A chip on their shoulder

Healthy environment and food threatened by cops and big-business, plus getting your bike ready for the rain

Dept. of disbelief
There seemed to be hope yet for corporate America when snack-food giant Frito-Lay implemented, just 18 months ago, a 100-percent compostable bag for its whole-grain SunChips line. But, Frito-Lay made an about-face in early October when it announced it would immediately stop using the bags for five out of six of the SunChips varieties because consumers have complained that they are too noisy! According to Frito-Lay, SunChips sales have fallen 11 percent in the past year largely due to customer dissatisfaction with the sound of the bags.

Who the heck are these people complaining about the crinkle of a bag, when there are a lot more important issues to focus on? (Like the survival of the planet?) And why doesn’t Frito-Lay have some enviro-balls and not listen to such nonsense? Sign Change.org’s petition to Frito-Lay asking the company to keep the eco-friendly bags: http://food.change.org/petitions/view/tell_frito-lay_keep_sunchips_in_compostable_bags.

And while I’m on the subject of the unbelievable, did you hear about the guns-drawn police raid this past summer on Rawesome Foods in Venice, Calif.? As the L.A. Times put it, “With no warning one weekday morning, investigators entered an organic grocery with a search warrant and ordered the hemp-clad workers to put down their buckets of mashed coconut cream and to step away from the nuts. Then, guns drawn, four officers fanned out across Rawesome Foods in Venice. Skirting past the arugula and peering under crates of zucchini, they found the raid’s target inside a walk-in refrigerator: unmarked jugs of raw milk.”

Yes—raw milk! Not illegal drugs or weapons or even pot. “Cartons of raw goat and cow milk and blocks of unpasteurized goat cheese were among the groceries seized in the June 30 raid by federal, state and local authorities— the latest salvo in the heated food fight over what people can put in their mouths,” continued the Times.

As many foodies know, especially those who have traveled in France, raw-milk cheeses are sublimely delicious, and raw goat’s milk is both delicious and healthful. It seems to me this is similar to the backyard-hen issue—people want the right to produce and control what goes into their own bodies.

Watch the video of the raid at www.youtube.com/watch?v=b27EFldZ17k.

Bikin’ in the rain
As I write this, my bicycle is over at Campus Bicycles (330 Main St., 345-2081) getting an extra-long rear fender put on, to keep the rain (which is on its way) from splashing up from my tire onto both my butt and my daughter when she rides behind me in her bike trailer. And recently, I purchased a pair of super-heavy-duty, waterproof, over-the-back-rack cycling bags from North Rim Adventure Sports
(178 E. Second St., 345-2453) made by Vancouver, B.C.-based bike-gear manufacturer Axiom. Part of Axiom’s StormFront Water Proof series, my new red-and-black “monsoon panniers” are going to be perfect for keeping cereal boxes and egg cartons from getting soggy when I go grocery shopping.

Remember when I said small farmers are the new rock stars? Well, they’re the new rappers as well. Check out U.K. organic dairy Yeo Valley’s (pronounced “Yo Valley”) awesome video, part of its “Living in Harmony” campaign, directed by Canadian music-video director Julien Lutz, aka “Little X,” at www.grist.org/article/2010-10-19-the-worlds-first-organic-dairy-rap-video-yeo-valley/.