Valentine’s Day is for Kisses

A kiss is a “caress with the lips,” but it is also “a bite-size piece of candy often wrapped in paper or foil.” Merriam-Webster, definition of “kiss.” While some may focus on lip caresses, there’s a story to be told about pieces of chocolate wrapped in foil that involve trade complaints and shortages in weight….

The Fussy, Fastidious, Finicky Fellow Standard

“Eww, that’s not food!” has exclaimed countless kids over the centuries, including my own recently. Like my kids and Calvin, the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act protects the American consumer from things that are simply unfit for food. Under this provision, a food can be unlawful if it is too rubbery, woody, hard, or the…

Regulatory Nonsense: Frozen Lemonade Concentrate

FDA recently announced that it may delete some outdated food standards — these are legally mandated recipes that FDA created to “promote honesty and fair dealing in the interest of consumers.” On FDA’s list is frozen cherry pie and I’d like to propose another one from the frozen food isle: frozen lemonade concentrate. That’s correct,…

The Curious Cough Drop

“It’s candy and I’m allowed to eat it during class,” my fourth grade classmate bragged to me. His parents wrote a note to the teacher saying that he was allowed to have cough drops during school to help with his cold. Little did my fourth grade self know that I was witnessing FDA regulation at work:…

Toothpaste: No Supersize Packaging?

Buy in bulk and save: Sam’s Club and Costco are built on this concept. Even at non-warehouse retailors, you can buy a large quantity in a big container, usually at a decreased price for unit of measure. For example, for $2.40 you can buy about 1 pound of Peter Pan Peanut Butter, or spend about…

Name that Food: Macaroni Product?

Name that food: Dry dough made from flour and water that is made into various shapes, may contain some optional ingredients such as salt or eggs. According to Merriam Webster, Oxford English Dictionary, or wikipedia, we just described a food known as “pasta,” but then why do all of these labels call this food “macaroni…

Keeping America Safe for Chocolate Milk

For almost 50 years Mom had an understudy in the kitchen: the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This government agency carefully studied her recipes and wrote them down; they even considered her chocolate milk recipe. FDA can establish legally enforceable recipes that food manufacturers must comply with: these are known as “food standards.” A food…

You Scream, I Scream, We all Scream for Jell-o Ice Cream!?

July is National Ice Cream Month, which dates back to 1984 when President Reagan issued a Presidential Proclamation and Congress issued a joint resolution to celebrate this “nutritious and wholesome food.” President Reagan wasn’t alone in referring to ice cream as a nutritious; several others did too during a Congressional hearing in 1977, which was held in response to…

FDA Inspecting Airplanes & Airlines?

I love air travel and airplanes — all types of airplanes, including propeller-driven planes. While they are noisy and bumpy, they are also romantic and cause me to imagine that I’m experiencing the early days of air travel. Unfortunately, the last major U.S. airline (American Airlines) just flew its last propeller-driven flight: an era is…