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Hey! It’s My Turn to Use the Leg – You Used it Yesterday!

4:05 pm in Government, Politics by TobyWollin

Verily, my friends , I say verily unto ye (say “Halleluiah” if you agree – everyone else can just crawl up the aisle), we are truly in a time of troubles. Where no one knows black from white, left from right (no, that’s wrong, Aunt Toby damn well knows left from right, hay from straw, and right from Right Wing and from Tea Party and from Pajama Party and all the other parties out there), and truth from, well everything else. And as St. Breitbart would say, “Truth is what I say it be.”

I don’t know how we got to this place (probably by taking Sarah Palin’s bus), but we are now in a situation where we can read these next two ‘news’ stories and proceed to scratch the collective head (sorry Rep. Weiner) as to which one is ‘real’ and which one is ‘mostly real’ or ‘damn plausible’.

“..Although the(Wisconsin) BadgerCare family planning program doesn’t cover Hartman’s treatment, he was able to afford two different HIV tests, a liver panel and potentially life-saving hepatitis tests through the subsidized program.
But the nearly 7,000 other low-income Wisconsin men who use BadgerCare may soon be out of luck. Scott Walker, the state’s Republican governor, has proposed eliminating men entirely from the program in his latest budget bill. That move could cost Wisconsin all of its federal family planning funds, policy experts warn.

Wisconsin’s Joint Finance Committee is currently finalizing the language of the bill. In addition to cutting men from BadgerCare, it also includes provisions that increase the age restrictions for BadgerCare eligibility, require parental consent for all patients under 18 years old, reduce the eligibility limit down to 200 percent of the federal poverty line and cut more than $1 million dollars in state funds to Planned Parenthood. ..”

Scot Walker Cuts Men

“All amputees being treated in Ohio Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals will be forced to share prosthetics after Governor John Kasich (R) formally denied a $5,000,000 grant from the federal government late last week.
Under normal circumstances, veterans who lose a limb in battle are fitted for their own custom prosthetics. Without the funds necessary to continue this program, Ohio veterans will now have to share a dozen or so generic prosthetics across the entire state.
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Food Sunday: Food News You Can Use

10:00 am in Food by TobyWollin

The sun is up; the sky is blue. My shoulder is purple and green (for those not following every detail of my life, I fell off my bike two Fridays age and dislocated and broke my left shoulder). And here’s the news:

Urban gardening goes up – and big time. 40,000 square foot roof garden grows in Long Island City. “ Rooftop farms have been appearing recently across New York and the nation, but few have the scope of Brooklyn Grange, a for-profit venture started by Ben Flanner, a transplanted Wisconsinite, and the operators of Roberta’s, a popular restaurant that has become something of a farm-to-table clubhouse in Bushwick, Brooklyn. The group plans to sell its vegetables — selected for their ability to thrive in the sunny, windy conditions of an open city roof — from a stand at the farm, and to a few restaurants. “
LIC Roof Farm

Schools and groups go after “the other meal”: “More low-income school kids could soon have access to free nutritious dinners like the lasagna that Avery loved. A U.S. Department of Agriculture program in Vermont, 12 other states and the District of Columbia provides reimbursements for the suppers, served at after-school programs for at-risk kids in communities where at least 50 percent of households fall below the poverty level.” Dinners

Heinz dropping sodium content of ketchup 15%: Less Salt

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Food Sunday: Food News You Can Use

9:30 am in Uncategorized by TobyWollin

It’s raining … RAIN!! Ordinarily I wouldn’t be so excited but it’s been so dry this spring that we really need it up here. It’s also raining – food news (cue sfx of the teletype machine): To The News!!

Jamie Oliver Is Not the Only One:” A study by the group Mission: Readiness (made up of retired military generals, joint chiefs, and admirals) finds that school lunches are making American kids so fat that fewer of them can meet the military’s physical fitness standards. That, in turn, is putting recruitment in jeopardy. “ School Lunch a National Security Issue

A quote from the report: “75% of young Americans are ineligible to serve their country because they have either failed to graduate high school, engaged in criminal activity, or are physically or mentally unfit.”
Mission: Readiness

We Knew This Was Coming: “Food prices jumped by 2.4 percent in March, the most since January 1984. Vegetable prices soared by more than 49 percent, the most in 15 years. A cold snap wiped out much of Florida’s tomato and other vegetable crops at the beginning of this year.”
Food Prices Skyrocket

(they neglect to note in this article that basically because all the Florida crops started to ripen at the same time, depressing prices, farmers are plowing crops under because it costs too much to have them harvested. This is causing a lot of anger in Florida among activists for fresh food for the poor)

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Food Sunday: Food News You Can Use

9:30 am in Uncategorized by TobyWollin

More on Food Fraud: “Fan, also known to his U.S. clients as "Michael Fan," was arrested for allegedly conspiring to illegally import honey that was deliberately mislabeled to avoid U.S. anti-dumping duties, according to statements in the criminal charges filed by Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Gary Hartwig, special agent in charge of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation in Chicago.

Fan is the president of Blue Action Enterprise Inc., a California-based honey import company, and also heads several similar companies, including 7 Tiger Enterprises Inc., Honey World Enterprise Inc. and Kashaka USA Inc., the court papers said. The charges against him allege his involvement in 96 shipments of Chinese honey falsely declared as originating in South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.” The issue with Chinese honey stems not only from anti-dumping, but also Chinese beekeepers’ heavy use of antibiotics in their hives, and the contamination of honey. This is why they seek to sneak Chinese honey into the US under false labeling.

