Our definition of industrial food is any food that has been modified to make it a better product, but not a better food.
BloombergBusinessweek recently wrote a nice piece about some of the known information about how the Simply Orange brand of orange juice is processed. (The company is owned by Coca Cola.)
Most consumers would think that the product is, well, simply orange juice. They grow oranges, squeeze them and put them in a bottle, right?
Well, that's what they want you to think, and that desire to make consumers believe that foods are fresh, natural and basic is part of the industrial food approach.
According the BloombergBusinessweek investigation, Simply Orange juice involves "satellite imagery, complicated data algorithms" and "even a juice pipeline."
One of the most interesting aspects of how Simply Orange is produced is a secret algorithm called Black Book, which blends many different juices from many different orchards, regions and harvests to achieve a consistent flavor year round.
A guy named Bob Cross, identified as the "architect of Coke’s juice model," says Black Book "requires analyzing up to 1 quintillion decision variables to consistently deliver the optimal blend, despite the whims of Mother Nature." These variables include more than 600 individually identifiable flavors possible in orange juice.
The company uses satellite imaging to tell growers when to pick the oranges in order to deliver the needed flavor compounds demanded by Black Book.
After the juice is squeezed by factory machines, and pulp, oil and peel are removed, the juice is "flash-pasteurized," then piped into giant tanks where they'll be held for up to eight months.
After eight months, the juice isn't fresh, but freshness is simulated by storing it under a cloud of nitrogen that prevents oxygen from interacting with the juice and allowing it to spoil.
The juice is kept around for so long so it can be blended with juice of different ages and harvests to achieve the consistent, pre-determined flavor.
Before bottling, an orange juice "air traffic control center" enables technicians using Black Book to blend various juices.
The juice is transported 1.2 miles from the orange processing facility to the packaging plant in an underground pipeline.
The juice is bottled in a container with a green lid, and a label that shows the picture of a fresh orange over the words "not from concentrate."
One of the three varieties of Simply Orange is called "grove made," suggesting falsely that it's squeezed at the site of an orchard, bottled fresh and shipped quickly to stores.
In nearly all these innovative processing systems, a "food" has been improved and optimized as a product for sale in the marketplace in ways that degrades it as a food.
Most of the high-tech interventions are designed to eliminate variety in flavor, texture, color and so on, which is a fundamental attribute of natural food.
Here's a summary of the attributes of industrial food production exhibited by Simply Orange juice, according to the BloombergBusinessweek investigation.
1. The manipulation of natural food variety to eliminate that variety.
2. The "embalming" of food and the intervention in the decomposition process to simulate freshness in old food.
3. The combination of massive quantities of foods so that a single bottle may contain juice from thousands or even hundreds of thousands of oranges.
4. Pasteurization and semi-sterilization, eliminating the opportunity to obtain health-boosting micro-flora from the environment.
5. Greenwashing and farmwashing, the use of colors, pictures and words to instill in the minds of consumers naturalness, farm-freshness and wholesomeness, when the actual food inside is the opposite of what the consumer is choosing the product for.
In general, however, industrial food processing involves the optimization of the product (lower price, long shelf life, consistent flavor and so on.) at the expense of food variety, freshness and quality.
Long story short: The sister of a blogger named Matt Fisher was tragically killed in a car accident. She had Progressive insurance "protecting her" against accident by an underinsured driver, which happened to be the case in this accident.
The family said that because the other insurance company paid only $25k, Progressive owed $75k to make up the difference, as they were contractually obligated to do. But instead of paying, they instead worked closely with opposing lawyers to help them prove the accident was her fault, so they could get out of paying.
Now famous bloggers like Seth Godin are jumping in to publicly shame Progressive.
More context: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/18/your-money/progressives-side-of-the-insurance-case-that-blew-up-on-the-internet.html
Free Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. Save a life
Please sign the petition here and spread the message
Many of us do have the passion to help and many times, we CAN'T do anything about it and that feels pathetic. Well, here's one of those times when we can make a great difference in someone's LIFE by signing a petition. Each sign counts. And she needs it. WE need to do it for her.
She has been in prison for the past five years. Let's do something to help the poor woman out of the misery. Let's do something against this injustice. In case you are not aware of the scenario, here's a briefing-
It is still unexplained how a frail, 110 pound woman, confronted with three US army officers, two interpreters and two FBI agents managed to assault three of them, snatch a rifle from one of them, open fire at close range, hit no one, but she herself was wounded.
· There were no fingerprints on the gun.
· There was no gunshot residue from the gun.
· There were no bullet holes in the walls from that particular gun.
· There were no bullets cases or shells in the area from the specified gun.
· The testimony of the government’s six eyewitnesses contradicted each * *other.
· Aafia’s disappearance, torture and missing children were not at all addressed during the court case.
Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is an American-educated Pakistani cognitive neuroscientist. Not long after the September 11 attacks, Dr. Siddiqui left the United States for Pakistan in 2002. After the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in March 2003 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, by the Inter-Services Intelligence, he has stated he gave names of innocent people under torture to "please his captors" and Siddiqui’s lawyers believe her name was one of these. After she was named by him, Siddiqui disappeared for five years. Siddiqui and her children's whereabouts and activities from March 2003 to July 2008 are a matter of dispute. Siddiqui was ultimately sentenced by a United States district court to 86 years in prison in a trial that critics have called "a grave miscarriage…
The woman and her family need JUSTICE
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I have to say, in a lot of countries in the EU higher education is if not free, very cheap in places. France comes to mind, as well as Germany. And in the UK the system works wonderfully, with students able to borrow from the state and not forced to return the money until they've found employment (either there or abroad, with the sum of the salary dictating the amount they should return per month, etc.). It isn't as rosy in the UK since fees have gone up last year, but before that it was wonderful. It still isn't a bad deal.
Filched from Tumblr.
This talk was controversial enough to offend wealthy attendees of TED. So TED decided not to publish it.
More info on the TED censorship here:
- City College of San Francisco
- Preston University
- Punjab University
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