All Loused Up

Emamectin benzoate is an insecticide so toxic that the EPA won't allow residue over two parts per billion in meat for human consumption. Starting in 1999, Canadian salmon farmers started using it to protect their stocks from the louselike parasite Lepeophtheirus salmonis , which thrives in the unnaturally overcrowded fish-farm environment. A year later, Canadian health authorities started finding traces of Slice—a trade name for emamectin benzoate—in farmed salmon. At the time, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency had a zero-tolerance policy on trace amounts of the neurotoxin, but, at the pleading of salmon farmers, that was changed, to allow up to 50 parts per billion: 25 times what the U.S. laws allow. Lucky we live in the U.S., huh? Not so fast: 95 percent of Canadian farmed salmon ends up on U.S. tables; and the U.S. doesn't inspect Canadian salmon for Slice. For the whole sordid story, check out the Web site of the Raincoast Conservation Society, www.raincoast.org. Do Not Go Softly 2004 has not been kind to Capitol Hill vegetarians. First the Green Cat, erstwhile source of the best tofu scramble in the city, packed up shop; now Broadway Market's Gravity Bar, scheduled to be shuffled upstairs in the wake of QFC's ingression, has instead simply disappeared. A reader recently alerted Hot Dish to the fact that the health-food oasis, a longtime purveyor of wheat grass and many sandwiches containing sprouts, currently appears "shuttered." Our investigators took it from there, making repeated calls to Madison Marquette, the firm that manages Broadway Market. Sadly, no one at Madison seemed to know the score with regard to Gravity Bar's disappearance, which leads us to a theory of which physicist Stephen Hawking might approve: The restaurant has been sucked into an alternate universe and/or reduced to antimatter. Though we've yet to collect any evidence of astrophysical foul play, we remain hopeful that you, dear reader, might assist us in our pursuit of the truth. Anyone with information potentially leading to the proper eulogizing of Gravity Bar should e-mail it to foodnews@seattleweekly.com or call 206-467-4343 immediately. Perfect pairs The good people of Columbia Winery want to take the worry out of matching wine and food for home cooks; indeed, they want to do everything but cook the meal for you. For his fall releases, winemaker David Lake has consulted with chef Tom Black at Columbia's neighboring Barking Frog Restaurant to come up with four dishes specifically paired with Lake productions: seared scallops salad with orange vinaigrette (with '02 Wyckoff Vineyard chardonnay), beef tenderloin with blue-cheese mashed potatoes ('01 Columbia Valley cabernet sauvignon), and so on. The pairings and recipes can be found on Columbia's Web site along detailed spec sheets on each wine and tasting notes by Lake, who's celebrating his 26th year of making wine at Columbia. Cooler than C.O.O.L. California rancher Carolyn Carey got fed up with Congress' endless delay instituting Country of Origin Labeling (C.O.O.L.) for meats, so she set up a labeling plan of her own—and made a little money on the side. Her Born and Raised in the U.S.A. label is voluntary, but ranchers who want to use it for their beef, lamb, pork, fish, game, and fowl have to pay her a small royalty to do so. "I kept getting asked questions from other ranchers like, 'Why can't we label our own beef?'" she told National Meat Association marketing columnist Mack H. Groves, "and I just decided that, yes, we could." Food and/or beverage news? E-mail Hot Dish at food@seattleweekly.com.

 
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