Archive for food

Retailer: "If we can minimize the humans in our company, then we prefer that."

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retailer caviar vending machine

Unemployment continues to be a problem in this country, despite the recent good news and drop in the jobless rate to 6.1 percent. But there is at least one retailer who is apparently shrugging off and/or disregarding our nation's jobless situation. The retailer in question happens to be from-- le ahem-- Beverly Hills, California.

In today's Los Angeles Times, there's a lengthy article about how U.S. vending machines are on the upswing. And by upswing, they're not just talking quantity, but also quality. Vending machines are movin' on up(scale), and retailer after retailer is reaping the benefits. And the profits.

Even if it means laying off the very consumers who need work so they can, you know, keep consuming.

At first glance, burrito-spewing vending machines didn't seem like a bad idea. Nor did caviar-to-go. Yes, caviar. To go. From vending machines. Pardon moi, "automated boutiques." Food on the run is a convenience that is addicting to those who are short on time. So, sure, why not expand the roll of coin-operated machines that serve fast-food sandwiches, cupcakes, and pizzas? And caviar. All that easy access sounded okay to yours truly... until I read this:

After closing her Beverly Hills store in 2010, Stern began looking into vending machines. Her company typically sells to grocery stores and restaurants but wanted direct access to customers, too. [...]

The machines now pull in 10% of the company's total sales. The boutiques send emails when supplies are low and can also be remotely operated via smartphone to help shoppers who run into problems.

"If we can minimize the humans in our company, then we prefer that," Stern said. "When you have physical employees, you don't have a life. Ask any restaurant or supermarket business."

Let them eat caviar.

pizza vending machine retailer

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Bigots: If You Tout The Bible, Live Up To It

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fire breathing preacher

There's nothing quite like the person who expounds his belief in God then doesn't live up to His rules or teachings. Especially when they tend to be bigots, haters and fearmongers.

The Bible, as we know, is that book of stories and proverbs and is held out as the ONLY way evangelicals believe the world should be run. Okay, if that's your belief, our Constitution says you can have the belief -- but you can't have it any more than those who believe otherwise.

So for starters, let's get something straight. God did not write the bible.

That's right, God did not write the bible. Men wrote the bible -- and where these fables come from is quite a basis of conjecture. Google "who wrote the bible" and nowhere, not one source attributes the writing of this holy book to God Himself. Most sources agree with Biblica Encyclopedia:

Many people contributed to the writing of the Bible. Actually, the Bible is a collection of writings from about forty contributors, thirty in the Old Testament and ten in the New Testament. 

Okay, so perhaps God spoke to these mortals who did the writing and they took all of His words down verbatim. But if that's the case, why are there so many versions of the Good Book? And if God is the supreme force and ALWAYS RIGHT, why did he cause his writers to compose the New Testament? Is it to correct the mistakes He made in his first draft or is it to correct the mistakes of mortal men, his ghostwriters (pause) whom he had write his edicts and fables?

From Theology.edu:

These books are traditionally assumed to have been written by Moses, though his authorship is not claimed internally. Since Deuteronomy records the death of Moses, it seems unlikely that he wrote it; certainly he didn't write the part that describes his death. Though some scholars would claim a composite authorship for these books starting around 950 BC with them reaching their final form during the time of Ezra around 500 BC...

So this was an ongoing process. God kept correcting himself or recalling new and more exciting stories -- over a thousand years. Did you ever play the game of 'Telephone'? One person whispers a story to another, that gets passed on to the next person and repeated over and over. Finally, the last person who hears the story has a totally different version of the tale than what was originally told.

That would explain a lot -- but it also casts doubt on those who judge others (isn't there something in the Bible about judging lest ye be judged?) who don't take the literal teachings of the bible as their "gospel."

If you want to see how ridiculous taking the bible literally can be, here's a short video with 14 "sins from the bible" that I bet most evangelicals break multiple times a week, let alone in a lifetime. See how many you've broken in the past 24 hours. My bet is you're damned and going to hell. I'll see you there and I'll have a double whiskey "neat" waiting for you!

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Monday Links

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Photos: Sochi Olympics day 15 highlights

Has the US Alpine ski team embraced ageism?

Syrian refugee children forced to work to support families in Lebanon

The $11 Billion Year
From Sundance to the Oscars, an Inside Look at the Changing Hollywood System

Angry crowd runs George Zimmerman out of Miami

Walker Aide Dismissed 'Crazy' Woman Who Starved In Mental Health Facility

13 Ways Europe Does Food Safer, Cleaner, and Kinder

Can You Walk On Water?

Watch what happens when the Tea Party takes over a school board. Warning: It gets ugly

Wes Anderson: In A World Of His Own

Watch This Fish Drive A Tiny Car (Really!)

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To anti-immigration groups, this one's for you: Immigrant church feeds families in need

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ImmigrationNCMealsw396h214

Check this out, a simply beautiful video that challenges what the usual staunch opponents of immigration reform want you to believe about immigrants. Bummer for all those conservatives who refer to immigrants as "illegals" and who oppose a pathway to citizenship. Why? Because if this is what they oppose, they're even bigger hypocrites and more tone deaf than we thought, and that should go over real well in November:

"We came here, not just to lift ourselves up economically, but also enrich the community."

"It's like a family reunion going on..."

"It doesn't matter what country we're from or what language we speak."

"I feel good when people leave happy."

Uniting NC:

A small Spanish-speaking immigrant church in North Carolina is doing all they can to make life better for everyone around them. Every week members of the church, many struggling to get by themselves, come out to cook a hot meal and distribute groceries for the week to local families in need. In the process, they've created a beautiful community.

http://www.unitingnc.org/
http://www.durhamchurchnc.org/emanuel/

Wait what? This is happening in-- dun dun dun-n-n!--North Carolina? Yes, despite the GOP's best efforts to screw up that lovely state, indeed it is.

