Great food-related articles in today's Post (about meat) & this week's City Paper (about bread)
The Post front page article (available at www.washingtonpost.com for the next 2 weeks) is a reminder to readers about the health hazards of meat-packing plants, some of which are outside the US, but shipping meat into the US in mass quantities. Plants are constantly breaking health laws and it's a wonder more consumers are not suffering from e. coli & food poisoning as a result!
Reading that, and the excellent book "Fast Food Nation" by Eric Schlosser, could be enough to make you turn away from fast-food chains (like me), and perhaps from eating meat.
(Note: I'm not a vegetarian
The other excellent article, the February 22-28 Washington City Paper, is about the lack of affordable, GOOD bread in the DC area. By affordable I mean under $5 a loaf, and available in most supermarkets. Giant & Safeway have their own bakeries & don't want smaller companies like Uptown, Marvelous Market & others moving in, even though the speciality breads at Giant & Safeway are nowhere as good!
You're right, it was an excellent article! But Giant and Safeway have their own bakeries? Sorry, I would not classify them as real bakeries - they use frozen doughs, mixes, or worse ---> just a "thaw 'n sell" product. But they sure are convenient.
Places like BreadLine are based on the concept of artisan baking, where minimal equipment and long-rise scratch doughs are made by people, not factory machines. The overhead is higher and thus the price is more.
As with any business, once it looks like there is a product people will buy, then there is surely money to be made; the big boys step in and re-tool for minimal labor and cost. Factories begin mass-producing and the product ads becomes hyphenated or set in quotes. Artisan-style Breads. Or "Artisan" Bread.
I felt bad for Mark Furstenberg. The food business is a tough life, as in, "been there done that." I would buy his bread, but it's an hour Metro ride away. There's a Safeway on my corner...