We Deserve Better.... - Penny Lane Blog at Allrecipes.com - 246212

Penny Lane

We Deserve Better.... 
Aug. 6, 2011 7:35 pm 
Updated: Aug. 15, 2011 10:27 pm
My little City of Eastvale welcomed the opening of McDonald's last month.  Cars lined up for as long as 45 minutes, circling the building and blocking the main road to secure their family a 'treat' of Big Mac's and fries.  You would have thought they were giving away season passes to Disneyland. 
I posted several comments on a local residents web site - which were not very well received.  That lead to a discussion of ammoniated beef products and ever present danger of E.coli contaminated beef in fast food hamburger.  Within less than 24 hours my comments were deleted by the moderators as "Off Topic, Political and inflammatory"  
Within days, I read the story of Will Todd - a little boy who was fighting for his life after contacting E.coli.    I was hopping mad.
One year old Will was diagnosed with  e.Coli 0157 h7, the worse kind,  (unfortunately, they have no idea how) which led to HUS and subsequently, kidney failure. Then his bowel (lower intestine) became perforated and a large portion became necrotic (dead) so they had to remove it. 
Then came the recall of 36 MILLION lbs of Turkey recalled for Salmonella Heidelberg. 
Now I am really angry!  And most people in my community don't get it!   
This type of Salmonella is resistant to three common antibiotics, ampicillin, streptomycin and tetracycline.  One person has died and as many as 80 people have fallen ill.  Mind you, this is August 2011 - the first illness was reported in March 2011.  For 5 months, the processing plant responsible was allowed to continue to produce tainted meat until finally someone died!  
The United States Department of Agriculture, allows grinders to devise their own safety plans.  Even with a safety plan, of their own choosing in place, that plan is not always adhered to.
Have you noticed that whenever a food is recalled the wording always says "Such and such Corp has voluntary recalled......" ? 
Unlike pharmaceuticals where the FDA can require a product be recalled ALL food recalls are voluntary. 
Because salmonella is so common in poultry, it is not illegal for meat to be tainted with this pathogen.  Food microbiological limits for bacteria and mold are exponentially greater for foods than for pharmaceuticals.  Sick people are at risk - therefore even the chocolate on a laxitive has to be darned close to pure - not so with chocolate sold on the shelves of our stores.   Don't the very young, eldery and ill eat food? 
Unwritten agreements between some companies stand in the way of ingredient testing.  Many big slaughterhouses will only sell beef to grinders who agree to NOT  test their shipments for E.coli.  Some slaughterhouses fear that one grinder's discovery of E.coli will set off a recall of ingredients sold to others.   Unlike salmonella, it is illegal to knowingly sell E.coli tainted meat.  
Therefore, if all the meat from various sources is ground together and then tests positive for E.coli it is almost impossible to trace the source of the contaminated ground meat.  
Cargill - the processor of this tainted ground turkey could have voluntarily recalled the meat in March - they didn't - indeed they waited until there were enough illnesses that the CDC got involved. 
Someone dies and then they "voluntarily" recall the tainted meat.
According to the CDC 48 million people get sick and more than 3,000 die each year from food poisoning in the United States.
One in six Americans gets sick each year from tainted food each year.   
Have you heard of Cargill? 
If you eat, Cargill has somewhere along the line, handled your food.  Maintaining a low profile is exactly what this company attempts to do.  You won't see the name anywhere on the packaging - because they sell through other companies.  They are the processor and supplier of our food supply.
Cargill is the largest privately owned company in the world. 
In 2008, the company’s revenues sat at 116.6 billion dollars, employing 149,000 people in 63 countries. It is certainly surprising that such a company can maintain such a low profile as they do.
Antibiotic resistant Salmonella:
According to the FDA , farmers who raise food producing animals use about 29 MILLION pounds of antibiotics each year. 
That four times as much as doctors prescribe to people. 

"Animals are given antibiotics for a number of reasons — including to get them to grow faster," explains Gail Hansen, a veterinarian who works for the Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming. "[Antibiotics] are given to perfectly healthy animals to convert their food more efficiently so they can get to market faster."
Is there any wonder that there are antibiotic resistant strains of Salmonella,  E.Coli and other pathogens?
The CDC recommends that the ground turkey be cooked to 165 to kill the pathogens.  What about cross contamination?  The cutting board, the paper towels, the sponge and dish cloth? 
What is being done to effectively protect our food supply? 
As far as I can see, not enough.
After a four year long study the USDA has drafted rules for how the industry should handle E.coli testing but the proposal has been stalled and they have failed to implement new testing standards.
Instead of waiting for the USDA to act, Costco began requiring its suppliers of bagged produce, including salad greens and mixes, apple slices and baby carrots to test for a broad range of toxic E.coli.  Costco also requires that their meat suppliers allow for testing prior to grinding meat.  They employ their own inspectors - if a food supplier will not allow Costco inspectors on the premises - Costco declines to buy from them.  Notice that Costco carries Foster Farms chicken.
The meat industry treats most of its practices and the ingredients in ground beef as trade secrets. While the Department of Agriculture has inspectors posted in plants and has access to production records, it also guards those secrets.
Our food supply is not transparent - sure you can see cows grazing across the grassy fields, you can see acres of crops growing - from there the vision of our food supply appears to go underground until it reappears on the shelves of the grocery stores.  Neatly and cleanly packaged.
Eating ground meat is a gamble.  Neither the system meant to make meat safe, nor the meat itself, is what consumers have been led to believe. 
We deserve better. 
August 9th Update from the Wall Street Journal

Government Knew About Bacteria at Plant

From the Wall Street Journal
Federal officials said in recent days that they turned up a dangerous form of salmonella at a Cargill Inc. turkey plant last year, and then four times this year at stores selling the Cargill turkey, but didn't move for a recall until an outbreak killed one person and sickened 77 others.

Other blogs on this subject -
Think Hamburger is a Cheap Meal?
Dead End Drive Thru
Our Food Supply
 I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I’m not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com. Products received from advertiser are only used for experienced-based reviews on "Penny Lane". The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of Baking Nana aka Penny.
Aug. 6, 2011 7:59 pm
Interesting, BN! You can grind your own burger....I have a grinder from when Danny hunted. I have some beef and pork in the freezer that needs to be used....I may just do that tomorrow! Thanks for the reminder....love ya!
Aug. 6, 2011 8:03 pm
Grinding your own is indeed the safest way to go....most people, at least in my community, can't imagine doing that. I do - and I don't think most of my clients understand the importance of doing so.
Aug. 6, 2011 8:07 pm
Scary stuff! We do not eat much ground meat. I have been considering grinding my own. We are eliminating many ready made products with great success and will continue to make strides in eating more wisely. I am beginning to feel that eliminating meat altogether is where we are headed. Great blog, BN.
Aug. 6, 2011 8:14 pm
Great Blog! This needs to be on front page of every newspaper and aired on television. Thank you for the information. We should all be angered by it.
Aug. 6, 2011 8:22 pm
I have only a small food processor, but I have made ground beef in it. I maybe was a little impatient and didn't do it until it was ground finely, but it worked for what I needed it for. So I don't think you even need a grinder. I just might start grinding my own all the time instead of when I'm in a pinch. Thanks, Baking Nana, for this blog.
