Article helps defuse food fear: Congratulations to Peter Jamison — he did the best job yet of capturing the issues of eating insects in an easily digestible and informative article about this future food ["Woman Bites Scorpion," Peter Jamison, feature, 10/19]. Rather, most entomophagy articles focus on fear, folly and foodie-tainment. The main barrier to entomophagy in the U.S. is the preference for fast and familiar foods. Preferences (disgust vs. lust) reflect cultural exposures and individual experiences of watching what others eat — and receiving praise or punishment for these food choices. Increasing acceptability of eating insects hinges on multiculturalism vs. monoculturalism. If we are culturally competent and view the foreign as friendly, we likely will eat foods from other cultures.
Food preferences change — raw fish went from bait to sushi and ceviche. Rebranding Chinese Gooseberry/ Macaque Pear as Kiwi and reformulating tough-to-peel pomegranates into healthful juice drove demand and desire. Specific levers for changing food preferences include 1) media exposure to insect-eating for food, fashion, and function, especially health of humans and the ecosystem; 2) family and peer modeling, and multiple exposures of children to overcome their inherent fear of new foods; 3) pleasurable experiences at bug feasts; 4) farming for year-round production to increase availability and lower cost. It could be slow; it will be a while before McBuggets are in a Happy Meal — in S.F. without toys.
Frank Franklin, Professor Emeritus of Public Health, UAB
Steakhouse Time Warp
Retro vibes meet tri-tip at Leatherneck: Marines' Memorial Club and Hotel is a flash from the recent past, reminiscent of how things looked in the real-time days of those period pieces Pan Am and Mad Men, slightly austere interior and very clean and orderly ["Veterans' Benefit," Jonathan Kauffman, Eat, 10/19]. But, I love a good steak, and I am very thankful to those who served and are serving in the Marines.
Blog Comments of the Week
Kinky coffee shop closes: As sad as I think it is, I also wonder how much of this has to do with the way the business was run ["S.F. Loses a BDSM Community Hub with the Closing of Wicked Grounds Coffeehouse," Chris Hall, the Exhibitionist, 10/18]. When I visited San Francisco I was surprised to find that the shop didn't seem to open early enough to serve "regular" customers on their way to work in the neighborhood. Plenty of coffee shops survive for years in the area nearby; there must be coffee customers. Maybe a kink coffee shop can't survive on kink alone, but can have kink along with regular customers. Honestly, I don't know, but it is something I wonder about.
Too many Fidos at the park: It's about time ["Scott Wiener Wants Dogwalkers to Pay to Use Parks," Erin Sherbert, the Snitch, 10/18]. Many smaller parks in the city have been overrun by dog walkers who try to bring up to 12 dogs at a time [Wiener proposes a max of seven]. They don't control their animals or clean up after them. In many cases, individual dog owners can't use the park anymore, because it's just too crammed with two or three dog walkers [with] over 30 dogs. The dog walkers just stand around and yell at their dogs. Very unpleasant all around.
Music sets the beat for Occupy movement: Music has been and always will be the engine of love, hope, war and peace, from bagpipes and drums to songs of loss, victory and celebration ["Why Musicians Matter to the Occupy Movement," Rae Alexandra, All Shook Down, 10/14]. Music tells the story and carries the mood for those involved soldiers, sweethearts, and survivors.