August 5th, 2013
04:30 AM ET

China says no to New Zealand milk powder

China has halted imports of some New Zealand milk powders after a company disclosed that three batches of an ingredient used in sports drinks and baby formula tested positive for a strain of bacteria that causes botulism.

The New Zealand-based Fonterra Group said Saturday that three batches of its whey protein tested positive for the Clostridium botulinum bacteria. Those batches weren't for use in Fonterra-branded products, but they said companies that used the whey protein in their products might issue recalls.

Fonterra, the world's largest dairy exporter, said it had warned companies that bought the whey protein about the problem. "As a result, these customers are urgently investigating whether any of the affected product, which contains a strain of Clostridium, is in their supply chains," the company said.


Filed under: China • Food • New Zealand
Caribou Coffee closing 80 stores
Caribou Coffee is disappearing or greatly diminishing in several U.S. markets.
April 8th, 2013
09:33 PM ET

Caribou Coffee closing 80 stores

Minneapolis-based Caribou Coffee is closing 80 locations next week and plans to convert 88 others to Peet's Coffee & Tea shops within the next 18 months, the company announced Monday.

"Over the past few months, we at Caribou have revisited our business strategy, including closely evaluating our performance by market to make decisions that best position us for long-term growth," the announcement said.

As a result, 80 "underperforming" stores will close for good on Sunday.

After that, 88 other Caribou locations will become Peet's as Caribou becomes extinct or critically endangered in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Illinois, eastern Wisconsin and Washington.

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Filed under: Business • Economy • Food
3 arrested in massive maple syrup heist
December 18th, 2012
01:06 PM ET

3 arrested in massive maple syrup heist

Much of a huge cache of maple syrup snatched from a Quebec storage facility has been recovered, police say.

Three people have been arrested and five others are being sought in connection with the theft from a warehouse in Saint-Louis-de-Blandford, Quebec Provincial Police said in a statement Tuesday. The theft occurred between August 2011 and July 2012, police said.

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Filed under: Canada • Crime • Food • Justice
Is it the end for Twinkies?
November 16th, 2012
10:14 AM ET

Is it the end for Twinkies?

Twinkies may be going away, with their maker Hostess Foods announcing today that it's asking permission to shut down.

The legendary snack food favorite of many a childhood has spawned a Twinkie defense, a Twinkie diet and, as you'd expect, a trending topic on Twitter this morning.


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Filed under: Food
October 24th, 2012
02:16 AM ET

Ohio fast food employee is fired after fleeing robber

Mary Archer had been held up twice before at the Arby’s restaurant in Fairborn, Ohio, where she was the manager on duty, her daughter said. She came away unscathed both times.

But after the third robbery Friday, when a man with a knife entered the store and demanded the assistant manager turn over the restaurant’s money, her boss fired her.

“I just never thought that this would happen to me, especially since my life was at stake,” she told CNN affiliate WHIO.


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Filed under: Crime • Fast Food • Jobs • Ohio • U.S.
Fire up the griddle! Stolen syrup recovered
There should be no problem covering these cakes now.
October 4th, 2012
06:55 PM ET

Fire up the griddle! Stolen syrup recovered

Pancake house patrons across North America, rejoice! Canadian authorities apparently have recovered a huge quantity of maple syrup stolen from a warehouse in August.

Quebec provincial police and Royal Canadian Mounted Police executed a search warrant last week at an export company in the province of New Brunswick, CNN affiliate CBC reported.

Etienne St.-Pierre, the export company's owner, told the CBC he bought the syrup from one of his regular suppliers, but police hauled it away in trucks. St.-Pierre's attorney, Sarto Landry, said St.-Pierre had no reason to believe the product was stolen, according to the Globe and Mail in Toronto.


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Filed under: Canada • Crime • Food • Justice
September 17th, 2012
12:14 PM ET

Officials: Tainted sugar sold in Dominican grocery stores

(CNN) - Dominican authorities have warned consumers not to eat a brand of sugar imported from Brazil after tests found that it was tainted.

The sugar came from a 14,000-metric-ton shipment that has been on the market since July and is "not suitable for domestic consumption," the Dominican Republic's consumer protection agency said.

The Canaria brand sugar was imported from Brazil by the Casa Chepe company, the agency said in a statement posted on its Facebook page Sunday. Representatives from the company could not be immediately reached for comment.

The Dominican Republic's health ministry has ordered a recall of the refined white sugar, and the local company agreed to pull it from shelves, the consumer agency said.

