July 9th, 2014
11:45 AM ET
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(Travel + Leisure) Talk about pigs: Americans ate 1.1 billion bacon servings during the 12-month period ending April 2014, about 6 percent more than the previous year, according to market research firm the NPD Group.

We’re not just eating more bacon, we’re also making better bacon (consider the proliferation of artisanal bacons and chefs curing their own bacon in house) and finding creative ways to enjoy it. There’s bacon butter, bacon soda, bacon-infused booze, and bacon ice cream, to name a few inspired iterations.

New York’s BarBacon is entirely devoted to porky provisions, especially the country’s best bacons, which can be paired with flights of craft beer or bourbon. You can get your bacon to go, as at Bacon Bacon, a popular food truck that roams the San Francisco Bay Area delivering bacon-fried chicken, bacon burgers, and bacon, belly, and butt tacos.

There are dedicated bacon brunches and bacon happy hours, and even a bacon challenge. At Paddy Long’s in Chicago, many have tried (and most have failed) to consume the famous five-pound bacon-wrapped bomb in 45 minutes or less.

Eating bacon doesn’t have to be a sport though. Bacon goes haute at Nashville’s Bound’ry, where it is dehydrated, pulverized, and used as a faux breadcrumb for a fried tomato salad. And it joins forces with another, if improbable, food trend—toast—when paired with puréed peas, mint, and olive oil at Vernick Food & Drink in Philadelphia.

In short, if you’ve thought of a way to consume bacon, we guarantee you someone else has, too. Here, an ode to America’s bacon mania.
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Filed under: 100 Places to Eat • Bacon • Meat • Restaurants • Travel


June 12th, 2014
12:30 PM ET
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The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday threw its weight and pocketbook behind the federal investigation of a California slaughterhouse where CNN exposed issues surrounding one of the biggest meat recalls in years.

The latest congressional action authorizes $1 million in additional funding to "provide for a swift completion" of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's probe into the Rancho Feeding Corporation.

Federal investigators have said they believe the Petaluma, California-based company bought diseased dairy cows and processed them when government inspectors weren't there. After the cows were killed, employees would hide the warning signs of cancer by trimming off diseased parts, using a fake stamp of approval or even replacing the heads of sick cows with ones from healthy animals.
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May 2nd, 2014
08:13 PM ET
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CNN Exclusive by CNN Investigative Correspondent Chris Frates and CNN National Reporter Shannon Travis. 

PETALUMA, CALIFORNIA - Earlier this year, a dusty little slaughterhouse in Northern California was ground zero for one of the biggest meat recalls in years. Rancho Feeding Corp. had called back nearly 9 million pounds of bad meat from thousands of unsuspecting stores across the country.

The story of how millions of pounds of bad meat – products the U.S. Department of Agriculture called “unfit for human food” - made it out into the world and triggered a criminal investigation is one of staggering deception and cancerous cows, federal officials familiar with the investigation tell CNN. And the plant where it all went down was also the setting for an illicit romance, according to documents obtained by CNN.

Federal investigators started surveillance on the California facility after getting a tip from a former Rancho employee. In January, federal marshals raided the Petaluma plant and seized the company's records. Days later, the first recall notice went out, officials said.

Investigators now believe that Rancho was buying diseased dairy cows and processing them when government inspectors weren’t there. After the cows were killed, employees would hide the warning signs of cancer by trimming off diseased parts, using a fake stamp of approval or even replacing the heads of sick cows with ones from healthy animals. It’s unclear which employees were involved, officials said.
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Frankenmeat: 'Not bad, actually'
April 30th, 2014
02:30 PM ET
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In a nondescript hotel ballroom last month at the South by Southwest Interactive festival, Andras Forgacs offered a rare glimpse at the sci-fi future of food.

Before an audience of tech-industry types, Forgacs produced a plate of small pink wafers - "steak chips," he called them - and invited people up for a taste. But these were no ordinary snacks: Instead of being harvested from a steer, they had been grown in a laboratory from tiny samples of animal tissue.

One taster's verdict on this Frankenmeat? Not bad, actually.
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Filed under: Food Politics • Food Science • Ingredients • Meat • Technology


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