Tag Archives: food

University of Chicago study: Infants develop early understanding of social nature of food

23 Aug

Patti Neighmond reported in the NPR story, It Takes More Than A Produce Aisle To Refresh A Food Desert:

“The next part of the intervention is to create demand,” he says, “so the community wants to come to the store and buy healthy fruits and vegetables and go home and prepare those foods in a healthy way, without lots of fat, salt or sugar.”
Ortega directs a UCLA project that converts corner stores into hubs of healthy fare in low-income neighborhoods of East Los Angeles. He and colleagues work with community leaders and local high school students to help create that demand for nutritious food. Posters and signs promoting fresh fruits and vegetables hang in corner stores, such as the Euclid Market in Boyle Heights, and at bus stops. There are nutrition education classes in local schools, and cooking classes in the stores themselves….
The jury’s still out on whether these conversions of corner stores are actually changing people’s diets and health. The evidence is still being collected.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/10/273046077/takes-more-than-a-produce-aisle-to-refresh-a-food-desert

In other words, much of the obesity problem is due to personal life style choices and the question is whether government can or should regulate those choices. The issue is helping folk to want to make healthier food choices even on a food stamp budget. See, Cheap Eats: Cookbook Shows How To Eat Well On A Food Stamp Budget http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/08/01/337141837/cheap-eats-cookbook-shows-how-to-eat-well-on-a-food-stamp-budget    A University of Buffalo study reports that what a baby eats depends on the social class of the mother.

Roberto A. Ferdman of the Washington Post wrote in the article, The stark difference between what poor babies and rich babies eat:

The difference between what the rich and poor eat in America begins long before a baby can walk, or even crawl.
A team of researchers at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences found considerable differences in the solid foods babies from different socioeconomic classes were being fed. Specifically, diets high in sugar and fat were found to be associated with less educated mothers and poorer households, while diets that more closely followed infant feeding guidelines were linked to higher education and bigger bank accounts.
“We found that differences in dietary habits start very early,” said Xiaozhong Wen, the study’s lead author.
The researchers used data from the Infant Feeding Practices study, an in depth look at baby eating habits, which tracked the diets of more than 1,500 infants up until age one, and documented which of 18 different food types—including breast milk, formula, cow’s milk, other milk (like soy milk), other dairy foods (like yogurt), other soy foods (like tofu), 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice, and sweet drinks, among others – their mothers fed them. Wen’s team at the University at Buffalo focused on what the infants ate over the course of a week at both 6- and 12-months old.
In many cases, infants were fed foods that would surprise even the least stringent of mothers. Candy, ice cream, soda, and french fries, for instance, were among the foods some of the babies were being fed. Researchers divided the 18 different food types into four distinct categories, two of which were ideal for infant consumption—”formula” and “infant guideline solids”—two of which were not—”high/sugar/fat/protein” and “high/regular cereal.” It became clear which babies tended to be fed appropriately, and which did not….
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/11/04/the-stark-difference-between-what-poor-babies-and-rich-babies-eat/

For a really good discussion of the effects of poverty on children, read the American Psychological Association (APA), Effects of Poverty, Hunger, and Homelessness on Children and Youth                                                                                                                     http://www.apa.org/pi/families/poverty.aspx

Science Daily reported in Infants develop early understanding of social nature of food:

Infants develop expectations about what people prefer to eat, providing early evidence of the social nature through which humans understand food, according to a new study conducted at the University of Chicago.

The study, published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found infants expect people to share food preferences unless they belong to different social groups. Their understanding changes when it comes to disgust toward a food, with infants expecting such reactions to transcend the boundaries of social groups.

“Even before infants appear to make smart choices about what substances to ingest, they form nuanced expectations that food preferences are fundamentally linked to social groups and social identity,” said Zoe Liberman, a University of California, Santa Barbara assistant professor who completed the research while a UChicago doctoral student.

In past studies researchers found infants could watch what other people ate in order to learn whether a food was edible. The new study looks beyond learning objective properties about foods to examine the expectations infants hold around who will agree or disagree on food preferences.

The study has important implications for policymakers working on public health, particularly obesity. The findings underscore the need to look beyond just teaching children which foods are healthy when combating obesity to focus on the social nature of decisions surrounding what to eat.

“For humans, food choice is a deeply social and cultural affair. These new findings show that infants are tuning into critical information for understanding the social world, as well as for reasoning about food,” said Amanda L. Woodward, the William S. Gray Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago.

Additional authors of the study were Kathleen R. Sullivan, social science analyst at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and Katherine Kinzler, associate professor at Cornell University….                                                                                                                                           https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/08/160822140701.htm

Citation:

Infants develop early understanding of social nature of food

Study finds preferences follow social groups and language; disgust seen as universal

Date:        August 22, 2016

Source:     University of Chicago

Summary:

A new study finds infants develop expectations about what people prefer to eat, providing early evidence of the social nature through which humans understand food.

