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The opening of a new Little Ferry H Mart awaits repaving of flood-prone parking lot

GRAND OPENING SOON! After the old H Mart in Little Ferry closed unexpectedly last July 31, customers of the Korean supermarket have been...

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Ellen, please be kind to the planet, not just to your fellow humans, gorillas in Rwanda

LUNCHTIME IN RWANDA: Ellen DeGeneres, right, and wife Portia de Rossi with a mountain gorilla. The Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund is supporting global conservation efforts for endangered species.

Talk show host is living large, 
aggravating our climate crisis


By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

HACKENSACK, N.J. -- In these dark times for our environment, comedian Ellen DeGeneres is definitely part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Ellen signs off every episode of her mid-afternoon talk show with "Be kind to one another," and The Ellen Fund raises money to save the mountain gorillas in Rwanda.

But at home in California, Ellen drives noisy German and Italian sports cars or an SUV that guzzle gas and pollute the air with the same emissions that cause tens of thousands of premature deaths every year. 

Last October, Ellen surprised her wife, Portia de Rossi, with a silver Lamborghini -- not a silver Tesla. 

Solar energy?

Not much of a gift, when you consider Ellen chose deadly emissions over zero emissions.

And none of her enormous homes appear to be self-powered, as they could be with rooftop solar panels charging storage batteries that would run them at night.

Or, Ellen could cool and heat her homes using geothermal energy from the ground.

So, sadly, Ellen is aggravating climate change, and the warming that has sparked dangerous wildfires near her California homes and her wife's native Australia.

$77 million a year

That's irresponsible, given that she certainly has the means to convert all of her homes to solar power and geothermal energy, and buy a fleet of Teslas and other zero-emission electric cars.

According to Forbes, Ellen earns $77 million a year for her talk show hosting duties. The Ellen DeGeneres Show is now in its 17th year.

That doesn't include income from another TV production, Ellen's Game of Games, and the money she receives for endorsing several products and services.


LISTED FOR $49 MILLION: This photo of Ellen DeGeneres' Beverly Hills compound (from the Hollywood Reporter) shows the exterior and lack of solar panels. Ryan Seacrest bought the property in 2012. It was listed for $49 million.

$24M beach house

Last July 4, CNBC.com reported Ellen was selling her beach house in Carpinteria, Calif., adding: 
"Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is known as a house flipper, and has bought [more than] 12 houses in 20 years. Take a look at the oceanfront estate ... that she and wife and actress Portia de Rossi are selling for $24 million."
A CNBC video shows the roof of the beach house, and there isn't a single solar panel in sight -- this, in California, where the sun shines nearly every day and could zero out her energy bill, and reduce the demand for electricity from a utility that can't always generate the power residents need.

Greta Thunberg

On her show last Nov. 1, Ellen interviewed Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old environmental activist, and promised viewers she and Greta would discuss what viewers and audience members could do to ease the climate crisis.

After the break, Ellen announced her show was dedicating $100,000 to a web page on EllenTube: Join Greta Thunberg & The Climate Crisis Movement.

But that was as far as she went. 

When Greta said she had stopped flying, Ellen didn't pledge to sell her private jet, nor did the world's funniest women tell us she would convert all her homes to solar power and buy electric cars.

In fact, Ellen made no reference to her profligate lifestyle or any steps she would take to ease her tremendous impact on the environment.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

The opening of a new Little Ferry H Mart awaits repaving of flood-prone parking lot

GRAND OPENING SOON! After the old H Mart in Little Ferry closed unexpectedly last July 31, customers of the Korean supermarket have been teased by signs in the new store at 260 Bergen Turnpike, above and below: "GRAND OPENING SOON!" and "BIGGER, BETTER, BRAND NEW!"
OPENING DELAYED UNTIL MAY 2020? Employees at H Mart's Lyndhurst headquarters wouldn't address a rumor that the new 43,000-square-foot supermarket in Little Ferry won't open until May.


