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68bucks

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USDA would be the main agency that monitors food processing plants. I have seen a wide range of how closely the USDA monitors operations. Some are a real pain in the butt nit picking about everything while others are practically non-existent, see them a couple times a day but mostly never around. I would say the majority are good people that are focused on making sure facilities are following the proper protocols and testing to produce safe food. I have had very little direct interaction with FDA so I can't really comment much on that agency other than I know that work at an absolute snail's pace. Better than the EPA though, they are more of a glacial pace. My FDA experience has been mainly in pet food production facilities.
 

Spicoli43

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Oh, of course. The worker bees are almost always good people, that applies to every agency. The heads, the brass, they are the poisonous snakes. OSHA and the EPA are in a whole different category of Moronic based on my experiences.
 

Flyover

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My 4 year old "bought" my wife a present yesterday at the at the store: a sunflower in an 8" pot. (Really I bought it, he suggested it spontaneously as a present.) While my wife went for a jog today, I planted it in her garden. Also planted a succulent ground cover of some sort in the top of the rain barrel. She'd asked me to do both these things but she wasn't expecting I'd get them done today. I also hung up some art in my son's room and moved the hooks in the kids' bathroom lower so they can reach their own bath towels. That was after 8.5 hours of work and a hard workout in the gym. A productive day.
 

zannej

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Flyover, I guess your CEO is trying to justify the expense of getting all the new office space.

I'm not offended about comments on my family. I love my brother but he is very immature. He's been very spoiled. I think I've mentioned that he was never made to do chores as a child and that at one point I was doing all the chores except laundry and cooking. My mother would cook and leave the mess for me. I would bring my laundry in a hamper, she'd wash it & fold it, and then I'd put it away. I believe she went in and got my brother's laundry but I don't remember. She would then fold it and leave it lying on the couch or a table. She would leave piles of laundry all over. My dad would take his stuff and put it away. But my mother's and brother's stuff would sit for a long time. I would often end up putting my brother's stuff in his room just to get it out of the way.

My brother still can't understand the concept that if he even helped a little with the cleaning that the house wouldn't be such a mess. I already had to clean the new air fryer out twice (it got set up yesterday) and I haven't even used it. It's such a disaster that I can't find any of the measuring cups. We had an entire set of them-- couldn't find a single one. So, I went to get the measuring cup in the middle of cooking. Spent 10 minutes looking, overcooked the meat. Ended up setting the meat aside under a cover and had to go to the store to buy a new measuring cup. It's really bothering me because I have no clue where it went. I looked in all the cabinets, on the floor, under the table, in the living room, in my brother's room, around and under mom's desk... It just vanished. And that sort of thing happens a lot. Even when things are clean and organized. Items just go missing. It's like we have pilfering gremlins in the house.

I just made eye contact with Mewlatto so he decided to climb on me and curl up on my lap. I'll hold him for a few minutes and then I need to go do some more cleaning. Counters need to be wiped down again.
 

Flyover

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@zannej: Justifying the expense is what I meant by sunk cost fallacy. Still, that's only one possible theory of several. Another is that he wants to project an image of his business being traditional and buttoned-up in some way, which is odd because this company, like basically all others that both consume and deploy a lot of software, puts a ton of energy into marketing themselves as innovative/cutting edge/forward-thinking/etc. So maybe he wants to have his cake and eat it too. In any case I'm thinking about taking bets on whether he reverses this policy once people start quitting en masse for the many 100% remote opportunities that have sprung up since the pandemic. Then again there's also the other theory which is that the CEO knows something nobody else does and that this is actually the right move.

A lot of what you've said about your family strikes me as bizarre. I'm curious and have questions about some things because I suspect your story is interesting, but I don't want to pry. And I apologize if I appear annoyed about frustrating aspects of your situation. Mis-applied empathy maybe.
 

