Brown-bag lunches and the food police

Here’s the scenario: A mother in North Carolina packed a lunch for her pre-schooler and dropped her off at school. The mother was unaware that the turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, chips and juice would be inspected by the school to see if the lunch met USDA guidelines – mandated for all pre-kindergarten programs. Of course, she found out about the inspection when her daughter came home with the uneaten lunch and a bill for $1.25, the cost of the approved cafeteria lunch that was provided her to replace the “nutritionally unbalanced” sack lunch. Read the original article here. Continue reading

Clarence Darrow and food safety

There’s an apocryphal story about Clarence Darrow’s early career that goes something like this:

A man was on trial for biting another man’s ear off in a fight. Darrow was interviewing a witness to the incident, and asked, “Did you see the defendant bite off the plaintiff’s ear?”

“No, I didn’t,” was the reply. Darrow, a young lawyer at the time, didn’t know when to leave well enough alone – after all, he’d made the point – and went on for the dramatic finish.

“Well, then, sir, how did you draw the conclusion that the defendant committed the crime of biting off the plaintiff’s ear?”

“I saw him spit it out,” came the laconic answer, turning a slam-dunk to a rim shot.

What does this have to do with food safety? By example, rather a lot. Continue reading

6 reasons not to eat breakfast cereal

“What?” I hear you cry out in shock and dismay. “But I love the crunch!” “But the one I eat is organic and whole grain!” “But it’s so easy!”

Sorry. Really, I understand. But this stuff just isn’t good for you. In fact, it’s kind of, um, really bad for you. So here’s my recommendation on how much boxed breakfast cereal to have:

Not. One. Bite.

Let’s talk about how breakfast cereal is made. Continue reading