Aug. 6, 2011 8:23 pm
My groundmeat is usually Laura's Lean, which I think is supposed to be "organic" but really, who knows. If I am making something like chili or stuffed peppers I buy the Morning Star crumbles (vegetarian). Even tho the texture is a little different, you really can't tell it's not real. Interesting blog, BN!
Aug. 6, 2011 8:29 pm
What's for dinner, mom? - Don't get me wrong. We need protein - especially growing children. I believe that we are used to cheap protein in huge amounts. I prefer a smaller amount of quality protein. A little can go a long way.
Aug. 6, 2011 8:34 pm
silvergal - Thank you for posting. My information all comes from the mass media, USDA and FDA. The more I read and learn the more I don't know anything. I am not politically motivated - in fact I abhor Michael Moore and Al Gore - they have merely lined their pockets rather then effect change. For me - this is about education about our food supply - one consumer at a time.
Aug. 6, 2011 8:37 pm
Great blog Baking Nana! I'm concerned not only about meat but vegetables as well. My cousin almost died from picking up E.coli from tomatoes at a restaurant. Absolutely awful she was in the hospital for weeks!
Aug. 6, 2011 8:39 pm
Marcella - No, you don't need a grinder, a food processor works great. Thanks for posting. I really appreciate the feed back.
Aug. 6, 2011 8:44 pm
Shearone - Until you have actually witnessed the results of E.Coli or Salmonella you can't appreciate the dire results. I appreciate that Costco takes steps to test for E.coli in not just their vegetables but their meat too. This was in a direct result of the E.Coli out break in Germany. Rather than waiting for the USDA to act they stepped up and required this testing themselves. Kudos to Costco!
Aug. 6, 2011 9:28 pm
I totally agree, BN, about the need for protein. I wish there were more stringent rules in processing our food. It causes me great doubt and concern for what I put on our table.....
Aug. 6, 2011 9:42 pm
WFDM,? I totally agree - my daughter has to feed 6 kids and 2 adults every day. The kids range from 18 to 6, They need protein and loads of complex carbs. Balance that with fruit and veggies. Oh my! Costco is her best friend.
Aug. 6, 2011 10:35 pm
What a great topic, Baking Nana! And one that gets me so pissed off too! But you are so right. Our food industry is shockingly disgusting. There are some great documentaries out there that go along in support of this topic: Fast Food Nation, Super Size Me, Food Inc, and Fresh are all ones I've seen and recommend. Most can be streamed through Netflix. Thanks Baking Nana!
Aug. 7, 2011 2:27 am
I'm glad there are people like you who dare to get on the band wagon and try to educate people about food safety! Thank you! We must continue to keep on learning about our environment all the time! Of course the food industry does not want consumers to know this kind of stuff! Their bottom line is money, not necessarily our health or well being!
Aug. 7, 2011 4:32 am
Thank you, BN. The pen is mightier than the sword!
Aug. 7, 2011 5:01 am
I think you just convinced me to get a Costco membership.
Aug. 7, 2011 5:28 am
Thanks for the reality check Nana. We don't eat much ground meat, but when we do I am lucky enough to have a local butcher who grinds his own.
Aug. 7, 2011 6:13 am
Lissa - Thanks for stopping in. There are many who are trying to expose the ugly reality of our food supply. The book "Animal Vegetable Miracle" was not only an eye opener for me but inspirational as well. What I have found out is, the most I learn, the more I realize I don't know enough.
Aug. 7, 2011 6:19 am
Thanks for the great post! Food for thought indeed. If you grind your own beef (or use food processor) what cuts do you like to use?
Aug. 7, 2011 6:21 am
sueb - I don't expect to change the world but I will continue to help spread the word. I wish I had known even a little bit of this information while I was raising my children. I would have done things a lot differently.
Aug. 7, 2011 6:32 am
Nana, great blog and very imformative! As long as the 'Almighty Dollar' rules this world, seeing big companies take responsibility and be proactive in guarding the safety of the consumer will likely never be the case. Cheap labour and speedy processing (ie. careless processing) will be the norm. We need bills passed (in all countries) to protect people like Baby Will and other innocent bystanders from the CRIMINAL activity of big companies.
Aug. 7, 2011 6:33 am
Thank you for stopping in Rusty. We are fortunate to have freedom of speech - even though not everyone appreciates the subject matter.
Aug. 7, 2011 6:39 am
Kathrine - I applaud Costco for their efforts. With their buying power they have the ability to truely make a difference. In order for their efforts to be successful we need to support them with our $$$. Thanks for your comments.
Aug. 7, 2011 6:47 am
Anissa - Local butchers and meat processors are a dieing breed around here. You are fortunate to have a local supplier. I really never appreciated what the small producer is up against.
Aug. 7, 2011 6:58 am
Peggy - Chuck roasts make great ground beef. London Broil is very lean and is good for anything but burgers. For burgers you need a little more fat. When using a food processor, cut chunks of beef and fat into one-inch uniform cubes and chill. Place meat cubes in the processor with metal blade, taking care to process in small (no more than 1/2-pound depending on the size of your processor) batches. Pulse in short 1- to 2-second bursts until the desired consistency is achieved, usually 10 to 15 pulses.
Aug. 7, 2011 7:03 am
Carrie - I know that you have been following the story of Will too. Fortunately, it appears that Will is going to live. Unfortunately,the after effects this little boy will be living with are terrible. So needless. Thanks for stopping in.
Aug. 7, 2011 8:02 am
It makes me so happy to see that others understand what is so wrong with our food supply chain today. I usually buy my meat from the farmers market so I can talk to the farmers about it- I trust that a lot more. But it's expensive and if I need meat in a hurry, I usually end up getting it from the grocery store. I buy organic but I have been able to find nothing about what that label might mean for meat. I suspect it says nothing about the way the animals are treated, which is my biggest concern. My sweetie and I eat very little ground meat and we both have good immune systems so foodborne infection is not a huge concern, though it is something I keep in mind. All in all, it just makes me sad that these companies are able to cut corners and knowingly sell us as substandard meat as possible and the government is unwilling to step in and protect us. I thought that was what the government was for!
Aug. 7, 2011 8:05 am
OMG! That poor child! My DH and I were just talking about you BN. What about? Hamburger, your last blog about it in fact. Were your comments deleted because they were too truthful? Again thank you for sharing the info and facts. We do deserve better!
Aug. 7, 2011 9:03 am
saraithegeek - Thanks for your comments. It is interesting to me that many people really don't want to know the dirty details of how there food arrives on the shelves of the supermarkets. People who already "get it" will like this blog - then there are those who don't want to know and others who probably thing I am an alarmist. I would do a google search on the brand of organic meat you buy. It could tell you a lot about the company and their philosophies.
Aug. 7, 2011 9:16 am
Good morning Cat. My heart just breaks for that poor child and his family. What is scary is that they may never know where he contracted E.coli. My guess is fast food - but we may never know for sure. I find it interesting that the moderators deleted my comments siting that they were Off Topic, Political and inflamatory. They were probably sitting there with a belly full of Big Mac's and didn't want to hear about ammoniated beef slop in the burger they just consumed. I ruined their 'treat'. I am sure they think I am a wacko. :)
Aug. 7, 2011 9:41 am
I rarely pull the Canadian card, but this time I will. Several years ago, a case of E coli was discovered from meat here in Canada. US refused to buy our meat, some farmers were wiped out. If a cow tested for the bacteria, the whole herd may have been put down. There were extreme measures put forth and we were not always told the truth from the media (imagine that?). Then when Alberta beef started to revive, another case was reported-it totally amazed me that 1 cow was found with E coli and this poor Bessy was traced back to Mr Jones' farm from stall 123. Really? I'll stick me soap box back in the closet, it just irritates me when the farmers always get the bad end of the stick and the food processing places come out with a clean bill of handling.
