Descent into madness

| May 20, 2008

OK, so here’s the latest kerfuffle over the Democratic National Convention due here in Denver in a few months:

Fried foods are forbidden at the committee’s 22 or so events, as is liquid served in individual plastic containers. Plates must be reusable, like china, recyclable or compostable. The food should be local, organic or both.

And caterers must provide foods in “at least three of the following five colors: red, green, yellow, blue/purple, and white,” garnishes not included, according to a Request for Proposals, or RFP, distributed last week.

The shrimp-and-mango ensemble? All it’s got is white, brown and orange, so it may not have the nutritional balance that generally comes from a multihued menu.

“Blue could be a challenge,” joked Ed Janos, owner of Cook’s Fresh Market in Denver. “All I can think of are blueberries.”

The national nominating convention Aug. 25-28 will bring about 50,000 people to Denver, and many will scarf loads of chow served at catered parties.

The prospect of that business windfall has tantalized caterers since Denver was named host city for the convention more than a year ago.

Caterers praise the committee and the city for their green ambitions, but some say they’re baffled by parts of the RFP.

“I think it’s a great idea for our community and our environment. The question is, how practical is it?” asks Nick Agro, the owner of Whirled Peas Catering in Commerce City. “We all want to source locally, but we’re in Colorado. The growing season is short. It’s dry here. And I question the feasibility of that.”

Agro’s biggest worry is price. Using organic and local products hikes the costs.

“There is going to be sticker shock when those bids start coming in,” he says. “I’ll cook anything, but I’ve had clients who have approached me about all-organic menus, and then they see the organic stuff pretty much doubles your price.”

Colors? They’re worried that each caterer provide a certain set of colors?

As far as I can tell, this election is a race to the bottom by both parties. Heaven help us all. ..bruce w..

UPDATE: As usual, The Onion is ahead of us all.  ..bruce..

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Category: 2008 Election, Cooking, Environment, Food, Humor, Main, US Politics

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at bwebster@bfwa.com, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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