REVIEWS, PRODUCTS

FOOD PRODUCTS


BEVERAGES


WATER, DASANI

DATE OF REVIEW: JULY 27, 2021


The perfect crime.

Market enhanced sink-water by adding minerals to make it taste good, then put it in what appear to be spring water bottles, giving the water the cache of real spring or artesian water--then keep your fingers crossed and hope that people don't pay too much attention.

The manufacturer of this product is the The Coca-Cola Corporation.

Dasani might be appropriate for people who must have some kind, any kind, of water in the house. And I've always thought that the water does taste good, although the taste seems a bit worse in the small bottles of Dasani that I recently purchased.

Tasty or not, this is not spring or artesian water, and the plastic bottle isn't BPA-free as the bottles of Fiji artesian water are.

Fiji artesian water tastes good, comes in bottles that are BPA-free, and is real artesian water. Choosing is a no-brainer.


LIQUOR

FOSTERS PREMIUM ALE

750mL, green and gold can

The simple attempt to pour appears to lead to leaks down the front of the can. Very messy.

Taste:  though dark golden in color, the brew seems a bit weak or washed out. Not especially tasty.

Will not buy again.


SOUPS

WHOLE FOODS MARKET BROCCOLI & DOUBLE-CHEDDAR SOUP

DATE OF REVIEW: JUNE 12, 2021

A thick soup, strong taste of cheddar, tasty--but we found six pieces of detritus in the soup, either paper or plastic, small, thin objects. Purchased Northern, N.J. location.

See photo, below.

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Whole Foods Market under John Mackie was a very sloppily-run company. Evidently the tradition lives on, at least in part, under Jeff Bezos.




ITALIAN, SUPERMARKET PRODUCTS

CENTO FINE FOODS PRODUCTS, VARIOUS

DATE OF REVIEW: AUGUST 06, 2021

A few moments ago I finished consuming, from the can, Cento's Macaroni & Bean Soup, Pasta Fagioli in Italian. I unfortunately discovered two pieces of detritus in the soup; they could only have come from its can. The larger piece was discovered in my mouth; the smaller, hanging off of a spoonful of the soup about to enter my mouth. Both appear to be a translucent plastic. They are readily discernible as inorganic because one can't chew through them, and because they taste like plastic.

UPDATE, Thursday, August 12, 2021. I've now also found the same detritus in Cento's beloved capanata appetizer, a--former--staple in all my meals. I will surely miss this Cento product.

Adding this product to my Cento moratorium product list means that I'll never again purchase any Cento product, as this was the last product that I continued to allow myself to purchase.

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Two pieces of detritus found in Cento Macaroni & Bean Soup.

Yum!

What is notable, and extremely unfortunate, is that I've been discovering detritus in Cento food products for years. This is simply the latest iteration in what must now be called a pattern.

Accordingly, I categorically advise my readers to refrain, indefinitely, from purchase of any Cento food or other product, effective immediately.

The astute reader will note that, so far, two reviews at this new site report detritus discovered in a food or beverage product:  Cento Macaroni & Bean soup and Whole Foods Market Broccoli & Double-Cheddar Soup. Moreover, some years ago we found detritus in a Kashi food product, I recall that it was cereal. We found it at approximately the same time that we found a large piece of detritus in a Cento food product; it measured approximately 1/2" by 1/2" or so and appeared to be a kind of mesh. We contacted both companies. Cento responded--Kashi did not.



CAMPBELL'S CHUNKY SAUSAGE & PEPPER RIGATONI SOUP

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DATE OF REVIEW: JUNE 24, 2021

"Soup that eats like a meal," goes the tagline for this line of products.

While the soup was moderately tasty, the rigatoni in the soup were tiny, I found virtually no peppers, as promised, especially green ones, while the red ones were tiny, there was a bit too much liquid relative to the amount of chunky ingredients in the soup, or perhaps it was the fact that the broth was thin, and thus, all things considered, this soup did not "eat like a meal."

Additionally, the sausage slices were not soft enough, there are GMO ingredients in the soup, and in the final coup-de-grace for this product:  it contains the chemical flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate, a known brain excito-toxin, whose presence in a modern product immediately signals it as what I term a "junk product."

Would I buy this product again--no.



BEVERAGES, SWEET


VIRGIL'S ROOT BEER

DATE OF REVIEW, JULY 01, 2021

This product is one of your better choices for soda:

  1. Tasty, with a rich boot-beer taste--though, unless I'm mis-recollecting--not as tasty as several years ago.

  2. Officially non-GMO. This is extremely important.

  3. Comes packaged in a glass bottle, not plastic. Glass is an inert material, meaning that it does not bleed or leech, so there will be no contamination of the soda from elements within the bottle, as could be the case were the soda packaged in a plastic bottle.

Over the last few years the product packaging has changed, as well. The pevious version of the 4-bottle holder presented a well-written and genuinely interesting terse history of root beer! Now, it does not.

Additionally, the new packaging declares the product to have a "bold" taste. I was actually chagrined to first read this about a week ago: I've always found the taste of this root beer rather addicting because if its rich, sweet, and complex flavors, not because it's taste was "bold," whatever that is supposed to mean. And in fact, given that the taste of the product has declined, in my opinion, I'd suggest that Virgil's go back to its original, or later formulation with that complex of the taste of annisse, cinammon, nutmeg, etc., all combined in a root beer that also has body.

