Throughout April and May, U.S. farmers faced floods, tornadoes, downpours and droughts — all of which made planting difficult. Now in June, intense heat has been sweeping over much of the country.
The harsh weather likely will reduce the fall’s harvest, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That, in turn, could further drive up grocery prices for consumers.
“Farmers had everything thrown at them” by Mother Nature this spring, USDA economist Gerald Bange said. “Excessive rains led to planting delays, and then some of what was already planted actually got flooded.”
Information is Beautiful: Plenty More Fish In The Sea? (Guardian UK)
So this is a kind of collective social amnesia that allows over-exploitation to creep up and increase decade-by-decade without anyone truly questioning it. Today’s fishing quotas and policies for example are attempting to reset fish stocks to the levels of ten or twenty years ago. But as you can see from the visualization, we were already plenty screwed back then.
Europe’s E. coli Outbreak Continues to Grow. (Food Safety News)
Officials at the University Hospital in Gronigen, Netherlands got a call Tuesday from the Bremen hospital — just over the border in Germany — asking if they’d be willing to take on extra patients in the event Bremen cannot accommodate its growing number of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) patients, those suffering the most serious effects of E. coli illness.
“I said yes, of course,” Dr. Alex Friedrich, head of the Department of Medical Microbiology and Infection Control in Gronigen, told Food Safety News. “We are preparing ourselves because we are the largest hospital close to the German border.”
The fact that German hospitals — among the best-equipped on the continent — are putting international backup plans in place is a sign of how severe the E. coli O1404:H4 outbreak in Germany has become.
The “No Nitrites Added” Hoax. (Ruhlman)
Please, if someone can tell me what is wrong with nitrates (in green vegetables) and nitrites (in curing salts and in our bodies, a powerful antimicrobial agent in our saliva, for instance), I invite them to do so here. In the 70’s there were studies finding that at high temps, they could form nitrosamines, cancer causing compounds. I don’t disagree, but burnt things containing nitrite are bitter and unpleasant so we’re not likely to crave them in harmful quatities.
Preach it. On par with the MSG hoax.
Is Sugar Toxic? (Behind NY Times paywall)
It doesn’t hurt Lustig’s cause that he is a compelling public speaker. His critics argue that what makes him compelling is his practice of taking suggestive evidence and insisting that it’s incontrovertible. Lustig certainly doesn’t dabble in shades of gray. Sugar is not just an empty calorie, he says; its effect on us is much more insidious. “It’s not about the calories,” he says. “It has nothing to do with the calories. It’s a poison by itself.
Freeze-dried food and the new frugal frontier. (LA Times)
Costco’s Great Gift Ideas catalogue last Christmas included a one-year, four-person supply of dehydrated and freeze-dried food on sale for $2,999. It sold out.
The fear factor alone can drive families to avoid restaurants and stock up on coffee in ways that would have seemed extreme a few years ago.
“There are all kinds of ways consumers can feel this,” said Scott Hoyt, senior director of consumer economics at Moody’s Analytics. “With unemployment hitting 10%, most people probably know someone who has lost their job. Housing markets haven’t recovered yet and that matters for about two-thirds of consumers who are homeowners.”
Where Steaming Fried Noodles Spell Relief. (Behind the NY Times Pay Wall)
Nutritionists and the diet-conscious have made instant ramen a noodle non grata. One packet contains about half the maximum amount of sodium anyone should eat in a day. And most versions are fried, sometimes with particularly unhealthy trans fat.
But attacking instant ramen donated to feed Japanese earthquake victims would be just wrong, said Mr. Chang. It’s still very cold in the north, and there was a recent snow. Although potable water is at a premium, those who can find a source of fuel might melt snow or ice to turn dried noodles into sustenance.
“You are not going to tell a starving person they can’t eat that,” he said. “Now is not the time. For the dire situation they’re in, I can’t imagine a better food.”
Oyster Extinction? Stop Panicking and Get the Facts (In A Half Shell [ Oyster Power ])
This is where I see most secondary news sources come to a fault. They make a giant leap in connecting the decline in global oyster reef to your favorite oysters vanishing from the raw bar. Perhaps it’s to drive more hits on a page or maybe it’s just a lack of understanding. Fortunately, this is not an accurate depiction of today’s oyster consumption trends.
I am not trying to downplay the importance of oyster reefs or diminish the need to scrutinize wild fishery management. I just want to put things into perspective so that unnecessary panic can be nipped at the bud.
