Thursday, January 14, 2016

Thursday Morning Hash Browns

"FDA approves potato made to resist blight" by Keith Ridler Associated Press  January 14, 2016

BOISE, Idaho — A potato genetically engineered to resist the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine is as safe as any other potato on the market, the Food and Drug Administration says.

In a letter Tuesday to Idaho-based J.R. Simplot Co., the FDA said the potato isn’t substantially different in composition or safety from other available products, and it doesn’t raise any issues that would require the agency to do more stringent premarket vetting.

‘‘We’re pleased and hope that consumers recognize the benefits once it’s introduced into the marketplace next year,’’ Doug Cole, the company’s director of marketing and communications, said Wednesday. Before the potato is marketed to consumers, it must be cleared by the US Environmental Protection Agency, Cole said. That’s expected to happen in December.

The US Department of Agriculture approved the potato in August.

The Russet Burbank Generation 2 is the second generation of Simplot’s ‘‘Innate’’ brand potatoes. It includes the first version’s reduced bruising, but less of a chemical produced at high temperatures that some studies have shown can cause cancer.

Haven Baker, vice president of plant sciences at Simplot, said late blight — the cause of the Irish potato famine — remains the No. 1 pathogen for potatoes around the world.

‘‘This will bring 24-hour protection to farmers’ fields and, in addition, has the potential to reduce pesticide spray by 25 to 45 percent,’’ Baker said.


So where do you want to go for brunch?

"Chipotle says it will launch a marketing push in February to begin its road to recovery after a series of food scares, and that it’s confident it can win back customers over time. The remarks come after Chipotle’s sales plunged 30 percent in December. Its troubles began after an E. coli outbreak came to light at the end of October, with additional cases being reported over the next several weeks. Then, in what Chipotle says was an unrelated case, a norovirus sickened dozens at a Chipotle in Boston in December. At an investment conference in Orlando, Fla., on Wednesday, Chipotle executives said the company is taking measures to reduce the risk of another food scare to ‘‘near zero.’’ They said they would start ‘‘inviting customers back’’ to restaurants in February with stepped-up marketing and direct mail offers. They said food safety will not be explicitly referenced in the marketing, but that there might be a ‘‘clever headline.’’

I hoped you liked mine.

Maybe a dash of pepper will help make it taste better.