I'm actually interested in this phenomenon of changes in product (or service) packaging, for it seems that all-too-often well-done, even superior product packaging is sometimes torpedoed, discarded, probably because of the erroneous idea that product packaging must change to continue to garner interest in the product. The product must be reinvented--or must appear to have been. My quintessential example is Mountain Valley spring water, an expensive, premium water whose jumbo-sized green glass bottle was something of a work-of-art, a throw-back to old-world craftsmanship, especially relative to the cheaply-produced, throwaway product packaging of today.

In stark and flagrant contradistinction to the visual and design elegance Until the company foolishly changed the bottle to

See photo, below.

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DAIRY PRODUCTS

ORGANIC VALLEY GRASSFED ORGANIC WHOLE MILK

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DATE OF REVIEW: JUNE 30, 2021

Probably the highest quality milk that can be bought: it's organic, from grass fed cows, and is packaged in a carton, not a plastic bottle.

And has a wonderfully creamy taste--if you want a wonderfully creamy taste. I, do not. I drink milk for pleasure and refreshment, often reaching for milk instead of soda (which is categorically unhealthy), so I want my milk to have more a clean, crisp taste. I don't want milk masquerading as a milkshake. If I want a milkshake I'll go get one. The fact that the product is produced by grass-fed cows may account for its creaminess.

Would I buy this product again--yes. It's an extremely high quality product, and it's taste, in general terms is good. But I may also look elsewhere for a milk product with a crisper taste.



CLEANSING PRODUCTS


HONEST ORGANIC COTTON DRY WIPES

DATE OF REVIEW, JUNE 12, 2021

What, at least in principle, could be even better than WATER WIPES, the baby-and-adult wipe product with nothing in it besides its key agent--water--than "a drop of fruit juice"?

How about a wipe product that doesn't even contain the drop, thus eliminating that concern, as the reality of the generally deceptive form of mass communication known as "corporate-speak" is such that we really don't know what "drop of fruit juice" means, what it contains, and if the "juice" is organic, or even non-GMO?

The HONEST product does away with all such concerns, and even gives us a wipe product that is, they claim, made of 100% organic cotton. Good stuff all around, it would seem.

The one glitch in this system is the way the wipes dispense--an Achilles heel for many wiping products. These wipes dispense horribly from their pouch. Good luck inserting your finger and attempting to find the edge of the next wipe to be pulled out--you'll have better luck looking for the Maltese Falcon, or the lost city of Atlantis.

That said, this is still a worthy product because of its absolute purity. Just don't compromise that purity by using a substandard form of water to moisten the wipes. Spring water from a glass bottle, or distilled water from a glass bottle, would likely be best, in my opinion.

See photo, below.

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Trying to dispense the product--what a mess.



LAWN-CARE EQUIPMENT


GAS-POWERED LEAFBLOWERS

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DATE OF REVIEW: JUNE 30, 2021


CLIMATE CHANGE

If you're one of the increasing numbers of Americans who are really starting to understand just how grave a problem climate change is, and how urgent it is that we address it right here, right now, no more excuses, the first thing you'll want to do is ditch your leafblower, and inform your lawncare company that you want climate-and-people-friendler tools and equipment used on your property.

The so-called "leafblower" is a dinosaur in the world of lawn-care equipment; one of the dirtiest and most polluting kinds of equipment in use, and thus one of our biggest contributors to global warming. Nor is the toxic and filthy air pollution that it produces the only kind of pollution. As many noise victims are aware, usually painfully aware, this kind of device produces sound pollution that is psychologically and physically intolerable. I, myself, now have Tinnitus--thanks to the individuals in my neighborhood wielding these death devices, and the grossly uninformed neighbors who continue to commission their use.

I give a categorical thumbs-down to all leafblowers, would not buy again and in fact would never have bought in the first place. Gas-powered units are the absolute worst. And I should alert you that we're all noise-victims, insofar as the pernicious effects of this device injure you, whether you realize it or not.

In my case, I was developing Tinnitus unawares, which I now have. Learn from my mistakes.


TESTING

Take your children for a hearing test, to gauge the actual hearing loss they may already be suffering. And for yourself, move into a room that is completely quiet (if you can find one), and sit there. Once in the room, sitting still, if you hear any noise, whatsoever--you have Tinnitus. In many cases the malady manifests as a kind of steady hum or white-noise whoosing or other similar sound. If you're hearing this, or any sound, you have Tinnitus. Meaning the loud noise you're exposed to in your neighborhood or elsewhere is already degrading your hearing.

Oh, I forgot to mention:  there's no cure.


THE SOLUTION

The humble, "old-fashioned" rake, broom, push mower, and even the ancient cutting instrument called the scythe are all excellent alternative choices to groom your property. In fact, once you learn about the effects on our natural environment of fertilizer production and use, you might not be so enthusiastic about compulsively "grooming" your property in the first place.

Full information is found free, here, here and here.

First thing you do, however:  talk to your neighbors, information in hand, and get those leafblowers off your property and out of your neighborhood.

Contact me for no-charge assistance with any aspect of this issue, or, if a noise victim, with your noise problem.





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