Showing posts with label food safety. Show all posts
Showing posts with label food safety. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Starbucks: Another chemical dumped (almost...)

Given the recent hype about the new Starbucks, this seems appropriate to share. Caveat emptor!

Hi from New York City! 
I can't believe we did it again. We are bending policies of multi-billion dollar companies overnight. It really blows my mind! 
In this latest post, I reveal the email exchanges I had with the Starbucks PR team leading up to last week, including what happened after they invited me to their headquarters in Seattle.  
And…because of what you did last week, their stance completely changed. 
Watch me talking about this issue on national TV this morning & read the latest news HERE. 
At the end of this post, I have one little favor to ask. Even though Starbucks has agreed to some of our requests, they have a lot more work to do. Millions of people are still drinking these chemicals as I am typing! 
None of these changes could become a reality without you and your unwavering determination to improve the quality and safety of our food. 
I hope you are proud of yourself. I certainly am. 
Thank you for standing with me and for your continued love and support.


P.O. Box 31521 Charlotte, NC 28231

Drink Starbucks? Wake Up And Smell The Chemicals!

Drink Starbucks? Wake Up And Smell The Chemicals!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"the wrong type of butter can secretly ruin your health"

Vani Hari, the Food Babe, writes:
Land O’ Lakes was a staple in my household growing up. We’d use the whipped butter like it was nobody’s business – my mom would use it on her infamous parathas (Indian stuffed flat bread), in countless desserts and to make homemade ghee. Once I found out what was really happening at Land O’Lakes, my Mom and I had a little chat. I explained to her that Land O’Lakes is owned by a pro-GMO company called Dean Foods. Land O’Lakes co-developed genetically engineered alfalfa, directly contributing to the GMO animal feed supply. I also explained that Land O’Lakes contributed nearly $100,000 to the “No on I-522 Lobby” – the bill to label GMOs in Washington State. This is all on top of the fact that Land O’Lakes is not organic, raises their cows with growth hormones linked to cancer, antibiotics and harmful pesticide ridden GMO feed. I told my Mom she has to stop buying Land O’Lakes if we are going to change this world!  
Knowing all these facts, plus the health risks of consuming GMOs, my Mom finally asked “what butter can I buy?” Well there are many brands out there that are light years ahead of Land O’Lakes. Here’s a Butter Buying Guide that will help you (and my Mama) navigate the butter aisle next time you hit the market
Food Babe: Butter Choices
Food Babe: Butter Choices

Click through to view the product choices for healthy butter

Land O'Lakes has been a brand staple in my household so we'll be shopping for a new brand

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Vani Hari aka the Food Babe, Takes On The Industry

Jonathan Fields is running a series of videos called the Good Life Project. He interviews a variety of really interesting folks to find out more about them, what they do and what they think a good life means. In this segment, he talks with Vani Hari, the Food Babe, who is doing some really good work in understanding what we are eating and what that 'food' is really doing to us. Watching the interview is well worth the 35 minutes to find out about Vani's story, what got her into this food research, then you can go to her website or Facebook page for the details on what to do (or not do).

Monday, September 23, 2013

"The guests preferred the old cans ‘by an overwhelming majority"

That’s the key word in discussing expiration dates: “fresh.” A new report released by the Natural Resource Defense Council and the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic yesterday, titled “The Dating Game: How Confusing Food Date Labels Lead to Food Waste in America,” lays bare the illogical, patchwork of sometimes meaningless dating requirements for food products. Even the dates printed on milk, the heart of expired-food fear that lurks in the back of the fridge, hold little meaning.

Read the full article here ->

Friday, August 2, 2013

A place at the table

Myth: SNAP recipients are inner-city minorities. 
Fact: Food insecurity is neither an urban issue nor an ethnic issue. Nearly one in six people faces food insecurity, and they live in every county in the nation. In addition, 76 percent of SNAP households include a child, an elderly person or a disabled person.
Read more in this op-ed by Trish Henley

For more about the film, A Place at the Table you can visit the webpage

Saturday, June 15, 2013

"just $31.50 a week, $4.50 a day, or $1.50 a meal"

Secretary John Polanowicz kicked off the SNAP Challenge this week with a shopping trip at Save-A-Lot in Springfield to highlight the importance of this benefit as a front line defense against hunger. The Secretary is joining his family, Congressman James McGovern, Department of Transitional Assistance Commissioner Stacey Monahan, Senator Jamie Eldridge and participants across the country in taking the challenge from June 13-19. Participants must live on a total food budget of $31.50 for the week, or the average, per-person federal SNAP benefit. 
“While living on a food stamp budget for just a week cannot come close to the struggles encountered by low income families week after week, and month after month, it does provide those who take the challenge with a new perspective and greater understanding,” said Secretary Polanowicz.
Read more about the SNAP Challenge here

The Franklin Food Pantry is able to help those in our community receiving SNAP by supplementing with other food and non-food items. Your contributions help make this happen.  Whether you contribute time (by volunteering), goods (food and non-food items) or money, it goes to help your neighbors.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Could there be an Incredible Edible Franklin?

