Wherever you are, your government hates you »
Not a joke. In England, after slashing health and welfare benefits, the new government is writing policy on “obesity, alcohol, and diet-related disease”; namely, “an overhaul of public health.” To advise them, the government has asked experts in different areas of obesity, alcohol, and diet-related disease, including: Cancer Research U.K.; the Faculty of Public Health; the CEO (Jeremy Beadles) of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association; Diageo; Unilever; Mars; Kellogg’s; PepsiCo; KFC; and McDonald’s. British public health policy: it’s just like ours! Which is to say, the mighty businesses get to strike all the legislation they don’t like, work in sneaky little loopholes so they can continue to sell their demon “food” unfettered by silly regulations, and do it with the approval of the government AND public health advocacy groups! Win-win-win, suckers!
Currently 30 percent of North Korean residents are “substantially undernourished,” but every single country save China and South Korea does not want to donate food because the PRK’s government is all nuked up. AHAHA sorry fellow human beings; your government eats up all your food and hordes money you will never see, makes selling or trading your own food illegal, and refuses to shut down its nuclear program despite 30 percent of you already starving! And not one wealthy country that could give you food or the supplies to grow your own will, because we’re all playing a game of nuclear-chicken with your dictator-leader! I guess you’ll just have to rely on the underfunded U.N. World Food Program.
Those lovely reuseable plastic-composite shopping bags all the grocery and drugstores sell now? Some of them are full of lead. YES. Thanks for the Q.C., government! Glad you’re looking out for us as we try to avoid using terrible animal-murdering never-decomposing plastic bags! Solution: canvas. Just use bags made of recycled canvas and you and the environment and the cotton-harvesters will be all right.
And here are your FDA recalls from last week (Nov. 9 to 13)! As the majority of these are non-vegan, maybe let your meat- and cheese-eating pals know about them. And sleep well at night knowing how much lower your risk of bacterial illness is.
- Orval Kent company recalled 23 products (listed here) containing cilantro that might have been contaminated with—Salmonella! These products were distributed nationwide.
- Whoa, do not buy any Mauri Gorgonzola cheese, vegetarians and/or omnivores! Any of this cheese with a sell-by date between Jan. 1 through 27 came from a lot that tested positive for E. coli! If you already have some, “return the cheese to the place of purchase or dispose of it in a closed plastic bag and place in a sealed trash can to prevent people or animals, including wild animals, from eating it.” Here’s the best part: it didn’t get tested until after a bunch of people got E. coli O157:H7 poisoning after an October “Cheese Road Show” at Costco stores in Colorado. Now, the Mauri Gorgonzola tested positive for a different strain of E. coli—i.e., not the one that sickened the Cheese Road Show samplers—but considering IT’S STILL E. COLI, don’t eat it.
- Oh look! A different company, Bravo Farms, has a Dutch-style Gouda cheese that ALSO “may have” tested positive (?) for E. coli O157:H7, just like the Gorgonzola!, and even better, this cheese is sold at Costco stores in Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Southern California, as well as non-Costco California retail stores! Honestly, just stay the hell away from cheese, everyone.
- One more for the road: Three types of New Braunfels Smokehouse brand smoked, ready-to-eat turkey breast—2,609 pounds!—are being recalled because they may be contaminated with Listeria, the cleanest-sounding bacteria.
Thanks for strictly enforcing those safety standards, FDA! Man it is great to live in a country whose government cares so much about its citizens’ health and safety.
Tales of cruelty, stupidity, insanity, creativity, and love: it’s this week’s link-o-rama! »
Meet Lady Baa Baa of Pasado’s Safe Haven in Seattle, Wash. Her dress is made of kale!
Events of today!
Laura wrote a separate post all about this weekend! Go read it if you haven’t already!
Events of the future!
Mission Pie is holding its fourth annual Pie Contest on Sunday, Oct. 17! To enter, email them with your name, phone number, and intended pie by 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 15—contest is limited to the first 30 applicants so vegan bakers, get going!
This will be good practice for the next East Bay Vegan Bakesale! It’s happening on Saturday, Oct. 30 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., in front of Issues (20 Glen Ave. at Piedmont) in Oakland. All proceeds will benefit Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue and the East Bay Children’s Book Project. Want to volunteer (of course you do!)? Email the organizers!
