Monday, July 02, 2007

I've been good ... well, I was ...

I've been good lately. I've fought hard to let pass by the whole lead-based Thomas the Train thing, the defective tires, the endless parade of toxic imported food from China.

Frankly, I needed a break, a bit of anger management time. I figured you deserved a rest from the rant as well. But, things don't just stand still while I'm having coffee and playing with new recipes. Oh no.

IATP and China
There are a blessed few in this world who are the kind of folks that don't dwell on the blame or wait for government and just say, "Okay, let's go fix this." Kudos to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy for trying to bring sustainability to agriculture in China.

CSPI posted the 10 worst and best foods list.
I found myself guilty of one of the worst offenders; the Chipotle burrito. My last fast food hold out. See, here, the chain commits to all-natural meats. I also get it without the cheese and sour cream, and I cut it in half and save the other half for another meal. Some of the other foods surprised me a bit. Even the ones on the good list.

Tomatoes made the list, but I was disappointed to see that CSPI failed to mention that they are higher in lycopene when cooked. I also saw the pre-cut and frozen squash cubes. I went this route once, a good organic brand. They tasted awful. Use the fresh stuff. They also missed the point that farm-raised salmon often lacks the healthy fatty acids that make this food so good for you. Worse, the farm-raised variety can easily contain bad fats from the farmed fishes' grain diet.

Farm Bill
While we were all home throwing out our Thomas the Trains, the Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Subcommittee of the House added a new provision to the farm bill. Section 123 of Title I, would prevent states and localities from passing any laws prohibiting commercial use of USDA-inspected products.

What this means is that any product be it cloned beef or GMO-corn that is deemed “non-regulated” by the USDA cannot be banned from sale in any state, regardless of the state’s wishes.

Hmm, did Cheney write this one? Sure sounds like it.

"California, Arkansas and Missouri have passed laws creating state committees that review whether genetically engineered rice should be grown in the state," notes Joe Mendelson, Legal Director of the Center for Food Safety. "These laws, which farmers support, would be preempted."

Rally the troops and tell the House Agriculture Committee what they can do with their Section 123.

On the flip side, maybe send a note of thanks to the The House Subcommittee on Nutrition who completed a markup of the bill on July 1 that proposes to increase spending under the Nutrition Title of the 2007 Farm Bill by an estimated $5 billion over five years. The spending will help increase benefits for food stamp recipients and other emergency food programs.

I think I will end on a positive note! Now, I can get back to the recipes ...


Shaping Youth said...

Thanks for the heads up on the new CSPI worst list...they're always amusing and enlightening. I've been working off their 'old' one when we do our Shaping Youth counter-marketing, so this is good to have new material, especially since I've been working on a Starbucks deconstruction (since so many kids carry the dang cups around like status symbols these days)---

Still need to get the bandwidth to do a full interview w/you... Meanwhile, I'm adding you to my blogroll NOW (terribly backlogged)and will point to your kids' cuisine posting soon. (yes, I use that CSPI pdf as reference too!)

I saw Ratatouille this weekend and LOVED IT! Thought of you and of all the collaboration we should/need to be doing with kids down the line as we get our Shaping Youth 'food advisory board' up & running.

Here's another one on my 'to do' list of advisors. Check out Doof, e.g.

I'll be incorporating that link into a Ratatouille post and a piece on engaging kids with cuisine. Your thoughts? Hands-on tips? A few quotes? Easy/impressive starter dishes for kids?


The Expatriate Chef said...

I am going to email you back! Otherwise it will be a long comment. I was just working on a post about the movie, and that for once, the merchandise might be helpful (cooking tools and cookbooks for kids).

I'll put a reciprocal link to your site (been meaning to!) as well.

We need to trade some notes on the cooking with kids. I have some great ideas.