Journal Reference:

  1. Zoe Liberman, Amanda L. Woodward, Kathleen R. Sullivan, Katherine D. Kinzler. Early emerging system for reasoning about the social nature of food. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2016; 201605456 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1605456113

Here is the press release from the University of Chicago:

Infants develop early understanding of social nature of food

Study finds preferences follow social groups and language; disgust seen as universal

By Mark Peters

August 22, 2016

Press Inquiries

Infants develop expectations about what people prefer to eat, providing early evidence of the social nature through which humans understand food, according to a new study conducted at the University of Chicago.

The study, published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found infants expect people to share food preferences unless they belong to different social groups. Their understanding changes when it comes to disgust toward a food, with infants expecting such reactions to transcend the boundaries of social groups.

“Even before infants appear to make smart choices about what substances to ingest, they form nuanced expectations that food preferences are fundamentally linked to social groups and social identity,” said Zoe Liberman, a University of California, Santa Barbara assistant professor who completed the research while a UChicago doctoral student.

In past studies researchers found infants could watch what other people ate in order to learn whether a food was edible. The new study looks beyond learning objective properties about foods to examine the expectations infants hold around who will agree or disagree on food preferences.

The study has important implications for policymakers working on public health, particularly obesity. The findings underscore the need to look beyond just teaching children which foods are healthy when combating obesity to focus on the social nature of decisions surrounding what to eat.

“For humans, food choice is a deeply social and cultural affair. These new findings show that infants are tuning into critical information for understanding the social world, as well as for reasoning about food,” said Amanda L. Woodward, the William S. Gray Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago.

Additional authors of the study were Kathleen R. Sullivan, social science analyst at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and Katherine Kinzler, associate professor at Cornell University.

In conducting the study, researchers used a method based on the duration infants look to determine their expectations: Infants tend to look longer at events they find relatively more surprising.

For example, monolingual infants in the study consistently looked longer when actors who spoke the same language disagreed on their food choice. The same was true when actors who spoke different languages agreed on their food choice. The reactions suggest monolingual infants expected food preferences to be consistent within a single linguistic group, but not necessarily the same across groups.

Responses were different for infants raised in bilingual environments. Bilingual infants in the study expected food preferences to be consistent even across linguistic groups, suggesting diverse social experiences may make children more flexible in determining which people like the same foods.

When it came to disgust for a food, infants looked longer when actors disagreed over a food being disgusting, even when the actors came from different social groups. The finding suggests infants might be vigilant toward potentially dangerous foods, and expect all people to avoid foods that are disgusting, regardless of their social group.                                                                                                                    https://news.uchicago.edu/article/2016/08/22/infants-develop-early-understanding-social-nature-food

The issue of childhood obesity is complicated and there are probably many factors. If a child’s family does not model healthy eating habits, it probably will be difficult to change the food preferences of the child.

Our goal as a society should be:

A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood ©

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University of Georgia study: Kitchen utensils can spread bacteria between foods

12 Nov

Moi blogs about education issues so the reader could be perplexed sometimes because moi often writes about other things like nutrition, families, and personal responsibility issues. Why? The reader might ask? Because children will have the most success in school if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of societies’ problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family.

Science Daily reported in Kitchen utensils can spread bacteria between foods:

In a recent study funded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, University of Georgia researchers found that produce that contained bacteria would contaminate other produce items through the continued use of knives or graters–the bacteria would latch on to the utensils commonly found in consumers’ homes and spread to the next item.

Unfortunately, many consumers are unaware that utensils and other surfaces at home can contribute to the spread of bacteria, said the study’s lead author Marilyn Erickson, an associate professor in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ department of food science and technology.

“Just knowing that utensils may lead to cross-contamination is important,” Erickson said. “With that knowledge, consumers are then more likely to make sure they wash them in between uses…”

This study, published in Food Microbiology, is similar in that it considers the influence that knives and graters have on the transfer of pathogenic bacteria to and from produce items. She urges consumers to realize that these germs can spread in their kitchens as well.

Researchers have known that poor hygiene and improper food preparation practices in a consumer’s home can lead to foodborne illnesses, but considering what practices in the kitchen are more likely to lead to contamination has not been examined extensively….

Using a knife, Erickson would cut into things like tomatoes or cantaloupe and other types of produce to see how easily the bacteria could spread when the knife was continuously used without being cleaned. Because they “were looking at what would be the worst-case scenario,” she said, Erickson and study co-authors did not wash between cutting these different produce items.

Researchers also grated produce, like carrots, to see how easily the pathogens spread to graters. They found that both knives and graters can cause additional cross-contamination in the kitchen and that the pathogens were spread from produce to produce if they hadn’t washed the utensils.

“A lot of the broken up material and particles from the contaminated produce remained on the graters,” said Erickson, who conducts her research at the UGA Center for Food Safety in Griffin. “Then if you were to shred another carrot or something else immediately after that, it gets contaminated, too.”

