Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Trooping farmers to Washington, DC...

 Won't solve this problem.

Consumers, or at least food companies are replacing regulators as the deciders-in-chief about what America eats. And how it is grown.
There are, apparently, a number of ways to make breaded chicken sandwiches healthier. To this end, Chick-fil-A has been quietly switching out ingredients over the last decade. According to Nation’s Restaurant News, the chain eliminatedheart-disease-promoting trans fats in 2006, removed high-fructose corn syrup from its bagels and golden wheat bread, and gradually reduced sodium in some products. Now, the 1,700-store chain is working to remove preservatives from its breads and oil.What’s unusual about the efforts is that Chick-Fil-A has largely avoided publicizing them until now, hoping to avoid ire about any perceived change in flavor. Fast food companies have had to balance customer loyalty to well-known menu items with growing pressure to offer healthier options. “We didn’t necessarily want the customer to know we’ve tweaked their favorite product,” the chain’s senior nutrition consultant told NRN.Chick-fil-A is testing a new preservative-free white-bread bun in about 200 stores, and it’s trying out a peanut oil without TBHQ, a chemical that extends the shelf life of oils but can cause health problems if consumed in large volumes. It will remove high-fructose corn syrup from sauces and dressings. And due to concerns about thehealth-effects of food dyes, the chain is also looking into removing yellow food dye from its soup base and ice cream, reported NRN. [More]

And the animal welfare crusade seems to have a weekly victory as well.
Nestle's Northbrook-based pizza division, which makes DiGiorno and Jack's frozen pies, has cut ties with a Wisconsin farm after an animal rights group released a video of dairy cow abuse.Mercy for Animals revealed an undercover investigation on Tuesday that showed video footage of cows being beaten, stabbed and dragged by a tractor. [More]
Like generals in WWI, agriculture is fighting this war the wrong way. We shouldn't be at war with consumers to begin with. But so far, our plan seems to be:
  • Deny, deny, deny
  • More security (Farm fortresses)
  • Federal regulation (even though we hate federal regulation)
  • Refusal to consider alternatives
  • Self-reassuring reporting in ag media that consumers are sadly misled imbeciles
  • Lather, rinse, repeat
I grow more bearish on meat consumption and public support for ag every day.


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CJW said...

Haven't had a chance to read the blog since the 7th. So imagine my giggles when I found this comment while having my whole wheat bagel with peanut butter. Who'd 'have thunk that spam would go so well with peanut butter for breakfast.

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