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May 30, 2013 | By Alice Short
Food and volunteers continue to arrive in Moore, Okla., where last week's tornado killed 24 people and damaged or destroyed thousands of homes. Volunteers nationwide have packaged and sent essentials such as lentils, rice and dehydrated vegetables and pallets of water. They've sent paper goods and diapers and blankets. But some folks showed up at the storm-ravaged region with one thing on their minds: barbecue - for the tornado victims, for first responders, for just about anyone who was hungry.
May 29, 2013 | By Ken Bensinger and Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
China is hungry. The world's most populous country has for years been on an agricultural buying binge, scooping up supplies of soybeans, palm oil, cotton and just about anything else that can be culled from the soil. Now, with 1.3 billion mouths to feed, the Asian giant is turning its eyes to meat. On Wednesday, a Chinese meat processor agreed to purchase the world's largest pork producer, Smithfield Foods Inc., for $4.7 billion. The deal, the largest-ever purchase of a U.S. company by a Chinese firm, underscores the rapidly evolving taste of China's growing middle class, which is demanding more high-quality protein in a nation that has been beset by food safety scares.
May 20, 2013 | By Joseph Serna
In what even U.S. Customs officials are describing as a “weird” week of sorts, border protection officers seized nearly half a pound of exotic meat, a dead primate and hundreds of handbags made with reptile skin coming in from Nigeria. “We intercept and seize a multitude of remarkable items,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection  field operations director Todd Owen said. Remarkable? Unusual is another way to put it. On May 6, officers at Los Angeles International Airport checked the bag of a 31-year-old man coming in from Nigeria.
May 20, 2013 | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
A word of advice. Never use the phrase "just a burger" with Nancy Silverton. I did and was promptly challenged on every aspect of burger-making, starting with where to buy the meat, what grind, size of patty, how to cook it, what to serve with it, what pickle, what bun, what ketchup, what mayonnaise, what mustard, what cheese, how thick to slice the avocado, what bacon, what smoke on the bacon, what occasion. The co-founder of Campanile restaurant and La Brea Bakery may be famous for more sophisticated food, but to her, the burger is one of the great American dishes, and exactly the thing that she likes to give friends for an end-of-summer barbecue.
May 6, 2013 | By Shan Li
First it was tainted baby food and toys with lead paint. Now China is dealing with a meat scandal that involves passing rat meat off as lamb. The Ministry of Public Safety announced recently that police have arrested hundreds of people involved in a scheme to sell a mixture of rat, mink and fox meat -- combined with red food coloring -- under the label "lamb. " More than 900 people and 200,000 tons of illegal meat were captured, according to state news agency Xinhua. The ministry said police had discovered nearly 400 cases involving meat violations.
May 3, 2013 | By Don Lee
BEIJING -- Feasting on strips of mutton dropped in a simmering pot is a popular dining pastime in China, but what if the meat served is actually made of rat? That may be on the minds of diners after the latest stomach-churning food scandal to hit China. Authorities said that traders bought rat, fox, mink and other uninspected meats -- and after adding red coloring and other chemicals -- sold them as lamb rolls for markets in Shanghai and neighboring Jiangsu province. Police arrested 63 suspects and seized 10 tons of meats and additives, but not before the operation had sold about $1.6 million worth of fake meat over the last four years.
May 3, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Quirky grocery chain Trader Joe's is dealing this week with some concern over its products, including a public statement from a major advocacy group criticizing the presence of antibiotics in meat and a lawsuit from the state of California alleging undisclosed lead content in candies. In an advertisement in the Los Angeles Times on Thursday, Consumers Union singled out Trader Joe's for selling meat from animals fed a steady stream of antibiotics. The full-page spread featured the word “WARNING!
April 30, 2013 | By Russ Parsons
Fans of Italian cured meat products such as culatello , pancetta and salami are already smacking their lips. And so are the folks who make the wonderful salumi , so many of which have been unavailable in the United States -- until now. On Friday, the Department of Agriculture quietly published a determination in the Federal Register that six Italian regions are now clear of an obscure malady of pigs called swine vesicular disease ...
April 28, 2013 | By Jonathan Gold
Are weeks gray without a sliver of Tuscan lardo? Do you crave coppa made from Cinta Senese pigs? Have you ever considered attaching a gold chain to a whole prosciutto in an attempt to persuade a customs inspector that it was a kicky Fendi bag? You may be in luck. According to the Italian wire service ANSA, the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services announced Friday that the long-standing USDA ban on the import of Italian cured meats will be lifted starting May 28, and presumably the flood of salami, bresaola and pancetta will start washing into U.S. markets and restaurants not long thereafter.
April 16, 2013 | By Emily Alpert
Thousands of tests across the European Union revealed that nearly 5% of foods marketed as beef contained horse meat, according to results released Tuesday. However, European officials said health risks from the mislabeled meat were minor. A much smaller fraction of the horse meat run through separate tests -- 0.5% -- contained a veterinary drug banned for humans to eat, the tests found. A day earlier, European food safety officials estimated that the risk of suffering toxic effects from accidentally ingesting horse meat was lower than 1 in 100 million.
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