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Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

Posted by esh_ga z7 GA (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 14, 12 at 15:34

Coca-Cola is one of several mega-corporations trying to kill off an effort in California to identify foods that have been genetically modified on their package labels, The New York Times is reporting.

Coke is joining bioengineering kingpins including Monsanto and DuPont in spending millions on the campaign to crush what's known as Proposition 37.

The battle pits some smaller organic foods companies like Nature's Path and consumer advocates, who want the labeling requirement, against some industry giants, who do not.

In a twist, some of the best-known organic foods brands, including Kashi, Cascadian Farm and Horizon Organic, are owned by giant companies like Kellogg and Dean Foods, who oppose the labeling.

Coca-Cola, owner of the Odwalla and Honest Tea brands, has put in more than $1 million to kill the initiative, the Times said.

In the U.S., most processed foods including cereals and snacks have lab-altered ingredients, the Times noted. Certified organic products are prohibited by law from containing genetically modified ingredients.

Opponents of the proposition wouldn't comment directly on their thinking, but said through a campaign spokesperson that the enhanced labeling would add to producers' costs and could scare consumers about the safety of genetically engineered crops, the report said.

However, the story added, the European Union has had biotech labeling for 15 years. There, companies have generally re-formulated their products to not include genetically modified ingredients and there was no impact on costs.

I hope it passes. We need more truth available to us so that we can make informed decisions about what we eat.

I'm disappointed in Coke, but not surprised, I guess.

Here is a link that might be useful: source


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

No, none of it is surprising, but it is disappointing. I'm of the opinion that genetically modified foods are not the safest or healthiest for the human body, considering what the earth offers us in contrast, which is what we're "supposed" to eat.

I believe I mentioned in another thread that many other nations have much stricter regulations and healthier food sources, but we seem to fight this at every turn to keep those pennies rolling through the doors. It's sad, and very frustrating... especially at the consumer level.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

Nope, hardly surprising.

Just as the big food industry trade groups have been buying nutrition scientists and keeping them in their pockets for decades. As recently as 1980 they were dead-set against any recommendations for people to increase consumption of vegetables and fruit.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

According to what I've been reading, broccoli is supposed to be one of the most nutritious and healthy foods one can eat, loaded with antioxidants and other goodies. Cantaloupe is also a very nutritious food item, except one must be careful about origin... I also read something somewhere about salmonella found on the fruit not too long ago, though I can't recall where.


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Jodik, heard on the radio today that it was Mango's coming out of Mexico that were tainted with Salmonella. The story was to let us know we won't be seeing lots of Mango's in the near future.

FYI everyone, don't eat corn unless it's organic. Monsanto has been modifying corn this year and that's why it's been so plentiful even when it shouldn't have been.

All soft drinks/pop are bad for you and no one should be drinking them. If the companies who peddle this junk were waiting for me to buy one, they'd have been out of business many years ago. I do wish consumers would start shopping more responsibly and put these crooks out of business or better yet force them to make healthy foods for us to consume.

I hate that I have to spend too long a time in the grocery because everything new that I buy I have to stop and read the darn label. Would be nice to pick any product up and know it's healthy and nutritious without having to spend 15 minutes trying to decide if it will kill me.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

Esh, are you seriously saying that you NEED detailed labeling to make good nutrition choices? If you have suspicions about Coke or anything else, why not just avoid it? You'd take the avoidance route, wouldn't you, if it involved your hand and a flame? This doesn't seem to be any different.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

This is about the fact that the majority of the buying public has an implicit trust in labeling and nutritional recommendations, so when those are co-opted by the very interests that are supposed to be monitored, there is a problem.


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I contend that the majority of the buying public doesn't read labels and doesn't care about ingredients.


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so we should have no labeling because of your opinion JMC is what I hear being put forward as rational?


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Don't bother with that tactic, labrea, because you know very well that's not what I said.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

Even if you are correct about most buyers, that is not a reason to allow monopolistic conglomerates to obfuscate to their own (shareholder's) advantage and to the disadvantage of everyone else.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

I would guess that many consumers don't really know what constitutes a day's worth of actual nutrition, what the average human body needs in terms of what and how much, or what they're looking at when reading food item labels in that capacity. But that's not a good enough reason to ignore them or do away with them.

The same goes for pet feeds... it's not simply a matter of reading the ingredient list... one must do the math and figure out whether or not actual necessary nutrition is there in proper quantities, and know what the sources are.

