Archive for the ‘News’ Category


I wouldn’t normally think of doing a news round-up since so many other websites do a great job of that, but I came across a couple of morsels I just couldn’t pass up:

Photo from mes_tiza’s flickr stream

The U.S. Olympic team will be dining on American food during this year’s Games in Beijing. Major sponsors will be Tyson’s, which is shipping around 25,000 lbs of meat to China for this purpose; and Kellogg’s. Apparently, we’re scared of possible contamination in Chinese-produced foods, which, given the stakes, is not surprising. But come on now. We all know there are no weird growth hormones in American food….right?

Photo from Tracy O’s flickr stream

The American Farm Bureau is concerned with possible means-testing in the Farm Bill up for debate in Congress right now. Apparently, $500,000 in adjusted gross income shouldn’t be too much to exclude you from receiving government aid. Again, damn! Why don’t I have my hand out?

Photo from iLoveButter’s flickr stream
Beef magazine is reporting that high fertilizer prices could drive producers to reconsider their pasture management practices. I don’t think it’s good news when American farmers and ranchers face higher production costs, but perhaps there’s a silver lining here somewhere?


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Beyond belief

I am not making this up, people. Some idiots in the Mississippi legislature are actually trying to ban restaurants from serving the obese. Right, because of course, if the overweight can’t go out to eat, they’ll just go home and let their bodies digest themselves until they’re skinny enough to appear in public.

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Photo from Choirbell’s flickr stream

People, come on! Stop eating those Banquet chicken and turkey pot pies right out of the package! Don’t you know that that stuff isn’t ready-to-eat? Don’t you have a frantically, pedantically detailed knowledge of the wattage and inner workings of your microwave? No? Then it must be your fault if you started projectile vomiting last time you crammed one of those things into your gullet.

At least, that’s the line that ConAgra is taking. Check out these excerpts from a press release they sent out in response to salmonella poisoning from their chicken and turkey pot pies (emphasis is mine):

ConAgra Foods today announced that it was contacted by state health officials regarding Banquet Turkey and Chicken Pot Pies. In cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), ConAgra Foods is advising consumers to not eat these products while the USDA and ConAgra Foods look into these concerns…The company believes the issue is likely related to consumer undercooking of the product…

The company reminds consumers that these products are not ready-to-eat, and must always be thoroughly cooked as instructed on the packages. The cooking instructions for these products are specifically designed to eliminate the presence of common pathogens found in many uncooked products. Microwave cooking times vary, depending on the wattage of the microwave, so carefully following all instructions is important.

Huh? It’s not like the meat is raw in that pie when you heat it up. It’s a convenience food! That means that theoretically, it’s pre-cooked in some plant somewhere so you don’t have to take your kitchen thermometer out and make sure it’s cooked to 165 degrees inside. I mean, I just know that if you’re eating a frozen pot pie that costs 75 cents, you’re definitely going to have a thermometer on hand to bulletproof yourself from food poisoning in case your
$553 Panasonic NN-C994S Genius Prestige 1100-Watt microwave craps out on you.

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This year’s NWA queen (no, not that NWA, this NWA) went to Washington to push for produce subsidies.

From an Oct. 4th NYTimes article on produce growers’ recent foray into Farm Bill lobbying:

For decades, even as commodity growers collected hundreds of billions from the government, produce farmers wanted nothing to do with Washington. Concentrated in the Sun Belt states of California, Texas and Florida, they enjoyed healthy prices for their crops and managed to grow them with no government subsidies.

Farmers who want nothing to do with Washington? Farmers who would rather grow food than grovel for crumbs from politicians? More unbelievably, farmers who are capable of growing crops WITHOUT government subsidies?? That’s just crazy talk. What’s the world coming to when a vegetable grower on 50 acres can do something that Cargill or ConAgra can’t?

Of course, with $30 billion up for grabs, you’d have to be crazy not to belly up to the table for your share, wouldn’t you?

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