Warm Southern Breeze

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Posts Tagged ‘food’

Perspective – By the Numbers: How has Job Loss under Governor Bentley & the GOP affected Alabama?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, April 14, 2014

It’s easy to talk about “the jobs situation” in Alabama. It’s especially easier to talk about it when it doesn’t affect you… directly. It’s like armchair quarterbacking.

There’s probably much truth to the statement that Alabama’s legislators aren’t directly affected by job loss in the state. They have jobs. As musician Steve Miller sang in his song “Take the Money and Run,” they make their “living off other people’s taxes.” That goes for Republicans AND Democrats. Such an observation, of course, is not to demean those who do “make their living off other people’s taxes,” because our military, public safety and others vital to our local, state and national well-being are among them. It is however, an acknowledgment of, and call to responsibility – not merely accountability – because accountability is the only remnant once responsibility has departed. And that is how the “Blame Game” is played.

In the previous entry entitled “Analysis – Examining the Record: Is Alabama Governor Bentley a “Jobs Creator” or a Drag on the State Economy?,” we looked at facts & figures about job loss & job creation during Governor Bentley’s administration.

In this entry, we examine some details on the extent of the damage done to families & individuals under his administration.

And so, let’s again refer to some previously-mentioned facts & figures, and introduce some new ones so that we can better understand the nature, scope and and extent of the situation, and corresponding problems 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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Inequality in Government: Is there Racism in Mississippi? In 2014? Say it ain’t so!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, April 4, 2014

It occurred to me recently in a couple conversations I had with friends in various parts of our United States, that equal representation is a matter with which we still struggle.

While on occasion I’ve opined about injustice through inequality – the United States’ Constitution guarantees Equal Protection and Equal Rights under law via the 14th Amendment – it occurred to me recently that there are some who “just don’t get it.”

More to the point, I was spurred by a photograph sent to me by a friend in one of our Northern sister states – the Land of the Frozen Chosen, sometimes also referred to as “The Great White North.”

In gentleness, I refer, of course, to Minnesota.

It was a photograph of my friend’s co-worker which sparked my interest, and subsequent curiosity.

The co-worker was Afro-American, aka “Black.”

I was somewhat surprised to see a Black person in Minnesota, so I queried the Census Bureau for some Quick Statistics about our United States.

Here’s what I found:
Only 5.5% of Minnesota’s population is Black.

In comparison to the United States at large, 13.1% of our American population in general is Black. And in Alabama, 26.5% are Black, while in neighboring Mississippi, 37.4% of that state’s residents are Black. Alabama’s Eastern neighbor Georgia has a closely similar percentage with a 31.2% Black population, while Tennessee is nearly half, with a 17% Black population.

Examining some other states, I found that Alabama’s Southern neighbor, Florida has a very closely similar Black population with 16.6%, while Louisiana’s Black population is just about double with 32.4%. The “Natural State” of Arkansas has a 15.6% Black population, while North and South Carolina are almost evenly tied with 22 & 28% respectively.

On the other hand, Texas has a lower Black population than either Tennessee or Arkansas with only 12.3%.

Kentucky? Only 8.1% of Kentuckians are Black.

Interestingly, of the 16 players on the Kentucky Wildcats Basketball team, only 6 are not Black. In other words, 62.5% of the team is Black – a clear majority. And yet, the state’s general population is completely and disproportionately unrepresentative of the team.

What about Virginia? With a 19.7% Black population, Virginia stands in distinct contrast to West Virginia, which only has a 3.5% Black population – a very stark contrast, indeed.

But what about some of the other Midwestern states?

Missouri has an 11.7% Black population, while only 3.2% of corn-fed Iowans are Black.

From Minnesota moving West, South Dakota has a mere 1.7% Black population, while Montana…

Well.. there just about no Black folks in that state, at all. Only a mere 0.6% – 6/10ths on one percent – of that state’s residents are Black.

A casual observation would be that it’s mighty White up North.

But let’s bring it back on home to Mississippi…

In a recent post shared by 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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Could Climate Change help the Global Economy?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Raise a Glass of Scottish Wine to Global Climate Changes

By Rudy Ruitenberg Mar 25, 2014 11:00 PM CT

Thanks to climate change, Christopher Trotter will make history later this year by pairing a Scottish white wine with the local spoots.

