I have been food obsessed since before moving to Russia. Not in a get-me-my-own-show-on-a-cable-networks-I-can't-stop-eating way. My obsessions has had to do with the quality of food I eat. I read this book, the Omnivore's Dilemma and went on a half hearted mission to eliminate corn syrup from my diet. Living in the United States this was impossible and did not last. After moving to Moscow, I instantly dropped weight without trying or really changing the amount of food or types of food I ate, and am convinced it is due to the lack of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in the food here. Russia doesn't have government subsidies to grown corn, and therefore a huge surplus of corn with nowhere to go but into other non-related corn food, even including our meat. Then I read this Princeton article about how rats being fed HFCS and consuming the same amount of calories as rats consuming cane sugar gained DOUBLE the amount of weight at the end of the year, and was further convinced of the evils of corn syrup.
This made me excited about living in Russia, free from the tyranny of corn. Then I stumbled across this article yesterday called The Dark Side of The Bird. This article talks about America's obsession with white meat chicken, and disdain for all things dark. The problem is, chicken (and women...too obvious?) are not only breasts, and what can we do with all of the extra parts? Sell them to Russia. Well, up until last year (2010) when Russia said "No Thanks". Prime Minister Vladimir Putin barred U.S. chicken from Russia due to "health and safety reasons" last year. Russia, the leader in accidental deaths, the place where Ferrel dogs run freely in gangs along the street, where old ladies shove you on the metro, where the sidewalks are ice luges in the winter, is afraid of U.S. chicken? The article seems to speculate that the health and safety reasons may be bogus, and that a goal to be independent of foreign experts may actually be behind the ban. But I am skeptical considering the article ended with a solution to the glut of unwanted dark meat in America. A scientist has come up with a way to turn dark meat into a white meat milkshake that could be used for burgers and nuggets. This process involves a lab and a CENTRIFUGE.
Even though I have to dodge speeding cars that park on the sidewalk (and sometimes drive down it too), all large crane operators here are all blind, and the sidewalks are slip and slides in the winter, I am glad that when I buy food here I know it is just that, food.