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Robot chefs, 10 best American restaurants, Whole Foods boycott

Meal-o-matic: is this the future of food?

Meal-o-matic: is this the future of food? (Photo by Bonnie Burton)

• Chinese restaurant chain I Robot is being picketed by chefs who say their robot counterparts—which each do the job of five humans—are putting them out of work. The restaurants in Guangxi province need only one lonely food chopper to stock ingredients; the robots prepare whatever the waiter punches into a computer. Manager Huang Xianghao had discouraging words for the disgruntled chefs: “The robot chefs are more efficient and hygienic. And they don’t complain.” [Austrian Times]

Bon Appetit has named its favourite 10 new American restaurants and recommended dishes to try at each. Manhattan didn’t make the cut, but Brooklyn’s No. 7 represented the five NYC boroughs with its pumpkin seed–crusted tofu. The clam and calamari seafood stew got Mado of Chicago on the list, alongside Hungry Mother in Cambridge, The Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland and Bar Jules in San Francisco. [Canadian Press]

Whole Foods is facing a boycott after CEO John Mackey wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal that proposed a free-market alternative to Barack Obama’s health care plan. Pickets were set up outside stores from New York to Texas on Monday, while protestors on Twitter told the president’s supporters to shop elsewhere. Apparently the true test of Obamacare is not congressional scrutiny but whether or not affluent liberals can give up organic frisée. [BBC]

• A doctors’ group in Ottawa wants smoking banned from open-air patios, much like it is in Vancouver, Calgary and Thunder Bay. Diane Deans, the Ottawa councillor in charge of protective services, thinks the ban is unnecessary because she hasn’t received many calls from citizens concerned about second-hand smoke. Now that he’s triumphed over plastic bags, we can’t help but wonder if David Miller will start protecting us from errant patio smokers, too. [Owen Sound Sun-Times]

Room, Living Room, Lounge, Bar and Kitchen, Dining Room, Kitchen W8: London restaurants sure seem to struggle with original names, says blogger Jay Rayner, adding that owners should either stick to ingredient monikers (Fat Duck, Pig’s Ear) or try the eponymous approach (Chez Bruce, Gordon Ramsay). Might we suggest the esoteric French verb approach instead? Batifole (to frolic, to lark, to play about) sounds a lot better than The Slug and Lettuce. [Guardian

  • Paul

    Whole Foods boycott: Back in 2008, this Whole Foods, CEO John Mackey (how old is this kid?), was caught posting negative comments (trash talk) about a competitor on Yahoo Finance message boards in an effort to push down the stock price. So now I am suppose to take this loser seriously? Please, snore, snore.

    It’s funny we hear Republicans say that they do not want “faceless bureaucrats” making medical decisions but they have no problem with “private sector” “faceless bureaucrats” daily declining medical coverage and financially ruining good hard working people (honestly where can they go with a pre-condition). And who says that the “private sector” is always right, do we forget failures like Long-Term Capital, WorldCom, Global Crossing, Enron, Tyco, AIG and Lehman Brothers. Of course the federal government will destroy heathcare by getting involved, Oh but wait, Medicare and Medicaid and our military men and women and the Senate and Congress get the best heathcare in the world, and oh, that’s right, its run by our federal government. I can understand why some may think that the federal government will fail, if you look at the past eight years as a current history, with failures like the financial meltdown and Katrina but the facts is they can and if we support them they will succeed.

    How does shouting down to stop the conversation of the healthcare debate at town hall meetings, endears them to anyone. Especially when the organizations that are telling them where to go and what to do and say are Republicans political operatives, not real grassroots. How does shouting someone down or chasing them out like a “lynch mob” advanced the debate, it does not. So I think the American people will see through all of this and know, like the teabagger, the birthers, these lynch mobs types AKA “screamers” are just the same, people who have to resort to these tactics because they have no leadership to articulate what they real want. It’s easy to pickup a bus load of people who hate, and that’s all I been seeing, they hate and can’t debate. Too bad.

  • Don

    Medicare will be broke in 6 years. Medicaid has a fraud rate of about 20%. Our military men and women use what they use because it is a benefit of their JOB(i.e. they work for it), not because they like it. Congress does not use federally run health insurance, they get a choice of insurance companies.

    Go to a Town Hall meeting and closely observe the people. Those with the hand made signs that come in cars are the grassroots “right wing nuts”. Those with the professionally printed signs that move in groups and came in buses are the union-organized Democratic response to the grassroots movement.

  • Paul

    I am always glad to see Americans voicing their opinions, I may not always agree with them, but I enjoy it, so please keep boycotting Whole Foods Market, Inc., companies keep dropping sponsorship of the “Glenn Beck” BS, Astroturfers keep showing up at town hall meeting and get your shouts in (we all know you can’t articulate your position and are all about hate) they hate and can’t debate, sweet.