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Saturday, December 31, 2016

'Natural' Food

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Naturally Misleading?

"We see Haagen-Dazs with an artisan ice cream for example. We see Nestle with a mainstream brand of chocolate in Europe which is called l'Atelier which is the workshop... It looks handcrafted, it looks like it's made in a workshop. It's made in a Nestle factory alongside our Nestle chocolate products. But it's using that sort of language and using the visual appearance sometimes of products and even the colour of the packaging to emphasise something which is perhaps a little bit more natural...

'Consumers are less informed and therefore often base their food choices more on assumptions than facts. Take growth hormones for instance. According to both industry and regulatory sources, use of synthetic hormones in widespread in both beef and dairy farming. I asked Joe about hormones for chicken'

'Not legal... which is why it's so silly we see so many labels saying no added hormones for chicken, because it's not allowed. This whole thing really comes down to marketing'...

'One packet of pork loin steaks... the pork loin steaks, they're from Tesco and it says on it Woodside Farms. And the sausages they've got on it a nice picture of a country cottage.'

'Yeah, we've got a little bit less picture of the Woodside Farm. But I think the Woodside Farm they focused on that name being enough for us to get that illusion of providence and Britishness.'

'The problem is only one of the farms mentioned on those particular packets there is real. The other doesn't actually exist'

'It's a fictional farm, yeah. It's a brand. It's designed to do two things. One to give the consumer this illusion of provenance and make them think they're buying something British but also to give Tesco or whoever else creates these fictional farm names the flexibility to source from anywhere. Because they don't want to just source from one farm. And to be fair one farm unless it was pretty large couldn't supply all of Tesco's pork loin steak needs. But they want the flexibility to source from anywhere whether it's cheaper, whether they want to go around the world. But it is slightly misleading because if you see the Woodside Farms the big label at the top and you have to look very very small letters there...'

'Reared in Denmark, slaughtered in Denmark'...

'And there's no Danish flag or anything to help us realise that'...

[In China] Koon Ho [sp?] is a lawyer who used to work for China's equivalent of the FDA in Beijing. He says he's spent most of his time dealing with people who made a living out of suing food retailers.

'We have a very special group of people. I call them professional defective food buyers. Their main activities are going to the supermarket, locating some defective food, especially on the food labelling. They pick what's wrong in the labelling and they file a complaint to the FDA. If FDA rules that it is a food law or regulation violation, then they will be mostly likely to get 10 times compensation from the food seller.'

Some people are making up to $45,000 a year doing this...

Consumers also want consistency... they trust products where every time they eat it, it's going to taste the same, it's gonna feel the same and look the same. That's kinda of impossible when we're talking about really pure and natural products. Processing is part of what consumers like because it brings consistency and it brings a distribution that they appreciate so they want a level of processing whether they say it or not because they want a brand that means something, every time they buy it they know exactly what they're going to get. Or maybe what they really want is the feeling that it hasn't been processed too much...

The additives, they fall into 6 groups. So we've got anti-oxidants, colours, emulsifiers, flavour enhancers, preservatives and sweeteners. We use additives on an everyday basis in lots of our foods. And we preserve in lots of our ways. For example, fresh vegetables over frozen vegetables. If we were to store those fresh vegetables longer than their sell-by date... than they were good in terms of vitamins and minerals, we wouldn't be getting the same nutritional value as if we were to have frozen. When it's frozen, it doesn't decompose, if you like"

Links - 31st December 2016

Berlin truck attack: German Christmas market suspect is 23-year-old from Pakistan: Report - "The suspected driver of a truck that ploughed into a Berlin Christmas market+ and killed 12 people on Monday was a 23-year old migrant from Pakistan, a German security source told Reuters on Tuesday... It evoked memories of an attack in Nice, France in July when a Tunisian-born man drove a 19-tonne truck along the beach front, mowing down people+ who had gathered to watch the fireworks on Bastille Day, killing 86 people. That was claimed by Islamic State."

Israel just announced it will take in wounded civilians from Aleppo
Certainly, some people will say that Israel taking in people from Aleppo is proof that ISIS is a Mossad creation

Chinese travel firm explains why it brought tourists to unremarkable Kidlington - "the Chinese firm behind the visits has now revealed they brought the tourists to Kidlington because they were 'looking for the true sense of this country'. A guide has told the BBC that the groups liked the houses and gardens, adding: 'We don't have [these] in China.' They, rather cryptically, said: 'The environment makes you feel you are closer to the simplicity of your original self'... 'It's really weird and nobody has a clue why Kidlington, and Benmead Road in particular, has suddenly become world-famous.'"

Saudi man shoots doctor after he delivered wife's baby because he didn't want man to see her naked

University of Nevada Cancels 'Sausage Party' Screening Because a Douche Raped a Juice Box - "the rape scene in question isn’t really a rape. It’s a scene were a giant douche sucks the juice out of a juice box through a hole in the box’s crotch area. While the scene has sexual implications, the douche is in fact simply draining the juice box of his life force to refill its own which was lost earlier in the film. The douche is in fact murdering the juice box as a vampire would to its prey"

Woman drank six Jagerbombs in 10 minutes on the night she was raped and murdered is an acceptable headlines, writes Corrine Barraclough - "A report entitled Under The Influence by Liz Hall and Dr Antonia Quadara, published July 2014, states, “Alcohol is a feature in a high proportion of sexual assaults”. McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth at Curtin University states, “Alcohol consumption increases the risk of sexual assault, as victims become less able to detect dangerous situations”. Attempting to perpetuate the “right to get drunk” is an alarming feminist fantasy obstructing vitally important education about the dangers of alcohol putting women’s safety at risk... It seems modern feminists don’t take personal responsibility seriously. These deluded dictators assert we must focus on the perpetrator and insist it’s not illegal to drink alcohol; it’s illegal to rape. However, reality is much more complex than left-wing slogan messaging. There are plenty of people who will take advantage of someone who is incapacitated and chances are, they’re not reading thought pieces, debating privilege or strategising victimhood before heading out."

Fears grow for Brit Muslim, 21, kept prisoner in Saudi Arabia by father after she ‘kissed a guy’ - "Henry Setright, QC, representing Amina, said the 21-year-old was moved to Saudi Arabia five years ago and held as a prisoner because her father did not agree with her western lifestyle."

Hizb ut-Tahrir: National anthem is ‘forced assimilation’ - "The Islamist activist group told its followers yesterday that Muslims should not have to submit to an oppressive campaign of “forced assimilation” such as singing the national anthem­ or pledging support for democratic values in the citizenship oath. The call came at a conference in Sydney where Muslims were encouraged to make use of printed material which recommends “refusing to partake in any of the government’s counter-terror­ism programs and initiatives”, and says co-operation with spy agencies “is outright haram (forbidden)”. The Treasurer said the conference differed significantly to Saturday’s National Mosque Open Day, an initiative that saw mosques open their doors around the country in an attempt to improve social cohesion and break down misconceptions... Among other speakers, British Muslim barrister and broadcaster Ibtihal Bsis, who created controversy in Britain by telling a group of young Muslim women that the Islamic State terrorist group was not really a problem, said in a prerecorded video to Australian Muslims that, when they needed strength, they should “look at your brothers in Syria who stand and fight against an unjust ruler”."

Calling Bullshit on the Men Who Think the Pay Gap Is a Myth
I hope Vice calls bullshit on Claudia Goldin, the female Harvard economist who says it's a myth
Comments: "I was born female, living as a man for almost a decade, transgender. No such thing as an atmosphere that benefits men in the workplace. I actually find that I have less to chose from when others see me as a man. All the jobs offered to me now involve risking my life which I refuse to call a privilege."
"One of my previous companies had >400 staff.. I can tell you as an absolute fact, I had 10x the grief from the small %age of female workforce than the male workforce"

Harvard economist Claudia Goldin examines the gender wage gap - "Goldin believes other fields could narrow their gender wage gaps, too, if they did not have an incentive to pay workers disproportionately more for working more. How to induce change in the labor market isn’t obvious. Why can’t you convince clients, she asks, that your employees are like puzzle pieces, each knowing everything the others know, so they’re good substitutes for each other? “As their labor costs mount,” she suggests, firms “will figure out how to make workers better substitutes for each other,” Technological change might also play a role, doing for law, perhaps, what it’s done for health professions, and making it easier for lawyers to hand off clients to one another. But in some cases, Goldin concedes, it may not be possible to embrace this modular model: “We don’t want the president of the United States to be a part-time president.” As for policy interventions to close the gender earnings gap—a California law makes it illegal to retaliate against employees for sharing information about their pay, for example—“That’s probably a good thing,” Goldin says. “If the fruit is low-hanging, by all means pick it.” But she balks at the suggestion that regulation can fix what she sees as a labor-demand problem. Creating an egalitarian workplace, she believes, will depend primarily on reducing the cost of offering time flexibility to workers—securing equal pay for equal work, in the strictest sense."

A radical fix to the world's wage gap: why not just pay women more – and pay men less? | Jessica Valenti - "Now, I never thought I’d find myself arguing against something in the US Equal Pay Act, and I understand that men may not exactly love the idea of taking pay cuts – or giving up power more broadly – in the name of gender justice. But the scales have been tipped toward the men for too long, and if fixing a huge systemic inequality means that some guys’ paychecks need to take a hit – I’m always OK with privileging the marginalized."
I thought feminism was about equality? And not punishing men?
Comment: "This is an excellent idea. As a man who has on occasion made mistakes, I'm all for redressing this with maturity. I only hope the four women and nine children (one of whom is not even my own as far as I can tell) I am supporting feel equally generous. Although as two of them are working it might all end well. Bring it on!"
"isn't there something a mite blinkered and, well, privileged in a Guardian columnist arguing for a pay cut that would include those on the breadline or struggling to ends meet?"

Bride lets guests pay money to touch her breasts in bizarre Chinese wedding custom - "The strange custom is said to take place at weddings in China and across other parts of Asia. Another common practice in Chinese weddings is the tradition of “nao dongfang”, which sees both the bride and groom subjected to pranks throughout their reception."
Apparently this is actually a transvestite

If Pokémon Go feels like a religion, that's because it kind of is - "Pokémon owes much of its its conception to creator Satoshi Tajiri’s childhood love of bug collecting, but the mythology and animist religious history of Japan also provided rich inspiration. Shintoism, Japan’s oldest religion, teaches that the world is inhabited by thousands of kami, or gods. When made offerings of food and incense, kami bestow good luck in business, studies and health, but when disrespected, they can turn vindictive... In her 2006 book Millennial Monsters, scholar of contemporary Japan Anne Allison argues that popular culture phenomenon such as Pokémon demonstrate a kind of “techno-animism”, which imbues digital technologies with a spirit or soul"

Teacher who repeatedly had sex with pupil claims to be the victim - "Mary Beth Haglin, 24, said: “I am the victim.” The busty brunette has admitted romping with the 17-year-old almost every day for six months and sending him raunchy selfies to turn him on."

Mum caught having sex with 14-year-old boy avoids jail because she was 'very, very drunk' - "A mum-of-two who was caught having sex with a 14-year-old boy has avoided jail – because she was “very, very drunk”. A relative of the teenage schoolboy stumbled upon Angela Gatt in the act after a boozy night. The 37-year-old had knocked back prosecco and the boy had been drinking alcopops... Prosecutor Virginia Hayton told Carlisle Crown Court that after being caught naked with the boy on top of her, Gatt fell and injured herself, so paramedics and police were called to the scene. Hayton said: “She was described as being fairly aggressive to them. She asked if she could just go home as she had made a fool of herself. She was then arrested”... "This offence was committed when she was drunk and she has no interest in young men. She is not a paedophile. She was very, very drunk and did something very, very silly.” Judge Forrester told Gatt: “There is a disparity of age, a serious breach of trust and you had both drunk alcohol but I accept you did not provide it to him. What happened after that, we will never know.”"
Luckily she isn't a man (e.g. Brock Turner), or that reason would never have flown

Locals outraged at 'pro-Muslim' leaflet campaign which calls for banning of all dogs in public - "“This has got to be a scam. I’m a Muslim and the Muslim law says that if you live in a country that is not Muslim, which is England, you respect the law of the land. “The Muslim law does not apply in any different country... “In our house in Pakistan we keep dogs and many of my friends here have dogs. "We keep ourselves clean and away from animals before prayer but Muslim people do keep dogs in their homes."
Presumably in Pakistan they have hot dogs, unlike in Malaysia
Does this mean dogs can be banned in Muslim countries?