The razor clams harvested from the nearby shores of the North Sea will go down nicely with the first bottles from Trotter’s vineyard north of Edinburgh. The 2014 vintage will be special for Scotland, where Highlanders have distilled whisky and brewed ale for centuries.

“Scotland has probably been more of a beer-drinking nation than anything else,” said Trotter, a chef and food writer. Wine hasn’t been part of the culture, he said, “until now.”

Chris Trotter, Scottish Chef & Vintner, stands in his vineyard

Christopher Trotter, Scottish Chef, Vintner and food writer, stands in his vineyard in Fife, Scotland
- Source: Christopher Trotter via Bloomberg

Trotter might as well pour a splash on the ground in memory of a vanishing world. Climate change, which scientists say is caused by heat-trapping gas accumulating in the atmosphere, is transforming dinner tables and scrambling traditions in the $270 billion global wine industry. In Europe, warmer seasons are chasing Italian and Spanish vintners up hillsides, making a winner of Germany, encouraging growers in Poland and spreading the cultivation of wine grapes to latitudes friendlier to belly-warming whiskies and ales. And it’s raising the alcohol content, and altering the flavors, of famous wines in France.

Vitis vinifera, the common grape vine, is a finicky crop. Vineyards flourish where average annual temperatures range from 10 to 20 degrees Celsius (50 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit). Too much dry weather, hail or too much rain can downgrade or wreck a vintage.

“Scotland has probably been more of a beer-drinking nation than anything else,” said Trotter, a chef and food writer. Wine hasn’t been part of the culture, he said, “until now.”

Trotter might as well pour a splash on the ground in memory of a vanishing world. Climate change, which scientists say is caused by heat-trapping gas accumulating in the atmosphere, is transforming dinner tables and scrambling traditions in the $270 billion global wine industry. In Europe, warmer seasons are chasing Italian and Spanish vintners up hillsides, making a winner of Germany, encouraging growers in Poland and spreading the cultivation of wine grapes to latitudes friendlier to belly-warming whiskies and ales. And it’s raising the alcohol content, and altering the flavors, of famous wines in France.

Vitis vinifera, the common grape vine, is a finicky crop. Vineyards flourish where average annual temperatures range from 10 to 20 degrees Celsius (50 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit). Too much dry weather, hail or too much rain can downgrade or wreck a vintage.

Fine Wine

“Wine is very responsive to climatic factors,” said Karl Storchmann, a professor of economics at New York University and managing editor of the Journal of Wine Economics. “This is especially true for fine wine, when weather-induced vintage-to-vintage price variations can exceed 1,000 percent.”

Over centuries, growers in the top producing countries — France, Italy and Spain — selected grape varieties that now account for 75 percent of the world’s wine plantings, according to a database prepared by the University of Adelaide in Australia.

Read the rest of this entry »

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For want of Barbecue, BBQ, Bar-B-Q, Bar-B-Que!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, October 4, 2013

To be honest with you, I’ve hardly had any barbecue at all this season (which begins in the Spring) – and I’ve certainly not cooked any! I think, more than anything, that’s what I really miss… the cooking!

I’ve written about barbecue, the process and procedure, but not extensively.

Typically, when I order barbecue, I like to sample three sides which have traditionally accompanied barbecue. They are slaw, potato salad, and baked beans.

My choice of meat is pulled pork. I enjoy ribs, of course, but pulled pork is my standard. Although, there are times when a sampling of ribs or brisket are available.

Now, as a ‘purist,’ I do not believe that chicken can be barbecued, neither turkey, nor beef.

True.

No beef.

No poultry.

Only pork.

So there’s my bias.

Of course, I’ve never Read the rest of this entry »

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Walking on Holy Ground: Colonel Sanders’ Kentucky Fried Chicken Cafe & Museum, Corbin, KY

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, August 6, 2013

While in Kentucky, make certain you visit the National Corvette Museum, in Bowling Green.

