currently allows shrimp to be sent to China for processing, including breading, Theresa Eisenman, a Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. The U.S. last year imported $1.9 billion worth of seafood from China — far more than any other food product, according to Census Bureau data. Shrimp and prawns accounted for almost $70 million worth of the goods. Labor Intensive There will probably be some company that can see some niche market for chicken shipments from China to the U.S., Toby Moore, a spokesman for the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council based in Stone Mountain, Georgia, said in a phone interview. Processing chicken is a labor-intensive endeavor that cant be done solely by machines and the lower cost in China is the advantage, Chris Hurt, a professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, said in a telephone interview. Those savings in labor costs can counterbalance the higher price tag to ship the end product, Hurt said. Food-safety advocates have been watching China closely this year as the U.S. government reviewed the purchase of Smithfield Foods Inc. (SFD) , the worlds largest hog and pork producer, by Hong Kong-based Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. China does not have a food-safety system that allows for any level of top-down management like we have in the United States , Patricia Buck, director of outreach and education for the Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention in Raleigh, North Carolina , a non-profit food-safety advocate, said by phone. Awaiting Identification The next step is for China to identify companies that will process imported poultry, Stacy Kish, a spokeswoman for the Agriculture Departments Food Safety and Inspection Service , said by phone. Processed chicken from China must be labeled as a product of the Asian nation, according to the agency. Food-safety advocates say that while poultry processed in China would have to be labeled, chicken thats repackaged into chicken nuggets or wings and served in restaurants wouldnt necessarily carry the designation. Consumer Rights Even though were going to be shipping our poultry to China, theres no guarantee that thats what were going to be getting back, Tony Corbo, a lobbyist with Washington-based Food & Water Watch , said in a phone interview.
Rude Food: raise a toast
(Photo: shawnshreiner/Flickr) Several areas around Tucson recently joined forces to celebrate Food Day , a national event designed to promote local and sustainable agriculture and to bring communities together in support of healthy, affordable food. The idea of Food Day is to inspire a renewed appreciation for local food systems and is planned to occur every Oct. 24. If this sounds like the type of event that makes your mouth water for tasty, local foods, then we have something in common. Food day originated from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a non-profit group out of Washington, D.C., working to support smaller U.S. communities wrestling with food insecurity and health disparities. Many of the Food Day events celebrated across Tucson were affiliated with campus communities, NGOs, wellness projects, local schools and cafeterias. Some of the events included University of Arizona Food Day, Mesquite Eat, Killer Food Controversies, Well University Partnership, Forks Over Knives, Garden Food Giveaway and the Santa Cruz Harvest Dinner, among many others. My Food Day plans involved making reservations to attend a nutrition presentation, food demonstration and National Food Day dinner put on by Canyon Ranch Resort. However, most of these events ended up being canceled or made available only to paying guests, so my Food Day experience quickly turned into a food day hash. Partly because i was unwilling to splurge for an overrated dinner but also because the place was preoccupied with business when they really needed the full day dedicated to a Food Day celebration. These events typically provide a place for people to gather, learn about sustainable food practices, sample delicious local food dishes and meet new foodie friends. In addition, Food Day is intended to reconnect communities, and with 90 percent of Americans choosing to source foods from grocery markets, there is a growing push for large food retailers to collaborate with community food producers that provide a substantial amount of healthy produce often lacking from local grocery food markets. So if like me, you were unable to partipicate in a Food Day celebration this year, give it a go next year.
Food Day: A recipe for eating real at the community level
Because some top winemakers still hope that India will go the China way, they continue to visit our country regularly and bring bottles of their wines for us to enjoy. In recent years, Ive been to dinners where such great wines as Mouton Rothschild, Chateau Margaux, Chateau Latour and Dom Perignon have been served in generous quantities at hugely subsidised rates. (The winemakers take the hit because they see it as a long-term investment.) Had I not attended these dinners, I would probably never have tasted these wines. Sometimes though, you can get lucky and find food that complements the wine. Indias greatest wine-collector is the industrialist Dhruv Sawhney, who not only has an outstanding cellar but generously shares it with other wine-lovers at the dinners he organises at the Delhi Taj. Dhruv is too rich and too classy to charge anybody for dinner. But he is also very careful so he organises at least two tastings of the food and the wine before approving the menu. Of veg food and wine: Last year Chateau Margaux brought Alain Passard, one of Frances greatest chefs, to cook at its wine dinners. Passards specialty is cooking vegetarian food Because Dhruv is well-known in the global wine community, great winemakers seek him out. Last year Chateau Margaux brought Alain Passard to cook at its wine dinners. Passard is one of Frances greatest chefs and his specialty is the cooking of vegetables. So Passard cooked his vegetarian menu at ticketed dinners in Bombay and Bangalore.
And lived to tell the tale. Dana Gunders went to the market and found fat-free milk in quarts that had no date label; the half-gallons had a “sell-by” date. A container from a different brand had a “best-by” date. Even though nearly all consumers make some decisions about what to throw away based on those stamped dates, they cannot rely on them, said Gunders, food and agriculture staff scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. She is the coauthor of a report issued by the NRDC and the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic calling for changes to make the dates more useful. Currently, those dates are manufacturers’ suggestions for when an item is at its peak or are efforts to help stores manage their inventory not indications of food safety, the report says. Here’s what those labels mean, according to the report: “Best by” or “best if used by”: The manufacturer’s estimate of when the food will no longer be at highest quality. “Use by”: An estimate of the last date it’s at peak quality. “Sell by”: The manufacturer’s suggested date to the grocer to no longer sell a product, based on the idea that it will still be good quality for a “reasonable” time if purchased on that date. Still, more than 90% of Americans say they use those dates to decide whether to discard food, leading to tons of wasted food each year, the report notes. “I don’t know of any data that consuming a product beyond the date has caused illness,” said Labuza, a professor of food science and engineering at the University of Minnesota who has studied shelf life for decades. His sour cream was OK because he keeps his refrigerator at 34 degrees. He recommends consumers let theirs go no higher than 40 degrees and get a thermometer to make sure. Even at that temperature, listeria can grow, he cautioned.