By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

HACKENSACK, N.J. -- The cyclone fence that now surrounds a large shopping center on Bergen Turnpike in Little Ferry is a sign that the opening of a new H Mart has been delayed once again.

The old supermarket -- which operated in the other half of a sprawling building -- was one of the biggest H Marts in Bergen County (and also the shabbiest).

But the store drew customers for its low prices on produce, fresh fish, rice and many other items, as well as free Korean food samples on the weekends.

The old store closed unexpectedly last July 31, but company officials haven't announced an opening date for the new, 43,000-square-foot store and food court.   

The new and old H Marts are part of what once was known as the Valley Fair Shopping Center for the discount department store that operated there for many years.

Lawsuit, paving

A Little Ferry official said a lawsuit, which has been settled, delayed the opening of the new Korean supermarket, but she would not provide any details.

Last Thursday, an employee at the Lyndhurst headquarters of the Korean-American supermarket company said H Mart was waiting for a permit needed to make repairs to the parking lot, which is prone to flooding.

About a month ago, I drove past the new but unopened H Mart only to see a large puddle and a dozen or more seagulls where customers would be parking.

Today, I saw that a portion of that same lot has been torn up in preparation for repaving.

H Mart leases the space from the owner of the property, the employee said.

At 43,000-square-feet, the Little Ferry H Mart is bigger than another H Mart planned for American Dream, the megamall in East Rutherford. 

H Mart Smart Members

To buy fresh fish on Sundays ever since the old Little Ferry H Mart closed at the end of July 2019, I have been driving to the Super H Mart in Ridgefield or to 99 Ranch Market, the Chinese supermarket in Hackensack.

H Mart offers a "Smart Member" loyalty card that returns 1% of your purchases, redeemable for a $10 certificate after you spend $1,000 at its supermarkets.

Bad decisions

The long delay in opening a new supermarket in Little Ferry is the second time H Mart officials have acted against the interests of their customers in Bergen County. 

In 2018, company officials blindsided loyal Korean-American and non-Korean customers (like me) by closing the H Mart in Englewood -- a move that wasn't announced beforehand -- only days before a new H Mart opened at the traffic-choked Routes 17 and 4 intersection in Paramus.

That Englewood supermarket has been torn down.
  



WALKING THE DOG: On Dec. 21, a couple was seen walking their dog past unopened stores in the H Mart shopping center in Little Ferry.
MORE SHOPPING: The entrance to another store in the H Mart shopping center, this one near the entrance to the old supermarket, below.
MADISON WINE: A liquor store continues to operate just inside the entrance to the old supermarket.
PROPERTY OWNERS: Allied Builders and Management is the contractor for paving of the parking lot, not the owner of the property.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

The Record's Local section cheats Bergen, and editors promote lots of unhealthy food

PASSAIC COUNTY NEWS: Local, the section of The Record containing municipal news, was filled with Passaic County stories on Dec. 11, cheating readers in Bergen County, where the newspaper flourished for more than 110 years and where the majority of readers live. Instead of a guide to what was inside the section, an ad appeared above the masthead.
PATERSON DATELINES: Renovation of Lambert Castle on Garret Mountain in Paterson led the Local section on Dec. 11.
MORE PATERSON NEWS: A second Paterson story appeared on L-1 on Dec. 11. The 2 other stories on the Local front were about Ridgewood and Leonia schools.

Writers don't appear eager 
to steer us to healthy choices

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

HACKENSACK, N.J. -- On Dec. 11, The Record published yet another local news section that cheated Bergen County readers.

Even before the newspaper was taken over by Gannett in 2016, The Record's owners decided publishing a single Local section would save them hundreds of thousands of dollars in newsprint costs every year.

The decision to fold separate Bergen and Passaic sections condemned the majority of readers, who live in 70 Bergen County towns, to slog through story after story about Paterson and the rest of Passaic County, even as Hackensack, Teaneck and Englewood news went missing.