Millions of dollars in maple syrup stolen
As much as 80% of the world's maple syrup comes from Quebec.
August 31st, 2012
12:44 PM ET

Millions of dollars in maple syrup stolen

Talk about sticky-fingered thieves. They've struck in Quebec, snatching millions of dollars worth of maple syrup from a warehouse in Saint-Louis-de-Blandford, between Montreal and Quebec City.

Up to 10 million pounds of syrup was in the warehouse, according to a statement from the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, which bills itself as keeper of  the global strategic maple syrup reserve.

Officials could not say exactly how much of the product was stolen, but a Quebec police official told The Globe and Mail it was a substantial quantity.

“We know that it’s millions of dollars that was stolen,” Sgt. Richard Gagné is quoted as saying. “It’s a very large amount.”

The 10 million pounds of syrup that was in the warehouse is worth more than $30 million, according to the federation statement.

The theft was discovered during a routine inventory check of the warehouse, which "had been secured by a fence and locks, and visited regularly," federation president Serge Beaulieu said in the statement.

The barrels that originally contained the syrup were empty, meaning it was somehow transferred to some other kind of containers to complete the theft, the federation said.

The warehouse where the theft occurred was being used to temporarily store the sweet stuff while a new facility was being prepared.

As much as 80% of the world's maple syrup comes from Quebec, the federation said.


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Filed under: Agriculture • Canada • Crime • Food
40% of U.S. food wasted, report says
Average supermarket losses are 11.4% for fresh fruit, the report says.
August 22nd, 2012
12:45 PM ET

40% of U.S. food wasted, report says

Forty percent of food in the United States is never eaten, amounting to $165 billion a year in waste, taking a toll on the country's water resources and significantly increasing greenhouse gas emissions, according to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council released this week.

The group says more than 20 pounds of food is wasted each month for each of 311 million Americans, amounting to $1,350 to $2,275 annually in waste for a family of four. Think of it as dumping 80 quarter-pound hamburger patties in the garbage each month, or chucking two dozen boxes of breakfast cereal into the trash bin rather than putting them in your pantry.

The report points out waste in all areas of the U.S. food supply chain, from field to plate, from farms to warehouses, from buffets to school cafeterias.

"Food is simply too good to waste," the report says. "Given all the resources demanded for food production, it is critical to make sure that the least amount possible is needlessly squandered on its journey to our plates."


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Filed under: Agriculture • Energy • Environment • Food
July 27th, 2012
06:14 PM ET

How the Chick-fil-A same-sex marriage controversy has evolved

A growing chorus of politicians has joined a nearly two-week uproar and counter-uproar over the marriage views of Chick-fil-A’s president.

At least four Democratic officials in three major northern U.S. cities spoke against the views of Dan Cathy, who recently said his company backs traditional marriage, as opposed to same-sex marriage. Some of those politicos essentially told the Atlanta-based restaurant chain not to try to expand in their cities.

Two former GOP presidential candidates, meanwhile, have encouraged people to show their support for Chick-fil-A by buying food there this coming Wednesday, which one of them has dubbed “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.”

The controversy took flight in mid-July after Cathy gave an interview to the Biblical Recorder, on online journal for Baptists in North Carolina. In the July 2 story - picked up by the Baptist Press on July 16 - Cathy affirmed that his company backs the traditional family unit.

“We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit,” Cathy said. “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”

“We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles,” he added.

The fast-food chicken restaurant chain has long been known to espouse Christian values, and does not operate on Sundays so that employees can be free to attend church if they choose.

Proponents of same-sex marriage spread Cathy’s comments, eventually creating a firestorm of criticism on social media, including assertions that his comments and position were bigoted and hateful.

“The Office” star Ed Helms joined in, saying he was no longer a fan of the fast-food giant.

“Chick-fil-A doesn’t like gay people? So lame," he tweeted July 18. "Hate to think what they do to the gay chickens! Lost a loyal fan."


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Filed under: Billy Graham • Christian • Fast Food • Food • Religion • Same-sex marriage
July 24th, 2012
08:13 PM ET

New Yorkers debate ban on giant sodas at public hearing

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal to ban the sale of large, sugary drinks was heavily debated at a public hearing Tuesday at the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in Long Island City, Queens.

The mayor, while not present, has been at the heart of the debate since May, when he announced he wanted to ban the sale of any sugary, nondairy beverage greater than 16 ounces at New York City restaurants, delis, movie theaters and street carts. The ban would not apply to grocery or convenience stores.

