by Kymberlee Fajardo
It seems as quickly as we were catapulted into 2011, we are leaving it behind. We had a year full of natural disasters, political and celebrity scandals, flash mobs and online videos that annoyed the world and of course our fill of controversial food stories. From marijuana laced goodies distributed to senior citizens at a funeral, to congress’ decision to officially declare pizza a vegetable, whether you laughed at or were outraged by the never ending food news of 2011, you have to admit, these stories were controversial enough to be mentioned at the office.
Three senior citizens were rushed to the hospital in October of this year when they experienced “nausea, dizziness and inability to stand unassisted” after unknowingly consuming a batch of marijuana laced brownies at a funeral. Luckily neither of the gentlemen were injured, but will certainly think twice before accepting baked goods at any future event.
No not a nostalgic Looney Tunes character. Security cameras caught a man taking cases of rib eye meat, chicken wings, boneless and short ribs from Acme Bar and Grill in Fort Worth Texas. The man was not only able to leave the place undetected and unidentified by cameras with the loot, but came back a second time to steal more meat in exchange for crack cocaine, which he later confessed to. Along with an accomplice who happened to be an employee of the bar and grill.
There were many food recalls and outbreaks this year, but none shook Americans as intensely as the country’s worst Listeria outbreak in history. Tainted cantaloupes tracing back to a farm in Colorado took the lives of 39.The massive ground turkey meat recall that ensued shortly after only made the country more paranoid about ingredients we consume so casually.
Bethanny Frankel is the NY Housewife who achieved fame through the popular “Real Housewives” reality show. After much success with her reality program spin offs and Skinny Girl product line valued at over 100 million by Forbes magazine, Frankel hit a bump in the road when her “all natural” skinny girl cocktails were found to contain the chemical, sodium benzoate as a preservative. After a five million dollar lawsuit was filed by a consumer, Whole Foods proceeded to drop Mrs. Frankel’s line from their shelves.
General Mills is known for its line of breakfast cereals and children’s snacks. But the mega brand was hit with a lawsuit for false advertisement when they labeled the popular Fruit Roll Ups as a “healthy” snack.
The news spread like wild fire when housewives and chefs around the world were able to lower their standard cooking temperatures for pork. The ten degree drop from 165 to 155 left room for discussion among those who hadn’t heard about the change, while others scrambled to updated culinary textbooks.
A woman who was casually dining at her local Cracker Barrel in Texas was mortified to discover a bloody hand print on her half eaten BLT and fries. Turns out a kitchen employee had nipped himself earlier while handling the food.
As a result of heavy summer rains killing crops to feed cows, along with the low carbohydrate lifestyle many are turning to, Norway has been hit with a severe butter shortage. Sure it may not seem like a big deal to those who can easily find the product on American shelves, but the shortage has their local businesses such as bakeries and restaurants desperate enough to make churn their own butter. Others have resorted to purchasing over the internet, and recently a man was arrested for smuggling butter from another country.
This shocking and extremely controversial story hit the air waves earlier this month leaving chefs, foodies and the general public puzzled to say the least. Tomato paste apparently has enough tomato to be considered a serving of vegetables according to the new bill passed by Congress. Could this be congress’ way of keeping pizza on school lunch menus now that parents are demanding healthier choices?
We were all mortified to hear about the 9 year old boy who while consuming his school lunch began choking on a meatball. While some of the lunch aids were too distracted to be aware of the danger, other aids watched the boy fall to the ground, stating they had no idea how to handle the situation. Unfortunately he later passed away, leaving many outraged and wondering why no one helped the boy.
Photo credits: stock.xchng, Maverick2003, Stuart Webster, D Sharon Pruitt