Texas Liberal

All People Matter

I Saw A Smiley Face On A Potato—I Believe It Means We Will All Have A Good 2013


Earlier today I saw a potato that had a smiley face.

Above you see a picture of the potato.

I took this smiley face potato to be a message from the potato kingdom that 2013 would be a good year for all.

I have not seen messages in food before, but nor have I been reflexively dismissive of the people who say they see an image of Jesus in a piece toast.

Life is tough. Who does it hurt if people want to see Jesus or Elvis in the scrambled eggs?

Peace and blessings to each of us in our difficult world.

December 29, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

Paralytic Shellfish Toxin Is Bad–Links To Safe Shellfish Consumption

Here is a picture I took a few days ago of a sign posted at a Seattle beach.

This type of sign can be found at beaches across the nation and around the world.

I’d say that paralytic shellfish toxin is likely bad.

Here is what the Washington State Department of Health has to say about paralytic shellfish toxin.

It’ll make you real sick.

Here is a more complete sheet on marine toxins from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC offers guidelines on safely eating shellfish.

Here is the link to the Shellfish in the News section of The National Shellfisheries Association.

Here is the link to the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory at Rutgers University.

It is important to note that many of  these problems  come from natural causes and not manmade pollution.

Though anybody who has lived near large bodies of water is mindful of sewage overruns and industrial pollution.

July 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can Of Chef Boyardee Beef Ravioli Claims To Have Full Serving Of Vegetables

As you see in the picture I have taken above, it is asserted that a can of Chef Boyardee beef ravioli has a “full serving of vegetables.”  

I’m not so sure what I think of that claim.

I suppose if I lapped up every last bit of the sauce that the claim might be true by some definition—But I don’t know that I want to do that.

If I were to eat five or six cans a day of this product I would then have all the vegetables I need.

Here is information on Ettore Boiardi. Mr. Boiardi was the real Chef Boyardee.

September 12, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Terrible Coleslaw—Food Safety

File:KFC coleslaw.JPG

Recently, I brought home what had to be worst coleslaw ever.

(Above—Close-up of coleslaw.)

It was ready-made coleslaw that came in a tub that I bought at the supermarket.

My father says I’m crazy to buy this stuff. He says I’m just asking to get sick when I eat this stuff.

Still—It looked like it might be good and it is so easy to prepare.

You just scoop it out the tub and plop it on the plate.

My wife and I took one or two bites of this coleslaw and we could not imagine how bad it tasted.

I don’t know that it was a bad batch since I’ve not heard of an outbreak of coleslaw related disease—It was just awful.

My wife said that instead of calling it coleslaw that it should have been called “grosslaw.”

Grosslaw–Ha! I’ve been saying that word in my mind now for days. I’m so glad that I have a blog and that I can write the word “Grosslaw” on my blog for others to see.

Here is a history of coleslaw. It seems that some variation of coleslaw has been eaten ever since the Roman times.

Here is a link to many coleslaw and cabbage salad recipes

Even if the batch of coleslaw the wife and I had was not enough to make us sick, it is always good to know about food safety. 

Here are some excellent food safety tips from the Department of Agriculture.

Below are four essentials of food safety—

  • Clean — Wash hands and surfaces often.
  • Separate — Don’t cross-contaminate.
  • Cook — Cook to proper temperatures.
  • Chill — Refrigerate promptly.
  •  Here is the Food Safety Information Center at the National Agriculture Library of the Agriculture Department. 

    Here is a list of steps the Obama administration is taking to improve food safety as reported by Ag Weekly.

    Please take the needed steps to be certain that the food you eat and the food you prepare for others is safe.

    July 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 4 Comments

    Fudgsicle Triple Chocolate 18 Pack Has Poor And Unhelpful Packaging

    File:Indonesia bike34.JPG

    The Fudgsicle Triple Chocolate 18 pack has poor and unhelpful packaging. 

    (Above–Ice cream vendor in Indonesia.)

     This item, that I bought with my hard-earned money, has three flavors.

    These three flavors are—

    1. Milk Chocolate

    2. Dark Chocolate

    3. White Chocolate

    The problem is that the individual packages within the box are not labeled. You can tell, if you have enough light, which is the white chocolate. But there is no way to tell which is the milk chocolate and which is the white chocolate. 

