Farm Sanctuary co-founder to speak at UT Wednesday

genebaurThe co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, a national nonprofit that advocates for animal welfare, will be in Austin Wednesday for a free talk at the University of Texas.

Gene Baur, author of the new book Living the Farm Sanctuary Life, will speak from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. at The University of Texas School of Law, 727 E. Dean Keeton.

It’s been 30 years since Baur co-founded the nonprofit, which has more than 250,000 members. TIME magazine has called Baur “the conscience of the food movement,” and he is recognized as one of the most influential activists of the 21st century for his work to end cruelty to farm animals and change the way society views them.

The event is being hosted by Student Animal Legal Defense Fund at the University of Texas School of Law.

Recipe of the Week: Smoked Salmon and Kale Soufflé Omelet

This salmon and kale omelet is from “Coast” by Rachel Allen, who hosts several TV shows about Irish cuisine. Photo by Maja Smend.
This salmon and kale omelet is from “Coast” by Rachel Allen, who hosts several TV shows about Irish cuisine. Photo by Maja Smend.

The kale in my garden is starting to bolt, so it’s time to use up the last of those homegrown winter greens. This recipe comes from a little farther than your backyard, but it’s a good inspiration if you’re craving breakfast for dinner or are looking for a new dish for your weekend brunch.

It’s a salmon kale omelet from “Coast: Recipes from Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way” ($29.99, HarperCollins), a new book from TV host Rachel Allen. This is a dream of an omelet. Light and fluffy, rich and luxurious – perfect for a special brunch or supper. Take note that Allen calls for finishing this omelet under the broiler. You could cook it entirely on the stove, but it won’t have that crunchy top you see in the photo.

Smoked Salmon and Kale Soufflé Omelet

2 tsp. butter
4 1/2 oz. smoked salmon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups shredded kale
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 eggs, yolks and whites separated
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
3 Tbsp. heavy whipping cream
3 Tbsp. finely grated hard cheese, such as extra-mature Coolea, Corleggy or Parmesan

Place a broiler-proof frying pan on medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp. butter and allow to melt, then add the smoked salmon and, as it cooks, smash it up a bit with a wooden spoon into slightly chunky flakes. Cook the salmon about 3 minutes and then spoon it out of the pan into a bowl.

Place the kale in a small pot with a pinch of salt and enough boiling water to cover. Cook, uncovered, on high heat for 2 minutes until just tender, then drain and squeeze out the excess water. Chop coarsely and add to the salmon.

Add the egg yolks to the salmon and kale. Stir in the nutmeg and some salt and pepper to season, then mix in 1 tablespoon of the cream and half the grated cheese. Whisk the egg whites in a clean, grease-free bowl until stiff.

Place the frying pan back on a medium heat, add the remaining butter and allow to melt. Fold the egg whites into the salmon mixture and gently tip into the pan. Cook for a few minutes until the omelet is golden underneath.

Turn on the broiler. Pour the remaining cream all over the top of the omelet and scatter with the cheese. Place under the broiler and cook for a few minutes until golden on top and very slightly set. It should feel like a very light and soft marshmallow in the center when you gently press it with your finger.

Slide the omelet out of the pan onto your serving plate and cut into slices to serve. Serve on its own or with a green salad. Serves 2 to 3 as brunch, lunch or supper.

— From “Coast: Recipes from Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way” by Rachel Allen ($29.99, HarperCollins)

Why breast milk ice cream is the worst April Fools’ food prank of the day

NadaMoo's fake April Fool's ice cream.
NadaMoo’s fake April Fool’s ice cream.

It’s only 10 a.m., and I’ve already decided that Nada Moo’s breast milk ice cream is the worst food prank of the day.

According to the release, the two flavors — Vanilla Boo-berry and Double D-ark Chocolate — are the result of a partnership with “a local Austin breastmilk bank for all of their sourcing” and are “now exclusively available on their website and in select natural and specialty retailers nationwide.”

From the release:

This is the first foray outside of coconut milk based products for the frozen dessert company. Staying true to their roots, all breastmilk will be sourced from vegan females who have followed a strict all organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free diet for at least five calendar years. NadaMoo! has provided all the nursing females with Bamboobies, all natural nursing pads made with renewable bamboo, to make their experience more comfortable. With so much science behind the healing and recovery properties and high nutritional value of human breastmilk, NadaMoo! wanted to be the first to market with a breastmilk based product.

Unlike the breast milk-flavored lollipops from the Austin-based Lollyphile, which are actually a real thing (and that I have some similar qualms with), this is obviously a prank. Breastmilk is a precious commodity for prenatal babies and those suffering from health problems. It costs about $2 per ounce, and there would be all kinds of legal hoops for NadaMoo to go through to sell it.

But that’s not the point. My point is that when you play on the idea that breastmilk is “gross” or “other,” you do nothing to help fight the stigma that breastfeeding mothers already face.

Mothers who openly breastfeed face harassment and public shaming, and even though NadaMoo includes positive information about the nutritional value and “healing and recovery properties” of breastmilk, the prank puts breastfeeding women (and their “Double D-ark” breasts and the life-saving milk they produce) as the butt of an April Fools’ joke.

(And what’s up with that Bamboobies plug? Think there was some kind of business partnership to include that link? Any breastfeeding woman would tell you that a good pump is far more important than a good nursing pad “to make their experience more comfortable.”)

Yes, I’m a curmudgeon about pranks.

I also spent two years of my life breastfeeding and know how hard the Mother’s Milk Bank, an actual organization that is too busy saving lives to give their supply to an ice cream company, works to normalize the idea that a breastfeeding mother might donate her excess milk.

Maybe you’ll donate to them today instead of falling for NadaMoo’s silly joke.

Or better yet, maybe NadaMoo will make a donation to the milk bank instead of using them for publicity.