Journeys

In Kentucky, Fried Chicken History

By
Published: August 24, 2012

WHEN making his rounds as a traveling salesman for a Chicago printing company, Duncan Hines would occasionally pull off the Dixie Highway in Corbin, Ky., and eat at Sanders Cafe. In the 1939 edition of “Adventures in Good Eating,” his pioneering restaurant guide, he recommended the cafe and its adjoining motor court as “very good place to stop en route to Cumberland Falls and the Great Smokies,” highlighting its “sizzling steaks, fried chicken, country ham, hot biscuits.”

The Sanders Cafe and Museum in Corbin, KY / Jonathan Palmer for The New York Times

The Sanders Cafe and Museum in Corbin, KY / Jonathan Palmer for The New York Times

The cafe is still there, only now it incorporates a museum and holds down a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, for one huge, unignorable reason. The owner, chef and resident genius of the place was none other than Colonel Harland Sanders, who, on this hallowed ground, cooked the first batch of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Cumberland Falls does not work the magic it once did, and Corbin itself is not high on anyone’s list of tourist destinations. But the Colonel Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum is a modest must. In addition to capturing a pivotal moment in the mass-marketing of American vernacular food, it evokes a dreamlike time, before the arrival of the Interstate System and its proliferation of fast-food restaurants and chain hotels, when traveling the American highway was a thrilling, high-risk proposition, with marvelous discoveries and ghastly disappointments waiting at every turn.

In its present form, the Sanders Cafe and Museum was born in 1990, the 100th anniversary of Colonel Sanders’s birth. JRN, a Tennessee-based company that operates nearly 200 KFC franchises in the Southeast, was about to open a modern KFC restaurant next to the old cafe. To mark the great birthday, it put out a call for artifacts and memorabilia that would allow it to celebrate the Colonel, his cafe and his fried chicken.

All sorts of stuff Read the rest of this entry »

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Could this be the worst “dining” experience in America, or… even worse?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 21, 2013

Does Eat Place, Greenville, Mississippi, front door - v6379

Does Eat Place, Greenville, Mississippi, front door

Torn between numerous thoughts, I struggled with the headline, and opening paragraph.

The headline “Public Food Establishment Not Fit For Human Consumption” would be adequate, I suppose, but I really like this lead as a headline much better: “I feel like I should’ve eaten a cucumber sandwich.”

That was actually a SMS which I’d sent a good friend of mine, who had mentioned that earlier in the day, he purchased some cucumbers at a local Farmer’s Market, was pondering how to prepare them, and was considering preparing cucumber sandwiches. Naturally, I gave him a fair amount of good-natured ribbing over the matter (suggesting perhaps that he should consider joining a ladies tea party group) particularly given that he has a penchant for sausages & “fair food,” sometimes aka “carnival food.”

How did I feel after that decidedly "ungastronomic" experience? A picture is worth a thousand words. Here is but one.

How did I feel after that decidedly “ungastronomic” experience?
A picture is worth a thousand words.
Here is but one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nevertheless…

Back to the Greenville, Mississippi fiasco.

It may be best to characterize the experience with a few terms:

Clip Joint

• Nasty

• Filthy

Overpriced

• Nickel and Dime

• Avoid at All Costs

Having read the reviews on UrbanSpoon.com, I was somewhat prepared – with strong emphasis upon the minimal aspect.

The following video is Read the rest of this entry »

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You’re not from around here, are you?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, July 15, 2013

The “Georgia Walnut Pie,” seen here at Harbor View Cafe, Pepin, Wisconsin (Originally uploaded by rabidscottsman)

An alternate title for this entry might be: Walnuts, Pies, Strippers & Experts

Of course, that makes no sense. And for some, it makes neither cents, nor dollars.

But never you mind.

Pie and ice cream.

Who doesn’t like it?

Sounds dee-lish… right?

Any kind of pie, and almost any kind of ice cream. I say “any kind” with a caveat. Any kind EXCEPT Neapolitan. That’s horrid. Truly horrid. Whoever imagined the idea of “Neapolitan” ice cream is probably now suffering eternal punishment – a special torture reserved exclusively for the damned.

And, perhaps somebody should tell those folks.

I mean to refer to the folks that came up with a name like “Georgia Walnut Pie.”

Somebody should tell those folks that… Read the rest of this entry »

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Black Journalist Confesses: “I’ve used the n-word.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, June 30, 2013

This Op-Ed speaks volumes.

Read on.

