Line Starts Here: Now Cranberry Growers Want Ban Exemption... Foie Gras Next? Cheap Drone Spies; Raw Juice; FTCLDF Party
Sometimes I wonder if our expanding inclination to ban foods says something about our do-gooder nature, or our bullying nature. Last month, I wrote about how Massachusetts PTAs were so upset about sugary-food bans they got the state legislature to exempt bake sales from such bans. And, of course, there's the pending ban of large sodas in New York City.
Now, the Bay State's cranberry growers have corralled the state's two senators--John Kerry and Scott Brown--to lobby the U.S. Department of Agriculture to exempt cranberry cocktail drinks from bans in schools under new rules being drawn up. Lobbyists are getting involved. It seems that because cranberries are so tart, the producers of fruity drinks feel they need to sweeten cranberry juice with sugar of some sort. Of course, apple juice is a potential sweetener. But there I go, trying to dictate what should be in someone else's food. How about simply removing vending machines from the schools? Do it the old fashioned way, and just have water fountains. Or if parents and teachers agree vending machines are needed, let each school make its own decisions about vending machines?
Also on the food-ban agenda--foie gras, the duck and goose liver pate. California has a ban due to take effect July 1. Apparently, Chicago tried a ban of foie gras four years ago, and gave up on it after two years. Apparently in became an international embarrassment to the city. I know, the force feeding of ducks and geese to enlarge their livers is considered cruel by animal rights advocates. They definitely have a point. I just wonder if the practice is any more cruel than the way we raise our factory chickens, cooped up in cages barely able to breathe.
You know these bans are simply going to expand. I'm not sure what's next, but who knows, they may be a good way to create jobs. You need more bureaucrats to write up all these rules, then you need lobbyists to fight or change them, then you need agents to enforce them, and of course, you need lawyers to interpret what finally results. Maybe that's one answer to our nation's job-creation problems.
We think of drones as weapons against terrorists. But they are being introduced into the U.S. via police departments and universities. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what's coming next. Now, Wired reports that very cheap drones--in the hundreds and few thousands of dollars--are on the way. Just let your imagination go, and it's not just visions of people spying on their sexy neighbors. It's the ag police monitoring farms. Then there would be no more need for animal registration, since the drones can keep tabs on every farm's animal comings and goings. I would imagine we'll eventually need special defense drones to shoot down the spy drones the government will unleash on us....except it will probably be declared against the law to possess the defense drones.
So I'm at Whole Foods, and there's a guy with a table displaying 16-ounce bottles of vegetable and fruit juices. Turns out they are unpasteurized fresh juice--first brand I've seen on a store shelf anywhere in a long time. According to the CDC, 98 per cent of juices are pasteurized, and to sell bottled unpasteurized juice, you need to include a warning label. The maker of this new brand, BluePrint, says this on one of its little promotional pamphlets: "Juice should never be cooked. Heat, pasteurization, common in most conventional juices, kills vitamins, minerals, and even live enzymes. Even 'flash' or 'gently' pasteurized means cooked." Sound familiar? Sure hope they make it in retail.
The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund is celebrating its fifth anniversary July 7, with a celebration at the Maryland farm of Sally Fallon, head of the Weston A. Price Foundation. The celebration includes lunch, a tour of the farm, and a sampling of the farm's cheeses. I understand there are still a few places available. I'll be there. Hard to believe it's been five years since the FTCLDF launched.