Flyover

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I started looking into the parts for my shed and realized I can probably fudge all the parts from stuff available at Menards for 25-50% of the price the shed company wants to charge me, especially if I permanently attach the roof instead of having it hinged/openable (which I don't need), so I'm going to do that. The only snag would be if some of the brackets/hinges are specialty (and not identical to what I can find on the shelf at Menards), but I'm betting they're not.
 

zannej

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Flyover, it's fine. I try to find amusement in it to keep my sanity.

I tried to read and respond earlier but my internet crapped out. Woke up sneezing my head off and had to use the nasal allergy meds. Killed my sense of smell for the day. Which was good. Friend's gf asked me to come over. At first she wanted me to watch the baby for her while she went to the store. Hard No on that one. So I ran to the store and grabbed what she needed for cooking. I saw she was overwhelmed and hadn't done the dishes. She was in one of those moods where she didn't feel like doing anything. I know that feeling. She's been having a hard time at work because they are being unreasonable with wanting her to clean all of the rooms on two floors of the hotel within a certain time period. But the problem is, she has to wait for the people who do the laundry to finish washing and drying everything before she can put it back in the rooms. It takes multiple trips to get the stuff down and also to get it back up. She got written up and yelled at because the laundry wasn't ready for her to put in the rooms before 5. They are telling her she'll be fired if she doesn't start finishing it at 5. Anyway, I also helped her cut up the stuff for dinner and helped her cook it (it was a new recipe). It involved onions and bell pepper. I despise bell pepper but I couldn't smell it so I didn't have a problem with it. My eyes were irritated by the onions so I had to rinse them out afterward.

Rained really hard after I went to the grocery store to get stuff for Mom. It was dark and foggy and rainy on the way home. Could barely see ahead of me with all the fog. I did notice that someone stole our street sign though. About the 3rd time it's happened now. But I no longer know who is in charge of that to contact them to get it put back up.

I'm trying to dry off and the cats have piled on again. Mewlatto apparently hates this weather so he's been staying inside. Meanwhile Biscuits is humping one of my blankets. LOL.
 

Flyover

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my internet crapped out. Woke up sneezing my head off
Haha, you probably didn't intend this, but the juxtaposition of these two sentences makes it sound like your internet is equivalent to your consciousness. Internet goes down = you pass out.
 

zannej

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Well, pretty much. Without internet I get pretty bored.
I torqued my already injured shoulder/arm slipping in the mud when unloading groceries last night. I had to stop and scream a few profanities for about 45 seconds before I finished getting groceries out of the cooler and headed inside. Slipped on the porch and then slipped on the step. Fortunately I had stuff to grab but it was annoying me.

Friend's gf sent me a pic of the finished food from last night, but I didn't get the message until after my power went out this morning and I was outside making the call to the power company to report the outage. No signal inside. When the power goes the landline won't always work.

One of the cats kept coming through the hole in my door and picking fights with other cats. I stuffed a blanket in the hole to keep him out but the dog pushed it out of the way and let him back in. Woke up to the dog growling because the cat was sitting on top of me and the dog doesn't like it when other pets get near him. I had to get up and feed the cats and let the dog back in to Mom's room. But he wanted out again after I went to the bathroom). He was curled up against me when the power went out.

I'm having trouble seeing my screen right now because one of the cats is sitting on the desk in front of it but I can't reach him to push him away because another cat is on my lap.

Mom wanted to go into town when the power was out but said we could go later after I get some more sleep. I got as much as I felt I could but now she wants to nap. LOL.
 

Eddie_T

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I was browsing spanish style entry doors and clicked on one that said black with no mat. The no mat puzzled me so I clicked on it finding it was a print in a black frame with no mat (from Pottery Barn).
 

Spicoli43

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Without having "processed foods", how would modern Americans eat? Run down to the corner Farm and pickup some vegetables for tonites dinner? Have a 'neighborhood cow' available at all times to provide milk for our NON processed wheat kernels (grass) cereal? You ought to try non processed rice when u get a chance.

