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Timing is Everything - GMOs Part III

Why NOT to label GMO’s… Yet

So, I know that I won’t win Gwyneth Paltrow’s “Popularity Contest” regarding her stance on GMO’s. C’est la vie! However, I am happy to see that because of celebrity activists petitioning their local politicians, they are keeping the spirit of this debate alive and well.

Since we are on the topic of debate, I do want us to give good thought as to why we should NOT label GMO’s…right now.

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23 of October, 2015 In: food safety, food tech, Monkeys, Quality Assurance 0

Misconceptions About Food QA Professionals (and Monkeys)


Yes, we have quirky personalities, can name molecular weights for all the elements on the periodic table, and take pride in our perfectly starched lab coats, but those aren’t the misconceptions I’m thinking of. I am talking about the stories told around office water coolers, and in company lunch-rooms. In my previous article, “8 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Working in QA,” I compared the QA pros of the world to the soccer referee who ensures that all regulations are followed. Unfortunately, much like soccer referees, we often hear some of the most vile and hateful comments about being members of the QA team.

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20 of October, 2015 In: food safety, FSMA, GMO, Quality Assurance, USDA 0

First, Do No Harm - GMOs Part II

What Does GMO Mean in the QA World - Part 2 - Ethics vs. Business

You might remember the story about my grandmother in Part 1 of this article, and how in her garden, some 25-30 years ago in Europe, she managed to crossbreed a River Birch Tree with Red Roses. In retrospect, I am pretty certain that my grandmother never gave any thought to the scientific ethics of her creation. Partly because she wasn’t making any profit from it, but primarily because it was her own personal garden and nobody else’s opinion mattered.

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21 of September, 2015 In: food safety, Quality Assurance, Software, Trade Shows 0

National Restaurant Association QA Executive Study Group

We went. We listened. We learned.

Put us to the test.

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14 of September, 2015 In: food safety, Labeling, GMO 0

What Does GMO Mean in the QA World? Part 1 of 3: Labeling and Certification

I absolutely love this subject. First of all, I have a degree in Molecular Biology, and any time I get to talk about the subject of Genetics I reach the equivalent of nerd Nirvana. Second, it brings back memories of my childhood in Europe, where my grandma, of all people, did genetic experiments on her garden flowers.

My grandmother wasn’t a Scientist, Molecular Biologist, or any other type of Evil-James-Bond-Character. She was an incredibly sweet old lady who lived all of her life in Europe, and meticulously nurtured her gardens, rich with fresh seasonal fruit, vegetables, and flowers. One thing that she impressed into my memory was when she successfully crossbred a River Birch tree with red roses. Just imagine a garden of wild roses, philodendrons, vividly colored lilies, and in the middle of all of that, a twenty foot tree just covered with blooming red roses. Awesome!

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09 of September, 2015 In: food safety, Food supply, GMO, Quality Assurance 0

What You Should Really Worry About


What Should People REALLY Be Worried About in the Food Supply?

One thing that is not apparent to the public and the retail markets, is that the food industry is not vertically integrated. Most of us in the food industry don’t have the ability to farm, process, manufacture, and package under the same roof. Which is why we use approved vendors and suppliers. In an ideal world, vendors and suppliers are forthcoming, transparent, and willing to share all of their information. However, what happens when the food supply goes off course can be a rude awakening for everyone.

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What is a Product Specification Compliance (PSC) Program?

It sounds daunting, doesn't it?

It's not, we promise.

In the immortal words of that Bard of Bad Pants, MC Hammer, let's break it down (we'll wait while you go close the door so you can dance).

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AQA Accepts the Challenge at Florida Innovation Hub

AQA is proud to announce our move into the Florida Innovation Hub incubator. The Innovation Hub has already produced a network of alumni companies that are changing the community and the world, including TAO Connect, Shadow Health, Apps for Docs, MindTree Limited, and Gamedayr, to name just a few.

The 48,000-square-foot facility was built with an $8.2 million grant from the federal Economic Development Administration and a $5 million commitment from the University of Florida.

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Loving Farmers' Markets and Animated Lions...Trust Us

When people think of the “Local Food Movement” and how it gets to our kitchen table, some probably envision a tatted-up hipster, with a perfectly coiffed mustache and parted hair, raving about a thousand different ways to use quinoa in your diet. I live in Huntington Beach, California, otherwise known as “Surf City USA.” Each Tuesday the city of Huntington Beach closes down part of Main Street, an area of the city right by the beach, which allows for food vendors and food manufacturers to sell their locally made products. A farmers’ market of sorts, but you can buy other things, too (e.g. paintings, clothing, hipster moustache wax, etc.). However, for the purpose of this story I’m only focusing on the food manufacturers and growers. Although I truly love this movement because it promotes sustainability and local economic growth, as in any food business we run into obstacles along the way. Here are some examples of what I mean:

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Is It a Food Recall, or Just Gwyneth?

Let’s be honest for a second: Having media covering your facility is not a part of the daily norm. It likely means one of three things.

1) Someone in your department is dating Gwyneth Paltrow. What? It could happen!

2) Your business is exceeding all stock market expectations, and WSJ and Squawk on the Street are sending their reporters.

3) Something horrible has happened.

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