The study also found that certain fruits and vegetables spread pathogens to knives to different degrees.
“For items like tomatoes, we tended to have a higher contamination of the knives than when we cut strawberries,” Erickson said. “We don’t have a specific answer as to why there are differences between the different produce groups. But we do know that once a pathogen gets on the food, it’s difficult to remove.”

Knives and graters aren’t the only utensils in the kitchen consumers should be worried about. Erickson has also helped study the role brushes and peelers have on the transfer of dangerous kitchen bacteria.

In concurrent studies, Erickson found that scrubbing or peeling produce items–like melons, carrots and celery–did not eliminate contamination on the produce item but led to contamination of the brush or peeler. Even when placed under running water, the utensils still became contaminated; however, the ability to cross-contaminate later produce items depended on the brush type and the pathogenic agent.

These studies combined give researchers a better idea as to how common cross-contamination is in the kitchen–even when just using standard practices.

Erickson explained there is a small chance of buying fruits and vegetables contaminated with bacteria, but the problem can occur–whether the product is store-bought or locally grown. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151110134537.htm

Citation:

Kitchen utensils can spread bacteria between foods

Date: November 10, 2015

Source: University of Georgia

Summary:

Researchers have found that produce that contained bacteria would contaminate other produce items through the continued use of knives or graters — the bacteria would latch on to the utensils commonly found in consumers’ homes and spread. Unfortunately, many consumers are unaware utensils and other surfaces at home can contribute to the spread of bacteria, say the authors of a new report.

Journal Reference:

1. Marilyn C. Erickson, Jean Liao, Jennifer L. Cannon, Ynes R. Ortega. Contamination of knives and graters by bacterial foodborne pathogens during slicing and grating of produce. Food Microbiology, 2015; 52: 138 DOI: 10.1016/j.fm.2015.07.008

Here is the press release from the University of Georgia:

Kitchen utensils can spread bacteria between foods, UGA study finds

November 6, 2015
Sydney Devine

Contact:
Marilyn Erickson

Griffin, Ga. – In a recent study funded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, University of Georgia researchers found that produce that contained bacteria would contaminate other produce items through the continued use of knives or graters—the bacteria would latch on to the utensils commonly found in consumers’ homes and spread to the next item.
Unfortunately, many consumers are unaware that utensils and other surfaces at home can contribute to the spread of bacteria, said the study’s lead author Marilyn Erickson, an associate professor in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ department of food science and technology.

“Just knowing that utensils may lead to cross-contamination is important,” Erickson said. “With that knowledge, consumers are then more likely to make sure they wash them in between uses.”

Erickson has been researching produce for the past 10 years. Her past work has mainly focused on the fate of bacteria on produce when it’s introduced to plants in the field during farming.

In 2013, she was co-author on a study looking at the transfer of norovirus and hepatitis A between produce and common kitchen utensils—finding that cutting and grating increased the number of contaminated produce items when that utensil had first been used to process a contaminated item.

This study, published in Food Microbiology, is similar in that it considers the influence that knives and graters have on the transfer of pathogenic bacteria to and from produce items. She urges consumers to realize that these germs can spread in their kitchens as well.

Researchers have known that poor hygiene and improper food preparation practices in a consumer’s home can lead to foodborne illnesses, but considering what practices in the kitchen are more likely to lead to contamination has not been examined extensively.

“The FDA was interested in getting more accurate numbers as to what level of cross-contamination could occur in the kitchen using standard practices,” Erickson said.

In her recent study, Erickson contaminated many types of fruits and vegetables in her lab—adding certain pathogens that often can be found on these foods, such as salmonella and E. coli.

Using a knife, Erickson would cut into things like tomatoes or cantaloupe and other types of produce to see how easily the bacteria could spread when the knife was continuously used without being cleaned. Because they “were looking at what would be the worst-case scenario,” she said, Erickson and study co-authors did not wash between cutting these different produce items.

Researchers also grated produce, like carrots, to see how easily the pathogens spread to graters. They found that both knives and graters can cause additional cross-contamination in the kitchen and that the pathogens were spread from produce to produce if they hadn’t washed the utensils.

“A lot of the broken up material and particles from the contaminated produce remained on the graters,” said Erickson, who conducts her research at the UGA Center for Food Safety in Griffin. “Then if you were to shred another carrot or something else immediately after that, it gets contaminated, too.”

The study also found that certain fruits and vegetables spread pathogens to knives to different degrees.
“For items like tomatoes, we tended to have a higher contamination of the knives than when we cut strawberries,” Erickson said. “We don’t have a specific answer as to why there are differences between the different produce groups. But we do know that once a pathogen gets on the food, it’s difficult to remove.”

Knives and graters aren’t the only utensils in the kitchen consumers should be worried about. Erickson has also helped study the role brushes and peelers have on the transfer of dangerous kitchen bacteria.

