New Blu Mural in Spain Celebrates Vegetarianism (And Apparently Veggie Suicide?)

New Blu Mural in Spain Celebrates Vegetarianism (And Apparently Veggie Suicide?)

Blu is a street artist, muralist, and sketch artist who does work all over Europe and  beyond.  He recently created a mural in Ordes, Spain to advocate and celebrate vegetarianism.  It’s a change from his more political and thought-provoking work.  It depicts fruits and vegetables gathered around a whirring blender, tossing themselves inside while a crowd of very happy and like-minded produce cheers them on.

New Blu Mural in Spain Celebrates Vegetarianism (And Apparently Veggie Suicide?)

New Blu Mural in Spain Celebrates Vegetarianism (And Apparently Veggie Suicide?)

New Blu Mural in Spain Celebrates Vegetarianism (And Apparently Veggie Suicide?)

New Blu Mural in Spain Celebrates Vegetarianism (And Apparently Veggie Suicide?)

- via Colossal -

‘Grapes Of Wrath’ Lawsuit: London Shop Owner Ordered To Pay $175,739 To Customer Who Slipped On Mushy Grapes

'Grapes Of Wrath' Lawsuit: London Shop Owner Ordered To Pay $175,739 To Customer Who Slipped On Mushy Grapes

Another goofy lawsuit for sure, but one that comes to us from across the pond.  Onkar Singh Gill, who owns a London produce shop called The Stall, was ordered to pay a sum of about £112,000 (that’s about $175,000 to you and me) when one of his customers, Samira Hassan, slipped on a few grapes and broke both her wrists.

Hassan was wearing what she terms “sensible shoes” on the day in question.  She stopped by The Stall to have a look at some produce.  She stepped on some “mushy” grapes left on the pavement, fell forward, and shattered her wrists.  Ouch.

'Grapes Of Wrath' Lawsuit: London Shop Owner Ordered To Pay $175,739 To Customer Who Slipped On Mushy Grapes

Onkar Singh Gill – Outside Royal Courts Of Justice – Via The Daily Mail

According to The Mirror, Hassan won the case last September, but there was the usual appeal.  The shop owner claimed he took all the precautions he could, going so far as sweeping the ground up to five times a day.  The chief judge was having none of it.

The initial fall took place in 2005.  That’s seven years of legal wrangling that’s been dubbed “The Grapes of Wrath.”  Gill’s defense was mainly that Hassan’s fall a “freak accident,” saying that there wasn’t much else he could have done about it.  Clearly that defense didn’t find merit.Mr. Gill’s son, Sandeep, said that the business was insured for accidents but because of a legal loophole they would almost certainly be liable for the full amount.

‘Sometimes you do wonder whose side the law is actually on.’

USDA Retracts Meatless Monday Recommendation

USDA Retracts Meatless Monday Recommendation

On Monday, July 23rd, the USDA released its monthly Greening Headquarters Update to employees (an internal document.)  In between updates on office sustainability initiatives, the newsletter encouraged readers to give Meatless Monday a try by sampling some of the options available in USDA cafeterias.  That didn’t last particularly long.

The newsletter referred to United Nations data that cites animal agriculture as a major source of greenhouse gases and climate change.  USDA spokeswoman Cortney Rowe now says the department does not endorse the “Meatless Monday” initiative, which is part of a global public health campaign.

The agency removed the posting hours after the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association denounced it in a news release. The USDA often promotes the beef industry by encouraging Americans to eat meat.

Sysco Jumps Aboard Gestation Ban – Pledges To Stop Using Gestation Crates For Pork Products

Sysco Jumps Aboard Gestation Ban - Pledges To Stop Using Gestation Crates For Pork Products

Sysco is one of the world’s largest food distributors.  Happily they’ve decided to join the other restaurants and organizations that have pledged to stop using pork from distributors who use gestation crates.

The Humane Society has applauded the move in a and included a statement from Sysco in their own:

Sysco takes its role as a responsible corporate citizen in the food supply chain seriously. We use science-based standards for animal welfare and work diligently with our suppliers to ensure humane treatment of animals. We also listen closely to our customers desires. Although there are many ways to house sows, several customers and suppliers have expressed their desire to eliminate gestation crates from their supply chains.

While no timeline has been established, Sysco has promised it would work with its suppliers to end the use of gestation crates.  Sysco has joined the ranks of the likes of McDonalds, Burger King, Safeway, and Hormel in disavowing the use of the crates.  Sysco earned $40 billion in sales last year and has 400,000 customers worldwide.

Canadian Couple’s Kitchen Garden Targeted By Draconian Local Authorities

Canadian Couple's Kitchen Garden Targeted By Draconian Local Authorities

Here’s another case of government gone horribly wrong.  A Canadian couple is fighting to keep a vegetable garden they grow on their property in Drummondville, a town about 60 miles northeast of Montreal.

Earlier this spring, Michel Beauchamp and his wife, Josée Landry, planted an elaborate (and quite pretty) vegetable garden on the front lawn of their home.  It replaced a flower garden.  Because they wanted to eat better, they planted a variety of veggies, ranging from tomatoes to brussels sprouts.  Eating food from their own garden has helped each lose weight, a combined total of 100 pounds.

Canadian Couple's Kitchen Garden Targeted By Draconian Local Authorities

The government doesn’t care, however.  The deadline to remove the garden has already passed.  According to the local government, 30 per cent of the front lawn must be covered in grass.  The city has sent the couple two letters, ordering the couple to reduce the size of their vegetable garden.  After Sunday, they face fines of $100 to $300 per day.

They aren’t deterred.  “It must be a right to be able to grow our vegetables on our land. It is nonsense to ban it,” said Beauchamp.  A spokesperson for the city said neighbors have complained about the garden, although Beauchamp is challenging them to on that count.  He shares his home-grown produce with the neighborhood.  And it’s hardly unsightly.

“They love it. Everybody is surprised by the kind of taste we can have from fresh vegetables,” he said.

Beyond squashing this couples healthy eating, the city plans to make it illegal to grow vegetables on front lawns anywhere in the city during the fall.  The city held public consultations on the new rule and it said no one objected.

This is what you get when you allow a nanny state.  The couple are now petitioning for the council to relax its draconian rules.  In part the petition reads:

Front yard kitchen gardens are not the problem; they’re part of the solution to healthier and more sustainable communities. Thanks for helping us to defend them.

 

Head on over and sign the petition.

Cargill Recalls 29,339 Pounds Of Ground Beef After Salmonella Outbreak

Cargill Recalls 29,339 Pounds Of Ground Beef After Salmonella Outbreak

The Associated Press reports:

Hannaford Supermarkets is alerting consumers that Cargill Beef is voluntarily recalling 29,339 pounds of ground beef that may contain salmonella.

 

The 85-percent-lean ground beef was produced at Cargill’s plant in Wyalusing, Pa., on May 25, and repackaged for sale to consumers by customers of the Maine-based grocery chain.

 

Cargill President John Keating says in a statement, “Food borne illnesses are unfortunate and we are sorry for anyone who became sick from eating ground beef we may have produced.”

 

Hannaford’s says consumers should check their ground beef for “use or sell by” dates between May 29 and June 16. Refunds will be offered for ground beef that is returned.

33 people have taken ill in a seven state-wide outbreak (MA, ME, NH, NY, RI, VA, VT).  The initial outbreak began in early June.  It took several weeks to suss out exactly what the source of infection was.  Two of the five reported cases required hospitalization. The strain involved – Salmonella Enteritidis (isn’t it always) can be treated with antibiotics.

The USDA has details here and Cargill has a recall site with information.  None of the affected meat is still available for sale.