Of course, the alternatives would be to just boil everything and put it in a Mason jar and sell it at the local supermarket. Wait. That's already been done. I guess it goes without saying that there are millions of people that exist in this world, that are not fat, that eat BOTH processed and fast foods.

You might have a point, but it doesn't have anything to do with the FDA. Of course, you could always practice your beliefs by eating NO processed foods, and NO fast foods yourself.

Further, your complaint could be applied throughout the entirety of local, state and federal government and all levels of business enterprise.

All this time there are those who thought these folks were doing this stuff because of "civic duty".

Believe what you will.
Why do you put processed foods in quotes when that's exactly what they are?

Why do you make everything sound so difficult? How did humans survive before processed foods?

If you live in the middle of nowhere, you grow your own food and might have livestock. You might travel once a month or so with a freezer on board to stock up.

If you live near a city, you can go buy vegetables and plain unprocessed meats.

?????????? Let me know when you're tracking.
 

Flyover

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How did humans survive before processed foods?
Well, we died a lot more then from malnutrition, toxic food-borne contaminants, etc., plus a lot of babies died because of their mothers' malnutrition. And when people didn't die they had stuff like rickets. (So to answer your question, "by the grace of God".) But yeah, obesity was less of a problem!

Today I got a lot done: built a trellis for my wife's garden, got up on the roof and unclogged all gutters with my hands, chopped away some tree branches while I was up there, oh and get this -- I was about to take the inactive half of my French door off the hinges to install the astrigal flush bolt when I decided to inspect the outer edge. I noticed it had a kind of plastic insert running from the middle to the bottom. I pulled it out a little at the bottom and discovered the original bolt already there! It had gotten shoved up somehow. I just slid the thing down, bam project done. Now I have to see if I can return the one I bought.
 
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Eddie_T

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I am experimenting with a mix for peanut butter cups. There are several recipes online but so far I haven't found exactly the mix for me. I am doing small amounts for testing. First try was 2 tsp each of PNB, powdered sugar and graham cracker crumbs. It was good but I am going to add butter and play with the ratios some before making a pan full and topping with chocolate.
 

Spicoli43

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Well, we died a lot more then from malnutrition, toxic food-borne contaminants, etc., plus a lot of babies died because of their mothers' malnutrition. And when people didn't die they had stuff like rickets. (So to answer your question, "by the grace of God".) But yeah, obesity was less of a problem!
Ok, we died a lot more from MALNUTRITION and people had rickets because there was no processed food.

I'll let you go ahead and think about that for a while.
 

Spicoli43

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I am experimenting with a mix for peanut butter cups. There are several recipes online but so far I haven't found exactly the mix for me. I am doing small amounts for testing. First try was 2 tsp each of PNB, powdered sugar and graham cracker crumbs. It was good but I am going to add butter and play with the ratios some before making a pan full and topping with chocolate.
That sounds great. Graham crackers and Butter was practically my middle name as a kid.

I melt some Coconut oil over low heat then add 1/2 cup Cacao powder and stir it until it's thick, add about 1/2 cup Milk then stir in 1/2 cup Peanut Butter powder and 1/3 cup Coconut Sugar.

This recipe requires a lot of stirring because the Cacao immediately absorbs all the oil. when it becomes like cake batter, I know it's ready to pour into cupcake sized baking cups and freeze for a few hours.

They come out of the freezer and are ready to eat in a few minutes, but aren't room temp stable. I have tried without the oil, but it needs that as a thickener. I assume Butter would work the same, and would taste better with a salt kick.
 

Flyover

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Ok, we died a lot more from MALNUTRITION and people had rickets because there was no processed food.

I'll let you go ahead and think about that for a while.
I'm not a food historian but I remember learning that canning took off on an industrial scale around the time of the Civil War, as an economic solution for feeding soldiers. I think of that as the beginning of "processed food" the way you're talking about it. The main benefits of processed food, as I understand it, are 1) it's cheaper to distribute, 2) it doesn't spoil as fast, 3) you can better control quality, and 4) you can fortify it. All of these things translate into better nutrition for more people.

