Entries in Food (10)


Losing a Hot Meal Makes Marines Hot Under the Collar

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Marines are losing a daily hot meal due to the gradual U.S. troop drawdown in Afghanistan.

Last Saturday, Camp Leatherneck in southwestern Helmand Province cut back its food service from four to three meals by getting rid of "midrats," which is either breakfast or dinner depending on whether a Marine is starting a midnight-to-noon shift or ending a noon-to-midnight shift.

The Pentagon says the reason for the cutback is because food workers are going home before the Marines who provide security in Afghanistan. It's expected that a total of 30,000 U.S. service personnel will be heading home in the coming months with the plan to get most of the remaining 35,000 troops out of the country by sometime next year.

Yet, Marines aren't too happy about getting shortchanged a meal everyday in spite of the prospects of finally ending the nation's long commitment in Afghanistan. They can't say anything publicly but their relatives are learning about their displeasure through letters back home.

Help may be on the way soon. A Facebook page called "Breakfast for Bagram" has been started to encourage Americans to make food donations to the Marines and others troops who could use a little sustenance from back home.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


World’s Largest Ice Cream Cone Unveiled

ABC News(LONDON) -- The world’s largest ice cream cone was revealed in Gloucester, U.K., this weekend.

A forklift carried the ice cream, which weighed 2,204 pounds, and placed it on top of the cone.  The cone stood about 13 feet tall, surpassing the previous 9-foot record that was set last year by Mirco Della Vecchia and Andrea Andrighetti.

Wall’s, a U.K. ice cream company known for brands like Magnum and Carte D’Or, donated the ice cream that took more than a month to freeze.

Sprinkles and strawberry sauce toppings were catapulted on the cone, but most failed to stick.

Heston Blumenthal arrived at the event in a vintage ice cream truck to unveil the cone.  Blumenthal is the chef and owner of the three-Michelin starred restaurant The Fat Duck.  The unveiling was part of his new show, Heston’s Big Idea.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US and North Korea to Discuss Resumption of Food Aid

Ryan McVay/Digital Vision(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. and North Korean officials will meet in Beijing on Thursday to discuss the resumption of American food aid to the impoverished country. Officials say, however, that a decision is not necessarily imminent.

Robert King, the U.S. State Department’s special envoy for human rights in North Korea, will sit down with a delegation from Pyongyang that includes Ri Gun, North Korea’s deputy negotiator for the stalled six-party talks. The State Department insists that this issue is separate from nuclear talks.

The U.S. halted food aid to North Korea a couple of years ago over concerns that it was being diverted for the military and not reaching starving citizens. The U.S. has insisted on monitors to ensure the food’s delivery, but North Korea has resisted that kind of access.

“We have said all along not only that we need to continue to assess need, but that were we to decide to go forward with this we would need to have much more strict and clear monitoring systems in place,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Wednesday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Cheese Is Most Popular Item, Globally, for Supermarket Thieves

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NOTTINGHAM, England) -- The cheese and meat aisles are popular stops for thieves in grocery stores around the world, according to a recent report by the U.K.-based Center for Retail Research.

Cheese is the most stolen food globally, followed by meat.

The 2011 study traces retail theft in 43 countries across more than 250,000 stores and reports that retailers have absorbed millions of dollars of losses in food products. The profit loss is attributed mainly to theft by employees, organized crime rings and petty criminals.

"Organized crime rings target specialty items and products that are easy to sell in other venues," said Farrokh Abadi, president of shrink management solutions at Checkpoint Systems Inc., a Philadelphia-based retail security firm that funded the study.

Shrinkage is the accounting term for the loss of product.

Organized crime rings that nab cheese often take the stolen goods to smaller markets to sell for a profit. But perishable items such as meat and cheese are more frequently stolen by dishonest employees and small-time crooks than by organized criminals, Abadi said.

Crime rings might be more interested in high-demand, nonperishable items such as baby formula. Infant formula sells for a high price and is sometimes distributed in illegal drug dealings because it can be used to dilute narcotics.

Food theft varies by region. Cheese is a hot commodity in Europe, while candies and infant formula are stolen at higher rates in the United States.

Abadi attributed the disparity to differing cultural tastes. "In areas in Europe, you will see that cheese is higher on the list, because, as you know, Europeans love their cheese," he said.

But struggling economies, coupled with rising food prices across the board, are probably the causes of the increase in retail theft, Abadi said.

"Food prices have gone up in all the regions," he said. "So that combined with economic hardships unfortunately does not make the increase in shrink in these items surprising."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


UN Agency Begins First Food Airlift to Mogadishu

Oli Scarff/Getty Images(UNITED NATIONS) -- The United Nations World Food Programme has begun to airlift emergency food supplies to the Somali capital of Mogadishu after the flight was delayed on Tuesday.

