Monday, September 27, 2010

Rant: Iron Chef America, Why So Secretive?

I am frustrated with Iron Chef America.

I thought that my request was fairly simple. I wanted a list of the food items that are banned on the show, with approximate dates for when those foods were banned. Though I would settle for just the former.

That shouldn't really be a secret, though it is not something listed on their website. If anything, I would have thought that Iron Chef America would be proud of those items they have banned on the show, wanting to showcase their efforts for sustainability or such. In other venues, there have been some indications that foie gras, some caviar, and some seafood may be banned, but why isn't there a list somewhere that people can view? Which specific seafood is banned? What other foods might be banned as well? Why is it so difficult to get that information?

At the end of July, I sent an email to the Food Network, pursuant to their Contact page, requesting this information. I immediately received a confirmation email that they had received my request. But I did not receive an answer to my question, so I sent another email in mid-August, through the same channel. I received a confirmation email again but no answer.

So, on August 31, I availed myself of their Live Chat/Help, and spoke to Mimi online. I repeated my question to her about the list of banned items on Iron Chef America. She stated to me: "I'm sorry, but producers do not provide us with this type of information. We have some product resources they use on the show and can check for air dates but as far as banned ingredients, we just do not receive information like this." I then asked her who I could contact about that question. She replied: "There is not a contact I can provide to you. That information is private at their request."

That sure makes it very difficult to get my question answered. So I then asked whether she could forward my question to them. Her response was "I will see if I can find out any information from them. I'll email you if they are able to provide anything." Nearly a month has now passed and I have not heard back from anyone. I doubt that I will.

Iron Chef America, please step forward and provide us a list of what is banned on the show. It would be even better to tell us when those items were banned, as well as the reasons behind the ban. I think such an action can only create much goodwill.


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