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Thursday, January 31, 2013

No More Paparazzi: NYT Article

Check out this article in the New York Times about how restaurateurs are turning camera shy.

Do you take pictures of your food when eating out?

Do you agree with what these managers are implementing?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Working at the Cow Wash

275x250.jpgAsk any farmer around and they’ll be the first to tell you they’re not in it for the money.  Some of them have a passion for the outdoors… some of them care about clothing and feeding the world… and you might even find a handful that love animals.  In fact – make that most of them love the animals they raise.  When a farmer goes out at 2 in the morning to pull a baby calf – and then brings the calf into their home to keep it warm until morning - that is pure love.

How far will a farmer go to keep his livestock happy?  As a huge animal lover, animal welfare is very important to me.  Livestock owners often get a lot of slack from the media for the treatment of animals involved in production agriculture.  There is controversy over naturally fed cattle, pigs raised in pens vs. pastures, and cage sizes for chickens – the list goes on and on.  Now I could really care less if the cheeseburger I ate was once “organically” fed, but something that is important to me is the quality of life the animals had on the farm.
So back to my question: how far will a farmer go to enhance the quality of life for his or her livestock?  An article posted on our first year vet school message board caught my attention.  There is now a machine that washes your cows, similar to a car wash.  And over 30,000 of these Swedish machines have already been sold.  That’s a lot of clean dairy cows.  If the “cow-wash” makes the cows happy, they produce more milk – now I’d say that’s a win-win situation for all.  Check it out for yourself!


Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Ok, well maybe not a literal Lunch Lady LandSloppy Joe smack down. The food fight I'm talking about is the one we're all familiar with: Organic vs Conventional, Whole Foods vs Walmart, HSUS vs Animal Ag.  It seems like all of these food foes are destined to be locked in an eternal struggle for the right to trigger satiety. But does it really have to be that way? One champion of the food gospel says no.

Michelle Payn-Knoper's new book, No More Food Fights!, seeks to finally "reach across the plate and shake hands" and inspire constructive communication rather than hurl rotten non-GMO tomatoes.  Over the past several years MPK has established herself one of North America's favorite foodies. Her tireless work to advocate for both the American food consumer and farmer has resulted in what is sure to be an inestimable amount of positive impacts and learning experiences for people on both sides of the great plate debate.

To hear what Michelle has to say about her new book, check out a recent Q&A with Chuck Jolley or visit her website

 No More Food Fights!  will definitely be home run for anyone who eats. The first edition is slated to hit the shelves February 14th, just in time for a late Valentines Day gift.



No one can worship God or love his neighbor on an empty stomach - Woodrow Wilson

Monday, January 28, 2013

Japan to Ease Beef Import Terms

Big news in the ag industry today. Japan has changed the terms and conditions for which it imports beef from the United States. It's a big deal for ranchers and farmers, but also of interest to consumers!

This is a great article in Drovers about the new deal:

This is a great blog post from The Hill:

Japan is the largest importer of US beef in Asia.

Japan will now permit the import of beef from cattle less than 30* months of age. *Previously 20

This will inevitably boost the bottom line for American Agriculture and help set another record year for agricultural exports.

This is a true testament to the work that has been done in the industry to provide safe and wholesome beef to consumers. Japan stopped importing beef from cattle that were up to 30 months in age after a positive Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) case was found in the US back in 2003.



Friday, January 25, 2013

Super Bowl of Food Safety!

Super Bowl Sunday is coming up. Grab your goodies, get a good couch, did you know that more big screen TVs are sold during Super Bowl Season than any other time of year? Yeah, so go get a big screen!

Food safety should always be kept in mind when making grub for friends. What's my favorite kitchen tool to use during a banging Super Bowl party?


Best invention since hair spray, yes, that would be the slow cooker!

Have you thought about the correct temperatures, thawing practices and amount of food you can safely cook in a slow cooker? I didn't really think about it until I read the above article. I have also included a fact sheet for your info from the USDA.

I'm not really an NFL fan, so I'll be paying attention to who sings the National Anthem, who airs the funniest commercials and of course if anyone loses a piece of clothing in the halftime show! Will the wardrobe malfunction joke ever get old?

What's your favorite kitchen tool to break out during the big game?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Food Fraud!

A new watchdog group has surfaced and hit the news. Have you heard about the Food Fraud?

U.S. Pharmacoepeial Convention is a non-profit group of detectives who have been discovering fake ingredients in food products. The database was released Wednesday:


Common foods that they are finding to be altered are: 
  • Olive oil: often diluted with cheaper oils
  • Lemon juice: cheapened with water and sugar
  • Tea: diluted with fillers like lawn grass or fern leaves
  • Spices: like paprika or saffron adulterated with dangerous food colorings that mimic the colors
I read more about the group on this ABC article. Another one seen on CNN.

What are the big issues with foods being misrepresented on the labels? Number one problem I see is that people with food allergies are trusting that the ingredients are represented correctly and make decisions accordingly. My nephew has a severe peanut allergy and I know my sister spends a lot of time reading labels to make safe food choices for him. What do you think the biggest issue is?


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