Tag Archives: Food Activism

Boycott Barilla

Yet again there is another food related foot in mouth incident of bigotry. The food world had just been through the Paula Deen drama.

Now Guido Barilla, of Barilla Pasta has jumped on the anti-gay bandwagon .

You probably have a box of Barilla pasta in your home right now. I did.

Barilla Boycott

Barilla Boycott

From the Independent by Michael Day 

Guido Barilla, whose firm has almost half the Italian pasta market and a quarter of that in the US, told Italy’s La Zanzara radio show last night: “I would never do an advert with a homosexual family…if the gays don’t like it they can go an eat another brand.

“For us the concept of the sacred family remains one of the fundamental values of the company.”

He added: “Everyone has the right to do what they want without disturbing those around them”. But then the pasta magnate upped the ante by attacking gay adoption. “I have no respect for adoption by gay families because this concerns a person who is not able to choose,” he said.

Guido Barilla’s firm has almost half the Italian pasta market and a quarter of that in the US.

When these things come out, I am curious if the anti-gay folks will rally in solidarity and boost the sales of the offending company.

I am not sure Barilla got the memo that politics and business do not mix, especially if you sell a consumer product. Does Barilla really want to loose his gay and gay supporter sales to champion his private believes?

Maybe. He’s rich. What does he care. But his shareholder care, which is why he apologized.

But I don’t buy it. I say let him sit with his believes and own them in the market place.

This is the last box of Barilla pasta I plan to buy.

I’m going to go with my local Michigan Brand Al Dente.

Or why not make your own homemade pasta.

Here is a recipe for Homemade Pasta from openly gay pastry chef David Lebovitz

Homemade Pasta

Homemade Pasta from http://www.davidlebovitz.com

Homemade Pasta Dough from http://www.davidlebovitz.com

1 1/2 pounds (665g) – 4 servings

7 ounces (200g) all-purpose flour
7 ounces (200g) coarse semolina
or 14 ounces (400g) flour
4 large eggs, at room temperature

Mix together the flour and semolina in the bowl of a stand mixer, or mix them up and create a mound on the counter top with a crater in the center. If using a stand mixer, add the eggs to the dough and mix them together with the paddle or dough hook until well mixed. On the counter top, crack the eggs into the center of the flour and semolina. Use your fingers to gradually draw the dry ingredients into the center, mixing them with the eggs. The dough will be hard to mix at first – a pastry scraper will help you draw it all together – but eventually it will come together and be relatively smooth.

Knead the dough with the heel of your hand for at least three minutes until the dough is very smooth. The dough should not feel sticky. If it sticks to your fingers, knead in a small amount of flour, just enough so your fingers come away clean when you pull them away. Wrap the dough and let it sit at room temperature for an hour.

(You can keep the dough for several hours at room temperature.

Shaping the pasta:

To roll out the pasta, on a lightly floured surface, cut the dough into six or eight pieces. Working one piece at a time, fashion each piece into a rough rectangle, then pass it through your pasta machine on the widest setting (usually #1). Fold dough in half or in thirds and pass it through again. Then fold and pass it through one more time.

Continue passing the pasta through the machine, closing down the opening of the rollers a few notches with each pass (and dusting them very lightly with flour or semolina if the dough is sticking) until you’ve reached the desired thickness. Then, if you wish to make fettuccine or spaghetti, use the pasta cutter attachment to cut the sheets into the desired thickness, or cut the pasta by hand on the counter top with a chef’s knife to whatever size strands or shapes you want.

Once rolled, fresh pasta should be dusted with semolina (preferably) or flour to keep it from sticking if you’re not going to cook it right away. You can lay it on a semolina- or flour-dusted baking sheet or linen kitchen towel, until ready to boil. Or drape it over a suspended rolling pin or pasta drying rack until ready to use.

Cook for 2-3 minutes in boiling water.

Is Fast Food Cheaper than Home Made? Nope

Above is cost break downs for three meals from a  NY Times article by Mark Bittman, Is Junk Food Really Cheaper?

The obvious answer is no.

Fast food does not cost less despite all of the $1 menus.

A while back, I wrote a post The $3-5 meal challenge with the idea that anyone can make a meal at home cheaper than the cheapest of fast food $1 menu meals.

I even made a meal for less than a $1, which was a bowl of lentils stew with sweet potatoes and feta.

In fact, I probably could create the fast food meal minus the soda for less than McDonalds at home even with organic ingredients

1/2 lb of grass fed beef $3
1/4 LB of cheddar cheese $2
3 Lbs of organic russet potatoes $3
3 Home made buns $1 (.33 per)
1/2 pound of chicken breast $3
1 organic egg and bread crumbs $1
olive oil $2 (for pan frying chicken and oven roasting potatoes)
various condiments and toppings $3
beverage (water)

I figure the same, actually better meal made at home would be $18 compared to $28. And I figure that all ingredients were health food store or farmers market prices. If fast food use grass fed beef their meal would be more.

My at-home meal gives me an extra $10 to spare, which I could use to add some veggies or fruit to the meal or even make a second meal with.

So is fast food cheaper?


Help Stop America’s Food Deserts

This is a quick shout out to the Lets Move program which is spear headed by First Lady Michelle Obama. She talks about food desserts, which are places where residents of a community like areas of Detroit do not have access to fresh produce. Check out http://www.LetsMove.gov/ for more info about the program.