In concurrent studies, Erickson found that scrubbing or peeling produce items—like melons, carrots and celery—did not eliminate contamination on the produce item but led to contamination of the brush or peeler. Even when placed under running water, the utensils still became contaminated; however, the ability to cross-contaminate later produce items depended on the brush type and the pathogenic agent.

These studies combined give researchers a better idea as to how common cross-contamination is in the kitchen—even when just using standard practices.

Erickson explained there is a small chance of buying fruits and vegetables contaminated with bacteria, but the problem can occur-whether the product is store-bought or locally grown.

Additional study co-authors were Qing Wang, a doctoral student at the University of Delaware, and Jean Liao, a research professional; and associate professors Jennifer Cannon and Ynes Ortega with UGA’s Center for Food Safety.

The study, “Contamination of knives and graters by bacterial foodborne pathogens during slicing and grating of produce,” is available at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0740002015001306.

Filed under: Culture / Living, Nutrition, Diet, and Health, Environment, Food Science and Safety
http://news.uga.edu/releases/article/kitchen-utensils-can-spread-bacteria-between-foods-1115/

Obviously, more research must be completed, but moderate exposure to a variety of germs maybe helpful to developing immune systems.

Resources:

Common Childhood Infections
http://pediatrics.about.com/od/childhoodinfections/

Infections
http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/

Overview of Bacterial Infections in Childhood
http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/childrens_health_issues/bacterial_infections_in_infants_and_children/overview_of_bacterial_infections_in_childhood.html

9 Childhood Illnesses: Get the Facts
http://www.webmd.com/children/features/childhood-illnesses-get-the-facts

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Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

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http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
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Even when food comes to food deserts, lifestyle reigns

10 Feb

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART which is actually an update. Moi wrote in ‘Food deserts’: Just how much does personal choice have to do with it?
The Seattle Times published an opinion piece, Op-ed: Bringing relief to food deserts in King County by Anne Vernez Moudon and Adam Drewnowski:

City and county leaders should take more aggressive action to bring relief to food deserts with aggressive development policies and incentives, according to guest columnists Anne Vernez Moudon and Adam Drewnowski. http://seattletimes.com/html/opinion/2019699347_moudondrewnowskiopedxml.html

Here is the definition of a “food desert”:

Definition for food desert:Web definitions: A food desert is a district with little or no access to foods needed to maintain a healthy diet but often served by plenty of fast food… en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_desert

That got moi thinking whether the issue isn’t as much personal choice as “food dessert.”

First, there is the New York Times article, Studies Question the Pairing of Food Deserts and Obesity by Gina Kolata:

It has become an article of faith among some policy makers and advocates, including Michelle Obama, that poor urban neighborhoods are food deserts, bereft of fresh fruits and vegetables.
But two new studies have found something unexpected. Such neighborhoods not only have more fast food restaurants and convenience stores than more affluent ones, but more grocery stores, supermarkets and full-service restaurants, too. And there is no relationship between the type of food being sold in a neighborhood and obesity among its children and adolescents.
Within a couple of miles of almost any urban neighborhood, “you can get basically any type of food,” said Roland Sturm of the RAND Corporation, lead author of one of the studies. “Maybe we should call it a food swamp rather than a desert,” he said.
Some experts say these new findings raise questions about the effectiveness of efforts to combat the obesity epidemic simply by improving access to healthy foods. Despite campaigns to get Americans to exercise more and eat healthier foods, obesity rates have not budged over the past decade, according to recently released federal data.
“It is always easy to advocate for more grocery stores,” said Kelly D. Brownell, director of Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, who was not involved in the studies. “But if you are looking for what you hope will change obesity, healthy food access is probably just wishful thinking.”
Advocates have long called for more supermarkets in poor neighborhoods and questioned the quality of the food that is available. And Mrs. Obama has made elimination of food deserts an element of her broader campaign against childhood obesity, Let’s Move, winning praise from Democrats and even some Republicans, and denunciations from conservative commentators and bloggers who have cited it as yet another example of the nanny state….
Some researchers and advocates say that further investigation is still needed on whether grocery stores and chain supermarkets in poor neighborhoods are selling produce that is too costly and of poor quality. “Not all grocery stores are equal,” said John Weidman, deputy executive director of the Food Trust, an advocacy group in Philadelphia. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/18/health/research/pairing-of-food-deserts-and-obesity-challenged-in-studies.html?_r=0

http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/tag/op-ed-bringing-relief-to-food-deserts-in-king-county/
Well duh, it appears that lifestyle choice has a great deal to do with good food choices.

