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The DAIRY PRIDE Act Is Poorly Written, Big Dairy Propaganda

A couple of months ago, Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the “DAIRY PRIDE” Act into Congress. The bill, now in committee, aims to cut the legs out of the rapidly growing plant-based industry by preventing items like almond milk, soymilk, or cashew cheese from using dairy-related names.

However, the DAIRY PRIDE act is a poorly constructed bill that takes down swaths of other products alongside plant-based dairy and may even be unconstitutional in the first place, all while doing nothing to help the milk industry recover sales numbers, which is the whole aim of writing and introducing this bill in the first place.

The milk industry has been on a long trend of decline over the past 30 years. According to the Journal Sentinel, milk consumption has now fallen to 50% as sales tumbled over the past three decades. Following an increase in milk production due to shortages in the supply two years ago, massive excesses of milk now exist. The Wall Street Journal reports that this has led to a 36% drop in milk prices since 2014 and has forced farmers to dump over 43 million gallons of milk that they were unable to sell off last year.

Big milk would like to see that milk be sold rather than discarded, but consumers aren’t buying milk as much as they used to. So far, they’ve been able to work with the food industry to create cheesier products to use up some of the surplus, but it hasn’t been enough to prevent that milk from being lost.

To recover sales and prevent more milk dumping, big dairy needed to do something drastic. With plant-based dairy rapidly growing and eclipsing $5 billion in market value for the first time, it’s become a target for the milk industry. A bill like this is definitely a welcome boon to the dairy industry as a result.

However, there are a plethora of issues that this bill has that make it ineffective, weak, and possibly unconstitutional.

The bill cites the FDA definition of milk, unchanged since 1938, that is specific to only cows.

“Milk is the lactereal secretion, practically free from colostrum, obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows.”

The DAIRY PRIDE Act aims to strictly enforce this definition. In doing so, plant-based dairy isn’t the only product category that has to change names. Peanut butter and goat cheese would both have to change names to be called something like “Peanut paste” or “goat curds.” Yum.

The bill does get more specific, however, when it targets plant-based dairy multiple times in the opening section of the act, directly calling out plant-based dairy labels as being “misleading to consumers.”

Their reason?

“Imitation dairy products, such as plant-based products derived from rice, nuts, soybeans, hemp, coconut, algae, and other foods that imitate milk, yogurt, and cheese, often do not provide the same nutrition content as real milk, cheese, and yogurt derived from dairy cows.”

As such, the act specifically goes after the plant-based industry and specifically calls them out in the act as “confusing” customers when it clearly doesn’t. We know that soy milk is soy and almond milk is almonds, and to anyone who says consumers can’t read a nutrition label is underestimating the intelligence of consumers. Almond-derived juice would be the basic alternative name, which just sounds… weird. That’s what proponents of the DAIRY PRIDE Act want, though, since it doesn’t sound as appealing. Removing the label doesn’t benefit consumers who are used to the name to begin with.

What’s more, the DAIRY PRIDE Act isn’t just misleading on its own, it may also be unconstitutional. The Good Food Institute wrote a public statement condemning the DAIRY PRIDE Act as “pandering to the dairy industry” through censorship.

“The government is only allowed to restrict commercial free speech if there is substantial government interest in doing so. Simply pandering to the dairy industry does not qualify as a good reason, therefore this legislation would be in violation of the First Amendment.”

Basically, Congress has a choice: pass this law and kill a rapidly growing and innovative industry in a feeble attempt to preserve the death of an already declining one, or leave the law be. If the DAIRY PRIDE act is dropped, plant-based dairy will be allowed to thrive while milk sales would continue to drop, which means farmers just need to produce less milk. They can sell the beef or switch to alternatives.

There is no substantial government interest in enforcing this rule because it does nothing to save the milk industry and is honestly just blatant censorship.

If Congress wants to avoid a meaningless legal battle and prevent their public perception of corruption to fester even more, they should not let this bill leave committee.

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Drinks Toasty

Californians Will Now Be Able To Drink Beer While Getting A Haircut

It’s a nice touch whenever a barbershop offers you some water, especially on a hot day, but it’ll be an even nicer touch when they start offering beer and wine.

Californians will soon be able to enjoy such, as the state just passed a bill that will let beauty salons and barbershops serve up to 12 ounces of beer, and 6 ounces of wine, without needing a liquor license.

Apparently, there are a few salons and shops that already offer this as a compliment to the cut, but could technically get in trouble for doing so. As of January 1, 2017, they will no longer have to worry, as lawmakers are making sure they take care of the big problems affecting Californians.

They should just open up a dance floor next, and just turn into beauty salons/night clubs.

As long as the barber isn’t tipsy, and handing out terrible fades, I’ve got no problem with this law, I guess.

h/t latimes, picthx Reach Guinto

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Hit-Or-Miss News

France Bans Plastic Forks And Plates

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It seems like France has become the first country on Earth to place a ban on plastic cutlery, plates, and cups. A new law passed under the country’s Energy Transition for Green Growth Act outlawing the plastic eating utensils.

