4-H stands for "Head, heart, hands, health" and apparently a fifth - for "haters."
To many, 4-H Clubs are all about nurturing sweet little calves, adorable children winning ribbons, urban garden patches and proud future farmers grooming prized pigs for show. To others, it's a calculated system for turning the youth of America into cold, unfeeling animal killers.
When Eatocracy ran a 5@5 feature with chef Kelly Liken on the topic of Five Reasons to Buy from Your Local 4-H earlier this week, we quickly identified within the comments two distinct perceptions of the organization - which was originally set up by the United States Department of Agriculture to train the rural youth of America in hands-on skills like agriculture and raising animals. One was that 4-H promotes responsible animal husbandry and the cultivation of food resources in a responsible, ethical way and the other was that it serves to desensitize children to the suffering of animals.
Here's what our commenters had to say:
In our daily slogs through the mean streets of the internet, it's often easy forget that sometimes things can be, well, nice. When we see them, we like to call 'em out. From comments on our article on North Carolina liver mush:
Now don't you feel all nice and mushy inside?
In response to yesterday's feature Glue the wound, skip the stitches, a few cringe-inducing anecdotes from chefs, culled from the comments.
As 30-year kitchen veteran, The People's Chef wrote, quoting Jesse Ventura, "It's not a macho thing at all...I ain't got time to bleed."
A round of shots for the kitchen, please!
In response to our lunchtime poll about restaurant breakups:
Whew! Snomageddon averted here in Brooklyn. Yup, plenty of it dumped down overnight, but in a mad burst of sn-overkill for the inadequate response to the Christmas storm that blocked off outer-borough roadways for days, Mayor Mike Bloomberg made sure that plows drove past each resident's home approximately 153 times while they were trying to get some shuteye. (Not that we're complaining. Or that we counted.)
But as for the rest of the country (we know you're out there - we can see your frost breath), things seemed a tad more dire, as evidenced by the blizzard of iReports documenting picked-over supermarkets and snowed-over shopping carts. Plow through the gallery above and shovel down these chilling tales of desperation dining and dealing from our commenters on yesterday's Snowmageddon Supper.
When Eatocracy launched in mid-June of this year, we knew we had a lot to say about how, why, where when and what people across the United States are eating. What took us by surprise and delight was the passionate response from readers who had a thing or ten (or 76,000+ if we're keeping track of comments stats) to say about hot button topics like vegetarianism, genetically modified food, open bars, school lunches and restaurant etiquette.
Here's a sampler platter of topics that stirred the pot this year. Consider it your amuse bouche for all the food fun we'll serve up in 2011.
June 21: Waiters even the score
July 12: A day two pigs would die
From our post Hungry at the holidays:
Sometimes? Our commenters remind of something really freaking awesome that we forgot about.
For you new kids on the Eatocracy block, let's hop in the DeLorean and gun it back to September 27. On our "Last orders - death row menu requests," we asked: What would you want on your last dinner plate?
Commenter SteakAllTheWay responded:
Thus, an Interwebs sensation was born. Let's just say, we shall never order plain ol' filet mignon ever again.
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