I had a nice chat last week with one of the three “Haphazard Gourmet Girls.”

The Haphazard Gourmet Girls are big fans of Bill Marler, the foremost food poisoning attorney in the United States. Mr. Marler, of Seattle’s Marler Clark law firm, has made a career of very successfully suing high-profile Food Industrial Complex corporations, and also writes the excellent, erudite, highly informative Marlerblog, which covers all kinds of foodborne illness issues.

I usually am a bit shy when interviewed.  However, Eddie/Chef Couture – “Editor in Beef,” got the better of me.  Some of my best quotes from her post:

  • Many people–including me–think Bill Marler is a modern-day superhero for his tireless work fighting Foodie crimes of poisonings, but his closest friends won’t have him over for dinner, and his wife worries, only half-jokingly, that one day he’ll wind up "crushed into meat patties somewhere in Omaha."
  • What else happens when you’re brutally aware that one of the most fundamental human behaviors can also, accidentally and haphazardly, have profound mortal consequences?  "I drink a lot," Mr. Marler says, dryly, and chuckles.
  • "I’m probably the only guy in America who walks down the meat aisle in a supermarket and thinks cowsh*t, cowsh*t, cowsh*t," Mr. Marler says, almost gleeful.
  • “It really does drive me insane when I see the food-channel types extolling the virtues of raw milk without making it clear there’s a risk," Mr. Marler says. “If you’re a little kid or an elderly person or pregnant, raw milk can be deadly. There’s got to be that balance between the food pornographer side of us and the safety side, and the raw milk people just ignore that.”
  • "Beijing is not a bland place," Mr. Marler says. "You can get bull penis in a restaurant made five different ways. I went to a lot of banquets where they were serving just nasty stuff–I still have no idea what it was."
  • So, given the huge amount of time Mr. Marler spends traveling by air, does he eat on planes?  "I have a couple of Scotches every time I’m on a plane, and I’ve never gotten sick," Mr. Marler says.
  • Did Mr. Marler eat tomatoes during the most recent two-month recall extravaganza?  "Yes. I just got lucky,” he says. “And I only ate tomatoes with wine….dip a jalapeno in Scotch, and you can probably eat one with no problem."

There seems to be a common thread in my quotes.