Patti Neighmond reported in the NPR story, It Takes More Than A Produce Aisle To Refresh A Food Desert:

In inner cities and poor rural areas across the country, public health advocates have been working hard to turn around food deserts — neighborhoods where fresh produce is scarce, and greasy fast food abounds. In many cases, they’re converting dingy, cramped corner markets into lighter, brighter venues that offer fresh fruits and vegetables. In some cases, they’re building brand new stores.
“The presumption is, if you build a store, people are going to come,” says Stephen Matthews, professor in the departments of sociology, anthropology and demography at Penn State University. To check that notion, he and colleagues from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine recently surveyed residents of one low-income community in Philadelphia before and after the opening of a glistening new supermarket brimming with fresh produce.
What they’re finding, Matthews says, is a bit surprising: “We don’t find any difference at all. … We see no effect of the store on fruit and vegetable consumption.”
Now, to be fair, the time was short. The store was only open for six months before residents were surveyed. Matthews says most residents knew that the store was there and that it offered healthy food. But only 26 percent said it was their regular “go to” market. And, as might be expected, those who lived close to the store shopped there most regularly.
Matthews says the findings dovetail with other work, and simply point to the obvious: Lots more intervention is needed to change behavior. For one thing, we’re all used to routine, and many of us will just keep shopping where we’ve been shopping, even if a newer, more convenient and bountiful store moves in.
But more than that, he says, many people, particularly in low-income food deserts, just aren’t used to buying or preparing healthy meals — they haven’t had the opportunity, until now.
Alex Ortega, a public health researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, agrees that providing access to nutritious food is only the first step.
“The next part of the intervention is to create demand,” he says, “so the community wants to come to the store and buy healthy fruits and vegetables and go home and prepare those foods in a healthy way, without lots of fat, salt or sugar.”
Ortega directs a UCLA project that converts corner stores into hubs of healthy fare in low-income neighborhoods of East Los Angeles. He and colleagues work with community leaders and local high school students to help create that demand for nutritious food. Posters and signs promoting fresh fruits and vegetables hang in corner stores, such as the Euclid Market in Boyle Heights, and at bus stops. There are nutrition education classes in local schools, and cooking classes in the stores themselves….
The jury’s still out on whether these conversions of corner stores are actually changing people’s diets and health. The evidence is still being collected. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/10/273046077/takes-more-than-a-produce-aisle-to-refresh-a-food-desert

In other words, much of the obesity problem is due to personal life style choices and the question is whether government can or should regulate those choices.

Personal Responsibility:
There is only one person responsible for your life and the vocation you have chosen. That person is the one you see in the mirror in the morning when you wake up. Don’t blame God, your boss, your parents, your former teachers, your coach, your co-workers or your dog. You and only you are responsible for your work life and what you have achieved. The sooner you accept this notion, the sooner you will begin to make changes that lead to a happier and more productive life and career. http://www.corethemes.com/coreconcepts/

It’s all about ME unless I have to take responsibility for ME. The same brilliant minds who think the government can substitute for family have fostered a single parenthood rate of 70% in the African-American community and about 50% for the population as a whole. Given the child abuse and foster care numbers, this plan hasn’t worked well. Sometimes folks have to be responsible for their choices.

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The 10/14/13 Joy Jar

14 Oct

Moi is trying to get a healthier lifestyle. She is walking more and she bought a bag of apples to snack on. There are so many varieties of apples. They really are the perfect fruit. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ are apples.

We are born believing. A man bears beliefs as a tree bears apples.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed.
Robert H. Schuller

The insufferable arrogance of human beings to think that Nature was made solely for their benefit, as if it was conceivable that the sun had been set afire merely to ripen men’s apples and head their cabbages.
Cyrano de Bergerac

“Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why.”
Bernard M. Baruch

“We are born believing. A man bears beliefs as a tree bears apples.” –
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”
Martin Luther

“Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness.”
Jane Austen

“I tell you, all politics is apple sauce.”
Will Rogers

“Surely the apple is the noblest of fruits.”
Henry David Thoreau, Wild Apples

Why not upset the apple cart? If you don’t, the apples will rot anyway.
Frank A. Clark

The 10/11/13 Joy Jar

12 Oct

Moi had a hamburger and onion rings for lunch. There is nothing so lovely as the occasional hamburger. Yum, yum. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the hamburger.

If it’s flipping hamburgers at McDonald’s, be the best hamburger flipper in the world. Whatever it is you do you have to master your craft.
Snoop Dogg

Man who invented the hamburger was smart; man who invented the cheeseburger was a genius.
Matthew McConaughey

Take A city is where you can sign a petition, boo the chief justice, fish off a pier, gaze at a hippopotamus, buy a flower at the corner, or get a good hamburger or a bad girl at 4 A.M. A city is where sirens make white streaks of sound in the sky and foghorns speak in dark grays. San Francisco is such a city.
Herb Caen

In the States, you can buy Chinese food. In Beijing you can buy hamburger. It’s very close. Now I feel the world become a big family, like a really big family. You have many neighbors. Not like before, two countries are far away.
Jet Li

