Big Corporations Affecting the Way We Eat

Discussion in 'Politics' started by B_VinylBoy, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    If the greed of big corporations aren't already negatively affecting the way civilians live these days, now they're going to further change the way we eat -

    Reflecting a major shift in the way Americans shop for food, retailers better known for selling clothes or aspirin, including Walgreens, CVS/Pharmacy and Target, are expanding in a big way into the grocery business, with fresh produce, frozen meats and, yes, even sushi. Target invested $500 million last year alone in a new push on groceries, retrofitting some of its general merchandise stores with full-blown food sections. Sales and traffic at stores with the new grocery areas are about 6 percent higher than at similar stores without them, the company says. Walgreens began making over some stores in Chicago and New York a year ago, and added up to 500 food items. CVS/Pharmacy last year redesigned about 200 of its stores in urban areas like Boston, Detroit and New York, and expects to make over about 20 percent of its 7,100 stores in all. - http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/17/business/17grocery.html?_r=1&ref=business

    Now don't get me wrong... we already know that there are some foods that you can get from drugstores and department chains. However, with the prospect of more big corporations selling fresh produce and meats it poses a problem. Since already large corporate entities (such as McDonald's and Wal-Mart) directly affect the way most foods are created & processed in this country, the addition of more big companies will most likely ensure that food quality is continually sacrificed for quantity beyond the already current trends that is aiding to the fattening of American citizens. Of course, some people would like to think that the FDA would at least try to tighten up regulations... but with a bunch of rabid ideologues complaining that we need less federal regulations on everything, there's a great chance that any attempt to enforce a healthier standard for meats & fresh produce would be greeted with the usual "big government is bad", or "you need the government to make decisions for you" rhetoric. But hey, as long as you can get it cheap the quality of the meat shouldn't matter, right?

    Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to adjust my workout to make up for all of the additional fillers, chemicals and other junk that will be injected into our fresh foods. In the meantime, let the discussion begin.
     
  2. TomCat84

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    Eh, the food supply has been controlled by big corporations already for the past 50+ years- this is no different. Fortunately for me and other people who live in warm climates, there is easy access year round to fresh produce and meat- there's a farmer's market every Sunday about a mile down the street from my and my partner's apartment, where there are dozens of local farmers (yes, San Diego County has farmland) selling fruits, veggies, etc. I don't really see that much of a downside to Target and WalMart selling groceries, especially if they move into underserved inner city neighborhoods that lack easy access to fresh food.
     
  3. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    But essentially that is part of the problem.
    Food that people in colder climates and urban areas purchase have been directly affected by this practice. The meats we find in our major store chains are not as good or as quality as those in some neighborhood butcher shops, which are growingly harder to find since bigger supermarket chains are doing away with the small businesses. The few that survive It becomes much harder for them to get the healthier choices others have access to just for living in a warmer climate. Since big corporations spend the most on food products, the companies that process it forego quality to make up for demand. That's one of the reasons why there's so much junk in our foods now. Grant it, we could see this as a good thing since fresh produce is usually a better choice than overly processed foods and the fact that other big corporations are entering into the food market could mean lower prices.

    But there's a reason why a McDonald's hamburger in Brazil tastes a hell of a lot better than one here in New York. I'm just saying... :wink:
     
    #3 B_VinylBoy, Jan 17, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  4. B_talltpaguy

    B_talltpaguy New Member

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    ^Brazil has excellent beef.

    (in both meanings of the word... lol)
     
  5. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    Oh yes they do. LOL!!
    I'm heading back down there for another week on Wednesday. Looking forward to having more than just a few meals. :biggrin1:
     
  6. TomCat84

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    I suppose that my invitation was lost in the mail :tongue:
     
  7. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    Seriously, how do you do that?
    Just ... more sweat? And therefore more excretion?
    I have no idea.
     
  8. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    I really don't know. It was a tongue in cheek response.
    Believe me, I wish I had a washboard stomach. Or at least a visible six pack. Right now it feels like my top section is a pastrami sandwich from Katz Delicatessen, the mid section is a vat of popcorn after watching "Black Swan", and the lower section is a #3 with chicken fingers. :redface:
     
  9. Zayne

    Zayne New Member

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    There are just too many food-options available at a low-cost these days. Humans are impulsive, given half the chance.
     
  10. midlifebear

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    Doesn't everyone remember commercials such as "We don't make corn syrup. We just make corn syrup better. ADM"

    How does one make corn syrup better? By filtering the flies out of it?
     
  11. hypoc8

    hypoc8 Member

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    Do any of us really want to know the answer to this?

    I've heard enough horror stories of what goes on at food processing plants it's enough to make you want to puke.
     
  12. Rikter8

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    True, but luckily many communities have Farmers Markets.
    I know in Michigan, people FLOCK to farmers markets in the summer and fall to gather what was harvested. You pay nearly the same sometimes less cost for fresh grown local goods without the fillers, and garbage commonly found with big box store products.
    The big box stores have the majority of the products during the winter/spring months, but if people prepare for the winter like they should, they could have fresh fruit all year long.
    People like you and I "In the know" will go to small butcher shops and buy our meats there - because it's better quality, for the same if not slightly higher cost, cut to the way you want it.