It's much like traversing a mine field, knowing what signs to look for, knowing what to avoid, where to step... one has to first know what is needed, then learn to decipher what's really there... all while avoiding the trip wires, like misleading wording on packaging, etc. And that still doesn't mean that what the label says is actually what you're getting. We're not present during manufacture or packing. We don't have access to all information about everything.

That means we have to trust that certain items have been adequately cleaned and inspected, stored and used properly, mixed thoroughly, are sanitary, etc.

If we ate a more natural, organic style of diet as a general population, a lot would change. Although, there are still things like GMO, pesticides, herbicides, cleanliness, and other things to worry about.

I have never liked the idea that a lot of our foods are lab created, contain artificial ingredients, or that advertisers target certain groups psychologically through their various campaigns. There's a lot of leeway allowed by our particular laws and standards, and not enough inspectors to deal with the huge quantity of foods, whether manufactured here, or imported.

Quality control in manufacturing has slipped over the decades... that much is obvious. So is the fact that corners are being cut everywhere to squeeze out every last penny.

When it comes to the food source within the US, just because it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck... that doesn't necessarily mean it's a real duck. But I'd still like to be able to look it over carefully before purchasing and consuming, and know that it's safe and healthy.



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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

Jodik writes:

When it comes to the food source within the US, just because it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck... that doesn't necessarily mean it's a real duck.

====================================================

Case in point. I sometimes buy potato chips but always get them at WM. They are no salt chips by Lay's. Well I was at Sam's the other day and I know Sam's is notorious for only carrying high fat/high salt varieties of items, but I thought I'd check out the chips anyway. Saw a bag of Lay's that was labeled low salt and sure enough I turned the bag over and read the fat and salt content and both were at acceptable levesl. I get home, open the bag and DH and I start to eat them and both look at each other and say "eww, what is wrong with these chips?" I turned the bag over and low and behold they are not real potato chips at all, but processed potato flakes. Yuck!! No wonder they were so nasty. Lesson learned, you can't even trust it's a real potato. LOL Needless to say the ducks at the park enjoyed them.


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Even if you are correct about most buyers, that is not a reason to allow monopolistic conglomerates to obfuscate to their own (shareholder's) advantage and to the disadvantage of everyone else.

Indeed.

None of these companies and their brands Esh listed are organic, whatsoever. What they do is exploit this term, because it sells. That's what you get when you allow big food to go near this utmost important issue. Our food chain is at stake. They are about to ruin it, and they know it.


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I plan to see if my local Co-opportunity sells either Cascadian or Horizon. The market has taken the initiative to list those products that are guaranteed not to contain GMOs. The store is a prime location - as were farmers' markets - for collection of signatures to put the mandatory GMO label initiative on the CA ballot. Now there's a movement to collect signatures of those in favot of GMO labels to be forwarded to CA elected officials.

There is a segment of consumers that do read labels, and look for local produce. I notice that Whole Foods has prominent signage regarding provenance of produce and whether organic or conventional, so it's not limited to Co-opportunity fanatics.

Lack of proper labels would be yet another example of business privatizing the profits, and socializing the costs of consumption of those 'iffy' and harmful ingredients.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 15, 12 at 12:25

Remember, Mal-Wart is the model, the shining example to emulate:

- Exploit labor

- Get public agencies to underwrite profits

- Bully and intimidate suppliers

- Convince customers every product is a bargain


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

"Lack of proper labels would be yet another example of business privatizing the profits, and socializing the costs of consumption"

Agreed.

"They are about to ruin it"

I would say they have done ruint it already. The situation could hardly get worse.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

I don't read labels because I don't buy processed foods or drink sodas. My diet is mostly fruit, veggies, dairy, eggs, cheese, heavy grained bread,. I started this when I read Michael Polan's book which said if you can't pronounce it, or your grandmother didn't have it in her cupboard, don't eat it. This life style is difficult to live too especially in non summer months. We grow a lot of our own veggies but in the winter when they come from God knows where, it's difficult. The cantaloupe scare which killed many people and now it's the mango one. These countries ,where we import fruits in the winter, don't have the same restrictions as we do.

I gave up meat over thirty years ago for humanitarian reasons , but now with all the injections and hormones fed market animals, think about it. Could this be one of the reasons the cancer rates are so high?


