Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Blue Buffalo's Sweet Little Lies

Do you feed your dog Blue Buffalo? Yes? THEN STOP.

Here's the thing: a lot of people are oblivious to the kind of crap that large conglomerate dog food companies put into their products. Brands like Purina and Hill's bask in the nonsensical glory of telling you that decomposing chicken beaks are good protein for your dog or that Chupacabra blood is an essential nutrient.

But then you have a company like Blue Buffalo that comes along promising to be the "healthy" and "holistic" alternative to all these silly conglomerates that produce food with the nutritional equivalent of a bubblegum wrapper. Instead, Blue Buffalo promises to be the company that packs its food with HEALTHY and WHOLESOME ingredients. But you know what I think? This:

Here's a company that strives to create an image of a clean and trustworthy entity when in reality they're like Sarah Michelle Gellar from Cruel Intentions and snorting secret vials of crack when nobody's looking.

By now you've heard of Purina's smear campaign and LAWSUIT against Poo Buffalo which included the findings that their "poultry byproduct free" food actually contains up to 22% poultry byproduct meal. In case you're bad at math, that's a FIFTH of the ingredients that are made up of slaughterhouse poultry parts that aren't used for human consumption. Dog Food Adviser, a non-partisan website that reviews the quality of commercial dog food, lists animal byproducts as feet, heads, and undeveloped eggs. For a complete list as well as some educational reading, click here for the entire article.

Blue Buffalo in its human form

The disgusting part about poultry byproduct, other than it being low quality protein, is the fact that it's defined as "poultry", which means they don't actually KNOW what animal they're feeding your dog. Poultry can be defined as chicken, turkey, duck, fowl, etc. Imagine a large vat at the slaughterhouse that contains the feet, beaks, feathers and other unmentionables of the birds already chopped up for processing. THAT'S what Poo Buffalo was putting in their supposedly "byproduct free" dog food. Aside from blatant false advertising that's gonna cost them millions, it's also really disgusting. 

However, what pisses me off about Blue Buffalo is their refusal to accept any responsibility. You see, I think deep down Purina and Hill's know their foods are crap. For example, Purina likes to tell you that grains are actually good for dogs and that canines have evolved from carnivores into omnivores (they eat meat and plants). They also use this cute little graphic on their website that even Stevie Wonder could see is a load of poultryshit:

It's like I'm trying to figure out one of those Magic Eye pictures

Yeah, okay, those molars are clearly made for CHEWING MEAT. If you need any more clarification that your dog is a carnivore and NOT an omnivore, simply look in their mouths. Do those molars really look like they're built for grinding corn? I don't think so. 

Next week Purina's gonna try to convince us that Predator is an omnivore too

As I was saying, Poo Buffalo has refused to accept any responsibility for this and instead they pass the buck onto their suppliers. See, the SUPPLIERS were being dishonest, therefore THEY'RE the ones to blame and are being dragged into this as well. Now, maybe on some distant planet or galaxy that may be entirely 100% true. But lest we forget that a short three years ago, Poo Buffalo announced a voluntary RECALL of their foods for containing a surplus of vitamins that could potentially be damaging to your pet. Their response at the time was eerily similar:

2012 recall:
We came to this conclusion after discovering that our ingredient supplier had made a scheduling error and produced a Vitamin D supplement immediately prior to preparing the ingredients for the BLUE products that are in question.
And just today on their Facebook:
Given all the misinformation out there, we would like to give you a quick update on the legal front. As we had informed you on May 9th, today we formally brought claims of breach of contract, fraud and unjust enrichment against the parties responsible for the intentional mislabeling of certain ingredients that were shipped to us and other well known pet food brands through May 2014.
First of all, these clowns went SILENT on Facebook for FIVE DAYS prior to this statement. The company that cares SO MUCH for YOUR PETS had NOTHING TO SAY as developments continued to roll out and when they finally broke their silence...they passed the buck. I mean, think about this for a second; intentional mislabeling? What kind of suppliers are you in bed with that they're INTENTIONALLY mislabeling your product??? Even so, let's play devil's advocate for a second: HOW DOES IT GET TO THE POINT THAT 22% OF THE INGREDIENTS ARE MADE UP OF POULTRY BYPRODUCT? HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN, HUH???

Seriously, what's Poo Buffalo's quality control strategy? Don't they do any sort of internal audits to ensure that their food is as high quality as they claim? Especially after their supplier kind of screwed them over just three years ago? I'm sorry, but I don't buy any of this. Actually, I'm not sorry at all. My second dog, Cara, ate Blue Buffalo and she had allergic reactions to it that were never diagnosed because vets aren't trained in canine nutrition. Because of my history with this company, even though my current dog Jenny isn't on it, I still find this blatantly offensive, disgusting, and I think these guys are in general just a bunch of buttholes.

Looking to switch your dog's food? DO YOUR RESEARCH! Purina and Hill's have gajillion dollar marketing budgets and they're extremely effective but they're incorrect. RAW is always the best diet for your dog. Avoid grains, wheat, corn, and soy. Canines are NOT omnivores and their bodies are NOT designed to digest that kind of stuff which is why you see a lot of allergic reactions. Is your dog neurotically licking its paws? Look at the ingredients panel. The best kibble out there, far and away, is Orijen and Acana, both of which are produced by the same company, Champion Petfoods. Both are rich in protein that use REAL meat and are chalked full of supplemental super foods. Further, the company is EXTREMELY TRANSPARENT ABOUT WHERE THEY SOURCE THEIR INGREDIENTS FROM. Orijen and Acana: Greg's Gourmet approved.