The proposal has people fizzing over the idea that the mayor wants to control their freedom of choice. Bloomberg says the ban is part of a long-standing effort to fight obesity.

According to the Health Department, more than half of New York City adults are overweight, and more than 20% of the city's children (in grades K-8) are obese.

The department argues that sugary beverages go hand-in-hand with obesity. Sugar-sweetened beverages are the largest source of sugar in the average American's diet, with nearly 43% of added sugar intake, the department says.

A 20-ounce sugary soft drink contains the equivalent of 16 packets of sugar, according to the Health Department.

"What this proposal is about at its core is the health of New Yorkers," New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, who supports the ban, said Tuesday. FULL POST

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Filed under: Food • Health • New York
July 24th, 2012
11:26 AM ET

Henson, Huckabee take sides in Chick-fil-A same-sex marriage controversy

[Updated at 6:36 p.m. ET] The comments about same-sex marriage made by Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy a week ago continue to generate controversy this week, with politicians and fantasy creatures, well at least their handlers, weighing in.

"Guilty as charged," Cathy was quoted as saying in the Baptist Press last week when asked about his company's support of the traditional family unit as opposed to same-sex marriage.

"We are very much supportive of the family - the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business," Cathy was quoted as saying.

That stance didn't go over well with the Jim Henson Co., whose Jim Henson's Creature Shop toys have been served up in Chick-fil-A's meals for kids. Jim Henson Co. is named after the creator of the Muppets, though the company transferred the Muppets' rights and ownership to the Walt Disney Co. in 2003, according to Jim Henson Co.

"The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors," the company said in a posting on its Facebook page.

"Lisa Henson, our CEO, is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-fil-A to GLAAD (the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation)," the Henson Co.'s posting said.

The posting, which is dated Friday, had drawn more than 10,000 likes and 2,000 comments as of Tuesday morning.


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Filed under: Fast Food • Gay and lesbian • Religion • Showbiz
Gotta Watch: Fast food fondlers
Some Burger King employees lost their jobs over this photo that went viral.
July 19th, 2012
06:52 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Fast food fondlers

Fast food service may not be considered “fine dining” but customers who frequent such establishments expect a certain level of sanitation. Unfortunately, in some cases that trust is misplaced.  Check out these videos of fast food workers with less than healthy manners.  Do their punishments fit their crimes?


Fast food workers fired over food safety

Affiliate WKYC reports on the reaction to a viral photo of a Burger King employee stomping on store lettuce.


2009: Domino's food tampering video

In 2009, two Domino's employees were arrested for filming as they allegedly tampering with food. Affiliate WCNC reports.


2008: Employees bathe in store sink

In 2008, KFC fired multiple employees who photographed themselves bathing in the store's sink. Affiliate KOVR reports.

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Filed under: California • Fast Food • Food • Gotta Watch • North Carolina • Ohio • U.S.
Overheard on Readers defend Chick-fil-A's stance on marriage
How do you feel about Chick-fil-A and its president's views on same-sex marriage? Share your comments below.
July 19th, 2012
04:01 PM ET

Overheard on Readers defend Chick-fil-A's stance on marriage

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

"Guilty as charged" was the response from Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy when asked about his company's support of the traditional family unit as opposed to same-sex marriage. There was a social-media uproar about Cathy's statements, but many of's readers expressed support for his right to say and believe what he wants.

Chick-fil-A's stance on same-sex marriage causing a social storm

Omekongo Dibinga, an iReporter from Washington, was one of those voices. He says the Chick-fil-A exec "did nothing wrong."

"We shouldn't be surprised that an organization that sticks to its Christian principles would have issues with gay marriage," Dibinga says, adding, "We can't get into this mentality of thinking that everybody who is against gay marriage is homophobic in some way, shape or form."

A lot of our readers had similar things to say.

Dan: "I'm gay. I don't care. If I ceased buying products from companies that did things I didn't like, then I'd be Amish. I don't make political choices when I eat out (though, for the record, I actually don't like CFA's food or any fast food for that matter). I go out to eat to fill my belly."

But a few readers were not happy with Chick-fil-A. FULL POST

Overheard on Why gorge on hot dogs when people are starving?
Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas celebrates her win Wednesday, July 4, at Nathan's annual hot dog-eating competition in Brooklyn, New York.
July 4th, 2012
04:22 PM ET

Overheard on Why gorge on hot dogs when people are starving?

