Posts filed under ‘Food’
Hey humans, it’s time to foster a respect for our fellow travelers on this planet, from forests to shrimp:
Northeastern regulators shut down the Gulf of Maine shrimp fishery for the first time in 35 years Tuesday afternoon, worried by reports of what researchers called a fully “collapsed” stock that could be driven to near extinction with any 2014 catch.
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Northern Shrimp Section, a subset of the multistate agency that oversees North Atlantic shrimp fisheries, met Tuesday in Portland to set guidelines for the coming season.
The 11-person section decided by consensus to wipe out the 2014 season, denying a 175-metric-ton catch limit recommended by its Northern Shrimp Advisory Board.
The panel made its decision against a backdrop of plummeting shrimp populations off the coast of Maine, according to researchers with the commission’s Northern Shrimp Technical Committee.
“There are very few, if any, shrimp left,” Whitmore told section members. “It just seems like we’ve reached the bottom. There’s probably no such thing as a ‘do no harm’ fishery at this point.”
Here’s a shocking article about how austerity cuts are affecting the health of folks in the U.K.:
Malnutrition a Public Health Emergency, Experts Warn
Malnutrition is something most of us associate with the third world or even the world of Dickens. But new figures show hospital admissions in England have nearly doubled in the last five years.
A group of scientists and public health experts is warning the rise is evidence of a “public health emergency” which could be linked to changes to benefits.”
They cite government statistics that show there were 5,500 hospital admissions for malnutrition between 2012 and 2013 compared to just over 3,000 in 2008.
They also point to a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies that found families were buying cheaper more unhealthy food.
This has all the signs of a public health emergency that could go unrecognised until it is too late.
Letter to the British Medical Journal
In a letter to the British Medical Journal, David Taylor-Robinson from the University of Liverpool and six other academics warn: “This has all the signs of a public health emergency that could go unrecognised until it is too late to take preventive action.”
They say they are particularly worried about the number of children with malnutrition because it can cause cardiovascular and other chronic diseases in adulthood.
They believe the rise in cases of malnutrition, and the increase in the use of food banks, could be linked to welfare reform.
So, that’s austerity, U.K-style.
Meanwhile, this is what’s happening here in the U.S.:
Meanwhile, there may be no way to prevent Congress from allowing 1.3 million people to lose their unemployment benefits, or reversing the sharp cuts to food stamps, which are one of the most destructive forms of austerity. (In fact, Republicans demand much, much greater cuts to food stamps.)
As the CNN report says, the ostensible reason to cut spending and/or raise taxes is to keep the budget deficit low. But government borrowing costs are still near historic lows, and the budget deficit is plummeting like a stone. Meanwhile, unemployment is still high, inflation is still low, and hysteresis is turning unemployment into long-run structural damage.
Overall, the austerity binge has cost the economy about 3 million jobs at this point. Put simply, this is insane, and there is no sign Congress will stop it anytime soon.
I volunteer at a food bank. Food banks in the area just held their big annual food drive. We collected something like 6,000 pounds less than we did last year. Last year we collected roughly 13,000 pounds less than the year before that. At some point, food banks are going to get crushed under the weight of so many starving people and hey, maybe then we should get together with the U.K. and have a malnurishathon.
Geezus. I think it’s immoral to cut services to the poorest, most desperate segments of a society.
USA, USA, USA!
Republicans are vicious, cold-hearted partisans who are willing to see over a million people suffer because they don’t want anything — anything — good to happen on Obama’s watch:
If Congress does nothing, and fails to extend a jobless-aid program, 1.3 million people will lose unemployment insurance only a few days after Christmas — perhaps leading to a series of stories about real people’s economic travails during the slow-news holiday season.
I’m told House Dems will hold a hearing on Thursday into the plight of those set to lose unemployment insurance if Congress fails to extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, as part of an effort to pressure Republicans to agree to an extension. Sources tell me it will be presided over by Dem Reps. Nancy Pelosi, Chris Van Hollen, Sander Levin, and others, and will hear from witness who stand to lose those benefits.
Meanwhile, sources tell me that in private discussions, House Republicans are giving the thumbs down to Dem entreaties for an unemployment benefits extension. According to a senior Senate Democratic leadership aide, Dems have pushed for the extension to be included in ongoing budget conference talks. “So far, they’ve resisted,” the aide tells me. “They don’t want to do that.”
