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First Lady School Lunch Supporters Flip-Flop on Food Stamps

First Lady School Lunch Supporters Flip-Flop on Food Stamps


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Should health food be an all or nothing issue? Voters weigh in.

A video recently “caught” supporters of the First Lady’s plan for a mandatory healthy school lunch changing their tune when it comes to applying the same healthful standards to food stamps. The video, posted by the conservative-leaning news network MRCTV, asked Obama supporters to address this concern at the Congressional Black Caucus. Many of the people interviewed in the video said that although they would support healthy school lunches for their kids, when it comes to limiting consumption of snack and junk food on food stamps, their opinions were not as in sync; the various recorded responses include, "I don't think that's the government's job," and "I don't know if I would apply it to everyone.”

The MRCTV news network is a conservative news network whose mission is to “prove—through sound scientific research—that liberal bias in the media does exist and undermines traditional American values.” In addition, the group surveyed was small (five people) and was mostly women of color.

A study last year by the Harvard School of Public Health did come to the conclusion that even though the First Lady’s plan (SNAP) helps curb hunger, people on food stamps are significantly less likely to have well-balanced diets. However, a recent cookbook released called Cheap Eats shows that cooking healthy on a food stamp budget is possible.

For the latest happenings in the food and drink world, visit our Food News page.

Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi


Central’s Week in Brief: August 26, 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) The U.S. Department of Agriculture said no to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban the purchase of soda and other sugary drinks using food stamps. According to CBS News, “The ban would have applied to any sweetened beverage that contains more than 10 calories per eight ounces.” The proposal was turned down due to issues like the time it may take to decide what would or wouldn’t qualify and that it might make those using the stamps feel stigmatized.

2) Once known for his affinity for fatty foods like McDonald’s hamburgers, former president Bill Clinton has decided to go vegan. USA Today reported that Clinton, “…is following this eating plan to improve his heart health.” The former president has had surgery on his heart twice since 2004. For more information on living the vegan lifestyle, check out our post on vegan and vegetarianism.

3) Morton’s The Steakhouse took customer service to the next level using social media. After Peter Shankman, a public relations professional, tweeted about wanting a steak dinner, a Morton’s staff member actually met him at the airport with a 24-ounce Porterhouse steak, Colossal Shrimp and potatoes. Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Morton’s, Roger Drake, told Smart Blog on Restaurants, “These things don’t happen unless it’s part of your culture, and that is really what Morton’s is all about: noticing little details, making it a memorable dining experience and wowing our guests.” It also doesn’t hurt business that all of Morton’s and Shankman’s Twitter followers witnessed this act of kindness.

4) A report done by the Union of Concerned Scientists has found that the amount of U.S. farmers markets has almost tripled within the last decade. According to an article on Triple Pundit the markets went from, “2,863 in 2000 to 6,132 in 2010 and over 100,000 farmers are selling their products to customers directly.” This boom of markets has help to boost local economies, but the report’s author, Jeffrey O’Hara, believes that if more government assistance were provided to these types of farming practices instead of more industrial farms, it could generate “tens of thousands of new jobs.”

5) With a new school year comes a new, healthier menu for 480 school districts being provided with food by the Sodexo company. In order to help the fight against obesity and expand the tastes of students, Sodexo will now offer items like Mediterranean Lentil Soup and Tropical Vegetable Tofu. According to a press release, “Sodexo’s team of culinary experts, including chefs at school districts nationwide, developed recipes that entice students and meet USDA’s National School Lunch Program guidelines.”

If you’d like to try out a version of the Mediterranean Lentil Soup, check out this version from Epicurious.


Central’s Week in Brief: August 26, 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) The U.S. Department of Agriculture said no to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban the purchase of soda and other sugary drinks using food stamps. According to CBS News, “The ban would have applied to any sweetened beverage that contains more than 10 calories per eight ounces.” The proposal was turned down due to issues like the time it may take to decide what would or wouldn’t qualify and that it might make those using the stamps feel stigmatized.

