It’s been another busy time for me; work continues to be hectic, plus I squeezed in a five-day trip to Portland last week. Mmm, Terminator Stout. But I do want to offer up a few quick looks at food issues in the news.
First, the Bush Administration doesn’t want you to know if your beef is carrying mad cow disease. Speaking as somebody who is barred from giving blood because I ate meat in England at the wrong time, I think consumers should be able to find out the information if they want it. What’s really interesting to me about this case is that as far as I can tell, it’s not about requiring suppliers to test all their beef; it’s about permitting suppliers to test more than the minimum to meet the wishes of customers (e.g., Japanese buyers).
The New York Times spotlights some unlikely farmers, or more accurately gardeners in East New York, who are not only having fun but are also growing enough to sell their produce to neighbors. Which means Greenmarket produce has more “food miles” than these vegetables.
And Brandweek reports that casual dining chains such as Applebee’s and TGIFriday’s are feeling the pinch as consumers take their dining-out dollars to in-store eateries at supermarkets such as Publix and Whole Foods. Is it churlish of me to point out here that most of what you find in the ready-to-eat section at Whole Foods is probably better, and perhaps better for you, than the menu standbys at Applebee’s? Of course that’s just my opinion.