Goodbye to Nabisco & Honey Grahams

Good-bye to NABISCO

Since my toddler days, I can recall my  father, of Italian/American descent enjoying a breakfast tradition of a biscotti and coffee, sitting down at the breakfast table  with Nabisco’s Uneeda Biscuits and a cup of coffee.

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As a schoolgirl, we often had Nabisco’s graham crackers for our own breakfast.  Newly married, and during my pregnancies,  I ate only graham crackers for those nauseous mornings and later  I mixed graham crackers with formula or my own breast milk for my infants.  Graham crackers and milk were a staple for fast school-age breakfasts and included in the lunch bag as a dessert or snack.  As an adult, I reached for graham crackers on those winter-sick cold-virus days when food was not appetizing.   Or as a sneak low-calorie snack during serious dieting,

When I found out recently that Nabisco has already moved some and is planning to move its food operations to Mexico, I felt like I lost my family friend.   Quoting from the internet,

“This sort of thing seems to be a new trend among corporations.   Produce their product overseas where they can reap bigger profits because they use cheaper labor and usually don’t have to deal with unions and I bet there are far less regulations & inspections by government agencies.  Their greed comes at a huge loss for us.”

You can say that again – for me, too.  Along these lines, I have had several occurrences with overseas’ products.  One was with a prescription medicine I take for a chronic issue.  My health provider sent me a generic brand which was made in a country I never heard of.    I checked into it because it caused itching attributed – according to my doctor – from the added green dye color.  I dropped the insurance company and went back to the brand name.   No more itching.

The second incident was a pair of shoes I ordered online – they cost $79.99 and were on sale for $51.99.  They have a sweet button on my toe line   I wore them on vacation and  developed infected burn blisters in that same sweet button design  engraved on my toes.    I investigated and they were made in China and similar to the children’s burn marks from thongs made in China a few years back.  Bad investment.

Also made in China was catnip we purchased for our beloved cat which was packaged in the USA but made in China.  Fortunately for our cat, it was recalled (causing death in cats) before I gave it to him.   I will not buy anything anymore that is made in these unregulated countries – like China & Mexico.

I will not support American companies who are so greedy to take jobs away from Americans which affects our economy negatively and/or sell less regulated products for the same price and lead us down the path to third-world status.

“Mexico offers a certification option, but it doesn’t require it. The US does spot checks – on farms and at the border – but requires no standards certification. The main exporters face standards dictated by third-party auditors demanded by American clients. But some growers, they say, do not have direct relationships with the end client in the US. They sell to brokers, and some are more lax than others. That, Usabiaga says, is where the danger to all looms.”


Here is an article  from USA Today “Food Safety From Mexican Farm to Costco to your plate.

PS – Since Donald Trump called Nabisco out on 8/19/15 speech, the  Mexico regulation articles that were on the internet last night are ‘coincidentally not available’ this morning.

Marie Coppola August 2015


National Poinsettia Day



December 12  is National Poinsettia Day and has been an official day since the mid-1980’s.

The date was picked in honor of the man for whom the plant is named, Joel Roberts Poinsett, who died on December 12, 1851 (1779-1851).   A  U.S. statesman born in Charleston, South Carolina, he was secretary of war under President Van Buren but is remembered most as the diplomat for whom the poinsettia plant is named.

He became a legislator and then a member of Congress and eventually became a U.S.  minister to Mexico from 1825-1829.  His interest as an amateur botanist led him to bring the plant from Mexico.  He discovered a shrub with brilliantly colored red leaves growing by the side of the road in Taxco, Mexico in December 1828 and sent cuttings home to his plantation in Greenville, South Carolina.

Can you guess how many poinsettias are sold in a year?   More than 34 million poinsettias are sold in a year’s time, accounting for 23 percent of all potted plant sales.   In fact, it is the highest-selling potted plant in the U.S.  So how did the poinsettia become the official flower of Christmas?

The legend of the poinsettia comes from Mexico. It tells of a girl named Maria and her little brother Pablo. They were very poor but always looked forward to the Christmas festival. Each year a large manger scene was set up in the village church, and the days before Christmas were filled with parades and parties. The two children loved Christmas but were always saddened because they had no money to buy presents. They especially wished that they could give something to the church for the Baby Jesus. But they had nothing.

One Christmas Eve, Maria and Pablo set out for church to attend the service. On their way they picked some weeds growing along the roadside and decided to take them as their gift to the Baby Jesus in the manger scene. Of course they were teased by other children when they arrived with their gift, but they said nothing for they knew they had given what they could.  Maria and Pablo began placing the green plants around the manger and miraculously, the green top leaves turned into bright red petals, and soon the manger was surrounded by beautiful star-like flowers.  El Milagro de la primera flor de Nochebuena – (The Miracle of the First Poinsettia)

Christmas would not be Christmas without the traditional poinsettia flowers somewhere in the house or by the fireplace. At one time it was thought that this vibrant plant was poisonous, toxic and dangerous. It turned out to be a myth and not true.

The origin of this misinformation apparently dates back to 1919 when the death of an army officer’s two-year-old child was wrongly attributed to the ingestion of Poinsettia leaves. Since then, the myth of the poisonous Poinsettia has continued to spread.

If you live in a cold area, make sure your newly-purchased poinsettia is protected from store to home and wrapped so. Poinsettias should be kept out of drafts, placed in a warm place and the soil kept evenly moist. After the colorful flowers (bracts) fall off, set the plant in a cool room and let the soil stay nearly dry until the spring. Then move to a sunny spot, water well and watch for new growth. Repot in new soil and cut back to 6 inches from the pot rim.

Poinsettias can grow in a sunny interior or in a protected area outdoors.  Pinch to encourage new branches so you will have more blooms. To assure holiday blooms, keep the plant in absolute darkness from sundown to sunup 10 weeks beginning in October.

© Marie Coppola,  Revised December 2018