Aug. 7, 2011 9:48 am
...getting back on track with your blog. The food industry laws may seem terrible, but they are in stride with many other lack-i-daz-ical laws that are in place. As with taking care of the elderly, education, and child rearing we need to open our eyes and see what is going on. Find out things, read things and get our head out of the sand that everything around us is fine and dandy because Jo So in So says it is. Take accountability for our own actions and what we feed our families.
Aug. 7, 2011 9:52 am
A Cargill chicken processing plant is just 30 min. from where I live; this plant cuts up chicken strictly to be used in McDonald's restaurants. I used to own a franchised fast food restaurant, and from what I can gather our local Board of Health Inspectors were mainly concerned about the temperatures that meat were cooked to. Virtually anything (like chicken burgers and strips), because they are deeped fried, the temperature is so hot that nothing would survive. However cooking hamburgers on a grill and not making sure that the temperature of that meat reaches 165 degrees you are asking for trouble. I only owned my business for under 4 years but seriously the concerns for food safety were always present. There was a salmonella scare regarding tomatoes that were grown in California. We had to stop serving them until our franchisor could determine where ours where being shipped from. Ours were apparently were from Florida; what concerned me is that the answer took far to long for my liking. The franchisor should have known that information much quicker. How does salmonella get into a tomato to beging with? As I have stated many times on other blogs that I was not proud of owning this type of establishment, there were circumstances as to why I owned one in the first place. I am relieved not having to worry about anyone getting ill or causing obesity. We eat very differently now at home, only lean beef and chicken. One thing I do recommend to everyone though is to either buy TRUE organic meat, fruit and veggies. When cooking meat always make sure it is cooked to temp. I avoid eating even steak that is pink in the middle I always use a cooking thermometer to tell me when it is safe to eat meat....I would be upset as well that you were not permitted to voice your concerns, this certainly doesn't sound right. The information needs to be out there for others to make an informed decision.
Aug. 7, 2011 9:54 am
Thanks, B'nana, for another insightful blog. It IS scary how little oversight there actually is for our meat industry. We think "it will never happen to me" which I'm sure is exactly what little William's family thought. I will continue to buy as much family/local produced meat as I can, but I know not everyone is fortunate to have a trustworthy source like me. Thanks for being vigilante and for helping the rest of us be so, too.
Aug. 7, 2011 9:59 am
RNG - Glad you stopped in. I so totally agree that the farmers are the ones that suffer while the processor goes merrily on their way. I believe that Canada instituted their tracking system in response to Mad Cow Disease. Canada was quick to react. When Cargill moved into Canada (I believe it was in the mid 80's) it was only a few years before they controlled more than 50% of the beef processing market. Sadly the Canadian farmers sure didn't benefit from this.
Aug. 7, 2011 10:00 am
RNG - here is a link to Deconstructing Dinner. Very interesting. http://old.globalpublicmedia.com/transcripts/2422
Aug. 7, 2011 10:56 am
thanks for the link Nana, sorry wrong disease, you are right it was mad cow disease-too many to keep track of. Cargill has been around for many years, it was the grain elevator in our area when I was growing up. Though I disagree on many levels with the thoughts and opinions expressed in that broadcast I have my own opinions on many issues. Growing up as the farmer's daughter I see things differently than the Brewster dude and the the broadcast comes from Nelson, BC-again we will have different opinions. Of course Cargill will have a hand in almost everything in the store, it is grain elevator. So as it expanded, anything to do with grain-baked goods, beer, flours, oils, etc.; sugar beets-sugar and most sweeteners; feed for most animals. The elevator collected the grains from the farmers-if an elevator such as Cargill did not place stocks into these companies I would think they were not being monitarly stable. They became huge. Pioneer and Pool were the elevators prior to Cargill and their competition, they were big but not as big as what Cargill became. Business management and money took over. Carrgill could offer better deals to the farmer and in turn they received more grain from many farmers. The poor farmer who based his selling decision on principal and loyalty to Pool or Pioneer, is now often the poor farmer who is in bankrupcy-not all, just saying some. The farmer who grows organic often has produce that will not survive the long trips to other cities-people want unblemished perfect produce. Organic produce is not perfect. Slaughter houses want pigs, chickens and cows to be grown and ready to slaughter in months, that is unrealistic. My chickens on the farm take 5-6 months to grow to butcher size. Chicken farmers grow and send them out in 2-3 months. The demand is far beyond the production ability. If many people in their comfy little houses would go work on a farm on for their 2 week holiday rather than sitting on a hot, exotic beach they may understand the issues the farmer faces. Their is never a long enough day for a farmer, they rely on weather, bees, and back breaking work. Sure farm machinery has gone through the roof for ease and comfort, but the average farmer who used to survive on 20-40 acres now has so many sections of land to still try and get ahead. The demand is never on their side, nor are the weeds, insects and drought. People are brought in from other countries to do a lot of the work, because local people do not want to do the work. Sitting in air conditioned offices dreaming up how to turn a grain into a car is far more enjoyable than growing the grain. Also my ex husband worked at a huge meat processing plant-again I disagree with a lot that is said, but I will agree that times have changed and so does technology and safety standards. I vented more than I should, but some of these interviews really tick me off. Perhaps the guy in Nelson should have had a farmer sitting in on the interview as well-but then other truths would have surfaced, JMHO, thanks for giving me a safe place to vent this Nana:D
Aug. 7, 2011 10:58 am
wow, used almost all of my alotted characters. Also, I have lived in Alberta for many years, have never heard of Left Bridge, Alberta, perhaps if he did not get a city pronounciation correct, other parts of the interview may have some questionable input as well.
Aug. 7, 2011 11:04 am
Brewster was a farmer back in 1986-there is no comparison to the farmer of 2011
Aug. 7, 2011 11:17 am
RNG - Your understanding and insight are very much appreciated. I agree that farmers are the hardest working group of people I know. When one privately owned company controls so much of the global food supply the little guy doesn't stand a chance to compete.
Aug. 7, 2011 11:39 am
Regarding organic produce - around here people say they want organic yet the farmer's market that sold organic produce didn't take off and isn't operating this year. It really angers me. Talk is cheap - people need to speak with their $$$ and support these local growers.
Aug. 7, 2011 11:43 am
BTW - RNG - I just wanted you to know that I didn't formulate my opinions based solely on that link to Dinner Deconstucted - I actually found that looking for information on Cargill in Canada. Do you know if the Canadian government allows for the use of ammoniated beef products? aka slop to be used in ground beef?