And so it was last Wednesday:


CLIFTON NEWS: On Page 2L, a story reported Clifton planners were to hear a proposal for 300 "housing units." A second story on the page reported the "rescue" of a deer "with a plastic pumpkin stuck on its head," according to the headline.
THE TOWN, NOT THE DEPARTMENT STORE: The big news leading Page 3L was from Bloomingdale, the Passaic County town, not the department store in Hackensack. 
WAYNE, PATERSON AND ESSEX COUNTY NEWS: The rest of 3L included a photo essay on a model train display in Carlstadt, more news about Paterson, a fire in Wayne and the homicide of an unidentified "minor" in Newark.
MINOR KILLED: The story on the homicide contained few details. 
PATERSON POLITICAL NEWS: The story on a school board member in Paterson seeking a City Council seat has absolutely no redeeming value for Bergen County readers. "Redmon" and "Jackson" aren't recognizable names in a headline for Bergen readers.
UBIQUITOUS WEATHER PHOTO: Even the weather photo on Page 6L, the fourth page of local news in the section, was taken in Paterson, which is closer to The Record's newsroom in Woodland Park than Hackensack, Fort Lee and other Bergen County towns. So, covering Passaic County saves Gannett even more time and money, but robs Bergen readers.

Pushing sugar, mystery meat

The same Dec. 11 edition of The Record included a Better Living section cover story by the fashionably slim food editor, Esther Davidowitz, and food writer Rebecca King with a hard sell on "desserts to pick up for the holidays."

The story on "deliciously gooey, royally luxurious, beautifully presented" desserts certainly came as a shock to diabetics or other readers who are watching their intake of sugar and butter -- both of which can clog heart arteries -- not to mention eggs and whipped cream.

How many of the 13 bakeries listed are advertisers or potential advertisers to which Davidowitz and King are sucking up?

Davidowitz wrote "The 7 Best Dishes of 2019" in the December 2019 edition of (201) magazine, also published by Gannett's North Jersey Media Group.

Four of the 7 dishes included meat, but Davidowitz is silent on whether that pork and beef were naturally raised without antibiotics and other harmful additives.

I hope I'm not the only one who believes food writers shouldn't knowingly or unknowingly promote unhealthy food.

On Dec. 6, the cover story in The Record's Better Living section explored "food options" at Nordstrom, but the writer was sent to the department store in Manhattan, not the one in Paramus, the shopping mall capital of New Jersey.


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

I'm getting tired of all this running around before Thanksgiving, other major holidays

SYMBOLS OF THE SEASON: Our white Christmas tree, above, and our menorah, made from Murano glass, that I brought back from Italy in 2010, below.
VENICE'S JEWISH GHETTO: I bought this menorah in a shop in what was once the Jewish Ghetto in Venice, Italy. I vividly recall a large display of wall plaques telling the story of Venetian Jews who were sent to the death camps during World War II.


EDITOR'S NOTE: The headline for this post could have been, "Shop too much, cook too much, eat too much."

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

HACKENSACK, N.J. -- I dashed out of the house a little after 8 this morning, skipping my usual big breakfast, and drove to Whole Foods Market in Paramus.

I was hoping to buy wild-caught lobster tails for our Thanksgiving meal before the surface lot off of Forest Avenue became packed and frenetic with shoppers, as it was before noon on Monday.

Meanwhile, my wife drove to the ShopRite in Englewood for an organic turkey to donate to the Center for Food Action, and to a Teaneck market for goat meat for her and the other meat eaters in the family.

Our Thanksgiving menu includes turkey drumsticks from the Goffle Road Poultry Farm in Wyckoff that we purchased last week, and 3 vegan dishes I ordered online and picked up at Whole Foods on Monday.

I'm a pescatarian who eats only seafood after giving up meat and poultry nearly a decade ago.