“The same rightists who decades ago were shouting, ‘Better dead than red!’ are now often heard mumbling, ‘Better red than eating hamburgers.”
Slavoj Žižek

“A Hamburger is warm and fragrant and juicy. A hamburger is soft and nonthreatening. It personifies the Great Mother herself who has nourished us from the beginning. A hamburger is an icon of layered circles, the circle being at once the most spiritual and the most sensual of shapes. A hamburger is companionable and faintly erotic. The nipple of the Goddess, the bountiful belly-ball of Eve. You are what you think you eat.”
Tom Robbins

“It is the Americans who have managed to crown minced beef as hamburger, and to send it round the world so that even the fussy French have taken to le boeuf hache, le hambourgaire.”
Julia Child

“You can find your way across this country using burger joint the way a navigatior uses stars….We have munched Bridge burgers in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge and Cable burgers hard by the Golden Gate, Dixie burgers in the sunny South and Yankee Doodle burgers in the North….We had a Capitol Burger — guess where. And so help us, in the inner courtyard of the Pentagon, a Penta burger.”
Charles Kuralt, journalist. (1934-1997)

“The journey of a thousand pounds begins with a single burger”
Chris O’Brien

“It requires a certain kind of mind to see beauty in a hamburger bun.”
Ray Kroc

“Mother Nature clearly intended for us to get our food from the “patty” group, which includes hamburgers, fish sticks, and McNuggets- foods that have had all of their organs safely removed.”
Dave Barry, Miami Herald Columnist

A hamburger by any other name costs twice as much.
Evan Esar

Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic study: Food sell-by-dates are often bogus and not based on fact

12 Oct

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Moi read with interest the UPI report, Sniffing out the meaning in ‘Sell by’ dates:

Hold on before dumping that gallon milk down the sink; just because it’s past the “sell-by” date doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be thrown out.

More than 90 percent of U.S. consumers may be wasting money and prematurely throwing away perfectly good food because they misinterpret food labels as indicators of food safety, a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic said.

The report called for changes in the way food manufacturers label their products.

“Expiration dates are in need of some serious myth-busting because they’re leading us to waste money and throw out perfectly good food, along with all of the resources that went into growing it,” said Dana Gunders, staff scientist with the NRDC’s food and agriculture program. “Phrases like ‘sell by’, ‘use by’, and ‘best before’ are poorly regulated, misinterpreted and leading to a false confidence in food safety. It is time for a well-intended but wildly ineffective food date labeling system to get a makeover.”

The study, “The Dating Game: How Confusing Food Date Labels Lead to Food Waste in America,” is a follow-up to a 2012 NRDC report that found as much as 40 percent of the U.S. food supply ends up in the garbage each year.

The report found 91 percent of consumers occasionally throw food away based on the “sell by” date out of a mistaken concern for food safety even though none of the date labels actually indicates food is unsafe to eat.

An estimated 160 billion pounds of food is trashed in the United States every year, making food waste the single largest contributor of solid waste in the nation’s landfills.

“Sell by” dates are used by grocery stores to determine when their stock should be rotated, they do not indicate the food is bad on that date. “Best before” and “use by” dates are intended for consumers, but they usually just estimate peak quality, again not an accurate date of spoiling or an indication that food is unsafe…
http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Consumer-Corner/2013/10/06/Sniffing-out-the-meaning-in-Sell-by-dates/UPI-87551381053540/#ixzz2hXRPlcdL

That reminds moi of:

“There’s a sucker born every minute” is a phrase often credited to P. T. Barnum (1810–1891), an American showman. Though this phrase is often credited to Barnum, it was more likely spoken by a man by the name of David Hannum, who was criticizing both Barnum and his customers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There’s_a_sucker_born_every_minute

No matter who said it, we are all suckers of planned obsolescence.

According to the Economist article, Planned obsolescence:

Planned obsolescence is a business strategy in which the obsolescence (the process of becoming obsolete—that is, unfashionable or no longer usable) of a product is planned and built into it from its conception. This is done so that in future the consumer feels a need to purchase new products and services that the manufacturer brings out as replacements for the old ones. http://www.economist.com/node/13354332

So, the sell-by-dates are not based upon scientific fact, but a random guess. The real question is how the public fights the theory of planned obsolescence?

Addison Del Mastro posts the following suggestions at the PERC Blog in Planned Obsolescence: The Good and the Bad:

Consumer education

Consumer education is a relatively easy way to resist pseudo-functional obsolescence. The first goal of consumer education is simply to make consumers aware that pseudo-functional obsolescence actually exists. Many of us know very little about how our products really work, and so it can be hard for the average consumer to tell the difference between true innovation and pseudo-functional obsolescence. Providing this information is not always easy. Sometimes, identifying pseudo-functional obsolescence requires very specific knowledge of a product. But sometimes it’s easier, as in the case of the laptop chargers mentioned above. The electrical specs are what really determine compatibility. If the specs are the same but the plugs are different, it’s fairly easy to identify this as pseudo-functional obsolescence. Once consumers are aware of pseudo-functional obsolescence, they can buy better products from better companies. But in addition to making smarter choices in the marketplace, consumers can also address their complaints directly to companies. If all of our complaints actually reached the businesses responsible, this would undoubtedly have a positive impact on their business practices.