Aug. 7, 2011 12:00 pm
I am not sure what goes into our ground beef, since I rarely buy any meat in the store, I do not pay attention to the contents anymore. I was sure you had done other research as well and not relied solely on one broadcast and I must say that I do agree with some things in that boradcast also. It's just such a huge, massive topic with so many variables and opinions and reasons for why people do what they do. Years ago, farmers were forced to fun the farm as a business-when many of the boys who took over the farms quit school at grade 3 or grade 5 or 8 to take over the family farm, how were they suppose to understand their lifestyle from a business perspective. Hiring lawyers, accountants, etc. would help but at what cost to the farmer?
Aug. 7, 2011 12:02 pm
fun? = run
Aug. 7, 2011 12:06 pm
Nana, you and I could sit around the kitchen table and discuss these issues to no end. But at the end of the day, people need to be aware. Your insightful blogs help to enlighten many and show people what they are eating, keep them coming:)
Aug. 7, 2011 12:07 pm
Mangel - Thanks for stopping in - RNG and I got a little chatty - The attitude of 'it won't happen to me....' is alive and well. I hope your community supports your local supplier. You know who I feel really sorry for? The folks in the inner city who don't even have access to Supermarkets yet there is fast food on every corner. Sad - very sad.
Aug. 7, 2011 12:20 pm
oh hellz yes, how about the poor mother with limited money who cannot afford to buy fresh fruit and veggies as it costs more per portion than the granola bars or fruit roll ups. AND have you ever peeked into the bins at the store (if you have them) for the food banks? Peanut butter, beans, rice, pasta, etc all seem like good items, but in the bags I see roll ups, and boxes of processed foods. Dollar for dollar, if you make it yourself it will be cheaper than take out. The bags of processed foods makes me wonder if people who use the food bank are characterized as people who cannot cook. When we send bags to food banks, I try to shop for good foods, but even the organizers will tell you that the processed cr@p gets picked up first. We tried to take canned jars of veggies and fresh cucumbers to the food bank, they did not even want them. It is against their rules to accept it, WTH? Sorry going off on a whole other blog here LOL
Aug. 7, 2011 12:22 pm
Janet - I didn't mean to ignore you either. :) In my neck of the woods the health dept is all about temps. Food & storage. At home and in restaurants cross contamination is an issue. As for beef - I like my beef rare and I want to be able to safely eat it like that. There is no way I would cook a good steak or roast to 165. For me, it wouldn't be a good steak any more. I am sure that operating a fast food restaurant was an eye opening experience.
Aug. 7, 2011 12:34 pm
RNG - yep that could be a whole new blog! But, yes, you are right on. Processed foods are the first to go. When my daughter was in the hospital I met a young woman who had a son in the hospital - she had been living in his hospital room as she had no where else to go. Just before Thanksgiving she managed to rent a small apartment and asked me to take her to the store to buy the stuff for Thanksgiving dinner. She was so excited to be able to 'cook' a real Thanksgiving dinner. Into her cart went Stove Top Stuffing, Instant Potatoes, canned yams in heavy syrup, canned corn and bottles of gravy. I think the turkey was 'real' I don't really remember! She was happy and I didn't say a word. Besides I didn't have the time or inclination to teach her to cook.
Aug. 7, 2011 12:38 pm
LMAO-I did not mean to hog Nana time...are you sure her turkey was not sliced turkey roll from the deli? WOW
Aug. 7, 2011 12:39 pm
The food banks here can't accept homemade goods either. In fact we can't even send home made goods to school for the kids. I am sorry a bake sale with no home made cookies is NOT a bake sale.
Aug. 7, 2011 12:50 pm
bake sales at the schools can still be baked product, women also sell homebaked goods and canned goods at the farmers markets (they are trying to change things -only food made in commercial kitchens will be allowed at the markets). Trying to jump through hoops for a commercial kitchen would be more work than it is worth for these old gals who use the farmer's market as a weekly social outlet and something to keep them busy with all week. Out school, however tried to change the snacks at snack time. Frozen yogurt and granola bars were OK, but mom's monster cookies with M&M's or chocolate chips were not desirable as the choc chips were not good for morning snack. I nearly came unglued as I walked into the school with some nutritional info for the teacher. They still frown on cookies but now accept them, I mean really?
Aug. 7, 2011 12:54 pm
We have the commercial kitchen rule too. I pay at least $30 hour to rent commercial kitchen space. Sorry but when I sell a loaf of bread for $4. it doesn't add up. Really - can't people decide for themselves if they want to eat food baked in my kitchen?
Aug. 7, 2011 1:35 pm
redneck gramma, many people who use food banks say that they either can't cook or have no place to cook. It is so say. Baking Nana, this is a very informative and interesting blog. Love all your blogs.
Aug. 7, 2011 2:44 pm
Thanks HotCoco, you are very kind and yes - sadly many people don't have a way to cook. When we do the Chritmas and Thanksgiving boxes we ask about refrigeration, ovens? Stove?
Aug. 7, 2011 2:46 pm
And, THIS is why I love Allrecipes. Intelligent discussions on important issues! I am not a big fan of dining out.... too much. My husband has ground our meat for eons and we don't eat a ton of meat anymore it seems. I think you're right BN; a LITTLE quality protein in your diet is way better than lots of low quality meat. We also eat fish, pork and lamb. (Lamb is big in our area and comes from local farms.)I am going to pray for that little boy. So sad! Mom... a peanut butter and jelly sammich is so much better that McDonalds anyday of the week!!!
Aug. 7, 2011 2:48 pm
...better THAN.... finger's got tangled up.
Aug. 7, 2011 3:38 pm
Candice - Thank you! Yes, AR is a good place to learn and share and explore. I am ALWAYS learning something new. It is so cool that people from all over the Nation - indeed the world can come together to share information. Not everyone will agree with my take on this....heck, I have been known to change my stance on issues. The more I learn the more I realize I don't know enough. Nothing wrong with PB&J!
Aug. 7, 2011 4:01 pm
This is a great blog, BN, and much food for thought! Something that I found out recently is that ground beef that is sold in chubs goes through a process that, frankly, turns my stomach. Once upon a time, in the butcher industry, there was a certain percentage of the weight of the cow that was "garbage". It was thrown out or used for dog food or whatever they did with it, but it was not sold for consumption. Apparently, someone figured out that if you were to put parts of the intestines and whatnot in a huge "dryer", of sorts, that you could separate the meat from the inedible part. Since this meat was attached to intestines and all sorts of nasty stuff like that, they had to figure out a way to "cleanse" it. Someone came up with the idea to give it an ammonia bath to kill the E. coli and such. What I find interesting and very disturbing is that the government doesn't label ammonia as an ingredient. They said they don't have to do that because it's a "process". Well, needless to say, after finding this out, I don't purchase ground beef, of any type, anymore. I have a meat grinder that I process roasts through...not only do I get a leaner ground beef, I also know for 100% fact that my equipment is CLEAN! Again, BN, thanks for a great blog that is, shall we say, food for thought?
Aug. 7, 2011 4:16 pm
WW - Yep Ammoniated Beef product is a part of our food supply. Ground beef can contain upto 15% of this slop and still call it "100% Beef" well, personally I don't want to eat ammoniated beef slop. Another thing - a supermarket can label the ground beef "Ground Fresh Daily" - when in reality it is RE-ground from huge chubs of beef scraps. Google 'Beef Products, Inc." for an eye opening experience.
Aug. 7, 2011 5:04 pm
You have started a very interesting blog. Your efforts to keep us informed are very much appreciated.