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I try to read about the various countries and companies that we get our fruits and vegetables from, so when we go shopping I can make better choices based on the tiny labels that show origin or farm, and I do read other product labels.

We consume very little dairy. My theory is, every mammal that begins life with milk eventually weans... there must be a natural reason for that, otherwise mammary glands would be flowing continuously. Therefore, I can conclude that after a certain age, mammals no longer require that nutrition. It can be found and consumed through other items.

Butter, cheeses, and ice creams, sour cream, cottage cheese, or any other type of dairy items are all man made using milk as the base. So, we use very little of those items, if at all.

Meats... we try to buy from local sources, which we know don't grow their beef or pork with growth hormones, antibiotics or other chemicals. Eggs, I try to get the organic ones from free ranged chickens... really free ranged, and not the industry definition.

We stopped eating any kinds of processed grains or bleached flour items, like breads and pastas. It really helped level out my digestive system and gave me more energy. I didn't feel so bloated or tired. We do eat some oatmeal, but I'm picky about what I buy. We also eat rice, but not too much. Whole grains are better, I think... without any other ingredients.

Fruits and vegetables, we consume a lot of. I love fruit, and I'm not picky about which vegetables to eat. I like them all... even spinach and brussels sprouts! The only fruit I can't eat are those green melons... can't think of the name... I'm allergic, and they give me a slight reaction.

We do drink a lot of coffee, I'll admit... but I prefer it plain. That helps keep sugar intake very low, and omits the dairy.

It's tough to eat a truly balanced, nutritious, organic, natural diet on a small budget, but we try hard. We're not perfect, and we slip up and get cravings every once in a while. We might buy some candy or chips, but not in any large quantity. And we don't drink soda, or other sugary drinks, and that, I think, is a large part of the average person's sugar intake... that, and all the sugars, sodium and other ingredients hidden within processed foods.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 15, 12 at 14:41

The China Study says the relationship between cheese and prostate cancer is on the same level as that between cigarettes and lung cancer. If you look at the label on many cheeses the serving size is one cubic inch. Why even bother if that is all you should have, at one time?

Dairy is also constipating and promotes respiratory infections. A friend once exclaimed "Yogurt is a real nothing food!". Except for the ones with probiotics added it's pretty hard to argue with that, at least as far as those features that are listed on the label are concerned.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

Took me four hours this morning to make six quarts of applesauce and two of tomato. Everything about food worth eating is madly time-consuming, compared to buying it grown and prepared.

We would do very little else if there was no food industry. So it's very problematic that the food industry is dead rotten.


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I got burned the other day buying dry roasted peanuts. Son and friends were setting off on a long back pack and wanted a few lbs of gorp. So I shopped by price and got two 34 oz jars Planters Peanuts.

Came home and found they use MSG, sugar, corn starch, torula yeast, HFCS, paprika, onion and garlic powder and natural flavor - what ever that is, but if its anything like what they showed on 60 minutes the other day, its just some mess of chemicals.

Sheesh. I would have thought: peanuts, salt.

Next time I was in the store, I looked at a couple other brands of dry roasted peanuts, and they were all the same.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

Opponents of the proposition wouldn't comment directly on their thinking, but said through a campaign spokesperson that the enhanced labeling would add to producers' costs and could scare consumers about the safety of genetically engineered crops

How much does it cost to modify a label? Lame excuse. Scare consumers? More like, scare them away from buying your products. Another lame excuse.

I don't know that modifying the genetics of food makes it dangerous to eat or not, and my guess would be that it doesn't. But what if we do find out in the future that it IS harmful?

Europe is way ahead of the US on this issue (and a lot of others, but it makes sense, they are much older countries).


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

I want to know where my food is from & if it's modified.

I don't want meat dipped in ammonia, perhaps you don't care but I do.

I don't want shrimp from the gulf of mexico
I don't want food from china ( not even pet food)

as a consumer in the US , I think I have a right (little r)to know where things come from , don't you?


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

Took me four hours this morning to make six quarts of applesauce and two of tomato.

I don't make applesauce but I do make fresh tomato sauce. It doesn't take me much time at all. Wash and roughly cut up the tomatoes, simmer until soft (maybe 15 minutes), let cool, run through the passatutto - which I think is called a food mill in English - and then gently simmer with desired seasonings. Serve with farro, pasta, fagioli, etc.


