Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘meat’

Grocery Co$t$ to be PERMANENTLY HIGH because of Chinese-owned $mithfield Food$

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, June 28, 2022

史密斯菲尔德食品

Wan Long, RIGHT, Chairman and CEO of WH Group, formerly called Shuanghui International, shakes hands with Charles Larry Pope, President and CEO of Smithfield Foods, at a press conference of WH Group in Hong Kong, China, 14 April 2014.
Two subsidiaries of Henan Shuanghui Investment and Development Co have gained access to the Russian market, after its parent company — WH Group Ltd, the world’s largest pork producer— acquired US pork producer Smithfield Foods Inc and bought a stake in Campofrio Food Group SA of Spain, the largest pan-European packaged meat products company, last year. The two Heilongjiang-based companies — Wangkui Shuanghui Beidahuang Food Co and Heilongjiang Baoquanling Shuanghui Food Industry Co — got the official nod after their production facilities and products were examined and assessed by officials from Russia’s meat products watchdog, the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, in August, Shuanghui Development said on its website. To widen its import market for meat, the Russian government agreed to import meat products from five Chinese suppliers by the end of August, indicating the nation has taken a flexible strategy to balance the supply and demand relationship, while the US and its European allies are trying to squeeze the country’s trade space in the world market.

Chinese translated as “Smithfield Food”

Amidst the cacophony of overall price inflation in fuel, food, and other items, there are numerous underlying and related causes.

There are not merely one, two, or even three contributing problems to this lingering miasma, and rather, like a line of dominoes tumbling, one after another, significantly increased prices in consumer goods are taking a toll on Americans, whose incomes — unlike those of CEOs, and other high-level corporate executives — have not risen in response.

Consider food.

The United States Department of Agriculture found national slaughter capacity reductions [i.e., the CLOSING of abattoirs/processors/slaughterhouses] in pork, and cattle, of 35-40%, and 30-40%, respectively, which have translated to hyper-inflated costs to consumers.


NOTE: Big Oil has done similarly. They’ve closed their oil refineries & capped wells, thereby creating a false shortage, and simultaneously INCREASED prices, resulting in record profits not seen since the 1950’s.

THAT is why fuel prices are sky high.

There is NO OTHER REASON.

The Energy Information Administration has a page dedicated to Refinery Utilization and Capacity in the United States which shows that 679 oil refineries were closed and not utilized in 2021 — the GREATEST number ever, since 1985.

For more detailed information, see this entry: https://warmsouthernbreeze.wordpress.com/2022/06/28/energy-information-administration-data-shows-how-big-oil-is-abusing-consumers/


But business practices, related closures and production slowdowns in abattoirs and processing facilities have their roots elsewhere in time, and policy.

On June 10th, 2022, the communist Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods announced the following:

Smithfield Foods, Inc. today announced that it will cease all harvest and processing operations in Vernon, California in early 2023 and, at the same time, align its hog production system by reducing its sow herd in its Western region. The company will decrease its sow herd in Utah and is exploring strategic options to exit its farms in Arizona and California. Smithfield harvests only company-owned hogs in Vernon. Smithfield will service customers in California with its Farmer John brand and other brands and products from existing facilities in the Midwest.

(see: https://www.smithfieldfoods.com/press-room/2022-06-10-Smithfield-Foods-to-Close-Vernon%2c-CA-Facility-Reduce-Hog-Production-in-Western-Region/)

• A little less than a year ago, in early July 2021, Smithfield settled (for $83M) a Class Action Federal lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota accusing it of price-fixing, and Read the rest of this entry »

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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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Better-than-Boston Baked Beans Recipe

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, August 6, 2021

Summer’ll be winding down soon enough, and you should have enjoyed at least ONE backyard barbecue in that time.

And just in the case you haven’t… here’s a recipe that’ll get you going!

The recipe is Complete!

With FREE “Easy-Peasy Instructions”!!

Better-than-Boston
Baked Beans

1 – 2 pounds navy beans (dry)
1 – 2 onions (red/yellow/white)
½ pound bacon
½ pound ground pork sausage
2 Tablespoons crushed garlic Read the rest of this entry »

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Banana Republicans Go Off Half-Cocked

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, April 28, 2021

The idiom to “go off half-cocked” came from incidents in which a flintlock or matchlock gun would fire prematurely, before the trigger was pulled.

As used in modern context, it means:

• to take a premature or ill-considered action; to act too soon, prematurely, or without reflection;

• to do or say something without preparing for, or thinking about it;

• to go into action too early, or without thinking.

That certainly seems to be the case with several Banana Republicans recently. Banana Republicans lead Banana Republics, right?

An article published last week by the notoriously unreliable British tabloid “The Daily Mail” – which is infamous for habitually and recklessly publishing sensationalistically inaccurate fear-mongering stories – stated a deliberate lie which falsely claimed that President Joe Biden’s climate proposals would deliberately limit Americans’ red meat consumption.

Shortly after that scurrilously false story was published, numerous Read the rest of this entry »

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Beef, Pork, Chicken Prices to INCREASE Significantly

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, May 3, 2020

Concentrated American Business Operations Spell Economic Disaster

We apparently either forgot, or didn’t learn our lessons in the events which led up to the Great Depression.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-04-30/the-coronavirus-won-t-bring-the-end-of-big-meat-processing-plants

Colloquially, through our nation’s Federal laws governing business practice and ownership, etc., we’ve “put all our eggs in one basket.” As a result, when one factory or industry hiccups or sneezes, the entire system gets sick. The same principle is true for many other businesses and aspects of our economy.

You’ve probably read my expressions on a topic very much like this before.

“The concentration of America’s meat packing industry is ultimately a symptom of its weakness, rather than its strength.”

Despite being the world’s second-largest meat consumer after China, the U.S. slaughters almost all of its annual production of meat in just 835 facilities.

Five decades ago (in most American’s lifetimes) there were OVER 10 times as many such facilities. Anecdotally, an Epidemiologist friend share that, “Growing up in the 50’s there were dairy farms all over the South. There are very few now.”

That’s:
🐖130 million pigs
🐄33.6 million cows
🐑2.3 million sheep

If anything, those figures significantly understate how extremely concentrated the slaughter industry is.

In fact, about 66% of America’s pork is processed through 24 giant facilities owned by just 4 companies:
1.) Smithfield Foods Inc.; 2.) JBS SA; 3.) Tyson Foods Inc., and; 4.) Clemens Family Corp.

Over 80% of beef comes from just 12 abattoirs owned by 4 companies:
1.) Tyson; 2.) JBS SA; 3.) Cargill Inc., and; 4.) Marfrig Global Foods SA.

And of the two groups of meat processors which represent 50% of the meat categories consumed in America, pork and beef, 2 companies – Tyson, and JBS SA – own or control a significant portion of that market, 25%, based upon the number of competitors in the 2 categories, pork and beef.

Tyson, which is headquartered in Arkansas, is American-owned, unlike Smithfield which is headquartered in Virginia, and owned by Chinese interests. However, a full 66% of Tyson’s operations are overseas, and the company boasts that they control 20% of the entire American market share of meat by writing that “1 in 5 pounds of chicken, beef, & pork in the U.S. is produced by Tyson Foods.”

Chicken farmers are modern-day sharecroppers, and Tyson acknowledges as much by writing that, “We supply the birds and feed, and provide technical advice, while the poultry farmer provides the labor, housing and utilities.”

The North American Meat Institute (NAMI), a Washington, D.C. based lobbying organization for the major players in the corporate-owned industrialized meat industry – NOT mom & pop-owned Family Farms, which are increasingly rare – writes this on their website about the meat industry in America: Read the rest of this entry »

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In Praise Of @Arbys Denali-Style Meat Mountain Sandwich: Have you tried it?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, March 18, 2017

Arby’s promotional image of their “Meat Mountain” sandwich, a “secret menu,” hand-made custom sandwich which contains every meat and cheese offering they carry.

You MUST TRY THIS!

Arby’s has a sandwich called “Meat Mountain”…

…but it’s NOT listed on the menu!

In a manner of speaking, it’s been somewhat “under the radar” except to a few with specialized knowledge of it. It’s like a word-of-mouth menu item.

Apparently, it’s been around for quite some time, at least two, and very nearly three years – at least since August 2014.

Store associates will make it for customers who ask for it by name.

What is it? Read the rest of this entry »

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Cooking Tips & Tricks: Just in time for Independence Day, July 4th cookouts and get togethers!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, June 27, 2014

What’s your favorite outdoor cooked food? Barbecue? Grilling? Chicken? Beef? Pork? Fish?

What’s the deal with marinades?

Bunk, or not?

And what’s a “smoke ring” on barbecue?

And what about the red stuff that runs out of beef when it’s cut after cooking – is it blood?

