Published on: December 6, 2006
Writing about all the food scares that seem to be in the news these days, ranging from salmonella in chicken to E. coli at Taco Bell, one MNB
user wrote:I wholeheartedly agree that we need to try and get past all the scares and live our lives, and I try to, but I must admit that I was a little gun-shy about spinach for a few weeks after the E. coli outbreak. I have managed to move past it, however. I would never even consider eating at Taco Hell, so that's a non-issue for me.
I love to grill chicken, and will continue to do so, but I guarantee that I'll be even more cautious then I already am to ensure that it is cooked thoroughly and doesn't cross-contaminate anything in my kitchen. I suffered through a very severe, week-long bout of campylobacteriosis earlier this year – turns out I picked it up on a trip to Mexico. I wouldn't wish that experience on my worst enemy. The campyl, that is - Mexico was pretty fun. And thankfully the agony didn't kick in until I returned home. And I had a great tan when I went to the hospital ...
Seriously, though - I cannot stress the importance of cooking the meat to the appropriate temperature, using cutting boards/utensils only for the chicken and washing all surfaces and utensils thoroughly to avoid any potential cross-contamination.
On the subject of Tesco coming to the US and opening stores in urban markets that are underserved, MNB
user David Livingston wrote:Keep in mind that Tesco is from the UK where customers in urban areas are not armed to the teeth. Don't be surprised if some of these "urban" stores are short lived.
The Tesco folks we’ve met are pretty tough. We wouldn’t bet against them in a fight.
Commenting on a story yesterday about the high use of Starbucks pre-paid cards, we wrote that “we have one in our wallet all the time, and we try to make sure there’s always at least $20 loaded onto it. Sort of like a security blanket. If caught in a strange city without cash, the odds are pretty good we’ll be able to find a latte.”
To which MNB
user Brad Morris responded:I don’t get this, but I know you are a reasonable person, so help me understand.
I carry as few cards as is humanly possible: One AMEX for everything, one VISA for backup (where AMEX isn’t accepted), one ATM card, and my ID. Why would you choose to carry another card in your wallet that adds no value to you? Assuming you are short of cash, wouldn’t it be easier to just charge your latte to a credit card: no cash needed, no extra card to bulk-up the wallet, no worries? Right? Plus, assuming you always pay off your balances as I do, with a credit card you get to work off of someone else’s money for a month, and get points or miles or cash-back, etc as an additional bonus. What am I missing?
We wish we’d figured out how to carry so few cards…but the fact is, we’re a little idiosyncratic.
We carry a bunch of cards (Amex, Visa, MasterCard, two ATM cards, insurance cards, etc…) but try only to use our Amex card for work and our ATM card for other stuff. We try to use credit cards as little as possible (except for online purchases)…
Is this smart cash management? Maybe not. Probably not. But we like the warm feeling the Starbucks card gives us.
On the subject of companies providing extensive and preventive health services to employees, one MNB
user wrote:General Mills has focused on employee health and wellness for many years. It pays off in loyalty, healthier overall employees and less time away from work.
In our corporate office we have a fitness center, two physical therapists on staff, doctors, access to eye exams and prescription medicine and more I'm probably not mentioning. We also continually have information available to employees on the latest health issues, prevention, etc.
I have used these services first hand. When I had a vertebra in my next fused, I was out for over 10 weeks. Upon my return the physical therapist visited me in the satellite office. He set my chair settings to what I needed and reviewed my office. The next day I had different furniture in my office that would help with my recovery. Then I did all my physical therapy with them (no co-pay) and I missed much less work as I did not have to drive across town and continue to take afternoons off. I was one healthier and dedicated employee.
When my neck flared up again last year. I went to my regular physician and then used the GMI services yet again when they recommended traction. I actually had meeting notices on my calendar and would walk downstairs and be back at my desk in 45 minutes. If I had to use outside services each trip would have taken me at least two hours each time.
Sounds enlightened to me.MNB
user Bob Anderson wrote:As a retired military officer, I remember my distress on entering the civilian workforce to find that employers did not promote "wellness" (it was preventive medicine in my military career) with their Health Insurance programs. The military as for decades promoted the total wellness of the military members and their families because they always believed that was not only mandatory for the military mission but much less costly than training (investing) in replacements.
I remember when my current employer (Kraft Foods) announced it was changing its health benefits program to include company paid "wellness" benefits. My reaction was "finally, a recognition that well people are more productive contributors." It may save the company money but it also should result in improved performance generally.
Regarding the call by pediatricians for greater regulation of marketing to children, and our comment that while parents need to be the final arbiters of what kids are able to see, networks have to be more responsible about what they show, MNB
user Chris Connolly wrote:Bravo!
As the father of two children aged 9 and 12, it is increasingly difficult to justify watching network television at almost any time. You make an excellent point when you describe watching an age-appropriate show with your kids…..and yet the commercials are embarrassing to watch. We can’t even watch network news shows in the 5:30 pm time slot without being bombarded with erectile dysfunction drug commercials. I don’t think of my wife and myself as being prudish…..but at the same time, our kids are not allowed to watch TV without us around, we make use of the parental controls on our satellite system, and they don’t have televisions in their bedrooms. More than that, we try to watch shows with them so that we can offer our feedback on the shows’ content.
The saddest part of all of this is the fact that our kids will let slip to their classmates that they’ve never seen a reality television show, among other things…..and they become the target of ridicule by the other students.
We’ve never been afraid to let advertisers know how we feel about these issues----but sometimes it feels like we are the only ones who do.
We sometimes wonder if some network and advertising executives stop being parents when they leave home in the morning.
We had an email the other day from a female MNB
user who (to put it charitably) mocked us for saying that husband “parking zones” can be a good idea for women who take their mates to the store with them…and then a follow-up email yesterday from another female MNB
user who found her comments to be “offensive” and said that “a negative remark like this really doesn't belong in your otherwise fine newsletter.”
Yet another MNB
user wrote:I don't think your posting of a response from the "unnamed female correspondent" was at all offensive or "PC". What makes your venue a "fine newsletter" is your continued commitment to respect and consider many viewpoints. Because we all walk in our own shoes and no one possesses all the answers. Thank you for an intelligent, informative, and thought provoking exchange.