Supreme Court Justices Grill Coca-Cola Over Scarcity Of Pomegranates In Pomegranate Juice – Consumerist

One of the biggest problems that we, as consumers, have is deceptive labeling by food manufacturers. You have to be extraordinarily careful these days, lest you find out that the guacamole dip you bought has little or no actual avocado in it, or, in this case, that your blueberry-pomegranate juice drink has so little actual blueberry and pomegranate juice that it takes a laboratory analysis to discover it. In the case of this product, it actually has, according to an analysis by POM, 0.2% blueberry and 0.3% pomegranate while the rest is pretty much just apple juice.

Personally, prominently displaying the words ‘blueberry’ and ‘pomegranate’ on your label when in actual fact the product has less than one half of one percent of those juices in the bottle seems to be stretching things just a wee bit.

Coke, which owns the brand under which this stuff is being sold, was sued by another juice maker, POM, and the case has made it all the way to the Supremes. Coke claims that the label is not deceptive, and that in any case they aren’t doing anything illegal. But even the Supremes seem skeptical. Roberts almost came right out and said the label was misleading, Kennedy implied that consumers are being cheated by the product, and Sotomayor hinted in one question that she thought the labeling was misleading.

It will be interesting if the supremes uphold the lawsuit. If they do, it’s going to make a lot of food manufacturers get a lot more serious about accurately labeling their products.

Got the new bumper, winch and skid plate at last!

Are Stores Making Bank Off Food Stamps? | Mother Jones

Any time the government spends our money on anything, we should know what’s going on. That’s an argument that I think almost all of us would agree with. When it comes to things like how much the government spends on roads, a computer for someone’s office, paper for the copy machine, you can find out not only how much the government spent, but also who they paid the money to, often with ridiculous detail right down to a $1.29 box of paper clips.

But trying to find out how much the government paid Walmart, or Roundy’s, or Sentry or another grocery store for the SNAP program, and it’s an entirely different story.

Both the government and the retailers are doing everything they can to prevent people from finding out exactly who is getting paid what. In south Dakota reporters had to sue the USDA to try to get the information. In Massachusetts a reporter was threatened with fines and jail time for publishing how SNAP funds were being dealt out to retailers, information the agency itself had given him.

On the retail side, retailers claim that this is private information that they are not required to divulge. And they have viciously fought any attempt to make that information public. Thanks to extraordinarily heavy lobbying efforts the managed to remove an amendment to the farm bill that would have required retailers to track what SNAP money was being spent on.

Sure there are privacy concerns here. But we aren’t talking about being able to track exactly what individual recipients are buying with the funds. All we’re talking about is which retailers are being paid by the government, something that is required in almost every other situation where government money is used to buy something.

My favorite coffee cup.
Yes, it’s Hello Kitty.
Yes, it has butterflies in it.

My favorite coffee cup.

Yes, it’s Hello Kitty.

Yes, it has butterflies in it.

Power Hour: Is Oil Pushing Grain Off the Rails? | Top Producer Magazine

Raising a crop isn’t enough. Somehow you have to get it to the people who want to buy it, and that’s always been an issue for farmers. This is actually something that hit Canada this past winter, and had a significant effect on prices as farmers and grain dealers were having trouble finding transport for their grain. It caused a significant bump in prices for a while until the Canadian government stepped in and threatened to start levying huge fines against the railroads unless they started to move grain.

The railroads at the time were claiming that it wasn’t the oil producers hogging the transport, but that it was the severe winter weather. Few people seemed to believe that, though, hence the threat of massive fines if they didn’t get grain moving again.

The railroads have seen an enormous jump in the amount of oil being moved by rail. As the story points out, the number of cars of crude oil being moved in the US has jumped from under 10,000 in 2008 to over 400,000 in 2013. That has almost certainly reduced capacity in some markets.

(via Tasting With Our Eyes: Why Bright Blue Chicken Looks So Strange : The Salt : NPR)

interesting article about the effect the appearance of food has on us.

(via Tasting With Our Eyes: Why Bright Blue Chicken Looks So Strange : The Salt : NPR)

interesting article about the effect the appearance of food has on us.

The Joys of Wisconsin Weather…

They got blasted up in the northern part of the state. Up in the Eagle River area they got hit with 12 - 16 inches of snow.

Ah, yes, spring in Wisconsin…

The Hottest Conservative Campaign Gimmick of 2014: Free Guns | Mother Jones

Oh dear… If a politician giving away a gun in a raffle upsets MJ, they’d be in a permanent state of outrage in Wisconsin where we give away guns when you buy a car, get a new fridge, buy an engagement ring, raffles at churches and other charities.

It’s just another gimmick used to attract attention.

(I should add that they can’t just “give away” guns. The person who wins the raffle or whatever has to pass the same background checks you have to go through at a gun dealer.)

Land Sale of the Week: McLean County, Illinois

Egads… $13,750 an acre? Sheesh… that’s just crazy.

Antigovernment ‘Patriots’ Gather Near Scene of Nevada Rancher’s Dispute Over Cattle Grazing Rights | Hatewatch

What should have been a minor incident that deserved little more than a footnote on the back page of a local Nevada newspaper has been blown up into a major incident, thanks in large part to the media pimps like Drudge, Beck and others who thrive on hype, outrage, hypocrisy and paranoia.

So here’s what’s really been going on out there…

Bundy is a rancher out in Nevada. Like a lot of other cattle ranchers, he grazes some of his cattle on land owned by the federal government. This is land that, for one reason or another, isn’t actually owned by anyone. Either it’s too bad to develop commercially, or it might be in an area considered to be environmentally sensitive, part of a public park, whatever… Bundy doesn’t own the land. The Fed does, held in ‘public trust’.

In exchange for paying a fee and following BLM regulations to insure cattle are kept out of sensitive areas and it isn’t over grazed, ranchers are allowed to run their cattle on the land.

Back in 1993, Bundy decided he wasn’t going to pay the rent any more, but continued to run his cattle on the land. And while the fed is far more patient than your average landlord, eventually they got tired of it and started muttering things about maybe he should think about paying the bill or they might do something, and he ignored them. It took BLM 20 years, but finally they told him to get his cattle off the land he’d been using without paying. He won’t. He defends his position with the usual arguments; the fed doesn’t have the right to the land in the first place, and even if it did, it doesn’t have the right to charge rent for it, etc. etc. etc. All of this has been thrashed out in the courts ages ago and he pretty much doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on.

But that hasn’t stopped the right wing ranters from turning it into a “cause”, wildly blowing the whole thing out of proportion, and altering the story from a rancher who won’t pay his rent, to a man standing up for his ‘rights’ against the ‘evil government’. The result is that what should have been a simple case of the landlord evicting a tenant for non-payment of rent, has been turned into a potentially very dangerous situation thanks to armed so-called “patriots” turning up to ‘defend’ Bundy’s imaginary rights.