A longtime reader sent in a couple of links to websites that let you find out more about your food supply chain, if you’re into that sort of stuff. Where is my milk from? matches carton codes with a list of dairies published by the FDA. FoodLogiq is less user-friendly and requires free registration, but you can apparently use it to track produce from participating growers. (Thanks to Cy!)
This list of the 10 riskiest foods might surprise you at first, because there’s no mention of any sort of meat or poultry. But that’s because it’s from the FDA, which doesn’t regulate those two food categories. When it comes to produce, dairy, eggs and seafood, here’s what to watch out for, listed in order from most outbreaks to least.
Do you lie awake at night, wondering where the potatoes in the bag of Lay’s chips you downed while watching “Dancing With the Stars” were grown? No, neither do most sane people. However, our alert colleagues over at ShopSmart magazine have discovered the Lay’s Chip Tracker, which can tell you the potato source based on the bag’s production code. No, seriously.
Want to avoid eating pesticides without breaking the bank on organics? The handy “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides” makes it easy to keep track of which fruits and vegetables are likely to have bug spray all over them and which are not. Peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, and strawberries head up the “dirty dozen” with the highest pesticide load. At the bottom: onions, avocados, frozen sweet corn, pineapple, and mangoes, which have so little pesticide, you’re better off buying conventionally grown varieties (unless you’re rich).
Here are 11 fruits and vegetables that typically have low amounts of pesticides. Now we just need to find a recipe for asparagus pineapple onion salad. [The Daily Green]
So food from green markets and community supported agriculture is cleaner and healthier than that grocery store schmaltz, right? Not so fast, says E.coli litigation king Bill Marler, who recently wrote that convincing local food producers to keep their food clean will be one of the top ten food safety challenges of the year.
The New York Times reports that more and more people are buying shares of small farms, mostly on the coasts and around the Great Lakes region, which guarantee them a percentage of the season’s harvest. This “community-supported agriculture” model has exploded from fewer than 100 farms in the early 90s to nearly 1,500 in recent years. Helping out is optional, although we’re not sure the real farmers would appreciate our constant bitching about being in the sun. (I worked summers hoeing cotton fields in Texas, which is partly why I moved to NYC.)
12-year-old Megan Templeton was shopping with her father for some watermelons and hamburgers for their Memorial Day cook-out when she was stung by a stowaway scorpion that had made a home in the produce section of her local Walmart.
Last week a Florida journalist busted Burger King VP Stephen Grover for using his tween-aged daughter’s email account to slam a farm workers group—but that wasn’t the only weird email event related to this story. Now Burger King is taking steps to officially distance itself from Grover’s actions and the other internal emails by announcing it’s launched an “internal investigation” into all three.
The next time Burger King VP Stephen Grover goes online to spread FUD about labor advocates, he should probably leave his daughter out of it. For one thing, she’s a horrible accomplice and will spill her guts to the first reporter who calls. For another thing, this forthrightness clearly makes her too ethical to smear a group that’s trying to bring pay for tomato pickers up to living wage levels.
Jose writes, I thought that the long lines and the produce always being out of stock was bad enough, but then I noticed the small family of birds living at my local Safeway (Nutley St, Fairfax, VA).
Burger King has been fighting with tomato pickers in southern Florida for two years, refusing to pay a penny more per pound. Now the burger chain has announced that they may simply buy their tomatoes somewhere else.
You know how it is, picking at knots for minutes, whittling down your fingernails, and then you get frustrated and say forget it, I’m going to eat some cookies from this nice, easy jar.