Central’s Week in Brief: September 16, 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)      Wednesday, in the wake of all of the salmonella and E. coli outbreaks this year, the FDA announced a new network called Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation or CORE Network.   A press release from the FDA says, “The CORE Network is comprised of a multi-disciplinary team of epidemiologists, veterinarians, microbiologists, environmental health specialists, emergency coordinators, and risk communications specialists.”   These professionals are working together to prevent and respond to human and animal foodborne illness outbreaks and ultimately prevent these outbreaks from happening in the future. 

Photo from fda.gov


2)      In an effort to bring in even more customers while at the same time raising money for their Whole Kids Foundation, Whole Foods joined together with Living Social to sell half-off coupons for their stores.  The offer was for $20 worth of goods for just $10.  $5 of each deal will go to the Whole Kids Foundation which improves the nutrition and wellness of children in an effort to end childhood obesity.  Living Social spokesman Andrew Weinstein told the Washington Post that the deal sold, “…more than 115k per hour, or more than 30 per second.”   In the end, Whole Foods actually sold out of 1 million offers in just one day.   


Photo from jeremyperson.com


3)      In support of the Let’s Move campaign, Darden Restaurants Inc., owner of Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Longhorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52,  unveiled changes to all of their menus with first lady Michelle Obama on hand.   According to the Washington Post, “The company will pledge to reduce the calories and sodium in all its meals by 10 percent over five years, and by 20 percent over 10 years.”   Darden will also make sure that all kids’ meals automatically come with a fruit or vegetable side and 1 percent milk instead of sweeter, more fattening options like soda and French fries to better support the efforts against childhood obesity. 


Photos from Usatoday.com and thedividendpig.com


4)      This Saturday, September 17, Slow Food USA™ is challenging everyone to Take the $5 Challenge by gathering up family, friends, etc. and making or participating in a dinner that costs no more than $5 per person.   The overall goal is to make people realize that it’s possible to eat healthy, local food while on a budget and to see what changes need to be made to make affordable food available to everyone.  If you’re interested in the program you can take the pledge to participate on Saturday or even donate to the efforts.


Photo from slowfoodusa.org


5)      Since football season is now in full swing, it’s the perfect time to try out some new tailgating foods.  This weekend while enjoying all the big games, try a great meal including the following:   Tomatillo-Poblano Guacamole from Delish, All Day Pork Loin Chili from Food Network and Salty Peanut Squares from Taste of Home.

Photo from tasteofhome.com




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