Food shopping follies

Last year, I spent $88 on Alaskan Red King Crab Legs at Costco Wholesale, and made a salad with diced sweet peppers and onions, all dressed with Dijon mustard, fresh lime juice and cumin.

This year, I was planning to buy the crab legs on Tuesday, but gave up that idea after my wife, who made her weekly trip to Costco on Monday, reported the Teterboro warehouse was packed and there were no whole turkeys or the smoked wild salmon on our list.

We eat well all year around, including wild-caught seafood, antibiotic-free chicken and as many organics as possible, so all this running around for a special holiday menu seems a little ridiculous.

And we still have our Christmas dinner to shop for in a few weeks.

Dinner out for a change

With all of our Thanksgiving food shopping done, my wife, son and I splurged on an early dinner at Legal Sea Foods in Paramus, where prices and quality are both high.

I enjoyed oysters on the half shell, and all of us had jumbo lump crab cakes, scallops, shrimp, mussels  and lobster in a variety of appetizers and entrees, as well as a kale salad with diced sweet potatoes and ricotta salata, all washed down with white and red wine.



WHOLE FOODS MARKET: This morning, I went to Whole Foods Market in Paramus for wild-caught lobster tails, but also brought home cooked shrimp and cocktail sauce, below.

ORGANIC PRODUCE DELIVERY: On Tuesday, we received our second box filled with 10 pounds of organic produce, including radishes with their greens, from MisfitsMarket.com. We just started the subscription, which cuts down on food shopping, and get one box every 2 weeks.
MORE MISFITS: Organic bok choy and green beans, as well as an extra-cost item, organic blueberries, also were in the box, below.


Monday, November 18, 2019

When Tesla makes an offer on a trade-in or interest on a loan, get second opinions

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: My 2015 Tesla Model S 60, which I bought new, on the day I sold the zero-emissions vehicle to Carvana after rejecting a much lower offer from Tesla. I'll miss the oval front nose cone, which, along with the rounded front fenders, evoked the styling of Italian sports cars from the 1960s.
CLASSIC STYLING: I never got tired of the styling and the utility of the big, luxurious 4-door hatchback that was first introduced by Tesla in 2012.

Buying a used car on company
website isn't as easy as it looks 


By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

HACKENSACK, N.J. -- I'll never buy a new Tesla Model S again.

I just took delivery of a 2016 Model S with all-wheel drive and smart air suspension, replacing my 2015 Model S 60 with rear-wheel drive.

The newer Model S 75D, in the same red multi-coat paint as my 2015, has less than 8,000 miles on the clock, a bigger battery, longer range and a sunroof, and cost $53,500.

I bought my 2015 Model S 60 with the smallest battery available at the time to keep the cost down, but I still paid a little over $81,000.

In New Jersey, electric vehicles are exempt from state sales tax (6.625%).

I found my second all-electric car on Tesla.com, which lists "used inventory" that you can search by model and color.

Best of all, reconditioned Teslas come with a 4-year new-car warranty.

Difficult process

But the process of selling my 2015 Tesla and buying the newer Model S was difficult, stretching over 10 days:

  • There was a blizzard of emails from and to two Tesla employees in Brooklyn and California, and an occasional phone call.
  • I asked for photos of the car I was buying, but they didn't show damage to the bottom of the front bumper, and sloppy touch-up paint, that I only saw on the day of delivery.
  • And I made last-minute decisions to reject Tesla's offer for my trade-in, as well as the Tesla-arranged loan for the 2016 Model S -- the latter on the day I picked up the car.
  • I got better deals on the trade-in from Carvana and on financing from Alliant Credit Union, which held the loan for my first Tesla.


BETTER IN MANY WAYS: Above and below, the 2016 Model S 75D is more assured than my first Model S, and I welcome the cushioned ride from the smart air suspension, given the horrendous condition of streets, roads and highways in New Jersey.


Two Davids

After I found the Model S I wanted online and paid a $100 order fee, I received a welcoming email from David Hunter, a used-vehicle advisor for the NY Metro Region.

