Posts Tagged ‘meat’

Birthday meal

Monday, November 5th, 2012 | Life

At my birthday meal, we managed to eat our way through £557.54 worth of meat :D.


Thursday, September 13th, 2012 | Reviews

Last week, we had dinner at Veritas. It’s a great pub, so we thought it would be nice to try the food.

It was reasonable, though I can’t even remember what I had, so clearly not very memorable. Elina had the special chicken and bacon pie, which she described as “a lot of meat”, which is definitely a compliment. Don’t think I’ll be rushing back there for the food though.

Mixed grill, in a burger

Friday, August 3rd, 2012 | Events, Photos

It’s been a while since I last stopped by York Brights, so I decided it was high time to turn up to a meeting. It was a somewhat intimate affair, with only six of us there (usually there are loads of people these days), but the conversation was never the less it’s usual excellent standard. We also noticed an item on the menu we hadn’t seen before.

The mega mixed grill burger as it is known is just that – a mixed grill in a burger. They start off with a huge burger, was at least half a pound, if not more – I just don’t really know how much a pound is but it was definitely at least as big as two McQuarters. They then put a fried egg, a gammon steak, a chicken fillet, a pineapple ring and a sausage, wrap it all in the world’s largest bread bun and surround it with chips. Amazing.

Mega mixed grill burger

Would you like me to change my gloves?

Friday, June 22nd, 2012 | Thoughts

I popped into Subway for lunch today and noticed they had a staff notice up in their baking area that asks “what as your position’s today?” I’m fairly sure there shouldn’t be an apostrophe in that.

Anyway, one of the people in front of me in the queue asked for a vegetarian sandwich and the artist asked her if she would like her to change her gloves. The customer said yes. But what is the point of all this?

For me, even as a vegetarian, I just don’t see the point in offering to change your gloves for vegetarian sandwiches. But maybe I’m missing the reason entirely, as I can only think of two reasons.

Firstly, it’s a principle issue. You don’t want gloves which have touched meat to touch your sandwich. But this is just stupid. You’re not advocating the slaughter of animals just because someone uses the same gloves to prepare your sandwich as they did to prepare someone else’s. Besides, where does it end? Why just change your gloves, why is it OK for the same person to prepare a vegetarian sandwich if they have previously been in contact with meat?

Secondly, it’s in case the sandwich then tastes of meat because the gloves have some kind of meat smell on them. This doesn’t make sense either though, because why would you just do it for vegetarian sandwiches? Someone ordering a chicken sandwich doesn’t want their sandwich to smell of meatballs for example.

Why then, does it matter if someone changes their gloves at Subway?

Netherlands considers ritual slaughter ban

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011 | News, Religion & Politics

The BBC recently published a report on the Dutch parliament voting on a proposal to ban ritually slaughtered meat – and it’s expected to pass.

I found the BBC news report rather biased. For example, when reporting on a Halal butcher, she said that if the law came into force he would “be forced to leave.” This is entirely misleading, it sounds like they are about to get kicked out of the country or something, not just having to sell meat slaughtered differently – which he could do. Or get another job. Or import his meat from outside The Netherlands. Or use pre-stunned Halal meat, like they have in New Zealand.

Not to mention that the debate genuinely is about animal welfare. There is a reason we have independent advisory boards, and the Farm Animal Welfare Council has spoken on the issue.

Of course, ultimately they lose the argument thanks to a good bit of Godwin’s Law. Much like Chanoch Kesselman’s offensive video broadcast on Channel 4, the rabbi in the news piece equated the banning of Kosher meat to Holocaust. I fail to see how one appalling act of slaughter justifies him committing another, but it doesn’t matter, he resorted to Godwin’s Law and therefore loses the argument by default.

Why does meat taste so good?

Sunday, November 13th, 2011 | Science, Thoughts

I’m a vegetarian. And I think everyone should try it.

The problem is though, it’s very heard because steak tastes so good. So do ribs. So does chicken. And many, many other meat based foods. Meat tastes amazing!

So here is the question – if vegetables are so good for us, why don’t they taste amazing? Think about it from an evolutionary perspective – if you had a human who preferred eating food that was good for them, then they would prosper, so you would expect natural selection to lead us to humans that love vegetables because they are really good for us.

But we don’t have that, we live in a world where many people eat vegetables because they are good for us but enjoy eating meat far more.

This seems strange, much like the problem of natural selection and homosexuality, and much like that problem, I’m sure there is an answer to it.

My guess would be this – back when humans were evolving, there was a lot of plant life and vegetables to be eaten. Humans didn’t actually have to like them to eat loads of them because they were the most abundant food source and so people ate plenty of vegetables anyway, by default almost.

People do need a bit of meat though, or at least, did in those days, and that was much rarer and indeed, harder to get hold of. So it had to taste good to motivate humans to go out and hunt down animals for meat.

