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Global Meat Scandal – Food Tremor

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Touch the Soil News #656 (feature photo – Michael Bennett CC SA 3.0) A global food scandal is unfolding as Federal authorities in Brazil arrested and investigate almost 30 Brazilian meat companies. Included in the investigation are JBS SA and BRF SA. JBS SA is the world’s largest meat company overall. BRF SA is the world’s largest poultry exporter. Allegations include bribes to conceal unsanitary meat packing and processing conditions along with using chemicals to doctor up spoiled meat for export. The Federal probe in Brazil has been going on for over 2 years. Now that proof has been obtained for wrongdoing, the impact is having shock waves around the…

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Food Recalls Skyrocket

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Touch the Soil News #476 Employing improved methods of detecting food poisoning, the FDA is finding a whole lot more food that must be recalled. For the second quarter of 2016, food recalls are up 167 percent over the first quarter. This massive recall event was driven primarily by one incident – the CRF Frozen Foods recall of fruit and vegetables across 42 brands in all 50 states. The real kicker was that CRF suspect vegetables (for listeria) were present in almost 50 million pounds of meat products by Ajimoto Windsor. Ajimoto recalled 47 million pounds of meat products as a result. FDA food recalls and food poisoning events are…

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General Mills – A Giant with Problems

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Touch the Soil News #449 One of the sub-topics in the world of food and economics is that it is difficult to adequately translate one’s labor into sufficient dollars for all the basics. The ability to access basic things like a plot of land, seeds, inputs and water, in order to translate one’s labor into food, is no small benefit. The whirlwinds of uncertainty around General Mills and General Mills employees, reveals again why a more direct involvement in growing food is growing globally. Most folks are familiar with General Mills. Few, however, realize how many different brands General Mills owns. Some of the top brands include Betty Crocker, Yoplait,…

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Whoa Chicken – Whoa Pilgrim’s Pride

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Touch the Soil News #373 Pilgrim’s Pride, the nation’s largest producer of chicken, and the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service were receiving calls and complaints of foreign objects in Pilgrim’s Pride chicken products. The products in question included 10, 20 and 30 pound boxes of various chicken products sold to institutional cafeterias such as schools. At the heart of the complaints was the presence of extraneous materials in the food including plastic, wood, rubber and metal. After assessing the situation, the decision was made to recall 4.6 million pounds of chicken products for institutional use. Pilgrim’s Pride distribution center in Pittsburg, Texas. The obvious question is how do wood,…

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Food Recalls – Too Prevalent for Comfort

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Touch the Soil News #347 There is not enough space in our news columns to report the volume of food recalls taking place in the U.S. – 1 to 2 a day. Following are just a few of the recent recalls that provide ample insight to why more people are giving industrial and corporate food more scrutiny. 4/2/16 – Cashews with glass pieces Snyder’s-Lance Inc. is recalling some of its Emerald brand cashews. The problem started when a customer complained of the glass. Investigations are now underway. 4/2/16 – Glass in cans Roland Foods, LLC – in cooperation with the manufacturer in Peru – is recalling specific lots of Fire…

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Anatomy of Food Poisoning in America

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Touch the Soil News #273 Once a week we visit sources that compile food poisoning and food recall events. Surprisingly there is a new food poisoning or food recall event almost every day. The food poisoning and recall events surrounding Blue Bell Ice Cream provides a window into food handling that is not altogether reassuring. Earlier in 2015, the Centers for Disease Control reported a total of 10 patients infected with several strains of Listeria reported from four states: Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. These illnesses were onset from January 2010 through January 2015. All ten patients were hospitalized. Three deaths were reported from Kansas. The Centers for Disease Control…

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News Roundup

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No Food Abundance on Earth The World Agricultural Outlook Board just published how much grain farmers produced this farming season around the world. It was 2,476,040,000 metric tons. The Board also estimated how much we would use this year. It will be 2,469,120,000 metric tons. When we do the math, the world’s farmers only produced 2 lbs. of grain more per person than what the world will buy. Now, there are lots of folks who can’t buy enough. If they had money, it is likely that this year folks would eat more than farmers produced. Watch Out for Food in Cans A recent study by Stanford University suggests children may…

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The Ugly Side of Food

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Touch the Soil News #188 Today, for the first time in history, executives of a food manufacturing company were sentenced to jail. Their crime, as executives of Peanut Corporation of America, was in knowingly selling to food processing manufacturers peanuts that were tainted with Salmonella. During 2008 and 2009, 20,000 people were sickened in 46 states and 9 people died as a result of the tainted peanuts. U.S. District Court Judge, W. Louis Sands, sentenced Stewart Parnell and Michael Parnell – the two top executives of Peanut Corporation of America – to 28 years and 20 years in prison respectively. Mary Wilkerson, in her role as quality control manager, was…

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Weird Food Happenings

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Touch the Soil News # 177 Over the course of the past few weeks the nation’s food chain has been in a flurry of recalls due to the weirdest of causes. In addition, Salmonella and Listeria issues seem to be off the Richter scale. Is it the full moon or Halloween on the horizon? See if you can make sense of what’s been happening from all of these FDA reports: 8/25/215 │ Macadamia Nuts Jansai Valley Raw Macademia Nuts, distributed nationwide in retails stores and mail orders are possibly contaminated with Salmonella and are being recalled.   8/26/15 │ Cut Green Beans Cascadian Farm Cut Green Beans in 10 ounce…

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News Roundup – Food Chain News You Might Have Missed

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Touch the Soil News #169 8/24/15 │ Germany and Scotland to Ban GMO Crops Nations in the European Union have the right to accept or reject GMO crops. The have until October 3, 2015 to decide. Germany has decided to ban the growing of GMO crops. German Agriculture Minister – Christian Schmidt – will inform the EU of Germany’s decision. Fourteen days earlier, Scotland also banned GMOs. 8/25/15 │ Turkey Bacon Feared to be Unfresh The newly formed food mega-giant Kraft Heinz got its dates mixed up on turkey bacon packages. Seems that some of the product is at risk of going bad before the “pull date.” To limit the…

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