Aug. 7, 2011 5:20 pm
Will do, BN. I really like it when you post these informative blogs, it's a real eye-opener.
Aug. 7, 2011 6:44 pm
Hey Janet - If you come back I have a couple of questions for you. I am making some assumtions here so forgive me... 1) You owned a franchised restaurant? 2) The Franchise chose who supplied your food? 3) Where you aware who processed your meat? 4) Were you, as a franchise owner obligated to purchase your ingredients through the franchise? 5) Was the produce deliver to you pre-packed? Sorry, loads of questions, I know. I appreciate your input.
Aug. 7, 2011 6:55 pm
Thanks WW - I am sure there will be those that aren't thrilled and I will be glad to hear their opinions too.
Aug. 8, 2011 4:34 am
Hi Baking Nana: 1) yes it was a franchised restaurant. 2) Yes, the franchisor chose who our main food supplier (distributor). 3) Since we are located across Canada there had to be a few different processing plants that supplied our meat. If I was aware of the name it was only because it was in passing at a Regional meeting. This information was not necessarily published to us. 4) I was required to purchase every ingredient from our food supplier. This is what upset us franchisees the most. Most product name brands are items you can purchase in a regular grocery store. Let me use ketchup as an example (Heinz), but because it was packed into a box with our restaurants name printed on it the price was approx. $5.00 more. This is to ensure that the franchisor was still receiving a percentage even off the food we were buying from supplier on top of our percentage we would give from our sales. 5) In the beginning I was able to purchase local produce from a local company. Lettuce, onions, tomato. We also made side salads and I was free to purchase cucumbers, grape tomato and shredded carrots as well. After the tomato scare (previously mentioned), we were no longer allowed to purchase any produce unless it was through their main food supplier. They were the ones that could not tell us where the tomato were coming from during the salmonella scare. I didn't have much faith any longer with any of it...The only produce that was pre-packaged then was salad kits and they always looked like garbage. The lettuce was always brown on the edges and carrots dried out, grape tomato rotted. The kits were more expensive but typically we would send them back or I would just buy organic and have as a backup. They could tell if you were not purchasing through the food supplier because invoices had to be entered and it was a web based program that they had access to. They could see everything that you did. I only wanted to serve perfect product, it was very difficult at times.....if you have any further questions I would be more than happy to answer...Perhaps others would appreciate learning what a franchise is all about.
Aug. 8, 2011 6:04 am
Thank you Janet. This is very interesting.
Aug. 8, 2011 6:13 am
This is why I'm so glad I have the privilege of raising my own beef and also working in the small town custom processing plant where we butcher them.
Aug. 8, 2011 6:34 am
Missy - You are indeed fortunate. Thanks for stopping in.
Aug. 8, 2011 6:36 am
Another informative educational post! :) I've been teaching food safety and basic cooking skills for almost 6 years and I have to say your stats show an improvement: it used to be that 5,000 people died each year in the US from food borne illness and 76,000,000 people got it each year. That being said, people just want to know what is in their food so they can make an educated decision on what to eat and what not to eat. Truth in labeling would be most appropriate regarding the reality of what's in what is offered at stores and restaurants. In that respect, we have a LONG way to go. Thank you for continuing to speak the truth and don't stop!
Aug. 8, 2011 6:53 am
goodfood4ursoul - First thanks for your comments. Although the stats appear to be an improvement that may or not be the case. The CDC changed the way the stats were calculated - the initial stats were 1 in 4 people got food poisoning then they changed their criteria and now it seems they are reporting 1 in 6 people. Hmmm.....??? You hit the nail on the head. TRUTH IN LABELING! How can ANYONE make an informed choice if we aren't told what is really in our food. As long as suppliers are allowed to add Ammoninated Beef Products to ground beef and still call it 100% Ground Beef - we have a problem!
Aug. 8, 2011 7:00 am
Wow, what an eye opener! Thanks for all that info. I recently got a meat grinder and now do my own ground meats. So glad you are sharing this important information!
Aug. 8, 2011 7:25 am
Great blog, BN. I have to comment on the McDonald's angle first as my hubby and I were just talking about this yesterday. Last year, they demolished the old McDonald's on our side of town to build a new one. It was out of commission for probably no more than 2 weeks since they built the new one next to the old one and didn't tear it down until the last minute. But you'd think they were giving away money once it opened. Cars lined up for blocks and created such a huge traffic jam that you couldn't even drive through that part of town (it's a main road). It both amazed and disgusted us. On to the rest of your blog now. : ) I buy all meat--both ground and that I grind myself from whole cuts--from local farmers at the farmers market or from my local health foods store where the origin is clearly marked (most is from within 100 miles of the store). Organic, pasture-raised, and free of hormones may not be perfect, and it is much more expensive but it tastes much better, and I know the farmers and can chat with them. We don't eat much meat, and we make it count when we do. While not responsible for all cases of food-borne illnesses stemming from meat, the fast food placesand the big processors do make up a large portion of them. And the whole thing is very alarming. You are so right BN...we DO deserve better. $$$ speak for themselves, and if people would put their money where their mouth is, the message would be received.
Aug. 8, 2011 9:16 am
If you research the relationship between agribusiness and the USDA, the alleged independent oversight, it would make you even sicker! Agribusiness has been able to pack the USDA with their appointees. http://www.nffc.net/Issues/Corporate%20Control/USDA%20INC.pdf ~~ I am old enough to remember when there were two different entities, agriculture and business. Farmers worked their land and took pride in what they produced. It was a hard life, back breaking work, hostage to the caprice of weather and pests. But by and large, the farmer's family ate what they produced as well as shipping to market. But then, after WWII, farming became a corporate venture and things changed radically. WAs it all for the worse? Of course not. But when your corn flake cereal starts with seed modified by the fine folks at Monsanto (whose products include flooring, building supplies, AGENT ORANGE) you have to see things are not changing all for the better. My personal solution is to buy as much as possible at the Farmers Market even though I pay top dollar. Unfortunately, due to our climate, that is only a May to November source. This is a very important topic and I do thank you for raising it.
Aug. 8, 2011 9:47 am
wisweetp - I really don't understand the attraction of McDonald's except they they have done an excellent job of marketing, especially to children. I was at least 18 years old before I tasted my first Quarter Pounder - it didn't impress me then and it doesn't appeal to me now.
Aug. 8, 2011 9:53 am
BSM - I have done a lot of reading of the correlation between government and agribusiness. There is a very good reason that new testing standards have been stalled for FOUR YEARS. Monsanto has a more "in your face" approach. Cargill - mainstains a low public profile but has had representatives on important committees - forming our food safety standards for decades. At going back to the Nixon adminstration - maybe longer than that. When writing this blog - I had to narrow the scope of the topic - lest it would resemble a book rather than a blog.
Aug. 8, 2011 10:03 am
So B. Nana, are you grinding your own meet? I'm surely considering. I have the KA attachment for the meet grinder.
Aug. 8, 2011 10:19 am
lovecakes - Yes I grind my own. I met with a local dairyman this past weekend and am going to work with him to supply us beef. They raise their own beef - then the are processed here locally by a company who has been in the valley for years. Once I have that in place I will have the processor gring it for me. In the meantime - I grind my own. Grind my own chicken and turkey. I don't have a good source for that lined up yet.
