February 6, 2008

Scrapin’ Up the Bits, Lusty Bit Update Style

Ssshhhhh. I gotta secret. I got some insider information about those stickers. What stickers? Those stickers, the ones on the fruits and vegetables you buy in the grocery store. What is it? Well, as long as you promise to keep it quiet (h/t Sustainable Table):

  • A four-digit number means it's conventionally grown.
  • A five-digit number beginning with 9 means it's organic.
  • A five-digit number beginning with 8 means it's genetically modified.

Of course, most of the organic apples and celery and the like I’ve seen in Giant Eagle recently looks more like prunes they’re so freakin’ wrinkly. So, yeah, I've been sticking to the conventionally grown stuff.

This is from last week, but it got buried somewhat by coverage of the presidential horse races. If you don’t like to watch sick animals being shoved around by forklifts or smacked in the head with electric prods, then just read this (but don’t watch this).

The long and short of it:

Video footage being released today shows workers at a California slaughterhouse delivering repeated electric shocks to cows too sick or weak to stand on their own; drivers using forklifts to roll the "downer" cows on the ground in efforts to get them to stand up for inspection; and even a veterinary version of waterboarding in which high-intensity water sprays are shot up animals' noses -- all violations of state and federal laws designed to prevent animal cruelty and to keep unhealthy animals, such as those with mad cow disease, out of the food supply.

Moreover, the companies where these practices allegedly occurred are major suppliers of meat for the nation's school lunch programs, including in Maryland, according to a company official and federal documents.

Seriously, I really don’t know if I can eat a piece of meat anymore unless I have at least some indication that it didn’t come from a place like this!

It’s good to see that grocery stores are moving away from plastic, but I’m not even really sure what this particular journalist is trying to say about it.

While subbing tap water for bottled water is effortless, giving up plastic bags is an inconvenience.

Huh? She must usually write for the Style section.

Finally, some Lusty Bit updates. I’ve recently…

  • made some additions to the Intertubes Stuff I like
  • updated the recipes listing
  • and I’m finally experimenting with a little more blog sophistication, adding “labels” to my posts. The labels – which are at the end of each post – are like key words, you can click on one of them and all of the posts with that same key word, that is, that are somehow related to the topic (e.g, milk labeling), will come up.

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