Saturday, October 10, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Downside of a Global Supply Chain

Mmmmm beef parts. Still damn tasty.
Ground beef is usually not simply a chunk of meat run through a grinder. Instead, records and interviews show, a single portion of hamburger meat is often an amalgam of various grades of meat from different parts of cows and even from different slaughterhouses.... The frozen hamburgers made by the food giant Cargill, were labeled “American Chef’s Selection Angus Beef Patties.” Yet confidential grinding logs and other Cargill records show that the hamburgers were made from a mix of slaughterhouse trimmings and a mash-like product derived from scraps that were ground together at a plant in Wisconsin. The ingredients came from slaughterhouses in Nebraska, Texas and Uruguay, and from a South Dakota company... Those low-grade ingredients are cut from areas of the cow that are more likely to have had contact with feces, which carries E. coli, industry research shows. Yet Cargill, like most meat companies, relies on its suppliers to check for the bacteria and does its own testing only after the ingredients are ground together.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Order Matters

Most polls have health care reform in its currently proposed form at about 43% for/45% against. Fox News has it at 35% for/49% against. Something's fishy, but the sampling was fine and so was the overall wording of the question. It was the questions that preceded the health care question that may have biased the attitudes of the respondents. See more at

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Here. Maybe my students could think of a joke relating to a full-contact statistics exam.