Can I just say it's exciting to disagree with someone of a different stripe for a change? The someone in question is George Miranda, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Joint Council 16, which represents 120,000 workers in greater New York. I assume, totally without facts, that he and I might be on the same side of many issues. But not today.
I will eventually get tired of skewering the skippies over at the "Center for Consumer Freedom," but not just yet. They are the "independent" nonprofit whose funding comes from restaurants and food-products companies.
Their website says they are also funded by thousands of individual consumers, but I don't believe it. I shouldn't say that, not only because it's impolitic, and not only because I have no proof, but because they'll seize on a comment like that, rather than straightforwardly address the very substantive ways in which I contend that they twist facts and truth. My disbelief lies in common sense: Thousands of Americans are donating their money to the people-should-be-able-to-eat-whatever-they-want movement? It that principle in jeopardy? Meanwhile, let's consider the restaurants and food-products people. Does anyone doubt that they would spend their money to advocate for food freedom? They don't need principle to motivate them; their entire future is based on ensuring that nothing ever impedes their sales.
I could go on with all the background bullshit, but let's take a look at their piece of yesterday, March 31, headlined "Waving the white flag on personal responsibility?" which is full of their usual half-baked inanities.
But I want to start with a shout out to my poor addled brothers: I, too, believe in personal responsibility. Even when I was 365 pounds, mired in food addiction, I was completely responsible for what I put in my mouth. Completely.
I checked in this morning with my new pal, research analyst J. Justin Wilson at the Center for Consumer Freedom, a Washington lobbying group supported by restaurants and food companies. He recently had an op-ed published in the Witchita Eagle filled with the half truths one can expect from a paid spokesman for a private commercial interest. Such voices employ the tone and terms of reason while not being reasonable at all.
Not much news here, but I wanted to mention I heard from my good friends (whom I'm never met) at b.good, the growing burger empire in Greater Boston: Starting in a couple of weeks, their beef, which they already hand-grind each morning, will all come from local family farms.
New York is contemplating a penny-per-ounce tax on sugared drinks. Here's how New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg justified his support to a state Senate committee:
“Today, more than half the residents of New York City, and nearly 40 percent of our public school students, are overweight, many of them seriously so. That puts them dangerously on track to contracting diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, asthma, depression, and other serious health problems later in their lives.
Don'tcha hate people who say that? Yeah, me too, but it doesn't make me not one of those people sometimes. Anyway...
I don't have much time — I'm between feedings for my son, Joseph Fulton Prager, who was born about 22 hours ago — but I wanted to note that the so-called "Smart Choices" program, which was devised by the food industry allegedly to allow quick-glance assurance that a certain food product was based on sound nutrition, had suspended its labeling activity because the feds said they were intending to investigate programs like theirs.
Richard Blumenthal, the attorney general of Connecticut, has been around a very long time — he was my AG for awhile, and I moved out of the state 16 years ago. He's got a very good record of monitoring corporations and bringing them before the bar, perhaps most prominently when he helped bring suit against the tobacco industry for its deceptive advertising to children.
I don't at all like the term in the headline, but I do like the concept, which describes companies' engage employees to adopt "PSPs," personal sustainability practices, that can benefit not only the planet and the individual, but foster common purpose in a workforce.
The director of a British company found guilty of fobbing off food as organically grown has been sentenced to 27 months in jail.
According to a government website in Northamptonshire, the company came under suspicion when a government agency learned that the company was receiving regular shipments of "synthetic astaxanthin - an additive that is used in feed for farmed salmon to achieve a pink flesh colour and which should not be found in true organic salmon."
UPS has announced a carbon-neutral shipping option, and I suppose it's a good thing, but I thought it would be worthwhile to check in briefly on why that is. (Before proceeding, I want to be clear that this isn't about UPS any more than tangentially.)