This week on Surviving The 21st Century the team of Mannie Barling, Ashley F. Brooks and Simon Barrett, once more waded into the ‘sewer’ of modern food.

My wife Jan asked me an interesting question earlier this week. How do you know if something in your freezer is part of a recall?

Actually this simple question is far more complex than it appears. Unless a recall makes National News the chances are that the average consumer would have no idea. How many people can you name that spend hours online navigating the messy websites of the FDA or USDA to find the recalls? They hardly make it easy! How many times have you received a phone call from your local supermarket (The one that has your phone number because you gave it to them when you signed up for the discount card)? Don’t you find it odd? They know what we buy, and use that data for advertising purposes, but don’t think that they should inform us of products that could potentially kill us?

Jan’s question was at a more simplistic and practical level. There is just Jan and I, we shop frugally. We like to save money, and one way that this can be done is by buying in bulk. Of course our idea of bulk probably would not work for a larger family, but the principle remains the same.

It is cheaper to buy a 4lb pack of ground beef than four 1lb packages. When we get home we split it into 4 equal portions, we put each one into a freezer bag and write on the purchase date. Pop them in the freezer, and we are done.

We use this same plan with Pork Chops, and even roasts, if they are ‘bone in’ we ask the guy behind the meat counter to whizz it through the band saw (nobody has ever refused to do this, nor have I ever been charged anything).

So what happens when there is a recall? Jan had a very valid question, we had some ground beef in the freezer, the store that we bought it at was one of the store chains mentioned in the recall.

What should we do?

The product is not in its original packaging. We have no idea if the product in our freezer is part of the recall.  The manufacturer recommends that if the package has been opened, the consumer should throw it out.

Tossing it in the garbage is the simple solution, however many people are on very limited budgets, throwing away $15 of meat may mean eating or not eating dinner for a couple of days.

Mannie Barling and Ashley F. Brooks had much to say on this subject in the first segment of the program. Their answers might surprise you, there are solutions, and they are simple. You can catch the entire program here.

Simon Barrett

Mannie Barling and Ashley F. Brooks, R.N., are the authors of the award winning books – Arthritis, Inflammation, Gout, Crohn’s, IBD and IBS – How to Eliminate Pain and Extend your Life (Books and Authors 2010 Best Books in the Health, Diet & Reference Categories); Mannie’s Diet and Enzyme Formula – A Change of Lifestyle Diet Designed for Everyone (Blogger News Net 2010 Best Health And Nutrition Book Award winner) and It’s Not Your Fault – Weight Gain, Obesity and Food Addiction   available at, Amazon, Barnes&Noble, and other booksellers around the world.

The authors latest book, The Food Revolution Papers – A Primer on What’s in Your Food, is due in bookstores in mid-September 2011.

Mannie Barling and Ashley F. Brooks are the co-hosts of Surviving the 21st Century with Simon Barrett on Saturdays at 10:00 A.M. PST/1:00 PM EST and THE FOOD REVOLUTION PAPERS, on Thursday mornings at 9:00 AM PST, 12:00 noon PST, found at or Blog Talk Radio.  More than forty past shows on food and drugs are available at the iTunes Store as free downloads.

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