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Around the Web 3

As most of you have probably done yourselves, I’ve happened to stumble on some interesting food-related articles/sites in the past few days and thought I’d share!  All links come with an excerpt, but you should really visit the sites for the full articles.

1. Where is My Milk From? [1]

Many people are interested in finding out where their food comes from. Other people are interested in supporting their local economy. You’d be surprised. Did you know different brands of milk often come from the same dairy – and the same cows? Often, the same dairy provides milk for store and brand names, only differentiating them by their label!  Most dairy products, especially milk have a state and plant code. Go get the milk out of your fridge and, and find out which dairy it comes from.

2.  Why a Big Mac Costs Less Than a Salad [2]

We’ve got a lot of problems when it comes to our food system, but one of them was clearly articulated with a simple graphic. How do food subsidies affect what we’re eating?  [The] graphic was recently published by the Consumerist, with the few words, “This is why you’re fat.”  […]  Thanks to lobbying, Congress chooses to subsidize foods that we’re supposed to eat less of.

3. Trying to Make a Greener Orange Juice [3]

How green is your orange juice? A couple of years ago, PepsiCo, which owns the orange-juice brand Tropicana, tried to size up the carbon footprint of the popular morning tonic. It found that each half-gallon carton of OJ is responsible for 3.75 lbs. of CO2. What was particularly surprising was where much of that CO2 was coming from.

4. Rapid Rise in Seed Prices Draws U.S. Scrutiny [4]

During the depths of the economic crisis last year, the prices for many goods held steady or even dropped. But on American farms, the picture was far different, as farmers watched the price they paid for seeds skyrocket. Corn seed prices rose 32 percent; soybean seeds were up 24 percent. […] The Justice Department began an antitrust investigation of the seed industry last year, with an apparent focus on Monsanto.

5. A Matter of Bad Taste [5]

On March 5, New York State Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, D-Brooklyn, introduced  legislation that would “prohibit restaurants from using salt when preparing customers’ meals.” A restaurant would be fined $1,000 each time a chef cooked with salt.

I feel I need to comment about number 5.  If you read the full text of the proposed bill, seen here:  ( Bill A10129 [6] ), it says:

Prohibits the use of salt by restaurants in the preparation of food by restaurants.

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:  To prohibit restaurants from using salt when preparing customers’ meals. Customers will have the discretion to add salt to their own meal after it has been prepared.

JUSTIFICATION:  This legislation will give customers the option to addsalt after the meal has been prepared for them. In this way, consumers have more control over the amount of sodium they intake, and are given
the option to exercise healthier diets and healthier lifestyles.

A report issued by the World Health Organization indicated that three quarters or more of the sodium intake in the United States comes from processed or restaurant foods, Studies have also proven that lowering
the amount of salt people eat, even by small amounts, could reduce cases of heart disease, stroke, and heart attacks as much as reductions in smoking, obesity, and cholesterol levels. The study also stated that if
everyone consumed half a teaspoon less per day, there would be between 54,000 and 99,000 fewer heart attacks each year and between 44,000 and 92,000 fewer deaths.

Now, trust me, I understand where they’re coming from.  Americans eat way too much salt in their diets, but I guarantee it’s not all from restaurants.  I’m all for helping people, but by de-flavoring their food completely I don’t see how you’re helping.  What if these people now over-salt the very bland dishes they are given?  Do you then ban salt all together?  Where does it stop?  Personal responsibility needs to be required.  Example from me:  I don’t eat at restaurants I know to be using TransFats.  Period.  You don’t have to ban them from using it, but make them tell you and make sure the public understands why it is bad.  The end.  That’s all you need to do.

Seriously, people!