And now, issues about which to giggle and rage
When he’s away from home, he misses “Proper food like you get in a civilised city,” says Guardian food writer Tim Hayward about eating in foreign countries compared to eating in London. It always throws you when a liberal, lefty paper employs a chauvinist, right? Especially a totally oblivious culinary chauvinist who loves London’s native sushi, “Mexican street food,” and Vietnamese soup best. Stupid people at home include Alliance For Truth, who are staunchly against Missouri’s Prop. B, a.k.a. the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act, which would require commercial dog-breeding facilities—30 percent of the country’s puppy mills are located in Missouri—to provide “sufficient food and water” and “adequate rest between breeding cycles” for their slave-animals. AFT hates it because, um, it’s sponsored by HSUS? Aw, good old Charlie the cigarette-smoking chimpanzee died this week! He lived in the Mangaung Zoo in Bloemfontein, South Africa, and “started smoking when some visitors…threw him lit cigarettes.” According to Reuters, zookeepers only put an end to the smoking “when videos of him puffing away circulated globally a few years ago,” which was presumably really embarrassing. Sgt. Nevis the sea lion will undergo “the first-ever reconstructive surgery on a sea lion” today, to repair wounds he suffered after some soulless demon shot him multiple times in the face last year. Then the Sgt. gets to go home to—Sea Lion Cove at Six Flags Marine World!! SUPER! Oh and guys, don’t worry about “Asian carp” destroying the Great Lakes; "European mussels" have already invaded!
The egg recall continues to have consequences, as it should. The Democratic challenger in the Iowa state Agriculture secretary race is running on a big reform campaign, particularly making “vaccination programs and regular inspections for salmonella…mandatory,” and requiring “egg producers to have a veterinarian on staff,” rules like Maine already has. The Cornucopia Institute recently published a report called Scrambled Eggs, which highlights “national and local producers that are supplying ethically produced organic eggs and are worthy of consumer support,” versus factory farm egg production. Vegetarian and omnivorous pals, this is for you! In Ohio, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals overruled the state’s weird law prohibiting distinction on product labels between milk from cows given rbST injections and cows not given the hormone. Because, you know, there are several differences. How creepy.
In New York City, the charming mayor wants to put “beverages with more than 10 calories per 8 ounces”—excluding 100 percent fruit juices, “milk products, and milk substitutes”—on the list of Food Stamps No-Buys. Full-sugar soda: On the same evil level as booze, now! In L.A., the mayor’s Food Policy Task Force is working to get more locally grown produce sold in areas with more people on food-stamp programs, to support the economy twice over and increase access to healthier foods in nutritional dead zones. Jonathan Blaustein, an artist in northern New Mexico, has a project called "The Value of a Dollar," in which he photographed “food items as they were sold (minus packaging), without styling, retouching, or artificial lighting. Each image represents a dollar’s worth of food purchased from various markets in New Mexico.” It’s pretty great. Maybe your problem, food-stampers, is that you’re not getting together for 36-hour multifamily dinner parties, you lazy poors.
It’s not like the federal government gives a fuck about you, anyway; McDonald’s just got a waiver “to maintain even minimal coverage far below the new [health care legislation]’s standards,” and we learned that threatening to strip 30,000 employees of all health care totally works. And won’t it be great when the FDA lets AquaBounty sell that AquAdvantage salmon without even telling consumers that it is the magical perfect salmon? Too bad it’s not in the least perfect. Bright spot: the Department of Homeland Security is helping solve the mysterious horror of colony collapse. That’s right, the same department with employees who pat you down at the airport is working with a “Bee Alert team” on this massive project that’s so far been pretty successful.
At-home activism: C.A.S. asks that you send a polite email to authorities in the United Arab Emirates asking them please not to introduce bullfighting in the U.A.E. C.A.S. has heard nothing directly from the U.A.E., only reports from French and Spanish media sources, but just in case, maybe email. Farm Sanctuary asks that you sign a petition politely asking President Obama that the two traditionally “pardoned” Thanksgiving turkeys be sent to Farm Sanctuary this year.
