Some lawmakers, however, soured at the thought of the berry dish competing with the Key lime pie.
The sweetest bill of this year’s Legislative Session cleared its first committee Wednesday morning, bringing strawberry shortcake one step closer to becoming the state’s designated dessert.
The legislation (HB 567), filed by Dover Republican Rep. Lawrence McClure, officially names strawberry shortcake as the state’s primo dessert. McClure hopes the measure will promote the vital role that Florida-grown strawberries play in the state’s economy. Sen. Danny Burgess filed an identical bill (SB 1006).
“The Florida strawberry is our economic driver, almost a billion dollar economic impact,” McClure said. “So this bill is really meant to bring some fun attention to what drives our economy.”
Despite being this Session’s sweetest bill, some lawmakers soured at the thought of the berry dish competing with the Key lime pie, which holds the separate title as the official state pie.
While McClure claimed he “isn’t trying to take the ‘Key lime-light’ away from the state pie,” some fans of the citrus delight raised questions at the House Public Integrity and Elections Committee. Yes, it’s known as the PIE committee.
“As a fan of Key lime pie, I have a little concern that this would prioritize it as a state dessert,” said Rep. Erin Grall, who suggested that perhaps the bill be altered to designate the sweet as state cake instead of dessert.
Others jokingly expressed concern at the potential repercussions from Key lime pie enthusiasts.
“If this should pass, are you worried about a lawsuit from the Key lime pie lobby?” Rep. Blaise Ingoglia said.
Some members of the Italian American caucus even went as far as to suggest scratching the berry cake in favor of the cannoli.
“With all the influx of New Yorkers coming to the state of Florida fleeing lockdown states, did you give any consideration to the cannoli?” Ingoglia asked.
McClure quickly shut down that proposal, saying he “literally could not care less” about the Italian pastry, earning giggles from the committee.
After the back-and-forth of puns and sweet talk, members of the committee praised McClure for bringing the bill forward, recognizing the importance of agriculture in Florida’s economy.
“Thank you so much for bringing forward this bill and really highlighting our community and the history that has encompassed Hillsborough County and Plant City,” Tampa Bay Rep. Susan Valdes said. “The growers and the community of Plant City just, they’re amazing individuals and family members that provide such a great product for us. So thank you very much for bringing it forward.”
According to an analysis of the legislation, Florida’s strawberry industry is the second-largest producing region in the U.S. and the top region for the nation’s winter supply. Plant City is known as the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World.
The 36-line bill also cites the 2000 Guinness Book of World Records recognition given to Plant City as the home of the most oversized shortcake in the world as evidence the strawberry shortcake should enjoy a higher stature — regardless of the amount of whipped cream piled on. The record was later broken in 2004 in the Municipality of La Trinidad, Philippines.
The bill only needs to clear the State Affairs Committee before it can be heard on the House floor.
CDC Releases Statement Following Pennsylvania Crash Involving 100 Test Monkeys
As reported earlier — A truck and trailer carrying about 100 monkeys collided with a dump truck Friday afternoon along Route 54 just off Interstate 80 near Danville, Pennsylvania.
Three monkeys escaped the crash. The monkeys were later reportedly “humanely euthanized.”
The CDC is now monitoring local residents for cold-like symptoms.
That’s very comforting considering the lab leak from Wuhan that just destroyed the global economy.
The monkeys are originally from Mauritius an island country off the African coast.
Earlier this week a woman who came in contact with the monkeys said she is experiencing symptoms and has pink-eye and a cough.
Earlier this week, following the much-publicized crash, the CDC sent out a letter on precautions when dealing with monkeys. The CDC tells the first responders to monitor themselves and contact their physician if they experience symptoms.
“If you were within five feet of the NHP crates without respiratory and eye protection, monitor yourself for signs of illness including fever, fatigue, cough, diarrhea, and vomiting. If you become ill during the 31-day quarantine period (until February 21, 2022), you should immediately report to your physician that you had exposure to monkeys and notify the Pennsylvania State Department of Health at (717) 787-3350.”
Via a trusted TGP source.
California City First in US to Mandate Liability Insurance for Gun Owners
The San Jose city council has passed a bill that will require gun owners to pay an annual fee and purchase liability insurance policies.
The piece of legislation was passed in two separate votes on Tuesday evening and became the first of its kind in a country where the right to own firearms is enshrined in the Constitution and ingrained in culture.
One councilwoman dissented on both items, saying that the bill may be unconstitutional. She predicted that it would not help reduce gun violence, contrary to what its sponsors argued, since the latter often comes from those who possess arms illegally. Two members voted only against the fees, citing concerns over how they would be managed. The rest of the 10-seat body voted for the piece of legislation.
The bill was put forward in 2019 by Mayor Sam Liccardo after a shooting at a San Jose food festival claimed the lives of three victims, two of them children, and left 17 others injured. The mayor said gun owners should be paying fees to cover taxpayer costs associated with gun violence, comparing the proposal to policies already in place for car drivers or tobacco smokers.
Gun rights advocates opposed the idea from the get-go, pledging to take the city to court if it were ever passed into law. They say it seeks to de facto punish law-abiding citizens for exercising their right under the Second Amendment instead of addressing the root causes of violent crimes.
Unless overturned, the mandate will come into force in August. The insurance is to cover cases of accidental discharge and those in which a firearm gets lost or stolen from the rightful owner. The annual fee will amount to between $25-$35 and will be paid to a nonprofit, which will distribute the money among groups offering services like suicide prevention counseling and firearm safety training.
