Monthly Archives: February 2014

RECALL: Where’s the beef?


Nearly 9 million… yes, MILLION pounds of beef products produced by a Northern California company has been recalled. Rancho Feeding Corporation in Petaluma, California has issued a recall because the products processed are “unsound, unwholesome or otherwise are unfit for human food” without undergoing a full federal inspection, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced Saturday.

The products were produced between January 1, 2013 through January 7, 2014.. yes, nearly an entire years worth of meat. Products were shipped to distribution centers and retail establishments in California, Florida, Illiniois and Texas. They include beef carcasses, oxtail, liver, cheeks, tripe, tongue and veal bones. A list of the recalled products can be found here.

Last month the company recalled more than 40,000 pounds of meat products produced on January 8 that also didn’t undergo a full inspection. The problems were discovered as part of an ongoing investigation, the FSIS said.

The FSIS has not received any reports of illness. Because some of the products could still be frozen and in storage, a Class I recall was issued because the meat product could cause serious, adverse health consequences.

Consumers who have questions about the recall can contact the plant’s Quality Control manager, Scott Parks at (707) 762-6651.

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Is Monsanto to Blame For Killing Butterflies?

As if we didn’t have enough reasons to hate Monsanto.

The monarch butterfly’s life cycle has always been synchronized to the seasonal growth of milkweed, the only plant its larvae will eat. Successive generations of monarchs follow the springtime emergence of milkweed from Mexico to Canada. The hardy plant once flourished in grasslands, roadsides, abandoned lots, and cornfields across much of the continent. It fueled a mass migration that ended each winter with more than 60 million butterflies converging on pine forests in the Sierra Madres.

This week, the World Wildlife Fund announced that last year’s migration from Canada and the United States to Mexico had reached a record low since scientists started to monitor monarch butterfly colonies in 1993. This winter, butterflies were found in 1.7 acres across 11 sanctuaries, down from a high of 45 acres in 1996.

The monarch population began to steadily sink as more than a million of acres of grasslands rapidly are being wiped out in favor of corn and soybean fields, a rate of loss comparable to the deforestation of Brazil and Indonesia. Monsanto’s Roundup Week Killer is largely to blame for the decline, since it kills everything, including milkweed, which is down by 80%. The butterfly population has decreased by the same amount. Some states, such as Iowa, is losing more than 98 percent of their milkweed population. The weed doesn’t even grown on the edges of farmland anymore and the disappearance of the plant poses a huge risk to the insect’s survival.

There are other possible scenarios for the butterfly’s disappearance, including two years of unusual spring weather in the United States. 2012 was hotter than normal and the following year it was colder, disrupting the insects’ northward migration. Illegal logging has dwindled away the butterfly’s winter habitat. But nothing can match the lost milkweed in the Midwest, birthplace of roughly half of all the monarchs east of the Rocky Mountains.

This isn’t new news though. Declines in the population of Monarch butterfly’s have been reported for a number of years. Honeybee populations have been sliding downhill as well. Who are we going to listen to? An evil corporation preparing to take over the world? Or the beautiful living insects on this earth that keep everything else in sync?

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