Confession of a black journalist: Like Paula Deen, I’ve used the n-word (Opinion from Anthony Cook)

Anthony Cook, Huntsville Times Community News Director

Anthony Cook, Huntsville Times Community News Director

By Anthony Cook | ACook@al.com
Follow on Twitter
on June 25, 2013 at 8:18 AM, updated June 25, 2013 at 12:57 PM

When I first heard about the dust-up over food mogul Paula Deen saying the n-word, my first reaction was “Um … OK.”I considered it just that – a dust-up. Big deal.But when it was reported that her extremely popular cooking show was being dropped from the Food Network, my thoughts changed to: “This is a big deal.”I’m guilty of spending the occasional Saturday morning in front of the tube with my wife, watching Paula whip up some Southern comfort food.When I heard she’d used the n-word at some point in her life, I wondered how I’d view her the next time she was on TV, concocting something you could almost taste through the screen and telling us “This is so good, y’all.”

But, apparently that’s not gonna happen. Not only has Food Network dropped her show, but Smithfield Foods has dropped her as a spokeswoman, and QVC and Walmart are considering doing the same.

This writing isn’t a defense of Paula Deen. She’s a big girl. She can take care of herself. And those businesses that are dropping association with her are just that – businesses. They have to consider the bottom line, which can be greatly affected by blows to their image. They essentially have been left with no choice.

I began to see the hypocrisy of expecting white people to adhere to a standard that I was not upholding myself.

As a black man, this writing is my attempt to point out Read the rest of this entry »

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Minnesota State Fair New Foods for 2013

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Minnesota State Fair is just a few months away!

The MSF is the Granddaddy of ‘em all. Not only is it one of the oldest state fairs – since 1859, the only years it missed were 1861, 1862, 1893, 1945 & 1946 – it’s also the most well-attended, and the land where it all occurs is quite large. In fact, it’s ginormous!

The good people in Texas claim theirs has the highest attendance, and I suppose if the Minnesota State Fair was TWO WEEKS LONG like the TSF is, it’d put the Lone Star State to shame. However, the MSF is a 12-day event, and for that time, it draws a bigger crowd than the TSF.

Minnesota State Fair - August 22 Labor Day, through September 2, 2013

Minnesota State Fair – Thursday August 22 Labor Day, through Monday September 2, 2013

Apologies to those Longhorns.

I’ve been to the MSF once – just once -  and, I’d like to go again.

Yes, I would. It’s HUGE!!

Of course, in all fairness – yes, it’s a bad pun, but hey! It works! – I’d also like to go to the Texas State Fair, as well.

I happened to see the menu for the “new” foods appearing this year at the 2013 Minnesota State Fair. It’s Read the rest of this entry »

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Avion Espresso Tequila… it’s not just for margaritas anymore!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, June 7, 2013

Pundits at the Wall Street Journal share a quick taste.

Here’s one line you’ll rarely – if ever – hear about tequila:

“Pour this over some Read the rest of this entry »

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Smithfield Foods Chinese Pork Project is a Wall Street Happy Meal Deal: American Prices Will Increase

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, May 29, 2013

If you like bacon, ham, pork sausage, barbecue, ribs, or any other pork product – including cold cuts & pizza – get ready to pay at least 2 – 4 times more, and for shortages.

Why?

Wall Street minions – who manage Smithfield, an American company no more – have no patriotic qualms about taking food off your table and out of your mouth to feed the mouths of the people who steal our nation’s military secrets, defraud our motion picture & music copyrights, and have an historical track record of Shanghai-ing anyone & everyone who gets in their way.

You think I’m kidding, or that I don’t know what I’m writing about?

Just recollect back a few months – oh, say about 7 – to Thanksgiving in November 2012 when pecans were 2x – 3x the price they were usually.

And why was that?

After all, pecan farmers had a record bumper crop… and that typically translates into lower prices for consumers.

It’s because the Chinese suddenly discovered they liked pecans, and were willing to pay premium prices (translate: much MORE then you’re willing to pay), and so the growers shipped pecans over to China.

As I continue to contend, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY.

Okay… so it may cost more. So what?

How about this?

Were you aware that the Chinese company that bought Smithfield sold pigs that had been fed a substance banned in the USA & England & other nations?