The pioneering ordinance provides exceptions to active and retired police officers, people with a license for concealed carry, and poor people facing financial hardships, who wouldn’t be able to afford the additional costs.
The enforcement is not supposed to be proactive, with checks of payments done by the police whenever they come across a firearm during an investigation, similarly to checking driving licenses.
San Jose, a city of over one million residents, has adopted several laws recently to increase gun controls, including one that requires videotaping all gun purchases and another one that demands that gun owners lock up their property when they leave home.
A Reese Report edit of Riccardo Bosi’s recent address to all people sworn to defend their nation.
Scientists Find New Way to Isolate Insect Protein for Human Consumption
Scientists at West Virginia University have found a way to isolate protein from insects, paving the way for wider direct human consumption of insect-based food in the near future.
The scientists used a new technique to isolate and determine the nutritional properties of powders made from cricket, locust and silk-worm pupae.
Insect protein powder: the next step on the road to mass human consumption?
The consumption of insect protein is being heavily touted as one way to feed a world whose population is predicted to reach 10 billion by 2050.
But while the practice of eating terrestrial insects is widely accepted throughout most of the world, in the West few people find the prospect of eating them appetising.
Researchers and advocates are at pains to point out that most edible terrestrial insects are “cleaner” than crabs, lobsters and shrimp, because they feed on fresh plants and wood instead of carrion.
According to Jacek Jaczynski, professor of food science and muscle food safety at West Virginia University’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, 80% of the global human population already consumes insects, and that Western cultures make up the 20% that do not.
“It’s a minority that doesn’t consume insects,” Jaczynski said. “As the population grows, we’ll have to feed everyone. I don’t say insects will replace our farm animals, but it’s another alternative that seems more sustainable than what we currently do.”
Advocates of insect protein claim it has a number of benefits over traditional animal sources. For example, insect protein can be harvested much faster than a cow or pig and would require less land and water usage as well. In addition, insects have a short lifespan, rapidly reproduce, and require simple and minimal habitat and nutritional requirements.
There are over 2,000 species of insects that have been identified as safe for human consumption, but some species have been more commonly explored than others, said Yong-Lak Park, another of the study’s authors.
“Mealworm and crickets are popular because they’re very easy to mass produce,” Park said.
“So, when we produce insects as human food and animal feed, it should be very easy to mass produce, otherwise it does not justify the cost.”
To make eating the insects more appealing, researchers have suggested turning them into a powder. This method is close to how we already process grains into flour to make them more edible. Insect powders are currently commercially available and can be found in granola bars, tofu and burgers.
But although insect powders are a simple and convenient processing method to increase shelf life, the original composition is likely to limit their applications in food products, which could result in low consumer uptake, according to the authors of the new study.
To attempt to solve the problem of composition, Jaczynski, Park and the other researchers found that protein can be efficiently isolated from insects using pH-solubility-precipitation, resulting in isolates with high nutritional and functional quality.
Proteins, just like sugar and salt, dissolve in water. However, protein solubility depends on the pH of a solution that the protein is in.
“Depending on the pH of a protein solution, protein solubility can be turned on or off, sort of like a light switch, so that protein can dissolve or precipitate (no solubility),” Jaczynski said.
Precipitation is the opposite of solubility. When protein dissolves in a solution, it visually disappears from that solution, just like sugar or salt, while when protein precipitates, it visually re-appears, according to Jaczynski.
“With insects, our point is to selectively extract those nutrients, like proteins and lipids,” Jaczynski said.
“Grains have been around for ages, and they were totally accepted by all populations,” Jaczynski continued. “Why don’t we use insects with the same kind of model on a high level as a source of nutrients? We have to find a way to extract and isolate high quality nutrients and develop prototypes that will jive well with our taste buds.”
“Foods of the future”: will we have a choice?
Readers are likely to ask, though, whether such ersatz foodstuffs will remain a consumer choice in future years, or whether they will be forced on consumers, either through legislation or artificial scarcity, as an alternative to traditional foodstuffs, especially meat and animal-products.
As we wrote in a recent article on the British government’s new National Food Strategy, a wide-ranging evaluation of the United Kingdom’s “food security” in the wake of the decision to leave the European Union, in 2016, “the age of dietary choice may very swiftly be coming to an end.”
At the governmental level, this is signalled by the looming threat of “meat taxes” – narrowly avoided in the National Food Strategy’s final report, but still a future possibility – and an increasing recognition among legislators that people cannot be allowed to continue to consume meat at anything near present levels.
Christopher Snowdon, a journalist who heads the Lifestyle Economics unit at London’s Institute of Economic Affairs, even went so far as to say, during a televised interview, that “the political reality is that Boris Johnson is going to have to stop advising people to fly less and eat less red meat and find ways of forcing people.”
At the commercial level, companies such as Oatly and other plant-based brands are resorting to increasingly manipulative tactics to shame consumers into stopping buying animal-based food products.
In doing so, they are bolstered by scientific research which shows that claims about the taste and health benefits of plant-based animal-product alternatives fall flat with consumers, and that ‘social pressure’ is a much more effective way to get them to give up their favourite foods.
Oatly’s “Help Dad” campaign is a particularly unsavoury example of this new shame-based advertising, featuring ‘woke’ teenagers berating their ‘unenlightened’ fathers for wanting to drink cow’s milk instead of a ‘milk’ slurry of oats, sugar and vegetable oil, which we’ve called ‘one of the worst things you can eat.’
Expect the pressure to be ramped up in the coming months and years.
A Reese Report edit of Riccardo Bosi’s recent address to all people sworn to defend their nation.
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