An oldish, but eye-opening article in Rolling Stone about the pork business.
Now, we all know Americans’ waistlines aren’t shrinking – but the products they buy in the store are. The main thing that bugs me about this is that companies are again making a calculation based on consumer stupidity. The idea is, people will notice higher prices on the package, but they won’t notice that the package is shrinking. A Tropicana spinster prefers to describe it as a “value-added redesign.” Sigh.
At long last, the FDA will no longer allow foods with HFCS to be labeled “natural.”
Today was one of those days that reminds me why I love living – and as a bonus, doing it here. The sun was shining and it was well above 80. The birds were singing away and frantically going about their springtime business. I have some (sparrows, I think) nesting on the north side of the house. I hear so many different birdsongs day and night that I’ve started checking eNature.com to try to identify them.
I was having a conversation last night with a friend about another mathematician friend who once told me that in any discrete area, more than 90% of Americans don’t have tastes – they just look to others to tell them what’s cool and what isn’t. These people think they have taste, but they are generally just social emulators – they look to a relatively small population of coolhunters / tastemakers to tell them what to think and enjoy. I offer FM radio as one example. But – if a person thinks they have taste and thinks they like something, what difference does it make if they actually do? This piece got me thinking about how that very phenomenon fits into marketing and pricing.
Slaughterhouse workers fall ill; inhalation of “pig brain mist” suspected. While they investigate further, Quality Pork will suspend the practice of shooting compressed air into pig’s skulls to remove the brains;
“In a rapid-fire process that is noisy, smelly and bloody, severed pigs’ heads are cut up at the head table at a rate of more than 1,100 an hour. Workers slice off the cheek and snout meat, then insert a nozzle in the head and blast air inside until the light pink mush that is the brain tissue squirts out from the base of the skull.
Kruse, whose job was to remove meat from the back of the animals’ heads, said she doesn’t recall any spray or mist from the de-braining. The head-table workers were protected by safety glasses, helmets, gloves and belly guards, but none wore anything over their mouths or noses, she said.”
Huh. Who’d have thought such a practice might generate illnesses yet-unnamed?
The last time I was back home, I (along with her husband) was encouraging my friend Erin to blog her cultured, sophisticated point of view on food, travel and other enjoyments. I warned it would have to be its own reward; feedback is very, very hard to come by. Continue reading Divert Yourself