I wish “senior Senate Democratic leadership aides” like the one Greg Sargent spoke to above, would be a little, no, a lot less charitable when talking about this. It’s just outrageous what Republicans are doing here.
Something we all should be more cognizant of:
I made these super-easy blueberry hand pies today. Man-oh-man are they ever good. The crust is flaky and the fresh blueberries inside (mixed with sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice) are delish.
When I say the recipe is super-easy, I mean it. Here it is. I don’t do desserts. This is literally the first dessert I’ve made in probably 20 years and it turned out just great. Now I’m thinking of pear hand pies and apple hand pies and heck, strawberry/rhubarb and maybe peach hand pies. Maybe even veggie hand pies. Or meat.
Help, I can’t stop…
This is fun:
But what on earth is it??? It’s glow in the dark jellyfish ice cream using calcium activated proteins that react when they are agitated, or to put it a non sciencey way, it glows when you lick it. It’s also pretty insanely expensive stuff, we worked out each scoop is coming out at around £140, dam those big bucks jellyfish. Is it safe to eat? Well I tried some and I don’t seem to be glowing anywhere, so we’ll go with a yes for now. We’ve also made a non-jellyfish version using quinine from tonic to make a glow in the UV dark gin and tonic sorbet which is pretty neat and can be ordered from all good Lick Me I’m Delicious event contraptions.
Next we’re working on an invisibile [sic] ice cream. Any scientists or magicians out there who think they can help, please get in touch.
Invisible ice cream? Holy cow. Can’t wait for that!
Fingers crossed that this line of thinking continues. It’s bad enough that we slaughter hundreds of thousands of cows and millions of chickens every year. Let’s not add horses to that brutal, inhumane tally.
The farm and pharmaceutical lobbies have blocked all meaningful efforts to reduce the use of antibiotics in raising livestock in America, a practice that contributes to a major public health risk, a study released Tuesday found.The report says Congress has killed every effort to legislate a ban on feeding farm animals antibiotics that are important in human medicine. Not only that, but regulation of livestock feeding practices has grown weaker under the Obama administration, the study says.
“Our worst fears were confirmed,’’ said Bob Martin, executive director of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, which issued the report. The Food and Drug Administration’s statistics, he said, show that fully 80 percent of the antibiotics sold in this country are fed to food animals.
FDA guidelines in the pipeline, Martin said, would require the industry to stop using antibiotics specifically to bulk up cows and other food animals but would continue to allow their use for “disease-control.” What constitutes disease-control is so loosely defined, however, that there would be “no change” in the use of antibiotics, Martin said.
“In a couple of areas, the Obama administration started off with good intentions. But when industry pushed back, even weaker rules were issued,” he said. “We saw undue influence everywhere we turned.”
This article illustrates the incredible power of lobbyists. Surely just about everyone in congress, if they’d stop and think for a sec, understands that pumping feed animals full of antibiotics is a very bad idea. I mean, even doctors at the esteemed John Hopkins for God’s sake are telling them that but do they listen? No, because they’re more terrified of the lobbyists than medical experts or even of us, the voters.
Think about it for a second: The United States congress may singlehandedly be making antibiotics ineffective worldwide because it’s succumbing to bribes by corporate lobbyists, putting 7 billion people at risk.
How do these guys sleep at night?
Heartrending (to say the least) 2008 article by Nicholas D. Kristof about his childhood memories of farm animals:
I’m a farm boy who grew up here in the hills outside Yamhill, Ore., raising sheep for my F.F.A. and 4-H projects. At various times, my family also raised modest numbers of pigs, cattle, goats, chickens and geese, although they were never tightly confined.
Our cattle, sheep, chickens and goats certainly had individual personalities, but not such interesting ones that it bothered me that they might end up in a stew. Pigs were more troubling because of their unforgettable characters and obvious intelligence. To this day, when tucking into a pork chop, I always feel as if it is my intellectual equal.
Then there were the geese, the most admirable creatures I’ve ever met. We raised Chinese white geese, a common breed, and they have distinctive personalities. They mate for life and adhere to family values that would shame most of those who dine on them.
While one of our geese was sitting on her eggs, her gander would go out foraging for food — and if he found some delicacy, he would rush back to give it to his mate. Sometimes I would offer males a dish of corn to fatten them up — but it was impossible, for they would take it all home to their true loves.
Once a month or so, we would slaughter the geese. When I was 10 years old, my job was to lock the geese in the barn and then rush and grab one. Then I would take it out and hold it by its wings on the chopping block while my Dad or someone else swung the ax.
