Food and drink

Great news, beer-soaked meat is good for you


What wonderful news, beer-soaked meat actually turns out to be good for you.

GRILLING meat gives it great flavour. This taste, though, comes at a price, since the process creates molecules called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which damage DNA and thus increase the eater’s chances of developing colon cancer. For those who think barbecues one of summer’s great delights, that is a shame. But a group of researchers led by Isabel Ferreira of the University of Porto, in Portugal, think they have found a way around the problem. When barbecuing meat, they suggest, you should add beer.  Read more »


Food Police Seek Golden Trough

Deborah Coddington has slammed academic activists who are running amok in the media telling us what to eat.

Troughers are all the same. Doesn’t matter if they’re anti-tobacco, anti-booze or the trendy new anti-bigfood. All are desperate to stay in the golden taxpayer funded trough.

While Super Trougher Boyd Swinburn is well out in front in the troughing stakes, many academic troughers are keen to follow his lead. One example is Otago Uni’s Gabrielle Jenkin who bangs on about Big Food being the new Big Tobacco.

Gabrielle Jenkin, Wellington health specialist, says Big Food is “more powerful” and will be “more aggressive than Big Tobacco” when cornered. Politicians are “cowed by Big Food” and New Zealand is “appalling, we’re sniffing KFC wherever we go”.

The more media they get, the more funding they seek. Whether it’s from the Lottery Grants Board or undisclosed funding from the University of Otago’s Activist’s Research Grant, rest ashore Gabrielle Jenkin is deep in the trough.

With a PHD thesis called “Individuals, the environment or inequalities? Industry and public health framing of obesity and its presence in New Zealand government policy on food nutrition’ and current projects looking at internet junk food marketing, her utterances are all going to be predictably anti industry.  Read more »

Fox for donkey meat or rat for lamb kebabs is so 2013


China likes to lecture NZ on food safety and then they got slammed with a fox, donkey and rat meat scandal. But that is all so 2013 now.

In Beijing urban trappers have been caught with cats in traps they said they were going to sell to street side vendors…for use as lamb kebab meat.

The drama unfolded last week when a cat enthusiast who takes care of neighborhood strays caught a youth checking a trap she noticed nearby. In an apparent bid to outrage bird enthusiasts as well, the thieves had baited their traps with live sparrows.

The woman, surnamed Li, says the hunters claimed to have caught over 100 cats during the New Year holiday.

Because apparently there are no laws on the books regarding urban trapping, the two men were jailed for 10 days for “stealing.”  Read more »

Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore accuses them of “crimes against humanity”

Patrick Moore is a founder of Greenpeace, and he famously left them and has disagreed with them ever since.

In The Independent the Canadian ecologist accuses Greenpeace of committing a “crime against humanity”

Greenpeace has blood on its hands and is committing a “crime against humanity” by actively opposing the introduction of a genetically modified (GM) rice crop that could prevent the deaths of more than two million children a year, according to a founder-member of the world’s largest and most prominent environmental group.

Patrick Moore, a Canadian ecologist who joined the inner circle of Greenpeace in 1971, a year after the organisation was established, has made an impassioned attack on the environmental group for blocking “golden rice”, a GM crop fortified with vitamin A genes.

Dr Moore, who is due to protest outside the UK headquarters of Greenpeace in London on Friday, told The Independent that the environmental group has strayed well beyond its original humanitarian remit by opposing golden rice and the health benefits it could bring to some of the poorest children in the world.

“There are 250 million children living in the tropics who are vitamin A deficient and they need this vitamin. Golden rice can deliver it to them because they eat rice every day and because that’s all that they can afford,” Dr Moore said.

“The fact is vitamin A deficiency is the biggest killer of children in the world today. Unicef estimates that a little over eight million children die prematurely each year from all causes such as diseases like malaria, TB and HIV-Aids. But more than 25 per cent of them die from vitamin A deficiency, which is essential for eyesight and the immune system,” he said.   Read more »

More hand outs to bludging farmers

The Taxpayers’ Union is highlighting yet another example of farmers with their hands out.  This time sheep and beef farmers are getting a cool $15 million from Steven Joyce for genetic engineering research. It blogs:

As Mr Joyce goes on to point out in the release, New Zealand already leads the world in pastoral animal and plant genetics.

