February 19th, 2014
01:45 PM ET
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In cooking, the process of clarification entails straining out extraneous muck from liquids so that they might be pure, clear and ideal for consumption. With this series on food terminology and issues we're attempting to do the same.

If it seems food safety issues are on the rise, that's because they are. About 48 million people contract some form of food poisoning each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At any given time the FDA is responsible for watching over some 167,000 domestic food facilities or farms, and another 421,000 facilities or farms outside the United States, according to FDA officials. But there are only about 1,100 inspectors to oversee these facilities, officials told CNN in 2012.

There is a third party audit system, where farms or facilities hire auditors to inspect their premises and provide scores. But some say the audit system is full of conflicts of interest. For instance, shortly before Jensen Farms in Colorado caused a listeria outbreak that killed 30 people, a private inspection company’s auditor gave them a “superior” grade, even after noting that they had no anti-microbial solution in place to clean their cantaloupes.

Sometimes, food slips through the cracks and makes it to the consumer marketplace, as in the recent case of the 8.7 million pounds of meat from Rancho Feeding Corporation (and their associated products like Hot Pockets) that were recalled due to "adulteration." Here's what that means.
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October 8th, 2013
03:05 PM ET
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In cooking, the process of clarification entails straining out extraneous muck from liquids so that they might be pure, clear and ideal for consumption. With this series on food terminology and issues we're attempting to do the same.

If it seems food safety issues are on the rise, that's because they are. About 48 million people contract some form of food poisoning each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Even in the midst of a government shutdown, crises like the current salmonella outbreak occur. But the question on many people's minds is whether the federal investigators in charge of food safety are still around to protect the public, or if they too have been furloughed.

According to a Department of Health and Human Services contingency plan, the Food and Drug Administration "will be unable to support the majority of its food safety, nutrition, and cosmetics activities” in the event of a government shutdown. However, that plan identifies approximately 700 FDA staff members who would remain to “inspect regulated products and manufacturers, conduct sample analysis on products and review imports offered for entry into the U.S. This number includes active investigators who will be needed to perform inspections.”
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5@5 - Foodservice industry buzzwords that need some explaining
January 29th, 2013
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Confused about what terms like "local," "green" and "sustainable" mean? You're not the only one trying to weed through it.

Luckily for us, Nate Appleman has an answer or five. He's the Culinary Manager of Chipotle Mexican Grill, a 2009 James Beard Rising Star Chef and a Food & Wine magazine Best New Chef and he's here to clear things up.

"There are a lot of great things happening in food right now as it relates to local and more sustainable. And a lot of food companies that would like for you to think they are part of that," Appleman said.

"When dealing with vague words like 'local' or 'fresh' or 'natural' that have no standard definition, it's important for people to understand what claims are being made, as there are many who try to benefit from using them."

Five Food Words and What They Really Mean - Or Don't: Nate Appleman
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Clarified: What does "organic" mean?
September 3rd, 2012
05:00 PM ET
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In cooking, the process of clarification entails straining out extraneous muck from liquids so that they might be pure, clear and ideal for consumption. With this series on food terminology and issues we're attempting to do the same.

Organic: it's a word that gets bandied and bashed around a lot. Plenty of folks believe it's synonymous with "healthy," while others think it's just an excuse for companies to vacuum the last of the cash from your wallet. Politics aside, what does the term actually mean?
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June 13th, 2012
05:30 PM ET
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In cooking, the process of clarification entails straining out extraneous muck from liquids so that they might be pure, clear and ideal for consumption. With this series on food terminology and issues we're attempting to do the same.

It takes two hours to get to Hudson Valley Foie Gras from New York City, but it only takes two seconds on-premise to see the looming foie gras ban in California has ruffled Izzy Yanay’s feathers.

“It looks horrible and has a French name – which is already a very bad thing. Nobody needs to eat foie gras and it’s very expensive, so it’s a very easy target,” said Yanay.

Yanay is the General Manager and Vice President of Hudson Valley Foie Gras in Ferndale, New York. The 200-acre farm is the premier producer of foie gras in the United States, and provides the controversial delicacy to top chefs like Thomas Keller and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
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Clarified – What are gestation crates?
June 6th, 2012
10:15 PM ET
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In cooking, the process of clarification entails straining out extraneous muck from liquids so that they might be pure, clear and ideal for consumption. With this series on food terminology and issues we're attempting to do the same.

This little piggie is bred for market. This little piggie can't turn her body around. That's about to change.

The term "gestation crates" has been trotted out across news media and social networks over the course of the last few months as major corporations declared plans to phase out their use, but what exactly are they and why is their use so controversial?
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May 23rd, 2012
04:00 PM ET
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Clarified – demystifying food terms and trends
April 28th, 2012
07:30 AM ET
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In cooking, the process of clarification entails straining out extraneous muck from liquids so that they might be pure, clear and ideal for consumption. With this series on food terminology and trends we're attempting to do the same.

As food writers and reporters, we toss out a lot of terms - sustainable, pescetarian, free-range - and just assume that everyone's on the same page. If they're not, the conversation suffers, and we can't have that, now can we?

Here's a round-up of concepts and words we've explained thus far.
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Clarified - Much a goo about 'pink slime'
March 9th, 2012
12:00 PM ET
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In cooking, the process of clarification entails straining out extraneous muck from liquids so that they might be pure, clear and ideal for consumption. With this series on food terminology and issues we're attempting to do the same.

A new phrase has oozed into the news cycle: "pink slime."

While one might expect such terminology to deal with a "Double Dare" or "Ghostbusters" reboot, instead, it refers to something that many Americans are consuming without even knowing it.

The pink goo first gained mainstream attention when British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver focused an episode of his show, "Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution," on the product that is used as a ground beef filler.
 During the episode, Oliver reported 70 percent of ground beef in the United States contains the ammonium hydroxide-treated ground meat that bears a striking resemblance to strawberry fro-yo.
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Filed under: Bite • Clarified • Culture • Food Politics • News • Pink Slime • School Lunch


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