Yup.

Shuanghui Group, China’s largest meat processor, sold pigs fed Clenbuterol in 2011. Here are three links about the ordeal.

And, would it surprise you to find out that Goldman Sachs is one of the top investors?

1.) “According to Chinese government data, 18 outbreaks of food-related clenbuterol poisoning occurred between 1998 and 2007. The most recent report indicates one person died and more than 1,700 others fell ill.”

2.) “Meanwhile, at Jiyuan Shuanghui’s processing facilities, of the 689 pigs awaiting slaughter, 19 tested positive for clenbuterol. Shuanghui, which counts Goldman Sachs among its investors, has shut down the Jiyuan branch affected by the contamination so it can conduct its own inspection.”

3.) “And in recent months the additive has earned notoriety in China after a string of people got sick from eating pork products full of it. Hundreds took ill in one incident in March, and this week, 286 people in Hunan province after eating pork contaminated with ractopamine, a chemical very similar to clenbuterol. Chinese livestock farmers began using clenbuterol in pig feed in the late 1980s to boost growth and get animals to market faster, but it was banned in 2002 as the health risks of eating the meat became better understood. Clenbuterol-tainted meat dizziness, headaches, hand tremors, and other unpleasantness. It’s especially risky for people with heart troubles.”

Shuanghui Agrees to Acquire Smithfield Foods for $4.72B

By Shruti Date Singh and Jeffrey McCracken – May 29, 2013

Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd., China’s biggest pork producer, agreed to acquire Smithfield Foods Inc. (SFD) for about $4.72 billion to boost supplies for the nation that’s the biggest consumer of the meat.

Closely held Shuanghui, parent of Henan Shuanghui Investment & Development Co. (000895), will pay $34 a share for the Smithfield, Virginia-based producer, both companies said today in a statement. The offer is 31 percent more than yesterday’s closing share price.

China’s consumption of pork is rising with the expansion of its middle class while there are questions being asked about the safety of the country’s food supply. Smithfield’s livestock unit is the world’s largest hog producer, bringing about 15.8 million of the animals to market a year, according to the company’s website. It owns 460 farms and has contracts with 2,100 others across 12 U.S. states.

The takeover is valued at $7.1 billion including debt, which would make it the largest Chinese takeover of a U.S. company, according to Read the rest of this entry »

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Georgia Wine Exportation Increases

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, April 17, 2013

While this story is about the nation known as Georgia, given the numerous convoluted and antiquated laws governing beverage alcohol in the Southern United States, it could very well be Georgia… Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, or Arkansas.

Something Old, Something New: Georgian Wines Adapt To Changing Market

April 17, 2013

by Glenn Kates

KISISKHEVI, Georgia — Seven years ago, Burkhard Schuchmann, a retired German railroad executive, arrived for the first time in this lush region, where the snow-capped Caucasian mountains cast a long shadow over the grapevines that line the low-lying fields.It was 2006 and Russia had recently imposed a crippling embargo on Georgian wine.Schuchmann decided to open a winery nevertheless.

“To see it from today’s point of view, Georgians can be lucky that the embargo came,” Schuchmann says. “Because then they were forced to [focus on] quality and to think about marketing. There was no need before.”

After mostly “satisfactory” inspections by Russia’s consumer-rights agency in February and March, Georgian wines will soon be sold in Russia again. But Russians, perhaps expecting the sweet, syrupy taste of years past, may be surprised by the changing nature of Georgian vintage.

Georgian makes new wine

Burkhard Schuchmann opened a winery in Georgia because he thought he could compete outside of Russia by modernizing the industry.

In 2005, Georgia exported 80 percent of its wine to Read the rest of this entry »

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Tennessee may modernize antiquated beverage alcohol laws

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tennessee has some very strange and peculiar laws regarding the regulation of beverage alcohol, most of which remain rooted in the Prohibition Era, and in in fear.

And, true to form, it would be no wonder that Baptists – the arch-conservative religious political right wing activists of the right wing party – are directly involved in efforts to keep the state mired in the antiquated bad old days of yore.

Tennessee is unique in the regard that state law forbids sale of wine except in state-licensed liquor stores. To clarify, the state of Tennessee has an unusual combination of laws that forbid sales of wine in any other type store save one that sells liquor. Further, sales are prohibited on Sunday. Beer, however, is able to be sold in grocery stores… but only if the ABV (Alcohol By Volume) is under 6%.