2) Once known for his affinity for fatty foods like McDonald’s hamburgers, former president Bill Clinton has decided to go vegan. USA Today reported that Clinton, “…is following this eating plan to improve his heart health.” The former president has had surgery on his heart twice since 2004. For more information on living the vegan lifestyle, check out our post on vegan and vegetarianism.

3) Morton’s The Steakhouse took customer service to the next level using social media. After Peter Shankman, a public relations professional, tweeted about wanting a steak dinner, a Morton’s staff member actually met him at the airport with a 24-ounce Porterhouse steak, Colossal Shrimp and potatoes. Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Morton’s, Roger Drake, told Smart Blog on Restaurants, “These things don’t happen unless it’s part of your culture, and that is really what Morton’s is all about: noticing little details, making it a memorable dining experience and wowing our guests.” It also doesn’t hurt business that all of Morton’s and Shankman’s Twitter followers witnessed this act of kindness.

4) A report done by the Union of Concerned Scientists has found that the amount of U.S. farmers markets has almost tripled within the last decade. According to an article on Triple Pundit the markets went from, “2,863 in 2000 to 6,132 in 2010 and over 100,000 farmers are selling their products to customers directly.” This boom of markets has help to boost local economies, but the report’s author, Jeffrey O’Hara, believes that if more government assistance were provided to these types of farming practices instead of more industrial farms, it could generate “tens of thousands of new jobs.”

5) With a new school year comes a new, healthier menu for 480 school districts being provided with food by the Sodexo company. In order to help the fight against obesity and expand the tastes of students, Sodexo will now offer items like Mediterranean Lentil Soup and Tropical Vegetable Tofu. According to a press release, “Sodexo’s team of culinary experts, including chefs at school districts nationwide, developed recipes that entice students and meet USDA’s National School Lunch Program guidelines.”

If you’d like to try out a version of the Mediterranean Lentil Soup, check out this version from Epicurious.


Central’s Week in Brief: August 26, 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) The U.S. Department of Agriculture said no to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban the purchase of soda and other sugary drinks using food stamps. According to CBS News, “The ban would have applied to any sweetened beverage that contains more than 10 calories per eight ounces.” The proposal was turned down due to issues like the time it may take to decide what would or wouldn’t qualify and that it might make those using the stamps feel stigmatized.

2) Once known for his affinity for fatty foods like McDonald’s hamburgers, former president Bill Clinton has decided to go vegan. USA Today reported that Clinton, “…is following this eating plan to improve his heart health.” The former president has had surgery on his heart twice since 2004. For more information on living the vegan lifestyle, check out our post on vegan and vegetarianism.

3) Morton’s The Steakhouse took customer service to the next level using social media. After Peter Shankman, a public relations professional, tweeted about wanting a steak dinner, a Morton’s staff member actually met him at the airport with a 24-ounce Porterhouse steak, Colossal Shrimp and potatoes. Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Morton’s, Roger Drake, told Smart Blog on Restaurants, “These things don’t happen unless it’s part of your culture, and that is really what Morton’s is all about: noticing little details, making it a memorable dining experience and wowing our guests.” It also doesn’t hurt business that all of Morton’s and Shankman’s Twitter followers witnessed this act of kindness.

4) A report done by the Union of Concerned Scientists has found that the amount of U.S. farmers markets has almost tripled within the last decade. According to an article on Triple Pundit the markets went from, “2,863 in 2000 to 6,132 in 2010 and over 100,000 farmers are selling their products to customers directly.” This boom of markets has help to boost local economies, but the report’s author, Jeffrey O’Hara, believes that if more government assistance were provided to these types of farming practices instead of more industrial farms, it could generate “tens of thousands of new jobs.”

5) With a new school year comes a new, healthier menu for 480 school districts being provided with food by the Sodexo company. In order to help the fight against obesity and expand the tastes of students, Sodexo will now offer items like Mediterranean Lentil Soup and Tropical Vegetable Tofu. According to a press release, “Sodexo’s team of culinary experts, including chefs at school districts nationwide, developed recipes that entice students and meet USDA’s National School Lunch Program guidelines.”

