Eat the Week: Craft Beers Get Canned, FLOTUS BBQ Faux Pas, DiGiorno Brings the Cookies, and KFC Invents a Fake Obama
1. Canned beer, long regarded as low grade mass-produced swill by suds lovers in the know, is now being embraced by the beer community. Bottles expose beer to light and oxygen, and they’re also a pain to tote along on beach, camping, and other recreational adventures. The Huffington Post reports that American craft breweries are turning to cans to help boost the quality of their retail brews.
2. No one can accuse the marketing folks at DiGiorno of being out of touch with their customers. The latest product from the frozen pizza brand includes a side of Toll House chocolate chip cookie dough, to the delight of stoners everywhere. The total calorie count on the product is 3,500. Another new DiGiorno product includes a side of what we assume are chicken wings. Much has been made about the oddball spelling of the side — DiGiorno uses the term “Wyngz” to describe this release. So why Wyngz and not wings? According to Stephen Colbert, the spelling is a government mandate based on the fact that the chicken fritters aren’t actually wings at all.
3. While we’re talking about “chicken,” we can’t help but mention KFC’s controversial marketing move in China. The mega-chain introduced a President Obama look-alike to peddle its new fish sandwich. Unsurprisingly, the ads were pulled shortly after they began airing.
4. PETA, an organization that’s no stranger to controversy, has assembled a very racy vegetable porn advertisement they’re hoping will nab a coveted Super Bowl spot. The piece — a compilation of auditions for the $3 million “Veggie Love” commercial for last year’s Super Bowl (declined by NBC) — shows that PETA doesn’t mind objectifying women to get their ant-meat messaging in front of large audiences.
5. Meanwhile, the very pro-lady Girl Scouts are dealing with issues of their own. Some Minnesota scouts are actually boycotting cookie sales over a decision to sell four mid-Western camp locations.
6. Fast Company reports that a Lebanese national operating the popular Twofortyeightam blog in Kuwait is being sued by Benihana for writing a negative review. The Japanese chain is seeking $18,000 in damages for the review.
7. Jamie Oliver is still at odds with the Los Angeles Unified School District — the LAUSD still won’t let Oliver film in any area schools unless he promises to represent the district positively. In other food television news, Bravo announced the next round of nationwide casting calls for Top Chef and Top Chef Just Desserts. Oprah and 378 of her staffers went vegan this week, swearing off all meat, dairy, and animal-products for seven days. Journalist Lisa Ling got in on the anti-cruelty action by touring a Colorado slaughterhouse and making icky faces. The trailer for A Mouthfeel, the much anticipated documentary about molecular gastronomy chef Paul Liebrandt, made the rounds this week. The film premieres at SXSW next month.
8. The USDA finally released the 2010 Dietary Guidelines this week, and they’re quite veggie-friendly. One of the big changes this year was a push for less salt, but the American Heart Association says the sodium intake limits are still too high. The Baltimore Sun used the occasion as an excuse to assemble a pretty rad graphic series of USDA guidelines since 1894 — turns out we actually started as a veggie-loving country. Also in food history this week is the Daily Meal’s list of 21 Strange Food Deaths including a Roman senator who choked on one piece of hair in a cup of milk, Basil Brown who died a bizarre carrot juice death, and a woman who died from drinking too much water. Also from the Daily Meal is a list of the greatest food spills in history — including 30,000 pounds of bananas, 60,000 Idaho potatoes, and 28,000 pounds of Double Stuf Oreos.
9. If Kraft’s new technology is any indication, food marketing of the future is going to get creepy. Kraft’s Meal Planning Solution can scan a human face and predict, with terrifying accuracy, what that person wants to eat. Kraft is planning to partner with a grocery store to bring the device to the public within the year. Our question: Can Kraft scan our faces and predict that we’d prefer not to eat Kraft products?
10. Michelle Obama made hyperbolic headlines this week after sending an email celebrating the barbecue of Charlotte, N.C., where the next Democratic National Convention will be held. While most food people griped about the fact that Charlotte actually has pretty shitty barbecue, some conservative media types seized the smokey scandal as an opportunity to call the First Lady a hypocrite. For her part, FLOTUS food foe Sarah Palin dazzled members of the Safari Club by insisting that she eats organic food — she “just has to shoot it first.”