Chipotle E.Coli Outbreak

There have been at least 52 E.Coli outbreaks in Washington and Oregon that have been linked to Chipotle.  This caused many restaurants to temporarily close.

No one has died in the reported cases of infection, according to the Washington State Department of Health. Seven patients from Washington and three patients from Oregon were hospitalized. Chipotle has responded by taking new food safety measures.“The procedures we’re putting in place to eat are so above industry norms that we are going to be the safest place to eat,” Ells told Matt Lauer Thursday.

A norovirus has also  infected 141 students at Boston College. The company is also deep cleaning and sanitizing all of its restaurants in that region, and also conducting environmental and food testing in it’s restaurants and distribution centers.

“The safety of our customers and integrity of our food supply has always been our highest priority,” Steve Ells, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle, said in a statement. “We work with a number of very fresh ingredients in order to serve our customers the highest-quality, best-tasting food we can. If there are opportunities to do better, we will push ourselves to find them and enhance our already high standards for food safety. Our deepest sympathies go out to those who have been affected by this situation and it is our greatest priority to ensure the safety of all of the food we serve and maintain our customers’ confidence in eating at Chipotle.”


Chipotle E.Coli Outbreak

Congresswoman Pingree Introduces Bill to Reduce Food Waste

pinigree“About 40% of the food in the U.S. is wasted.  That costs us money, is bad for the environment, and means people are going hungry when perfectly good food is ending up in a landfill,” Pingree said.

Pingree announced that she will introduce a bill aimed at addressing the nation’s food waste problem in homes, stores, restaurants, schools and farms. The bill would change the way expiration dates are used on products and educate the consumer about what they mean.

“A lot of people mistakenly think there is some sort of government standard for ‘best by’ dates and that you have to throw out food once the date is passed,” Pingree said in a news release. “The truth is it’s the manufacturer who comes up with those dates, and much of the time the food is perfectly safe to eat well after the date has passed.”

One option being considered is that manufactures have a disclaimer saying that these dates are just recommendations, and that the food may still be consumed after the sell by date. The “best by” or sell by” dates are a misleading form of labelling because they imply that the food is no longer good or edible.

Pingree’s bill also includes tax incentives for farmers and retailers to donate or sell bruised or imperfect produce that would have been discarded. School lunch programs would also be reformed so they could buy these imperfect fruits and vegetables.

This is a positive change Congresswoman Pinigree is trying to implement. She is created less food waste by educating the consumer, and clearing confusion from misleading labels.

Congresswoman Pingree Introduces Bill to Reduce Food Waste

Ellie Goulding Says Veganism Helps Her Performance

Singer Ellie Goulding has credited a plant based lifestyle with helping her performance. Ellie Goulding classifies herself as an “aspiring vegan”. She said: ”I call myself an aspiring vegan. It’s challenging, but not impossible. You just have to eat or drink a lot of greens. I make green juice for myself almost every day. I put in things like bananas, avocado, spinach, broccoli – whatever’s in my fridge, really. Other celebrities such as Beyonce, J-Lo, and Natalie Portman have dabbled in veganism in the past.

Veganism has become a trendy fad in recent years, particularly “part-time” veganism as Americans are cutting back on meat for various reasons. This means less meat consumption and less revenue for corporations such as Smithfield, whose products are primarily animal based.

Advertisements for health, fitness, environmental sustainability have influenced how Americans consume products. They also display American ideologies of health consciousness in our current media influenced generation.

Ellie Goulding Says Veganism Helps Her Performance

National GE Labeling Now Being Sought

gmoGMOs are plants or animals that’ve had their genetic makeup altered. GM foods have been linked to an increase in deaths from illnesses such as cancer, hypertension, diabetes, autism, senile dementia, parkinson’s disease, etc. The labeling of genetically engineered products is now a question of whether national labeling laws are constitutional.

The House of Representatives passed the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, which blocks individual states from having mandatory GE labeling laws and would require the U.S. FDA to create national labeling guidelines. This commotion about GM labeling is a result of the fear that these labels will be seen as warning labels by consumers and will negatively affect purchase behavior. But data from a new study suggests this may be untrue. The new study has provided evidence to refute this assumption, providing evidence that GMO labeling would not act as a warning to consumers.

National GMO labeling is now being sought. If approved, the legislation for labelling GM foods would replace state labeling laws, which will nullify any existing mandatory labeling laws.

Vermont will institute the first state labeling law in July 2017, and supporters of national legislation worry other that states will follow, forcing food companies to comply with multiple labeling requirements. The Vermont Genetically Engineered Food Labeling Act requires that by July 2016 all food and beverages sold in the state containing GMOs carry a label.

Propaganda set forth by Monsanto, and other big corporations are implemented through commercials and by national media outlets. They try to convince the masses that GM foods are safe in order to make the highest profit. But, the data shows otherwise. It’s important for state laws to remain in place because it encourages food companies to label their products for all states. It’s important for consumers to be aware of what they’re buying, as it affects their health directly and they have the right to know what is in their food.

National GE Labeling Now Being Sought

Idaho Debunks Ag-gag Law: Why other States Should Follow

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Do you know where the average meat from a grocery store comes from? Do you know about the factory farms in the United States and how problematic mass consumption of meat is? Well, director Mark Devries has been secretly using spy drones to expose several massive facilities that supply pigs for Smithfield Foods. Specifically, Murphy-Brown, a subdivision of Smithfield. Mr. Devries is one of many animal rights activists that has had to go to great lengths to show the public what is happening inside of factory farms.

Here is Smithfield’s response:

The pigs are confined to tight spaces laying on their side, often not being able to turn over for months at a time. Piglets who don’t grow fast enough are slammed head first into the ground, or gassed to death. Most chickens are genetically modified to grow at faster rates. Similar medieval style torture practices are standard in factory farmed animals. 

Smithfield stores its’ waste in lakes filled with toxic waste, the size of four football fields. In North Carolina alone there are at least 2,000 of these factory farms. The way they empty this cesspool is by spraying this toxic liquid in the air, which an affect the neighboring communities. Many people in these neighboring communities cannot go outside or open their windows when this potent toxic waste is spewed in to the air.

Elsie Herring’s, a resident of a neighboring community of Smithfield’s factory responded when asked to describe the toxic mist. “It’s like it’s raining. We don’t open the doors or the windows, but the odor still comes in, it takes your breath away. Then you start gagging, you get headaches.”, she said. There are a number of studies of asthma particular in children near these facilities. Among adults there are reports of several types of upper respiratory symptoms.

Ag-gag laws are state laws that forbid the act of undercover filming or photography of activity on farms without the consent of the owner, which targets animal rights activists and humanitarians. On August 6. 2015, a federal judge declared that Idaho’s ag-gag law is unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by suppressing speech that criticizes factory farms. Idaho’s ag-gag law criminalized recording these illegal activities at factory farms and slaughterhouses. Anyone convicted of this could have faced up to a year in prison or a $5,000 fine.

In his ruling, Judge B. Lynn Winmill explained that “Although the State may not agree with the message certain groups seek to convey about Idaho’s agricultural production facilities, such as releasing secretly recorded videos of animal abuse to the Internet and calling for boycotts, it cannot deny such groups equal protection of the laws in their exercise of their right to free speech.” Judge B. Lynn Winmill agrees that states should not have control over freedom of speech and it’s unconstitutional for factory farms to deny citizens of Idaho the right to record any wrong doing on their behalf.

Idaho Debunks Ag-gag Law: Why other States Should Follow