I also was contacted by David Li, an inside delivery advisor (Remarketing), who instructed me to "complete all your tasks on your Tesla account" in regards to financing, trade-in, proof of insurance and registration.  

I was to pick up the 2016 Model S I was buying at the Paramus, N.J., dealer in 9 days (the car was in storage in Newburgh, N.Y., I was told). 

I bought my first Tesla in April 2015 at the Paramus dealer, and took it there for four annual services.

Hunter declined my request for a test drive of the 2016 Model S, explaining every used Tesla goes through a 70-point check, which the company claims costs up to $6,000.

Later, he sent me an email with more than a dozen photos of the car I was buying, showing the exterior and interior from every angle, but not the damage on the front bumper.

Trade-in value

I started shopping for a reconditioned Tesla in the spring, after my fourth annual service, more interested in all-wheel drive and smart air suspension than a bigger battery and longer range.

As a bonus, the 75D I saw on the company website listed an 0-60 time of 4.2 seconds, identical to the more expensive 90D, and had only 7,686 miles on the odometer. 

I had gotten a trade-in value for my 2015 Tesla of $34,600, but Hunter and Li told me the best I could do now was $32,800, because more than 30 days had passed and I had put more than 1,000 miles on the Model S.

Li suggested I look into selling my car to CarMax, and said he might match its offer, but Hunter later said that only applied to trading in non-Tesla vehicles.

That's when I recalled all the TV ads I was seeing, went online and filled out a form at Carvana.com, and immediately received a trade-in value of $37,712 -- nearly $5,000 more than Tesla's offer.

That was a no brainer. I accepted the offer immediately. 

Two days later, three men showed up at my house in a Toyota Prius with "CARVANA" painted on the side, had me sign a few forms, and handed me a check for $33,070.33 -- the proceeds of the sale less the $4,641.67 I still owed on the 60-month loan for the 2015 Model S.

Day of delivery

On Nov. 14, the same day Carvana picked up my first Tesla, I took an Uber to Paramus, using a voucher sent to me by the dealer, and got my first look at the 2016 Model S 75D I was buying.

I had sent an email to Alliant Credit Union to see if I could get a better interest rate on a 60-day loan for $53,500 than offered by Tesla's finance company.

I was assured by Senior Loan Consultant Jon Sipich that 4.24% was available on a 60-month loan, compared to 4.75% from TD Auto Finance.

So, I informed Tesla I was going with Alliant.

Damage to bumper

I finally got a chance to look over the car I was buying, and my heart sank when I saw the damage to the lower part of the front bumper -- damage not visible in the photos Tesla had sent me.

The rest of the exterior, as well as the luxurious interior with dark wood and patterned leather seats, was in excellent condition.

I asked the advisor who was handling the delivery if Tesla would repair the bumper, but he said no.

A friend who had his Model S' front bumper replaced said the part comes prepainted, and costs $900.

I sent photos of the admittedly minor damage to David Hunter and the amateurish attempt using mismatched pain to touch it up, but there also was a small dent in the lower part of the bumper.

He replied that the damage is "at a low visibility point, and would be considered normal wear and tear," so Tesla wouldn't repair it.





Monday, November 11, 2019

SUGAR SHOCK: Readers of The Record, (201) magazine are overdosing on desserts

COSTCO WHOLESALE: Today, the bakery department in the Costco Wholesale warehouse in Teterboro, above and below, looked much as it did in these photos from a year ago. The ingredients label for the holiday cookies, above, listed sugar, butter, soybean oil, canola oil, palm oil, eggs, cocoa, chocolate liquor, unsweetened chocolate, butter oil, high-fructose syrup, corn syrup, brown sugar, artificial colors, beeswax, carnauba wax, shellac and gum arabic.
SUGARLAND: The bakery section does offer a decent baguette (twin pack), the only reason I ever venture there.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This post first appeared in the Hackensack NJ Community Message Boards' discussion, "My favorite newspaper is not having a good day." Click on a link at the end to see more.