    I was asked by someone close to me to for a milk chocolate Fudgsicle , but what I gave this person was the dark chocolate flavor. I could not figure out which one was the milk chocolate. 

    The Fudgsicle brand is owned by the consumer giant Unilever. You’d think they could work this out.

    You can click here to see a picture of the item I am talking about. They spend plenty of money for the external packaging, but then don’t make the product easy to use once I take it home. 

    I’m forwarding this blog post to the Fudgsicle/Unilever company and we will see what kind of response I get.  

    I feel that a week in Venice would be a fair payment for the trouble this issues has caused in my life.

    Here is the Wikipedia entry for Unilever where you can read about the company for good or ill. Wikipedia can only be trusted so far, but it;s a starting point if you would like to learn more about this big global outfit.

    Here are a number of recipes for homemade ice cream if you’d rather do it yourself.  

    Here is a history of ice cream with some links for further study. 

    May 4, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 4 Comments

    How Tuna Is “Farmed”

    The following is from a series of articles about the oceans prepared by The Economist magazine 

    “Perhaps the most grotesque form of fish farming is the ranching of bluefin tuna, a delicacy that may sell for as much as $860 a kilo. Bluefins are sensitive creatures that hate being cooped up so much that, if confined, they tend to throw themselves against their cages and break their necks. Australian “ranchers” have now adopted a technique that involves catching young bluefins, enveloping them in a huge net and dragging it slowly round the south seas for months while feeding them pilchards imported from west Africa.”

    I eat tuna and I don’t ask many questions about how it reaches my plate. But is this how we want to proceed? We’ve overfished the seas and now this is how we are getting our fish to eat. How can this be sustainable? We’re seeing in our economy what happens when we proceed in a way that is not sustainable. How many times do we need to learn (or not learn) the same lessons?     

    Here is information about the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna. (above)

    Here is information about various types of seafood and to what extent they are overfished.

    Here is information about overfishing in the United States from Mother Jones magazine.

    January 7, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Maybe Obama Does Not Discuss World Food Price Crisis Because Of Ties To Ethanol Industry

    One reason food costs have risen around the world is the use of corn as an alternative fuel.

    We put that stuff in our big trucks and SUV’s.

    Meanwhile, people across the world can’t afford food.

    This BBC story details the impact of biofuels in the cost of food.

    I’ve been waiting for Barack Obama to discuss this issue on the campaign trail.

    Doing so would show some global leadership beyond just discussing terrorists and Israel, Iran and Iraq.     

    The New York Times reported a few days back that Senator Obama has extensive ties to the ethanol industry.

    Mr. Obama supports ongoing subsidies to farmers and big agriculture for corn that goes to biofuels.

    I suppose corn is an important thing to a Senator from Illinois who needed support from voters in Iowa as a candidate for President. 

    But what about corn people in the world need for food?

    I’m all for Senator Obama.

    At the same time, I’m taking him at his word on this change deal he talks about.

    I don’t need Mr. Obama to be perfect. But supporting misguided policies causing poor people to suffer is not the program. 

    I’m looking for at least the beginnings of the truth from our leaders on climate change and our prospects as a nation in the global economy. I’m looking for a reason to still believe in our political system in any meaningful way.

    Throwing poor folks under the bus–or under the tractor in this case–so we can fill our tanks is not a great start by Senator Obama. 

    June 30, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , , | 2 Comments

    Goat Meat—If You Have Some, I’ll Eat It

    I recently read the following article in The Muslim Observer

    HILLSBORO, MO—Demand by Muslim and Hispanic communities in America has farmers raising more goats.

    The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said Monday that the U.S. goat herd has grown from 2.5 million in 2002 to about 3 million today with more than 80 percent of the animals being raised for meat.

    “It’s the No. 1 consumed meat in the world,” said Scott Hollis, a goat specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “It’s very popular, except here.”

    Farmers say goats are relatively inexpensive to purchase and raise and don’t require a lot of land. That means small and weekend farmers find it an attractive niche market, the Post-Dispatch said. On the downside, goats are vulnerable to disease and major supermarket chains aren’t big buyers of goat meat.

    The Muslim Observer is a weekly newspaper I picked up in a business run by an Islamic person. It is published in Michigan. It is a publication fully committed to Muslims living as citizens of the United States.  