Your Brain on Porn - It's NOT Addictive - "Over recent years, these fear-based arguments often invoke brain-related lingo, and throw around terms like dopamine bursts and desensitization, to describe what allegedly happens in the brains of people who watch too much porn. Brain science is hot these days, and it’s attention-getting to use brain and neuroscience lingo in arguments, because it sounds so gosh-darned convincing and scientific. The problem is, there has been extremely little research that actually looks at the brains and behaviors of people using porn, and no good, experimental research that has looked at the brains of those who are allegedly addicted to porn. So, all of these arguments are theoretical, and based on rhetoric, inferences and applying other research findings to try to explain sexual behaviors. Fascinating, rigorous new research has now been done, which actually examined the brains of alleged sex addicts, and guess what? The results are a bit different than the rhetoric. In fact, the results don’t support that sex addiction is real, or reflects any unique brain-related issues at all... when EEG’s were administered to these individuals, as they viewed erotic stimuli, results were surprising, and not at all consistent with sex addiction theory. If viewing pornography actually was habituating (or desensitizing), like drugs are, then viewing pornography would have a diminished electrical response in the brain. In fact, in these results, there was no such response. Instead, the participants’ overall demonstrated increased electrical brain responses to the erotic imagery they were shown, just like the brains of “normal people” as has been shown in hundreds of studies. Ah, but the sex addiction proponents might argue that this is because these porn addicts have a stronger response to sexual stimuli, and that is why they are addicts. This is one reason that porn and sex addiction theories are so tough to argue – they are unfalsifiable, by presenting opposing things as part of their theory, and having very fluid arguments, that explain when data or results don’t match their theories."

'Sharia police' street patrols did not violate law, German court rules - "So-called “sharia patrols” by sometimes violent radical young Salafists have also been seen in other European cities such as London, Copenhagen and Hamburg."

Australia’s National Women’s Soccer Team Lose 7-0 To A Bunch Of 15-Year-Old Boys - "These Aussie women apparently never got the memo that gender is merely a construct. They are exactly the same as men (or 15-year-old boys), after all... It’s common for elite female teams to play against boys' teams, since finding other female competition up to snuff can be difficult. The Aussie team is rumored to have been “smashed” by boys' teams in the past, too, namely the Under 16 Sydney FC team last year"

Food Manners

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Mind your Manners

"The country in Europe that first adopted the fork was Italy because if you think of long strands of spaghetti-like noodles, the prong is a perfect tool with which to eat them. When travellers came from England to Italy they found this profoundly odd and there was a man called Thomas Coryat in Elizabethan times who went to Italy and came back and reported on this and said that he would like to use a fork himself. And his friends made fun of him and called him Furcifer. There was something about fork eating that was, it was repeatedly seen as unmanly or effeminate in some way...

In Europe people carried around their own personal knife. You kept it in a pocket, you got it out when it was time to eat. But people increasingly saw that knives were also objects of potential violence. So the invention of the table knife which was something that was ostentatiously blunt. It's as if to say: don't worry, I'm not going to do you any harm. Deliberately pathetic. The table knife is a really strange passive-aggressive invention which on purpose does a worse job of cutting food. Once you have a table knife you need something to impale the food and put it up against the knife just to enable you to get any purchase on it. The fork in the West is an accessory to the table knife. The fork now has become completely democratic. A disposable fork is probably the single most universal implement the world over...

It is not exactly the appropriate apparatus to enjoy the Indian meal. If you are using a thin watery soup like rasam [sp?] with your rice in South India, eating it with a spoon will make you feel like a baby. So I would much rather enjoy that meal with my fingers... I don't feel that my stomach is full if I eat with spoon. If I eat with hand my stomach is full...

'I've lived in Asia for a long time and I notice there that people belch quite happily after a meal. And that there's no stigma attached to it'

'Is it good for you to belch after a meal?'...

'The Romans and Ancient Greeks thought it was very polite to belch and vomit after you've eaten. The fuller we are, the more pressure it puts on the stomach. From an actual digestive viewpoint that probably then leads to the feeling of indigestion, so certainly belching is one way of doing it'...

The average American eats 1 in every 5 meals in their car and the majority of American families report eating together less than 5 days a week...

The most interesting statistic to me is that in the Western world, the sale of dining tables has really declined...

It's been said that while on the European Continent people have good food, in England, people have good table manners"
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