Why Would We Ever Eat A Kraft Food Global Product? Plus A Few Brief Notes

Things have been stacking up beside my lap top on which I want to comment or rant. There is a jar of Kraft's Planter's Peanuts, a NYT article on women's name changes, an empty box of Azithromycin Tablets USP and Blue Guide Rome. 
I'll write about peanuts first. Earl buys 34.5 oz plastic jars of Planters Dry Roasted peanuts. I eat them, but complain about their blandness. Do they even sell those cans of salty, kinda greasy peanuts I used to love?
I finally took a look at the label on this giant can of peanuts produced by Kraft Foods Global. Ouch! The name Kraft tipped me off instantly to the fact that these are 'processed peanuts.' FYI, Kraft also processes Cheez Whiz, Cool Whip, Velveeta, Kool-Aid and Miracle Whip.
Kraft offers a Heart Healthy message on the front of the Planters Dry Roasted label, right there by Mr. Peanut. Copy says, "Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove that eating 1/5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as peanuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol and not resulting in increased caloric intake may reduce the risk of heart disease. See nutrition information for fat content." Did a lawyer write this sentence?
I looked at Kraft's nutritional information and was astounded they add so much for so little result. Among the 2% of ingredients that are not peanuts, Kraft lists cornstarch, monosodium glutamate, torula yeast, corn syrup solids, paprika, onion and garlic powders, spices, natural flavor. I guess all of these items are meant to substitute for unhealthy salt?
But do fresh roasted peanuts need MSG, corn syrup solids and 'natural flavor'? And what is torula yeast? Here's what I found on-line about torula yeast. It's a flavor enhancer that manufacturers are using more and more, now that MSG is frowned upon.
Here's an excerpt from Natural News.com:
"...food companies are switching to yet another hidden form of a chemical taste enhancer.
This latest one is called "torula yeast" and instead of being a yeast extract, this is just a specific type of yeast. Again, it has the same purpose in food - to make otherwise boring foods taste sensational. Torula yeast is now found in many snack products, even many so-called natural snacks. I've seen it in chips and a number of fried snack foods. It seems like this ingredient is going to be increasingly popular in the years ahead because it looks so non-threatening to the consumer."
And from Gourmet.Answers.com:
"There are a number of natural foods that contain this ingredient. Primarily they are savory foods, such as flavored rice and broth. Popular snacks like chips, salsa and other dips, and anything with an artificial barbecue flavor often use it. It can also be found in many frozen vegetarian meat replacements, such as veggie burgers, burritos, and microwaveable meals. The best way to determine if the yeast is in a food is to read the label."
OK, enough of this. I don't know if torula yeast is harmful or just another fad. Kraft, I just wish I could buy a can of peanuts without additives. Just roasted peanuts. Maybe Spec's still has some like that?
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Next to that can of peanuts, there is an article I clipped from December 8th's NYT titled, "But Who Am I Now?" The author Ann Blackman is a woman having a difficult time identifying herself to others in this age of Homeland Security and stringent new voter ID laws. When she married, she kept her maiden name for professional purposes, but it confuses the folks at her daughter's school and it confused the White House (BTW, on that occasion, she was denied entry to the White House. Names must match exactly on all documents). 
When I voted last month, I took a look at the name on my driver's license and suddenly realized, "This rendition of my name could hold me up someday. I might not be able to vote or pass through airport security." Though, I must say I've had no problems yet using my driver's license as ID with photo. 
The name on my license says, "Mary Thompson Hansen." In 1967, we moved to Texas and a woman had to have both her married and maiden name on a driver's license. Fast forward 46 years and it's possible that some polling place clerk or homeland security personnel is going to take issue with the name on my driver's license, when compared with the name on my airline ticket or voter registration card - or the name on my passport. 
My friend Martha asked me why I hadn't changed the name on my driver's license years ago. Well, years ago, it didn't seem to matter and no one ever really looked at it, including me.
I've always made it through airport security, but when I voted a month ago, I took my passport along because it more precisely matches the name on my voter registration card. By the way, my voter ID uses the initial T in the middle of my first and last names. I vestige of that 1967 driver's license. My passport served as ID and I was advised to get the name on my driver's license changed. Just for good measure. Even though I know the precinct judge and the folks who sit behind tables with those voter lists.
After the holidays, I'll take myself to the Texas Department of Public Safety and request a new driver's license that says 'Mary Margaret Hansen.'  Will the bureaucracies be able to handle my making such a change? Will they make something more of it than it warrants?
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Earl and I both had fierce chest colds these past two weeks. My primary care physician gave me a five-day run of Azithromycin tablets and yes, I feel better at last. Did I have a secondary infection or did this dreadful bronchitis finally run its course? I won't know for sure, but I am happy that this antibiotic worked for me. During the time I was taking that one tablet a day, I read that 80% of antibiotics manufactured are given to farm animals to keep them reasonably healthy in very unhealthy conditions. I understand that soon antibiotics may no longer fight infections in humans because of overuse in animals. Super bugs are rising up and beginning to show their immunity to current antibiotics.  I'll not get into abhorrent big-agri practices in this post, but it's a subject that's bothering me.
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Earl and I have taken to playing a game of SET every evening. Kelan and Lauren are whizzes at this card game and were patient with me a month ago as I learned how to recognize a 'set' of three cards. They'd say encouragingly, "Good work, Mameau," when I managed to see a sequence of three. Earl and I are slow, but we think it's a good workout for our brains. Why are young kids so quick to gather a set of three when it takes minutes for us to 'see' a set?
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Blue Guide Rome is once again resting next to my laptop, at the ready as a resource for details for new blog posts on Rome. I am not finished writing about that magnificent two month sojourn. Take a look at Missives From Rome.
Tivoli, a train ride from Roma.




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