U.N. Food Agency Issues Warning on China Drought. (NY Times)
World wheat prices are already surging, and they have been widely cited as one reason for protests in Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab world. A separate United Nations report last week said global food export prices had reached record levels in January. The impact of China’s drought on global food prices and supplies could create serious problems for less affluent countries that rely on imported food.
With $2.85 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, nearly three times that of Japan, the country with the second-largest reserves, China has ample buying power to prevent any serious food shortages.
“They can buy whatever they need to buy, and they can outbid anyone,” Mr. Zeigler said. China’s self-sufficiency in grain prevented world food prices from moving even higher when they spiked three years ago, he said.
Eggs Are Now Naturally Lower in Cholesterol. (PR Newswire)
According to new nutrition data from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), eggs are lower in cholesterol than previously thought. The USDA-ARS recently reviewed the nutrient composition of standard large eggs, and results show the average amount of cholesterol in one large egg is 185 mg, 14 percent lower than previously recorded. The analysis also revealed that large eggs now contain 41 IU of vitamin D, an increase of 64 percent.
Global food prices are moving ever higher, hitting record levels last month as a jittery market reacted to unpredictable weather and tight supplies, according to a United Nations report released Thursday.
It was the seventh month in a row of food price increases, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, which put out the report. And with some basic food stocks low, prices will probably continue reaching new heights, at least until the results of the harvest next summer are known, analysts said.
“Uncertainty itself is a new factor in the market that pushes up prices and will not push them down,” said Abdolreza Abbassian, an economist and the grain expert at F.A.O. “People don’t trust anyone to tell them about the harvest and the weather, so it has to await harvest time.”
Caffeine and Alcohol: Wham! Bam! Boozled. (NY Times)
Four Loko joins this warped tradition. And what I quickly came to see was that if you set out to engineer a booze delivery system that is as cloying, deceptive and divorced from the usual smells, tastes and presentation of alcohol as possible, you’d be hard pressed to come up with something more impressive than Four Loko.
Oyster Herpes Deaths Tied to Global Warming. (Discovery News)
A new, virulent form of herpes is killing large numbers of Pacific oysters. Scientists think global warming may be fueling the virus.
Jimmy Dean, sausage maker extraordinaire and country music troubadour, has passed.
To commemorate, it’s worth revisiting the best product feedback call of all time.
This chart illustrates succinctly why our country sucks ass.
“Change in price of items since 1978, relative to overall inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index. The price of carbonated drinks, for example, has fallen 34 percent relative to all other prices.” (“The Battle Over Taxing Soda“, NY Times)
Under the new standards, only 7.5% of chicken carcasses at a plant would be allowed to test positive for salmonella, down from 20% allowed since 1996. Salmonella levels in chickens were tested at 7.1% nationally in 2009, says Richard Lobb of the National Chicken Council.
Double Down by the Numbers: Unhealthiest Sandwich Ever?. (Nat Silver @FiveThirtyEight.com)
We can, of course, be a bit more exacting about this. I’ve created an index based on the amount of fat, sodium and cholesterol that the Double Down and a variety of comparable sandwiches contain as a portion of the USDA daily allowance. (In the fat category, saturated fats are counted double and trans-fats are counted triple.) The index is scaled such that the Original Recipe version of the sandwich receives a score of 1.00, a measure of gluttony that will hereafter be known as The Double Down (DD).*
One of the best overviews of the very real dangers of MSG comes from Dr. Russell Blaylock, a board-certified neurosurgeon and author of “Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills.” In it he explains that MSG is an excitotoxin, which means it overexcites your cells to the point of damage or death, causing brain damage to varying degrees — and potentially even triggering or worsening learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease and more.
Part of the problem also is that free glutamic acid is the same neurotransmitter that your brain, nervous system, eyes, pancreas and other organs use to initiate certain processes in your body. Even the FDA states:
“Studies have shown that the body uses glutamate, an amino acid, as a nerve impulse transmitter in the brain and that there are glutamate-responsive tissues in other parts of the body, as well.
Abnormal function of glutamate receptors has been linked with certain neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s chorea. Injections of glutamate in laboratory animals have resulted in damage to nerve cells in the brain.”
Although the FDA continues to claim that consuming MSG in food does not cause these ill effects, many other experts say otherwise.
Of course, I don’t think so.
FDA orders widespread food recall. (MSNBC)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced a recall of a common flavor enhancer that could be contaminated with salmonella bacteria.