If you’d like to try out a version of the Mediterranean Lentil Soup, check out this version from Epicurious.


Central’s Week in Brief: August 26, 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) The U.S. Department of Agriculture said no to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban the purchase of soda and other sugary drinks using food stamps. According to CBS News, “The ban would have applied to any sweetened beverage that contains more than 10 calories per eight ounces.” The proposal was turned down due to issues like the time it may take to decide what would or wouldn’t qualify and that it might make those using the stamps feel stigmatized.

2) Once known for his affinity for fatty foods like McDonald’s hamburgers, former president Bill Clinton has decided to go vegan. USA Today reported that Clinton, “…is following this eating plan to improve his heart health.” The former president has had surgery on his heart twice since 2004. For more information on living the vegan lifestyle, check out our post on vegan and vegetarianism.

3) Morton’s The Steakhouse took customer service to the next level using social media. After Peter Shankman, a public relations professional, tweeted about wanting a steak dinner, a Morton’s staff member actually met him at the airport with a 24-ounce Porterhouse steak, Colossal Shrimp and potatoes. Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Morton’s, Roger Drake, told Smart Blog on Restaurants, “These things don’t happen unless it’s part of your culture, and that is really what Morton’s is all about: noticing little details, making it a memorable dining experience and wowing our guests.” It also doesn’t hurt business that all of Morton’s and Shankman’s Twitter followers witnessed this act of kindness.

4) A report done by the Union of Concerned Scientists has found that the amount of U.S. farmers markets has almost tripled within the last decade. According to an article on Triple Pundit the markets went from, “2,863 in 2000 to 6,132 in 2010 and over 100,000 farmers are selling their products to customers directly.” This boom of markets has help to boost local economies, but the report’s author, Jeffrey O’Hara, believes that if more government assistance were provided to these types of farming practices instead of more industrial farms, it could generate “tens of thousands of new jobs.”

5) With a new school year comes a new, healthier menu for 480 school districts being provided with food by the Sodexo company. In order to help the fight against obesity and expand the tastes of students, Sodexo will now offer items like Mediterranean Lentil Soup and Tropical Vegetable Tofu. According to a press release, “Sodexo’s team of culinary experts, including chefs at school districts nationwide, developed recipes that entice students and meet USDA’s National School Lunch Program guidelines.”

If you’d like to try out a version of the Mediterranean Lentil Soup, check out this version from Epicurious.


Central’s Week in Brief: August 26, 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) The U.S. Department of Agriculture said no to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban the purchase of soda and other sugary drinks using food stamps. According to CBS News, “The ban would have applied to any sweetened beverage that contains more than 10 calories per eight ounces.” The proposal was turned down due to issues like the time it may take to decide what would or wouldn’t qualify and that it might make those using the stamps feel stigmatized.

2) Once known for his affinity for fatty foods like McDonald’s hamburgers, former president Bill Clinton has decided to go vegan. USA Today reported that Clinton, “…is following this eating plan to improve his heart health.” The former president has had surgery on his heart twice since 2004. For more information on living the vegan lifestyle, check out our post on vegan and vegetarianism.

3) Morton’s The Steakhouse took customer service to the next level using social media. After Peter Shankman, a public relations professional, tweeted about wanting a steak dinner, a Morton’s staff member actually met him at the airport with a 24-ounce Porterhouse steak, Colossal Shrimp and potatoes. Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Morton’s, Roger Drake, told Smart Blog on Restaurants, “These things don’t happen unless it’s part of your culture, and that is really what Morton’s is all about: noticing little details, making it a memorable dining experience and wowing our guests.” It also doesn’t hurt business that all of Morton’s and Shankman’s Twitter followers witnessed this act of kindness.

4) A report done by the Union of Concerned Scientists has found that the amount of U.S. farmers markets has almost tripled within the last decade. According to an article on Triple Pundit the markets went from, “2,863 in 2000 to 6,132 in 2010 and over 100,000 farmers are selling their products to customers directly.” This boom of markets has help to boost local economies, but the report’s author, Jeffrey O’Hara, believes that if more government assistance were provided to these types of farming practices instead of more industrial farms, it could generate “tens of thousands of new jobs.”