    Here is the full St. Louis Post-Dispatch article on goat meat.

    Here is information about raising goats for meat. 

    Supermarkets will sell goat meat if people start to ask for it to be sold. It might take time, but they will.

    It’s interesting how demographic changes alter what we eat and what we consider as normal.

    Things change because life is always in flux. If you accept this, you are more likely to be well-adjusted and more likely to enjoy the things life has to offer. 

    I see here that Muslims and Hispanics enjoy goat meat.

    Does this mean that the right will come to see goats as a symbol of the threats our nation faces? Will they label goat keepers as people attacking our nation from within? 

    The goat in the picture is a Valais Blackneck goat.

    Here is information about goats.

    May 26, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 10 Comments

    World Food Crisis Is Ongoing

    There is a world food shortage due to high prices.

    Yet the companies that supply food are making record profits.  

    This Wall Street Journal story discusses high profits among companies that process grain

    Here is a series of BBC stories and videos about rising world food prices.

    Prices of rice, corn, wheat, soy and grain are way up over recent years. 

    This issue has not been addressed in any meaningful way by either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.

    Here is a link to the United Nations World Food Program.

    Below is a portion of a BBC report on the issue—

    A silent tsunami which knows no borders sweeping the world”. That is how the head of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) summed up the global food shortages. It is certainly a storm that has hit with little warning and has plunged an extra 100 million people into poverty. The crisis has triggered riots in Haiti, Cameroon, Indonesia and Egypt and is deemed a dangerous threat to stability. It is not so much famine that is the worry, it is widespread misery and malnutrition. The WFP’s biggest concern is for the people living on 50 cents a day who have nothing to fall back on.

    This ongoing issue merits the attention of our political leaders and of all citizens.

    May 1, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

    Chinese Islamic Restaurant & Links About Islam In China

    A “Chinese Islamic” restaurant has opened in Houston. It is in the location of another Chinese restaurant I often went to but is now closed.

    (Update—I have now eaten here three times. It is very good and there is a large menu with many items. The place is clean and the people working there are nice. ) 

    The restaurant is called Jamillah Garden and is located at 15514 FM 529 in Houston. Call 281-855-4818 for takeout.  

    The word “Jamillah” is a variation of the female Arabic name Jamila. Jamila means beautiful.

    Beautiful garden.

    Below is a picture of the Bogar Botanical Gardens outside of Jakarta. You see there an Islamic woman enjoying the garden. All people like nice things like a beautiful garden. Here is a link to information about these gardens.

    I have not yet visited the Chinese Islamic restaurant. But I will soon. Today I was handed a menu.

    What do Islamic Chinese people eat?   

    Well–Looking at the menu I see some different offerings from the previous restaurant in that location.

    Cold Ox-Tendon for example.  And Spicy Ox-Tripe.

    I will order neither item.

    There are many lamb dishes. That will do just fine. And many standard Chinese food offerings.

    Though the Sweet & Sour Pork is gone.

    Here is information on Islamic Dietary restrictions. 

    Here is an excerpt from the Koran

    “You who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, idols and raffles are only a filthy work of satan, turn aside from them so that you may prosper. Satan only wants to stir up enmity and jealousy among you by means of intoxicants and gambling, and to hinder you from remembering God, and from praying; so will you not abstain?”(5: 90 – 91) 

    I don’t follow all that. But I have some sympathy for the position. 

    Here are a number of articles about Chinese Muslims from the Islam Awareness Homepage.

    The above source says China is 2% Islamic. That comes out to 24 million people.

    Here is a BBC story about Chinese Muslims living in the Ningxia province of China

    Here is a picture of Yinchuan. This is the capital of Ningxia.  

    Here is a history of Muslims in China from the Los Angeles Chinese Learning Center.

    Here is an Economist story about Muslims in the Chinese frontier province of Xinjiang.

    Here is information on Islam.

    Here is an Islamic blogger from the great state of Ohio—The Tales of a Modern Muslimah.  I think she has the makings of a good blog and I hope she begins to post on a more consistent basis.

    I hope the new Chinese Islamic Restaurant is a good place and I hope people will be willing to give it a chance.

    March 27, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, History, Houston | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments