Let Them Eat (genetically engineered) Cake

About the food industry, not in a nice way

Archive for July, 2007

A food industry lie: “Clean Labels”

Posted by jeanne on July 28, 2007

Ever since consumers started complaining about the rising use of MSG and other adulterants in processed foods, the food industry has sought to hide its presence.

Now they’ve started using ‘clean labels‘, ingredient labels that don’t mention MSG and other undesirable food additives, so that the consumer will think (mistakenly) that their food is made from ‘real ingredients’.

This is an attempt by traditional food industry manufacturers to jump on the natural and organic food bandwagons, where customers expect minimally processed, no-pesticide, no-antibiotic, no-chemical food, just like you’d grow in your garden.

In the words of one food-industry website (foodnavigator.com)

“This is significant because functional foods are more appealing when terms that consumers already perceive to be good for them are used. Natural-sounding ingredients carry more clout than scientific-sounding ingredients that may not yet have entered consumer consciousness.

Because processing food reduces its nutritional content, as well as its taste and texture, manufacturers struggle constantly to reintroduce things like nutrition and taste into what otherwise might resemble gruel rather than something you’d pay good money to eat. So there is a lot of pressure to shortcut the traditional cooking methods you use in your home kitchen.

To do this, they have to add things, change things, make raw materials strong enough to survive industrial processing methods, industrial baking, freezing, canning, packaging without turning to goo or paste or crumbs.
Because food manufacturers are in business to make money, not food, they take other shortcuts, like using cheaper ingredients and covering them with chemical flavors and flavor enhancers, texturizers and other chemical ingredients to make the food taste like your mom made it. But really, only if your mom is named Jekyll.

They use terms like:

“sumptuous eating qualities consumers crave and the processing advantages food manufacturers require,” “chef-inspired appeal, a simplified ingredients statement and excellent shelf life stability,” and talk about how the product’s “exceptionally clean flavor characteristics also offer manufacturers opportunities for reducing costly ingredients,” and how the product’s “enhanced mouthfeel may enable foodmanufacturers to reduce cream or butter while maintaining acceptability.”

So when you see a so-called “clean label” on the back of a food item, don’t be fooled into thinking the manufacturer is concerned that you eat a healthy, natural, minimally processed product. They’re doing business as usual, with the same shortcuts, but they’ve gone the extra mile to hide it from you.

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A character – Mineo the homeless guy

Posted by jeanne on July 25, 2007

Mineo is in his early 50s. He’s been on the streets for the past 6 years, living under a bridge. He refuses (except in times of need) to panhandle on the offramp of the highway, saying that even tho it’s easy money, it’s beneath his dignity. Instead, he works only as much as he has to, doing odd jobs in the neighborhood, partially cutting the grass, sloppily killing weeds, incompetently laying bricks, half finishing the job and then asking for some money before disappearing with the work in ruins. He goes door to door with junk he’s plucked from the garbage, trying to sell the most worn-out crap at an exhorbitant fee, sometimes to the very people who threw it out.

All of Mineo’s money goes to buy crack. He gets his food from the local BP station; a worker puts all the pulled, out of date food into a plastic bag for him to take away. He has a 50-75 dollar a day crack habit.

The cops know Mineo. He thinks they’re his friends. But he’s a crackhead with really bad judgment. Often, he keeps his rock of crack under his foreskin, because he figures no cop is going to check there. And since he never bathes, I think he might be right.

Mineo is a devout Catholic. He will debate obscure points out of The City of God and the Bible all day long. He’s so righteous that he has no trouble telling everyone around him how to live, and the irony of his being a homeless crackhead is lost on him. He justifies challenges to his way of life by giggling and changing the subject.

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Plot thoughts

Posted by jeanne on July 25, 2007

what if? just a slight exaggeration here –

what if mcdonald’s owned all the meat and potato processing plants in america, and what if they exerted control over all the ranchers and all the potato growers in america, and turned them into contractors, forcing them to grow a specific monsanto-owned genetically-modified potato, and a particular cloned cow, and this had the consequence of destroying genetic diversity in these two species? and what if it became against the law to raise beef on grass, and corn feedlots became the only legal way to prepare meat?

what if it became illegal to grow your own food, and there was a roundup of people with gardens, who were prosecuted for growing food without a license, and specifically, for growing seeds that had been patented by a chemical company?

what if there was a new law passed in congress to roll back the labelling requirements in foods? from that point forward, it would not be the public’s business to know what was in their food. also, this would lead to a further regulationn that all foods, processed and fresh, have flavor enhancers, spoilage retardants, anti-microbial additives, and antibiotics and growth hormones in meat and milk.

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Alcoholics Anonymous is a Christian organization

Posted by jeanne on July 23, 2007

Many recovering addicts turn away from the message of 12-step programs because they are religious, and they feel they are being forced to toe the Christian line when they work the 12 steps. AA proponents deny that the organization is religious, saying that the steps require acknowledgement only of a ‘higher power’ without mention of God or Jesus.

But this is a smokescreen. More than half of the 12 steps mention God or He, directly refuting the denial of religiosity. Alcoholics Anonymous was started by a member of an organization called the Oxford Group, whose founder, Frank Buchman, was a fan of Hitler, and thought that the countries of the world should be ‘God-controlled’ theocracies.

The 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous are derived from the very right-wing Christian Oxford Group (eventually renamed ‘Moral Rearmament’). They may disguise their Christian origins, but every time someone goes to a 12-step meeting, they are attending a Christian worship service.

Loads of people hate that. They complain that putting God into an addictve problem removes all responsibility from the individual, and cripples them further.

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