5) With a new school year comes a new, healthier menu for 480 school districts being provided with food by the Sodexo company. In order to help the fight against obesity and expand the tastes of students, Sodexo will now offer items like Mediterranean Lentil Soup and Tropical Vegetable Tofu. According to a press release, “Sodexo’s team of culinary experts, including chefs at school districts nationwide, developed recipes that entice students and meet USDA’s National School Lunch Program guidelines.”

If you’d like to try out a version of the Mediterranean Lentil Soup, check out this version from Epicurious.


Central’s Week in Brief: August 26, 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) The U.S. Department of Agriculture said no to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban the purchase of soda and other sugary drinks using food stamps. According to CBS News, “The ban would have applied to any sweetened beverage that contains more than 10 calories per eight ounces.” The proposal was turned down due to issues like the time it may take to decide what would or wouldn’t qualify and that it might make those using the stamps feel stigmatized.

2) Once known for his affinity for fatty foods like McDonald’s hamburgers, former president Bill Clinton has decided to go vegan. USA Today reported that Clinton, “…is following this eating plan to improve his heart health.” The former president has had surgery on his heart twice since 2004. For more information on living the vegan lifestyle, check out our post on vegan and vegetarianism.

3) Morton’s The Steakhouse took customer service to the next level using social media. After Peter Shankman, a public relations professional, tweeted about wanting a steak dinner, a Morton’s staff member actually met him at the airport with a 24-ounce Porterhouse steak, Colossal Shrimp and potatoes. Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Morton’s, Roger Drake, told Smart Blog on Restaurants, “These things don’t happen unless it’s part of your culture, and that is really what Morton’s is all about: noticing little details, making it a memorable dining experience and wowing our guests.” It also doesn’t hurt business that all of Morton’s and Shankman’s Twitter followers witnessed this act of kindness.

4) A report done by the Union of Concerned Scientists has found that the amount of U.S. farmers markets has almost tripled within the last decade. According to an article on Triple Pundit the markets went from, “2,863 in 2000 to 6,132 in 2010 and over 100,000 farmers are selling their products to customers directly.” This boom of markets has help to boost local economies, but the report’s author, Jeffrey O’Hara, believes that if more government assistance were provided to these types of farming practices instead of more industrial farms, it could generate “tens of thousands of new jobs.”

5) With a new school year comes a new, healthier menu for 480 school districts being provided with food by the Sodexo company. In order to help the fight against obesity and expand the tastes of students, Sodexo will now offer items like Mediterranean Lentil Soup and Tropical Vegetable Tofu. According to a press release, “Sodexo’s team of culinary experts, including chefs at school districts nationwide, developed recipes that entice students and meet USDA’s National School Lunch Program guidelines.”

If you’d like to try out a version of the Mediterranean Lentil Soup, check out this version from Epicurious.


Central’s Week in Brief: August 26, 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) The U.S. Department of Agriculture said no to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban the purchase of soda and other sugary drinks using food stamps. According to CBS News, “The ban would have applied to any sweetened beverage that contains more than 10 calories per eight ounces.” The proposal was turned down due to issues like the time it may take to decide what would or wouldn’t qualify and that it might make those using the stamps feel stigmatized.

2) Once known for his affinity for fatty foods like McDonald’s hamburgers, former president Bill Clinton has decided to go vegan. USA Today reported that Clinton, “…is following this eating plan to improve his heart health.” The former president has had surgery on his heart twice since 2004. For more information on living the vegan lifestyle, check out our post on vegan and vegetarianism.

3) Morton’s The Steakhouse took customer service to the next level using social media. After Peter Shankman, a public relations professional, tweeted about wanting a steak dinner, a Morton’s staff member actually met him at the airport with a 24-ounce Porterhouse steak, Colossal Shrimp and potatoes. Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Morton’s, Roger Drake, told Smart Blog on Restaurants, “These things don’t happen unless it’s part of your culture, and that is really what Morton’s is all about: noticing little details, making it a memorable dining experience and wowing our guests.” It also doesn’t hurt business that all of Morton’s and Shankman’s Twitter followers witnessed this act of kindness.

