Monthly Archives: October 2013

Consumers’ Ideas on Tossing Food: About to Expire

Time Magazine recently featured an article that looked into the many misconceptions consumers have when it comes to their food being labeled with “sell by,” “best by,” “use by,” etc. Alexandra Sifferlin, in “Foods You Are Probably Throwing Away Too Early” reports, “confusion over expiration dates on food leads more than 90% of Americans to throw out food prematurely, so 40% of the U.S. food supply ends up in the garbage–unused–every year.”

The article covers research done by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic. According to their study, consumers are perplexed with the current state of expiration date markings. To counteract this confusion and to address the amount of wasted food in the US, “the study authors also call for legislation by Congress to develop national standards that would standardize a single set of dating requirements.” Through such an effort, along with a suggestion for more public education, it is hoped that consumers can reduce their amount of food waste without compromising food safety.

In addition to a more well-informed public, any such future legislation may bring about some significant changes in how the food industry does business, too. What will be some of the challenges? How do you see it affecting the way your operation and distribution systems work? Further, what are your thoughts on how the industry might help in finding a mutually beneficial answer to updating and implementing a new, fair food labeling program?

To check out the full article, click here.

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Fluid Milk: Market and Generational Differences Are Influencing Consumption

Milk GlassThe publication of the USDA’s “Why Are Americans Consuming Less Fluid Milk?   A Look at Generational Differences in Intake Frequency” this May has lead to frank discussion in the dairy industry. Citing a ‘“slow continuous shift downward’ in milk drinking since the 1940s,” the report analyzes the causes and potential effects of this downward trend. The trend has been especially felt significantly in the last several decades: “Since 1970 alone, per capita fluid milk consumption has fallen from 0.96 cup-equivalents to about 0.61 cup-equivalents per day”.

So, what is going on here?  The authors point to several issues that have energized this trend including the following: frequency of consumption, a diversified marketplace, and generational differences. In regards to frequency, Americans “have become less apt to drink fluid milk at mealtimes, especially with midday and nighttime meals, reducing the total number of consumption occasions.” Part of the reason the frequency has decreased is due to an expanding array of beverage options that are out there for the average consumer.

Milk has been displaced by the consumption of energy drinks, sodas, juices, tea, coffee, etc. The current market offers a wide selection of beverages, choices, and purported claims. For younger consumers this variety and choice is something they have always known, unlike older consumers who remember fewer choices and a lack of access to Taurine-infused energy drinks, iced teas, iced coffee drinks, chocolate soy milk, etc. Continue reading

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Tech Tip: Hose Maintenance

Prevent premature washdown hose wear and failure. Washdown hoses are often subjected to physical abuse while in service. Select a hose that meets or exceeds the application it is intended for. Consider temperature, pressure, and environmental concerns such as abrasion and chemical resistance. Every plant should have a maintenance/inspection plan in place to ensure the longest possible life of the hose.

Be sure to consider these steps in your plan:

  • Store hose properly when not in use.  Hose racks or reels are highly recommended to keep hoses off the floor and out of harms way. Pay attention to humidity, temperature, ozone and sunlight. Storing out of direct sunlight, in a room with moderate humidity and a temperature range of 50 to 75°F is recommended.
  • Always shut off the water supply to the hose when not in use and open the nozzle to relieve the pressure before storing.  Leaving water in the hose subjects it to constant pressure and will shorten the life of the hose.
  • Don’t pull the hose by the nozzle – this puts undo stress on the connection point.
  • Avoid exceeding the hose’s rated bend radius. Kinking of the hose can create weak spots in the hose wall. Consider using hoses with internal springs or kink guards to prevent kinking directly behind the coupler.
  • Never exceed the rated temperature and working pressure of a hose assembly.
  • Routinely inspect hose for wear and damage. Look for external damage – stiffness, discoloration, cuts, cracks, kinks, blisters, excessive abrasion and exposed or broken wires.
  • Regularly inspect fittings.  A hose should be removed from service if any fitting movement or damage is found that could prevent it from operating as intended.

Giving careful consideration to hose selection, care, maintenance and storage can provide optimum return on your investment. For more information contact our Process & Flow Control department at 800-826-8302.

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The Formula for Safety in China and Other International Markets

bottleCompared to a few years ago, food safety fears in China have surged among consumers. The 2008 melamine/infant formula scare that killed several and sickened approximately 300,000 has been a cornerstone for this growing concern. Chinese parents have taken to other methods to procure formula for their children since, including the following: importing of brands from outside of the country, smuggling, obtaining via the mail, and even as featured in the New York Times, instructing friends, family, and others to bring home formula back from their international vacations.

As one Chinese mother said in the article: “How can we still trust mainland-made food after reading all these horrendous stories on food safety issues?” and, “We are the parents of our children, and nobody can accuse us for just wanting the best for our babies. It’s not that we don’t love our country — we just dare not take the risk.”

The general strength of our food supply has become an envied one in developing countries where food safety continues to become a focus in developing countries. This leaves a potential hole for American milk solids producers to fill. According to a recent report from the U.S. Dairy Export Council, “On a total-solids basis, exports were equivalent to 16.5% of U.S. milk production in June, slightly below the record mark hit in May” with increasing demand coming from places like Algeria, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

How, though, can U.S. companies approach the demands for infant formula in an ethical, efficient, and economically beneficial matter, along with contending with numerous political and economic concerns coming from governments of these countries, like China? As numerous interest areas in the dairy industry look to exports milk solids, much is yet to be determined. Yet, an industry stalwart is here to help you adapt.

Nelson-Jameson, Inc. will help you find solutions for both your domestic and international business production concerns. For those looking to milk solids or other dairy goods as potential exports, Nelson-Jameson, Inc. can act as a one-stop shop, simplifying the production process, so you can focus on creating a safe and trustworthy product and have more time to engage the complex process of exporting to other markets.  Keep checking back for more information and news on milk solids and formula right here on our blog.

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More Colors, More Products For You

color-coded-catalogColor-coding is an essential part of many of the operations that we at Nelson-Jameson sell to in the food industry. Color-coded products provide an effective way to organize materials/areas and to prevent cross-contamination. Working with our suppliers, Nelson-Jameson has aimed to offer an unprecedented, wide range of colors and products to meet the needs of our customers. You can check out our current catalog of color-coded products here.

Right now, we are working on adding even more colors and products to our offerings. This is where we would like your help! We are considering the inclusion of a new color, pink. If we were to add this color to our offerings, what specific items would you like to see added?

In addition, we are seeking out ways to take on customer needs when it comes to existing lines. What color gaps (orange, purple, black, etc) in our current line would you most like to see filled?

We want to hear from you! Nelson-Jameson prides itself on being in touch with our customers and consistently seeking to meet their needs. So please share with us what you think about these topics. Feel free to post your thoughts below or contact our MRO Department at 800-826-8302 to share your perspectives!

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