Alabama once had a similarly prohibitive content law, along with bottle size restriction – which severely limited the sales of domestic and imported craft/micro brew beers and ales. Alabama no longer has such prohibitive limitations.

And then, if one considers the implications of that law – mandating the sale of wine be exclusively limited to sales in liquor stores – the state actually sanctions the liquor enterprise itself, rather than being a neutral, regulatory body. In Tennessee there are no state-operated liquor stores as there are in Alabama. To have a state-run enterprise is not contradictory to the free market, because the state is a direct competitor in the market, which frequently has the lowest priced products, because taxes are the markup/profit margin for the state. Contrasting that model with the private retailer, the private retailer must make a profit atop the taxes which the state charges (after they purchase from the state at a wholesale cost – the same cost the state sells to the general public), thus increasing the retail price above what the state sells it.

Supporters and opponents of a bill that would let grocery and convenience stores sell wine undertook one final push to sway Tennessee lawmakers Monday ahead of a make-or-break vote in the state legislature.

Liquor store owners, grocery store operators, wine shoppers, a sheriff, an addiction specialist and a minister were among the people allowed to testify at a special hearing held a day before the Senate State & Local Government Committee is to vote on the biggest rewrite of Tennessee’s liquor laws in decades. Members guarded Read the rest of this entry »

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Hostess Names Flowers as Lead Bidder for Bread Business

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, January 13, 2013

The saga continues.

Hostess Names Flowers as Lead Bidder for Bread Business

Hostess Brands Inc., the bankrupt maker of Wonder bread and Twinkies, said Flowers Foods Inc. (FLO) is the lead bidder for most of the assets of its bread-baking operations.

“We are pleased with the Flowers offers and look forward to a robust auction process that will allow these iconic brands to continue and to maximize value for all of the company’s stakeholders,” Hostess Chief Executive Officer Gregory F. Rayburn said yesterday in a statement.

The proposed accord with Flowers Foods includes the purchase of the Wonder, Butternut, Home Pride, Merita and Nature’s Pride brands, 20 bakeries, 38 depots and other assets for $355 million, which may be increased to $360 million if certain license rights are included in the sale. The remaining bread brands, as well as its snack cake business, will be sold separately, according to the statement.

Flowers Foods, based in Thomasville, Georgia, also agreed to

Read the rest of this entry »

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Could the Price of Milk go to $13 per gallon? If the “Fiscal Cliff” is not avoided, yes.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, December 31, 2012

This Do-Nothing Congress is, without question, the absolutely WORST Congress EVER!

More filibustering & taxes, less law-making, less-governance.

That must be what they mean when they talk about “smaller government,” or “less laws.”

Farm-State Lawmakers Back Plan to Avoid ‘Dairy Cliff’ Price Jump

By Alan Bjerga & Derek Wallbank – Dec 31, 2012 12:01 AM ET

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow are backing a short-term extension of a farm law that lapsed Sept. 30 as the Obama administration warns that without congressional action, retail milk prices could almost double.

“I would hope that as soon as is humanly possible, a decision will be made to allow us to take action” on the extension, Lucas told reporters off the House floor. “We need to take positive action, put this issue to rest, and make sure that it is clear to everybody in this country that the farm bill policy has certainty and that we will not have $8 or $9 milk.”

The proposal is one of three farm-related draft bills released over the weekend in the House of Representatives; all of them would stave off the potential jump in consumer milk prices should government commodity programs begin to lapse tomorrow. Photographer: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The proposal is one of three farm-related draft bills released over the weekend in the House of Representatives; all of them would stave off the potential jump in consumer milk prices should government commodity programs begin to lapse tomorrow. Photographer: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The proposal is one of three farm-related draft bills released over the weekend in the House of Representatives; all of them would stave off the potential jump in consumer milk prices should government commodity programs begin to lapse tomorrow. Photographer: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The draft bill would extend current law, along with disaster aid for producers affected by this year’s U.S. drought and changes to current milk policy, through Sept. 30. It would reduce mandatory outlays by $30 million through fiscal 2022, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The bulk of the spending would come in the first year, and as such it would actually increase spending by an estimated $555 million through fiscal 2017.

