Lucky Dip – Monday, August 8th, 2011

Dear restaurants, please don’t go thinking that hundreds of posts about your restaurant in the matter of a few hours, all using the same hashtag and (if you retweet every single tweet) flooding the twitter feed of everyone who follows you, is necessarily a selling point to make your place seem hot and vibrant and trendy. In fact, it’s annoying as hell and a real turn-off. Although that hashtag does make it easy for the rest of us to mute all the tweets and never have to see anything about your tweet-up (and possibly your restaurant) ever again. Social media can be a fabulous tool, but only if you use it judiciously. [The Grid]

It’s almost CNE time. You can tell because the ubiquitous (and horrifying) food-on-a-stick articles have started. Seriously, fudge? Why do you need a stick for fudge?? [National Post: Posted Toronto]

Fish-eaters – you know that all of these great promotions to get us to eat more sustainable species of fish really only work if you switch from the typical cod, salmon, tuna, right? Eating more fish overall, because you’re still eating just as much cod, but now are also eating mackerel, really defeats the purpose, yes? [The Guardian]

This will get your goat – Ontario’s goat industry (milk, cheese, tasty curry) is booming. [Toronto Star]

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Lucky Dip -Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Wait, is that a prime rib sandwich being sold from that hot dog stand? The city lightens up, food vendors are selling more than tube steak, and no one has died yet. Imagine! [Toronto Star]

Give me back that Filet-o-Fish – proof that High Fearnley-Whittingstall’s fish fight is having an impact, and proof that chefs and food activists in North America need to get off our asses – McDonald’s in Europe will switch to sustainably-caught fish for their Filet-O-Fish sandwiches. This after already switching to free-range/free-run eggs. [Bloomberg]

The most diverse food court in the city can be found at Downsview Market. [Spice City Toronto]

Hearing voices? It might be your coffee talking. [Toronto Sun]

“If Manhattan chefs don’t serve ramps in spring, the thought police come and take their farm-to-table badges away. . .” Foods NYC restaurant critics dislike and how they deal with it. [Village Voice]

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The Fish List

It’s the middle of summer and there’s nothing tastier than some lovely fresh fish. But wait – aren’t fish bad for you now? Or are they good for you again? And some of them have been overfished, haven’t they? And what about pollution?

Buying fish can be a confusing process. Besides obvious concerns about taste, freshness and price, we now have a plethora of other issues to worry about. Is the fish contaminated with PCBs? Is it being overfished or does the manner in which it is fished contribute to destruction of the oceans or the environment? What about farmed fish versus wild fish? And how the heck is the average consumer supposed to know any of this?

The fact is, it’s hard to buy fish without some kind of guide. Farmed salmon is bad, farmed catfish is good. Cod from Alaska is fine, while Atlantic cod is almost non-existent. Farmed mussels are good, while wild ones may be contaminated. Imported shrimp contribute to the destruction of lands in India and Thailand, not to mention the unnecessary deaths of a variety of sea creatures who get caught in the trawlers.

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