4) A report done by the Union of Concerned Scientists has found that the amount of U.S. farmers markets has almost tripled within the last decade. According to an article on Triple Pundit the markets went from, “2,863 in 2000 to 6,132 in 2010 and over 100,000 farmers are selling their products to customers directly.” This boom of markets has help to boost local economies, but the report’s author, Jeffrey O’Hara, believes that if more government assistance were provided to these types of farming practices instead of more industrial farms, it could generate “tens of thousands of new jobs.”

5) With a new school year comes a new, healthier menu for 480 school districts being provided with food by the Sodexo company. In order to help the fight against obesity and expand the tastes of students, Sodexo will now offer items like Mediterranean Lentil Soup and Tropical Vegetable Tofu. According to a press release, “Sodexo’s team of culinary experts, including chefs at school districts nationwide, developed recipes that entice students and meet USDA’s National School Lunch Program guidelines.”

If you’d like to try out a version of the Mediterranean Lentil Soup, check out this version from Epicurious.


Central’s Week in Brief: August 26, 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) The U.S. Department of Agriculture said no to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban the purchase of soda and other sugary drinks using food stamps. According to CBS News, “The ban would have applied to any sweetened beverage that contains more than 10 calories per eight ounces.” The proposal was turned down due to issues like the time it may take to decide what would or wouldn’t qualify and that it might make those using the stamps feel stigmatized.

2) Once known for his affinity for fatty foods like McDonald’s hamburgers, former president Bill Clinton has decided to go vegan. USA Today reported that Clinton, “…is following this eating plan to improve his heart health.” The former president has had surgery on his heart twice since 2004. For more information on living the vegan lifestyle, check out our post on vegan and vegetarianism.

3) Morton’s The Steakhouse took customer service to the next level using social media. After Peter Shankman, a public relations professional, tweeted about wanting a steak dinner, a Morton’s staff member actually met him at the airport with a 24-ounce Porterhouse steak, Colossal Shrimp and potatoes. Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Morton’s, Roger Drake, told Smart Blog on Restaurants, “These things don’t happen unless it’s part of your culture, and that is really what Morton’s is all about: noticing little details, making it a memorable dining experience and wowing our guests.” It also doesn’t hurt business that all of Morton’s and Shankman’s Twitter followers witnessed this act of kindness.

4) A report done by the Union of Concerned Scientists has found that the amount of U.S. farmers markets has almost tripled within the last decade. According to an article on Triple Pundit the markets went from, “2,863 in 2000 to 6,132 in 2010 and over 100,000 farmers are selling their products to customers directly.” This boom of markets has help to boost local economies, but the report’s author, Jeffrey O’Hara, believes that if more government assistance were provided to these types of farming practices instead of more industrial farms, it could generate “tens of thousands of new jobs.”

5) With a new school year comes a new, healthier menu for 480 school districts being provided with food by the Sodexo company. In order to help the fight against obesity and expand the tastes of students, Sodexo will now offer items like Mediterranean Lentil Soup and Tropical Vegetable Tofu. According to a press release, “Sodexo’s team of culinary experts, including chefs at school districts nationwide, developed recipes that entice students and meet USDA’s National School Lunch Program guidelines.”

If you’d like to try out a version of the Mediterranean Lentil Soup, check out this version from Epicurious.


Central’s Week in Brief: August 26, 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) The U.S. Department of Agriculture said no to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban the purchase of soda and other sugary drinks using food stamps. According to CBS News, “The ban would have applied to any sweetened beverage that contains more than 10 calories per eight ounces.” The proposal was turned down due to issues like the time it may take to decide what would or wouldn’t qualify and that it might make those using the stamps feel stigmatized.

2) Once known for his affinity for fatty foods like McDonald’s hamburgers, former president Bill Clinton has decided to go vegan. USA Today reported that Clinton, “…is following this eating plan to improve his heart health.” The former president has had surgery on his heart twice since 2004. For more information on living the vegan lifestyle, check out our post on vegan and vegetarianism.

