I love this quote about Julia Child

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@ChefBillyB  "Choice" in the modern western lexicon is overrated. In reality, it's the "Illusion of Choice." 

For some it's the luxury of choosing between artisanal ingredients 10 or 20 times the cost of industrialized product, to be taken home to an inherited house, in a nice neighborhood.

For others it's either Wendy's or McDonalds. Canned beans or Canned soup dragged home on a bus. 

It has been proven that not everybody has the same choices, or the opportunity for those choices, and the choices you make in life play only a small part in how or why you are where you are. 

Sometimes stuff happens that is completely out of your control. Even the good stuff, and you won't even know it. 

If life were as easy as black and white, we'd have no gray. It's not that simple. In fact, it is very complicated. You aren't as much the driver of your destiny as you might think.

Either way, did you have something to say about food?
 
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@ChefBillyB  "Choice" in the modern western lexicon is overrated. In reality, it's the "Illusion of Choice." 

For some it's the luxury of choosing between artisanal ingredients 10 or 20 times the cost of industrialized product, to be taken home to an inherited house, in a nice neighborhood.

For others it's either Wendy's or McDonalds. Canned beans or Canned soup dragged home on a bus. 

It has been proven that not everybody has the same choices, or the opportunity for those choices, and the choices you make in life play only a small part in how or why you are where you are. 

Sometimes stuff happens that is completely out of your control. Even the good stuff, and you won't even know it. 

If life were as easy as black and white, we'd have no gray. It's not that simple. In fact, it is very complicated. You aren't as much the driver of your destiny as you might think.

Either way, did you have something to say about food?
Jake, if I lived with your thinking I would have never been successful. You think people are dealt a hand so just play it out. I believe the hand could be changed if you really want to change it. There are no fences around anyone. Life is that simple, people who think your way think the grey area has to last a lifetime. 
 
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Iceman Iceman I was reading some of those last week. Great, well reasearched article.
In restos I've worked, I've seen lines fudged (e.g. rockfish or snapper) and occasionally yes, wrong things menued when having supplier issues- but briefly - and rarely cynically. I would say largely that the people I've worked for have been willing to back up any claim they make on a menu.
 
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@ChefBillyB  

I was talking in general philosophical terms, but since you decided to personalize it : 

You don’t know me or my philosophy at all. Thanks for the judgement. Suggesting you wouldn’t be successful (because I don’t underestimate the randomness of the universe) just parrots the same nonsense that creates the disparity between the rich and the poor. To say that if you don’t succeed, then you made the wrong choices is patently false. That’s ideology, not reality. You can be born into poverty, and stand a .01% chance to enter the top 10% no matter what “choices” you make. You can miss opportunities because of someone else’s “choices,” or simply be passed over because you are hispanic, tall, or are wearing the wrong color glasses. Shit happens. Recognize it. It’s called life. Every successful individual interviewed admits and acknowledges the influence of blind luck and happenstance as much as “choice,” but the narrative employed by free market proponents (read : america) is that we are in total control of our destiny. Bollocks. Read my post again, though, as it doesn’t completely deny individual responsibility or “choice,” but I prefer to understand the difference between 'choice' and 'decision.' 

You can live an ideological fantasyland if you want. I’m just more pragmatic and understand the realities of life. I also don’t pat myself on my back or stand up on a soapbox and tell everyone how wonderful I am over something I had little or nothing to do with. Then turn around and make judgements on other people based on my fantasy and make attempts to impose that fabrication on everybody else.

So again I ask, did you want to talk about food and the Julia Child quote?
 
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Jake makes a good point by talking about both "choice" and "opportunity". They are very different and sometimes intersect in a way that folks can advance themselves. One without the other, though, may not work so well. Julia didn't will herself into the goddess she became. She recognized an opportunity and made conscious choices to exploit those opportunities. But opportunities aren't necessarily just those "freebee" handout kind of opportunities. Sometimes they are hazy long shots that we make the choice to pursue even though it may not happen without great perserverence... And sometimes we win and sometimes not.
 
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This is a very good article.  Our Local "Farmers Market"  opens in May.  Some of the best sales the first day are "local Watermelons."  The are not in season until late July or August.  We have one very honest farmer who will supplement what she grows with purchased produce but always has a sign that she did not grow it.  Local beef is grown and butchered here sold to Halperns shipped 300 miles to the distribution center.  The local restaurants then have to buy from Halperns.  The locals had to sign non compete forms.  Their are a few small farms that produce local product but because of cost it is prohibitive to most consumers.  Good thread.   
 
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This conversation reminds me of a series of videos Buzzfeed or similar did where first generation middle class Mexican-American or Chinese-American kids in their early 20's taste tested things like Taco Bell or Panda Express with their parents and in some cases grandparents, most of whom struggled when they first arrived in the US

I always thought it was telling that the young people as a rule made *such* a big deal about how absolutely inedible everything was, as if their very souls were offended by the mere presence of food court orange chicken. Meanwhile, mom and dad and grandma who all grew up in the old country (and experienced actual hardship) were, with few exceptions, like "yeah, I'd eat that. It's not what we cook, but whatever. It's food. I'm eating it."
 
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... And in many cases the "Americanized" ethic restaurants are owned and operated by the immigrants themselves. They are willing to adapt and sacrifice authenticity to run a business that gives them the means to live in the US.
 
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I'm not sure that anyone, anywhere can create "fantastic" food out of "subpar" ingredients. I do think much of the world does create fantastic dishes out of what are, in their particular places, simple or inexpensive ingredients.

I definitely have to watch pennies but I make very good food out of inexpensive ingredients.  I am very lucky, though. If there is something that could be described as the opposite of a food desert, I am living in it. Good, inexpensive produce, grains and legumes at a variety of ethnic markets. Virtually any herb, spice, or condiment that anyone could want within a walk or short bus ride away. I can't afford organic but I can afford fresh. I find that produce in fruit markets and ethnic markets is usually much less expensive and much higher quality than that in supermarkets. I'm lucky to live in an area with both. There are people in vast swathes of this city that do not have this kind of abundance available to them. There are many neighborhoods on the south and west sides where the most --and sometimes only--accessible food purveyors are dollar stores.
 

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