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Random Stuff


L.A. is king of the delis, Quebec’s cheese war, Halloween candy buy-back program

Bowlful of money (Photo by Terren)

Bowlful of money (Photo by Terren)

• Some dentist offices in the U.S. are offering a Halloween candy buy-back program to encourage trick-or-treaters to take it easy on sweets. The dentists pay around $1 per pound of candy, and some are giving away freebies, like toothbrushes. The bought candy will be shipped to U.S. soldiers serving overseas, who are presumably responsible enough to avoid any cavity-inducing overindulgence. We’re hopeful that dentists north of the border will eventually join the effort, lest American children gain an advantage in the field of bribery. [Baltimore Sun]

• The saga of a giant 70-year-old lobster that was meant to be sold for $275 (U.S.) and cooked for patrons at New York’s Oceana restaurant has ended happily—for the lobster, at least. The venerable crustacean, known as Peter, will not be eaten, thanks to multiple pleas urging the restaurant to spare the creature’s life. Upon hearing news that the septuagenarian lobster was on the menu at Oceana, a Bloomberg reporter queried, “Surviving to such an age, having dodged lobster traps all his life, doesn’t he deserve some sort of ‘get out of jail free’ card?” [New York Daily News]

• Toronto Life contributor David Sax has named Los Angeles—not New York—as the deli capital of the world in his new book, Save the Deli. “The [delis] that are most inspiring, the ones that people cling to, the ones that people enshrine for years and years are the traditional Jewish delis. And Los Angeles just happens to have more of them than any city I’ve been to,” he writes. In his examination of the state of the deli, Sax visited cured-meat hubs across North America and even ventured as far as Krakow, one of the birthplaces of the Jewish deli. [L.A. Times]

• A cheese war is going down in Quebec, the Star reports, as listeria-phobic government inspectors try to stop dairy professionals from using unpasteurized milk in their products. Cheesemakers, who say the milk makes more flavourful cheese, are also complaining of “severe” monthly inspections, saying the new government vigilance is more about “repression than development.” [Toronto Star]

• B.C.’s largest aquaculture farm lost an estimated 40,000 adult salmon last week, through holes in the fish’s pens. A representative from the farm said that the escapees—worth about $1 million—are free for the taking. “They’re really beautiful fish,” he said of the five-kilogram creatures. “Anybody who intercepts them out there, there are no restrictions on enjoying them.” [Ottawa Citizen]

  • Guy Rawlings

    I am alarmed by the posting on B.C. farmed Salmon. There seems to be a jovial tone to it, I feel that there should be more concern with such a topic. If you would like to know more about B.C. farmed Salmon, PLEASE listen to this podcast.

    It is the first of five shows’ by ‘deconstructing dinner’ that have been focused on such a topic. Marine Harvest Canada is at the forefront of these shows, the same company assuring “They’re really beautiful fish.”

    I think there should be more research done before writing an article or a post on topics concerning our Canadian food systems. Hopefully this shines some light on the topic.

  • Kim Dovat


    I think you’ve taken issue with a posting that only takes a small portion of the story. In related stories, there is a serious tone.

    The link you provide is a very one-sided dealing of a subject – this only allows the listener to “know more” about one side of an issue. Hardly a learning experience.

    For some context, perhaps you should understand that billions of ranched salmon are released each year – google “Alaska salmon ranching”. So, how does 40,000 fish escaping from a farm compare to billions of fish released into the ocean to intentionally compete with wild fish for food etc? It’s a good question. Not to understate the seriousness of this event, but it’s important to have some context to the “risk”.

  • Guy Rawlings

    I do agree that the first podcast is focused on one side; although both sides do have opportunity to voice they’re opinion through all five shows.

    I’m curious to learn more about the ‘Alaska Salmon ranching’, thank you for the info.

    I wonder if it’s fair to compare these two operations.

    It brings lots of questions to mind:
    Is Atlantic or Pacific Salmon being released?

    Do the fish being released get exposed to the same things that the farmed fish do and in turn do they effect the environment the same way?

  • Lewis Burns

    I’ve listened to those episodes on the open-net salmon factories on Deconstructing Dinner and Marine Harvest had plenty of opportunity to share their side of the story so I encourage Kim to listen to the shows. A more appropriate blurb to include in Toronto Life re: the 40,000 fish escape would have pointed to the competition that escaped salmon pose to wild species as they seek to access food in order to survive. It would have also questioned why in this country can a corporation can own fish in a flimsy net, but once they’ve escaped, the fish are not longer their responsibility!