Your Virgin Olive Oil is a Slut: Mislabeling Meat, Fish, Honey, Olive Oil, Wasabi and Kobe Beef

So in Europe they’re discovering grocery store goods and cafeteria meals containing horsemeat instead of beef. Hey, that’s why school kids call it mystery meat, amirite? But horsemeat for meat isn’t the only thing being adulterated. It’s just the most disgusting thing.

Virtually all Kobe beef and wasabi in the United States are mislabeled. So is most parmesan cheese. The EVOO that Rachel Ray tells you to choose when buying olive oil almost certainly isn’t even a regular virgin. In fact, it’s probably pretty skanky:

With Italian extra-virgin olive oil in high demand with concomitant high prices, adulterated olive oil has become the biggest source of agricultural fraud problems in the European Union.[6] While less than 10% of world olive oil production meets the criteria for labeling as extra-virgin, it has been estimated that up to 50% of retail oil is labeled “extra-virgin”.[7] Some oil labeled “extra-virgin” is diluted with cheaper olive oils or other vegetable oils. In some cases, lampante, or “lamp oil,” which is made from spoiled olives fallen from trees, is used, even though it can’t legally be sold as food. One fraud ring is accused of coloring low-grade soy oil and canola oil with industrial chlorophyll, and flavoring it with beta-carotene.[6]

Then there’s honey-laundering – selling adulterated and sometimes contaminated honey imported from China with the DNA fingerprints sanded off:

It has been reported that about 75% of all honey in stores are labeled “ultra-filtrated”.   This process removes all impurities such as pollen and wax.   Most generic brands of honey are usually ultra-filtrated.  And this is our first tip.  Stay away from honey that is labeled ultra-filtrated.   Why?

Pollen, removed by the ultra-filtration process, is the only way to determine  the source of the honey.  So when the pollen is removed, it can be from the US, China or somewhere else.  No one knows. Some countries, especially China, have been known to smuggle honey into the United States.  What’s wrong with this smuggled honey from China?  This honey is tainted by illegal antibiotics and heavy metals.  Plus, some dishonest companies add corn syrup or some other type of sweetener to honey to increase the quantity.

And calling tuna the chicken of the sea was just the beginning of fish being mislabeled:

Tilapia for red snapper; catfish for grouper; oil fish standing in for cod; farm-raised shrimp and salmon in place of wild caught. These are just some of the common swaps that Will Gergits says his company, Therion International, sees when it conducts simple, inexpensive DNA testing on fish.

“It’s a real problem,” Gergits said. “We see substitution quite frequently. It makes me angry.”

A new report released this week says recent studies have found that seafood may be mislabeled as often as 25 percent to 70 percent of the time. According to Food and Drug Administration port inspections, a third of seafood sold in the U.S. is mislabeled as one type when it’s actually something else, even something cheaper.

As always, was there first.

For reasons too mysterious to explain, unseen forces beyond my control compel me not to blog

But mostly it’s being busy and having a cold.


Encyclopedia Brown and the Mystery of “Who Farted?”

Encyclopedia Brown author Donald Sobol has passed away. As a tribute I dug up this Encyclopedia Brown fanfic I wrote but never posted as a response to a comment Jim Collins made in this long-gone Nashville is Talking blog post. It wound being too long a comment and too short a post to ever go anywhere:

“I am unaware of any legal right to pollute the air that as a human being I have to breath,” Jim Collins typed into a comment on a Nashville is Talking post announcing that the House Agriculture Committee voted 13-1 to kill a bill sponsored by the House’s only physician, Rep. Joey Hensley, to ban smoking in restaurants that employ people under 18.

Jim pressed “Send” and turned off his monitor. Then he combed his hair, went into the garage, and pushed back the kickstand on his non-polluting bicycle. He had a lunch date with the Junior Science club at Battered and Fried and he wanted to be on time. Encyclopedia Brown was this week’s guest speaker and Jim wanted a good seat. He hopped on his bike and sped off, his pinwheel turning in the wind.

Bugsy walked over to Encyclopedia Brown and begged him to take his case. “It wasn’t me. I was framed. I need you to find the real farter.”

“OK, we’ll take the case,” said Encyclopedia Brown. “Our fee is fifty cents.”

Bugsy walked over to a table where the people had just left and swiped fifty cents from the waitress’s tip. “Here’s your money,” he said with a big grin.

“Let’s get started, Sally,” Encyclopedia said.

“One minute,” Sally said, talking with her mouth full. “Those people left some fries on their table.” After Sally polished off the fries and half a bowl of clam chowder, they started their investigation by interviewing Tommy Clark. He had been sitting right next to Jim Collins.

“Sure I smelled it,” Jim laughed. “Someone played an entire stinkhorn solo.” I was enjoying a healthy plate of tofu that I as a human have to eat.”

“Butt, Jim, we talked to the waitress and she said you had the shrimp.”

“Okay okay! It was me, Jim Collins. I farted. And I’d fart again. Bugsy’s cigarette smoke was polluting the air that I as a human have to breath, and that’s not his right. So I let one to clear the air because my farts smell like roses.”

Bugsy looked at Jim like he was retarded. The human rights police showed up and took Jim to pollution jail.

Sally said, “Well, Encyclopedia, I guess that solves the case of ‘who farted?’. This will be one for the books.”

“That’s right, Sally,” said Encyclopedia, “I guess we can call this one the case of ‘who smelt it dealt it’.”

And everyone laughed.


Alleged libeller outed by alleged skank

Robert X. CringelySkanks for nothing: Google must identify ‘anonymous’ blogger.

Yesterday a U.S. federal judge ruled that Google must turn over the name of an anonymous blogger who took a severe disliking to aging supermodel Liskula Cohen. The ripples emanating from the ruling could potentially wash over every member of the blogosphere (including those who delight in anonymously depositing nasty comments on blogs — you know who you are).

The backstory: In August 2008, some soon-to-not-be-anonymous blogger (STNBAB) created a Google blog called “Skanks in NYC” (no longer available, but archived at Mahalo). The sole topic of this short-lived blog: Liskula Cohen, a zygomatically gifted Canuck who has graced the covers of Vogue, Elle, and other magazines probably not in the bathrooms of most InfoWorld readers.

Among other things, the STNBAB called Cohen “a psychotic, lying, whoring, still going to clubs at her age, skank.” He (she?) also called Cohen “an old hag.” I bet that’s the one that really stung.

Ya know, I can’t help but think that “skank” is going to follow Liskula Cohen around for the rest of her life, all because she sicced her attorney on somebody’s little blog. That’s a little thing I like to call justice.

Bonus!Cracked’s “How to Slander Online Now That Google Won’t Protect You”:

Guideline #2: The public has an interest in knowing these facts.
The “truth” defense doesn’t always work though. Often courts will demand that there be a “public interest” in you disseminating whatever facts you’re trying to spread. For example, if Trevor Moore of Greenden, Ohio was a threat to young boys and farm animals, which he is, then I could claim my column was a justifiable method of informing the people and livestock of Greenden, Ohio about the threat living in their midst, and also driving around in a blue Toyota Tercel in their midst.