Friday, May 24, 2013


celebrated his 297 courtroom victories (compared to only 3 losses, and one of those reversed on appeal) by taking his confidential secretary Della Street and, sometimes, the private eye Paul Drake to a restaurant of some high culinary repute for a gourmet meal—the adjective is Perry Mason creator Erle Stanley Gardner’s—for a gourmet meal of steak and french fries. Steak has been the center piece of many a Last Meal.  But not so for six time killer Velma Barfield (weapon of choice: arsenic). Just prior to becoming (in 1984) the first incarcerated woman to be killed via lethal injection this (so called) Death Row Granny washed down a mess of Cheez Doodles with Coca-Cola.  

Food Crimes.  They’re not just limited to petty stuff such as a quick snatch & dash of a bag of Doritos® from the local 7-11.  Not too long ago German peculators made off with 11,000 pounds of Nutella® (you know, that funky chocolate-hazel nut stuff). 

There’s no single recipe for a Food Crime.  A quick look on line will provide exemplars of gross foods which clearly constitute overt crimes against good taste and decency.  How’d you like some Casu Marzu, a Sardinina goat’s milk cheese, which during fermentation is purposefully infused with flies which leads to a proliferation in the cheese itself of fly larvae and maggots.  Or maybe you’d prefer Hasma, a desert made from the fallopian tubes of frogs.  Now, some of these foodstuffs might be tough to come by (even at Whole Foods) so you might want to go with a can (Net Wt. 5.5 oz.) of one of Libby’s® readily available delights: the famous Potted Meat Food Product which contains (and this is just the stuff they own up to being in there) mechanically separated chicken, beef tripe, partially defatted cooked beef fatty tissue, beef hearts, water, partially defatted cooked pork fatty tissue, salt, mustard, natural flavorings, dried garlic, dextrose, sodium erythorbate and sodium nitrate.

Nor should we ignore those foods that can assault and batter your very well being.  The Carl’s Jr. Six Dollar Guacamole Bacon Burger, when paired with an order of  medium fries and a 32 oz. soft drink, weighs in at 1,810 calories, 92 g fat, 3,450 mg sodium.  But it’s not just carnivores who are prey to such gastronomical attacks: even without a drink or chips the 12" Blimpie Special Vegetarian Sub packs a punch of 1,186 calories, 60 g fat, 3,532 mg sodium.    

So munch on, crunch on, take your nuncheon
Breakfast, supper, dinner, luncheon ...

(Robert Browning (1812–89) The Pied Piper of The Pied Piper of Hamelin)

John S. Spencer

Litigation & Mediation

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