Eat the Week National: Fishy Suspicions, Bond’s Booze Softened, and Rotten Snapshots
1. Over 100 people, spanning twenty eastern, midwestern, and southern states, fell ill with Salmonella poisoning in the past couple weeks, with source investigations turning up few facts. At last, last Friday, sushi, sashimi, or a similar seafood dish were targeted as potential carriers. Officials consider spicy tuna roll the likeliest of suspects, however, which ingredients, which restaurants, which suppliers, have yet to be pinpointed. Because of the broad inconclusivity of the matter, the Centers for Disease Control can’t recommend avoiding specific locations or foods. But if they could, they’d probably say you shouldn’t eat fish wrapped in rice and seaweed topped with spicy sauce at any and all participating locations.
2. Also on March 30, the FDA announced it will not be banning controversial can-lining chemical BPA, on grounds of not being able to prove it’s bad for you and, in tandem, “not [being] persuaded by the data and information” supplied by numerous studies evidencing a connection between BPA and serious, specific health risks (e.g., abnormal brain development, cancer). Bisphenol A is found on receipts, all sorts of cans, even in the bloodstream of fetuses. It’s everywhere. And an especially fearful aspect of BPA — a chemical that mimics human hormones — is that low doses have been shown to negatively affect the body in ways high doses do not. No bueno.
3. When you hear the words “lobster” and “attack,” hopefully you picture a giant lobster precariously propped on its tail doing an awful job of pillaging beaches the world over, claws snapping and waving about. It would certainly be a lot more entertaining than what those two words mean to one Red Lobster employee in Fairview Heights, IL. Late December, 2011, four women were so upset their orders got mixed up during the commute from kitchen to table they banded together to form a little impromptu in-house mob and proceeded to beat the crap out of the person who would most easily be able to fix the problem — the person who brings food to the table. Not until recently did police catch and charge three of the four ladies with felonies. Clip of some of the action.
4. One step away from ditching 007’s iconic catch phrase, this fall’s new Bond flick puts a Heineken in Daniel Craig’s hand instead of the usual martini. Lame. Craig claims to be just as discontent with the switch, but he’s also starring in a Heineken commercial, and his face is going to be pasted all over bottles and boxes. Pretty sure he’s going to be rolling in more than his fair share of Benjamins because of this campaign, too, so how bummed is he, really?
5. No matter what anyone says, Roombas are annoying and ineffectual robots. Want to see what a robot should be? A real robot’s robot? Here’s Japan’s World Food and Beverage Great Expo 2012 response to our rally call for more robotic chefs. We say, “Pizza fax!” They say, “No! SushiBot.” It rolls sushi like a pro at the impressive rate of more sushi in one hour than you’ll eat in your lifetime.
6. More news in the way of bizarre food innovation: Van Gogh Vodka has released a PB & J vodka, just in case you’re a big paper-bag lunchtime lush and also an elementary-school student. How are they getting away with this, while Four Loko and friends get stabbed with allegations of marketing to an underage market? Forget milk. Pass the Pibb, some ice, and a bowl of toast cut into snack-sized triangles, please.
7. Burger King’s been feeling a little down, merely princely lately. That’s all about to change, though, as they added a bunch of new items to their menu this week, including chicken wraps, hand-blended smoothies, and made-to-order salads. Generally classing it up.
8. Moved to art by the staggering facts of global food waste, Austrian artist Klaus Pichler has created a still-life series composed of arresting photos of long-spoiled foods. Named “One Third,” for the approximate fraction of the world food supply that goes uneaten, the project is both a cry for conscientious action and a vividly beautiful mess.
9. We all know how much Pope Benedict loves 550-lb. chocolate Easter eggs, so it’s a good thing Italian chocolate company Tosca got the memo and gifted one to him on Wednesday. But, in keeping with the true Christian response to WWJDWAGCEE? (“What would Jesus do with a giant chocolate Easter egg?”), Benny the 16th is donating it to a bunch of teenage delinquents, naturally.
10. How come other countries are so good at one-upping our ideas and blowing us out of the water with truly twisted ingenuity? If you think Pizza Hut cheese-filled crust rules, you, first, are a very strange person and, second, ain’t seen nothing yet. Pizza Hut in the UK now offers pizza with hot-dog-stuffed crust, for all those folks who absolutely refuse to be satisfied with the ungodly restrictions of a single-course meal. Go ahead, chase that slice with a quick mustard drizzled weenie inside a bun. We’ll be waiting, with eyes averted.