Archive for March, 2012

BPI’s Response to Outrage over Ground Beef? 3 Governors and a T-shirt

In a surreal press conference yesterday, Beef Products Inc took its best shot at making up for its silence during weeks of public lashing over what has been dubbed “pink slime,” an additive in ground beef made through a high-tech process that BPI invented. (See my previous posts here and here.) The event came in the wake of major grocery chains announcing they would stop selling beef containing the filler.

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McDonald’s Now Using Goats to Exploit Children

by Michele Simon and Kelle Louaillier

To call McDonald’s latest advertising campaign aimed at children cynical doesn’t give enough credit to the fast food giant and its ad agency, Leo Burnett. The company says the new series of ads starting this month is part of McDonald’s “nutrition commitment to promote nutrition and/or active lifestyle messages in 100 percent of its national communications to kids.”

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10 suggestions for female judges for NY Times’ “ethical meat” contest

Yesterday, I wrote about how the New York Times’ contest for meat eaters is great PR for the meat industry. Upon sending that missive to the Times, I had an email exchange with Ariel Kaminer, the paper’s Ethicist columnist, about various aspects of the contest. When I asked why all the judges were male, Kaminer replied that she couldn’t find one female expert in food ethics with a fraction of the name recognition of the men. She argued that the famous male judges would bring far more attention to the contest, and in turn get more people to consider the ethics of meat eating.

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New York Times’ “ethical meat” contest is great PR for meat industry

The New York Times is holding a silly contest for meat-eaters to have their say. Here is my entry.

Was this really a burning problem that needed solving, the lack of justifications to eat meat? What do you suppose has caused America’s love affair with meat in the first place? A rapacious and deceptive industry that has brainwashed people into thinking that life cannot be lived without meat.

It saddens me that given all the pressing problems of our day, many of which caused by excessive meat eating (global warming, contaminated air and water, chronic disease, worker injury, and yes, animal suffering, just to name a few) the Times is promoting such a self-indulgent contest.

I am sure the meat industry is jumping for joy.

Moreover, we don’t need even more ways to polarize people over personal dietary choices. Let’s stop the infighting and focus on the core of the problem: corporate control of the food supply. How about a contest on how to fix that?

A leopard like PepsiCo cannot change its spots

PepsiCo makes money selling salty and sugary foods and whatever the aims it has stated in Performance with Purpose, it cannot get away from this, says Michele Simon.

Read article at The Guardian (UK).

So You Want a Career in Food Policy? A Few Tips

Seems like I’ve been getting more emails lately from strangers asking me for career advice. While I am flattered anyone thinks I have something to offer in this regard, I find it difficult to take time to answer such broad questions like, Should I go to law school or get a public health degree? How did you get into this work? Where can I find jobs in food policy? Or, from an actual email from an undergrad after a recent talk: “What advice could you give me regarding what my next internship/career/research directions could be?”

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Whistleblower to Maker of Pink Slime: “Quit Harassing Me”

This past week, the media woke up to the shocking reality that our meat supply is in fact industrialized. Long gone are the days of your friendly local butcher grinding meat for your kids’ hamburgers. Taking its place is a corporate behemoth you probably never heard of called Beef Products Inc.

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Is it Time to Define ‘Natural’?

Thanks to an increasing awareness of where food comes from and its impact on our health, shoppers are becoming more discriminating, especially when it comes to processed foods. In response, many product manufacturers, fearful of losing customers, are slapping the “natural” label on foods that are anything but.

Read rest in Functional Ingredients magazine.

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Contact Michele Simon: michele@eatdrinkpolitics.com

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