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Personally I think there is a very strong link between cancer and meat, especially beef. I don't think we are designed to eat beef because it is so hard for us to digest. It stays in humnan stomachs for 12 + hours. I have to cook fowl for my husband as he still eats meat and if he wants beef he has to go to Burger King or another fast food place to get it. I don't even feed my pets any pet food that contains beef beacause I think it's most probably very tainted with chemicals, antibiotics, etc. Along with the soft drink industry, beef suppliers would be out of business waiting for me to buy their products. The business of beef manufacturing is dirty in more ways than one.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

Nancy, no the tomato doesn't take long. In fact, I don't run it through the mill anymore because I prefer it with the seeds.

The applesauce is very laborious: first cut out the bad spots, cut into chunks, cook the chunks to make them soft enough to pass through the mill, cool them so that they can be handled, pass them through the mill, re-heat the puree with a little sugar and cinnamon stick, meanwhile boil the jars and lids, then fish out the jars, fill them and cap them.

It's a big deal but the result is so much superior to bought sauce that I'm willing to do it.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

As consumers, spending our money on these foods, I think we absolutely have every right to know exactly where our foods come from, what they're made of, how they're made, when they're made, and whether or not they've been genetically modified. These are things I want to know before I put them in my mouth and allow them to circulate throughout my bodily systems!

We don't want to scare people? I think it's more like, we NEED to INFORM people! Why would it be scary to learn where your food comes from and what it contains? I'm more interested in MY health than in a stockholder's portfolio, a CEO's salary, or how much they might lose if it were known that a food were genetically modified or contained something unhealthy!

Personally, I think we are being grossly deceived by most industry. As consumers, as citizens, we have a right to know about the water we drink, the foods we consume, the air we breathe, etc.

We weren't really meant to eat beef, per se... we have the teeth and digestive tract to handle much tougher meats, which would not be present if we weren't meant to be exactly what most of us are... omnivores. We evolved with the capacity to consume and use the nutrition contained in both animal and plant matter.

Perhaps what's difficult to digest is the "meat glue" the industry uses today... or maybe it's the various methods of growing meats quickly and the processing involved. Most average families don't buy the tenderloins or the top cuts... we're more drawn to the cheaper cuts that are affordable and go further.

Beef, or cows, are basically man made animals. Humans bred them. Buffalo or elk, bear or moose, deer, water buffalo, the woolly mammoth, and other wild, indigenous animals are what we began eating, I would think. At one point in time, before the advent of civilized society and grocery stores, we had to kill and eat something, also using the skins to keep warm in northern climes. The horns and bones were also used in different ways.

At some point in time, we were hunter/gatherers that were more nomadic, following large migrating herds of animals, or we stayed put and began to grow edible food items. The things we call foods today barely resemble the foods that allowed us to survive as a species and make it to this point... for the most part.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

If you don't have too many apples to deal with, you can microwave them to soften them up. However, if you try doing that with a whole bushel of apples, you can get a microwave so hot that it will melt plastic stuff sitting on the top.

Ask me how I know......


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

No microwave here. That sure would be easier, though. I should try putting a big panful in a very low oven for an hour or so and see if that works.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

the tomato doesn't take long. In fact, I don't run it through the mill anymore because I prefer it with the seeds.

I use the passatutto more to remove the skins than the seeds (a few always manage to be small enough to make it through the sieve). Not having to skin the tomatoes is a real time saver.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

2 bushels of tomatoes done into herb sauce today using what my DH calls my " big honkin' Nona machine". An electric grinder that separates pulp and juice from skin and seeds. I can do a bushel of Romas in less than hour.

Yesterday was a bushel of tomatoes into stewed tomatoes ...no using the Nona machine for that so it was a days adventure.

Tomorrow a bushel of red peppers awaits.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

Chase, now if that were a Nonna (Italian for grandmother) machine, that would be something!


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Ooops pardon my spelling.......actually I'm told that the machine might better be called a Nonno machine because the men usually processed the tomatoes while the women canned then.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

Canning peppers?

I really like the roma type tomatoes, first year I grew them.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

No pn, I'm not canning the peppers. I roast/ char them and then freeze them. Wonderful for soups and sauces.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

At a local farmers' market I buy costoluto genovese - ribbed variety - for fresh sauce.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

My 15 tomato plants are winding down. Do any of you dry them? I love them in pasta like that. I'm guessing you cut them in quarters and put olive oil on them and roast in a very low oven for hours? How long and what temp?..200?