Other Bills

The proposal is one of three farm-related draft bills released over the weekend in the House of Representatives; all of them would stave off the potential jump in consumer milk prices should government commodity programs begin to lapse tomorrow.

The second measure would extend most of the current law through Jan. 31, and the third would protect only against possible dairy-price spikes. Those two are opposed by House and Senate Democratic agriculture leaders. Representative Collin Peterson of Minnesota, the top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, called a 30-day extension a “poor joke on farmers that offers no certainty.”

The most recent farm law, enacted in 2008, expired after attempts to pass a new five-year proposal failed. Without that plan, agricultural programs automatically return to rules passed in 1949, the basis of all subsequent legislation.

The effects of that transition have been delayed because of the growing seasons of different crops. Dairy production, a year-round business, is the first major commodity affected. In November, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Read the rest of this entry »

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Record-setting White Tail Buck harvested by 13 Year-Old Minnesota Hunter

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, November 21, 2012

13-Year-Old Hunter Tags 28-Point, 250-Inch Minnesota Whitetail

This buck has been teasing area hunters for years. Find out how a young hunter was the one to finally tag him.

Article by Ben Romans. Uploaded on November 15, 2012

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Record_Minnesota_Whitetail2

13-year-old Dylan Beach of Motley, MN harvested a colossal 28-point whitetail buck with a single shot from his Remington .270. The deer had enough mass to make it one of the largest ever taken by a hunter in the state.

 On Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, 13-year-old Dylan Beach of Motley, Minn. squeezed off a single shot from his Remington .270 and harvested a colossal 28-point whitetail buck—a deer with enough mass to make it one of the largest ever taken by a hunter in the state.

Sitting with his stepfather, Wilbur Verbeck, in a deer blind on his aunt’s farm, Dylan says the day started like any other and he wasn’t sure what they’d see, though never in his wildest dreams did he think they’d encounter the buck of a lifetime.

“I was hunting with my stepdad, and we got in the stand around 7:15 a.m. I was facing a field and my stepdad was facing a swamp. I first saw the deer around 7:40 about 100 yards away, and he turned and started walking towards us, but I couldn’t tell it was such a large deer. At 50 yards, he turned broadside so I shot him,” Dylan says. “I didn’t know his rack was that big because I was focusing on where I was going to shoot, not on the antlers.

After Dylan’s shot hit, the buck fell over, got up again taking a few more steps before going down for good.

Climbing out of their blind and walking towards the deer, Dylan said he didn’t comprehend the magnitude of the moment until he finally stood next to the animal.

“When we got out of the stand and walked up to it, we were Read the rest of this entry »

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Hostess with the mostess? Try CEO with the mostess. Hostess executives attempted to deceive investors, creditors & legal system before filing bankruptcy.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, November 19, 2012

As the saying goes, It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings.”

At this point, apparently, she’s not yet begun, although she is “in the house.”

And, from our “WTF?!?” files, comes this item:

In early February, Hostess had asked the bankruptcy judge to approve a sweet new employment deal for Driscoll. Its terms guaranteed him a base annual salary of $1.5 million, plus cash incentives and “long-term incentive” compensation of up to $2 million. If Hostess liquidated or Driscoll were fired without cause, he’d still get severance pay of $1.95 million as long as he honored a noncompete agreement.

The committee representing Hostess’s unsecured creditors alleges that information it has gathered suggests “the possibility” that the company converted a chunk of its top executives’ pay from performance-based bonuses to salary, “at least in part to sidestep” rules designed to ensure that companies in bankruptcy aren’t enticing their employees to stay on board with the promise of cash, according to documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, N.Y.

This solitary example is a wonderful one for illustrating what is WRONG with corporate governance and corporate operations in the United States. It’s an even more sad commentary that laws must be enacted to require people to do the right thing. At this juncture, the judge overseeing the Hostess Brands Inc. bankruptcy is doing precisely that.

