Folding, spindeling, and mutilating lauguage for fun since Aug, 2004
Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Dear Food Distributors,


I just wanted to write and tell you that you are not fooling anybody.  We can tell that you are making the packages smaller at the same time that you are inching up the prices on said packages.

We understand that you are in business to make as much money as you possibly can, and we also understand that some of your costs have gone up.  We know that you have to charge somewhat more than you did before for your products, and we understand as well that you simply cannot resist pushing that a little farther than necessary.

That is moderately grumpy-making, but we can handle it.

What I’m calling you out on is your insult to our intelligence.  Yes, we notice that the packages are getting smaller, and we notice that the prices are going up.  We also notice that for businessmen, things like having to re-size all of the products, their packaging, etc. is not too expensive, but keeping them melamine, salmonella and e. coli- free is.

We understand that our economic and physical health are unimportant compared to your profit margin being high enough to give the executives their spiffy bonuses.  We are neither surprised nor are we capable of being particularly grumpy about it anymore.

However,  if it is not too much trouble, do you think you could possibly see your way clear to not act like we are a bunch of pre-operational toddlers who cannot properly process differences in relative size and volume?

That would be great…thanks!


Teresa Lhotka

Tuesday, 10 February 2009 09:41:53 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [20] | #
Tuesday, 10 February 2009 14:31:52 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
I remember when Reagan side-stepped rules for meat inspection by simply cuting the number of inspectors to almost nothing and saying "Don't worry, silly liberals; the meat industry can regulate and inspect itself!" Result - people died from tainted meat that previously would have been caught during inspection.
Tuesday, 10 February 2009 14:39:49 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)

See? the free market works! I bet those people didn't go out and buy tainted meat again!
Tuesday, 10 February 2009 14:49:24 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)

I've heard exactly that response before.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009 15:26:54 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Well, you can't argue with it, can you? When was the last time you saw a dead salmonella victim out shopping for ground beef? If you can't produce one, then you have to admit you are a communist and read three Milton Freedman books in pennance...or half an Ayn Rand novel.
Tuesday, 10 February 2009 15:42:07 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Actually, that was e. coli, wasn't it?
Tuesday, 10 February 2009 16:55:34 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Yes. But it's the same principle: Publicly radiate confidence that there is no risk to public safety, while living and legislating in a way that makes it clear that you really just don't care about public safety.
Tuesday, 10 February 2009 16:59:12 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
I was just correcting myself, not arguing with you. :-)

It is just hard to keep all of the Republican's deregulation disasters straight.
Tuesday, 10 February 2009 17:51:11 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
I didn't feel you were arguing with me; I was just expanding on the point.
Tuesday, 10 February 2009 19:50:47 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
I 100% agree with this open letter. Right on!
Tuesday, 10 February 2009 20:41:24 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Perhaps the logic is, since a smaller container holds less food, there will be less salmonella or E. coli in each package, thus lessening how sick you will be if you get a contaminated package. Therefore, smaller packages are good for you!
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 06:02:31 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)

You're Right! Oh my goodness, why didn't I see it before! They DO care! I feel all warm and fuzzy now. :-)
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 08:32:24 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
Hey guys! Here is the best idea ever! And I'm sure someone will come up with it in the near future.

What we as consumers need is a way to determine if salmonella, E. coli, etc. exists in a product once we get it home. Having a way to kill off the bacteria before we eat it (if possible) would be even better! All we need is a machine similar in size and operation to a microwave that will run the tests and kill off any bacteria!

Simple, just run on down to Lowes and pick up your Device for Food Inspection of Bacteria, D-FIB for short. Because that is what you'll be need unless you own one of these!

I'm going to have to work on this one myself!
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 09:56:33 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)

That sounds like a great idea, and I wish it would work. But the real problem with salmonella (and I presume e. coli is the same) is not just the bacteria itself, but the toxins it releases into whatever organic material contains it. So even if you kill the bacteria (and microwaving does that very nicely) the toxins that give you food poisoning remain behind and once you ingest them, hilarity ensues.

I've had salmonella poisoning twice in my life, and it is a frakking miserable time to have.

Sorry to shoot you down on that; it's a nifty thought. But the only real solution is to make sure that our food is as free of such contaminants as possible before they come to our homes.
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 10:21:40 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)

Dude, you're ruining my fun! Ok - how about this. Have a similar device that determines if the toxins are in the product. If so, it automatically scans the label and prints out an ironclad lawsuit!

Buzz killer
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 11:26:41 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)

Now you're talking! Add to this a device a catapult to launch the contaminated foodstuffs into the offices of the execs who decided to let them onto the market and I'll buy it!
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 11:36:28 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
The other question is whether or not these test kits were either accurate or effective.

Try some of those lead test kits out for instance, usless, AND expensive. And how do you find out that the test kits you were using don't work? and how many things can you test for on your own?

Here's the scenario I see with the Libertarian utopia: In order to get the 500 test kits you have to have in order to detect the toxins you wish to avoid, you subscribe to a consumer reporting agency to check what are the best products, and the best test kits.

It's not until you are in the hospital recovering from you rbout of e-coli and wondering whether or not you will be able to pay for this AND the treatment your toddler needs for lead poisoning, when you hear a news report about how your consumer information service has a back-door deal with several companies to not report on certain problems with their products.

Of course, you don't believe them, because it is just a liberal media news outlet trying to discredit your great American company because they hate profit and freedom.

The e.coli and lead are obviously due to Al Gore's outrageously luxurious lifestyle.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009 13:09:30 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)

I've told you before, you just didn't believe me. Al Gore is not a commie, but a very good capitalist. He creates a company that sells a very cheap (and useless) product, Carbon Credits. He then travels the world screeching like Chicken Little that the sky is falling - and that buying Carbon Credits is a good way to help prevent it or slow it down.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009 16:31:48 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)

You put up such a good capitalist front that I just can't believe that you reject a market solution to a problem. :-)
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 17:27:46 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)
To tell you the truth (I always do, BTW), I'm still not convinced that government intervention (i.e. bailouts that began years ago - NOT deregulation) isn't in a very large way somehow responsible for this whole mess.

I we, the government, just let failing companies fail, then all would be right with the world. We're in such a mess now that I'm somewhat willing to let Obama have at it. Although I don't like the idea of the state getting so obese.
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 21:17:55 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00)

Re: the truth as you understand it; I know, I was just ribbin' ya!

bail-outs suck, but not doing bail-outs suck too.

Basically, the corporations are gangsters holding our economy hostage. If we don't pay, the hostage dies. If we do pay, we'll just keep paying.

In communist China, they would just be lined up against the wall and shot...but I think that making rules against taking the economy hostage and then enforcing them appropriatly (in otherwords, regulation) is the way to go.

Still, here we are, and we either pay or let them kill the hostage...but whatever choice we should be followed by strict and enforced re-regulation.
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