Pam Warhurst explains how they started:
We tried to answer this simple question: Can you find a unifying language that cuts across age and income and culture that will help people themselves find a new way of living, see spaces around them differently, think about the resources they use differently, interact differently? Can we find that language? And then, can we replicate those actions? And the answer would appear to be yes, and the language would appear to be food.

Food, ah yes. We all need to eat to live. This TED Talk describes how the community of Todmorden is working to change what they eat and how they eat. The Incredible Edible Todmorden is a story worth replicating.

We have the basics of this underway already in Franklin with the Community Garden. We just need to get more folks involved.

For more information on Todmorden, visit their webpage here

Friday, February 22, 2013

Reading for Friday: Focus on food

Misleading Food Product Roundup II: Don’t Be Fooled

Today I am once again posting a "roundup" of the misleading food products I frequently share on Facebook...just in case you missed some of these or need a friendly reminder (or simply don't use Facebook)

The horsemeat scandal–an object lesson in food politics

The unfolding drama around Europe’s horsemeat scandal is a case study in food politics and the politics of cultural identity.
Cultural identity?  They (other people) eat horsemeat.  We don’t. 

Mrs. Fields Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ever wish you could have your favorite Mrs. Fields chocolate chip cookies now that you’re gluten free? Now you can, with this easy gluten free copycat recipe. Mrs. Fields Who?

A Campaign to Build School Gardens

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday Reading suggestions

With snow swirling again, pull up a cuppa something warm, settle into your comfy chair and click through to read a few articles on local government, interesting free tools used in schools and deceptive ingredients in common branded foods.

Boston Fed Highlights Regional Consolidation as Opportunity for Local Governments to Reduce Costs, Improve Service Quality

New research from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's New England Public Policy Center is prompting state and municipal officials to take a second look at a familiar proposal: regional consolidation. Motivated by the prospect of continuing strain on local government finances, this research examines the extent to which joint service provision could potentially reduce costs.

Student Oral Reports with School Hallway Dioramas via AudioBoo

I took the following photographs today in the hallway at Independence Elementary School in Yukon, Oklahoma. The GT teacher, Dawn Dukes, has helped students create audio narrations (powered by AudioBoo) linked via QR codes for independent study projects students completed recently. It’s a high-tech museum-like audio tour, in the hallways of IES in Yukon. What a great use of educational technology tools to help students practice their oral language skills as required by the Common Core State Standards! It’s especially cool since the library at IES has iPod Touches for students to check out, pre-loaded with QR Code reader apps like i-Nigma so students can listen to their peers share their reports

Food Babe Investigates: How Food Companies Exploit Americans with Ingredients Banned in Other Countries

Thoughts of outrage, unfairness, disbelief, and ultimately grief consumed me while I was doing this investigation. A list of ingredients that are banned across the globe but still allowed for use here in the American food supply recently made news. While I have written about some of those ingredients before, this list inspired me to look a little deeper and find out how pervasive this issue is for us. Are these banned ingredients contributing to the higher mortality and disease rates in the U.S.? . . . → Read More: Food Babe Investigates: How Food Companies Exploit Americans with Ingredients Banned in Other Countries

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Just Label It

The start of the New Year usually brings about a new diet or resolution to improve one's health. This video lays out the issues with food labels, or lack there of and what action can be taken to get better labeled food.

One step to better health!

Additional info can be found on the Just Label It website

One of many ways to eat healthy is to go with "Clean Eating"

Do you have a diet or process you follow to eat healthy? Please share

Sunday, October 21, 2012

8% of Franklin children

With your help, the Franklin Food Pantry has an opportunity to do more. Given the numbers here, we may not be serving all of these children. There may be several reasons why. So you can help in two ways:

1 - If you know of a family that is being challenged to provide meals, let them know that the Food Pantry is available to help them. Awareness of the Pantry and its operation is a good first step to serving all that we should.

2 - You can contribute food and non-food items, volunteer your time, or make a financial contribution to help the Pantry serve your neighbors. Visit the Food Pantry website to sign up to volunteer or to make a contribution.