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

In the past week, The Record of Woodland Park promoted pies, extolling bakeries as close as Englewood and as far away as Morristown.

And (201) magazine devoted an entire glossy issue to desserts. The Dessert Issue was labeled "The Best of Bergen."

Last Wednesday's Better Living cover story, written by Food Editor Esther Davidowitz, praised 10 North Jersey bakeries for their pies. 


Better Living also published a "best pies" cover story in November 2018.

Davidowitz, a fashionably thin woman who could pass for a Jewish grandmother, looks like she never eats desserts.

(By the way, Davidowitz and the other food writers at The Record and NorthJersey.com call themselves @NorthJerseyEats. I suggest a change to @NorthJerseySucks.)

The cover of the November 2019 issue of (201) shows only glazed donuts and lemon slices for some reason, but inside you'll find lavish praise for more bakeries with photos of their owners, some of whom look like they've eaten too much of their own sugary treats.

Readers who are diabetic likely were repelled by the sight of so much sugar in one place. I never eat dessert, and felt like throwing up.

One could argue the editors of the Gannett-owned Record and (201) magazine are irresponsible in publishing so many pages devoted to pies and other desserts. 


Too much sugar, like excessive salt, can and does kill.

Industry lobbyists have spent millions bribing Congress to hide the amount of sugar listed on the government-mandated nutrition labels. 


Sugar is the only ingredient listed in grams, but unless you know how many grams there are in a teaspoon (about 4), you may not realize that 5-ounce cup of yogurt with fruit you're enjoying has 4 or 5 teaspoons of sugar in it.

Now, The Record and (201) are complicit in this coverup.



LADIES WHO LUNCH: Esther Davidowitz, third from right, and other food writers at The Record and NorthJersey.com (photo credit: NorthJersey.com).
LINKED TO CANCER: Food Editor Esther Davidowitz, left. Her fascination with and endless promotion of hot dog vendors ignores the preservatives used in the vast majority of them -- nitrates and nitrites -- which have been linked to cancer (photo credit: NorthJersey.com).

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Crappy food from factory farms, pollution are killing all of us really slowly but surely

BEEF WITH ANTIBIOTICS: This illustration from Consumer Reports accompanied a report that only 2 out of 25 chain restaurants (Chipotle and Panera Bread) got an A for sourcing beef raised without harmful antibiotics.

National, local media fail to warn
about antibiotics, pesticides, more


By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

HACKENSACK, N.J. -- When I look around at the hospital volunteers I work with every week, I see men and women in their 70s and 80s, and even one man who is a couple of years over 90. (I'll be 75 next week.)

Ours is a physical job, involving a lot of walking, pushing and carrying, and everyone appears to be in good health, even though some of those who are overweight can't stop eating cookies, candy and other sugary treats brought in by other volunteers.

At the same time, death is all around us, not to mention disease. 

All too often, we're notified that a longtime volunteer has passed, we learn of the death of a volunteer's spouse or a volunteer we know has an operation.

So, I often wonder, what is killing us? 

My answer: The food we eat, and the air we breathe.

No longer 'Cancer Alley'

New Jersey long ago shed the reputation of being "Cancer Alley," but our air is far from clean, and tailpipe emissions cause hundreds, if not thousands, of premature deaths in the Garden State each year. 

Even though there are fewer chemical companies and refineries lining the New Jersey Turnpike today, the number of dirty, diesel-burning trucks likely has increased, worsening our infamous air pollution.

And the junction of Routes 95 and 4 at the George Washington Bridge is now recognized as the most congested in the metropolitan area, clogged by delivery trucks for Amazon, Fresh Direct and others heading for Manhattan.

Take that, Fort Lee.

It's the food, stupid

Of course, the food we eat is the major factor in causing disease and death.