For answers to all those questions, and ~more!~ tune in to 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 someone else on 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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The “How’s,” “Why’s,” and “Wherefore’s” of Barbecue

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, October 14, 2011

RC Cola and Moon Pie

The annual "RC Cola & Moon Pie Festival" is held in Bell Buckle, TN. - Image by Miss Millificent via Flickr

As I had previously mentioned, barbecue is poor folks food.

Why?

Because ‘back in the day’ – even TOday – poor folks did not have electricity, and certainly did not even have the earliest of refrigerators, the venerable icebox – which was a primitive insulated cabinet into which a large block of ice was placed in the top. Why the top? If you recall your third grade science lesson, cool temperature air falls. The only ‘cooling system’ poor folks had was a creek, upon which they would build a small ‘house’ – or more accurately, a shed – to cool their food. Therefore, they did not have the luxury of storing raw meat. Not having the ability to refrigerate or freeze fresh meat meant that it had to be cooked, prepared and otherwise preserved – either through smoking, salting or other methods such as sausage making.

A common method of preserving meat was to smoke it.

Meat – again, which was most often pork – would be Read the rest of this entry »

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How to make a simple, inexpensive barbecue smoker

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, October 4, 2011

For those uninitiated in the finer things of Southern culture, Barbecue is a staple Southern food.

In fact, it’s one of the primary food groups.

Snake Handler Double IPA

Snake Handler Double IPA

It’s right alongside beer.

Yep, there’s bread, also known as the “staff of life” more often, though, it’s cornbread; there’re vegetables, which include tomatoes, green beans, black-eyed peas, corn on the cob; liquid refreshments which include sweet tea, beer – and then… there’s barbecue.
Read the rest of this entry »

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It’s official… I’m a nerd.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, January 14, 2011

Animation of U.S. Obesity Trends by State 1985...

Image via Wikipedia Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Hey!

What do you read for fun?

It seemed an entirely apropos title for this entry.

What DO I read “for fun”?

Well, here are two excerpts from items I’m now reading. …Continue reading…

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Thanksgiving Carp (or should it be “crap”?)

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Thanksgiving this year was unremarkable.

I said jokingly – although with serious intent – that I should’ve gone to the homeless shelter to eat. At least that way I would’ve had some turkey, dressing and traditional food!

The ironic part of it all, was that I bought enough groceries to feed an army: 25 lb turkey, 20 lb ham, 10 lb pork tenderloin, 7 lb of three types sausage, 2 lb slab-cut bacon, mushrooms (shitake, portobello & white), onions, leeks, fresh spinach, cream, genuine maple syrup, pecans, walnuts, tomato paste, salad dressings, cheeses, and much, much more (over $300 worth)! The meat is now residing in the freezer, while the other perishables are in the refrigerator’s cooler drawer.

Perhaps it was my Matthew 22:9 moment. The well-read will recall that is the parable of the feast taught by Jesus Christ, in which the king made ready a feast but the invited guests didn’t show up. So, he commanded his servants to go out into the city streets, highways and byways and bid all to come to the feast.

My roommate is “vegetabletarian,” wasn’t invited anywhere by anyone she knew, and I didn’t get the invite from my folks because they were invited by my brother’s in-laws (Clifford & Jolene) to their place. I thought that was kind’a ass-holey of them, not my folks, to not invite me. I’m the elder of two, have neither spouse nor children, and don’t lead a secret life. Which is to say, C&J and all the gang know that. I guess they gave me the great big “FUCK YOU” this year.

But oh, dear LORD… don’t let ’em think for one moment they might be “dissing” me – their artificially nice world would cave in around them. But know what’s weird? He’s a Baptist-turned-Independent “holiness” preacher.

See what I mean? At least if I ate with the homeless folks, I’d have been around some folks that would’ve taken an interest in me.

As it was, I enjoyed the fellowship of one human being – my roommate and her dog Atticus – and one other… Mr. Jack Daniel’s whiskey.

Okay, enough carping.

So, the first turkey I had this season was at – of all places – a Chinese restaurant, the Sunday after Thanksgiving! Oh yeah… I also had some of my favorites: octopus salad, raw oysters, shrimp and kimchi, along with some beef – cooked, of course (though I’ve eaten it raw… yum! *LOL*).

I had a couple of laughs that day with my waitress and the folks at the table next to mine. I’m a personable fellow, and I like to laugh and smile.

Folks that know me, know that.

In retrospect, I suppose it all worked out for the best… though I still think it sucks.

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