The 150 geese knew that something dreadful was happening and would cower in a far corner of the barn, and run away in terror as I approached. Then I would grab one and carry it away as it screeched and struggled in my arms.
Very often, one goose would bravely step away from the panicked flock and walk tremulously toward me. It would be the mate of the one I had caught, male or female, and it would step right up to me, protesting pitifully. It would be frightened out of its wits, but still determined to stand with and comfort its lover.
It’s been said a million times but I’ll say it again: We must give more thought to how we treat the animals we eat.
The food industry really, really, REALLY doesn’t want us to know if our food has been genetically modified and they really, really, REALLY don’t want us to know specifically which food manufacturers are involved in that:
If you’ve been scratching your head wondering where Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, General Mills, Kellogg’s and other familiar brand names are in current GMO labeling fight underway in Washington State – wonder no more.
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit yesterday claiming the Grocery Manufacturers Association [GMA] —which—has violated campaign disclosure laws. The group is accused of failing to form a political committee registered with the state’s Public Disclosure Commission after it solicited and collected nearly $13.5 million in contributions, spending $7.2 in efforts to a defeat ballot measure I-522, which would require genetically modified foods to be labeled.
The state’s lawsuit also alleges the GMA purposely concealed the names of companies who contributed those funds to shield them from public backlash.
Afterall, they’re not dummies. Brands fromto Kashi to Smucker’s took a painful public relations hit after consumers discovered some of their favorite products helped contributed $44 million towards defeating California’s labeling efforts. Funneling that money through their association would seem like an infinitely better plan—one that now may have backfired.
Let’s hope to god it has backfired and that the Washington State Attorney General pursues this case and eventually reveals the names of the household brands who’ve poured money into this deal. I want to know if the people who make my favorite cookie (Pepperidge Farm “Gingerman”) want to keep me in the dark as to the GMO ingredients (if any) in those delicious little puppies, because, you betcha, I won’t buy them anymore. Why would I want to give my money to aholes like that?
I’ve got to start keeping track of the infrastructure failures that are occurring all across the United States; everything from water main breaks to computer glitches. I read about them here and there almost every day. They seem small on their own but together, they add up.
Our country is falling apart. Literally. The thing is, the failures aren’t happening in areas where rich white people live so we aren’t hearing about them.
Case in point. This is an emergency:
Power Outage Shuts Down Food Stamp Program In 17 States
SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) – Food stamp recipients in 17 states lost access to the electronic system used by stores to verify their benefits on Saturday, leaving many unable to buy groceries, the company that manages the system said.
People enrolled in the government food assistance program use plastic vouchers similar to debit cards. Starting at about 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT), some of those cards stopped working, Xerox spokesman Kevin Lightfoot said.
A power outage that started the problem was fixed within 20 minutes, Lightfoot said, but shoppers continued to run into difficulties throughout the day. By early evening, the problem still had not been fixed.
States States experiencing problems included Alabama, California, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois,Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio,Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia, Lightfoot said.
My food bank-volunteer-self knows this is going to hurt so many people in so many ways. The ripple effect will be tremendous lest it’s fixed tonight. Get that “electronic system” up and running ASAP! Oh, wait, the government’s shut down. Shi*t.
How about some canned chili made with mystery meat that’ll last for a million years and oh, I don’t know, some canned green beans from who-knows-where? And let’s have some soggy brownish government-issued canned peaches for dessert.
Sounds yummy huh?
Catered meals? Really? That’s what you’re used to?
I like quizzes so I took the one over at Food and Water Watch asking, “What Are They Feeding Your Food?”
I “scored” a 68%.
What shocked me most was I was right in my guesstimation that 80% of the antibiotics administered in the United States are fed to the animals we eat. Thus, they’re fed to us.
So disturbing and maddening given articles like this, End of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Could be Possible, that we’ve been reading for years.
I’m so glad Washington isn’t messing around with stupid stuff and that they’re ON IT!
I can’t decide if this sounds sumptuous or repulsive:
Chicken wing cupcake – blue cheese frosting, hot-and-spicy yellow cake at Tempo in #Halifax:
Secretary of Agriculture: Why Do We Value Our Rural Farmers? Because They Send Their Kids to the Military!!!
A friend just sent me this mind blowing and sadly discouraging tidbit from mid-August. Does a militaristic mindset permeate the brain of every upper level government official?
