This is why I preserve my own food

sos_acres(Z5 SE IA)January 11, 2010

Check out the link below, just another reason to do your own food preserving. Not that doing your own is completely fool proof (see my worms post lol) but at least you know you have done your very best to serve clean healthy food to your family!


Here is a link that might be useful: Frog in green beans

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I don't get just what the woman expected from WalMart or Pictsweet to do? Obviously they didn't put a frog in her bag on purpose, not to mention the fact that they only had her word that it had been in the bag at all. She got an apology, a coupon for replacement and an assurance that they're going over their procedures to ensure it doesn't happen again.

Considering the vast amount of food that is processed in this country every day, it is inevitable that something like this will occasionally occur. What surprises me is that it doesn't happen more often, especially as so much of the processing is done mechanically.

I found a praying mantis in a bowl of vegetables I'd just harvested from my garden once, and have brought any number of worms and insects indoors with lettuces, greens and root vegetables.

Honestly, I think Americans have become OutrageAdicts. In the restaurant business, I have had customers go apoplectic over the proverbial fly landing in their soup or finding a bone in their fish. Replacing the item without argument or taking it off the bill with a sincere apology wasn't enough, they seemed to think the entire check should be on the house or something.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 1:57PM
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sos_acres(Z5 SE IA)

"they seemed to think the entire check should be on the house or something."
That's exactly what they want.

But in the case of the frog I'd want the whole batch number (if there is such a thing on bags of frozen veggies?) that the frog was found in removed, because who knows where it's legs went? Not that we haven't all eaten worse.....

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 3:02PM
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Well, you have a point there. The legs would be harder to spot in a bunch of green beans too! :P

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 5:08PM
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Eh, that's probably not nearly as bad as all the chemicals and pesticides in store-bought produce that you can't see.

(Not like finding a mircowaved frog in my green beans wouldn't gross me out too.)

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 5:59PM
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RuthieG__TX(z8 TX)

And she's pretty dumb if she thinks it is only at Wal-Mart that she might find that sort of thing...Sounds to me like she was looking for a payoff .....I wouldn't like finding something like that but that's a chance you take when you buy stuff that you didn't put she's cutting off her nose to spite her face by driving to some other more expensive store but if it eases her concern, then maybe it's the thing to do.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 7:48PM
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I hate to say it, but it is the collective fault of the "consumer's."

Wal Mart is not in the food processing business. But you can be damn sure that they are doing a private label on something just to make a few extra bucks. The food processing business is just that, a business. They could care less about quality. They are determined to get the most product out, at the cheapest price with no concern for the quality of the food or the conditions for the workers. And in all reality, it is cheaper for them to pay off a lawsuit such as this than to actually change the way they do business.

The same thing happens with the meat we eat. Agribusiness disgusts me.

We are the ones that have the power to change this by the way we spend our money. Ask my kids why we don't eat fast food and they will tell you it is because they are mean to animals. Ask my kids why they don't eat watermelon in the winter and they will tell you because it doesn't taste good. Still boggles my mind that grocery stores still buy from all over the world when local is in season. They are just 7 and 5. But they know. I've learned my lesson and I have taught them. Will my dollar's make a difference? Probably not but you can bet your butt that I tell everyone I know!!! Getting off of my soapbox now :-)

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 8:40PM
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We had a case here two summers ago with a gentleman buying some jalapeño peppers at Walmart, got quite sick with food poisoning, hospitalized, but recovered. Then we had nationwide press reports about cases of the same thing (I think some nasty strain of Salmonella) at Walmarts around the country, traced to Jalapeños, traced back to a single supplier in Mexico.

He had the same strain of Salmonella. He'd eaten a Jalapeño purchased at Walmart, traced back to the same, single supplier in Mexico. He sued Walmart for his hospitalization expenses (no insurance) plus some pain and suffering stuff, it wasn't all that much.

Walmart fought that guy and his lawyer in court for months. Nope, you caught it from something else. Prove that it was our Jalapeño. On and on.

