621 inmates suffer food poisoning at Kyoto prison

When I was in prison 37 years ago, it had its own canning unit. Prisons have always been de facto work camps, and food is where the laborers were needed. Lotsa rumors about saltpeter, the daily horse chestnuts (canned plums) and whatever else could be thrown in a minimal cost.

It’s only gotten worse as privitization has taken over.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky said: “The degree of civilisation in a society is revealed by entering its prisons.”

According to Yusuke Kaite of The Mainichi 621 inmates recently suffered food poisoning at Kyoto Prison, the municipal government announced on July 4.

Although the exact cause was not identified, the city declared the outbreak a case of mass food poisoning, and banned the use of food facilities at the prison for three days.

Men from the ages of 26 to 76 suffered symptoms such as diarrhea and stomachaches from the morning of June 28 after food was cooked in the kitchen by 24 inmates. A total of 1,132 inmates and others had meals made at the kitchen at the time.

Los Angeles drowning in road apples

Not just the title of the 1991 album by Canadian rockers, The Tragically Hip, road apples is slang for horse shit.

And Los Angeles has lots of it (and doesn’t even freeze to use as a makeshit hockey puck).

Bloomberg reports that zoning restrictions have resulted in the closure of all the traditional "manure mulcher" businesses in Los Angeles County, forcing stables to haul their horse poop to ordinary land fills, which charge up to US$47 a ton, or roughly five times what the mulchers used to charge.

L.A. County is home to about 45,000 horses and almost 10 million people. Horses generate an estimated US$900-million a year in revenue from things such as riding lessons, blacksmiths, feed sales.

But more about the Hip.

Released in 1991, the original title of the record was Saskadelphia, but the record label considered it "too Canadian." As a joke, they re-titled it Road Apples, slang for horse dung. After the album was released, they created the Another Roadside Attraction festival — another joke referring to "road apples."

The album is often cited by fans and critics as the band’s finest work. As with most Tragically Hip albums, Canadian themes appear in the album’s lyrics. "Three Pistols" is an English translation of the name of the Quebec town Trois-Pistoles, and refers to Tom Thomson, a Canadian painter, as well as Remembrance Day, the Canadian commemorative day for its war dead. "The Luxury" refers to the fleur-de-lis, provincial symbol of Quebec, while "Born in the Water" is about the controversy surrounding Ontario municipalities (particularly Sault Ste. Marie) declaring themselves "English-only" in the dying days of the Meech Lake Accord debate.

Three Pistols is used in the opening and closing credits of our safefoodcafe videos. Like this one: