Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wine, Jazz, and and Milk -- in the Raw

OTBN: Don't forget this Saturday is Open That Bottle Night! OTBN is the one day every year where you plan a dinner party, invite some friends, and open those bottles of wine that you've been "saving" for a special occasion. You know those bottles, the ones that may be years old, that may be past their prime, or just plain mysteries. Bring a story to go with it and if you're really ambitious, you can write up your evening and send it to the Wall Street Journal's wine writers Dorothy Gaither and John Brecher, the creators of OTBN, who cover it every year in the paper.

Chicago with The 'Box: Looking for something to do this weekend? Sunday, February 24, The Chatterbox Jazz Club is arranging a day trip to Chicago's Millennium Park to visit the Museum of Modern Ice -- which looks *amazing* -- and the Edward Hopper exhibition at The Art Institute of Chicago. The trip will leave at 10 am and return 10 pm. $45 per person. Interested in going? Get thee to the website and email David directly. (His address is at the bottom of the page.)

Pepsi Raw: In the UK, Pepsi has introduced their first new soda in 10 years -- Pepsi Raw. Paler than their traditional soda, the drink package lists *all* ingredients and features all natural ingredients including pure cane sugar, apple extract, natural carmel coloring, coffee leaf, tartaric acid extracted from grapes, gum arabic from acacia trees and sparkling water. The drink features no artifical flavors, sweetners or other ingredients -- and is high fructose corn syrup free. Working in the very active UK natural foods test market, they're gambling on transparency. No word on if or when we'll see this product in the US. From Natural Foods Specialty Memo:

By departing from the time-honored soft drink maker's code of keeping at least some of their cola ingredients secret (natural flavors is meaningless for example), Pepsi is blazing a new path with its "Raw" cola by listing everything the drink contains on the label. To this day, Coca Cola goes to great lengths--and expenses--to maintain the "secret ingredient" or two in its famous Coca Cola, even though it lists the primary ingredients on the can or bottle. Cola marketers also have believed leaving a little something out, the "secret ingredient," creates an illusiveness which creates new drinkers. We think that once might have been true, but it isn't likely the case today.

Hormone free milk prices go up? I haven't seen this in other sources yet, but Norm over at IBJ's "news" blog says that Kroger is threatening to drop milk produced with artificial growth hormone and that, *gasp*, your milk prices might go up! I fear Monsanto's PR machine is doing damage control after bill banning small dairies from labeling milk "artificial hormone-free" -- called absence labeling -- was withdrawn by its sponsor two weeks ago. I think most of us would gladly pay a little more for milk we know didn't come from a mega-dairy using artificial bovine production enhancement hormones. I haven't seen anything official from Kroger (or Dean Foods, for that matter), but if a major chain were to take a stand, it would be big -- and good -- news.


Anonymous said...

Ah! I thought you wrote an article about raw milk... darn.

Neal said...

Hey Braingirl, is that *tantric* acid or *tartaric* acid?

Freudian slips happen all the time, but this one is pretty revealing yes?

P.S. Tartaric acid is an acid commonly found in Grapes, and is mellowed by the fermentation process when wine is made.

braingirl said...

Man, you guys are a tough crowd. (Spellcheck is down on Blogger -- it's been making me *nuts*.)

Tantric *anything* sounds pretty good right now.

indieats said...

H.B. 1300 was introduced by Indiana Farm Bureau at the urging of Mike Yoder.

Jane Akres has a detailed description of what happened on InjuryBoard News.(http://www.injuryboard.com/national-news/fight-over-artificial-hormone-milk-labels-moves-to-indiana.aspx?googleid=29214)

Steve Bonney, Indiana Sustainable Earth, confirmed to me that Yoder instigated H.B. 1300 because Kroger and Deans Food are going with no rBGH labels.

braingirl said...

Susan, thanks for the clarification.

(Susan also has a longer, more detailed post on the absence-labeling issue at her blog: indieats.com)