Posted by: bridget | 7 August 2007

Tuesday Round-Up

The FDA may amend the definition of chocolate to allow manufacturers to replace some of the cacao butter with vegetable oil.

Broadly speaking, the so-called standards of identity are meant to ensure listed products contain the right amount of key ingredients and are both properly made and not deceptively packaged. For example, chocolate in its purest state — the “liquor” made from ground, processed cacao beans — must contain between 50 percent and 60 percent cocoa butter, also known as cocoa fat.

Vegetable oil, although less flavourful, is less expensive. Small chocolate makers (i.e. the ones who make chocolately tastiness) oppose the new rule; many theobromophiles are also against it. Large chocolatiers support the change.

The pachyderm cannot fathom why chocolate-makers could not simply label their adulterated products as “chocolate-flavoured” or the like, to convey that the product within is not real chocolate. They are not actually prohibited from manufacturing the bastardised food; they are merely prohibited from labeling it as pure chocolate.


Britons who walk to the grocery store instead of driving there create more greenhouse gas, reports the Times Online (UK.) (Hat tip: Volokh.) Chris Goodall, the author of the study, assumed that the walker would replace all of his burned calories by eating beef that is manufactured in the Japanese style. He further assumed that cars do not result in any carbon dioxide use except for combusted gasoline (i.e. he does not factor in the pollution from car-making).

Much of the point of this nonsense was to criticise British agricultural methods (or lack thereof). Much of their food is flown in from elsewhere; they also eat a fair amount of frozen or prepackaged food. Meat is less environmentally-friendly than are vegetables (as one must grow the feed to give to the cow, who converts only about 10% of that into potential food throughout its life). Nevertheless, the insanity knows no limits:

The ideal diet would consist of cereals and pulses. “This is a route which virtually nobody, apart from a vegan, is going to follow,” Mr Goodall said. But there are other ways to reduce the carbon footprint. “Don’t buy anything from the supermarket,” Mr Goodall said, “or anything that’s travelled too far.”

Obviously, we should all stop purchasing our food from the supermarket. Presumably, not eating anything would eliminate our carbon footprint; the fact that we would also die is of little import or consequence.


Scientists, in an attempt to reduce Britain’s brown-tail* moth population, are making male moths gay. They are coating the larvae in female phermones, thus making them attractive to male moths:

The powder is left near breeding grounds and, when larvae hatch, they are coated in it. Other male moths are then tempted naturally to make contact with them, believing them to be female. Moths have small brains and dreadful eyesight.

Dreadful eyesight or not, the coated moths must be terribly insecure. If they ever do realise their mistake, the hornswoggled male moths must flit about, doing renditions of the Kinks’ famous song.

*The moths in question are brown-tailed throughout their lives: “Towards the end of summer they moult, pupate and emerge as adult moths. To confuse the issue they are not brown-tailed at all but, like some of Sir Elton John’s more restrained stage costumes, predominantly white.



  1. “Obviously, we should all stop purchasing our food from the supermarket. Presumably, not eating anything would eliminate our carbon footprint; the fact that we would also die is of little import or consequence.”

    Well that makes perfect sense, we should all stop eating and breathing. lol.

    BTW you’ve been tagged.

  2. Well that makes perfect sense, we should all stop eating and breathing. lol.

    I hope my sarcasm came through. I do think that it is the purpose of the environmental movement to do as most religions would have us do: immolate ourselves for some nebulous good.

  3. Your sassiness always shines through girl! :)

  4. If we have to give up meat, maybe we can live on fake chocolate. If we can find some close to home.

    As for the moths, imagine the reaction if they were trying to make gay moths straight. Are there gay moths? Can they marry? adopt? Sounds like a good place for a big federal grant.

  5. “I hope my sarcasm came through”

    Loud and clear. I hope the parody in my latest post on my site came through clearly, otherwise I might get some angry comments and emails.

  6. Tammi,

    Good to know! :)


    (Laughing) But is it fair trade cacao? What about the farmers? (It killed me that the FDA is considering the plight of foreign cocoa growers as a consideration in American food labeling – really!).

    As for the moths – please, don’t give anyone any ideas! Someone will figure out how to make gay monkeys acceptable in monkey society.

  7. Hey, I would much rather see the government help foreign farmers that me. In my experience help from the government is almost the worst thing that can happen to you.

  8. Good point there.

  9. I assume the FDA called you as a witness for the pure chocolate coalition?

    Gay moths?! Born that way.

  10. Neil,

    No, they haven’t! :(

    (Laughing at the latter comment.) Yeah, well, apparently, some are born that way and some are just experimenting.

  11. BTW forget the other meme I sent you, I have an ever better one for you and it involves very little thought or typing. Intrigued yet?

  12. Sounds good. :p

    I’ll do them both at once.

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