Posts tagged with "Missouri"

Aunt Jemima has a new name after 131 years: The Pearl Milling Company

February 11, 2021

It has been a go-to pancake mix and syrup in American households for more than a century—but also has long faced criticism that its Aunt Jemima name and likeness are rooted in racist imagery.

Now, all that has changed: The brand has a new name—The Pearl Milling Company—The New York Times reports.

In an announcement on Tuesday, February 10, by PepsiCo—which owns the former Aunt Jemima’s parent company, Quaker Oats— the line formally began rebranding itself and moved one step closer to permanently abandoning its 131-year-old moniker.

The new name comes from the milling company in St. Joseph, Missouri, that pioneered the self-rising pancake mix that became known as Aunt Jemima, according to PepsiCo, which said the rebranded products would arrive in stores in June.

The change has been in the works since last June—after the killing of George Floyd on May 25 by Minneapolis cops catalyzed widespread protests over racial injustice, The New York Times notes. Several large food companies came under fire for using racial stereotypes, including Quaker Oats, which said it would drop the Aunt Jemima name, redesign its packaging, and pledge $5 million to support the Black community.

The company unveiled a redesigned website for its line of Aunt Jemima products on Tuesday, saying “it was the start of a new day.”

“Last June, PepsiCo and The Quaker Oats Company made a commitment to change the name and image of Aunt Jemima, recognizing that they do not reflect our core values,” the company said on the website.

Products with the Aunt Jemima name will continue to be available until June—but without the picture of the Aunt Jemima character’s face, according to PepsiCo, which said in a news release that the company sought input on the new name.

“Throughout the effort that led to the new Pearl Milling Company name, Quaker worked with consumers, employees, external cultural and subject-matter experts, and diverse agency partners to gather broad perspectives and ensure the new brand was developed with inclusivity in mind,” PepsiCo said.

In addition to the rebranding, the newly established Pearl Milling Company also said on Tuesday that it was making a $1 million commitment to empower and uplift Black girls and women. The money is in addition to a $400 million, five-year investment to support Black business and communities, and increase Black representation at PepsiCo, the company said.

The Aunt Jemima character has roots in a 19th-century minstrel song that expressed nostalgia for the antebellum South. Quaker Oats replaced the kerchief on the Aunt Jemima character’s head with a plaid headband in 1968 and added pearl earrings and a lace collar in 1989.

Research contact: @nytimes

Biden takes the lead in Democratic race

March 11, 2020

Advantage Biden: Former Vice President Joe Biden was poised to take the lead in the Democratic presidential race on Tuesday, March 10, after he scored a major victory in Michigan over Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), The Hill reported.

With 83% of the ballots counted, Biden led in Michigan with 53% of the vote, against 38% for Sanders.

The victory followed on the heels of Biden’s two other wins in Mississippi and Missouri on Tuesday. Biden also won Idaho, which Sanders had won in his 2016 primary bid against Hillary Clinton, while North Dakota and Washington were yet to be determined.

Speaking at his campaign’s Philadelphia headquarters on Tuesday night, Biden all but declared himself the Democratic presidential nominee. He thanked Sanders and his supporters for their “tireless energy and their passion,” noting that they all “share a common goal” in defeating Trump.

“This campaign is taking off and I believe we’re going to do well from this point on,” Biden said. “Take nothing for granted. I want to earn every single vote from every single state.”

For his part, the Vermont Senator announced on Wednesday that he would continue his campaign for president, Politico reported, and vowed to participate in a debate with Biden this coming weekend.

“Last night, obviously, was not a good night for our campaign from a delegate point of view,” Sanders acknowledged in an address delivered from his campaign headquarters in Burlington, Vermont.

Describing what he still saw as the positives in the race, Sanders said, “”…While we are currently losing the delegate count” in the race for the Democratic nomination, “we are strongly winning in two enormously important areas which will determine the future of our country,” he noted, claiming strong public support for his proposals and noting the lack of enthusiasm Biden has elicited among younger voters.

Research contact: @thehill

Missouri becomes first state to regulate use of the word ‘meat’

August 29, 2018

The last time most of us had “mystery meat” was either in school or in the military. On June 1, Missouri—the “Show-Me State”—made sure that its residents would never have to see mystery meat or eat it again when it became the first state in the nation to pass a law that prohibits food providers from using the word “meat” to refer to anything other than animal flesh.

This  new legislation takes direct aim at manufacturers of what has been dubbed “clean,” or “plant-based, or “nontraditional”meat, according to a report by USA Today. Clean meat—also known as lab-grown meat—comprises cultured animal tissue cells, while plant-based meat is generally made from ingredients such as soy, tempeh and seitan.

The state law forbids “misrepresenting a product as meat that is not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry.” Violators may be fined $1,000 and imprisoned for a year.

What’s more, a similar argument is unfolding on the federal level.

The meat-substitute market is expected to reach $7.5 billion-plus globally by 2025, up from close to $4.2 billion last year, based on findings by Allied Market Research.

The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, which worked to get the law passed, has cited shopper confusion and protection of local ranchers as reasons for the legislation.

“The big issue was marketing with integrity and … consumers knowing what they’re getting,” Missouri Cattlemen’s Association spokesperson Mike Deering told USA Today. “There’s so much unknown about this.”

On Agusut 27, the company that makes Tofurky filed an injunction in a Missouri federal court to prevent enforcement of the statute, alleging the state has received no complaints about consumers befuddled by the term “plant-based meats” and that preventing manufacturers from using the word is a violation of their First Amendment rights. In addition, the company pointed out, “meat” also refers to the edible part of nuts and fruit.

The statute “prevents the sharing of truthful information and impedes competition,” according to documents filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. “The marketing and packaging of plant-based products reveals that plant-based food producers do not mislead consumers but instead distinguish their products from conventional meat products.”

The co-plaintiff is the Good Food Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group.

MCA spokesperson Deering said he was surprised by the suit because the primary target of the law was lab-grown meat.

Tofurky’s main ingredient is the first two syllables of its name-—tofu.

In June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it would regulate lab-grown meat. Traditional animal proteins are the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Ernest Baskin, an assistant professor of Food Marketing at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia told USA Today that consumers use the word “meat,” when applied to nonanimal protein as a “shortcut” to understand how they eat the food they see on supermarket shelves.

“There’s a segment of consumers that doesn’t have to eat alternative products but wants to,” he said. “In those cases, putting those options together in front of consumers gives them the thought that ‘Hey, maybe these two are similar. Maybe I can substitute.’ ”

Research contact:@ZlatiMeyer