Daily Archives: June 14, 2011

Lewis Lapham on America’s diverse and divergent cultures of food and eating

From Lewis Lapham, writing on TomDispatch.com:

“Could there have been a pickier eater in 1950s America than me?  I doubt it.  Among the many things I wouldn’t eat was spaghetti and meatballs.  (Gross!)  Or at least I refused until one summer on return from camp, I told my astonished parents that I loved the stuff, just not the kind they served.  There was only one brand for me: Franco-American Spaghetti.

For those of you who aren’t old enough to remember that Campbell’s brand or the singing ad line that went with it (“Who can? Franco-Ameri-can…”), it was spaghetti that came out of a can, usually with a thwuck and as a single cylindrical lump of Day-Glo reddish-orange goo (thanks undoubtedly to some since-banned red dye or other).  It practically screamed: don’t touch me if you value your life.  And of course I couldn’t get enough of the stuff. Continue reading

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Bubonic plague DNA in e.coli O104:H4?

From Food Freedom blog:

Food Freedom has deliberately refrained from posting any suggestion that Germany’s superbug is related to biowarfare, until further evidence emerged.

Various sources now corroborate this story, including The Atlantic:

“On Tuesday [May 31], the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that [leading German E. coli researcher Helge] Karch had discovered that the O104:H4 bacteria responsible for the current outbreak is a so-called chimera that contains genetic materia from various E. coli bacteria. It also contains DNA sequences from plague bacteria, which makes it particularly pathogenic.” Continue reading

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FDA takes heat over controversial raid on Amish raw milk farmer Dan Allgyer

From David E. Gumpert on the Complete Patient blog:

Michael Taylor, of the FDA. Photo via The Complete Patient blog

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is taking a lot of heat about its undercover investigation and court action against Pennsylvania Amish farmer Daniel Allgyer. The FDA’s number-two , Michael (Son of Monsanto) Taylor, was even asked about the matter at a corporate get-together, where he spouted the expected rhetoric  about “doing our public health job” in connection with the legal assault, designed to prevent Allgyer from supplying a food club in Maryland with raw milk.

But Taylor made another interesting remark, noting that the campaign against Allgyer results from a “statutory directive” to the FDA.  He presumably was referring to the FDA’s implementation in 1987 of the federal ban on interstate distribution and sale of raw milk (PHS law 1240.61), at the behest of a federal judge the previous year. The judge ruled on a consumer group’s suit, demanding that the FDA put an end to interstate sales of unpasteurized milk. At that time, at least one large producer, Alta Deena, was shipping raw milk from its home base in California to a number of neighboring states. Continue reading


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