• Posted by Califia Suntree on August 8th, 2011, 9:21 AM

    Some prime tidbits from the news in food: a goat conspiracy in Southern California, frozen pork bellies go the way of the dodo (bellies), Danny Meyer will soon open a restaurant in your living room, and Cargill is number 1 (and wishes they weren’t)!

    * On Thursday, L.A. sheriffs arrested the owner of Rawesome Foods, a raw-foods co-op in Venice, for selling unpasteurized goat milk products, and two employees of Healthy Family Farms for producing said illicit goat products (also for “conspiracy”). The operation actually took a year and involved undercover agents buying raw goat cheese and yogurt at farmers markets (your tax dollars hard at work!). Not incidentally, reports the L.A. Times, “the politically powerful dairy industry has pressed the government to act” on small-farm and independent raw dairy distribution. Did someone say “conspiracy”? (L.A. Times)

    * After 50 years, the Chicago Mercantile has ceased trading in frozen pork bellies, due to “a prolonged lack of trading volume.” A report on NPR cited the drop in demand for frozen bellies (the industry now demands fresh), and America’s now-year-round (as opposed to seasonal) demand for bacon. There is also speculation that a change in livestock practices is partly to blame: hogs never go outside anymore, so farmers don’t have to coordinate with the seasons. Sad really.  (NPR, Financial Times)

    * Danny Meyer is taking over Manhattan. As of August 8, 2011 his holdings include the Shake Shacks, Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park, Blue Smoke, Jazz Standard, The Modern, Maialino, and Untitled. But by August 9, who knows! He’s like Godzilla only made of frozen custard (and really, a good guy). (N.Y. Times)

    * Last but not least, Cargill’s recall of 36 million pounds of ground turkey is the biggest food recall in history. The meat was tainted with an antibiotic-resistant strain of super-salmonella, and killed at least one person. Cargill responds with “we are truly sorry,” but hasn’t said anything about changing practices. At Cargill, as at all factory farms, low doses of antibiotics are fed to healthy animals to make them grow faster, which in turn makes bacteria resistant. Lose, lose. (Food Safety News, Salon)

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