I think it was only in November of last year they reached a settlement, details not disclosed.

I can see where Walmart wouldn't want to just immediately pay up any and all claims. But in this case, by treating a pretty obvious case that poorly, they sure didn't win any friends, and I'm sure, with all the attorneys fees, it would have been far cheaper to settle quickly and quietly.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 9:28PM
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jonas302(central mn 4)

I agree with some of the others its a frog who cares throw it out or eat it nobody got sick nothing happened she saw a frog

I know I eat a lot more bug and worms with my homegrown and wild game foods as there are no poisins to kill them

ccaggino kids think there is a toothfairy they beleive anything you tell them they can do no independent research Do you think the hamburger for sale anywhere else was treated any nicer

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 10:27PM
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I disagree that a business, by it's very nature as a business could care less about the quality of their product or the conditions for their workers. Anyone who has ever owned or run a business is very aware that they won't stay in business long with that kind of attitude.

People don't flock to spend their money at stores that routinely sell them substandard merchandise. I know that it has almost become a cultural requirement to trash WalMart, but they sell products people want and hire people who want the jobs. If they didn't, nobody would shop there and nobody would work there.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2010 at 12:14AM
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CA Kate

Poor Frog!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2010 at 12:43AM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

@Rachelellen, it does happen quite often, most anyone you ask who pays attention to what they eat and eats foods that are not ground up ahead of time will remember a slug in the lettuce or a caterpillar in the strawberry jam or a mouse tail in the dried beans. Most of us deal with the problem and go on with our lives.

@ccaggiano jonas302 is right, your kids are parroting you rather than actually knowing what is going on, this is something they will grow out of unless you are a horrible parent (Andy Schlafly of fame never grew out of it, and that is why he has been made a national laughing stock).

    Bookmark   January 12, 2010 at 6:14AM
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sos_acres(Z5 SE IA)

Yes, westelle Poor frog! Fortunately they are edible...but imagine unexpectedly crunching on it's leg bones in your green beans lol

ruthieg I was thinking the same thing. Why drive across town, just buy a different brand. In actuality she's just punishing herself.

ccagino I agree with some of what you said BUT: "They could care less about quality." Can't go with that , they have to care to a point or no one would buy their product a second time.

David52 I'm thinking the legal battling was more about not wanting to set a precedent of people suing and winning aginst them, than it was the actual acknowledgement that he got sick from peppers they sold.

jonas302 you're right, children do believe what their parents tell them. It's a great responsibility. And I DO believe there are places with beef for sale that was treated well, actually have a freezer full of it....but probably not many restaurants purchasing that.

rachellen-well said!

Brendan I got a fingernail in a salad once. Appreciated that they didn't charge me for the salad ;)
And as for ccagino, he clearly stated: "I've learned my lesson and I have taught them." That trust can be broken tho. My Dad tells of totally trusting his mother until she told him nose buggers were not good to eat. Broke the trust because HE knew they were good LOL

    Bookmark   January 12, 2010 at 11:59AM
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I grew up on a farm but moved into town when I got married in 1974. I went back to organic gardening and canning when a friend of mine went to work for the Gerber babyfood company in a nearby town. That's when I found out about "particulate matter". Yup, a certain percentage of foreign objects are allowed in all commercial food. That can be rodent droppings, animal hair, bugs, twigs, fingernail clippings, a stray bandaid, a frog, whatever. Add the pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, the hormones and antibiotics that they have to shoot the animals full of to keep them alive in the crowded and unhealthy conditions they live in and it was enough for me to decide I wouldn't feed it to my children.

So I grow a huge garden, I buy local produce in season, I grow my own grassfed beef, a couple of pigs, I have chickens for eggs. I produce as much of my own food as is practical.

Now, every time you buy a box of spaghetti, think about the "impurities" in the wheat that was ground to make the pasta and that you will never see. Add a jar of commercially manufactured spaghetti sauce and you won't see those impurities either, they just aren't as noticeable as a frog.