Of course, that could all be nonsense, that’s the best-educated guess I can come up with sitting here as a computer scientist with a casual interest in evolutionary biology and the combined knowledge of the first two chapters of Richard Dawkins’ Climbing Mount Improbable.

Another reason is that it could just be an accident of the way that the human taste sense has evolved and the texture of meat. Maybe someone who studies biology can enlighten us?

Cattle Grid

Monday, July 11th, 2011 | Food, Reviews

Recently, a new steak restaurant named Cattle Grid opened inside Waterloo House at the back of the Corn Exchange in Leeds. They have a number of restaurants in London, and I believe this is their first outside the capitol.

So, last week, myself, Norm, George and James headed down for a reunion of the steak based man date club, to try it out.

It’s good. Very good. I had the ribs. They were immense!

I haven’t had a steak yet as I couldn’t fit one in for dessert, but I’m looking forward to it as from the judgements of everyone else, they stack up well against the competition. The ribs were excellent though, almost as good as the ones I had in Edinburgh, which were the best ribs I ever had – so we’re talking very good!

Already looking forward to our next visit. Bring on the steak…


Saturday, July 9th, 2011 | Food, Reviews

On Sunday, my sister was in town so we headed down to Fazenda for a family meal.

Fazenda is a Brazilian meat restaurant where you get a plate and help yourself to the salad bar, then they just come round with big slabs of meat and carve a slice off onto your plate. There are lots of different ones including beef, pork and chicken and you have a traffic light card with you turn to green when you want meat and red when you don’t.

Sounds good, but to be honest, I wasn’t overly impressed.

The food itself was good quality but as it’s all from large cuts you have to take it as you get it, whereas obviously when eating at a steak restaurant you can have it cooked to your liking. Also, the traffic light cards seem somewhat redundant as they just tend to ask you every time they come round.

Not that I didn’t enjoy it, it was excellent, but I wouldn’t say it was as good as say Blackhouse, and is similarly priced.

Why the future of animal welfare may depend on frankenfoods

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011 | Tech, Thoughts

I’ve recently re-read Ray Kurzweil “The Singularity is Near”, which is nothing else, really enlivens your passion in AI. One of the many interesting points made in the book was the idea that we will eventually be able to grow new body parts in a lab.

This has one great advantage for animal welfare – the idea that we could grow lumps of meat in a lab.

This would essentially end the need for vegetarianism.

For vegetarians like myself, who really, really love meat, this really would be a utopian future. Vegetarianism is based on the idea that it is wrong to kill conscious animals for food (some so called vegetarians say it is because of the taste, but these people aren’t real vegetarians), and this would entirely get round that.

We could eat our lab grown meat, without having the ethical implications that you where causing the death of an animal by doing so.

Of course, people would object that they didn’t want to eat meat grown in a test tube. But then, the fact that people can stomach meat now is mainly thanks to the lack of thought put into the factory farming and slaughter methods already in use.

Other advantages of doing this include:

* It will, at least after the initial development, be much more cost effective that having to rear an entire animal for an extended period of time and use less resources to satisfy our meat needs. Meat is incredibly inefficient, the amount of vegetarian food it takes to feed one animal to produce some meat is huge.

* Given the reduced cost and increased efficiently, there would be more food available for the third world, both vegetarian and meat.

* While we’re doing this, it’s a lot easier to generically engineer (or even using traditional refinement methods) to make the meat higher quality.

Try Vegetarianism Week

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011 | Thoughts

This post is aimed primarily at my vegetarian friends.

I’m going to put this forward as a supposition: you believe that for a number of possible reasons including the good feeling from being ethical, the health benefits associated with avoiding meat, the fact that meat can be expensive (though some vegetarian alternatives are also) it is better to be a vegetarian.

Surely it follows then that if only more people tried it, more people would become vegetarian and this would be good because you think vegetarianism is the best, most ethical position.

So how about this idea: Try Vegetarianism Week. It is a week (or a fortnight, or a month, it might not work over such a short time period) in which one of your friends gives up meat and tries vegetarianism, and in exchange, for period of time, you eat meat.

This would mean that many more people try vegetarianism and hopefully some of them like it and stick with it and as a result, we’ve won a fresh convert.

Of course the next likely question is “why do I have to eat meat instead of them?” The reason is that most meat eaters are arrogant bastards about it, using quips like “we’re naturally meat eaters” and “I’m a real man” and “why don’t you eat eat, you giraffe, you!”

Indeed, there is nothing most of them would enjoy more than a vegetarian eating meat. That’s the hook, that is what sells them. Most of them would never try vegetarianism (otherwise they would probably be vegetarians), but breaking a deal with them such as this could finally get them to give it a go.

Secondly, it doesn’t increase the number of animals being killed for food by you eating meat for that period because they will have stopped eating meat, so it balances out (and hopefully in the long term reduces the number of animals breed and killed for food because they will hopefully like being a vegetarian and convert).


Btw, to my non-vegetarian friends, just as a quick gauge of its popularity, who would be interested in this?