Crap. It’s what’s for dinner.

Usually, I can walk past the Taco Bell at Augusta and Mills Avenue without giving what it represents much thought, but today I couldn't help myself. I actually read those big banners they've had hanging in the windows there for weeks, the ones encouraging me to eat junk food-flavored fast food.

According to Taco Bell, 88% of that soft brown stuff inside their tacos is USDA-approved “premium beef.” As opposed to the ammoniated beef, aka “pink slime”, that caused them so much grief in 2012 when footage of the uncooked product aired on national television.

And the remaining 12%? Here’s from TacoBell.com :  “They do have weird names – perfect for tongue twisters! But these ingredients are completely safe and approved by the FDA. They’re common ingredients also found in food items at your grocery store.”

Umm … Would that be the same FDA whose commissioner, Margaret Hamburg (yes, Hamburg) in 2009 hired as her senior adviser Mike Taylor, a former Vice President for Public Policy at Monsanto?

Why do I feel like I’ve just been patted on the head by a creepy old man and told to go outside and play? Moreover, what exactly does an ingredient’s availability at my grocery store have to do with its safety or health benefits? Isn’t that the place where they sell me cigarettes, malt liquor, aspartame and lottery tickets?

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A news brief that I heard on Morning Edition yesterday sounded so Fox News-like in its combination of topic and tone that I almost spilled my coffee. Toto yanking on the curtain again, I guess.

Have a listen and see if you don’t agree that NPR seems to think that all this fuss over fracking is a tempest in a teapot:

Play 30 seconds
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