Aug. 8, 2011 10:21 am
Aug. 8, 2011 12:32 pm
It's so sad that your comments got deleted - people don't want to hear harsh realities until someone gets sick or worse. Keep commenting and keep blogging!
Aug. 8, 2011 1:31 pm
BN, I was thinking about something in the wee hours, why is it when my DH or DS go eat fast food certain places make them sick. They are big boys so if they chose to eat out I can't stop them but I find it odd certain places make them go "running" for the bathroom. Wonder if it is all the nasties in the food? Wonder when my guys will get that connection? Again that poor child and the others that have been made irreversably ill. So sad.
Aug. 8, 2011 1:42 pm
AngKN - Many people really do not want to know the truth. I showed my fast food loving grand kids how Chicken Nuggets are made - one turned green and the other had to leave the room. They don't eat nuggets any more. The other day - they asked what I was working on - when I told them, one said, "Ah, Nana are you going to wreck hamburgers for us too?" LOL - "I'm going to try!" :)
Aug. 8, 2011 1:44 pm
Cat - It could be the junk in them and it could be the fat content. I have the same thing happen often when I eat breakfast in a restaurant.....and I pay for it all day long. :(
Aug. 8, 2011 2:24 pm
Thanks B'Nana for the most informative blog. I have to confess that I didn't even know what amoniated beef was until reading it here. After searching the web for more info, I am sickened to know that I probably have been eating it all along. I am now buying any ground meat at our local butcher shop, and the next time I am there I will certainly question the butcher about his grinding proceedures. Makes me think twice about that juicy burger that I had last week from the fast food shop! Guess I am never too old to learn something new!
Aug. 8, 2011 2:27 pm
scooter2 - We are all learning - like I said, the more I learn, the more I understand that I don't know enough. You should have seen the stuff I unearthed about the food imported from China. YIKES!
Aug. 8, 2011 8:00 pm
As always, thank you for the information and all the work it took you to collect it; it's not an easy task. I'm in complete agreement with you and continue learning more almost daily regarding what I refer to as the "feed-lot big-meat" business in the US, so we've recently switched from commercially-packaged to very-locally raised meats. Indeed it's more expensive in the short term but long term, not at all (on average $3/lb for grass-fed, antibiotic-free local beef and poultry). We had a fresh turkey the other day that tasted better than any of those bleached, fat-injected, factory-farm birds from the grocery. I hope blogs like yours Nana, and the accumulation of horror stories (sadly) are what finally returns us to eating real food that's actually healthy, without creating long-term, life long health issues. It shouldn't be such hard work to protect ones family. My goodness this is our food supply, why the secrecy? If pharmaceuticals pulled this sort of stuff we'd see it it in the form of more "1-800-lawyer" ads all over the tv. Anyway, thank you Penny.
Aug. 8, 2011 8:21 pm
Wendie - Thanks for stopping in. I have learned a great deal researching this - I still have a ton to learn. Congrats on finding local turkey & beef - it is out there. Too bad we have to search for it. I am trying to educate my little section of the world. Talk about truth in labeling - if a package of ground beef came with the same warnings as a presciption - people might sit up and notice. Then again - maybe not - it might be too much trouble.
Aug. 9, 2011 8:25 am
I agree with you totally about Cargill. I worked for them for many years (in Canada). They felt that if they were privately owned they were free to do what they wanted. They could also hide behind the companies they supplied product to. Not a nice company.
Aug. 9, 2011 12:14 pm
jad1954 - Thanks for your input. I find it deeply distrubing that one privately owned company controls so much of the global food supply. :(
Aug. 9, 2011 1:32 pm
That's great B. Nana, that you will be able to get your supply that you know exactly where it comes from. I wish I could do that. In the meantime, I'll be grinding our own meats, even though I don't know how safe our meats are.
Aug. 9, 2011 2:31 pm
Been on allrecipes for years and love to read the blogs but do not comment often. After your last post on ground beef, I asked for a KA meat grinder for my birthday. We've been loving grinding our own meat (purchase at Costco). Thanks!
Aug. 9, 2011 3:04 pm
We can blame the USDA and large corporations, but it's really we, the people, who continue to buy this garbage, or who refuse to demand sanitary processing, and the end to adding hormones and antibotics to the feed. I was completely grossed out when I learned that the people who raise animals for consumption actually feed these animals other ground up animals. That is positively filthy. But it's we, the consumer, who must demand cleaner, more healthy practices when the meat is being raised, and then, processed. We do that by writing letters and making phone calls, AND refusing to buy everything except organic.
Aug. 9, 2011 3:34 pm
Lynn - We can demand it - but the government has to ACT! I just updated the blog.....The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Government has know about this strain since last year and did NOTHING. This makes me sick. It is darned right criminal!
Aug. 9, 2011 5:33 pm
Baking Nana, I am SO excited to see a post like this on AR. I'm fortunate enough to live in Los Angeles, where I have many options for a good local butcher - even some that carry nothing but local organic fare, but people still choose to buy their discount meat at an even greater cost to their health. I just wish I could make them all understand how lucky they are to have access to good clean food but instead they opt for the Mc Donalds across the street... When an adult walks into that establishment they do so out of ignorance or disregard for their health (everyone knows fast food is just plain bad for you) but when I see parents take their children there it just makes me sick. People have too much faith in our food system. They assume that if the government says it's okay to eat then it must be. They need to start teaching what real food is in schools instead of songs like: " A pizza hut a pizza hut Kentucky fried chicken and a pizza hut McDonalds McDonalds" I remember learning that when I was 6 years old - I probably even begged my Mom to take me after school because I couldn't get the song out of my head. It's rather frightening and sad.
Aug. 9, 2011 8:22 pm
Brittany - Thank you for your contribution. Like you it makes me sick to see babies getting their first 'real' taste of food at a FF restaurant. I have never heard that song - WOW - now that is marketing!
Aug. 9, 2011 8:24 pm
Sweet Apron - I am so very glad that helped inspire you to grind your own. :) Thanks for checking in. It made my whole evening.
Aug. 10, 2011 3:17 am
hey Baking Nana do you know if sam's club does like costco's?...all we had was sam's club here but they have just opened a costco in GA....
Aug. 10, 2011 6:02 am
Hi Judy. I am not sure about Sam's ground beef. The information about Costco was easy to find. I will see what I can find about Sam's. I can tell you I will no longer buy store brand label Sam's fresh chicken - I have twice purchased the chicken only to get home and find it spoiled and I had to drive back to return it. The first time I thought it was a fluke and had hubby take it back. The second time, a few months later, I was ticked and I took it back. The girl at the desk was quick to give me money back but then just threw the chicken in the trash. I asked her if there would be any follow up with the meat dept. and she said, "Well, we just throw it away." Sorry, but I think they need to figure out WHY. I know that Sam's carries Tyson products and Costco does not because of the inspection issue. As for the beef, I really don't know.
Aug. 10, 2011 6:18 am
Judy - I found this. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/walmart-and-sams-club-require-enhanced-beef-safety-measures-92396249.html
Aug. 10, 2011 6:20 am
Although it says they are requiring a two step safety process - they don't say what those steps are. From other reading I did see that Cargill does supply Sam's Club.
