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


How the Perfect Bacon Bowl created so much sizzle
April 7th, 2014
11:46 AM ET
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It's no secret that America loves its bacon. For proof, just look at the crazy success of the Perfect Bacon Bowl, As Seen on TV's newest sensation.

The Perfect Bacon Bowl resembles an upside-down plastic bowl. Wrap three strips of bacon around it, pop it in the oven, microwave or toaster oven and the bacon cooks in the shape of the container - a "bacon bowl." Then you fill it with whatever you want - scrambled eggs, dip, mac 'n cheese.

The Perfect Bacon Bowl debuted in November 2013 on As Seen on TV and almost immediately became a hit. Since then, more than two million boxes have been sold (they come two to a box and retail for $10.99).
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Filed under: Bacon • Marketing • Meat • Small Business • Stunt


April 4th, 2014
01:45 PM ET
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Larry Clinton of Bessemer City, North Carolina, has expressed a wish for his ashes to be buried in a Duke's mayonnaise jar. This is a sentiment behind which we can get.

Not only is the the best sandwich in the universe crafted expressly with Duke's mayonnaise - it also is a source of intense regional pride and identity, as we expounded upon in a mayoni-festo a while back.
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Filed under: Mayonnaise • Obsessions • Weird News


April 1st, 2014
02:00 PM ET
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You know the saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away"? Turns out eating one apple isn't enough. A new study suggests people who eat up to seven servings of fruit and vegetables a day can cut their risk of death by 42% – and that vegetables may be more important than fruit to your overall health.

The study, conducted by scientists in the United Kingdom, was published online Monday in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
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Filed under: Eating Habits • Food as Medicine • Fruit • Health News • Ingredients • Vegetables


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