Why do we need more farmers? What is the driving force behind USDA policy? In an infuriating epiphany I have yet to metabolize, I found out Wednesday in a private policy-generation meeting with Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McCauliffe.
It was a who’s who of Virginia agriculture: Farm Bureau, Va. Agribusiness Council, Va. Forestry Association, Va. Poultry Federation, Va. Cattlemen’s Ass., deans from Virginia Tech and Virginia State–you get the picture.
But I digress. The big surprise occurred a few minutes into the meeting: US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack walked in.
Are you ready for the shoe to drop? The epiphany? What could the US Secretary of Agriculture, at the highest strategic planning sessions of our land, be challenged by other leaders to change this figure, to get more people in rural America, to encourage farming and help more farms get started? What could be the driving reason to have more farmers? Why does he go to bed at night trying to figure out how to increase farmers? How does the President and other cabinet members view his role as the nation’s farming czar?
What could be the most important contribution that increasing farmers could offer to the nation? Better food? Better soil development? Better care for animals? Better care for plants?
Here’s the bombshell:
Are you ready? Here’s his answer: although rural America only has 16 percent of the population, it gives 40 percent of the personnel to the military. Say what? You mean when it’s all said and done, at the end of the day, the bottom line–you know all the cliches–the whole reason for increasing farms is to provide cannon fodder for American imperial might. He said rural kids grow up with a sense of wanting to give something back, and if we lose that value system, we’ll lose our military might.
So folks, it all boils down to American military muscle. It’s not about food, healing the land, stewarding precious soil and resources; it’s all about making sure we keep a steady stream of youngsters going into the military.
I was left speechless after reading this and I still am. SMDH.
Wow. I just learned about the film: “GMO OMG.”
“The corn we see growing around here is actually registered as a pesticide?”
“But it’s also a food?”
“Well, that’s debatable.”
Gotta see it. Watch the trailer here.
And then there’s this: The idiots in D.C. want to grant Monsanto immunity from lawsuits stemming from their GMO seeds, kinda like they granted gun manufacturers protection from lawsuits stemming from deaths and injuries caused by their guns:
On Friday, Sept 20th, the House passed a Continuing Resolution (H.J.RES.59) that contains the same Monsanto Protection Act that it passed last spring! We need your help to stop it in the Senate, which will vote this week! While the previous continuing resolution was scheduled to expire on September 30th, the new bill contains the exact same language that offers Monsanto and their GMO crops protection from judicial oversight and forces the USDA to allow the planting of untested GMO crops without proper scientific or regulatory review.
The Bacon Truck just debut in Boston. Probably gonna be a hit.
I love, love, love Swedish meatballs but I don’t make them very often. Lots of fat and calories. That said, I saw a bit of a Food Network show over the weekend about meatballs and voila, all I could think of were meatballs so I made Swedish meatballs for dinner tonight:
A few meatballs, a bunch of “gravy,” some French bread to sop it up and some broccoli to cut the fat (hah! yeah, right) and the hubby and I are set.
The recipe I follow is old. I think it’s from the now-defunct Gourmet magazine but I can’t be sure. It’s taped to a 3 x 5 index card that has food splatters all over it.
I saw this T-shirt the other day and I had to have it:
I think it’s hilarious. Kale, kale, kale! I know people who put kale in virtually everything they eat. It’s as if eating it will protect against pretty much everything and make you live to be at least 100 without any aches or pains or signs of aging. Woo hoo! It’s the miracle food (at least until we discover the new one).
Anyway, I’m going to wear it with a bit of sarcasm and lots of humor, mocking the trend as well as myself because yes (sheepish grin on face), I eat kale too.
This is a very sort promo for tours that are available of the 750-year-old (!) kitchen at Windsor Castle.
I’m adding this to my bucket list.
I’m thinking this kid is going to be famous worldwide after the 4th of July eating contests in roughly 2028.
Get on it Obama:
I know this is totally tacky but being a bacon person, I can’t resist:
Go here to learn how to make this “bacon flag” in “just minutes!”
Yum. Bacon and blue cheese. What could be better?
Check out the photos — here — of the 47 new foods that will be available at this year’s Minnesota State Fair, the place where wild and decadent foods are born. (Some of them look crazy but yummy as hell.)
Here’s the most insane one of the bunch:
Again, go here to see all the pix.
SECOND UPDATE: The Food Network has fired Paula Deen. Wow.