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Sure, you can go and see fireworks on July 4, but Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest at New York's Coney Island is another tradition of nearly 100 years. Defending champions Joey "Jaws" Chestnut and Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas were the wieners, er, winners again. We were dogged by all the comments about the annual event, so we decided to feature a few that cut the mustard.

Hot dog champs defend titles in annual showdown

A few commenters were quick to mention New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's previous moves to ban large sodas, as well as his "frank" advice to "relish" the holiday. (He even asked the Coney crowd,"Who wrote this sh**?")

LBMD: "The irony is not lost on the fact that Mayor Bloomberg thinks it should be against the law to consume a soft drink bigger than 16 oz., yet freely promotes the idea of eating over 60 hot dogs in 10 minutes. Not sure the guy that wants to ban what you drink is the appropriate person to be promoting a day of freedom and liberty for anything especially this. Hilarious ..."

cigarman: "It shows that the Mayor actually has a sense of humor, although if he is the one who is pushing to limit the size of Big Gulps, he has a mental problem. I really believe that New York probably has a few more problems to see to rather than a Big Gulp drink. Maybe he should outlaw hot dogs. Does he really know what those things are made of? YUCK."

Are competitive eating contests misdirecting perfectly good food?

femanvate: "Honestly, these eating contests need to be banned. Every minute a person dies from starvation, while these 'athletes' gorge themselves until they vomit from over-consumption. America holds its heroes as sacred, and gluttons have no part in that. Lets shoot a few of them and restore our values to become the nation we once were and are. Happy 4th of July to all. I'd die to defend your right to eat 68 hotdogs in 12 minutes while shaking my head in disgust ..."

mjb985: "Even if the contest was banned, these hot dogs weren't going to go to a starving person. This restaurant doesn't ship its excess off to Africa. So your entire argument is irrelevant. There is plenty of surplus food even with these contests that we could be giving to starving people, but don't. Stop complaining on the internet and go do something about it. There are plenty of charities to choose from."

Or, more succinctly ...

OIFVvet: "In yo face, world hunger! How about that??? For every hot dog eaten, the contest will allow the hungry people of the world to imagine what it would be like to sit at a table with unlimited food at their disposal!"

Some people are just nauseated. FULL POST

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Filed under: Food • Overheard on
Mass. mayor suggests ban on large drinks, free refills
June 20th, 2012
01:45 PM ET

Mass. mayor suggests ban on large drinks, free refills

A Massachusetts mayor is taking inspiration from a controversial New York City proposal to ban large, sugary beverages - and might even want to take it a step further.

Cambridge Mayor Henrietta Davis unveiled a proposal that would outlaw large-size sodas and other sugary drinks in area restaurants to the City Council on Monday.

She’s also suggesting that city officials consider banning free refills of sugary beverages, which would be a step beyond New York City’s plan.

“Our environment is full of way too many temptations,” Davis said. “This is one temptation that isn’t really necessary.”


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Filed under: Fast Food • Food • Health • Massachusetts
A catch straight out of the deep blue sea
Canadian lobsterman Bobby Stoddard caught this rare blue lobster in early May. He's not sure what to do with it.
June 11th, 2012
09:46 PM ET

A catch straight out of the deep blue sea

A rare event is said to happen once in a blue moon. But a blue moon has nothing on a blue lobster.

Canadian lobster boat captain Bobby Stoddard said he and his crew were hauling in their lobster traps one day in early May when one of the men called out, "Hey, we got a pretty one in this trap!"

"I turned around and said, 'Holy smoke!' " said Stoddard, 51, of Clarks Harbour, Nova Scotia.

In the trap with three other, ordinary greenish-brown lobsters was a remarkably bright blue one, the first lobster of that hue Stoddard had seen in his 33 years of fishing for a living.

"This is the only one that I've ever seen," he told CNN. "And my dad has been a lobsterman of about 55 years, and he caught one about 45 years ago, but hadn't seen one since." FULL POST

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Filed under: Animals • Canada • Food • Lobsters • Science
Overheard on Do Americans take enough personal responsibility?
Readers are debating the role of personal responsibility in health and the economy.
June 5th, 2012
04:03 PM ET

Overheard on Do Americans take enough personal responsibility?

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

The obesity debate is about people as much as it is about calories or large sodas. LZ Granderson's opinion article about the availability of healthy food garnered a huge response, and brought forth a powerful discussion about the individual and society. We've seen a lot of readers talking about personal responsibility, with some saying we need to foster more of it.