So, we've all eaten them and we continue to eat them. It's "icky", maybe, but probably not harmful. Still, I think it would have been better customer relations for the Evil Empire/Walmart, to have at least offered an apology and maybe an extra donation to the local school or scouts or something. They do make those donations here regularly and advertise them loudly, so it's possible and would not reward the consumer if there were any question of fraud.

So yes, this and many other things is why I can my own food and grow all of it I possibly can.


    Bookmark   January 12, 2010 at 12:05PM
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Actually, I'm kind of puzzled on why Wal-Mart gets away with having such crappy products. I know other big retailers are bad too, and I know all food has "impurities", but I really get the distinct impression that every time I get anything at Wal-Mart it's of poor quality.

I mean, anything really! Produce rots and milk goes off faster than what I get from the regular grocery store, their clothes are thin and flimsy and fall apart fast, appliances and tools from there only last a few months before they break, even the dishwashing detergent I got from there left all this residue on our dishes. Really, it's starting to be a joke, whenever something rots/breaks/performs substandardly, my boyfriend is like, "Did you buy this from Wal-Mart?" and I sigh and say yes.

It's like everything they sell (unless it's a national brand that's sold lots of places) is the most shoddy made crap they can get.

Ok, I haven't done a scientific study or anything, so maybe I'm imagining this, but it's enough to make me try to avoid Wal-Mart and get stuff from other stores. But every now and then I happen to be closer to Wal-Mart and think "Why not?" and get some stuff from there, take it home, and then hilarity ensues once again.

Also, there was an expose on the news a few years ago comparing Wal-Mart's prices to Target. They found that, on average, shopping at Wal-Mart is NOT less expensive. I think they bought a similar array of stuff and the bill came out about the same. Maybe it used to be cheaper there, but by now Wal-Mart just survives off the reputation that they're less expensive, and wants to count on people going on that rather than actually comparing prices.

Ok, there's my anti-Wal-Mart rant. I don't know, maybe I have some kind of WM curse, but I just keep getting tempted to give them another chance, and then keep regretting it. Even if they really are cheaper than Target, Kmart, etc., if the produce rots in two days and you have to throw it away, and appliances and clothes fall apart so fast you have to keep replacing them over and over, it's NOT cheaper in the long run.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 3:45PM
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neohippie, I can't conjecture on the rest of the products but the produce at WalMart is abysmal, always.

I have an aunt that works at a local WalMart in the "fine jewelry" section. Now, I think that "WalMart" and "Fine Jewelry" very well may be mutually exclusive terms, but I digress.

She tells me that the reason the produce is so bad is because the Walmart policy is to get all the produce shipped to a central warehouse from all over the place, then everything gets shipped to various locations from there. So, if you're in Oregon, your California strawberries got shipped to their storage facility in Alabama or where ever, then got shipped BACK to Oregon, adding days of storage and travel so it's not at the peak of freshness.

I don't know about Target or KMart, but my small independent store gets a lot of local produce and it's always good. My selection is limited, I can't always get mangoes or watermelon, for instance, but I can always get celery and apples, spinach and onions, potatoes and cabbage. I've learned that it's best for me to just eat strawberries when they are fresh and in season and forget about the styrofoam imposters they sell in Michigan in January, they don't taste good anyway. Plus, I like keeping my grocery store in business, since they are the ONLY grocery store in my little town, the closest WalMart is 20 miles away, if I drive 30 I can go to a Meijer's and if I drive 50 I can find anything in the world in Grand Rapids.