Ending on a happier note: Our pals at CSA Delivery are back to posting! Maybe irregularly, but something’s better than nothing! They’ve got two vegetarian recipes that are super-easily veganizable, and we are so happy to see them, hooray!
Whoops, PCRM’s not perfect »
But just like the rest of us humans, sometimes they take it a bit far. Implying that PCRM President Neal Barnard is hypocritical for having worked at McDonald’s, because PCRM has a new anti-McDonald’s ad campaign doesn’t actually make sense. It’s certainly not “ironic.”
No one’s led a blameless life—even Jesus of The Bible had his inexplicably rude moments, remember? And we’re all allowed to change our minds. Rarely do you find a committed vegan who was born and raised that way. Most of us had to learn, and for some of us that took exposure to a lot of gross stuff first—perhaps working at a McDonald’s.
As Laura says, it’s like, remember how you used to believe in Santa Claus, and sleep with men who undervalued you? You live, you learn!
[disclaimer: our Laura was at one time a contract employee for PCRM, and Vegansaurus continues to advocate for the Healthy School Lunch Program as proposed and lobbied for by PCRM. That said, come on.]
PCRM’s ad campaign: Science says Big Macs are nasty! »
[can’t see the video? watch it at vegansaurus.com!]
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine* (PCRM) released the above commercial totally and morbidly dissing McDonald’s after a recent study they conducted shows just how unhealthy McDonald’s food is. And McDonald’s is pissed!:
This commercial is outrageous, misleading and unfair to all consumers. McDonald’s trusts our customers to put such outlandish propaganda in perspective, and to make food and lifestyle choices that are right for them.
Outrageous and outlandish? Them’s fightin’ words! But PCRM’s findings are pretty scary. The Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese has 42 grams of fat, 740 calories, 155 milligrams of cholesterol, and 1,380 milligrams of sodium. HOLY CRAP! Check out that sodium number! Good lord. Even the sweetly permissive USDA only recommends up to 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, and that’s counting foods with naturally occurring sodium (although mostly those are dairy products, ew).
Other people are backing McDonald’s in this time of need, including the Wall Street Journal community. So far, 54 percent of them say the ad is unfair! Wah! BTW, I say we go over and vote. Give them some perspective! Our Meave had a few words to say in response to this:
Of course the WSJ crowd is voting it “unfair”; readers of the WSJ are [stereotypically] super-capitalist, super-individualist Randies who’d be libertarians if they weren’t so into government breaks for big corporations. “We are responsible for our own decisions,” says a commenter, as though anyone can make a good decision without pertinent information. UGH.
Besides, this Question of the Day isn’t asking, “Is McDonald’s responsible for all heart disease, ever?” or “Should the government expand healthcare to cover people who ONLY EAT MCDONALD’S BECAUSE THEY ARE STUPID POOR FATTY FAT FATS WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER?” It’s an AD CAMPAIGN. And one might think that WSJ readers, being on the whole very staunchly pro-business, would support the right of an organization to run whatever ad campaign it so chose. I suppose that when that ad campaign comes into conflict with the interests of a major international corporation, WSJ readers would rather see the big, profitable corporation continue to dominate.
Everyone’s favorite, Eater, had a bit to say in McDonald’s defense, calling the ad “a crazy new commercial” by PCRM, adding that
PCRM is known for their somewhat insane vegan agenda—back in May, they wrote a press release advising KFC to follow the same guidelines the FDA sets out for tobacco producers and not advertise near schools and put a warning label on Double Downs. In this this ad, they recommend “Tonight, make it vegetarian.”
Somewhat insane vegan agenda? Duck and cover! But then the example they give sounds very sane to me, considering another study showing how fast-food chains target children and then feed them horrible crap.
Now, if you are a vegan anything like me, you love your vegan cupcakes and vegan fried food. It’s like we always say, vegan doesn’t equal healthy. But we’re not talking about cupcakes; we’re talking about POISON. Remember Super Size Me? This stuff will kill you! And the main difference is that they don’t want to tell you. Vegansaur Jordan was just saying the other day that she will tell you in plain language that her vegan cupcakes are far from vitamin bars. And if PCRM wants you to know about the nutrition information of McDonald’s food and its ramifications on your health, what is so “unfair” about that?
*Disclosure: Our Laura has worked on contract for PCRM in the past.