The product, called hydrolyzed vegetable protein or HVP, is potentially in thousands of food products, including soups, sauces, chilis, stews, hot dogs, gravies, seasoned snack foods, dips and dressings. HVP is manufactured by a Las Vegas company.
All HVP in the world is manufactured by one company? In Las Vegas?
How safe is that chicken? (Consumer Reports)
You would think that after years of alarms about food safety—outbreaks of illness followed by renewed efforts at cleanup—a staple like chicken would be a lot safer to eat. But in our latest analysis of fresh, whole broilers bought at stores nationwide, two-thirds harbored salmonella and/or campylobacter, the leading bacterial causes of foodborne disease.
Meat is murder on the environment. (New Scientist)
A kilogram of beef is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution than driving for 3 hours while leaving all the lights on back home.
This is among the conclusions of a study by Akifumi Ogino of the National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science in Tsukuba, Japan, and colleagues, which has assessed the effects of beef production on global warming, water acidification and eutrophication, and energy consumption. The team looked at calf production, focusing on animal management and the effects of producing and transporting feed. By combining this information with data from their earlier studies on the impact of beef fattening systems, the researchers were able to calculate the total environmental load of a portion of beef.
Their analysis showed that producing a kilogram of beef leads to the emission of greenhouse gases with a warming potential equivalent to 36.4 kilograms of carbon dioxide. It also releases fertilising compounds equivalent to 340 grams of sulphur dioxide and 59 grams of phosphate, and consumes 169 megajoules of energy (Animal Science Journal, DOI: 10.1111/j.1740-0929.2007.00457.x). In other words, a kilogram of beef is responsible for the equivalent of the amount of CO2 emitted by the average European car every 250 kilometres, and burns enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for nearly 20 days.
The calculations, which are based on standard industrial methods of meat production in Japan, did not include the impact of managing farm infrastructure and transporting the meat, so the total environmental load is higher than the study suggests.
Big Food vs. Big Insurance . (Pollan in the NY Times)
No one disputes that the $2.3 trillion we devote to the health care industry is often spent unwisely, but the fact that the United States spends twice as much per person as most European countries on health care can be substantially explained, as a study released last month says, by our being fatter. Even the most efficient health care system that the administration could hope to devise would still confront a rising tide of chronic disease linked to diet.
That’s why our success in bringing health care costs under control ultimately depends on whether Washington can summon the political will to take on and reform a second, even more powerful industry: the food industry.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three-quarters of health care spending now goes to treat “preventable chronic diseases.” Not all of these diseases are linked to diet — there’s smoking, for instance — but many, if not most, of them are.
We’re spending $147 billion to treat obesity, $116 billion to treat diabetes, and hundreds of billions more to treat cardiovascular disease and the many types of cancer that have been linked to the so-called Western diet. One recent study estimated that 30 percent of the increase in health care spending over the past 20 years could be attributed to the soaring rate of obesity, a condition that now accounts for nearly a tenth of all spending on health care.
My on-again, off-again, on-again boycott of Whole Foods IS BACK IN THE SADDLE, BITCHES.
The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare. (Wall Street Journal)
Personal responsibility…blah blah…people are to blame for not having health care…blah blah…socialezm is teh evil…blah blah…people should buy $1 kumquats at my store if they want to live to be 100.
Fuck John Mackey, who is the world’s most notorious sockpuppet. I’m surprised he didn’t simply byline this op-ed with “I Hump Ayn Rand’s Rotting Corpse.”
Hot dogs should carry a warning label, lawsuit says. (LA Times, via PAC@theMerc)
The nonprofit Cancer Project filed a lawsuit today on behalf of three New Jersey plaintiffs asking the Essex County superior court to compel the companies to place cancer-risk warning labels on hot dog packages sold in New Jersey.
“Just as tobacco causes lung cancer, processed meats are linked to colon cancer,” says Neal Barnard, president of the Cancer Project and an adjunct professor at the George Washington University medical school in Washington, D.C. “Companies that sell hot dogs are well aware of the danger, and their customers deserve the same information.”
The defendants in the lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, include Nathan’s Famous Inc., Oscar Mayer-owner Kraft Foods Inc., Sara Lee Corp., Marathon Enterprises Inc. and ConAgra Foods Inc., which owns Hebrew National.
I’d be fine with this, as long as they aired a disclaimer before reality television shows that warns potential viewers that watching the program will make you stupid.
Why junk food really is addictive. (Telegraph UK)
Professor Kessler, ex-commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), claims that manufacturers have created combinations of fat, sugar and salt that are so tasty many people cannot stop eating them even when full.
