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Showing posts with the label food adulteration

Food Facts to Chew Upon

About one-third of all food produced globally, worth around 1 trillion U.S. dollars, gets lost or wasted in food production and consumption systems.

The average German food wastage amounts to 15 kg food per year while British wastage 9 times higher than the Germany. 30 per cent of the UK’s vegetable crop wasted occurs on the corporate end because the food does not meet aesthetic standards, e.g. size and color. Japan wasted about 20 million tons of food annually which is equivalent to 30 percent of the country’s production. Americans contribution to food waste was at about 28.25 million tons per annum.
In developing countries, most food loss or wasted occurs during production stage due to poor infrastructure, low levels of technology, and low investment in food production systems. At the consumption stage, the food wastage amount is almost zero. Bangladesh contributes insignificant share to the global home and it mostly occurs during food production stage due to poor technology and i…

Being fed lies

An ever-shrinking number of mega-corporations controls an ever-expanding food industry, from seeds to equipment, from chemical inputs to processing, from the farm field to the supermarket shelf.

In America just four companies own approximately 84% of the U.S. beef market. Four firms control 66 percent of the pork-packing market and another four control 58 percent of poultry processing. Four companies own 43% of the world’s commercial seed market.Three companies control 90 % of the global grain trade. Four companies own 48% of grocery retailers. Monsanto, is the largest seed making company and DuPont the second biggest so they may technically be competitors yet a $1.75 billion deal between them ensures that Dupont gets access to Monsanto technology and Monsanto can access DuPont’s massive customer base. Much will be the same for the UK and Europe as in America. All those corporations appear to be recession-proof, having in recent years increased their profit margins.

Our food comes i…

Capitalism - Flogging a dead horse

Most people are several generations away from the actual hands-on experience of producing their own food and this leads to many misconceptions such as over-romanticizing it but armers have a CEO mentality. They make decisions based on return on investment. The food system is in a crisis because of the way that food is produced. Most people's food budget is spent on processed food, which is where the big food processing conglomerates like PepsiCo, Nestle and Kraft make their money. The industry has worked with food scientists to develop foods using fat, sugar and salt that affect brain chemistry and are literally addicting, making people continually crave junk food. The ingredients that give junk food their taste and texture are relatively cheap. These sweeteners, oils and chemicals are big business. When food becomes a commodity, it goes where profits can be made.

 Today, twenty food corporations produce most of the food eaten by Americans, even organic brands. Four large chains,…

Mince and Tatties?

Next time you tuck into your mince and tatties you should be aware that it is meal of fat and gristle and tatties. And is doesn't seem like it will get any  better.

The UK have asked for an exemption from new EU regulations that limit the amount of fat and connective tissue that can be used to bulk up minced meat.Under the regulations, lean minced meat should have up to 19 per cent fat and collagen, while pure minced beef should contain no more than 35 per cent fat and collagen ( derived from the tendons and ligaments of animals and used to help bulk out meat and also used in cosmetic surgery).  In October last year, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs issued an “impact assessment” on the new EU regulations, which are due to come into force next year. The report states: “A significant proportion of mince meat currently sold in the UK contains a greater proportion of collagen than would be permitted."

The crazy logic of capitalist economics

The Sunday Times has found that home-grown products are being transported thousands of miles overseas for processing before being put on sale back in Britain. Socialist Courier reported this market madness back here .

Scottish prawns are being hand-shelled in China, Atlantic haddock caught off Scotland is being prepared in Poland and Welsh cockles are being sent to Holland to be put in jars before going on sale in Britain. Meanwhile, products grown overseas are taking circuitous routes to Britain. African-grown coffee is being packed 3,500 miles away in India, Canadian prawns are processed in Iceland, and Bolivian nuts are being packed in Italy.“We are producing food in one corner of the world, packing it in another and then shipping it somewhere else. It’s mad.”

Dawnfresh, a Scottish seafood company that supplies supermarkets and other large retailers, cut 70 jobs last year after deciding to ship its scampi more than 5,000 miles to China to be shelled by hand, then shipped back to t…

Capitalism's Waste

Waste & Resources Action Programme reports that a third of the food we buy, amounting to 6.7 million tonnes, gets discarded from UK households annually. Fruit and vegetables are a major component at around 40% of this. The top five fruit & vegetables which get binned without even being touched are apples (4.4 million or 179,000 tonnes pa), potatoes(5.1m or 177,000 tonnes pa), bananas (1.6m or 77,000 tonnes pa), tomatoes (2.8m or 46,000 tonnes pa) and oranges (1.2m or 45,000 tonnes). Producing, storing and getting the food to UK homes consumes much energy through transport, packaging etc. If we could stop the wastage of all this food, it would save the equivalent of at least 15 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. This would be equivalent to taking 1 in 5 cars off UK roads, according to WRAP.

The amount of discarded food-stuff is boosted by supermarket marketing promotions such as "two-for-one" deals with the result millions of Britons buy more than they need and then fa…

Cost-Cutting Cost Lives

Hoping to expand profits has led to the courts for Cadbury chocolate.

A major salmonella outbreak caused by Cadbury chocolate bars followed a decision to change the company's product testing system . The confectionery giant sought to save money and reduce wastage by introducing an "allowable tolerance level" for salmonella in its products . There was no safe level for salmonella cells in ready-to-eat products and that the organism could survive in chocolate for years. Chocolate acts as a protective layer for salmonella organisms, shielding them from acid in the stomach.

Until 2003 Cadbury had destroyed any chocolate which tested positive for salmonella, adopting an approach that "no amount of testing will make a positive result go away."
They then changed it to what they believed to be an allowable tolerance level. Cadbury sought to save money from wastage by allowing a tolerance for salmonella in their food. Large quantities of product were being destroyed and C…