Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘Butter’

Would another “government cheese” type program work today for meat?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 26, 2022

Hearken back about 2 years, or thereabouts, when the COVID pandemic was descending into its deepest throes in our nation, when news came out of South Dakota that employees at a meat processing plant there in Sioux Falls began to suffer rampant infection with the viral disease. 
 
Around March 25, 2020, the first news of an infected employee was shared with the Argus Leader’s FaceBook-based tip page when an anonymous tip was sent that an unnamed employee had tested positive for the disease. They published the story online the next day at 0735 with the straight-forward headline “Smithfield Foods employee tests positive for coronavirus.” (see: https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/2020/03/26/smithfield-foods-employee-tests-positive-coronavirus/2914475001/
 
The Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods, though a company spokesperson, Keira Lombardo, Executive Vice President for Corporate Affairs, had confirmed to the to the paper the veracity of that claim, and asserted that the unnamed employee was being quarantined for 14 days, with pay, at their residence, and would not be permitted to return to work until given medical clearance to do so. The exceeding majority of employees there were immigrants, and refugees from all over the world – including Congo, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Myanmar, and Nepal, with over 80 different languages spoken in the plant – most of whom did not speak English, and rumors had been circulating of other employees who had earlier fallen ill and were hospitalized with a mysterious disease. 

Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods pork processing facility in Sioux Falls, SD, where the American COVID-19 pandemic first began to escalate among immigrant & refugee employees characterized as “front-line” workers. A company spokesperson said a majority of meat they export to China are so-called “underutilized” products that are allegedly not consumed in the U.S.

 
In the 3-week period that followed, positive cases of coronavirus among plant employees rapidly escalated from 80, to 190, then to 238. And by April 12, with 644 confirmed cases, the number of infected individuals at the plant accounted for about 55% of all cases statewide, with a per capita concentration of 182.25 per 100,000 — far exceeding those of more populous neighboring states, greater even than Chicago, and Seattle — while Sioux Falls’ population was a little over 192,000. Ultimately, the number of positive cases continued skyrocketing, and eventually had at least 761 positive employees.

 

After the 1st confirmed death, and under mounting pressure from Republican Governor Kristi Noem, and Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken, both who wanted the plant to close for 2 weeks, officials at the plant announced that Read the rest of this entry »

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Milk… it STILL does a body good!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Food color.

What a compelling subject, eh?

Doubtless, it’s a spell-binding topic, and certainly one bound to keep readers’ rapt attention!

Thrilling and exciting!

Compelling even!

Except that, things aren’t always what they seem.

First, however, you’ll need to be buttered up for this one.

In an unobtrusive article cross-published in Smithsonian Magazine (also at https://www.ZocaloPublicSquare.org/2020/01/15/when-the-government-decided-the-spread-on-your-toast-should-be-pink/ideas/essay/), author Ai Hisano addresses food color.

Instead of being professionally prepared as a chef, restaurateur, food historian, or nutritional anthropologist, author Ai Hisano is Senior Lecturer at the Graduate School of Economics at Kyoto University, Japan, and has been the Newcomen Postdoctoral Fellow in Business History at Harvard Business School, where she most recently authored Visualizing Taste: How Business Changed the Look of What You Eat.

Though her article isn’t difficult to swallow, it was rather bland and under-cooked, because while she did the job fairly well enough sharing some interesting tid-bit details about the history of oleomargarine, she failed overall to address the underlying concern – and therefore the premise of – the rationale for the existence of laws regulating the color of oleomargarine.

Again,
the unspoken and underlying concern
for the color of margarine
– the question
Why was it a concern?
–  failed to be addressed.

That concern is fraud.

Sadly, food fraud remains a concern today – even in the United States.

For example, producers of plant-based non-dairy imitation milk products such as “almond milk” are rapidly being caught in the cross hairs of public intrigue with their highly-processed, made-in-a-chemistry laboratory pseudo-natural products by making numerous varieties of claims about their product(s), none of which are proven, nor represent any improvement in public health, though their marketing obliquely intimates as much.

