Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Faces Behind the Food

Interactive menu brings up background checks
 
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This quality and ecology conscious restaurant or chain would have a small touch screen monitor at each table displaying the menu. Before ordering or during the meal, patrons could press icons beside each selection to start short video clips.

For example one could view the establishment’s main supplier of beef as she proudly shows off part of her herd and explains the attention she has paid to the cattle’s development and welfare. Another icon would initiate an excerpt of the chef choosing the main ingredients at the produce market and explaining and demonstrating how this particular course was prepared.

Others might show a blurb from apple pickers, an Idaho potato farmer, a butcher producing the specific cut of meat, a cod fisherman or a wine taster. Not adverts or bluffs, the shorts would be up-to-date, interesting, honest (with actual suppliers) and would serve to heighten ambience and appetite.

FarmerJohn, Aug 03 2002

Sheep USA http://www.sheepusa.org/
Juxtaposition is everything. [polartomato, Aug 04 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

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       Butchers in France adopted this approach very successfully during the mad cow scare, displaying photographs of the cow being sold. So the technology is an unecessary expense - a photo and a blurb on the menu would be fine.
DrCurry, Aug 03 2002
  

       farm noir
thumbwax, Aug 03 2002
  

       Good idea in general, but I'm unhappy with almost all the details:   

       - grimy, flickering touch screens? Eeew. Maybe one could just rely on people's own palm pilots, etc. to do the job and have it be a website / wap source.   

       - video and audio are disruptive and slow media and hard to produce. Stick to simpler media so more people can say more faster.   

       - to keep things honest, this should be opened to outside journalism. If an IMDB-like structure were to be created that lets people comment on ingredients provided by the specific listed suppliers on equal footing with the suppliers' statements themselves, the individual restaurants could just link to that site.   

       (And the site could link back to the restaurants, allowing people to go to a restaurant because it serves an ingredient they crave.)
jutta, Aug 03 2002
  

       I enjoy the fact that your cow farmer is a she. Such a sense for the grace of being non-predictable.   

       I think we spend too much time being 'plugged in' already. Our mere presence here is a testament. But the idea is cuncurrent with the times and the fear of our zeal for mass consumption.
rubyissues, Aug 04 2002
  

       << mass consumation>> Eeer, that sounds a bit rude..
briandamage, Aug 04 2002
  

       Sorry- meant consumption. dsylexic tendencies.
rubyissues, Aug 04 2002
  

       Umm... I think there may be a good reason why this information generally isn't published...
polartomato, Aug 04 2002
  

       I think it's a pretty good idea actually!! And after you had finished watching the blurbs and making your choice, you could just buzz in your selection, saving you the embarrassment of having to try to pronounce the name of the dish to the waiting staff. *Cringe* Then your choice would be put on a big display screen in the kitchen in priority order for the chefs to see. Very important.
Eronel, Aug 05 2002
  

       Or maybe not, I don't know.
Eronel, Aug 05 2002
  

       I like your taste Eronel. Welcome to the halfbakery and don't forget to exercise your jutta-given right to vote.
FarmerJohn, Aug 05 2002
  

       I have a very good friend who works at a butchery supplying meats to restaurants. Believe me, you JUST DON'T WANT TO KNOW; they'd lie to you anyway.   

       P.S. He's since become a vegetarian; no bull.
Grog, Sep 17 2002
  
      
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