Aug. 10, 2011 8:17 am
Just one more reason I quit eating meat altogether. There are plenty of other sources of protein and all of them are better for your body than meat. Thanks for a very important topic, BN!
Aug. 10, 2011 9:27 am
Kats - there are many other sources of protein - however for the average family, with limited funds and even limited knowledge of the problem, don't you think they deserve a safe food supply?
Aug. 10, 2011 10:06 am
Kind of playing devils' advocate here,but I don't understand how you expect the FDA to recall food BEFORE there has been an outbreak -with illnesses-to trace? Finding a sample of salmonella in a poultry factory and a report of an illness is not really a lot to go on. If one person gets food poisoning should every product they ate for three days be recalled? Should all restaurants they ate at be shut down? There is absolutely no proof that McD or Gargill-or any other company- caused Will's illness. (E Coli has been traced to sandboxes.)I think using Will in the context of this blog is inappropriate. A percentage of those 3000 deaths each year are no fault of any corporation or government agency.Simple hand-washing can lessen or prevent food poisoning outbreaks. And we should remember that 311,797,000 other Americans ate from the same food supply (including all the Cargill, McD, FDA, and turkey farm employees and all their children, friends and family) I appreciate your passion on the subject but not agreeing with everything you say does not mean that I "don't get it" And while I choose not to patronize McD, I do not denigrate those who do. Maybe some of those people in the MC you were mocking were just going in for an
Aug. 10, 2011 10:08 am
Ice cream cone on a hot day.
Aug. 10, 2011 10:44 am
Thank you for your comments Lilly. I used Will's story as an example because I don't think a lot of people understand how devastating E.coli can be. I did state that they don't know the source or how he contracted it. As for recalling the ground turkey - This strain of Salmonella which is resistant to antibiotics, WAS known - last year they knew! The supplier was not mandated by law to stop production or recall the product until August - when someone died and many were sickened. As for McD's I used them as an example because of the feeding frenzy when McD's opened here....I could have used any other FF restaurant as an example.
Aug. 10, 2011 10:47 am
BTW - I really do appreciate your comments Lilly. I am not one to think that everyone has to agree with me. I am REALLY concerned about not having a choice. I do not trust Ammoniated beef products to be free of E.coli - all it takes is a small mechanical failure to contaminate the entire lot. The consumer should be told that the hamburger they are planning on purchasing contains ammoniated beef products. Truth is labeling is what I am asking for.
Aug. 10, 2011 3:43 pm
http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/heidelberg/080111/index.html I really don't disagree with most of your blog. I just felt the need to call for some perspective. If you read the CDC report it states that only 49% of the sick people report having eaten ground turkey. This is statistically valid and enough evidence for a recall; but it is certainly not 100% proof of Cargill having some evil or criminal intent. Only three of the four samples found in the stores have been traced back to origin. And as for the NYT story; the turkey being recalled was processed in February of this year, so if bacteria was found last year it would have no bearing on this recall.(If the story is even accurate. It sounds like this is a claim being made by a lawyer for an advocacy group?) We have always been one mechanical (or human) breakdown away from a serious outbreak. There is NOTHING pretty about the way those grazing cows or pecking chickens wind up on our plates. We DO have a choice. Each of us chooses everyday what to eat.We also choose whether or not to research where our food comes from. (I choose NOT to know how many calories are in cheesecake.) The fact is flour is bleached. Beef is ammoniated. Neither sounds especially tasty, but hundreds of millions eat them safely every day. Stress is very bad for health, too. We don't need the added stress of thinking that our food is poison and evil corporations and government agencys are out to hurt us and our children. I just don't think it's true. There is always room for improvement, but we have a generally safe food supply in this country.
Aug. 10, 2011 8:44 pm
Lilly - thanks for the solid debate. Sad but true - but this debate does become political.....it shouldn't be it does. The news reports from the NY Times, NPR & other are politically skewed - as are the reports provided to the USDA and CDC. Unfortunately - most people don't have a clue either way - they are just looking to feed their families and get to the next event. Yes, people have a choice - BUT most people have never even heard of ammoniated Beef Products so without proper labeling how can they choose?
Aug. 10, 2011 8:57 pm
BTW - I do have to let you know - I am 55 - raised 3 kids eating their share of Fast Food - we are educated, middle class people and it wasn't until recently that I was even aware of ammoniated beef products. If I had REALLY understood what this was - maybe I would have done things differently...that is my goal...to educate. Truth in labeling sure isn't doing it!
Aug. 11, 2011 2:06 am
Very important topic Baking Nana. Unfortunately the lack of regulations, inspections and/or oversight lies squarely with our politicians and the folks who brought them to the ball. The money spent by agribusiness on lobbying our said legislators is alarming. WHy would we think that our bought and paid for politicians would bite the hand that feeds them. As you know, (but most here do not) I have been involved in politics my entire adult life. I say it as I see it. Contact you legislators and find out how they vote on these issues. It's all there for anyone to research. Thanks again BN. Great blog! Miss you!
Aug. 11, 2011 9:24 am
I agree that ammoniated beef is repulsive. My point was that there are MANY disgusting facts about how meat is processed. I unfortunately have first hand knowledge of the manufacturing of hot dogs. Unlike the tobacco label, you are calling for a label that describes a gross manufacturing process instead of a warning of known health hazards. I know it's not politically correct, but I say American business and government are doing a pretty good job when it comes to the safety of our food supply. Even if they are responsible for every single one of those three thousand deaths, we must put it into perspective. 311,800,000 Americans( plus tourists, students, workers and illegal aliens) x 3 meals of 3 items each, and 2 snacks a day, x 365 days = a ridiculous number that my calculator can not display. The chances of food bourne illness are so astronomical even 48,000,000 cases of food poisoning become statistically invalid. And most of us are just minutes away from a fresh, organic apple or an indestructable, nutritionless french fry- our choice. I support 100% your desire to educate people on this subject and thank you, as well, for a civil debate.
Aug. 11, 2011 4:01 pm
Lilly - I am always open to learn and for a healthy debate. Mauigirl has a valid point - there is a very good reason that the laws mandating get stalled. $$$ speak volumes. Interesting to me is in the days after this recall the focus on the news isn't about food safety - it is about the stock market plunging and surging. :( You are correct in that most of us manage to survive and flourish (albeit - a little too much) in spite of ammoniated beef products.
Aug. 11, 2011 4:04 pm
A small success to report. My 8th grade grandkids started back to school this week. They both came home and said, "Nana, that hamburger you were talking about....well, they served it at school today and it was really yucky looking." They are taking their lunch tomorrow and their mother insists that if the kids want to take lunch - they pack it. They were loading up their lunch bags tonight. :)
Aug. 11, 2011 7:31 pm
First, a note to Janet. Owning a franchise is nothing to feel uncomfortable about. You worked hard and earned an honest living. However, it didn't sit well with your values and beliefs, so you got out of it. Probably, all of us workers have taken jobs we wish were different at some point in our careers, but when able to do so, we moved on. Good for you for trying to make a difference in this world. redneck gramma, thanks for bringing up the plight of our farmers. I loathe Monsanto, which I believe has done more to destroy the "small" farmer than any other company, including Cargill. It's good to have the insight from someone like you with actual experience in the matter. Baking Nana, I just happened upon your blog today for the first time. I've read a few others, but they didn't grab me. Yours, however, has--in a big way. I'm going to subscribe, as well as read your archives. Thanks for fighting the good fight. Please keep it up.