In March 2009, I launched my first blog with a post on Food bargains.

I had already started buying organic spring mix, organic carrot juice and other organics free of pesticides and genetically modified ingredients.

That blog, Do You Really Know What You're Eating?, called on readers to:

"Celebrate food, life and diversity. Join me in the search for the right ingredients: Food without human antibiotics, growth hormones and other harmful additives that have become commonplace in animals raised on factory farms."



EATING CLEAN: When you prepare your own meals, you are in full control of what you eat. Here, I loaded my breakfast plate with organic eggs, organic pasta, organic baby spinach, organic squash and organic parsley. See recipes at Victor' Healthy Kitchen on YouTube
MYSTERY SHRIMP: When you eat out, you have less control over what you're eating. Here, at Highlawn Pavilion in West Orange, the lunch menu didn't say whether the jumbo shrimp in this trio of seafood were wild-caught or farmed. When I asked, the waiter said they were farmed, but not from any of the three countries where shrimp are raised with harmful antibiotics -- Thailand, Vietnam and India.


Emphasis on organics

In 2010, I stopped eating meat and poultry, even those without antibiotics and growth hormones that we were buying, and began a diet of wild-caught seafood, organic eggs, organic produce and as many other organics as we could afford.

My goal was made easier by the Amazon takeover of Whole Foods Market:

That led to lower prices on organics and wild-caught seafood at the Paramus store (where I shop weekly), including special discounts for Amazon Prime members like me, and 5% cash back when I use the Amazon Prime credit card.

ShopRite and Costco Wholesale, where we spend most of our food dollars, both have introduced more and more organics, and both offer antibiotic-free raw chicken.

At ShopRite, they are sold under the Wholesome Pantry label, and at Costco, private-label Kirkland Signature items are increasingly organic.

A glaring exception is Costco's wildly popular but low quality Kirkland Signature Seasoned Rotisserie Chicken.

Consumer Reports

My longtime subscription to Consumer Reports magazine has helped to educate me.

The non-profit, which doesn't accept advertising, is the nation's leading publication in reporting abuses on the nation's industrial farms, including a three-part series on the widespread use of antibiotics in raising animals. 

"The practice of giving antibiotics to food animals to prevent, rather than treat, illnesses is a main contributor to antibiotic resistance" in humans when they are sick or become infected.

That is the message in an Oct. 31 report on ConsumerReports.org, "Most Fast-Food Chains Still Serve Beef Raised with Antibiotics."

Infected by superbugs

In 2017, Consumer Reports said:

"Overabusing antibiotics accelerates the process of antibiotic resistance. Already, more than 23,000 people die each year from antibiotic-resistant superbugs."

You won't find reporting like that in The New York Times, where the cooking editor promotes recipe after recipe for preparing mystery meat and poultry, and others filled with artery clogging butter and cream.

Nor will you find much guidance in The Record of Woodland Park and its affiliated (201) magazine, which churn out article after article on the 5, 10 or 15 "best" burgers or hot dogs, usually made with mystery meat raised on harmful antibiotics and growth hormones.




Advice for diabetics

On Oct. 23, The Record's print edition ignored all of the diabetics in its audience of older readers, urging North Jersey readers to jump into their cars and drive to a "new sweets company" in historic Mullica Hill.

There -- more than 112 miles from Hackensack on the insanely crowded New Jersey Turnpike -- you could buy as many marshmallows as your car could carry.

A second article on the Better Living front that day listed the "7 NJ places to treat yourself" to sugary s'mores, but none of them were in Bergen or Passaic counties, the heart of the circulation area.

I guess the thinking of Esther Davidowitz, the food editor of The Record, is that in consuming s'mores, diabetics can overdose on sugar with a smile on their faces.

Other resources

To learn more about what we're eating and how our food is raised or grown, visit these other non-profits, and consider becoming a monthly contributor to support their work:

Environmental Defense Fund

Food and Water Watch

Institute for Responsible Technology