Promote voluntary industry standards

Voluntary industry standards are often so widely accepted that we hardly think of them as specifically chosen standards – instead it seems like it’s simply the way things are. For example, the 110 volt household current system in the United States is a standard first promoted by Thomas Edison. Later on, the size and shape of the home electric plug was standardized by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association and the American National Standards Institute. If we step back and think about it, it really is incredible that a 70-year-old electric appliance still operates in a modern home’s electric system.Yet it is not hard to imagine things turning out differently. In the beginning there were competing electrical systems, and without standardization things might have remained this way. Different homes could have been built with different systems, meaning that if you moved to a new home, you would have to replace every electric item you owned. There could have been several different sizes and shapes of electric plugs too. Old plug sizes might have eventually been retired and replaced with “improved” models, so if you needed to replace a socket in your home it wouldn’t match all the rest.This sounds rather ridiculous, but only because the industry standards in home electricity have served us so well. Industry standards in the electronics industry for items like chargers and batteries could go a long way towards saving resources and improving product usability for consumers.Freely adopted industry standards allow us to use an electrical appliance from decades ago in a modern home. Industry standards in electronics would allow us to use last year’s charger in this year’s laptop. Is that really too much to ask of the electronics companies?The free market is powerful and beneficial, but an efficient market requires knowledge. Once consumers become informed about planned obsolescence — the good and the bad — they can better use the market to buy more efficient products. This will benefit consumers, responsible businesses, and the environment.

http://perc.org/blog/planned-obsolescence-good-and-bad#sthash.1oALS3Kq.dpuf

Right now, ALL of us are getting killed as much by what we don’t know. Those who use planned obsolescence as a business strategy are counting on our ignorance and lack of knowledge as members of the public. Moi is one of those who felt that the sell-by-dates were sacrosanct. Time to ask more questions. In the meanwhile, many producers are counting on there is a sucker born every minute.

Here is the press release:

Main page | Archive

Press contact: Jackie Wei, jwei@nrdc.org, 310-434-2325 or (cell) 347-874-8305

If you are not a member of the press, please write to us at nrdcinfo@nrdc.org or see our contact page

New Report: Food Expiration Date Confusion Causing up to 90% of Americans to Waste Food

NRDC & Harvard Reveal Costs of Mass Consumer Confusion; Offer New Plan for Commonsense Food Date Labeling

NEW YORK (September 18, 2013) – U.S. consumers and businesses needlessly trash billions of pounds of food every year as a result of America’s dizzying array of food expiration date labeling practices, which need to be standardized and clarified, according to a new report co-authored by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic. One key finding from an industry-conducted survey: More than 90 percent of Americans may be prematurely tossing food because they misinterpret food labels as indicators of food safety.

“Expiration dates are in need of some serious myth-busting because they’re leading us to waste money and throw out perfectly good food, along with all of the resources that went into growing it,” said Dana Gunders, NRDC staff scientist with the food and agriculture program. “Phrases like ‘sell by’, ’use by’, and ‘best before’ are poorly regulated, misinterpreted and leading to a false confidence in food safety. It is time for a well-intended but wildly ineffective food date labeling system to get a makeover.”

NRDC and Harvard Law’s study, The Dating Game: How Confusing Food Date Labels Lead to Food Waste in America is a first-of-its-kind legal analysis of the tangle of loose federal and state laws related to date labels across all 50 states and presents recommendations for a new system for food date labeling. The report is a follow-up to NRDC’s 2012 Wasted report, which revealed that Americans trash up to 40 percent of our food supply every year, equivalent to $165 billion.

For the vast majority of food products, manufacturers are free to determine date shelf life according to their own methods. The report finds that the confusion created by this range of poorly regulated and inconsistent labels leads to results that undermine the intent of the labeling, including:

False Notions that Food is Unsafe – 91 percent of consumers occasionally throw food away based on the “sell by” date out of a mistaken concern for food safety even though none of the date labels actually indicate food is unsafe to eat;
Consumer Confusion Costs – an estimated 20 percent of food wasted in U.K. households is due to misinterpretation of date labels. Extending the same estimate to the U.S., the average household of four is losing $275-455 per year on food needlessly trashed;
Business Confusion Costs – an estimated $900 million worth of expired food is removed from the supply chain every year. While not all of this is due to confusion, a casual survey of grocery store workers found that even employees themselves do not distinguish between different kinds of dates;
Mass Amounts of Wasted Food – The labeling system is one factor leading to an estimated 160 billion pounds of food trashed in the U.S. every year, making food waste the single largest contributor of solid waste in the nation’s landfills.
Two main categories of labeling exist for manufacturers: those intended to communicate among businesses and those for consumers. But they are not easily distinguishable from one another and neither is designed to indicate food’s safety. “Sell by” dates are a tool for stock control, suggesting when the grocery store should no longer sell products in order to ensure the products still have shelf life after consumers purchase them. They are not meant to communicate with consumers, nor do they indicate the food is bad on that date. “Best before” and “use by” dates are intended for consumers, but they are often just a manufacturer’s estimate of a date after which food will no longer be at peak quality; not an accurate date of spoiling or an indication that food is unsafe. Consumers have no way of knowing how these “sell by” and “use by” dates have been defined or calculated since state laws vary dramatically and companies set their own methods for determining the dates, none of which helps to improve public health and safety.

“We need a standardized, commonsense date labeling system that actually provides useful information to consumers, rather than the unreliable, inconsistent and piecemeal system we have today,” said Emily Broad Leib, lead author of the report and director of Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic. “This comprehensive review provides a blueprint calling on the most influential date label enforcers – food industry actors and policymakers – to create and foster a better system that serves our health, pocketbooks and the environment.”

Use of expiration dates for food stem from consumer unease about food freshness mounting over the 20th century, as Americans left farms and lost their connection to the foods they consume. By 1975, a nationwide survey of shoppers showed 95% of respondents considered date labels to be the most useful consumer service for addressing freshness. The widespread concern prompted over 10 congressional bills introduced between 1973-1975 alone, to establish requirements for food dating. During that time, the General Accounting Office (GAO) issued a report to Congress advocating a uniform national date labeling system to avoid confusion. Despite GAO’s prophetic advice, none of the legislative efforts gained enough momentum to become law. Instead, the 1970s began the piecemeal creation of today’s fractured American date labeling regime.

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture have the power to regulate food labeling to ensure consumers are not misled, both agencies have failed to adequately exercise their authority. FDA does not require food companies to place any date labels on food products, leaving the information entirely at the discretion of the manufacturer. The only product for which a date is federally regulated is infant formula.

Food producers and retailers can begin to adopt the following recommended changes to date labels voluntarily but government steps, including legislation by Congress and more oversight by FDA and USDA, should be considered as well:

Making “sell by” dates invisible to consumers, as they indicate business-to-business labeling information and are mistakenly interpreted as safety dates;
Establishing a more uniform, easily understandable date label system that communicates clearly with consumers by 1) using consistent, unambiguous language; 2) clearly differentiating between safety- and quality-based dates; 3) predictably locating the date on package; 4) employing more transparent methods for selecting dates; and other changes to improve coherency;
Increasing the use of safe handling instructions and “smart labels” that use technology to provide additional information on the product’s safety.
“The scale of food waste worldwide is one of the most emblematic examples of how humanity is needlessly running down its natural resources. This new report comes on the heels of one compiled by the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), which points out that 28 percent of the world’s farmland is being used to produce food that is not eaten–an area larger than China,” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director. “Everyone, every business, every city, state and government should do something to tackle this wastage to help reduce the global Foodprint.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Read the full issue brief here: http://www.nrdc.org/food/expiration-dates.asp or FixFoodDates.com
NRDC’s blog series on food waste: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/dgunders/
NRDC’s Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill report: http://www.nrdc.org/food/wasted-food.asp
UNEP and the FAO launched the Think Eat Save: Reduce Your Foodprint campaign in January 2013 – its partners include NRDC: http://www.thinkeatsave.org.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 1.4 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Livingston, Montana, and Beijing. Visit us at http://www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

The Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, a division of the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, is an experiential teaching program of Harvard Law School that links law students with opportunities to serve clients and communities grappling with various food law and policy issues. The Clinic strives to increase access to healthy foods, prevent diet-related diseases, and assist small and sustainable farmers and producers in participating in local food markets. For more information, visit http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/foodpolicyinitiative/

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The 10/07/13 Joy Jar

7 Oct

Moi is eating more nuts of all kinds lately as a healthier alternative to chips. There are quite a variety of nuts and they really taste good. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar” are the many variety of nuts.

God gives the nuts, but he does not crack them.
Franz Kafka

I’ve seen a look in dogs’ eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts.
John Steinbeck

God often gives nuts to toothless people.
Matt Groening

“Worldly riches are like nuts; many a tooth is broke in cracking them, but never is the stomach filled with eating them.”
Rabbi Nachman

God tipped the country and all the fruits and nuts rolled west.
Mike Royko

Mellow nuts have the hardest rind
Sir Walter Scott

Cranks live by theory, not by pure desire. They want votes, peace, nuts, liberty, and spinning-looms not because they love these things, as a child loves jam, but because they think they ought to have them. That is one element which makes the crank.
Rose Macaulay

“Every oak tree started out as a couple of nuts who decided to stand their ground.”
Unknown