Obesity seems more like the opposite end of the problem, where the food abundance resulting in part from processed food (but also from stuff like technological revolutions in agriculture, refrigeration, and transportation) means the human hippocampus, and other parts of our brains that evolved in an environment where food was scarce, keep telling us to eat the food that's there, but because there's always food available we grow obese. (Well, not me personally.) Our brains evolved expecting food that's there today to not be there tomorrow, so the instinct is to eat what's there while the getting's good.

There are some processed foods that provide very little nutrition relative to calories (a.k.a. junk food), and those tend to be marketed heavily, especially to poorer people. I don't know if junk food is uniquely responsible for obesity; it might be. The sedentary lifestyle plays some part too.

Some people seem able to eat processed foods, and food in general, in moderation, and stay healthy and active. I count myself in that group. So I'd say processed food is like guns: a technology whose misuse has more to do with humans than the technology itself.
 

Spicoli43

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All 4 points you make in the first paragraph are true. It doesn't translate to better nutrition, though. That might have been a point way back then when the soils weren't absolutely destroyed by chemicals and the crops themselves weren't either. There's hardly any nutrition these days from any processed food, be it canned or frozen TV dinner, or boxed dry like Hamburger Helper.

That is strictly based on soil nutrient depletion. The fun part begins when all the fillers and preservative chemicals are added, along with the excitotoxins like regular useless table salt, sugar, and MSG. Free Glutamate exists in more than 100 different names, so "food" manufacturers can hide MSG without calling it that because of the negative publicity about it. Yeast Extract is a popular form of MSG, which is an unlisted allergen to many people. Manufacturers use cellulose as a filler, which is a fancy name for sawdust.

Most boxed foods have synthetic lab created vitamins added, which will suffice just as much as the foods themselves. The body doesn't recognize the vitamins though. Sure, heavy doses of Vitamin C in the form of Ascorbic Acid will kill off a cold or even Covid, but for long term use, a natural form like Camu Camu is preferred.

While processed foods like MRE's will keep Soldiers alive (and out of the bathroom for 3 days), they aren't something you should have on your home menu. The same applies to all boxed foods and most canned "enhanced" foods that have 70 ingredients. I will use a can of Beans or something simple like that, or a packet of spices if I'm in a rush, but don't buy the "meal in a can or box".

Then we get to talk about the BPA lining of the cans, while some manufacturers say they don't use BPA, there is 17 other Bisphenol chemicals they can use, and most settle for BPS. They don't tell you that, though.

Being that Sugar is more addictive than Cocaine, it can be argued that we are all born addicted to Sugar. Some people are Crack babies, I'm a Sugar baby. Breaking that cycle is obviously up to the individual, and lots of people don't care. I have been legit Obese, have been rail thin and muscular, and am now "Army Obese", which is a few pounds over the scale. I have been addicted to the chemicals in those processed foods, and have NOT been addicted like now. I have quit smoking once, quit chewing once, quit drinking several times, and quit processed foods 90 percent. I can be in Keto like last night, and instead of reaching for a good sugar like Blueberries, I eat Dollar Store cookies. The key difference between me and others is I know the difference, I have seen the promised land, and I have been working out my whole life. I can get back there fully whenever I want, that's my mindset. That's why the only canned goods I have are a stock of Chunky Soup for emergency use.

The challenge is with people that are "struggling" to lose weight but still eat fast and processed box foods. I hear it all the TIME, that's the keyword... Picking up MCD's is easier and more convenient than taking 30 minutes to prepare a fresh, tasty with the right spices, meal. They don't have 30 minutes, you see. They have to sit around for 3 hours doing nothing, followed by 3 hours of video games and 2 hours of those "reality" shows, and they certainly can't wake up 30 minutes earlier to prep everything for a good meal later. There's just never any time!

