It took a pregnant mother-of-one to point out to the six-figure bureaucrats at Queensland Health that a leaflet promoting the Australian Vaccination-Sceptics Network was included in pregnancy packs and listed as the only information source for vaccinations.
Not much different than Toronto Sick Kids hospital saying pregnant women can eat deli meats as long as they come from “reputable sources.”
And now the Washington Post, with this piece of food porn: “Every once in a while, Kapnos chef-owner George Pagonis will prepare a dish of lamb tartare, carefully plating the beautiful oval of ground meat atop a swish of charred eggplant puree and dollops of harissa, send it to the dining room — and it will promptly come back to the kitchen, untouched.
“A couple of people, when they order it, I guess they don’t know what tartare is. And they’re like, ‘Oh, is this raw?’ And they send it back,” said Pagonis. “You take all this time to make it look nice, and you’re like, what are you doing? I get all upset.”
But occasions for Pagonis to get upset are becoming almost as rare as that rosy-red lamb he’s serving. Diners are rediscovering the pleasures of a plate of velvety raw meat, as steak tartare makes a comeback (along with its Italian cousin, carpaccio).
Raw-meat dishes in ethnic cuisine — the Vietnamese bo tai chanh, Ethiopian kitfo and gored gored, and Lebanese kibbeh nayeh — are, of course, impervious to trends. But tartare, once a mark of sophistication at the “continental” restaurants of old, fell out of favor after the mad cow and E. coli scares of the 1990s. Now that the best restaurants are more cognizant of the conditions in which their animals are raised, diners who were once wary of eating raw meat might be more willing to let their guard down.
“Especially now, with these chef-driven restaurants, chefs are sourcing great products. And these products are more okay [for] eating raw,” said Pagonis. “People are trusting us.”
dIn December, an outbreak of E. coli traced to steak tartare at a restaurant in Montreal sickened seven people. But Cliff Coles, president of California Microbiological Consulting, a company that tests food for produce and meat purveyors, said the risk of illness is minimal if chefs prepare well-sourced meat in a clean kitchen using proper technique.
“The beef industry has done a lot to improve not only the quality of the beef but the microbiological quality,” Coles said.
Bullshit ferments and grows and stinks. No bullshit. Literally.