Day: April 7, 2013

So Much for ‘Revolutionary’: New Food-Safety Rules End Up in Trash

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“To speak only of food inspections: the United States currently imports 80% of its seafood, 32% of its fruits and nuts, 13% of its vegetables, and 10% of its meats. In 2007, these foods arrived in 25,000 shipments a day from about 100 countries. The FDA was able to inspect about 1% of these shipments, down from 8% in 1992. In contrast, the USDA is able to inspect 16% of the foods under its purview. By one assessment, the FDA has become so short-staffed that it would take the agency 1,900 years to inspect every foreign plant that exports food to the United States.”
― Marion Nestle, Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine

I find it horrifying that my grand kids are not being properly protected. I find it shocking that we as a nation have lost the motivation to excel in an area of such importance. Why not employ some felon’s who have been trained in this field and motivated by wanting to work and supply for their families to head up some of these jobs needed to protect our families from food poisoning and other illnesses ralated to this issue.

When I was training to become a seal I was motivated just by not wanting to fail. My motivation was crushed by a number of debilitating circumstance that I let creep in due to compromise. I pray our country will not allow us as a people to fall to these practices.

It has been two years since Congress passed sweeping reforms—and so far, there’s nothing to show for it. Call it “photo-op” politics. Here’s how it works: Pass a bill in Washington, then hold a press conference hailing it as revolutionary reform. Bask in the limelight as you’re lauded for your exemplary progressiveness. Then, when the news cameras have moved on, let the thing languish.

You probably didn’t need that explanation; it’s become all too familiar in politics today. And here’s the latest casualty: the 2010 Food Safety and Modernization Act, which was hailed (such bills are always “hailed”) as the biggest reform in how the federal government ensures the safety of our food supply in over 70 years

Now it’s more than two years later and, well, guess what happened. The Obama Administration has basically eviscerated many of the key provisions of the law that it championed in the first place.

By way of Grist we find out that food makers will not now be required “to design, implement, and test risk-based food-safety plans.” Nor will food processing facilities, or the food they process, be tested for contamination—unless they volunteer to do so.

As Tom Laskawy writes: “Without requirements for testing and verification of safety plans, the FDA will remain powerless to stop things like the deadly 2011 listeria outbreak in cantaloupe caused by shockingly unsanitary storage conditions at a Colorado farm. Had that farm been forced by law to produce a safety plan and then to have that plan verified, much less to have its produce tested, the people who died would likely be alive today.”

Passed in the wake of a number of scary outbreaks of foodborne illnesses, the “landmark” food safety act (yes, “landmark” now gets scare quotes) received bipartisan support in Congress—yeah, something that might actually qualify as bipartisan, with more than, say, two Republicans joining Democrats to support it.

So what happened? The Food and Drug Administration dragged its feet drafting the new regulations that were required by the law. Then there was an election year. The general consensus seems to be that the Obama Administration didn’t want the proposed rules released in 2012 for fear of being further tarred as promulgating more “job killing” government regulations.

But it appears at the end of the day it was the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB)—one of those offices that few Americans have ever heard of but which holds immense power—that put the kibosh on the new regs.

The OMB has long had a reputation under Republican presidents as being the place new regulations go to die. Agencies submit their proposals to OMB, and the office analyzes how much those proposals are going to cost. And this being Washington, of course, politics comes into play.

Word on the street is that OMB is appeasing the food industry lobby. “It’s OMB once again protecting the corporate bottom lines at the expense of protection for public health,” David Plunkett, an attorney with Center for Science in the Public Interest, told Food Safety News.

It’s all enough to make someone feel a little queasy.

Christlikeness is not weakness

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The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.

Ernest Hemingway

Jesus…for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross. Hebrews 12:2

Christ’s devotion to His Father and to God’s love for me kept Him on the cross. It was His unwavering commitment to His heavenly Father that prompted Him to begin ministry by submitting Himself to baptism by John. It was Christ’s devotion to His Father that motivated Him to spend forty days in the desert, alone and needy, so that He could be tempted with everything I might face–and yet remain victorious. It was because of His dedication to His Father that Christ enduerd the rejection, hatred, and betrayal of the very people He would die for. Christ’s devoted commitment was ultimately displayed in the turning point of human history–His death on the cross.

