Friday, February 24, 2012

The Dumbest War

For those that may not have heard before, in 1859, there was a war (or threat of war) over a pig.  This infamous day in history is what the brilliant minds of historians named: “The Pig War.”  Basically, a bunch of British people and a bunch of American people lived on San Juan Island (actually between US and Canada around Washington, not Puerto Rico) and started a confrontation when an American guy shot a British guy’s pig because he found it rooting through his potatoes.  Brit got pissed off, American didn’t stand down, NY-style pissing match over island ownership ensues, cooler heads prevail, island nobody-really-cares-about gets shared, and everyone eats bacon.   

Now for myself, I think all wars should end with pork chops or bacon – maybe except for all those involving Muslims or devout non-swine dining types.  In all fairness, I would easily come to the conclusion that this war was rather remarkable (resolution without casualty), but some people seem to enjoy labeling this war as one of the dumbest in history. 

The extension of this charming and historical anecdote really lies at what I seem to think is quite honestly the root for all very stupid wars.  Wars over a pig or a “face that launched a thousand ships” are typically ones involving a smoking gun and a shit ton of cloak-and-daggers.  With that in mind, let us turn ourselves to one of the dumbest wars currently ongoing in the court of public opinion.

I am going to call this “The War Of Foie Gras.”  And, despite what this sounds like, this is NOT a write-up on foie gras defense.  I’ve done that – possibly fifty times in the last two years.  Foie gras is just another smoking gun (like trans fat, salt, or even McDonald’s) in the twisted stupid reality that currently exists when it comes to our understanding of food and health.  What I am simply asking is: why are we constantly launching a thousand ships in the name of “health” or “humanity” when nobody (general population) really cares about the island (save for some cooks/fanatics) that people (idiots) are fighting for?

Ironically, the supermarket bacon that people buy and consume without hesitation is probably a hundred times less humane and healthy than foie.  Leaving foie aside, public battles rooted in food rarely seem to be poignant when it comes to people’s health – and when they are, such as the restriction of specific hormone/antibiotics in farm animals, there is almost no fanfare or exposure. 

Today, I think we deal with more shit and hypocrisy than ever.  Some of us avoid meat because they find it unhealthy, but they continue to stuff their faces and stomachs on processed garbage with a hundred ingredients listed.  Sometimes, we think a hundred strange ingredients is okay because it says “organic.”  Some of us like to blame McDonald’s (not saying its not deserved) for fast food and world obesity, but don’t like to cook or sit down for a basic meal.  Some of us like to drink juice because eating an actual local seasonal fruit is too much work – that’s fine except, 98% of orange or apple juice is overloaded with processed sugar, hails from Brazil, and comes from chemically preserved fruit 1+ years old.             

All this stuff is fine – the juice, the fast food, the organic flax soy whey shitty tofu hotdog is all fine by me.  In fact, I love my In & Out and I love my Corn Flakes, but I don’t live in this weird cookie cutter bubble of fake food politics.  I stay conscientious but nonjudgmental when it comes to balancing what I buy, cook and eat.  And, I don’t wag my finger in the court of public opinion when it comes to starting vanity wars over things like foie gras.  And if I can’t cook with foie in 6 months, then that’s fine.  Just don’t try to bring this weak shit to my door.  And just like the Pig War, it was never about the damn pig.  Hopefully, people can actually pay attention, the Foie War is really not about the foie.