Saturday, March 14, 2009

Go figure

From a March 10, 2009 New York Times article:

"The former first lady, Laura Bush, insisted that fresh, organic foods be served in the White House, but did not broadcast that fact to the public, according to Walter Scheib, who served as executive chef under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. 'She just didn’t talk much about it outside the house,' Mr. Scheib said of Mrs. Bush."

Hmmm... so while Laura is insisting that only organic food be served in the White House, hubby's policies are almost what one could call anti-organic? Perhaps she didn't mention it outside the White House so as not to upset her friends such as Rush Limbaugh or Matt Drudge?

And why did the American tax payer have to pay for organic food for a White House that enabled or even forced the "common folk" (i.e. us) to eat contaminated unhealthy industrially-produced garbage at times?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I am definitely wining

While I've liked wine for a long while now, I've recently been more "into" certain (and better) ones lately, and being the thrifty person I am, I've been hunting for inexpensive yet good wines. I live in Orange County, North Carolina, so some of my sources won't be applicable for anyone outside of this area.

Where do I get my wines?
1. Hillsborough Wine Company; my local wine merchant with a good selection of great-quality and many inexpensive wines, located in Hillsborough.
2. 3Cups; has some very cool artisinal, organic, and biodynamic wines, located in Chapel Hill.
3. Trader Joe's; has several inexpensive but good wines, located in Chapel Hill.
4. World Market; has a few inexpensive but good wines, located in Chapel Hill.

I'd always rather shop my local store, but sometimes just feel compelled to buy a quantity of inexpensive wine from, say, Trader Joe's, because I don't want to spent more than six or seven dollars for an "everyday wine" for myself.

However, often times my local wine shop can get wine for cheaper than discount places, particularly if I buy it by the case. For instance, my current favorite inexpensive wine is La Vieille Ferme Rouge Côtes du Ventoux, which is $6.99 a bottle at World Market; Hillsborough Wine Company sells it for $7.49 a bottle. However, World Market doesn't give a case discount, and HWC does; so I can get it for about $6.36 a bottle at HWC (a saving of 60 cents a bottle, or almost $8.00 a case -- which definitely adds up after while).

An interesting wine that I came across at Trader Joe's is a wine called La Ferme Julien Rouge Cotes du Ventoux. Its label resembles La Vieille Ferme Rouge Côtes du Ventoux (although it has a goat on it instead of two chickens and the color and font are different), and has the same composition: 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% Carignan, and 15% Cinsault. The bottle and cap look alike as well. It's supposed to be made by the same people (the Perrin family, who have a great reputation). Word on the street (well, the Internet) is that it's either a private labelling of the La Vieille Ferme, or a secondary bottling of it, or that it's from grapes from somewhere else on the same vineyard. It does get generally good ratings, with people either saying the two taste the same, or that the La Vieille Ferme is better, or that they're both bad. (I'll have to tray a few bottles and get back to you!) Robert Parker and the Wine Spectator both give the 2006 La Vieille Ferme an 87 rating, in case you're into that.

The only other inexpensive (meaning, under $7.00 or $8.00) wine I really like so far from Trader Joe's is the La Loggia Barbera D'Alba. I've always enjoyed Barbera D'Alba, and while this isn't the best one I've had by far, it is really tasty and is so inexpensive ($6.99 a bottle) that one can't complain. And for God's sake don't get the "Two Buck Chuck" (now at $2.99 a bottle) at Trader Joe's, unless you just don't give a darn what swill you drink...

Yup, I rarely ever post

But I just can't keep up with it!

Monday, January 26, 2009

FDA and USDA drop the bomb AGAIN

Scientists (this time at the Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy) have once again found the FDA and USDA to be hiding health-relevant information from consumers. The latest? Many products containing high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contain mercury, due to the processing, uh... process. And what's the acceptable level of mercury in American consumers' food and drink, you ask? The answer?: Zero!

Again, hopefully with the new presidential administration in power, things like this will no longer happen, and the FDA and/or USDA will not sacrifice the American consumer so that a few crooked companies can force or keep their products on the shelves.

Read the report, Not So Sweet: Missing Mercury and High Fructose Corn Syrup, here.