Central’s Week in Brief: October 7, 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)      Sadly, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs passed away on Wednesday, at age 56, after fighting pancreatic cancer since 2004.   And while you might not typically associate Jobs with food (other than an apple), it seems that his influence has reached the dining world more than we may have realized.   In an article on the Miami New Times website, it’s made apparent that Jobs shaped the way we all find and discuss food.  The article sites everything from the growing popularity of using the iPad to order in restaurants to the many apps like OpenTable and Urbanspoon that are now always on-hand thanks to devices like the iPhone.  Along with these helpful items, Jobs also had a huge part in ensuring a healthy diet for his Apple employees, setting a precedent with an on-site cafeteria that provides everything from freshly made sushi to vegan fare (check out this cafeteria review from Mac|life for more on the offerings). 

 

2)      Michelle Obama had made her Let’s Move! Campaign even more interactive by using Twitter to personally speak with followers of the @LetsMove Twitter account.  Eighteen followers were invited to the Washington, D.C. this week for the White House Tweetup, a chance to view the harvesting of the kitchen garden, meet White House chefs and even chat with Mrs. Obama about the campaign and the fight to end childhood obesity.  And for those not lucky to be one of the eighteen chosen there was also an opportunity to post questions for the First Lady about the program using the #AskMichelle hash tag.

 

3)      A new machine could put an end to all of the foodborne illnesses that have seemed to run rampant over the past few months (including the current Listeria outbreak in cantaloupes).  According to a press release, “The ?Screen is a portable, rapid pathogen screener that could allow screening of up to 100% of food produced in processing plants, before it is delivered to the consumer.”   This groundbreaking invention, created by a group of students from Yale’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, just won the grand prize of $20,000 (to be put towards getting the product to the market) in the “Create the Future” Design contest.

 

4)      Betty Crocker has caught on to the rise in gluten sensitivities and allergies and is partnering with the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Center for Celiac Research, The University of Chicago’s Celiac Disease Center and the Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition to hold the Baker’s Challenge Gluten Free Recipe Contest. While the submission time has passed, voting will continue until October 15 when a $5,000 Grand Prize Winner will be chosen.  For more information on living gluten free, be sure to check out this post on the dietary restriction.

 

5)      And speaking of gluten free eating, Central had the chance this week to interview the infamous Mrs. Q of Fed Up With Lunch about her own gluten free lifestyle as well as her thoughts on schools going gluten free.   This week was a big one for Mrs. Q or as she can now be known Sarah Wu (and not just because of her interview with us).   Wednesday morning, after blogging anonymously for almost two years about her perspectives on the state of school lunch, the Chicago public school speech pathologist came out into the open to promote the release of her book “Fed up with Lunch: How One Anonymous Teacher Revealed the Truth about School Lunches – And How We Can Change Them”.  Check out her experience in this video from ABC News.

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