People are addicted to the chemicals, that's why it's almost impossible for them to get through the food court section of a mall without stopping somewhere. Most of these people have tried the Jenny Craig style of infomercial diet, which only works for Jenny because of repeat business due to those foods being the same thing as you find in the processed section of the supermarket. People don't understand that they can eat 1 Big Mac instead of 2 and be doing the same exact thing as a Jenny Craig diet without paying for it. Jenny charges people to eat less food and feel good they are losing 5 pounds, which they can do on day 1 of a paleo / Keto diet and begin a true turnaround.

Being that it only takes around 3 weeks for the Human body to completely eliminate the addiction to any of those chemicals if the person chooses to do a hardcore Paleo or Keto style diet, preferably with intermittent fasting, it really becomes a choice of whether they want to be fat or if they want to be in shape. If they say they can't do it, then that's the answer.

Then the final argument these people have is they can't afford Organic or healthy food. They can if they only eat one real good meal a day. The very first step for people that think I just wrote a bunch of jibberish is to figure out why the "Food Pyramid" is a bunch of fabricated nonsense that only benefits the quarterly earnings reports of the corporations that make the food products and the oils they use. It also benefits the shareholders, who say Thanks for being fat and dependent!

I recommend the book "Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills" by Russell Blaylock, MD.
 

Eddie_T

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I pulled up three Japanese maple seedlings about 2.5 ft high and instead of tossing them I stuck them in a pot and braided them about a foot, added dirt and water and the experiment is on.

 

zannej

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Been having problems with my internet and the site wouldn't load for me for a bit. Saturday my mother wanted me to take her to the store. Got some groceries and then back to the house. Cousin called and said to meet her in Lafayette around 6 at some Cajun place. It was my cousin, her oldest daughter, oldest daughter's new husband (they secretly got married recently), youngest son, and her ex-father-in-law. We can't figure out how such a nice man ended up with such a psycho for a son, but then we remembered there was a divorce and the son was raised by his mother. Couldn't hear a damn thing inside the restaurant. Son in law's family is from El Salvador and he wanted to try Cajun food. He had something Cajun, my cousin had frog legs, my brother had fish tacos, my mother had some sort of Thai dish and I had chicken alfredo. Glad the place had stuff other than Cajun food because I'm allergic to most of the spices in it. LOL. Food was good. We talked in the parking lot outside afterward. I had warm fuzzies from seeing them all. Hope we can do it again at a quieter meeting place. Wish I'd gotten pics but didn't think about it. We tried to keep it low key so my cousin's ex doesn't find out that his father met up with them. He's really super nasty to my cousin and both of his daughters. Sadly one of the daughters is still under 18 and has to spend time with him even though she doesn't want to. She's too afraid to refuse & my cousin would have to take her to court to stop his visitation rights and he'd most likely murder my cousin for it.

Sunday took all the joy out of the weekend. Got a call that the woman who was like a grandmother to me just died. She would have been 97 this month. Her son doesn't think there's anyone else left who remembers her. All of her friends except us have passed away. I let the sons of some of their closest friends know. They are thinking of having a small grave-side service. We were hoping to visit her for her birthday. I forgot to ask her son what was happening with her cat. She took the cat in when the cat's owner (another elderly friend) passed away back in 2009.

My shoulder is still giving me fits so I have been trying to do stretching exercises carefully but can't lift too much, reach over my head, or reach behind my back too far. Also can't stretch my arm out and exert much force. I may end up having to ask a friend for help with some stuff so it can get done sooner.

Found some more meals my mother likes. Hungry Man turkey dinners seem to be OK.

My brother found the air fryer in a box in the front room and set it up. He's been making grilled cheese sandwiches, toast, fries, pizza bites, vegetables, etc in it. It's his new favorite appliance.

Eddie, if you tried to include pictures they didn't load for me.
 
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