Today's notes on national stories, local trends, random tastes, and other bycatch dredged up from the food media. Jonathan Kauffman is out this week, so Jesse Hirsch is filling in on Talking Points. Teamwork!
1. Lion Meat for Sale. The Daily's investigative piece on lion meat sales has been rocketing around the Twitterverse, with a billion "This is awful!"s interspersed with the occasional, meek "I'd maybe possibly like to, um, try it." Don't go there. The issue isn't just that eating semi-endangered animals feels wrong, like blood diamonds, bottle service, and other gross signs of first-world hubris. There also appears to be evidence that this meat comes from an ubershady source who has been "busted for buying endangered Bengal tigers and selling them for parts," and once had his store burned down by the Animal Liberation Front. This story is loaded with strange twists and underworld intrigue, but it's mostly just appalling.
2. Athletes Eat Like Grownups. Usually when we think about the eating habits of sports stars, it's some wacky story of fast food gorging or maybe just carbo-loading before a big game. This story in the Arizona Republic reveals a new breed of sugar-averse, teetotaling, holistic eaters. It's 2011, and some professional athletes are starting to suspect a correlation between their diet and their performance. As Grant Hill said, "you don't want to put regular gas in a high-performance car."
3. Taking Orders from Memory. The New York Post, a paper that can take a distinctly Andy Rooney tone, has set its sights on a "new" trend: waiters who don't write orders down. Besides a few quotes that talk about the coziness and intimacy factor of a pad-free waitron, the Post seems largely agitated about the potential for screwups. There's even a class warfare nugget tucked inside the article: some wonder whether ditching the pad is less a way for waiters to get close to the customer and more a way to prevent themselves from feeling like a servant. What do you think?