Pumpkin pies follow Eggos on to endangered foods list

It looks like a grim winter for Americans who will now have to get through the coldest months without two of their favorite food groups.

Nestle, which owns the Libby’s brand of pumpkin pie and announced this week that heavy rain has hurt its pumpkin farms in Morton, Ill., to the point that it will not pack any more pumpkins this year.

And it’s not just our poor underprivileged industrial food producers being hurt by this. In case anyone cares, there are reports that mere people are also being effected.

“Our calculations indicate that we may deplete our inventory of canned Libby’s pumpkin as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Paul Bakus, vice president and general manager of Nestle Baking.

Damn. Just as I was poised to get rich off my pumpkin pie with Eggo crust recipe. Maybe next year.

UPDATE

I agree with Mister Impatient’s comment (below) and sense an attempt to drive up the price in both the pumpkin and Eggo markets by creating a fictitious shortage. As evidence I offer this picture of shelves at my local supermarket overflowing with Eggos!

I CALL SHENANIGANS!!!

Congress waffles in face of national Eggo shortage

eggohide1Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi  is calling for swift action in response to a national Eggo frozen waffle shortage. In a speech today at the International House of Pancakes, Pelosi (DNot Amused) said the nation could not wait while the nation’s children were forced to pick something else for breakfast.

“This poses a threat to the entire educational system,” she said. “The time lost to choosing another breakfast food will cause massive delays of school start times which could snowball through the entire school day.”

The issue of how to handle the shortage, expected to last until at least next summer, has further polarized an already divided, split, segmented and bisected Capital Hill.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, (R-Cranky), accused the Obama administration of having a socialist Eggo agenda that posed a threat to national security and the economy. “Eggo! Al Qaeda! Dow Jones! Eggo! Al Qaeda! Dow Jones! Eggo! Al Qaeda! Dow Jones!” he said, until Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-To The Right Of You No Matter What) whacked the back of his head.

Earlier in the day, McConnell addressed the issue on a Fox News special, French Toast Sticks: Threat or Menace? At that time McConnell blamed the liberal media before offering to wipe some syrup off the chin of host Glenn Beck.

Pelosi said she would consider a bailout for the waffle industry and a public option for either butter or margarine. In a move widely seen as an attempt to placate moderate Democrats she promised there would be no government mandate for syrup.

Pelosi shattered any possibility of bipartisanship when she decried Republican attempts to link the crisis to Rep. Barney Frank’s waistline. Frank (D-“Those” People) defended himself by saying he owed his chubbiness to Dunkin’ Donuts. “The Massachusetts’ state constitution requires every resident to start the day with an extra huge coffee, regulah, and the donut of his or her choice.” Frank, who has an aide bring him his daily serving,  acknowledged that he may have a donut problem. “I don’t care if it’s sprinkles or coconut or icing,” he said. “But it BETTER HAVE SOMETHING!”

In an unprecedented move, the Obama administration offered a straight-forward opinion on the issue. When asked about the shortage First Lady Michelle Obama sighed, rolled her eyes and made us all feel silly for bringing up the issue in the first place. Later, she was crowned queen of Europe. Her husband is reported to have done something, too.

The shortage is a result of problems at Kellog’s Atlanta and Rossville, Tenn., plants. Eggo production won’t return to normal until it until the middle of 2010, said company spokeswoman Kris Charles. Already customers are noticing near-empty Eggo shelves on the freezer aisle at many grocery stores. This has scared many shoppers until they noticed the store brand frozen waffles.

Industry puts “healthy choice” label on Froot Loops, Cocoa Krispies, etc.

SmartChoicesThe cereals are just two of the foods to receive approval from a new food-labeling campaign called Smart Choices, backed by most of the nation’s largest food manufacturers. The green checkmark label is “designed to help shoppers easily identify smarter food and beverage choices.”

Smarter than what, you ask? Donuts according to Eileen T. Kennedy, (unpaid) president of the Smart Choices board and dean of the School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts.

Quoth the NY Times:

Froot Loops qualifies for the label because it meets standards set by the Smart Choices Program for fiber and Vitamins A and C, and because it does not exceed limits on fat, sodium and sugar. It contains the maximum amount of sugar allowed under the program for cereals, 12 grams per serving, which in the case of Froot Loops is 41 percent of the product, measured by weight. That is more sugar than in many popular brands of cookies.

But wait, it gets better. Celeste A. Clark, senior vice president of global nutrition for Kellogg’s, which makes Froot Loops said Smart Choices’ standard for sugar in cereals was consistent with federal dietary guidelines which state “small amounts of sugar” added to nutrient-dense foods like breakfast cereals can make them taste better.

Great final quote from the wonderfully named Marion Nestle, a nutrition professor at my alma mater, New York University. “The object of this is to make highly processed foods appear as healthful as unprocessed foods, which they are not.”

You will not be surprised to learn the Smart Choices research and campaign is paid for by food companies. So far 10 of them have ponied up as much as $100K for the right to have the seal on their products. I suspect many more will soon jump on board.

This program approved by:

penguin-seal

Cylon toaster is best co-branding ever!

As us Battlestar Gallactica fans know the persecuted human minority refers to their robotic Cylon oppressors as toasters. So NBC/Universal did the smart thing and put out a Battlestar Gallactica branded toaster that imprints a picture of a Cylon ‘bot on the toast. $65 and it’s a limited run. Maybe the toaster is the 12th Cylon model?

NBC Store via OhGizmo

The strangest exercise in cross branding I’ve seen lately is these John Deere Fruit Flavored Snacks from Kellog’s. Other than harvesting what do tractors and fruit have in common and why would I want to put a brand of tractor in my mouth?