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 May:
- A class action lawsuit alleges a "potato cartel" secretly fixes the prices of spuds across the country.
- The Alabama legislature is fighting for your right to eat as many cheeseburgers as you want — as long as you're willing to accept the consequences. Legislation is under consideration that would put an end to weight gain lawsuits against food purveyors.
- After years of hiding its nudity behind cardboard cartons, the egg may soon be donning new duds. A printer that dispenses edible ink is now able to stamp nutrition labels directly onto shelled eggs.
- After an early morning explosion, 5,000 gallons of cooking oil fed a roaring blaze at a frozen Chinese food facility in California. Luckily, there were no major injuries.
- After being fired, a friend and domestic employee of Mary Alice Dorrance Malone, heiress to the Campbell soup fortune, threatened to write a tell-all book, "When The Soup Boils," about her former friend. After admitting to extortion, the former employee is awaiting sentencing.
- With a name like "Mark Reese," how could he resist? A candidate for sheriff in one Pennsylvania county is under scrutiny from The Hershey Co. after co-opting their famous peanut butter-y logo for his campaign signs.
- Fearing violence associated with the ongoing Mexican drug war, U.S. cattle inspectors charged with examining Mexican cattle have moved their operations over the border into the United States.
- New research shows that changing the color of food can radically change the way we experience its taste.
- Overdoses of growth chemicals given by Chinese farmers to watermelons in their fields cause the fruit to burst before harvest.
- The Sea Shepherd, the activist organization that made headlines by harassing whaling ships into submission, is setting its sights on tuna poachers.
- Food processors can now employ DNA-tracking for their beef, a move that could boost consumer confidence — along with the price of a filet.
What crazy/funny/unexpected stories have you been following this month? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.