It is inherently fraudulent to label a product as being a certain thing when it is not.

That is plain and simple.

And I write this with all sincerity: It makes me Read the rest of this entry »

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Butter really IS better!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How Food Marketers Made Butter the Enemy

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 3:00 AM PDT

James McWilliams—a historian who has made a name for himself in prestigious publications like the New York Times and The Atlantic for his contrarian defenses of the food industry—is back at it. In an item published last week in the excellent Pacific Standard, McWilliams uses the controversy over a recent study of saturated fat as a club with which to pummel food industry critics like the Times‘ Mark Bittman.

Here’s what happened: A group including Harvard and Cambridge researchers analyzed 72 studies and concluded that there’s no clear evidence that ditching saturated fat (the kind found mainly in butter, eggs, and meat) for the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated kind (found in fish and a variety of vegetable oils) delivers health benefits.

Bittman responded to the study’s release with Read the rest of this entry »

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Did Costco destroy 25 tons (1,000,000 jars) of perfectly good peanut butter worth $2,600,000 just to spite their corporate face?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, March 29, 2014

In a nutshell, “yes,” they did.

So much for good corporate citizenship, and poor hungry people.

Thanks for nothing, Costco!

Million jars of peanut butter dumped in New Mexico

By JERI CLAUSING, Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Nearly a million jars of peanut butter were dumped at a New Mexico landfill this week to expedite the sale of a bankrupt peanut-processing plant that was at the heart of a 2012 salmonella outbreak and nationwide recall.

Bankruptcy trustee Clarke Coll said he had no other choice after Costco Wholesale refused to take shipment of the Sunland Inc. product and declined requests to let it be donated to food banks or repackaged or sold to brokers who provide food to institutions like prisons.

“We considered all options,” Coll said. “They didn’t agree.”

Peanut butter is disposed of Friday March 28, 2014 at the dump in Clovis, N.M. Nearly a million jars of peanut butter are being dumped at a New Mexico landfill to expedite the sale of a bankrupt peanut-processing plant that was at the heart of a 2012 salmonella outbreak and nationwide recall. (AP Photo/Clovis News-Journal, Tony Bullocks)

Peanut butter is disposed of Friday March 28, 2014 at the dump in Clovis, N.M. Nearly a million jars of peanut butter are being dumped at a New Mexico landfill to expedite the sale of a bankrupt peanut-processing plant that was at the heart of a 2012 salmonella outbreak and nationwide recall. (AP Photo/Clovis News-Journal, Tony Bullocks)

MelindaJoy Pattison, executive director of the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico, on Friday called the dumping of the peanut butter “horrendous.” She said as long as there was nothing wrong with the peanut butter, her operation would have found a way to store it, remove the labels and distribute it to the people who depend on the food bank.

“Those trucks carrying it to the dump went right by the front door of my food bank,” she said. “It wasn’t like it would have been out of the way.”

Pattison said peanut butter is a major source of protein and a staple for hungry people. Her food bank places single-serve peanut butter cups in packages it gives to children whose parents rely on its services.

“For it to just be deliberately thrown away is disappointing,” she said.

Costco officials did not return telephone calls seeking comment. But court filings indicate the product was made with $2.8 million worth of Valencia peanuts owned by Costco and had been sitting in the warehouse since the company shut down and filed for bankruptcy last fall.

After extensive testing, Costco agreed to a court order authorizing the trustee to sell it the peanut butter. But after getting eight loads, Costco rejected it as “not merchantable” because of leaky peanut oil.

Coll said “all parties agreed there’s nothing wrong with the peanut butter from a health and safety issue,” but court records show that on a March 19 conference call Costco said “it would not agree to any disposition … other than destruction.”

So instead of selling or donating the peanut butter, with a value estimated at $2.6 million, the estate paid about $60,000 to haul the 950,000 jars of nut butter — or about 25 tons — to the Curry County landfill in Clovis, where Read the rest of this entry »

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