    The apples are fresh and ripe, but will rot if you don't eat them in time. There's something very scary about an apple that lasts 2 weeks on your kitchen counter purchased from box stores.

    There have been major changes in the food we eat over the years.
    Many of the ingredients are addictive, and cause people to over-eat. Corn Syrup is one, along with other chemicals.
    I firmly believe the chinese modified wheat gluten is in our food supply, and it only reared its ugly head in our pets because they were the weaker organism.
    It just seems odd everyone has a wheat allergy recently. Stores are starting to carry more "Gluten Free" products.
    Seriously - go shopping, and search for Gluten free foods. It's tough!
    Modified Food Starch is a big red flag.

    The corporate machine will continue to stomp out the small guy as quickly as they can. That's why Wal-Mart is not allowed in Frankenmuth MI.
     
    #12 Rikter8, Jan 23, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2011
  13. Rikter8

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    They make it more addictive.
     
  14. lucky8

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    With praise from Michelle Obama, Wal-Mart announces healthy food campaign

    This will lead to lower food prices as large corporations exert their buying power. Besides, most people buy from chains already. Just about every grocery store in every city is a chain store, many of which are owned by Kroger. We just need more labeling on everything so we actually know the quality of the farm it came from and the plant it was processed in.

    The real issue here is the FDA and their minimal safety testing standards...if my ground beef is coming from a cloned cow, I want it printed on the damn package. Is that too much to ask?
     
    #14 lucky8, Jan 23, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2011
  15. gymfresh

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    What I've taken away from Michael Pollan's excellent books can be condensed as:

    1) If armies of organisms aren't clamoring to eat it from the minute you bring it home (think Twinkies), then you shouldn't be clamoring to eat it, either. Refrigeration and freezing are fair, though.

    2) From (1) above, it follows that the shorter the shelf life of the food, probably the better it is for you. If it can sit for a month in your cupboard unchanged... avoid it.

    3) Carefully read labels. If ingredients are in Latin, or not routinely found in a pantry, skip it. Better yet, if it has a label, skip it. (Obviously, there are healthful exceptions.)
     
  16. Rikter8

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    Like the woman with the 4+ year old McDonalds Hamburger and french fries that look like the day she pulled em out of the wrapper.

    YouTube - McDonald's 4 Year Old Cheeseburger Video
     
  17. midlifebear

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    And then there is Taco Bell. I used to make jokes in college that I would end up owning three or four Taco Bell franchises. Good thing I never pursued that lofty dream.

    Taco Bell has been hit with a lawsuit which claims that what the company describes as "ground beef" does not meet the USDA's definition.

    The suit claims that Taco Bell's meat-like offering is filled with extenders and other non-meat substances listed in the lawsuit like water, "Isolated Oat Product," wheat oats, soy lecithin, maltodrextrin, anti-dusting agent, autolyzed yeast extract, modified corn starch and sodium phosphate as well as beef and seasonings.

    Are you hungry, yet?

    The USDA definition in the lawsuit says, to be called "ground beef," the product must "consist of chopped fresh and/or frozen beef with or without seasoning and without the addition of beef fat as such, shall not contain more than 30 percent fat, and shall not contain added water, phosphates, binders, or extenders."

    Back in the mid 1980s there was an outbreak of Hepatitis A in the north east section of Salt Lake City which was positively identified by the Utah Department of Health as originating from angry teenage employees form West High School mixing their poop in the frijoles. MMMMMMmmmmmm . . . dee-lish!

    For more, check out: http://consumerist.com/2011/01/laws...nd-beef-is-really-just-taco-meat-filling.html
     
    #17 midlifebear, Jan 25, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011
  18. dongalong

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    You are over 30 so you probably remember like me, that obese people were rare in comparison with the last few decades.
    Something happened around 1980 that started the obesity problem, possibly a boom in cheap industrially produced food filled with flavour enhancers (like monosodium glutamate) that trick your mind into thinking that crap you're eating is delicious!
    Unfortunately to learn about all the chemicals in mass produced takes a lot of effort on the consumer's part.
     
  19. dandelion

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    or it has been suggested, an outbreak of a nasty bug which makes people put on weight.
     
  20. FuzzyKen

    FuzzyKen New Member

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    There are many documentaries on what is happening to the U.S. food supply, suppliers and retailers. One of the best is a movie with the title of "Food, Inc.". Sadly, unless there are major changes in the FDA the odds of having a food supply that is healthy are nearly nil.

    The one thing we do have is education and that is all we have.

    As far as the FDA is concerned anyone who trusts the FDA on any issue is not familiar with the fact that it is populated by the people it is supposed to regulate and police.

    The FDA used to be there to protect the people. These days it is there to protect the profits of the corporations it serves. It no longer serves the people and has not served the people now for as has been said many years. The total unwind of the FDA started with the fast food industry and has gone down hill from there.
     
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