business news in context, analysis with attitude

...with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary...

• Mintel is out with new research suggesting that motherhood affects the way women shop, with 51 percent of those with kids under six saying that they now question how safe things products are to use, wear and eat, 40 percent they think about the long term impact of products on their kids, and more than a third say that they think more about chemicals in food and beverages they give their kids.

Gee, y'think? I, for one, am shocked to find out that having kids affects the way people shop...

• Publix Super Markets said over the weekend that because of its emphasis on reducing the use of paper and plastic single use grocery bags, "the number of bags saved since mid 2007 surpassed the 2 billion milestone." Now, the company says, it is reducing the use of such bags at the rate of one million per day.

• The Washington Post reports that beginning next month, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin testing raw ground beef for the six strains of the E. coli pathogen that "have been repeatedly tied to multi-state outbreaks and illnesses."

The story goes on: "Most of those illnesses were not linked to beef. They were linked to sprouts or lettuce or no source at all. The meat industry argues that it is being unfairly targeted. Only once before — with the notorious E. coli O157:H7 — have regulators banned a pathogen from fresh meat.

"If the Food and Drug Administration detects any pathogens in the food it oversees — vegetables, fruits, seafood and just about everything other than meat — it yanks the products. But the resource-strapped agency inspects only a fraction of its plants every year. By contrast, the law requires the USDA to inspect all meat plants daily."

USA Today reports that 7-Eleven is introducing a new product - Slurpee Lite, a lower calorie version of the "brain-freezing drink best known for its weird colors, wild tastes and wacky name."

Am I alone in the fact that I've never had a Slurpee? And that the existence of a Lite version makes me no more likely to ever have one?

• The Baltimore Sun reports that "Wegmans: The Musical," described as "a student-created show about sibling rivalry between two brothers who work at competing supermarkets," played to am enthusiastic and standing-room-only audience last Thursday night for its one-time only performance at Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, Mass.
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