Seeing Red


I've always been leery of those factory pre-packed Styrofoam tubs of ground meat (and other cuts) that began to show up in supermarkets a few years back—the ones with the perfectly synchronous squiggles of brilliant red hamburger encased beneath a drum-tight seal of plastic wrap. Well, my skepticism has been justified. Such "case-ready" products have been gassed with carbon monoxide, according to Food and Water Watch. The treatment itself is not harmful, but it inhibits the grayish coloring that meat naturally takes on as it ages, which, the organization says, "could deceive consumers into buying spoiled meat that looks fresh and safe."

The Skinny on Unilever

The consumer products colossus Unilever recently announced that super-skinny models are forbidden to appear in its advertisements. No need to audition unless you have a Body Mass Index falls between 18.5 and 25, the range considered healthy. A spokesman says that the move was a "response to growing societal concerns about the possible negative health effects that could occur should people pursue unhealthy or excessive slimness." Fair enough. Now, perhaps the company behind such products as Hellmann's mayonnaise, Skippy peanut butter, Wishbone salad dressing, and Ben and Jerry's ice cream will address "societal concerns" about the 64 percent of Americans whose excess body mass errs on the other end of the scale.


Did anyone other than Gourmet's intrepid Zanne Early Stewart arch an eyebrow when they learned that self-proclaimed Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert's new Food, Nutrition & Science newsletter was being sponsored by none other than Monsanto?

Subscribe to Gourmet