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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:35 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:00 pm
Posts: 390
This week: FOOD FIGHT!

Angela brings the case against her good friend Justin. Justin actively avoids dairy, claiming to HATE cheese, butter, and cream. Angela is irritated by the avoidance, alleges that Justin has consumed and enjoyed dairy in the past, and thinks he should own up.

Judge John Hodgman Episode 85: Ipso Lacto

UPDATE (February 6, 2013)

Angela writes in to say:

Over the holiday break, my family and I went to visit our friend Justin in Canandaigua, the cheese capital of the Finger Lakes region, and justice was indeed served. The three slices of Kraft singles were even harder to swallow than defeat was, but I am happy to report that I was honest and open about the butter that I put into the root vegetable mash I made with dinner while I was there. Not to split hairs, but he did ask me more than once how much was in it. Justin also drank a glass of eggnog, ate some buttery root vegetables, consumed many Christmas cookies (claiming ignorance that cookies are full of butter) and consumed enough half and half to drown a horse. No chipped beef in the coffee this time around. Please find photographic evidence of my punishment for contempt of court attached.



PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:00 pm 
New Sincericist

Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:18 pm
Posts: 251
Location: Concrete jungle where dreams are made of
While I understand the judge's ruling I think I would have more strongly implored the defendant to accept that he actually likes the foods in question. If it were up to me, finding out he eats a pizza (with cheese) every week would be enough to throw the case out.

I also think it places an undue burden on the Complainant when preparing food to be shared by multiple guests including the defendant. I was not clear if she was actively sneaking additional butter into food, versus just using butter as part of the recipe (as it is a fairly common cooking staple) and then giving the knowing looks. It seemed to me, from her testimony anyway, more of the latter, in which case she is going to have to go out of her way in the future.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 2:51 am 
New Kid
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Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:21 pm
Posts: 9
Location: Chicago, IL

I would like to bring to the court's attention an ESTABLISHED PRECEDENT in the court in cases concerning taste showing that, while one cannot be ordered to like something, they can be ordered to give something a fair chance in order to form a fully informed opinion of it. I cite Episode 73: Gavelbangers Ball, in which the court found in favor of the defendant, allowing him the opportunity to expose his girlfriend to reasonable quantities of "metal" in his effort to get her to like it. While it could be said that the girlfriend was not directly ordered to listen to it, it could be reasonably extrapolated that she would have to listen if she were to stay in the relationship.

I sincerely hope the court will take this into consideration.

(Note: I would like to add that I am severely LACTOSE INTOLERANT, and as such am bereaved by my hindered ability to partake in cheese–one of my very favorite foods.)

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:02 pm 
Friend of the Family
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Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:15 am
Posts: 53
Location: Bloomington, IN
While I understand and respect that Judge John Hodgman rules and that is all, I would like to add my name to the list of devoted listeners appealing this decision. Listener Alice rightly points out that the Defendant eats pizza with cheese every week, and indeed I had thought that was enough to find in favor of the Complainant. On top of that, I lodge that the Judge's line of questioning against Angela re: whether she would find similar objections against a vegetarian requesting meatless dishes was the most important of the case. Justin's issues do not stem from a moral, environmental, or health-based ground! He self-admits to enjoying or stomaching some cheese varieties and seemingly many other dairy products. Yet there he stood, under oath, whining when it was appropriate to his case that he "just doesn't like it." The Judge was right to press him on this point early on, but I fear that this piece of evidence was shamefully left behind during deliberation.

On another note, it was a delight to hear the joy Bailiff Jesse still gets from the Die Flederhaus brothers.

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:40 am 
New Kid

Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:29 am
Posts: 2
This episode was hilarious, but there was one obvious point that I felt was not addressed: I don't see why it's so implausible to like butter when it's cooked into things but dislike it when it is spread on bread or otherwise used in a very overt fashion. I personally love butter in all of its forms, but I can understand why one's aversion to dairy might not be triggered by butter incorporated into baked goods or even mashed potatoes.

That said, Justin's refusal to admit that butter (and cheese) enhance the flavor of certain foods, even after he praises those foods Alice has cooked with butter, is really childish. I would have liked to hear the judge acknowledge that it is possible for someone to like butter and cheese in certain contexts but not in others, and yet order Justin not to hassle Alice about using butter in her cooking when she's proven to him that she can cook things he enjoys using it.

On the other hand, as the judge rightly pointed out, there is nothing wrong with asking a server at a restaurant if a dish contains cheese or dairy (unless it's a really obvious one). Wouldn't it be better for him to find out beforehand than to complain the rest of the meal if he is unpleasantly surprised by his meal when it comes?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:56 pm 
New Kid

Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:05 am
Posts: 3
When justin described dairy as tasting "yellow", of course we were all concerned for his neurological health. But it is possible that this puzzling description explains his strange form of pickiness.

By "yellow" he may mean the taste and aroma of diacetyl, a molecule which naturally occurs through fermentation in cultured dairy products. I am sensitive to that compound also and do not really like it. This could explain why Justin likes some dairy - like me he may prefer products like half and half and mozzarella with no diacetyl. I don't really taste it in most cheeses, and I like some really loud and moldy ones, but it may be present in things like parmesan and justin may be very sensitive to it.

This flavor is strong in high quality imported sweet butter, but almost completely lacking in cheap salted butter, so I actually prefer the latter. The aroma is very strong in Chobani yogurt.

I propose an experiment - Justin should be presented with Chobani and buttermilk, vs. salted butter and fresh cream. If he recoils from the former and not so the latter then diacetyl is the culprit.

Synthetic diacetyl is added to microwave popcorn bags, which give off the aroma very strongly when popped. It has a butterscotchy quality. Apparently, at very high doses, it has caused lung disease for workers in microwave popcorn factories.

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