Melamine – the gift that keeps on giving

And the melamine contamination problem spreads to more parts of the American food chain: More animals got tainted food.

What irks me is that the only thing the politicians seem to be responding to is that “OMG terrorists might put something in our food”. Which is true, but it’s not the immediate threat. How about the fact that potentially lethal industrial-grade chemicals are being dumped into our food supply RIGHT NOW? Shouldn’t that be enough of a reason to take action?

This is a start:

[Congressional] Democrats say they will introduce legislation that would permit the FDA to force mandatory food recalls — a power it now lacks — and increase funding to hire more inspectors.

Hopefully this President will actually sign such legislation.

One thing we did this weekend was to head over to Whole Foods and attempt to do all our weekly grocery shopping there. We’ve gone there before for specialty items, but never tried to do our ‘normal’ grocery shopping. And with the exception of one item (some Aquafina flavored water that Scott really likes) we were able to do so, and we came home with several bags full of organic, non-big-brand food for the house. A few items matched the prices we would pay at a conventional grocery store (like pasta and tomato paste), but most items were a little more. Some few were double the price of their ‘conventional’ alternatives. For example, we skipped buying and meat or chicken — with boneless chicken breasts going for more than $6 a pound in the “sale” bin, the price was too high.

Although we have a bunch of nice, “safe” food in the house, I don’t feel particularly good about our shopping trip. It’s no secret that the food shopping options for poor people are worse than the ones for more well-off ones, but Whole Foods and their higher prices seems to raise the bar even further. As amazing as Whole Foods is, the people who really need the added benefits of a healthy diet are the people least able to afford their prices.

You shouldn’t have to be well-off to be able to have access to safe food. And you shouldn’t have to scare the government with the terrorism bogeyman in order to get them to do something about the safety of the nation’s food supply.

The Part That Made Me Cry

One of the victims at Virginia Tech was Liviu Librescu: A holocaust survivor.

Liviu Librescu, 75, a senior researcher and lecturer in engineering, was a Holocaust survivor. He had immigrated to Israel from Romania with his wife Marlina, also a survivor, in 1978. He was an expert in aeronautics at Tel Aviv University and the Haifa Technion before moving to the United States in 1984.

According to media accounts quoting students, Mr. Librescu and the class heard shooting in a nearby room. The students said their professor blocked the door to prevent the gunman from entering while some students took cover underneath desks and others leaped out from windows.

זֵכֶר צַדִּיק לִבְרָכָה וְשֵׁם רְשָׁעִים יִרְקָֽב׃

Caffeinated Doughnuts?

That’s either insane … or brilliant.

That cup of coffee just not getting it done anymore? How about a Buzz Donut or a Buzzed Bagel? That’s what Doctor Robert Bohannon, a Durham, North Carolina, molecular scientist, has come up with. Bohannon says he’s developed a way to add caffeine to baked goods, without the bitter taste of caffeine. Each piece of pastry is the equivalent of about two cups of coffee.

Thinking about it, I’m leaning towards insane. But I’ve been wrong before.