Too vague and generic for me. And she’s acting like she’s the victim.
UPDATE: Weird. The video was up for (only) about 45 minutes but the Deen camp just took it down. Buzzfeed has it here.
I hadn’t really given a whole lot of thought to the news coming out of the discrimination lawsuit filed against Food Network star Paula Deen, though I’d kept abreast of developments in general. I knew Deen seemed to be digging herself a deeper and deeper hole as she “clarified” statements she made in a deposition and that she was beginning to look like a stereotypical southern racist at heart, while simultaneously pretending not to be and hoping we’d believe her.
Now, Josh Marshall over at Talking Points Memo is out with a very important point:
I must say. I love Paula Deen’s defense. It has the benefit of being both ridiculous and perhaps something her critics could actually agree about. According to the Wall Street Journal, “A representative for Paula Deen says that the 66-year-old celebrity chef used the “N-word” because she has roots in another era.” Or as you might translate this, ‘Look, she’s on the old side and pretty racist.’ Which sounds about right and sort of like the criticism rather than the defense.
Another thing it made me think about though is that these days, in 2013, if you’re in your 60s, you really didn’t grow up in the ‘Old South’. More like you grew up in the Civil Rights Era. Paula Deen was born in 1947. So she was 8 or 9 during the Montgomery bus boycott, sixteen for the March on Washington and twenty-one when Martin Luther King was assassinated.
It’s worth remembering how ingrained these words were for whites from the South from a certain era, not only for people who were fierce opponents of civil rights but even from some of their greatest advocates. The words signal the mental world of Jim Crow.
It would seem Paula Deen wasn’t paying attention during the Civil Rights Era because her mind was already made up and it’s been stuck “in another era” ever since.
One of every three bites of food comes from plants pollinated by honeybees and other pollinators. Yet, major declines in bee populations threaten the availability of many fresh ingredients consumers rely on for their dinner tables.
We better get it together when it comes to halting the bee die-off, and fast.
Uh oh. I love cured meats like salami and prosciutto so this is great news for my taste buds but not for my waistline. I’m gonna have to cut something out of my diet in order to digest (corny huh?) this:
Italian cold cut connoisseurs are eagerly awaiting the arrival of imported salami, pancetta, coppa, and other pork salumi that have not been available in the United States for nearly 50 years.
On May 28, a ban on pork products in effect since 1963 was lifted by the US Department of Agriculture. The ban came about when the first of at least two contagious swine diseases was detected, according to Workabeba Yigzaw, a spokesperson for the department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Last month, several Northern Italian regions were declared free of swine vesicular disease and therefore pose a low risk of contaminating pigs in this country, she explains.
Meats cured for less than 400 days from Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, and Piedmont, and the autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano should start showing up in this country within two to three months after meat producers are certified, according to Davide Calderone, director of Italy’s Industrial Association of Meat and Cured Meat Products.
Yum yum yummy! I can’t wait to try some of these goodies.
Not a whole lot of guts being shown here but it’s a start:
The Connecticut Senate on Saturday approved a compromise bill that would require special labels on food that contains genetically modified ingredients, so long as other states pass similar legislation.
The compromise legislation, which moves to the House of Representatives for further action, requires food that is entirely or partially genetically engineered to be labeled with the words ‘‘Produced with Genetic Engineering’’ on the packaging. The mandate would take effect after four other states, including one that borders Connecticut, enact a similar law. Also, it requires the aggregate population of any Northeast states (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania or New Jersey) that enact such labeling laws to comprise a population of more than 20 million people.
Senate President Donald Williams Jr., D-Brooklyn, said if New York, which has a population of about 19 million people, passes a similar labeling requirement, the new Connecticut law would take effect given his state’s population is about 3.5 million people. There have been concerns that Connecticut consumers might face higher prices if the state was the first to require labeling.
The food industry scared the bejesus out of California voters last year by claiming that to put one sentence (like the one above) on their GMO-containing products (cans, plastic bags) would increase the cost of food by hundreds of dollars per family per year. Apparently the Connecticut legislature bought into that bull as well.
Besides, manufacturers change their labeling all the time—anytime their product is “new and improved” or they change a logo or a box design—and those costs are not passed on to the consumer. When the government required nutritional information to be posted on each container, prices didn’t go up because of it.
But hey, it’s a start. As Winston Churchill said: “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing — after they’ve tried everything else.” Oy.