Aug. 11, 2011 8:44 pm
Thanks hope.h - Janet offers some good insight here and her opinions are always welcome as are redneck gramma's. There is always something to learn and another side to every story. I hope you have a chance to read some of the other older blogs. I find the comments very interesting. Thanks for stopping in, Hope.
Aug. 13, 2011 11:39 am
Wow, BN, eye-opening discussion. I quit buying ground meat about thirty years ago, and would not contemplate a McD's burger for love nor money!! My awareness came in the early 70's---not of ammoniated beef, but the lack of government oversight and poor labelling. In my college days, I lived on pot pies, like many a college kid. I got some intestinal "flu" that was never connected to something I ate, but I was sick for a month and lost a bunch of weight (that I didn't have to lose then, but I sure do now!) Anyway, with no internet, I went to the library to research the safety of pot pies...and here is what I discovered (back then): The department of Agriculture had the responsibility for poultry, and the FDA had the responsibility for "processed food" and NEITHER took the responsibilty for POT PIES. I found some obscure article that related independent test results on ingredients in pot pies, which included up to FIVE PERCENT OF RAT FECES. Needless to say, I have not eaten a single pot pie since---can't even bring myself to home-make them!! So you can see for my screen image, I am a home processor---I "put up" nearly everything in the way of fruits and veggies, and fresh generally comes from a Farmer's Market---but even that can be misleading!! You need to confirm that it really IS locally grown!! We have ground meat for quite some time, home-making all sorts of sausauges and mixing our own ground beef, venison and elk. I don't need the fat content, but it does get dry without it, so I use oatmeal, olive oil and a little beef broth to keep it moist but lean---makes great burgers. My latest venture is in home-curing meats, too. I have taught myself how to make bacon, found in my blog here in AR called "Makin' Bacon." But BN, you are totally right, the government is not doing it for us, we all need to be educated and careful...and one of the worst food poinsoning culprits that no one has mentioned is avocados!
Aug. 13, 2011 2:34 pm
I buy local, grassfed beef. And local raw milk. I would rather spend a little more and know exactly where my food comes from. I can visit the farm any time.
Aug. 13, 2011 4:12 pm
Zibba - your home canning is impressive! Love it! Seem's that one case of true food poisoning can cure a person for life. I too ate A lot of those pot pies - I think they were .25 each - I dodged a bullet it seems. I could learn a lot from you....canning, perserving and curing too! Avocados? Really? I will have to google that. Salmonella and E.coli contaminated fruit and vegetables can really be prevented with thorough washing. Somethings are easier to wash than others.
Aug. 13, 2011 8:12 pm
BN,I "grew up" in so Cal---first house was one of Corky McMillan's first! Anyway, had Fuerte, Haas, Zutano and Bacon avocado trees---picked by Calavo. Wasn't until two decades later, I had moved to Texas and remarried: my husband, myself, and two business associates go to lunch at a local Mexian restaurant. We all order EXACTLY the same thing---but I had gotten SO sick of avocados that I did not eat my guacamole (don't, unless I make it). Anyway, my husband ate his and mine, and was sick for almost two months---he lost nearly FIFTY pounds! The thing about avocado is that they can get a salmonella-type bacteria like would be present on an egg---but an egg can get sprayed on the outside for it, and an avocado cannot. I just went to the restaurant with the medical bills and they wrote me checks...the publicity for the restaurarnt was horrible, but I am not sure they really could have done things differently. This is something that is inherant with the fruit itself...FYI.
Aug. 13, 2011 10:44 pm
wow,am i glad i took time to read your blog and all the comments.i buy very little ground beef,and have never bought fresh meat from costco,but i guarantee you that is where i will buy from now on.may even try the grinder.thank you all for all the information. also,i would love to show my granddaughter how chicken nuggets are made.is there a site i can go on to do this? thank you,again
Aug. 15, 2011 7:13 am
well Nana, I wonder if the Vietnamese gov't read your blog, they finally opened the border to buy Canadian beef after the mad cow scare back in 2003. I suppose 8 years with no Canadians dying of mad cow disesase should settle there concerns. Or perhaps they deem our meat safe once again? Maybe our policies have finally improved to match or equal their sanitation of food handling;)
Aug. 15, 2011 9:20 am
Zibba - I still haven't gotton around to reading up on Salmonelle and avocados....seems that cross contamination could be an issue.
Aug. 15, 2011 9:22 am
RNG - it is about time. From what I have read the Canadian Government has some of the best standards in the world as far as beef is concerned. :)
Aug. 15, 2011 9:23 am
angie - if you google - how are chicken nuggets made you will see a whole host of videos. Jamie Oliver did one too - although the kids he was working with still wanted to eat the nuggets. :(
Aug. 15, 2011 7:17 pm
I just remembered something about salmonella and eggs that I'd forgotten, which scares the bejesus out of me. With the rampant filth in chicken processing plants, and the marvelous capability of bacteria to mutate, there is now salmonella passed into the egg itself. That means no matter how the shell itself is kept clean, its innards are contaminated. Baked goods are still safe; however, sunny-side up eggs don't get hot enough to kill the bug. Nor would things such as Caesar's dressing be safe. Aunt Zibba makes a terrific point about jurisdiction over food. Some is monitored by the Dept. of Ag.; some by the FDA. They don't cooperate very much. I learned all this when I was researching dog and cat food (no, it's not safer than people food. That's a legend.).
Aug. 15, 2011 10:27 pm
Hope - I buy two kinds of eggs - one for eating - cuz I like them cooked 'soft' - those farm fresh eggs are the best - pricey but worth every penny - then I go to the local egg ranch and get a flat of 30 for $3.25....these are for baking etc... Both are great for their purpose. :)
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Baking Nana

Living In
Corona, California, USA

Member Since
Aug. 2009

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Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Healthy, Quick & Easy

Gardening, Hiking/Camping, Camping, Boating, Walking, Fishing, Photography, Music, Charity Work

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About Me
Every morning my granddaughter calls and says, "Good morning Nana. Whatcha doing? Are you baking Nana?" Hence my name, Baking Nana. I love to bake bread and never get tired of it. Yeast is additive! Visit me at BakingNana.com If you would like to contact me directly please use the 'Contact Me' on my site. http://bakingnana.com/contact-me/
My favorite things to cook
I go through phases, Asian for a while then Italian then on to something else. I love experimenting with new flavors and different spices. Some times my husband will ask if we will ever have "ordinary" food again. Once in a while I have to toss him a burger just to keep quite! Actually, he is a good sport and my favorite taste tester.
My favorite family cooking traditions
In our family if it is your birthday you get to choose the menu. We have had some really interesting meals. In March we have 5 birthdays so we do one big party - what a crazy menu that is! Christmas dinner is very traditional. Sausage rolls, Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding, gravy, Green beans with bacon, Mashed Potatoes (the really fattening kind) and trifle for dessert. If I were to dare to omit any of those items I would be lynched.
My cooking triumphs
Mastering really great bread is probably my biggest triumph. I am always so pleased when I create a perfect Asian dish.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a few but none so horrible that I can't laugh about them now.
Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States