Hebrews tells us that Christ endured the cross because He looked forward to the joy of the days before Him. That means He so looked forward to a relationship with me that He was willing to die. The joy of the relationship with me is a part of what motivated Christ to put up with all the ridicule and disappointment.

We need a taste of that devotion if our marriages, friendships, relationships are to survive the tests life is sure to bring. Couples often ask for maritial help after one of life’s tragedies, such as a baby lost in labor, a bankruptcy, or a rebellious teenager. None of us is exempt from life’s pain, but couples seem to take two distinct paths as they recover from life’s hurts. For some couples, tragedy draws them closer together. For others, tragedy seems to break the already fragile relationship. My wife and I have suffered several tragedies in the past year, homelessness, joblessness, loneliness, financial bankrupcy,hope depleted due to the strain of what others were thinking of our all of a sudden sufferings to destitution, but we stayed devoted to the number one strand that holds our life together and that is Jesus. We went to jail for working a job that we found on Career Builders. We found out it was a scam 4 weeks into trying to save our home and comfortable exsistance. Faced with new felonies and no one wanting to trust us as being valid individuals, we were perplexed at first about what to do. We began to stand and pray staying in a position of humility. God gave temporary housing and revelation knowledge about why people react and work and live as They do. We moved on with trust in God’s provisions and found a family that was willing to endure with us what it took to get us on our feet again. devotion is the key that starts the hand of God to make all things work together for the good of them that love Him and are called according to His purpose.

I found out after watching so many of my cohorts suffer devorce due to the same trials I was facing, maybe not jail and the felon who is not able to get work due to the injustice associated with being apart of an un forgiven society, but finances didn’t allow their spouses to stand nor did the men stand for Christ. The couples who survive life’s tragedies are the ones who show devotion in the everyday things. They express commitment and devotion to one another regularly through acts of devotion, big and small. They love Jesus and listen to Him on the day of corporate worship, they hear Him when they have times of devotion with them closed in with the holy spirit and The word of God, they pray together about what is troubling them. They pray for the world and those who mistreat them. The put their enemies before God, they put their neighbors on the alter, they speak life about the promises they remind God that He said in His word. Lord do as you have said for your servant is the cry of them doing times of prayer.

We are not where we want to be, but we are where God dwells. We will get to be stewards again of our own. We beleive God is doing things that only He knows about. Lord, help us to remember to perform acts of devotion for each other in marriage and mankind. If you are upon a time in your life that requires devotion to God and the one you are with, stay connected to the hand that is scared for you.

The Loudest Message

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If you want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.

Mother Teresa

Luke 9:23

New International Version (NIV)

23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

Mike D and Sam Talbot are the founding members of a lunch truck crew that’s been feeding Sandy-affected residents all winter.
The area may not be close to calling itself fully recovered, which is why efforts to feed and warm the locals, especially during this tail end of East Coast winter, remain crucial. And for the residents who could use a helping hand, a particularly welcome sight has been an oddball lunch truck crew, including a Beastie Boy and a Top Chef contestant, who’ve banded together to help feed them.

Restaurateur Robert McKinley recently teamed up with his friends Mike D, also known as Mike Diamond, of Beastie Boys fame, and Top Chef’s Sam Talbot to start the Rockaway Plate Lunch Truck. Over the winter, the men spent five days a week serving area residents free, nutritious hot meals, and have so far served over 20,000 of them.

Mike D recently explained to GOOD that the impetus to get involved began the first time he saw Rockaway Beach post-Sandy.

“We saw right away all these people living without any power, without any businesses being open, and therefore, no food,” he said. “We saw the immediate need for warm food, but we didn’t have time to put together a long-term cohesive plan, we just had to react quickly.”

But the inclination to heal the neighborhood through food is about more than a kind gesture. Now that the weather is beginning to warm, Diamond wants to slowly transition the truck into a neighborhood business that would hopefully play a part in continued efforts to revitalize the local economy.