“As a nation, we are already leading the world in pastoral animal and plant genetics. This partnership will help us maintain this critical position and to continue to build on it through further research and development in sheep and beef genetics.”

The first part of that paragraph is correct – NZ does lead the word. What is not clear is why taxpayers need to stump up to keep us there. Why does this multi-billion dollar export industry suddenly need the Government pouring millions into it? Expecting increases in farmers’ profits is not justification.

This funding is for good headlines, not good economics. What other industries have their normal research and development costs borne by the taxpayer?

Here here.  I wonder if Joyce will be dolling money out to Fonterra next week…

Coke and Frucor execs in lawyer’s sights for class action

What a surprise, well not really.

Radio Live had a small item on its 9am news segment

“Australian lawyers are preparing to take action against cola companies. They want to hear from people with diabetes or heat conditions or who have lost family members from premature death due to cola addition. Advocate Tony Falkenstein says the Government isn’t taking the problem seriously – “The Minister of Health isn’t, I think they haven’t looked at it from an economic point of view, and they are studies that just show what’s going to happen to our health budget as type 2 diabetes increases. The group says the proceeds will be distributed among the sufferers.”

The NBR is also running the story with water pimp Tony Falkenstein banging on as if he’s just “like a post office box” for the lawyers.  Really Tony? Let’s have a look at that.

So some secretive Australian lawyers ring up Falkenstein out of the blue asking him to “place a newspaper ad seeking respondents on their behalf”?

Yet way back in October 2013, you we were tweeting about a “class-action missile” heading Coke’s way? Pure coincidence, of course Tony.

Read more »

Cream recall, no one sick, no one dead, compare that to Japan recall

While the media has a rush of poos to the brains over a recall of about 5 or 6 pallets of cream that may or may not have been contaminated with E. Coli from which no one has been sick or died.

Now have a look at what is underway in Japan where thousands have been actually poisoned. Kind of puts the outrage, alarm and calamity portrayed by our media into perspective.

Police in Japan are investigating a nationwide outbreak of food poisoning after over a 1,000 people across the country have fallen sick from food contaminated with malathion. The country’s largest packaged-food maker has withdrawn 6.4 million products.

Some 1.2 million packages have been recovered. However, 5.2 million packages still remain unaccounted for.

“We test products several times a day for evidence of spoilage, based on the law, but we had no reason to believe pesticides would be present, so we didn’t test for that,” Ichiro Gohara, a spokesman for the company, told Bloomberg. “Until now, we haven’t received any reports of problems.”

About 300 employees of Maruha Nichiro Holdings Inc., a company that produced the tainted food, have been questioned by police as the investigation has been launched into mass poisoning.   Read more »

Where are the crayfish?


by Spanishbride

This week during a visit with Miss Whaleoil to the Auckland Museum we found one of our favourite exhibitions empty.

When both Master and Miss Whaleoil were toddlers they used to love to walk on the thick glass and look down at the live seafood below them. The crayfish were particular favourites and were a generous size.

Alas, now the under foot tank is bone dry, missing the Kina, crabs, large crayfish and other tasty treats.

Just as we were wondering aloud what had happened to the crayfish we spotted the following sign…  Read more »

Some proper facts on the Fonterra cream recall


Recall is just 350 of these type of crates of cream

The media are making much of the recall of 8700 bottles of cream…it sounds like a large number but is it really?

I made a few calls and ascertained that cream is not delivered in pallets, but in crates and 8700 bottles is only 350 crates of cream.

I then enquired as to how many supermarkets this could affect and the answer was 350 crates would easily be consumed by just two decent sized PaknSave supermarkets.

In other words stuff all.

So there you have it…reality…a very small product recall, of just 350 crates of maybe, possibly, dodgy cream.

Readers have also commented that recalls happen frequently.  Read more »

Calm Down, move On

Better circle the wagons.

In what is a typical product recall, Fonterra is recalling a few thousand bottles of cream.

Nothing strange about that, yet, as typical of most lightweight young MSM journalists you’d think the plague had struck New Zealand.

8,700 bottles of cream is a slightly different situation to 38 tonnes of whey protein. Perspective is needed.

Sensible comments from Federated Farmers’ Willy Leferink who said:

“If you don’t trust your product you do a recall. It probably shouldn’t have gone into the marketplace in the first place but food safety is paramount, so if you then find there is problems with the product then a recall is justified,” he said.  Read more »