Oscar G. Mayer dies at 95

July 8, 2009: Oscar G Mayer, retired chairman of the Wisconsin-based meat processing company that bears his name, has died at the age of 95. He was the third Oscar Mayer in the family that founded Oscar Mayer Foods, which was once the largest private employer in Madison. Mayer retired as chairman of the board in 1977 at age 62 soon after the company recorded its first $1 billion year. The company was later sold to General Foods and is now a business unit of Kraft.

Burger King removes ad, apologizes.... Now if only they would stop killing cows....

In a surprise move Burger King quickly responded to the complaint from the Hindu American Foundation concerning the use of a Hindu Goddess to promote their burgers, apologized, and stated it would cease the advertising campaign. Now if we could only get Burger King to apologize to all the cows they have killed and to all the people whose health they have damaged, and cease its mass cow killing, then maybe we could think that the folks over at Burger King are actually kind of good guys after all. Sensitivity to this situation on their part is a good start.

Bottled water banned in move to protect environment

Bottled water is coming under even more pressure following the action of a small Australian town to ban sales of bottled water. Bottled water sales, once a major growth industry, has slowed considerably as people have considered the adverse environmental impacts of the plastic bottles, production costs, and trucking and transportation involved. It is cheaper and more environmentally sound to properly filter tap water. The following is from the Associated Press story:

Bulk is green

The following is from Progressive Grocer magazine: A recent study conducted by the Bulk Is Green Council confirms what the Little Rock, Ark.-based advocacy group is seeking to advance with consumers: that retail prices of bulk foods vs. their packaged counterparts are an average of 35 percent lower. Indeed, bulk foods were lower for all of the 16 foods compared, with savings ranging from 3 percent to 96 percent. Additionally, the majority of bulk foods compared in the study were organic while their packaged counterparts were often not.

Meat smoothie anyone?

Trevtheveg made a great post to my story about the Wienermobile (the vehicle that when you press the horn plays a song saying “Oh, I'd love to be an Oscar Mayer wiener. That is what I'd truly like to be”). His post is about how hot dogs are really made and includes some great links to You Tube videos showing some pretty gross stuff, like how all the meat cuts (read cow flesh) is ground up and literally turned into something that looks like a meat smoothie (gross).

Trevtheveg says "This three minute video from National Geographic will keep or make you a vegetarian for life!

July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest

While we are talking about the Wienermobile, another event that glorifies hot dogs is the July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest, which is considered a "colorful tradition of Independence Day". Now this is a good one, let's hold a contest to see who can eat the most hot dogs in 10 minutes! Great idea! This year's winner ate 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Wow!!! What a tremendous accomplishment!!! Way to go Joey Chestnut (the photo is of Joey, the champion eater of brains, blood, fat, scraps and intestines).

The marketing, like the wienermobile, creates a kind of mirage or illusion

On the wienermobile blog site they invite you to "Submit an essay in 100 words or less that details your favorite hot dog memory and your or another family member’s favorite toppings". If you submit the best entry you get to win a "Labor Day Grill-Out" (this is not quite the same thing as getting to buy great vegetarian products at Down to Earth's 30% Guiltless Grilling Sale that we had last week).

A 100 word essay from a cow that is going to be turned into a wiener might go something like this:

More about the Wienermobile

If you have been following my blogposts about the Wienermobile and want to see what it is all about watch this video (video removed). This is one of the most successful efforts I have seen or could imagine that converts the brutal reality of a product, i.e., slaughtered pig and cow body parts, organs, blood, fat, and other miscellaneous scraps - neatly packaged in intestines - into innocent fun for kids and adults who like cool cars!

Wienermobile on the roll

Okay, today I have to comment on the “Wienermobile on the roll” story in the Hawaii section of the Honolulu Advertiser, a “feel good” story about a Wienermobile, a car with a bun and hot dog built over it that gives kids and adults some “fun”. What can be wrong with that? Some amusement for the keiki and for their parents in these tough economic times is a good thing right? The Wienermobile arrived in Honolulu yesterday. The following is from the story:

Electric cars, are they the best way to reduce greenhouse gases?

Front page news today in the Honolulu Advertiser is that "a private company that state officials hope will put Hawaii on the road to the widespread use of electric vehicles expects to begin installing infrastructure here in about six months."

The company plans to install "between 20,000 - 30,000 recharging stations that can be used by electric vehicles in homes, office buildings, parking lots and public and private facilities."

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