Freaky Friday: April's Weirdest Food News

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 April:

  1. In failing health, Robert Reese (of peanut butter cup fame) withdrew his complaint against the charity that controls the majority of The Hershey Co.’s shares. He alleges massive breeches of trust and is handing the case off to the district attorney, whom he hopes will intervene.
  2. Two breweries in Pennsylvania are squaring off over elves. Or, elf ales, rather. The brewer of “Mad Elf” wants the brewer of “Rude Elf” to change the name of its beer. The “Rude Elf” brewer refuses to let the “Mad Elf” maker “monopolize the word ‘elf’.”
  3. Don’t make Nazi-themed cakes. A baker in Austria says he’s “sorry” about doing just that, but authorities in the country are already reviewing photos of the cakes and deciding whether to prosecute.
  4. After the massive dust-up over Taco Bell’s alleged non-beef beef, the law firm bringing suit against the fast food giant has dropped its case. Most agree that the company won the PR battle by announcing its beef mixture was 88 percent beef. Close enough. Taco Bell is now considering a suit of its own.
  5. A little further down the supply chain, Applebee’s got a baby drunk when it served the tyke a mixed drink instead of apple juice. Oops.
  6. The New York Times Magazine ran a piece this month alleging that sugar is as bad as cigarettes. Most would agree that it tastes a little better, though.
  7. Entrepreneurial lobstermen can cash in on their catches’ outsides (in addition to the delicious insides), since the hard outer shells are now being used to make everything from tiles to golf balls.
  8. Peanuts on planes are not merely an expectation; they’re a right. According to CNN, a federal law is on the books forbidding the banning of peanuts on planes until a scientific study proves that their presence there poses a significant danger to those with allergies.

What crazy/funny/unexpected stories have you been following this month? Let me know at or share your thoughts on the Food Manufacturing blog.