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How Food TV Feeds Our Fast-Food Culture August 2, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Business, Food.
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The Food Network can now be seen in nearly 100 million American homes and on most nights commands more viewers than any of the cable news channels. Today the average American spends a mere 27 minutes a day on food preparation (another four minutes cleaning up); that’s less than half the time that we spent cooking and cleaning up when Julia arrived on our television screens. (Currently the most popular meal in America, at both lunch and dinner, is a sandwich; the No. 1 accompanying beverage is a soda.)

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Julia Child on PBS 1963/Paul Child/Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard Universit

When we let corporations do the cooking, they’re bound to go heavy on sugar, fat and salt; these are three tastes we’re hard-wired to like, which happen to be dirt cheap to add and do a good job masking the shortcomings of processed food. And if you make special-occasion foods cheap and easy enough to eat every day, we will eat them every day. The French fry did not become the most popular “vegetable” in America until industry relieved us of the considerable effort needed to prepare French fries ourselves. The time and work involved in cooking, as well as the delay in gratification built into the process, served as an important check on our appetite. Now that check is gone, and we’re struggling to deal with the consequences.

Read the whole article here Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch – NYTimes.com.

Fox News and MSNBC Truce August 1, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Business, News.
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At an off-the-record summit meeting for chief executives sponsored by Microsoft in mid-May, the PBS interviewer Charlie Rose asked Jeffrey Immelt, chairman of G.E., and his counterpart at the News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch, about the feud.

Both moguls expressed regret over the venomous culture between the networks and the increasingly personal nature of the barbs. Days later, even though the feud had increased the audience of both programs, their lieutenants arranged a cease-fire, according to four people who work at the companies and have direct knowledge of the deal.

In early June, the combat stopped, and MSNBC and Fox, for the most part, found other targets for their verbal missiles (Hello, CNN). “It was time to grow up,” a senior employee of one of the companies said.

See Vintage TV Ads July 28, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Humor, Video.
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AdViews is a digital archive of thousands of vintage television commercials dating from the 1950s to the 1980s.

via AdViews.

No Swearing in “Hells’ Kitchen” March 31, 2008

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Ramsay vows to forswear bad language after he gets the brush-off from Australia – This Britain, UK – The Independent
Ramsay cut his teeth in the late 1980s, working with the famously irascible Marco Pierre White at Harvey’s in south London, until he tired of “the rages and the bullying and violence”. His first sighting by the British TV audience was in a fly-on-the-wall documentary called Boiling Point, in which his startlingly colourful language made him an overnight celebrity. Since then, he has capitalised on his potty mouth, giving his TV series the ambiguous title of The F-Word (the other word being Food.) Even his last book was confusingly titled *** Chef.

Assistant chefs and waiters will face disciplinary one-on-one “exercise” sessions with Ramsay, and diners will be fined £5 (or $11 or €7), for any outbreak of effing, blinding or c-word in public. Four years ago, Ramsay installed closed-circuit TV in all his UK restaurants to improve waiter service, and it has even been suggested that he has had sensitive microphones installed in his tables, to pick up sotto voce cursing. The reason for this dramatic turnaround is not hard to find. It follows the crushing news that Ramsay’s application to open a new establishment in Sydney – his first in Australia – has been turned down by the city authorities, on grounds of “decency”.

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