As for appliances, I also know that chains like Circuit City had contracts with companies like GE and Sony to build "special" televisions, etc., only for sale in their stores. They were of lower quality and were not covered by manufacturers guarantees, only the store's guarantees. I found that out after buying a television from Circuit City with a one year warranty and it went kaput in 14 months. The "authorized" repair facility for that brand then proceeded to explain about the special appliances, so I'm sure WalMart probably does the same thing.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 4:03PM
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ahbee01(z5 OH)

I'll jump in, if I may! I bought some Jolly Time popping corn the other day,( at a Marcs deep discount store) popped some and ate it. It was good. A few day later I went to pop some again, noticed a worm (like from a moth) on the lid I placed on the counter. I thought maybe it crawled on there from the bananas I just bought. Ate the popped corn. The next morning I went to transfer the pop corn into a storage container instead of the bag. I found a few more bugs, same worm like things. It happens, must have been old and the eggs hatched. I called Jolly Time, and they confirmed what I thought. I think they called them Mill worms, and they come from moths. They gave me a few coupons for some free pop corn. Called the store and checked the dates on the bags of pop corn. Taught me to know where and how to check the date.Was I mad, no, grossed out, a little. Was I happy how they handled it, yes! Might have been more concerned if it was mouse poop, or something of that nature, since that could make you ill! The thought of eating bugs didn't gross me out as much as the thought of eating something that the bugs may pooped in! LOL!!!
I have seen the waste from horn worms and other caterpillars, it's just gross thinking I could have popped some! :) I went and got a fresh bag today,I used one of my free coupons! I will watch for bugs, but I will still eat my pop corn!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 7:21PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Gee, why don't we flame Wal-Mart or something guys?

Such broad generalizations that just don't hold up to careful scrutiny serve little purpose. The services/produce/quality/etc. varies from store to store and region to region just as with any other vendor. But Wal-Mart strives toward one primary goal - meeting the customer claim that they want to save $$ - and for the most part repeated studies show they achieve that goal remarkedly well. And, no, I don't work for Wal-Mart. I just appreciate a bit of objectivity.

In many rural parts of the country Wal-Mart is the only available option and our personal experience with them is of a clean, well-lit, store with too much China merchandise but first class produce, much of it locally grown on a regular basis.

As to the rest, it sounds as if some quality educational TV might be in order for the kids (and their parents). Check out Modern Marvels, How It's Made, Myth Busters, How Stuff Works, etc. for lots of insight into commercial food preparation, the influence of the consumer $$, agribusiness, and current market trends and techniques.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 11:09AM
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Gotta pipe up here about my experiences with WalMart when I was on a 3 month road trip across Canada and back across the northern United States I took 7 years ago or so.

I have heard all the accusations about WalMart moving into a small town, purposefully undercutting all the other stores, even if it meant a short term loss for them, price-wise, until they drive everyone out of business, only to raise their prices.

I can tell you that one of the reasons I made a practice of stopping at WalMarts across the country to pick up my propane (I was camping across) and other various items I regularly needed was that I knew the store would carry them, and I knew they would be reasonably priced. Yes, I might have been able to save a bit if I shopped around, but who the heck is going to do that on a road trip?

Prices on the items I bought varied no more than a few cents in either direction from store to store, State to State. So if WalMart is nefariously undercutting other stores and then raising prices, they are slick enough about it that an interstate traveler never could see any evidence of such practices.

Another thing I noticed was that I saw more elderly, physically disabled, and Downs syndrome folks happily and gainfully employed in WalMart stores than I have ever seen in any other business.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 1:11AM
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I usually have good and bad things both to say about Walmart on any given day. In our very small rural community, it is SACRILIGE to speak of going to a Walmart located about 18 miles south. When we moved here, I made every effort to shop locally and support our community businesses. What I found out, though, was that they were practicing highway robbery! I don't mind spending a few extra cents per item to support the cause but when you are on a budget and can't even get a frozen pizza at the grocery for less than $10, I draw the line. I was noting that items were selling for dollars more than Walmart instead of pennies more. I know they have to make a living and how hard it must be to provide a selection and good help but it seems that they shoot themselves in the foot.
About the frog leg...gross but I wouldn't get too worked up about it. A finger...maybe different but a critter or bug doesn't make me want to run out and sue a bunch of people. I probably wouldn't eat the product but that would be as far as it went. Lori

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 3:03PM
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zeuspaul(9b SoCal)

The things I buy at Walmart are of equal or better value and cheaper than just about anywhere else. Perhaps that is because I am a shopper and only buy things at Walmart that are good value.