Even though this has been the summer from hell , I'll miss tomatoes and the fresh local fruit and veggies. We're still getting local corn and our arugula and spinach look good, beans not so good. After my last tomato , I will not have another till next July. Store ones can't hold a candle.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

"I really like the roma type tomatoes, first year I grew them."

That is all I plant. They even did OK this year with plenty of watering even though there was a nasty drought.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

My strategy with peppers is to store them within myself. Glutting, and then I don't eat them again until next year. This because I find no other method of storing peppers is satisfactory. I get a few into jarred tomato sauce.

I'll look for some different varieties of paste toms for next year, 'costoluto genovese' could be one....


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

lily, I do slow roasted tomatoes in a 250 oven for 2-3 hours. When ready they will be shriveled but still a bit moist.Slice the toms toss with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay flat on a lined cookies sheet.

Pn, I tried canning peppers once.... the best I can say is that they looked pretty in the jar. Roasted red peppers freeze beautifully , and while I don't use them in salads they are great in any cooked dish or as part of an antipasto platter. Roasted Red Pepper Soup is probably my favourite use of them.


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I grew Costoluto Genovese this year. It's a good tomato, one that I'll definitely grow again. Dark tomatoes are my favorite. Purple Russian aka Russian Black (SSE recently changed the name) is the best. It has been a staple for many years. It's a Roma type that is fantastic in sauce.

I like canned peppers - store bought, I only successfully grew peppers once, chopped and added to cornbread batter. After baking, serve the pepper-corn bread warm with a little honey.

In re to the op, I'm in favor of labeling genetically engineered food/ingredients. I think the opponents are afraid people will start asking questions if they see something is genetically modified, and that could cause the whole house of cards to come crashing down.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

The only GMO food I am familiar with is the Roundup ready corn and soybeans. What other ways are food crops genetically modified? Aside from the questionable practice of blanketing the earth with Round up, is there any evidence that modifying a gene or two has an effect on the healthfulness of the food?

In any case, whether it's completely safe or they're not sure yet, I would like to know how my food is being modified, and it should be labeled. And isn't that just like humans, innovating yet another technology without having any real idea how it's going to affect life on this planet.

Re: storing some food. I don't do much, only have a small veggie garden here, but I've been picking leftover corn from a nearby field and cutting the kernels off the cob and freezing them.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

One of the more worthwhile investments we've made is a food dehydrator, and this year, with a bumper crop of apples, we've been drying up a storm. Run them through a slicer/corer thing, cut the result in half, skid the slices out on the tray, 24 hours they're done. They also do wonders with drying tomatoes - slice them about 1/2 inch thick, line them up on the trays, again 24 hours and they're crisp. Both products are easy to ship to the '52 diaspora.

For sweet peppers, we use quite a bit making up dozens of jars of what we call 'tomato base sauce', which is a combination of strained tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, and tomato paste to thicken, then canned in quarts with no seasoning. Used in anything from pasta sauces, soup, stew, chili, etc.

The rest of the sweet peppers I'll try to leave turn red, then slice into strips and freeze. They're sure better than nothing.

Hot peppers - this year is fermenting them into tobasco-like sauces, and if they're large enough, we roast them and freeze them.

Thats one of the treats of living in the South West - chili roasting season, where they sell bushels of chili in the farmers markets and along the road sides, with a propane-fired roaster. That smells so good. Again the result is frozen, used in burritos, mac and cheese, with slow-roasted pork, and so on.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

I didn't know there were black-type Romas.

A dehydrator might be a good buy for me. Dave, have you tried drying sliced sweet peppers?


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

No pn, I'm not canning the peppers. I roast/ char them and then freeze them. Wonderful for soups and sauces.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

Thanks for the reply, chase. I think you said that already, though.


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

Just wanted to make sure you understood:-)

Actually I am trying to figure out how this happened but I think it is some how related to how tabs work on my tablet. It seems the tabs stay active and some action or other on my part regenerates the original action......actually I think I'll go look for a recipe for lobster bisque and leave hubby to figure it out .


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RE: Big companies fight labelling of modified foods

Dave, have you tried drying sliced sweet peppers?

I have - they work ok in the mixes we do for backpack food, but for home cooking, the frozen are much better.


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