blog imageYou’re a sheriff’s deputy and you’re hungry.  You stop at the local Burger King drive-thru and order a Whopper with cheese.  You often eat five meals a day—frequently at fast food restaurants—because you work night shifts.  Yet, this time you drive away with an uneasy feeling.  You stop in another parking lot to examine your hamburger.

As you lift the bun, you notice a “puddle of phlegm” on it.  It looks like oil or fat. You stick your finger in it to see.  It’s neither.  You’ve touched the spittle of a Burger King employee.  He later pleads guilty to felony assault and is sentenced to 90 days in jail.

 You’re nauseated by this traumatic event.  Because of it, you can no longer eat any prepared foods.  Once, when you were served spaghetti at a friend’s home, you vomited right then and there.  Even walking past free samples in grocery stores makes you want to barf.  Unable to eat out, you binge once a day at home on food you prepare yourself.  Your repeated nightmares involve food poisoning or other communicable diseases.

You’re now seeing a mental health professional to overcome these food aversion issues.  You’ve been taught some coping techniques, including how to clear your mind before eating or going to sleep, but progress has been very slow.[1]
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For centuries, we’ve ingested magic elixirs in pill and syrupy forms to cure whatever ails us and to ward off future illness.  Hard scientific evidence of efficacy may have been lacking for these nostrums, but lingering doubts fell sway to the testimonial charms and hard-sell tactics of proverbial snake oil salesmen.  Once operating door-to-door, these

Co-Authored by June K. Campbell and Paul D. Swanson

“There’s a Chinese restaurant on every block, and if you think mouths won’t water when you come strolling by, then you don’t know squat about Oriental cuisine.  They prize the taste of dog, friend.  The chefs round up strays and slaughter them in the alley right behind the kitchen—ten, twenty, thirty dogs a week.  They might pass them off as ducks and pigs on the menu, but the in-crowd knows what’s what, the gourmets aren’t fooled for a second.” — Willy G. Christmas talking to Mr. Bones, his dog, from the novel Timbuktu, by Paul Auster

Europe is abuzz with the horsemeat scandal.  After the Food Safety Authority of Ireland first discovered that a range of frozen beef products contained a large percentage of horse DNA, the story struck a viral nerve and spread like wildfire.

For consumers at the convoluted end of frozen food supply chains, the idea that you have been eating “Bessie” the horse probably comes as an emotional shock to the system.  It is yet another nagging reminder of how distant we are from our original sources of food and how easy it is to be fooled by food appearances and masked tastes.[1]

For the companies whose grocery store or packaged food brands are entangled in the horsemeat scandal, the damage to reputational interests can be profound.  Affected companies took public relations repair action first and terminated supply chain contracts in a peremptory fashion.  IKEA stopped serving its famous Swedish meatballs.  Burger King changed to a different supplier of burgers.  Tesco, a major European supermarket chain, dropped a major vendor after discovering its frozen spaghetti bolognese contained over 60% horsemeat.
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