He argues that manufacturers are seeking to trigger a “bliss point” when people eat certain products, leaving them hungry for more.
“It is time to stop blaming individuals for being overweight or obese,” he said. “The real problem is we have created a world where food is always available and where that food is designed to make you want to eat more of it. For millions of people, modern food is simply impossible to resist.”
While at the FDA, Prof Kessler was well known for his criticism of the tobacco industry, which he accused of manipulating cigarettes to make them even more addictive.
The same can be said about porn.
Waiter, There’s Deer in My Sushi. (NY Times)
Sushi made with deer meat, anyone? How about a slice of raw horse on that rice?
These are some of the most extreme alternatives being considered by Japanese chefs as shortages of tuna threaten to remove it from Japan’s sushi menus — something as unthinkable here as baseball without hot dogs or Texas without barbecue.
In this seafood-crazed country, tuna is king. From maguro to otoro, the Japanese seem to have almost as many words for tuna and its edible parts as the French have names for cheese. So when global fishing bodies recently began lowering the limits on catches in the world’s rapidly depleting tuna fisheries, Japan fell into a national panic.
Nightly news programs ran in-depth reports of how higher prices were driving top-grade tuna off supermarket shelves and the revolving conveyer belts at sushi chain stores. At nicer restaurants, sushi chefs began experimenting with substitutes, from cheaper varieties of fish to terrestrial alternatives and even, heaven forbid, American sushi variations like avocado rolls.
“It’s like America running out of steak,” said Tadashi Yamagata, vice chairman of Japan’s national union of sushi chefs. “Sushi without tuna just would not be sushi.”
I’m pretty sure if you stuck cream cheese in it and called it a “Bambi Roll” or a “Seabiscuit Maki” all the fucking retards in Scottsdale (or the Pearl) would buy it.
In a region that provides one-sixth of the nation’s oysters — the epicenter of the West Coast’s $111 million oyster industry — everyone knows nature can be fickle.
But then the failure was repeated in 2006, 2007 and 2008. It spread to an Oregon hatchery that supplies baby oysters to shellfish nurseries from Puget Sound to Los Angeles. Eighty percent of that hatchery’s oyster larvae died, too.
Now, as the oyster industry heads into the fifth summer of its most unnerving crisis in decades, scientists are pondering a disturbing theory. They suspect water that rises from deep in the Pacific Ocean — icy seawater that surges into Willapa Bay and gets pumped into seaside hatcheries — may be corrosive enough to kill baby oysters.
If true, that could mean shifts in ocean chemistry associated with carbon-dioxide emissions from fossil fuels may be impairing sea life faster and more dramatically than expected.
The Pork Lobbyists, Ready to Reassure. (Washington Post)
For going on two weeks, the Washington professionals who represent the nation’s 67,000 pork producers have been in a mad dash to, as President Obama once said, put lipstick on this pig. Hundreds of people have been infected in more than a dozen countries, prompting the closure of scores of schools across the United States, including four in the Washington region.
In Canada over the weekend, officials said a farmworker passed the virus to a herd of hogs. Although the farmer and the pigs apparently have recovered, and top U.S. and Mexican officials yesterday projected a cautious optimism that the new virus is not as lethal as initially feared, intense worldwide focus on swine flu shows no signs of abating.
Each morning, the pork lobbyists assemble to figure out how bad it got overnight. On this day last week, word came that officials in Egypt had ordered the slaughter of every pig in sight — about 300,000 of them. In Iowa, the first two possible cases of swine flu were reported, and the Russians and Chinese were considering banning pork imports from that Midwestern state, America’s biggest hog producer. On CNN, a news anchor teased an upcoming flu segment with footage of dead pigs.
“Worried about the swine flu?” the anchor asked. “Well, it could be worse. You could be a pig farmer.”
But what caused this acceleration of swine flu evolution? Virologists have long believed that the intensive agricultural system of southern China is the principal engine of influenza mutation: both seasonal “drift” and episodic genomic “shift”. But the corporate industrialisation of livestock production has broken China’s natural monopoly on influenza evolution. Animal husbandry in recent decades has been transformed into something that more closely resembles the petrochemical industry than the happy family farm depicted in school readers.
In 1965, for instance, there were 53m US hogs on more than 1m farms; today, 65m hogs are concentrated in 65,000 facilities. This has been a transition from old-fashioned pig pens to vast excremental hells, containing tens of thousands of animals with weakened immune systems suffocating in heat and manure while exchanging pathogens at blinding velocity with their fellow inmates.
The outbreak of a new flu strain—a nasty mash-up of swine, avian, and human viruses—has infected 1,000 people in Mexico and the U.S., killing 68. The World Health Organization warned Saturday that the outbreak could reach global pandemic levels.
Is Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork packer and hog producer, linked to the outbreak? Smithfield operates massive hog-raising operations Perote, Mexico, in the state of Vera Cruz, where the outbreak originated. The operations, grouped under a Smithfield subsidiary called Granjas Carroll, raise 950,000 hogs per year, according to the company Web site.
100 sickened after eating at N.Y. Applebee’s. (AP via MSNBC)
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Health officials say more than 100 people reported getting sick after eating at an Applebee’s restaurant near Syracuse.
The county health department says there are seven confirmed cases of Shigellosis among people who ate at the Applebee’s in Camillus in early March. The bacterial infection is associated with consuming water or food contaminated with fecal matter.
I’m sure there’s a joke about Guy Fieri somewhere in there, but I just don’t have the spirit.
TULSA, Okla. — One of the most deadly spiders in the world has been found in the produce section of a Tulsa grocery store. An employee of Whole Foods Market found the Brazilian Wandering Spider Sunday in bananas from Honduras and managed to catch it in a container.
The spider was given to University of Tulsa Animal Facilities director Terry Childs who said this type of spider kills more people than any other.
Childs said a bite will kill a person in about 25 minutes and while there is an antidote he doesn’t know of any in the Tulsa area.
I kinda like spiders, so my on-again/off-again boycott of Whole Foods is, for the time being, OFF.
FDA Approves Salmonella. (America’s Finest News Source)
WASHINGTON—Calling it “perfectly safe for the most part,” and “not nearly as destructive or fatal as previously thought,” the Food and Drug Administration approved the enterobacteria salmonella for human consumption this week.
The federal agency, which has struggled in recent years to contain the food-borne pathogen, and repeatedly failed to prevent tainted products from reaching store shelves, announced Monday that salmonella was now completely okay for all Americans to enjoy.
“Rigorous testing has shown that salmonella is…fine,” FDA director of food safety Stephen Sundlof said. “In fact, our research indicates that there’s no need to pull any more foodstuffs from the market. Not raw chicken. Not contaminated spinach. Not thousands of jars of harmful peanut butter. Not anything.”
The Maggots in Your Mushrooms. (NY Times Op-Ed)
Tomato juice, for example, may average “10 or more fly eggs per 100 grams [the equivalent of a small juice glass] or five or more fly eggs and one or more maggots.” Tomato paste and other pizza sauces are allowed a denser infestation — 30 or more fly eggs per 100 grams or 15 or more fly eggs and one or more maggots per 100 grams.
Canned mushrooms may have “over 20 or more maggots of any size per 100 grams of drained mushrooms and proportionate liquid” or “five or more maggots two millimeters or longer per 100 grams of drained mushrooms and proportionate liquid” or an “average of 75 mites” before provoking action by the F.D.A.
The sauerkraut on your hot dog may average up to 50 thrips. And when washing down those tiny, slender, winged bugs with a sip of beer, you might consider that just 10 grams of hops could have as many as 2,500 plant lice. Yum.
Federal officials are urging consumers to put off eating foods that contain peanut butter until they can be they are sure they do not contain products manufactured by the Peanut Corp. of America, some of which were found to contain salmonella.
I’ve been slowly going through a small package of Nabisco brand Nutter Butter Sandwich Cookies all week. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
IKEA sells this wood treatment for its kitchen butcher block.
IKEA tells me it’s approved for use on surfaces that come in contact with food.
“There’s a 55-45% chance right now that disintegration will occur,” he says. “One could rejoice in that process,” he adds, poker-faced. “But if we’re talking reasonably, it’s not the best scenario — for Russia.” Though Russia would become more powerful on the global stage, he says, its economy would suffer because it currently depends heavily on the dollar and on trade with the U.S.
Mr. Panarin posits, in brief, that mass immigration, economic decline, and moral degradation will trigger a civil war next fall and the collapse of the dollar. Around the end of June 2010, or early July, he says, the U.S. will break into six pieces — with Alaska reverting to Russian control.
1. The Worst Drink in America
Baskin-Robbins Large Heath Bar Shake
108 g fat (64 g saturated)
That’s nothing compared to a holiday tradition in our household: bacon-n-eggnog lard shakes, encased in a 5-inch corn syrup brulee crust and topped with fried cow brains and rocks of crystal methamphetamine.
Depression 2009: What would it look like? (Boston Herald)
And while very few would starve, a depression would change how we eat. Food costs remain far below what they were for a family in the 1920s and 1930s, but they have been rising in recent years, and many people already on the edge of poverty would be unable to feed themselves on their own in a harsh economic climate – soup kitchens are already seeing an uptick in attendance. At the high end of the market, specialty and organic foods – which drove the success of chains like Whole Foods – would seem pointlessly expensive; the booming organic food movement could suffer as people start to see specially grown produce as more of a luxury than a moral choice. New England’s surviving farmers would be particularly hard-hit, as demand for their seasonal, relatively high-cost products dried up.
According to Marion Nestle, a food and public health professor at New York University, people low on cash and with more time on their hands will cook more rather than go out. They may also, Nestle suggests, try their hands at growing and even raising more of their own food, if they have any way of doing so. Among the green lawns of suburbia, kitchen gardens would spring up. And it might go well beyond just growing your own tomatoes: early last month, the English bookstore chain Waterstone’s reported a 200 percent increase in the sales of books on keeping chickens.
At the same time, the cheapest option for many is decidedly less rustic: meals like packaged macaroni and cheese and drive-through fast food. And we’re likely to see a move in that direction, as well, toward cheaper, easier calories. If so, lean times could have the odd effect of making the population fatter, as more Americans eat like today’s poor.
“I haven’t forgotten history,” says Gert Heinz, a tax adviser in Munich. “If you depend on paper money you can lose everything. We’ve learned that the hard way after two world wars.”
So when Chancellor Angela Merkel went on television recently to tell Germans that their bank accounts were safe, Heinz, who at 68 still remembers the rows of canned food that his mother hoarded in the attic, decided he would rather be safe than sorry.
He converted another chunk of his savings into gold and stocked up on a six-month supply of rice, sugar, flour and a special brand of milk powder that lasts for half a century.
Tiny traces of melamine, the chemical that has set off a global food safety scare, are not harmful in most foods, except baby formula, government experts said Friday.
The Food and Drug Administration said Friday its safety experts have concluded that eating a minuscule amount of melamine — 2.5 parts per million — would not raise health concerns, even if a person ate food every day that was tainted with the chemical.
“It would be like if you had a million grains of sand and they were all white, and you had two or three that were black, that’s kind of the magnitude,” said Stephen Sundlof, director of the FDA’s food safety program.
I suppose the same can be said about shit.
Cadbury pulls melamine-laced chocolate from China. (AP/Yahoo! News)
British candy maker Cadbury announced a recall Monday of chocolate made in its Beijing factory after it was found to contain melamine, the industrial chemical that has sickened tens of thousands of Chinese children.
The 11 recalled items were sold in parts of Asia and the Pacific, the company said in a statement. Cadbury’s chocolates sold in the United States were not affected, said a spokesman for Hershey’s, Cadbury’s sole U.S. distributor.
Meanwhile, Kraft Foods, the maker of Oreo cookies, and Mars, the maker of M&Ms and Snickers candy, questioned the findings of Indonesian tests that identified melamine in samples of their products made in China.
What the fuck is “spicy lava sauce“?
The McRib has returned. May God have mercy on our souls.
Food Costs Feed Health Woes. (WSJ)
Relief from the rising cost of food isn’t expected anytime soon. Food prices increased 4% in 2007 and are expected to be up an additional 5% to 6% this year, according to the Department of Agriculture. The food crisis has sparked riots around the world and stretched pocketbooks at home, but it is for some as much a health concern as an economic problem. Since healthier foods, like whole-wheat bread and fresh fruits, are already more expensive than white bread and processed foods, the increases are acutely felt by people trying to fight serious illnesses.
WORLD’S DEADLIEST DELICACIES. (Forbes Traveler)
Italy: Casu Marzu
One of the world’s few illegal cheeses, Casu Marzu looks scary, has an almost un-acquirable taste and may have catastrophic, long-term health results. The Sardinian delicacy is made from rotten goat’s milk and served coursing with live maggots. If you can handle the idea and tactile sensation of eating live larvae, you’re rewarded with a strong sour taste that can reportedly stay with you all day. Unfortunately, the human body has difficulty processing maggots, and in some extreme cases the little guys bore through the small intestine, causing bleeding, vomiting and other cheerful moments.
However, the most surprising entry? Jack-in-the-Box’s E. Coli Milkshake.