WSJ reports that the Rockaway lunch crew specifically wants to target local kids, teaching them the ins and outs of running a restaurant business, including marketing it through social media channels, as well as giving them a whole foods education that could include a community garden and information about nutrition.

That is a message speaking load and clear of how God will use His people to be His healing hands in a troubled world. He stirs those up who have been given a heart transplant and are passionate about doing good to “ManKind.”

Dorthy Canfield Fisher has written a poignant story about a physically powerful, but dim-witted farmhand named Lem who lived in a Vermont valley. His mother resented him from the day he was born. She often ridiculed her son with harsh and demeaning words. Even so, the boy served her faithfully until she died.

Lem was the brunt of many village jokes. But then, he came upon a huge dog killing some farmer’s sheep one night. Using his bare hands as his only weapon, he strangled the dog to death. When morning came, the villagers discovered the dog was really a giant timber wolf. Lem quickly earned the villagers’ silent admiration.

Later, an unwed village girl falsely accussed Lem of being the father of her baby. Even though he was innocent, he married the girl so the baby would have a father. Unfortunately, the mother died within a year, so Lem raised the little girl by himself. After she was grown and married, her own baby became desperatly ill, and Lem sold all his sheep to pay the baby’s medical care.

Confronted with meanness, misunderstanding, and loneliness all his life, Lem had no recourse in professing the true nature of his own life except to live it out in serving others. And that he did!! The way you live your life is the loudest message you will ever speak.

God can do tremendous things through people who don’t care who gets the credit. Let what you do matter by caring for others.

My eyes are on You O’Lord

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There is only one secure foundation: a genuine, deep relationship with Jesus Christ, which will carry you through any and all turmoil. No matter what storms are raging all around, you'll stand firm if you stand on His love.

Charles Stanley

Habakkuk 2:1

New International Version (NIV)

2 I will stand at my watch
and station myself on the ramparts;
I will look to see what he will say to me,
and what answer I am to give to this complaint.[a]

With so much chaos moving around in the hemisphere one would be wise to look towards the hills from whence cometh their help and our help comes from "The Lord." Watching the skies for the advent of Jesus Christ should be our "Position." Without watchful expectation on our part, what is the sense in waiting on God for help? There will be no help without it. If we ever fail to receive strength and protection from Him, it is because we have not been looking for it. Heavenly help is often offered yet goes right past us. We miss it because we are not standing in the tower, carefully watching the horizon for evidence of its approach, and then are unready to throw the gates of our heart open so it may enter. The person who has no expectations and therefore fails to be on the alert will receive little help. Watch for God in th events of your life.

There is an old saying:& quote;They who watch for the providence of God will never lack the providence of God to watch for." And we could turn the saying around as well and say, "They who never watch for the providence of God to watch for." Unless you put the water jars out when it rains, you will never collect the water. We need to be more businesslike and use common sense with God in claiming His promises. If a man were to go to the bank several times a day, lay his check at the teller's window, and then pick it up without cashing it, it would not be long before the bank would have him ordered from the premises.

People who go to the bank have a purpose in mind. They present their check, recieve their cash, and then leave, having transacted real business. They do not lay their check on the counter, discuss the beauty of the signature, and point out the lovely design on it. No, they want to receive money for their check and will not be satisfied without it. These are the people who are always welcome at the bank, inlike those who simply waste the teller's time.

Unfortunatelty, a great many people also play at praying. They do not expect God to give them an awnser, so they simply squander their prayer time. Our heavenly Father desires us to transact real business with Him in our prayers, our having faith, our loving as He loves us, in our standing out post with watchful expectations. He expects us to love Him enough to know that without faith it is impossible to please Him. I am going through the time of my life right now. I feel as if The Lord is sleeping sometimes while I am combating this storm. But when I read His promises, I get stirred up to have faith again. That is why I stay in the word and around like minded people. I beleive you and I will survive, He is able.

The walls of your trials have been given to you because He wants you to man them with faith. Beleive it will get better.God is providing for us right now. You may feel alone, O' but God. Stand your post with expectation family. It's going to get better for you and me and for this world that seems to be winning the battle. Don't let your natural dictate your hope, your peace, your joy. The clouds have moved and we will make it through, it's already done in Jesus name Amen!!!