All the (Fo)rage
Taking the piss out of Pong: For two weeks in a row now, SF Weekly has had fantastic cover stories; one on Yelp showing how elitist this city can be ["Faux-Star Reviews," Feature, Lauren Smiley, 3/11], and one showing how innovation is alive and well ["Out of the Wild," Feature, Peter Jamison, 3/18].
Thank goodness someone is foraging for food in S.F. This story reminded me of an episode of Gordon Ramsay's F Word on the BBC that showed just how easy it would be for someone in London to live off the "garbage" that restaurants throw away. In about half a day, a prominent U.K. food critic went around and collected at least three days' worth of food that was maybe a day old and had been tossed out. It really highlighted how hygiene-centric Western nations can be. These restaurants could not sell prepackaged salads because they had been made the day before.
I can keep salads in my fridge at home for a week and they still taste fine. In Jamison's article, we get a bit of fearmongering from S.F. food inspector Larry Pong. Sure, you could probably get really sick from eating lettuce a dog pissed on, but it's more likely that if you wash it thoroughly, you won't get sick at all. It's really too bad that we've become a society of cellophane-obsessed nannies who carry around sanitizer wipes in our pockets.
Faux Better or Worse
Sick of the clique: I thought this was a good article ["Faux-Star Reviews," Feature, Lauren Smiley, 3/11]. I'm pretty sure that I have been on Yelp longer than most. Of course, I'm not an attention whore, I haven't written thousands of reviews, and I don't give out details about myself in the reviews. In fact, perhaps the largest reason I stopped using Yelp heavily is that all the reviewers talk more about themselves than the business and try to be funny at all costs. I don't give a damn about them, their childhoods, or love lives. Write a few sentences about your experience, give a rating, and explain why you gave that rating. Then do something else with your time.
I think most well-adjusted people will find Yelp's incestuous, cliquey culture too much to endure for more than it takes to find businesses and skim some of the reviews. I know I do. For that matter, I tend to ignore reviews by the so-called "Elites." Their reviews are a dime a dozen — jaded and shallow. As for [people complaining] the article took advantage of innocent persons: tough. That is what it is to be a celebrity, even if it's just in the tiny teapot we call Yelp. You put yourself out there; you are sure to get attention, both good and bad.
Bully for you: Has SF Weekly nothing better to report on than Yelp users? With all that's going on in the world, that's all? And the attitude Lauren Smiley takes in her article is that of a bully. She is picking on nonsense issues that have some junk-food pleasures, but in the end are empty calories.
No wonder folks are lamenting the death of print journalism. Please, Smiley and SF Weekly: Grow up.
The article "Out of the Wild" [Feature, Peter Jamison, 3/18] contained two errors. Commercial mushroom broker Connie Green does not hire crews to pick mushrooms, but purchases them from independent pickers, most of whom are not Southeast Asian immigrants. Green's concerns about a local wild-food business center on the potential overharvesting of plants, not of mushrooms. SFWeekly regrets the errors.