Freaky Friday- October 2011

Krystal Gabert, Editor

After a summer hiatus, Freaky Friday has returned. On the last Friday of each month, Food Manufacturing looks back at the most surprising or unusual food-related stories of the month. Here are our top picks for October:

  1. The Associated Press strings together several studies and industry reports to reach a single conclusion: Americans eat bad-for-you food, even though they say they want healthy dining options.
  2. Denmark’s new “Hamburger Law” will impose taxes similar to U.S. “sin taxes” on cigarettes, but this time on products with saturated fat.
  3. We’re flush with stories on food recalls. Salmonella, Listeria, undeclared allergens. But here’s one you don’t read about too often: Kraft recalled Velveeta products after wire bristles were found in the “cheese.”
  4. Four Loko is in hot water again. This time the company has agreed to stop claiming that it’s product is akin to drinking “one or two” beers, when it’s actually closer to “four or five.” Truth in labeling is always a good thing, but Four Loko aficionados are likely well aware of the product’s effects.
  5. Ohio prison officials have removed pork from the menu in response to pressure from a Muslim inmates’ lawsuit demanding that all non-pork items be slaughtered according to Islamic law. Meanwhile, many Texas prisoners are being denied lunches altogether.
  6. Parents are freaking out over marijuana-leaf-shaped lollipops. “Legalize” is printed on the front of Pothead Lollipops packaging, but the treat’s most potent ingredient is sugar (or, more likely, high fructose corn syrup).
  7. Apparently diet soda isn’t dudely enough to capture the coveted man market, so Dr Pepper is going the 14-year old boy route and declaring, “no girls allowed!
  8. There are wire bristles in our Velveeta cups and, now, needles in our Whoppers. A Hawaii man claims to have come away from his Burger King Triple Stacker value meal with a bloody mouth and a needle in his small intestine. Remember when the value meal toy surprise used to be a cheap, plastic action figure?
  9. The long sad saga of Gregory Podlucky, former CEO of Le-Nature’s Inc. beverage company, has been capped off by the “longest prison sentence ever for a financial fraud.” He told the judge, “I am nothing but a filthy rag.”
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