Jenny, basking in the glory of grass and tennis balls

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Rob's Jalapenos: Best Burrito in San Diego

After non-rigorous trials and next to no actual test meals at other restaurants, I have finally uncovered the greatest burrito in San Diego: The Carne Asada burrito from Rob's Jalapenos in Carmel Mountain Ranch:

Downing one of these bad boys generates enough power to measure on the Richter Scale

Hooooly guacamole. I don't even LIKE guacamole but this burrito is seriously outta site. The only thing that's possibly better is the Carne Asada plate which throws in lettuce, beans, and rice so you can make your own. But if you're out and about looking for the greatest burrito in San Diego, don't stop at Taco Hell or Hell Taco or El Pollo Stupido; check out Rob's Jalapenos. Oh yeah!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Smart Ones Deflated Frozen Desserts

Got another example of how food photography is the greatest thing in the world. Smart Ones, which specializes in somewhat healthy frozen entrées and desserts (and is owned by one of the major conglomerates) has seriously upped the bar for the most superficial packaging pictures I've ever seen. I call this...Deflated Dessert:

It's like an oatmeal and spit dessert or something

No, that dessert was not altered in any way, shape, or form. That's exactly how it (as well as the other three) came out of the box. And Smart Ones will likely say "oh, something went wrong during manufacturing which is why it looks so strange." Yeah, this isn't the first box of these things I've had and are you really gonna try to tell me that under NORMAL circumstances it's really gonna look like a sundae that comes out of a five star fine dining restaurant? I don't think so. 

The best part of all of this? It actually tastes really frickin' good! 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Vomit Alert

A couple weeks ago, L&L Hawaiian BBQ served me pig vomit on a plate, but I was able to look the other way. I mean, it was takeout and it was a naturally messy dish so, you know, stuff happens. But when I gave their burger a try I received something that's simply inexcusable. This, my friends, is what you call quality control, or lack thereof:

This chunk of whatever is actually thicker than the burger...including the damn buns

Now, I can't identify what part of the lettuce this bombardment actually is. Is it part of the stem? Is it just an overly wrapped super crunchy piece? I have no clue and I didn't intend to find out but this is absolutely disgusting. Another view:

Look how big this damn thing is!

What the hell, L&L???

I openly challenge anybody from L&L management to eat a burger topped with this giant cock-roached shell of an obstruction. I mean really? REALLY? You're gonna put this on a burger? Yeah, okay, later days, L&L.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

What's the Deal with Lettuce?

It seems like there's a trend where, perhaps in an effort to fill up plate space, restaurants feel the need to load up your meal with an absurd amount of lettuce. This is true for burgers and sandwiches as well. When did it become cool to be bombarded with lettuce? I simply do not understand, just like I did not understand this plate here from Boto Sushi:

I guess the new cool thing is getting TWO sides of salad?

What's the deal with that second giant thing of lettuce in the upper left hand corner of my tray here? I don't get it.

Like at all.

Nor did I touch it. Why would I? It's a giant thing of undressed lettuce that doesn't seem to have any purpose in this meal other than taking up space. Am I supposed to mix the steak in with it perhaps? I don't know! The meat was pretty good. I mean, it's not an epic meal but it's good. But the real highlight here is that random thing of lettuce that's just awkwardly out of place. I don't get it, man.

If you can explain what that second helping of lettuce is then please let me know. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Food Photography Part V

Ok, I realize this is takeout and I realize this is fast food but...damn:

The Choco Loco from L&L Hawaiian BBQ. Two beef patties topped with two eggs on top of rice, macaroni salad, and drenched in gravy. Yeah, it's not on a plate and it's takeout but...damn.

It tasted okay. Canned gravy, beef was just eh. I will say that L&L's macaroni salad is really good, though...but...damn.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Breakfast Burgers

Many restaurants are starting to jump on the bandwagon of resolving an issue that strains the will of indecisive foodies such as myself: do I want breakfast or do I want lunch? When going to restaurants that specialize in breakfast alongside an equally tasty lunch menu, it's a riveting challenge to try and confidently pick a side. It's like voting in an election between two bozos; you know they're both horrible people and are gonna screw you, but which one is gonna screw you less? This is where the concept of Breakfast Burgers comes into play, as was the case at the Broken Yolk Cafe:

The burger is a beauty but if you can count the number of fries on your plate, then you've got a problem

So Denny's actually has an item called the Bacon Slamburger, which is a beef patty topped with hash browns, bacon, an egg, and a cheese sauce. The Good Morning Burger is a bit different in the sense that it literally combines two meals by topping the burger with two eggs and bacon and bottoming it out with lettuce and tomato. The result is a huge but messy burger that's pretty tasty for the most part.

The problem I have here is with a burger this difficult to pick up, you're basically stuck with resorting to a knife and fork. Unfortunately, last I checked, it's kinda sorta difficult to cut a piece of lettuce with said utensils. That's where the design of this burger fails a bit because it's just not easy to eat. While I love the concept of Breakfast Burgers, you really don't need the extra condiments. It just kinda makes things awkward, you know? One of the eggs was also overcooked; major pet peeve.

I'd probably try it again since it combines two of my favorite vices; big burgers and big breakfasts. However, just be aware that while it's a beautiful piece of gourmet architecture, it does have its flaws.