From , ‘Not Craw – Craw!” school of food ingredient identifications”: “Andrew Briscoe, the president and chief executive of the Sugar Association Inc., told Reuters linking sugar to obesity is misleading because most of the sweeteners used in the beverage industry are from high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)."There has to be a scapegoat," said Briscoe, adding elimination of physical education programs in schools shares part of the blame by keeping children inactive.Briscoe said that according to data from the U.S. Agriculture Department and the Centers for Disease Control, U.S. per capital sugar consumption has fallen 40 percent since 1970."Sugar is not part of the problem," he said.”

Yes, Andrew – it’s not the’s the sugar… It’s Not the’s the sugar

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Food Sunday: Food News You Can Use

9:30 am in Uncategorized by TobyWollin

And a very good morning to everyone; Joyous Easter to everyone who celebrates.  It’s been an amazing weather week at Chez Siberia with several days in the 70s and 80s (soon to be followed by several days in the 50s, which is definitely more like it in terms of April weather for Upstate New York). (Cue the sound of teletype machines)

To the news!!

Certainly we all have sort of anecdotal feelings that there is a growing movement in terms of establishing farmers markets. The USDA actually has an update which shows that basically over the past 10 years, there has been an almost 300% increase in the number of operating farmers markets in the US.

For more information about USDA programs targeted at growing farmers markets and local foods, see here at USDA’s website

A Wellington, NZ-based design team has come up with a gardening solution for folks who live in high rise apartments, called The Plant Room. This structure ‘clips on’ to the outside walls of apartment buildings and provides basically an exposed greenhouse structure which can be used to provide growing space for apartment dwellers.

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Food Sunday: Food News You Can Use

11:00 am in Uncategorized by TobyWollin

Yeee-ow, but it’s cold and windy here in Upstate New York. We had snow, sleet, freezing rain AND ice this week, so it’s a bit discouraging as far as gardening goes. However, there IS food news!

A unique analysis of US diets: It’s the Subsidies, Stupid!:

If USDA subsidies actually were in line with the Food Pyramid, the following changes would take place in terms of what groups would actually get money:

Fruits and Veggies: Up 900%

Grains: Up 50%

Meat and Dairy: Down 100%

Sugars, Oils and Alcohol: Down 50%

Nuets and Legumes: Up 50%

This winter has been awful for everyone, but especially for bees: “Among all the stresses to bee health, it’s the pesticides that are attracting scrutiny now. A study published Friday in the scientific journal PLOS (Public Library of Science) One found about three out of five pollen and wax samples from 23 states had at least one systemic pesticide — a chemical designed to spread throughout all parts of a plant.

EPA officials said they are aware of problems involving pesticides and bees and the agency is "very seriously concerned."

The pesticides are not a risk to honey sold to consumers, federal officials say. And the pollen that people eat is probably safe because it is usually from remote areas where pesticides are not used, Pettis said. But the PLOS study found 121 different types of pesticides within 887 wax, pollen, bee and hive samples.”

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Food Sunday: Food News You Can Use

9:30 am in Uncategorized by TobyWollin

From the “Just when you thought they couldn’t get any more dumb” – we have double muscled trout? Another answer to a question that is not being asked.

Bees:New York City beekeepers still hiding out pending Health Dept. vote. And, here is the update: All you refugee and guerrilla beekeepers in New York City: You  and your bees can come out now. NYC Health Dept. Votes ‘Yes’

More Bees: The real question here, IMHO, is that what you have inside a hive when they are swarming is the old queen, a brand new queen and her consorts, a whole lot of babysitters in various stages of maturity who do not have a clue as to how to fly. What’s the mechanism to give the babysitters the ‘hurry up and get ready to go” orders? Must be some sort of pheromone or something.

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Food Sunday: All the Dirt That Fits!

10:00 am in Uncategorized by TobyWollin

And, good food and good day to everyone! To the News!!

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency had a confirmed case of BSE in a cow but the news was not released for several weeks. The ‘money quote’ here is at the end of the article: Rates of testing are down on cow populations being brought into the US. Mad Cow Disease Case Hidden

Looking for a list of foods which have been recalled due to the hydrolyzed vegetable protein case? Here’s one:

Organic and sustainable food advocates hit Capital Hill this week against S.510 and (gasp!) served RAW MILK! Read the rest of this entry →

Food Sunday: Link-a-licious Food News of the Week

9:30 am in Uncategorized by TobyWollin

And a good good day to everyone. The sun finally came out in Upstate New York this week; it got up to 50 at Chez Siberia. This is not to say we won’t get at least one more big nasty snow storm before April 15 (Tax Day is my deadline – any storm that can’t get itself scheduled by then needs to slink back up to Hudson’s Bay where it belongs), but we are having some major sun action here this weekend. And NOW TO THE NEWS!! (cue SFX of teletype machines)

Yes – Atrizine DOES cause male frogs to turn into female frogs:Atrizine and frogs

Students at a San Francisco college learn just where their tacos are coming from: Your Taco Deconstructed

More updates on the effect of this winter on tomatoes grown in Florida, Texas et al.: This winter and tomatoes

Winter fruit on freighters from Chile that were already at sea when the earthquake hit will arrive in due course. Anything that did not leave before then…..
Chilean Fruit Shipments

Update on the SlimFast recall from last fall: SlimFast Recall

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