Poor and fat: The real class war

Are poor people spending their money on the wrong things and digging a deeper hole?

tspaquin: "I live in a true mixed-income community. You could draw some easy conclusions by comparing my apartment building with the public housing next door. We both have access to two businesses a block away - a large grocery store selling plenty of healthy food (and the bad stuff too), and a video game store. Guess who are the vast majority patrons at the video game store? The public housing residents. If they have money for video games (which I feel I don't) - then they certainly have enough money to buy potatoes instead of potato chips. This is not about politics so much as it is about personal choices. It is no surprise that there are strong correlations between education, income, and health outcomes. My median income family spends a modest amount on healthy foods that we prepare ourselves - without meat. It's not a choice between expensive lean meat and fatty meat - you don't need meat, you're healthier without it. And it's not about buying more calories for the dollar - healthy food is subsidized by the government and is perfectly affordable. Organics are irrelevant. Yes, there are certain cases of income so low that there is a barrier to buying any food at all - that's why food assistance exists, and its no small sum. LZ is the perfect spokesman for the victimized, government solution oriented liberals of this country."

Or, conversely, is the concept personal responsibility applied selectively?

Brad Potter: "I can understand the liberal view, where government has a role in presenting solutions for problems, I can also understand the libertarian view regarding personal responsibility. So if government shouldn't be providing solutions to problems then the government shouldn't be reimbursing hospitals for those people who don't have insurance and can't pay their bill. To take it a step further then there is no role for government regarding medicare, welfare, foreign aid, defense, prisons, corporate subsidies etc as these are all victim driven problems that government feels it needs to step in to try to solve. They all relate to personal responsibility but to most people who tout personal responsibility, the application of this concept ends with foreign aid, defense, prisons, and corporate subsidies. Miraculously these victim driven problems do require government intervention according to the advocates of personal responsibility whereupon the safety net sponsors come flying out in support of medicare, welfare etc. It's a vicious never ending circle ..."

Long hours and low wages get in the way of healthy meals for this reader: FULL POST

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Filed under: Economy • Food • Overheard on • Wisconsin
Controversy fizzing over Bloomberg's soda ban
Large portions of sugary drinks lead to obesity, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says.
June 4th, 2012
01:36 PM ET

Controversy fizzing over Bloomberg's soda ban

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has created a soda controversy that may take more than a 44-ounce Big Gulp to quench.

Citing what he says is the contribution sugary beverages make to obesity in the U.S., Bloomberg proposed a ban the sale of any sugary beverage over 16 ounces in any of the city's restaurants, delis, movie theaters or even street carts.

“Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, ‘Oh, this is terrible.’ New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something. I think that’s what the public wants the mayor to do,” Bloomberg told The New York Times in making his proposal last week.

Soda has been a hot topic across the Web since.

Bloomberg has his supporters, including a former president.


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Filed under: Food • Health • New York • Nutrition • Politics
Overheard on Doughnut lovers' lament, washed down with a giant soda
A selection of sweets from Sublime Doughnuts in Atlanta, Georgia.
June 1st, 2012
08:56 PM ET

Overheard on Doughnut lovers' lament, washed down with a giant soda

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been talking about a proposal to ban selling sodas and sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces at restaurants and food carts. This move generated a huge amount of conversation from our readers, and we highlighted a selection of comments on the CNN Mash-up.

New York City seeks to ban big sodas from restaurants, food carts
Big Gulp? Meet Big Brother

Friday happens to be National Doughnut Day, and a few readers are tying the soda and pastry issues together.

omegaworks: "Didn't he (Bloomberg) just cut the doughnut this morning for National Doughnut Day? National Doughnut Day... we can't drink soda, but we can celebrate National Doughnut Day ... I guess doughnuts aren't fattening."

Bloomberg's signature is on a proclamation declaring June 1, 2012, to be "NYC Donut Day" in honor of the 75th year of this tradition, which honors dessert-serving Salvation Army volunteers during World War I. The proclamation is posted on a New York Times blog.

A special gift, then? (Krispy Kreme is also marking its 75th birthday this year.)

Top_News: "National doughnut day? I think I'll send 2 dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts to NYC Mayor Bloomberg just for the heck of it. LOL"

And, for that matter ...

Jeff: "How am I supposed to wash down my 12-inch doughnut with this piddly little 16 ounce drink?"

The most-liked comment from the "Big Gulp" piece suggested giving the proverbial sibling something to do. Others said they think obesity is becoming too big a problem. FULL POST

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Filed under: Food • New York • Overheard on • Politics
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