A few items I buy at Walmart....

SpecialKitty Cat liter..good quality lowest price
Mobil 1 synthetic oil (try to find better oil or a better price)
Canning Jars and lids..good quality lowest price
Fancy feast cat food..good quality lowest price
Pyrex glass food storage containers..good quality lowest price
Plastic trash bags..good quality lowest price

Also, I frequent several Walmarts. I have always found the employees to be friendly and seem to be satisfied with their jobs which is more than I can say about several other discount stores I go to. And as indicated in a previous post more elderly, physically disabled, and Downs syndrome folks happily and gainfully employed in WalMart stores than I have ever seen in any other business

I don't buy food at Walmart. (if they keep the frog promotion perhaps I will give them a try:) To satisfy my quality and price needs it takes about five retailers..Trader Joes, Henry's, Jimbos, Smart and Final and a supermarket or two depending on where the sales are.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2010 at 9:38AM
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caavonldy(8/9 N CA)

I shop at Walmart for many of our families everyday items; Calgon dishwasher soap, paper products, cat food and litter, car products and such. Occasionally the girls will see a t-shirt or other clothing they want and if it is reasonably priced I will buy it. I don't think clothes, especially jeans, last as long as what we buy at K-Mart or Ross. Ross is the girl's favorite place to buy clothes. We buy most of our food at Winco but I usually don't get much produce there as it is not as fresh as our local grocery. store. We will pick up most of our meat at a Safeway or Raley's. Their meat is usually good but most everything else is too expensive. We are a family of 6 so I have to watch the budget.

Around here, Walmart is where many people prefer to work. My sister Lisa worked there and said that they treated her quite well. When her son in Florida was in the ER with a blood clot in his lung, the manager at Walmart called the airport, arranged a flight to Florida for Lisa and put it on the store credit card. Lisa was gone for 3 weeks and her job was there waiting for her. A month later, she got a promotion. I think that is a good place to work.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 6:29PM
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busylizzy(z5 PA)

As far as produce quality around here in the off season months, the 2 chains of grocery stores vs Wally World are about on the same par. Sometimes WallyWorld is better due to the huge turnover. Last Sunday night it looked like a heard of bunnies ate all the salad items, the shelves were bare when I got there at 8pm!
Being rural WallyWorld does offer some items the local chains never get. I shop at all 3 at different times, depending on sales/ or time mostly.
Yep, a frog would be a shocker and thankfully found before consumption, just as the metal filings I found in something commercially processed years ago, or the wood chip I almost choked on from Campbells Soup to Go. For those I taped the object on a index card with the label and sent back to manufacturer. They sent me coupons for free products and that was fine with me.
Being a former prepared salad manufacturer I know first hand how things can go wrong without intent to harm.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 4:55PM
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I must live near an unusual Wal-Mart. I'd rather buy celery and lettuce there than any other store in town.. they always have the best tasting/crispest. If your local WMs produce manager is getting in shoddy products, you really should complain! Our local store always has as at least as good quality products as everyone else. Now, I don't trust anyone handling produce for mass markets to have the same clean practices I have picking food in my own garden, so of course I wash everything I buy well. Then I wash it again for good measure.

I am sure that _some_ people talk themselves into believing ridiculous things because it is being 'passed around like a bad rumor'. I have a neighbor that swore that a brand of sugar substitute was not as sweet if it is purchased at WAl-Mart.. as elsewhere. I happened to have the item from WM as well as another market, and had to prove to him he was imagining things. He admitted his mistake - seems more like a prejudice.

Wish I had the energy/space/time/funds to grow and preserve everything we need. I am grateful I can still supplement through the grocers in town.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 9:06PM
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