According to the Washington Post, the law aims to promote a “circular economy” of waste disposal, with the same law also banning the use of plastic bags in the country’s grocery stores in early July.

France’s president says that the ban is a part of a larger campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and diversify the country’s energy model.

The law will go into effect in 2020, with the only exception being for disposable silverware that are biodegradable.

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News

Driving Under The Influence Of Burritos May Soon Be Illegal In New Jersey

New Jersey is taking a stand on the issue of distracted driving, but if a bill cracking down on distracted driving is passed, NJ drivers are subject to a hefty fine if they’re caught participating in any behavior that could be considered distracting, including eating behind the wheel. Yes, you can now be pulled over for eating your favorite burrito while driving.

 

“An operator of a moving motor vehicle shall not engage in any activity unrelated to the actual operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that interferes with the safe operation of the vehicle on a public road or highway.” – NJ Legislature

The key phrase here is “any activity unrelated to the actual operation of a motor vehicle,” which is extremely broad and open to interpretation from the start. Many of us have proudly mastered every day tasks like eating a burrito, or drinking hot coffee while driving. Although it’s no secret that often times that hot coffee ends up on your lap which could prove to be a painful distraction. 

Rosenblum Law Firm cites that eating and drinking are two of the top five causes of distracted driving accidents.

The first offense of eating , or any other type of behavior deemed as distracting while driving will cost you somewhere within the range of $200-$400, likely depending on the degree of distraction that takes place. So hopefully you’re not a messy eater on wheels like I am.

Second offense will cost you between $400- $600, and the 3rd between $600-$800 as well as the possibility of a suspended license.

Long commutes to work and road trips tend to be common times that the American people eat and drink while driving, so just be sure to stop for your Whopperrito outside of NJ state lines.

What’s next I ask you? Well there’s this…

 

 

Source: msn, Photo Credit: mysticboii

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Features

Meet The Woman Who Gave Up A Career In Law To Blog About Food And Couldn’t Be Happier

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I chose happiness.

It was 2 in the morning at the law firm and June was in day three of a weekend-long project. As she looked out the window of her office, she saw two futures for herself.

The first was that of a thousand office windows staring back at her. Like the one she stood behind, those windows kept lawyers like herself missing entire weekends of their lives.

Upon looking down, she saw her second future. One of empty streets, free of clutter, and ready to embrace a new day.

June took out her phone and began to dial.

You may know June Quan as the popular food and fashion blogger @stirandstyle. Y’know the one with the signature #StirandSmile pose where she holds food in the foreground and flashes a big smile right behind. Once upon a time, however, she was an overworked lawyer. Before she had her face in a mountain of burgers, June was buried in Himalayas of legal documents.

So how did she go from Esquire to wood-fired? Let’s go back to that night a year-and-a-half ago.

As she dialed, a million thoughts raced through her head. The one thought that kept resurfacing was how she didn’t want to be in an office at 2am any longer. She didn’t want to be one of the countless people spending thankless nights working towards something she didn’t love, that left her unfulfilled. She didn’t want to sit idly by and complain about her unhappiness.

So she decided to walk away.

While some think walking away from a cushy paycheck and a pretigious profession was ridiculous, who were they to judge?

By no means was June a bad lawyer. She was winning hearings and writing meticulous briefs during her time practicing law. Having passed the dreaded California Bar Exam on her first try was a impressive feat in and of itself.

Alas, the heart wants what the heart wants.

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Late night at the office. #TiredandStarved

June quit her job at the firm in Winter 2014. Since she was a teenager, her career path seemed to be set in stone: go to college, go to law school, pass the bar, become an entertainment lawyer, make money.

Entertainment Law was something she had always found fascinating and glamorous. Ever since she took her first internships at both MTV and Lucasfilm, June had wanted to work in the entertainment industry.

I tried to mold my life around a profession in law, to create a life where I’d be happy working as a “professional [in the field].” At the end of the day, it wasn’t the right thing for me and, you know, that’s OK.

The life of a lawyer was a difficult one. Aside from countless late and sleepless nights, there was also the unpredictability of her schedule. June never made plans with loved ones because of her schedule. It was even difficult to plan to go out to eat, something June obviously loved to do.

Giving up a bi-monthly paycheck and downsizing everything in her life to make ends meet was a major sacrifice for June. One of the few good things about staying so busy in the world of law, however, was that it gave her so little time to spend her money that she had enough saved to provide for and support herself through her transition.

Before anyone even picked up, June had made her decision. June was walking towards a life that made her happy. A life that gave her something to look forward to. 

After leaving her firm, and taking some time to figure things out, June started her blog: Stir and Style.

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Photos first, then eat. #HappyButHungry

The name Stir and Style first came to June during a lunch break. She had been shopping at the plaza her office was located in when she came upon a brown leather skirt (the style). She was immediately reminded of steak and ended up seeking out steak for lunch (the stir).

From there, she began to associate food with fashion. As if the two were one. This brown leather skirt inspired her first post on steak fajitas.

