Retail behemoth Walmart says it will soon be selling a new variety of genetically modified sweet corn developed by seed megacorp/frequent litigator Monsanto. This is the same corn that other big names like Whole Foods and General Mills have already said thanks but no thanks to. [More]
Do Americans feel strongly enough about high fructose corn syrup to seek out food without it? Will anyone go out of their way and pay extra to find soda or ketchup without the controversial corn-based sweetener? AdAge reports that some companies are removing it from their products, but have discovered that marketing the change without alienating consumers who weren’t aware of or simply don’t care about the presence of HFCS poses unique problems. [More]
Dawn is freaked out because when she got up this morning, she found bugs in her cat’s litter box. She called the company that makes the litter to ask them what to do, and they offered coupons but no real explanation. “Maybe some of your readers have had the same experience and could help me figure out what to do,” she writes. “Thanks!”
The Corn Refiners Association is sick and tired of people expressing uncertainty about the dubious heath benefits of high fructose corn syrup, so they’re running some commercials featuring aggressively annoying people getting schooled on the “facts” about our most omnipresent sweetener. All we managed to glean from the commercials is that not consuming high fructose corn syrup makes you rude. In the first one, one mom walks up to another (who is pouring some sort of pink liquid from a jug) and says, “Wow, you don’t care what the kids eat, huh?” What a jerk.
Adjust your metaphors. Chicken feed is now expensive. Pilgrim’s Pride, the world’s largest chicken processor is laying off 1,100 people due to the rising cost of corn. [CNNMoney]
Think you’re paying too much for food now? You’re going to pay more in 2008 according to Reuters.
Ethanol is billed as the answer to America’s addiction to foreign oil, but the immense demand for the corn, from which ethanol is made, is also raising prices in supermarkets and restaurants across the nation. The demand to transform corn into ethanol has already doubled the average price for a bushel of corn from $2 to $4.
The corn price increases flow like gravy down the food chain, to grocery stores and menus. The cost of rounded cubed steak at local Harris Teeters is up from $4.59 last year to $5.29 this year, according to TheGroceryGame.com, which tracks prices. The Palm restaurant chain recently raised prices as much as $2 for a New York strip. And so on.
Michael Pollan best summarized our little-known reliance on corn in The Omnivore’s Dilemma:
Compared with a bunch of carrots, a package of Twinkies, to take one iconic processed foodlike substance as an example, is a highly complicated, high-tech piece of manufacture, involving no fewer than 39 ingredients, many themselves elaborately manufactured, as well as the packaging and a hefty marketing budget. So how can the supermarket possibly sell a pair of these synthetic cream-filled pseudocakes for less than a bunch of roots?
The Slate writer held a taste test and decided on grass-fed beef at $21.50 per lbs, not the most expensive variety tested. “Never have I witnessed a piece of meat so move grown men (and women).” Check it out.
I like the Chicken McNugget. Hey, it’s not chicken or anything, but my sole interest in the McNugget is as a flavor carrier of McDonald’s brand sweet and sour sauce. I love that stuff. It is for that sauce — looking oh-so-remarkably like the output of a mewling newborn — that I can never bring myself to order any similar gobble-sized chicken parts from Burger King or the like. Their “chicken tenders” (in case you never noticed, a creative marketing euphemism for “chicken genitalia”) may taste better than the McNugget, but that pink, orange-flecked sweet and sour sauce is an abomination.