Mindful Food

Food for the future and the future of food

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And Now for Some Good News!
Have you read the New York Times article about the resourceful people at California's Food Banks who are promoting fresh fruits and vegetables in a big way?  It is inspiring and enlightening.  Check it out here: California's Food Banks go Locavore.  Food banks have increased their distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables from less than 10% of the total, to as much as 60%, mostly through direct farmer to food bank contact.  This just goes to show what can happen when we get the right people talking to each other!

What is your experience?

Of Peanuts, Pistachios and Pork

First it was salmonella in Peanut Products, then the same in Pistachios - leading to the recall of thousands of food products.  Now some are linking the recent Swine Flu outbreak to a "factory farm" in Mexico.  If you find this far fetched, read this carefully researched article from the Huffington Post. The point of course is that we in the food industry need to get beyond simply reacting to the symptoms of problems and eliminate the root causes.  How do nuts become contaminated with a pathogen like salmonella in the first place?  The development of "super bugs" as a result of CAFOs is documented.  What can we do about this besides using more and more chemicals?  The FDA is becoming better and better at tracking and reacting to such emergencies but they cannot fix a broken system.  If the food industry cannot reform from within, surely it will be mandated from without as the result of consumer pressure - perhaps as soon as this summer - read on below! 

What is your opinion?

Genetically Engineered Animals for Food praised in the press, still no response to our letter

Concerned about the implications of the FDA Final Guidance on Genetically Engineered Animals for Food Use, Mindful Food sent this 
open letter to President Obama requesting review of the regulations, and at minimum, labeling of GE products.  We are still awaiting some response from the President.  Meanwhile, click here to read an article published in the San Francisco Chronicle extoling the virtues of genetically modified goats which produce more than usual amounts of lysozyme in their milk.  While the article is interesting and written in a very "feel good" style, it is concerning from a number of points of view.  First: the goats are being sent to Brazil for testing "in part because they have difficulty getting grants in the United States, given the stigma associated with genetically engineered animals" (hmmm, could there be a reason?).  Second: the milk is claimed to have "no side effects because lysozyme is in the tears, saliva and milk of all mammals" (despite the fact that nature is full of examples where a little bit is good but too much is harmful).  And lastly: the article notes that the genetically modified animals will be kept "isolated until all the possible benefits and dangers can be studied" - does this mean that afterwards high lysozyme milk goats can breed freely with ordinary goats?

What do you think?

"The future has a way of arriving unannounced."

-George Will





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