The Most Important Meal

Episode 4 – The Most Important Meal

The most important meal… What is it? Is breakfast the most important meal? What about one’s last meal? And are folks who Instagram every bespoke artisanal gluten-free waffle mentally ill? Such a Crock investigates:

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Breakfast is Such a Crock!

Okay, okay… Breakfast is probably okay.

But the idea that breakfast is the “most important meal” of the day is a crock.

It turns out a talented PR man by the name of Edward Bernays working for the Beech-Nut company used a combination of preacher-style moralization and marketing to create the idea of the American breakfast… To sell product! Bernays got about 5,000 doctors to co-sign his very un-scientific letter pushing breakfast food, and our culture today is largely an extension of that. I mean… balls?

Read more in The Guardian: How lobbyists made breakfast ‘the most important meal of the day’

Is the Notion of a Last Meal Becoming a Crock?

The “last meal” is a tradition among condemned prisoners. It’s thought to have started in 1924 in Texas.

In some places, a prison warden will share the last meal with a prisoner. In others there are strict limitations on how much can be spent on a last meal.

Michael shares some famous last meals, from a single communion wafer to a surprising amount of KFC.

But it’s the lavish request of Laurence Russell Brewer that gets last meals knocked off the Texas tradition list… And Michael thinks that is a crock. Brewer ordered a ton of food, but didn’t eat any of it. His bad behavior has had lasting impact for condemned Texans.

My San Antonio: Last-meal requests off death row menu

Food Porn is Such a Crock!

Is documenting all your food on Instagram a sign of mental illness?

Some folks at the CBC seem to think so: Posting pictures of meals online? You may have health problems

… But Michael certainly hopes not!

That doesn’t mean that every meal you eat is worthy of Instagram commemoration. That said, Katherine comes up with some [hopefully] reasonable reasons to document your dinner.

Was Eating the Ortolan Such a Crock?

Michael was curious about Bobby Axelrod’s quasi-last meal on Billions this past season. The Ortolan bunting is illegal to eat; but it’s supposedly the most sublime dining experience possible.

So heavy was the language around the forbidden ortolan, from celebrity chef Wylie Dufresne to the now-departed Tony Bourdain that Michael just had to follow up.

Is the ortolan real? Yes.

Do you really wear a napkin over your head to hide your shame while eating it? Apparently.

But is crunching on songbird bones whole, and scalding your mouth and throat with hot fat possibly the apex of meals? Give us a listen and judge for yourself!

More from CNBC: The illegal delicacy Axe ate on ‘Billions’ is a real thing — here’s the story behind it

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chicken

Episode 3 – Chicken

Can it be, intrepid listeners?

Can the unifying crock-topic of our third episode be that beloved bird…

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Michael begins with fightin’ words for a big chunk of the chicken-eating populace:

Weight Watchers is Such a Crock

Weight Watchers is an American company that offers various products and services meant to assist customers in losing and maintaining their weight. Since at least 1997, it has used a points-based system. It is essentially a simplified calorie counting / calorie deficit system.

However, the new Freestyle program (“Count less and enjoy more”) adds chicken and some 200+ new foods to the so-called “zero point” list.

In Michael’s opinion, this makes Weight Watchers a crock.

The point system, which once had ketchup as zero point (but no longer, as it includes sugar) BUT adds chicken, turkey, and tons of seafood to zero points seems tantamount to surrender. This “count less and enjoy more” philosophy flies in the face of the company’s long-standing value-add for what looks and smells much more like the low carb / keto / Atkins family of dieting.

Read more at Business Inisder: Weight Watchers’ new program has 200 ‘zero-point’ foods you can eat as much as you want — including eggs

Fried Chicken is Such a Crock

If someone asked you “who” invented fried chicken… Who might you guess?

If you — like many — default to The Colonel… Katherine says that branding is kind of a crock.

Katherine digs into the origins of fried chicken in the United States and the ex-slave entrepreneurs of Gordonsville, VA.

Bonus: Michael never really understood cultural appropriation… Until now! While most of Katherine’s crock is about the Colonel and nostalgic Southern cooking, it’s Korean fried chicken that tells the tale for MichaelJ.

Katherine’s sources are many, but we suggest As American As Fried Chicken at The Atlantic.

Our CONCEPT of a Chicken is a Crock!

While we typically use the word “chicken”, today’s farms raise effectively two distinct birds: Broilers and layers. They’re quite different!

One lays eggs. One is prized for its breast meat.

Since about 1946 and the quest for “the chicken of tomorrow” chickens raised for food have become quite different from root stock. They live less than two months but produce many times the historic amount of breast meat… On a fraction of the feed and vitamins.

The genetics of such birds extends even to organic free-range chickens! Such birds live only a little bit longer than now-conventional factory farm chickens, and are themselves also descendants of the chicken of tomorrow.

Much of this comes from Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

A Little Kid’s Opinion of Chicken Nuggets is a Crock

Katherine shares a story from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver teaching children where their beloved nuggets come from.

Oh… Just watch it:

… But not until after you listen to Episode 3:

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