemlerini
    mükemmel bir şekilde iyileştirir. Sivilce ve siyah noktaların yeniden oluşmasının önüne geçer.
    • Sivilceleri etkin bir şekilde azaltır ve aşırı yağ üretimini engeller.
    • Cildi, sivilceyi oluşturan zararlı bakterilerden temizler.
    • Cildi derinlemesine etkileyerek berraklaştırır ve billur gibi bir cilde sahip olmanızı sağlar.
    • Cilt yüzeyindeki zararlı bakterileri derinlemesine temizleyerek cildi arındırır.

  88. #88 Michelle
    March 28, 2011

    As a fellow vancouverite from ground zero veganville kitsilano I would say that the veganism craze here borders on fantacism.

  89. #89 KitKat
    May 31, 2011

    Slice your own friggin’ bread and quit whining.

  90. I don’t care about the real or imagined cross-contamination, but it doesn’t bother me if there are people around who do. Why should it? There are no protestors outside the door of the place, picketing and harassing customers who use the unholy organo-tainted sli..

  91. #91 CAPSİPLEX TÜRKİYE
    June 17, 2011

    bar has pork or duck BBQ on offer, and then you try to order something like smoked asparagus, nine out of ten time they are cooked on the same charcoal grill grate, with all the burned fatty oils left over from previous cook.

    Unless you are paying the price for Gourmet food, then it might a

  92. #92 RED PEPPER
    June 17, 2011

    example.”

    Nonsense. One would also observe associated illnesses from permitted food, poorly prepared, such as fowl. Further, people in those same pre-refrigeration times (often in the same locales as those who observed the kosher and halal rules, ate pork. Basically, those rules are religious r

  93. #93 V-PILLS
    June 17, 2011

    Nonsense. One would also observe associated illnesses from permitted food, poorly prepared, such as fowl. Further, people in those same pre-refrigeration times (often in the same locales as those who observed the kosher and halal rules, ate pork. Basically, those rules are religious rules, useful for religious reasons (i.e., for control and separation of adher

  94. #94 body slim
    September 9, 2011

    Its for the customer base of whole foods – people who will pay a ridiculous amount more of their money so that the industrial food bogey man doesn’t get them.

  95. #95 Balderesi
    December 2, 2011

    You make an interesting point, but — by singling out one specific religion, especially the religion of a people that have been persecuted, you are being anti-semitic. Many religions have dietary restraints, and if your point had been more general it would have been less offensive. Please watch how you say what you say.

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