Around the Bluhmin’ Town


Would you care for some grated wood pulp on your pasta? No, I didn’t think so. Me either.

Hey, I didn’t think wood was edible.  Seems to me we have a problem with our food supply when one of the most beloved and expensive cheeses is being packaged with sawdust (technically wood pulp filler).

Oh, and that’s if there is actually any Parmesan in that little package of grated who-knows-what we are buying. Seems some packages labeled as Parmesan have every kind of cheese except Parmesan, which means once again the consumers have been duped.

Eating food should be a pleasure, not a dangerous and potentially life-threatening experience. We should be able to grab a bag of lettuce and not worry about E-Coli.  And if we like a certain ice cream, not potentially die from Listeria.

 And no, wood pulp doesn’t belong in cheese.  Also, who knows what all the chemicals are doing to us.

Get a glimpse of Monsanto workers spraying fields of vegetables in hazmat suits with respirators looking like they have landed on Mars, but then we are suppose to eat those same veggies? Lordy help us.

Of course, Dear Readers, not only are we being poisoned, but we are being ripped off. The packaging of food products has been a sneaky and pervasive tactic to get us, the unsuspecting public, to pay more for less.

We are getting robbed.

Most peanut butter has two ounces less in its jars and brownie mixes are now an ounce less.  Even cookies have been “downsized”  from their 14.5 ounce packages to 11.3 ounces. Potato chip bags are filled with air so they look bigger (they’re not), and even yogurt containers have bulked up so we won’t notice that we are now getting less.

Holy guacamole, the trickery never ends!  A common brand of guacamole now has a domed package so it looks bigger, and we (the stupid consumer) are supposed to happily go along with the deception.

Lies!  And as if we don’t know the five-pound bag of sugar we are buying is really only four pounds! Yikes, so we are now paying more for less AND with the possibility of illness.

Oh, and to complete the trifecta of the food fiascos, let’s not forget that the food industry has decided to package everything so tightly that no one can open anything up.  Unless you have scissors, grips, razor blades and maybe a few hemostats nothing can be released from the “locked-in-forever” plastic wraps that now make cooking a Herculean task.

Hmmm . . .  I have almost talked myself out of cooking yet again. OK, eating out doesn’t seem much safer. But maybe we just have to take our chances.

So be cautious, my friends. Wash everything, read carefully, expect to pay more and get less, and to have to call for a really strong man to help with opening anything up.

If something tastes like sawdust, stop eating immediately. Then pour a big glass of wine. It goes with everything and helps wash the wood chips down.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a comment or a story? Email Judy at

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at