In the News: fuel assistance, food pantry

Cold forecast for fuel assistance this winter

Friday, October 19, 2012

School meals, KIDS COUNT data, and other MassBudget updates

MassBudget    Information.
 Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center    Democracy.
MassBudget Updates
Over the last few weeks, MassBudget has completed a number of different projects...

  • Are free and reduced-price school meals getting to all the kids who need them? That's the question that motivated Breakfast and Lunch Participation in Massachusetts Schools--part of a joint project involving MassBudget, the Center for Social Policy at UMass Boston, and the Mass Law Reform Institute, supported by the EOS foundation. Our online chartpack summarizes the major findings.

  • A complete diagram of the food assistance programs in Massachusetts shows: who is eligible for them, who runs them, where they get their funding, and how people can gain access.

  • The KIDS COUNT data center has been updated to include a breakdown of low income students by city and town based on eligibility for free and reduced-price lunch.

  • In a brief analysis of funding for children through the Department of Children and Families, we found a significant cut over the last four years--amounting to roughly $130 million.

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.

BOSTON, MA 02108
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Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center | 15 Court Square | Suite 700 | Boston | MA | 02108

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Introducing "Food Chain" (video)

There is more interest in food now than at any point in our nation’s history. We have more standards with which to make conscious food choices than ever before. Yet while people want to know where their food is grown, how it’s grown, and when it was harvested, no one is really asking any questions beginning with “who”. Despite this tremendous interest in food, there is almost no interest in the people that pick it.

Found on the Civil Eats website

Monday, March 12, 2012

Ensuring Food Stamp Integrity

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via USDA Blog by Kevin Concannon, Undersecretary of Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, USDA on 3/8/12

Cross posted from Politico:
As agriculture undersecretary and a former director of state Health and Human Services departments in Maine, Oregon and Iowa, I know the importance of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps. In today's difficult economic times, this vital program helps families across the nation put food on the table.

Despite a rash of recent stories about food stamp fraud, the facts are that the Agriculture Department has a zero tolerance policy on this. We aggressively pursue those trying to take advantage of America's compassion for people in need.

First-quarter results of our anti-fraud efforts demonstrate this commitment. From Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2011, we penalized — with fines or temporary disqualifications — more than 225 stores that violated program rules and permanently disqualified more than 350 stores caught trafficking food stamp benefits.

We're now stepping up our efforts. I announced in December new anti-fraud initiatives. We awarded a 10-year contract to SRA International to develop the next generation of fraud-detection systems.

We plan even stronger penalties for retailers that misuse the program. We recently updated our policies to clarify that advertising the sale of benefits through social media is a violation and can result in disqualification from the food stamp program.

In addition, we're finalizing rules to deter the practice of buying and discarding food to get money-back deposits; or reselling and exchanging products bought with food stamp benefits to obtain cash or other noneligible items.

The Agriculture Department's efforts to combat SNAP trafficking have been particularly successful. Trafficking — the sale or purchase of benefits for cash — is an illegal activity punishable by criminal prosecution. Over the past 15 years, department and state agencies administering the program have sharply reduced such trafficking — from 4 percent to 1 percent.

But we cannot be content with that success — the people taking unfair advantage constantly change their tactics. We remain vigilant, working to stay ahead of these new forms of program abuse. We have stepped up documentation requirements and background checks on retailers who participate, or seek to participate, in food stamps. Stores that falsify information will be denied or disqualified and may face a $10,000 fine or imprisonment for as long as five years, or both.

The Agriculture Department recently launched a website ( to get the word out about our efforts to deter fraudulent food stamp activity and enlist the public's help in fighting it. We will continue to use all tools available, including the latest technology, to combat fraud.

Some perspective on this is crucial. There are 46 million eligible Americans who depend on food stamps, largely because of income, age, disability or job circumstances. Nearly half are children, 8 percent are elderly and 20 percent of food stamp households include a person who is disabled. The great majority abide by program rules.

The fact is fraud is a limited problem in SNAP — though no amount is acceptable. Stores violating the program represent less than one-half of 1 percent of the more than 230,000 food stores authorized to redeem benefits. And the recent fraud stories indicate enforcement efforts are working — as those who would abuse the program are being caught and prosecuted.

This is good news for all U.S. taxpayers and good news for those who use the program — including millions of children and older Americans — who depend on food stamps. Which, in turn, is why the Agriculture Department is committed to assuring the integrity of this vital program.

Things you can do from here: