Central’s Week in Brief: August 12, 2011

Every Friday Central brings you stories from the week that you might have missed, but that are definitely worth a look. We’ll feature food news covering everything from the weird to the wonderful in the world of restaurants, schools, the military and more.  It’s our way to help you go into the weekend with a little extra knowledge and maybe even a project or recipe to try out!

1)      In the past week, rioting has been taking place in the streets of London and this has begun to take its toll on area restaurants and pubs.  Big Hospitality has reported that many restaurants have been forced to close early to ensure employees can arrive home safely.  Other establishments have actually suffered from looting as severe as rioters coming in and holding up patrons as they were eating.  The article, written on Tuesday, reports, “So far more than 450 people have been arrested in connection with the riots over three nights.”

2)      It seems despite the efforts of Michelle Obama to get the country in shape and encourage everyone to start eating better, most restaurants are instead putting out even more unhealthy food.  In fact, The Daily Beast has gathered a full list of some of the most fattening new items on menus at chain restaurants.  Just a few examples are the Provolone Stuffed Meatballs at Appleebees (containing 1,520 calories and 3,700 mg of sodium) and the Monster Bacon n’ Beef Cheeseburger with Bacon Patty at iHop (containing 1,270 calories and 42 grams of Saturated Fat). 

3)      A new social experiment is currently taking place on Twitter.  This experiment began when Jonathan Stark started a Twitter account for his Starbucks card.  What’s the point?  Well, by doing this Stark has invited anyone and everyone to have the opportunity to use the card, put money onto it and share their experience.  If you’d like to participate, check out his site and share your caffeine addiction with the global community.

4)      Is Google+ the next Facebook?  Only time will tell on that one, but in the mean time the new social network and its users are sharing some of their unique capabilities.  The New York Times has reported on one of these, a live cooking show, hosted by Lee Allison.  While cooking shows are actually available for viewing on most websites (and even on that ancient TV device you have sitting at home), the Google+ version is a bit different.  In this scenario, users can join together with the Google Hangouts feature and cook along with their host, Mr. Allison, while at the same time interacting with him and one another.  Check the G+ Cooking Schools site for more information on the project as well as what classes are coming up.

5)    With school back in session, many parents are starting to get back in the swing of things buying new supplies, clothing and more.  For others, coming back to school will mean something much bigger.  Tricities.com reports, “United Way of Russell and Washington Counties (in Virgina) announced Wednesday a $65,000-a-year program to put healthy, kid-friendly food into the backpacks of 340 kids who otherwise go hungry at home.”   This program will send home food with selected students at 17 area schools each Friday to ensure that they are not just receiving nutrition during the five day school week.

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