Since she was a child, June loved to eat. Before the advent of camera phones, June fondly remembers carrying around a Polaroid camera taking pictures of food rather than people.

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Triple-scooped ice cream with extra sprinkles. #StirandSmirk

Her first official tasting event was at Savor Santa Ana this past summer. From there, it’s just been nonstop for June.

She currently has more than 44,000 followers on her Instagram account, an account that has grown considerably in the last year. June even hosted Foodbeast’s recent PattyPalooza event.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say that my favorite part about a tasting wasn’t the food. Of course it’s the food, but to me, food has so many layers that doesn’t boil down to just the act of eating, tasting or savoring meal.

Eating food is an experience in itself. The experience includes going to new places, trying new things, meeting new friends, spending time with old friends, taking photos and just being grateful for the opportunity! I never take tastings or food events for granted because I know it’s a privilege to even get an invitation.

Every invite I receive is humbling

This was the life that made her happy.

Her parents answered. June told them her decision.

All she asked was for their moral support. She always wanted to make them proud, but she realized that she needed to make herself proud first. There was no point prancing around impressing everyone when you don’t love what you’re doing.

June explained that if she had to be at work most of her waking hours, then she should love what she’s doing during those hours. 

She was going after what she wanted and her parents were proud. 

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Pepperoni Pizza, please. #StirandGrin

While June no longer practices law in the traditional sense, she still uses the skills she learned every day. She earned her real estate license and uses her legal knowledge to help her clients buy and sell homes in LA and The Bay Area.

When hearing her story, some would consider all the time she spent in school a waste. For her, it was far from a waste.

I’m thankful for the time I spent in the legal profession. I don’t regret a single thing. I not only learned what I want in life, but also what I don’t want. My legal training has opened doors for me that I otherwise probably would not have the opportunity to walk through.

If there’s not a real estate contract in front of her, you can find June at many Los Angeles and Orange County-based food events. There, she’ll be taking photos (many, many photos) in her signature pose; food held out majestically to the camera, a grin from ear to ear:

The stir and the smile.

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This extra-bacon breakfast sandwich makes us #StirandSmile

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Hit-Or-Miss

All Supermarkets In France Are Now Required to Give Unsold Food to the Needy

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The French government enacted a law on Wednesday making it mandatory for supermarkets in France to donate unwanted food to food banks or charities.

The petition was launched by local councilman Arash Derambarsh and was unanimously passed by the country’s senate, reports the Independent. The effort was reportedly campaigned by anti-poverty groups who were opposed to food waste. These groups are now hoping the rest of the EU follows suit with a similar law.

Fines of up to 75,000 euros ($83,700) or two years in prison will be incurred for those who violate the new law which applies to any supermarket that covers a minimum of 400 square meters of floor area.

It has been a practice of some local supermarkets to pour bleach over the discarded food or to lock them in warehouses to prevent foraging.

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Jacques Bailet, head of Banques Alimentaires, a network of French food banks, told the The Guardian that “it would greatly increase an already emerging trend for supermarkets to donate to food banks.”

“In terms of nutritional balance, we currently have a deficit of meat and a lack of fruit and vegetables. This will hopefully allow us to push for those products,” said Bailet.

The legislation is widely seen as simplifying a complicated process of donating directly to charity.

Each year over 7.8 million tons of food are wasted in France while 1.4 billion tons are wasted worldwide.

Written by Editorial Staff, NextShark

Categories
News

France Is Banning Supermarkets From Throwing Away UNSOLD Foods, Must Be Given To Charities

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A new law in France will make sure supermarkets won’t be able to throw out unsold food, reports The Guardian. In a unanimous vote by the French national assembly, a legislation was passed to prevent grocers from throwing out or destroying unsold products.

Instead, they’ll be required by law to donate to charities.

Most packaged foods sport a “Best By” date somewhere on the product. While they’re still edible after that period, stores don’t tend to keep the ones past the printed dates stocked. These foods are usually what’s destroyed, even if they’re still perfectly safe to eat.

Supermarkets that fail to comply with this new law and purposely soil their foods will face fines up to €75,000 ($82,500 US) or two years of jail time.

France has been working to find a solution to its food waste issue and those struggling to eat in the country. The goal is to reduce food waste in half within the next decade. Because of this, the new law also introduces an education program dealing with food waste in schools and businesses.

 

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Hit-Or-Miss

This Chef Brilliantly Found A Way To Save Water During California’s Massive Drought

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The California drought has caused its residents to make some serious changes when it comes to water. Recently, a new rule stated that restaurants would not be allowed to serve water unless requested by the customers. This is all in an effort to conserve the resource, until more rain arrives.

One chef, John Cox, decided to push the rule even further in his Big Sur-based restaurant Sierra Mar. Cox began using an air compressor to clean his restaurant’s dirty dishes and other things that normally would require the use of water. This change has resulted in Sierra Mar using 80 percent less water than before.

Cox has also convinced five other restaurants to implement the same change. It’s said that if all the restaurants in the state would begin using air compressors instead of water, California could save anywhere from 5-10 billion gallons of water each year.

That’s definitely a noticeable difference.