The agency is flying 10 tons of food to the region after the U.N. declared a famine in two southern areas of Somalia last week.

Somali officials have said that 3.5 million people are at risk of starving in the country. Islamist extremist groups that control most of the country had forbidden any aid shipments until recently.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


E. coli Outbreak Ravaging Europe is New Strain of Bacteria

Duncan Smith/Thinkstock(BERLIN) -- The lethal E. coli bacteria that has left 18 dead and more than 1,500 sick in Europe is a new strain that experts have never seen before, the World Health Organization announced Thursday.

Early investigations suggest that the strain is an altered type of two E. coli bacteria with deadly genes that, experts said, could explain the widespread and dangerous nature of the illness.

The source of the bacteria remains unknown, continuing to baffle experts.

The strain has hit eight countries in Europe, but has been concentrated in Germany.

Two cases have surfaced in U.S. hospitals, said Lola Russell, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Russell did not disclose the names or locations of those who had fallen ill, but she did say their illnesses were associated with recent travel to Germany. Both are expected to survive.

Most E. Coli strains are harmless, but those that do cause sickness usually trigger bouts of bloody diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. In the bacteria's most serious and severe form, the infection causes hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, a condition that attacks the kidneys and can cause stroke, seizure, coma and death. In a typical outbreak, only about 1 to 2 percent of those affected experience HUS.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sweden Death Linked to German E. Coli Outbreak

Jupiterimages/Photos[dot]com(BERLIN) -- The E. Coli outbreak that’s had people in northern Germany on edge looks to be spreading.

The outbreak, linked to tainted vegetables, has reportedly claimed the life of a woman in southwestern Sweden after she was admitted to a local hospital this weekend following a trip to Germany.

German officials have urged people in some northern areas of the country not to eat cucumbers, tomatoes, and fresh leafy salads. At least 15 people have died and several hundred others have fallen ill after consuming tainted produce that Germany believes was imported from Spain.

Russia has banned imports from Spain and Germany pending further notice.

The exact source of the outbreak remains unknown.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Water, Food and Gas Becoming Scarce in Japan

MIKE CLARKE/AFP/Getty Images(TOKYO) -- The earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan Friday has left survivors scrambling for basic necessities like food and water as they prepare to brace for the long-term effects from the natural disasters, which will last for some time.

According to ABC News reporters in Japan, the top three commodities in demand there are water, food, and gas.  People have been seen in long lines outside of gas stations and convenience stores with the hopes of snatching up these goods.  Some have even waited two to three hours with empty water jugs in hand, hoping to fill them up.

But these commodities are becoming scarce.  Some gas stations have run dry, posting "sold out" signs on their establishments.

Meanwhile, aid and rescue teams from around the world are arriving in Japan to assist in finding survivors and provide them with food and sorely needed supplies.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Peruvian Potatoes Sent to 'Doomsday Vault?'

File Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(PERU) - Several species of Peruvian potatoes, some that date back to the Inca Empire, are being sent to a figurative "doomsday vault" amid fears that several varieties are at risk of disappearing, reports the BBC.

The ice vault, located inside a mountian in the Arctic circle, will soon house samples of around 1,500 varieties of potatoes from farmers in the country who want to protect certain South American highland species.

"Peruvian potato culture is under threat," Alejandro Argumedo, a plant scientist involved in the project, told the BBC. "Sending seeds to the [vault] will help us to provide a valuable back-up collection - the vault was built for the global community and we are going to use it."

The crops will join other samples of the world's food supply that have been sent to the Svalbard seed vault  to be protected from natural and human disaster.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


World's Highest Restaurant Opens in Dubai

Photo Courtesy - PRNewsFoto/Emaar Hospitality Group(DUBAI, United Arab Emirates) -- What are you doing for dinner tonight? Chances are your plans don’t include drinks at a quarter-mile above the earth’s surface.

In Dubai, patrons began sitting down to dinner Sunday at the world’s highest restaurant, just opened on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower.

The luxury lounge and grill – appropriately named At.mosphere – is surrounded by glass walls, offering diners a spectacular panoramic view of the city and surrounding areas.

The picture-perfect scenery doesn’t come cheap; a reservation will run you at least $122 a head. A private dining area is available for $176.90 per guest. And if you’re just feeling parched, afternoon tea is a mere $100.

Located just over 1,300 feet in the air, At.mosphere sits more than 300 feet higher than the world’s second-highest restaurant located inside Toronto’s CN Tower.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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