Hostess and Bakers Union Asked Accept Strike Mediation

The judge overseeing Hostess Brands Inc. declined to approve the company’s liquidation today and asked management and the bakers’ union to enter mediation tomorrow to resolve the strike that the maker of Twinkies and Wonder bread said forced it to shut.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain said at a hearing in White Plains, New York, that there are “serious questions as to the logic behind the decision to strike.” Hostess and the bakers’ union agreed to Drain’s request to enter confidential mediation under his supervision.

“To me, not to have gone through that step leaves a huge question mark over this case which I think will only be answered in litigation,” Drain said. “My desire to do this is prompted primarily by the potential loss of over 18,000 jobs, as well as my belief that there is a possibility to resolve this matter, notwithstanding the losses the debtors have incurred over the last week or so.”

Hostess CEO & executive pay outrageous

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Hostess hasn’t spoken with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union since August, said Heather Lennox, a lawyer for the company. Hostess is seeking permission from Drain to pay bonuses to key managers while closing operations that will leave most of its 18,500 workers unemployed. Any agreement arising from the mediation would probably come too late to save the company, Lennox said.

“Things have gone too far to repair themselves under the current form,” Lennox, a partner at Jones Day, told Drain. “It would be very hard for us to recover from this damage even if there were to be an agreement in the near term.”

‘Best Shot’

“Our best shot is to see what we can sell as going concerns and have the company continue that way,” she said. The hearing to consider Hostess’s request to wind down was postponed until Nov. 21.

Hostess said Nov. 16 that it would shut, claiming that a weeklong strike by the bakers’ union forced liquidation. The union blamed management’s concession demands, while some employees blamed both sides. Strikers were still outside the company’s facilities today, Hostess’s lawyers said.

Corrina Christensen, a spokeswoman for the bakers’ union, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment on the mediation.

Teamsters

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, whose members distribute Hostess products, had ratified a new contract with 8 percent in wage concessions and 17 percent in benefit reductions.

“The Teamsters will closely monitor the mediation between the BCTGM and Hostess management and assist in any way we can to help the two sides reach an agreement that keeps the company’s doors open,” Ken Hall, the Teamsters general secretary- treasurer, said today in a statement.

The judge may be creating risk for both sides that encourages them to reach a deal, Ken Russak, a bankruptcy attorney at Frandzel Robins Bloom & Csato in Los Angeles, said today in an interview. “The bankruptcy judge would much prefer to have the parties work something out than having to Read the rest of this entry »

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Hostess Twinkies go Bye-Bye… for now. But why? Who’s to blame?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, November 17, 2012

Who’s to Blame for the Hostess Bankruptcy: Wall Street, Unions, or Carbs?

By Jordan Weissmann

Try all of the above.

There are two important things to realize about this rather sad situation. First: Twinkie, Wonder, and all the other high-calorie marvels of culinary science Hostess sells aren’t going to disappear from shelves for good. One of its competitors will likely swoop in, buy them up, and restart production. So you can stop bidding on $100 boxes of Sno Balls on eBay.


Hostess Brands, the maker of Twinkie and Wonder Bread, is getting ready to bake its last corn-syrupy snack cake. After failing to win major contract concessions from one of its key labor unions, the beleaguered 82-year-old company has asked a federal bankruptcy court for permission to start liquidating its assets — or, in real person speak, begin the process of selling off pieces of the company to the highest bidder while laying off most of its 18,500 workers. (Reuters)

Second: This is not a simple story that anybody should try to slot neatly into their political talking points. It’s not just about Wall Street preying on Main Street, or big bad labor unions sucking a wholesome American company dry. It’s about an entire galaxy of bad decisions that will cost many people their jobs and money.

As David Kaplan chronicled at length for Fortune earlier this year, the roots of this debacle go back to when Hostess entered its first bankruptcy in 2004. Not unlike the situation automakers would find themselves in a few years later, the company was collapsing under the weight of flagging sales, overly generous union contracts replete with ridiculous work rules, and gobs of debt. But unlike the automakers, the five years Hostess spent trying to fix itself in Chapter 11 didn’t fix its fundamental problems.

Instead, they set the stage for its eventual demise. A private equity company, Ripplewood Holdings, paid about $130 million dollars to take Hostess private, and the company’s two major unions, the Teamsters and the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, sacrificed about $110 million in annual wages and benefits. But Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in - Business... None of yours, - Read 'em and weep: The Daily News | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

 
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