“Where did that come from?”
The last thing I looked at in the newspaper this morning was the six-page Kroger insert. Usually I look at grocery store ads to see if there is a sale on Blue Bell. I don’t do that much anymore.
What attracted me to the Kroger Gazette was the picture on the front page of a grilled steak. A Nolan Ryan ribeye. A Nolan Ryan “All Natural Beef” ribeye.
All natural beef? Does that cost more than Nolan Ryan’s somewhat odd beef? The “all beef” labeling of a steak isn’t needed anymore than a four star hotel needs to advertise “No holes in towels.” I don’t even think there needs to be labeling on wieners. No one wants to know what’s in those things. All you need is a label that reads -- “Meat paste wrapped in something.” Our minds will turn it into something beautiful.
I saw a wiener label last week which read -- “Angus beef.” That’s an apparent attempt to get consumers to believe that knee joints and nostril portions of Angus are a cut above Hereford.
Speaking of meat inspectors, do you have any idea how many inspectors the FDA has? I don’t either. My small group of low-paid analysts have Googled every acronym, synonym, M&M associated with the words “beef, inspectors and FDA.” All they came up with was the starting salary of an inspector. It’s around $44,000.
The Pentagon wants to hide UFO info for fear the American public will change its buying habits. Along those lines, the FDA hides it’s number of inspectors so consumers won’t discover how near impossible it is for the FDA to find bad stuff before it reaches our stomachs. (That’s what one of my research staffers leads me to believe. My research staff is small. No. Smaller than that.)
And, speaking of a lack of inspectors, let’s visit the soon-to-be-tossed “country-of-origin” food labeling law. It’s not the easiest thing to understand, but that’s so Congressmen can say that they had no idea what they were voting on when the proverbial waste matter hits the fan. I’ve got a fairly loose grip on the law, but that’s never stopped me from forming an opinion?
From what I’ve learned, repeal of the country-of-origin law involves beef, poultry and pork. It doesn’t cover fish, figs or fruit. For now. We still have a rough idea where most other stuff comes from. It’s the cows, pigs and chickens that Congress doesn’t think we should know about. The repeal of the know-where-your-meat-came-from-law is the “insure domestic tranquility” part of the Constitution that Congress swore to support and defend.
Supposedly, the Canadians and Mexicans are responsible for the push to rid us of knowing where meat comes from. American slaughterhouses are supposed to keep tabs on where their cows, pigs and chickens came from. That’s hard to keep up with. Most of the cows don’t even know where they came from. Theoretically, slaughterhouses must have separate pens for Canadian, Peruvian, Indonesian… cows, pigs and chickens. (CPCs) – “And, over here we have our pen for the Philippine shorthorn. Flew in from Manila just last week.”
Since it cost a lot of money to build pens and to keep the straight the birth certificates for CPCs, foreign ranchers are paid less for their livestock in the U.S. This places a stigma on out of country animals. An immigration issue. Apparently the only feasible solution Congress has come up with is to do away with the 2002 country-of-origin law as it involves cows and what all.
That’s all they can come up with? How about keeping the law, while continuing not to do inspections. Do you know how rare it would be for an FDA inspector to come by a slaughterhouse to see which cows are Canadian and which are American? A cow would have more of a chance of winning the lottery than getting its birthplace determined for real. The FDA doesn’t even have the resources to assure that you’re buying Angus beef instead of Australian plow horse. (Keep in mind about my small research staff.)
If the law is completely killed, how long do you think it will take Wal-Mart to start bringing over cheaper Chinese CPCs? I love China and all it stands for, but I don’t trust their inspection techniques any further than I can kick a Volvo. Mark my words, it won’t be long before we see Walmart marketing of a glow-in-the-dark wiener.
There are only two foods, the origin of which means nothing to me. Dried beans and popcorn. I’d prefer everything else be looked over by one of our two FDA inspectors. Those guys do one heck of a job for which they get paid handsomely.
Soon the FDA inspector workload will decrease significantly. No longer will they have to locate the birth certificates of steers, pigs and chickens slaughtered in the U.S. That should make them better able to find out what tilapia really are. My research staff tells me that commercial fishermen don’t even know what they are. Never seen one.
If you scratch this the surface of this thing you’re going to see a Chinese flag appear. And, that comes straight from my research staff. That kid is like a son to me.