3) Morton’s The Steakhouse took customer service to the next level using social media. After Peter Shankman, a public relations professional, tweeted about wanting a steak dinner, a Morton’s staff member actually met him at the airport with a 24-ounce Porterhouse steak, Colossal Shrimp and potatoes. Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Morton’s, Roger Drake, told Smart Blog on Restaurants, “These things don’t happen unless it’s part of your culture, and that is really what Morton’s is all about: noticing little details, making it a memorable dining experience and wowing our guests.” It also doesn’t hurt business that all of Morton’s and Shankman’s Twitter followers witnessed this act of kindness.

4) A report done by the Union of Concerned Scientists has found that the amount of U.S. farmers markets has almost tripled within the last decade. According to an article on Triple Pundit the markets went from, “2,863 in 2000 to 6,132 in 2010 and over 100,000 farmers are selling their products to customers directly.” This boom of markets has help to boost local economies, but the report’s author, Jeffrey O’Hara, believes that if more government assistance were provided to these types of farming practices instead of more industrial farms, it could generate “tens of thousands of new jobs.”

5) With a new school year comes a new, healthier menu for 480 school districts being provided with food by the Sodexo company. In order to help the fight against obesity and expand the tastes of students, Sodexo will now offer items like Mediterranean Lentil Soup and Tropical Vegetable Tofu. According to a press release, “Sodexo’s team of culinary experts, including chefs at school districts nationwide, developed recipes that entice students and meet USDA’s National School Lunch Program guidelines.”

If you’d like to try out a version of the Mediterranean Lentil Soup, check out this version from Epicurious.


Central’s Week in Brief: August 26, 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) The U.S. Department of Agriculture said no to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban the purchase of soda and other sugary drinks using food stamps. According to CBS News, “The ban would have applied to any sweetened beverage that contains more than 10 calories per eight ounces.” The proposal was turned down due to issues like the time it may take to decide what would or wouldn’t qualify and that it might make those using the stamps feel stigmatized.

2) Once known for his affinity for fatty foods like McDonald’s hamburgers, former president Bill Clinton has decided to go vegan. USA Today reported that Clinton, “…is following this eating plan to improve his heart health.” The former president has had surgery on his heart twice since 2004. For more information on living the vegan lifestyle, check out our post on vegan and vegetarianism.

3) Morton’s The Steakhouse took customer service to the next level using social media. After Peter Shankman, a public relations professional, tweeted about wanting a steak dinner, a Morton’s staff member actually met him at the airport with a 24-ounce Porterhouse steak, Colossal Shrimp and potatoes. Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Morton’s, Roger Drake, told Smart Blog on Restaurants, “These things don’t happen unless it’s part of your culture, and that is really what Morton’s is all about: noticing little details, making it a memorable dining experience and wowing our guests.” It also doesn’t hurt business that all of Morton’s and Shankman’s Twitter followers witnessed this act of kindness.

4) A report done by the Union of Concerned Scientists has found that the amount of U.S. farmers markets has almost tripled within the last decade. According to an article on Triple Pundit the markets went from, “2,863 in 2000 to 6,132 in 2010 and over 100,000 farmers are selling their products to customers directly.” This boom of markets has help to boost local economies, but the report’s author, Jeffrey O’Hara, believes that if more government assistance were provided to these types of farming practices instead of more industrial farms, it could generate “tens of thousands of new jobs.”

5) With a new school year comes a new, healthier menu for 480 school districts being provided with food by the Sodexo company. In order to help the fight against obesity and expand the tastes of students, Sodexo will now offer items like Mediterranean Lentil Soup and Tropical Vegetable Tofu. According to a press release, “Sodexo’s team of culinary experts, including chefs at school districts nationwide, developed recipes that entice students and meet USDA’s National School Lunch Program guidelines.”

If you’d like to try out a version of the Mediterranean Lentil Soup, check out this version from Epicurious.


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