Remember when those on the right insisted that we don't need no stinkin' tax increases, Affordable Care Act, or food stamps, because, they claimed, everyone should fend for themselves? Charities and churches will gladly take care of those in need, they said. Well, no, we said, not at the humungous scale necessary, that would be unrealistic. More like impossible.

However, on a much smaller scale, communities can make a difference, in this case a diverse community in which not everybody even *gasp!* speaks the same language. A little generosity can not only bring people together, but as we see here, provide food for families who need a boost, served with a side order of pride and friendship . A real live win-win.

See, conservatives? That's called-- What's that catchy little right wing phrase again? Oh yeah-- family values.

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Sheriff Arpaio Is At It Again - Inhumane Treatment Of Prisoners

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Eighth Amendment

HuffPo reports:

Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio has planned a particularly economical meal for the roughly 7,500 to 10,000 inmates in his jail system this Thanksgiving.

The meal comes in at a cost of just 56 cents per inmate, and its main entrée will be 24-cent vegetarian turkey soy casserole. Arpaio tweeted the Thanksgiving menu Wednesday morning.

“Hope the inmates give thanks for this special meal being served in the jails tomorrow," Arpaio's tweet said.

(Tweet from @RealSheriffJoe on Twitter)

Thanksgiving menu is all set! Hope the inmates give thanks for this special meal being served in the jails tomorrow.

Now, I'm not sure that the cost of the meal is the issue. I'm not even going to address the vegetarian aspect of this slop. What I do take umbrage to is that Arpaio would actually have the audacity to boast that the inmates should give thanks for this cruel treatment.

These people are convicts for a reason. So they have to make restitution as the courts have seen fit. But ridicule and undernourishment aren't part of the deal.

We have an Eighth Amendment to the Constitution: "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" which also appears in Article Five of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly.

Maybe someone should read this to the mad Sheriff:

Arpaio touts his accomplishments in providing inmates with “the cheapest meals in the U.S.” by feeding inmates “only twice daily, to cut the labor costs of meal delivery." Arpaio has “even stopped serving them salt and pepper” to save taxpayer money, according to the bio.

Twice a day? Normal is three. And no salt or pepper? Really, now, Joe? And what's with forcing vegetarianism on the entire population?

If the story ended there, it would be bad enough. But this is Mean Joe Arpaio -- the toughest sheriff in the west.

He also announced in March a plan to charge inmates $1 for their meals, according to ABC15. "Everybody else has to pay for their food, why should [inmates] get freebies?" Arpaio said.

He's going to charge a dollar for a meal that cost, by his own estimation, roughly half of that. And that's for a special holiday meal. The regular slop must cost even less. Who's taking home the profits... Sheriff Joe?

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Cartoons of the Day- Happy Thanksgiving

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tdaynow2

Scott Stantis

tdaynow

Chan Lowe

Clay Bennett editorial cartoon


Clay Bennett

tdaynow3

Dave Granlund

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Did You Have Tyson Bacon With Your Breakfast Today?

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baby pigs

Cooking for many is a passion. For others, it's an obligation. For even others, it's an elusive skill. But one thing that we all have in common is we enjoy a good meal. It's even made more special when it's a home cooked dining experience. Somehow a well made home meal, despite the fact that it can take a lot of planning and preparation (compared with the relatively short time it takes to devour) makes everyone, especially the cook, feel good.

Maybe the least likable part of the making the special meal is shopping for ingredients, yet it's perhaps the most important. You can't make an omelette without eggs, and meat loaf is hard to cook without some ground beef.

There's a lot to consider along with just figuring out the menu. There's the freshness of components, the price of the items you'll need and the time the entire shopping process takes. If you're going to be preparing and cooking for hours, convenience always enters into into consideration as well. Many times we'll consider partially prepared elements so we only have to add them to the process and not actually make them from scratch-- things like a prepared pie crust, a prepared spaghetti sauce or a pre-cooked chicken to add to our "home made" chicken pie. It's okay. All cooks do that from time to time. Time is precious and we look for convenience.

What we don't spend enough time on though is the consideration into the brand or how a particular company chooses and prepares it's product before our purchase and use.

We grab a container of eggs without giving the method of collection much thought. We have the FDA to make sure the product is clean and safe. We buy chicken, beef and now that we're approaching Thanksgiving, turkeys figuring they're humanely raised and slaughtered, done under clean and the safest methods possible. All that most of us think about is the bottom line -- the price.

Actually, there's more to think about if we're going to be responsible shoppers. And that's how the products are raised, harvested and delivered. It's important though to consider how humanely this process was handled.

Despite the price, wouldn't you boycott an item if you knew it as using sweatshop labor, child abuse or slaves to manufacture the item-- some jeans, shirts, shoes or other fashion item? We speak out for these victims by refusing to buy the products that are made with substandard labor.

Well, what about with food? Isn't it time we avoid blatantly abusive companies that don't stand up to industry standards? Those that routinely torture the animals used for products?

Tyson, a company you've undoubtedly heard of and seen in your local grocery chain is one such violator of animal cruelty laws.  And the attached video is all you need to see, if you can stomach it. None of this kind of behavior is proper, necessary or legal. But yet we support Tyson with our purchases of their products.

If this disgusts you as much as it does me, seek out an alternate. Don't tell Tyson this is okay by just turning your back on the animals that are sacrificed to bring us our daily meals. I'm not saying you should become a vegan. I won't. I love my meat products, but I will avoid any company that won't humanely treat their livestock while raising them, or harvest them as painlessly as possible when their time comes.

Caution -- extremely disturbing footage:

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