Return to homeFood:
Food Timeline: http://www.foodtimeline.org/ 28000BC In
2010 it was reported that starch grains found on 30,000-year-old
grinding stones suggest that prehistoric man may have dined on an
early form of flat bread, contrary to his popular image as primarily
a meat-eater. The grinding stones were discovered at sites in Italy,
Russia and the Czech Republic.
c20k BCE Plant remains from this time were found
at the Ohalo II site on the shore of the Sea of Galilee indicating
use of barley and perhaps other grains in the human diet.
(SFC, 6/22/04, p.A3)(SFC, 8/16/04, p.A6)
8000BC The potato was first cultivated some 10,000
years ago by South American Indians. In the 16th century Spanish
explorers brought potatoes back to Europe, where it was first used
primarily as livestock feed. The potato was introduced to North
America in the 17th century. In the 18th century, the poor of Europe
began to use potatoes as a replacement for cereals in their diets.
The failure of the potato crop in Ireland in 1845-46 led to great
famine and pushed tens of thousands of Irish to emigrate to the
United States. In 2008 it was reported that genetic studies by
potato experts indicated that all potatoes originated over 10,000
years ago from a single ancestor, Solanum brevicaule, found on the
Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca.
(HNQ, 5/10/98)(SSFC, 10/5/08, p.A15)
8000BC A genetic mutation among northern Europeans
about this time made lactose tolerance continue beyond childhood.
(WSJ, 2/12/0/09, p.A11)
c7,975BCE Humans lived in a cave near Oaxaca,
Mexico, named Guila Naquitz (White Cliff). Scattered remains of
tools, seeds and plants were found in 1966 by archeologist Kent
Flannery and some of the seeds were dated to this time. The squash
seeds showed signs of cultivation.
(SFC, 5/9/97, p.A2)
5500BC Scientists in 2012 presented evidence of
cheese making in pottery sieves discovered in Poland that dated to
about this time.
(SSFC, 12/16/12, p.A22)
c5100BCE In 2001 evidence in Mexico was reported
for corn cultivation from sediments of this time.
(SFC, 5/18/01, p.A7)
c5,000BCE Research in 2003 indicated that bananas
and taro were cultivated in the highlands of Papua New Guinea as
long as 7,000 years ago. The first signs of human habitation in the
area occurred c5,800 BCE and included a change from forest to
grasslands and increase in charcoal in the sediments. The earliest
Asian influence on the islands occurred about 1,500 BCE.
c4000BCE Apples (Malus Sieversii) similar to
modern day varieties began to appear around Almaty, Kazakhstan.
These ultimately produced the Red Delicious and Golden Delicious in
America. The Red Delicious was hybridized into the Fuji and the
Empire. The Golden Delicious was hybridized into the Gala, the
Jonagold, the Mutsu, Pink Lady and Elstar.
(WSJ, 7/3/03, p.A1)
2700BCE Domesticated maize in Mexico goes back to
(SFEC, 4/18/99, Z1 p.2)
1500BC-1100BC Evidence found in 1998 revealed terraced farming for
corn back to this time in northeast Mexico on a hilltop overlooking
the Rio Casa Grandes.
(SFC, 3/13/98, p.A11)
500BC The Chinese learned to ferment soybean
around this time. The fermentation removed toxins and made soy
easier to digest. It had already been used for thousands of years as
(SSCM, 8/13/06, p.6)
400BC Korean farmers about this time brought rice
(Econ, 12/19/09, p.66)
356BC-323BC The people have a myth that Alexander
the Great during his conquests ordered his 11 doctors to create a
remedy for all sick people and that as a result pilaf was invented.
Around 1000-1100 Mahmud of Kashgar, China, recorded a similar story
but substituted tutmach (noodles) for pilaf.
(SFC, 8/14/96, zz-1 p.2)
74BC According to Pliny the
Roman General Lucullus introduced cherries to Europe. Greeks had
cultivated cherries hundreds of years before this.
(SFC, 4/12/03, p.E3)
400-500 About this time Apicius, a Roman gourmand,
authored “De re coquinara” (concerning cookery). It is considered to
be the first Western cookbook. The first printed edition came out in
800-900 In Poland a 9th century edict forbade Jews
from baking. The law was supposedly circumvented by boiling bread
and then toasting it. This process is believed to have led to the
creation of the bagel.
(WSJ, 11/29/08, p.W11)
c850CE Outsiders found coffee in the region of
Ethiopia called Kaffa, hence the name.
(SFEC, 10/6/96, Z1
1202 King John of England
proclaimed the 1st food law, the Assize of Bread. It prohibited the
adulteration of bread with ground peas.
(Econ Sp, 12/13/03, p.15)
1315 In France Parisian bakers
were found guilty of mixing flour with animal droppings during the
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R25)
1492 May 15, Cheese and Bread
rebellion: German mercenaries killed 232 Alkmaarse.
1492 Nov 5, Christopher
Columbus learned of maize (corn) from the Indians of Cuba.
1496 A Polish edict, pushed by
Krakow’s gentile bakers, banned Jews from selling bagels within the
1498 Jun 26, Toothbrush was
invented. In China the first toothbrushes with hog bristles began to
show up. Hog bristle brushes remained the best until the invention
(SFC, 6/6/98, p.E3)(MC, 6/26/02)
1500s The popularity of surströmming, a Swedish
fermented herring with a noxious stench, surged in the early 1500s
and again in the early 1700s.
(WSJ, 8/13/02, p.A1)
1511 In Mecca, Arabia, there
was an attempt to ban coffee.
(Econ, 12/20/03, p.90)
1515-1519 Coffee from Arabia appeared in Europe.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R49)
1516 In Bavaria, Germany, the
Reinheitsgebot (purity law) was enacted. It required that beer be
made from malt, hops, yeast, water and nothing else.
(WSJ, 5/27/98, p.A1)(SFC, 7/15/04, p.A2)(Econ,
c1525 First found in Peru by invading Spaniards,
the tomato was also known as a "love apple" or "wolf peach" and
regarded with suspicion and shunned as food. It was believed to be
unhealthy or downright poisonous and given the Latin name
Lycopersicon, or "wolf peach." In Europe it was thought to be a
potent-and thus forbidden-aphrodisiac, hence the name "love apple."
Thomas Jefferson grew tomatoes in the late 1700s, but they weren't
widely consumed in Europe and America until the early 1800s.
1527 Hernando Cortez and his
conquistadores completed the conquest of New Spain. They brought
back to Spain tomatoes, avocados, papayas, and vanilla.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.13)
1528 Wheat was introduced into
(TL-MB, 1988, p.13)
1550 Jul 7, Chocolate was
1553 Pedro Cieza de Leon wrote
the first European description of the potato in his “Chronicles of
(SSFC, 10/5/08, p.A15)
1577 Francisco Hernandez,
Spanish explorer traveling through Mexico’s highlands, noted the
many uses of the maguey (agave) plant. He cited it as a useful fuel,
a material for cloth and ropes, with sap used to make vinegar and
(Arch, 9/02, p.32)
1586 Jul 28, Sir Thomas Harriot
introduced potatoes to Europe.
1602-1603 In Russia agricultural failure in 1601
led to widespread starvation in both 1602 and 1603. It claimed the
lives of an estimated 2 million people, or about one-third of the
population, and more than 100,000 died in Moscow alone.
Government inability to alleviate both the calamity and the
subsequent unrest eventually led to the overthrow of Czar Boris
Godunov, a defining event in Russian history.
1621 Oct, The first American
Thanksgiving was held in Massachusetts' Plymouth colony in 1621 to
give thanks for a bountiful harvest. 51 Pilgrims served codfish, sea
bass and turkeys while their 90 Wampanoag guests contributed venison
to the feast. After the survival of their first colony through a
bitter winter and the subsequent gathering of the harvest in the
autumn of 1621, Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford issued a
thanksgiving proclamation. During the three-day October thanksgiving
the Pilgrims feasted on wild turkey and venison with their Native
American guests. American Indians introduced cranberries to the
(HNPD, 11/26/98)(SSFC, 11/16/03, p.C11)(Econ,
1621 In Germany potatoes,
native to the Andes, were first planted.
(SFC, 7/14/99, p.3)
1630 Feb 22, Indians introduced
pilgrims to popcorn at Thanksgiving.
1630 Jun 25, The fork was
introduced to American dining by Gov. Winthrop.
c1630 The widow of a samurai set up a business
that grew to become the Kikkoman Corp., the world’s leading maker of
(WSJ, 12/27/99, p.A1)(Econ, 12/18/04, p.105)
1637 May 13, Cardinal Richelieu
of France created the table knife.
1640 The Massachusetts Bay
Company sent 300,000 codfish to market.
(SFC, 5/24/97, p.E3)
1660 May 7, Isaack B. Fubine of
Savoy, in The Hague, patented macaroni.
1673 Feb 20, The 1st recorded
wine auction was held in London.
1683 Sep 12, Marco d'Aviano,
sent by Pope Innocent XI to unite the outnumbered Christian troops,
spurred them to victory. The Turks left behind sacks of coffee which
the Christians found too bitter, so they sweetened it with honey and
milk and named the drink cappuccino after the Capuchin order of
monks to which d'Aviano belonged. An Austrian baker created a
crescent-shaped roll, the Kipfel, to celebrate the victory. Empress
Maria Theresa later took it to France where it became the croissant.
(Reuters, 4/28/03)(WSJ, 6/3/03, p.D5)
1708 Thomas Corneille mentioned
Camembert cheese in his geographical dictionary.
(Econ, 7/26/03, p.79)
1718 Nov 13, John Montagu
(d.1792), fourth Earl of Sandwich and purported inventor of the
sandwich, was born. In 2012 the town of Sandwich staged a dramatic
re-enactment of the moment when the earl was said to have invented
the sandwich, to mark the 250th anniversary of the bread-based
1720 Jun 10, Mrs. Clements of
England marketed the 1st paste-style mustard.
1727 The 1st English-language
recipe for "English Katchop" was published in "E. Smith's Compleat
Housewife, or Accomplished Gentlewoman's Companion."
(SFC, 8/27/03, p.E4)
1727 Brazil planted its first
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R49)
1733 May 17, England passed the
Molasses Act, putting high tariffs on rum and molasses imported to
the colonies from a country other than British possessions.
1738 Apr 15, The bottle opener
1741 Apr 13, Dutch people
protested the bad quality of bread.
1742 England's "Compleat
Housewife" cookbook was published in North America.
(SFC, 8/27/03, p.E4)
1743 "Kitchup" was declared a
kitchen staple in a British housekeeper's guide. Fish, mushroom and
walnut emerged as the 3 main ketchups.
(SFC, 8/27/03, p.A1)
1744 May 11, In Britain
Elizabeth Robinson of Middlesex and 2 other women were tried and
convicted at the Old Bailey on charges of stealing 104 imported
China oranges from a grocer’s warehouse with the intent to sell
them. She was sentenced to transport for a term of 7 years. She was
pregnant and gave birth on ship.
(SFEC, 10/27/96, p.T9)
1755 Jun 30, Philippines closed
all non-Catholic Chinese restaurants.
1758 Feb 15, The 1st mustard
manufactured in America was advertised in Philadelphia.
(440 Int’l., 2/15/99)(HCB, 2003, p. 94)
1772 The Paris Faculty of
Medicine declared potatoes to be an edible food.
(SSFC, 10/5/08, p.A15)
1774 Sep 26, John Chapman
(d.1845), later known as Johnny Appleseed, was born in
Massachusetts. A pioneer agriculturalist of early America,
Chapman began his trek in 1797, collecting apple seedlings from
western Pennsylvania and establishing apple nurseries around the
early American frontier. Chapman was a Swedenborgian missionary, a
land speculator and an eccentric dresser (he hated shoes and seldom
wore them. He planted orchards across western Pennsylvania, Ohio,
and Indiana from seed.
p.42)(ON, 4/09, p.10)
1777 May 12, The 1st ice cream
advertisement appeared in the Philip Lenzi NY Gazette.
1784 Mar 1, E. Kidner opened
the 1st cooking school in Great Britain.
1785 Mar 1, Philadelphia
Society for the Promotion of Agriculture was organized.
1788 “The Art of Cookery, Made
Plain and Easy” by Hannah Glasse was published in London.
(SFC, 5/4/05, p.G10)
1791 Legend says the Harel
family began making Camembert cheese before this time. The family
had given a priest refuge, who in gratitude gave them the recipe. In
2003 Pierre Boisard authored "Camembert: A National Myth."
(SSFC, 7/27/03, p.M3)
1792 Mar 4, Oranges were
introduced to Hawaii.
1794 Jul 5, Sylvester Graham,
developed graham cracker, was born.
1795 Lime juice was issued to
all British sailors to aid in prevention of scurvy. Captain James
Cook (d.1779) had prepared a paper detailing his groundbreaking work
against scurvy. He was awarded the gold Copley Medal-one of the
highest honors of England's Royal Society. Scurvy epidemics were
once common among sailors on long voyages. Cook was the first to
beat the problem, recognizing the need for an appropriate diet for
1798 Thomas Robert Malthus
authored his “An Essay on the Principle of Population As it affects
the future improvement of society with remarks on the speculations
of Mr. Godwin, M. Condorcet, and other writers.” His forecast for a
population crash was based on the calculation that it was impossible
to improve wheat yields as fast as people make babies. His 2nd
edition in 1803 introduced the idea of moral restraint.
12/24/05, p.29)(Econ, 5/17/08, p.94)
1800 John Chapman (1774-1845),
Johnny Appleseed, a Swedenborgian missionary, a land speculator, a
heavy drinker and an eccentric dresser, began planting orchards
across western Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana from seed. (T&L,
10/1980, p.42) )(AHD, p.225)(HNQ, 1/2/01)
c1800 Worcestershire sauce was a ketchup and came
out about this time.
(SFC, 7/3/96, zz-1,p.3)
1801 Nov 9, Gail Borden
(d.1874), inventor of condensed milk, was born in New York.
(ON, 5/04, p.4)(Internet)
1801 Elder John Leland, a
Baptist minister, helped commission a 1,235-pound wheel of Cheshire
cheese as a gift of gratitude for Thomas Jefferson's steadfast
support of religious liberties.
(SSFC, 8/17/03, p.M1)
1803 Feb 14, An apple parer was
patented by Moses Coats in Downington, Penn.
1803 May 17, John Hawkins and
Richard French patented a reaping machine.
1803 Thomas Robert Malthus
(1766-1834), English political economist, authored the 2nd edition
of his 1798 “An Essay on the Principle of Population.” This edition
introduced the idea of moral restraint.
1805 As early as 1805,
Bostonian Frederic Tudor (b.1783) considered ways to make money by
exporting ice, a valueless commodity in New England, to the tropics.
Tudor supported technical innovations, like the horse-drawn sleigh
with saw-like runners, which improved the cutting, shipping and
storage of large ice blocks. Recognizing that people living in warm
climates were not familiar with cool food and drinks, Tudor traveled
to prospective markets making ice cream and providing free ice for
barkeepers. By 1856, Tudor's role as the "Ice King" was firmly
established as 146,000 tons of ice shipped from Boston transformed
the eating habits of people from the Philippines to the southern
1806 Apr 5, Isaac Quintard
patented apple cider.
1806 Jul 3, Michael Keens
exhibited the 1st cultivated strawberry.
1807 May 22, Townsend Speakman
1st sold fruit-flavored carbonated drinks in Phila.
1809 Nicholas Appert won a
French prize of 12,000 francs for his method of keeping food in
glass bottles. Napoleon had offered the prize with military needs in
(SFC, 9/19/07, p.G6)
1810 Apr 17, Lewis Norton of
Troy, PA., introduced his pineapple cheese.
(440 Int'l, 4/17/03)
1810 Peter Durand, a British
merchant, was granted a patent by King George III for his idea of
preserving food in "vessels of glass, pottery, tin (tin can), or
other metals or fit materials."
1812 The 1st American recipe
for tomato ketchup was published.
(SFC, 8/27/03, p.E4)
1813 Jan 11, The 1st pineapples
were planted in Hawaii (or 1/21).
1814 Jun 3, Nicolas Appert
(b.1749), French cook, died. He was the winner of a 12,000 franc
prize offered by Napoleon for developing a method to preserve food.
His original canning method took 14 years to develop and used glass
jars sealed with wax reinforced with wire.
(WSJ, 1/21/03, p.A1)(www.foodreference.com)
1815 Feb 3, World's 1st
commercial cheese factory was established, in Switzerland.
1816 Henry Hall, a Cape Cod
farmer, discovered that sand spread over wild cranberry plants
induced good growth.
(Econ, 12/18/04, p.123)
1817 Dr. William Kitchiner
authored his cookbook "Apicius Redivivus, or the Cook's Oracle." It
included 11 ketchup recipes, including 2 each for mushroom, walnut
and tomato ketchups, and one each for cucumber, oyster and cockles
and mussels ketchups.
(SFC, 8/27/03, p.E4)
1820 Jun 28, The tomato was
proven to be non-poisonous.
1820 Aug 7, The 1st potatoes
were planted in Hawaii.
1825 Jan 19, Ezra Daggett and
nephew Thomas Kensett received a patent from Pres. Monroe for food
storage in tin cans. [see 1810]
1830 Commercial bottling
operations for ketchup began in Boston.
(SFC, 8/27/03, p.E4)
1830 Some sources say that the
1st pizzeria opened in Naples about this time. [see 1889]
(SFCM, 4/18/04, p.16)
1833 Apr 24, A patent was
granted for the first soda fountain.
1834 Nov 25, Delmonico's, one
of NY's finest restaurants, provided a meal of soup, steak, coffee
& half a pie for 12 cents.
(SFEC, 5/18/97, Z1 p.6)
1835 Sep 13, Ladd & Co.
began the 1st sugar cane plantation in Hawaii.
1837 Aug 28, Pharmacists John
Lea & William Perrins began to manufacture Worcester Sauce. [see
1841 Mar 22, Cornstarch was
patented by Orlando Jones.
1845 The Economist magazine
began tabulating a food price index.
(Econ, 12/8/07, p.11)
1845-1846 As Ireland’s potato crop was consumed by
blight. The nation’s peasants, who relied on the potato as their
primary food source, starved. The famine took as many as one million
lives from hunger and disease and caused mass emigration. The
British government responded to the calamity too late with too
little aid, even though eyewitnesses reported the suffering in the
1847 Britain passed a Vagrancy
Act to combat begging as famine swept Ireland.
1847 Sweet chocolate made its
(NH, 6/03, p.74)
1848 May 30, William Young patented the ice
1848 John Curtis produced the
first commercial chewing gum in his home kitchen in Maine. In 1850
he established the world’s first chewing gum factory in Portland.
(Econ, 10/29/11, p.100)
1848 It was discovered that
palm oil, a native of West Africa, grew well in the Far East. By
2010 Indonesia and Malaysia produced 90% of the world’s palm oil.
(Econ, 6/26/10, p.71)
1849 Oct, The Boudin Sourdough
Bakery was founded in San Francisco by French immigrant Isador
Boudin during the Gold Rush. Boudin first used ordinary sourdough to
bake a French-style bread. In 1941 the firm was bought by Steven
Giraudo. By 1997 the 10th and Geary facility was a $500 million
operation selling bread under the Parisian, Colombo and other
(SFEC, 1/4/98, Z1p.4)(SFC, 10/9/99, p.A1)(SFC,
1849 By this time Maunsel
White, a New Orleans plantation owner, was growing peppers that had
originated in Mexico’s state of Tabasco. He devised a sauce using
(WSJ, 10/9/07, p.D11)
1850 May 10, Thomas Johnstone
Lipton, yachtsman, tea magnate (Lipton Tea), was born in Glasgow.
1850 Jul 14, The 1st public
demonstration of ice made by refrigeration took place. James
Harrison of Australia designed an ice-making machine. It was an
improvement on one invented by Jacob Perkins in 1834.
(MC, 7/14/02)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R14)
1850 James Folger (18), a
native of Massachusetts, began roasting beans in SF. Folger’s Coffee
established itself on the Barbary Coast and was the first major
coffee company in SF. Jim Folger eventually traveled to the gold
country to sell coffee to miners.
(SFC, 6/28/97, p.D2)(SSFC, 8/5/01, p.A1)(SFC,
1850 The Granny Smith apple
originated about this time in Australia. According to Morgan and
Richards The Book of Apples: A Mrs. Smith, born in England in 1800,
emigrated to Australia in 1838. In 1860s she found some seedlings
growing in a creek where she had tipped out some apples brought back
from Sydney. Tree was propagated and later family increased their
orchards and marketed fruit in Sydney.
1850-1859 The 1st recipe for ginger ale was
created in Ireland in the 1850s.
(SFC, 6/29/05, p.F12)
1851 Jan 31, Gail Borden
announced the invention of evaporated milk.
1851 Jun 15, Jacob Fussell,
Baltimore dairyman, set up the 1st ice-cream factory.
1853 May 14, Gail Borden
applied for a patent for condensed milk.
1853 Aug 24, The 1st potato
chips were prepared by Chef George Crum at Saratoga Springs, NY.
1855 Anderson Preserve Co.
incorporated. It sold Boston Market Catsup throughout the US.
(SFC, 8/27/03, p.E4)
1856 Aug 19, Gail Borden
(1801-1874) received a patent for condensed milk and opened a small
factory for its production in Walcottville, Conn. At this time milk
in NYC sold for 6-7 cents a quart.
(ON, 5/04, p.5)(AP, 8/19/06)
1857 Sep 13, Milton S. Hershey,
chocolate manufacturer and philanthropist, was born in central
1857 Neuhaus began making
chocolate in Belgium.
(SFC, 9/15/96, p.T9)
1858 Ezra Warner of Waterbury,
Connecticut, patented a tin can opener that looked like a bent
1860 Apr 7, Will Keith Kellogg,
the brother of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (1852-1943), was born. Will
later founded the W.K. Kellogg company in Battle Creek, Mich., to
market the cornflakes invented by his older brother. [see 1895]
(HN, 4/7/99)(WSJ, 9/29/00, p.W17)
1861 May 21, Elena Molokhovets
(1831-1918), Russian writer, published “A Gift to Young Housewives,”
which remained popular in Russia for half a century.
1862 May 15, The US Department
of Agriculture was created.
1863 William Banting, An
English undertaker, printed his pamphlet “Letter on Corpulence,” in
which he recommended a high protein diet that helped him loose
weight. The diet was based on one recently recommended for
(WSJ, 5/5/04, p.B1)
1864 Sep 4, Bread riots took
place in Mobile, Alabama.
1864 The Robinson family
purchased Niihau Island from the Hawaiian monarchy and moved there
from New Zealand. The family founded the Gay and Robinson Sugar Co.
(SFC, 8/31/02, p.A21)
1866 May 16, Charles Elmer
Hires invented root beer.
1866-1868 About this time Edmund McIlhenny
(1815-1890), banker, traveled to New Orleans and acquired some
pepper seeds from a man on the street, which he grew and used to
develop a hot sauce that he called Tabasco, after peppers from
Mexico’s state of Tabasco. In 2007 Jeffrey Rothfeder authored
McIlhenny’s Gold: How a Louisiana Family Built the Tabasco Empire.”
p.A3)(WSJ, 10/9/07, p.D11)
1867 Feb 17, William Cadbury,
chocolate manufacturer, was born.
1867 Sep 5, The first shipment
of cattle left Abilene, Kansas, on a Union Pacific train headed to
c1867 In NYC restaurateur and entrepreneur Charles
Feltman, who owned a pie wagon at Coney, was looking for something
simple he could prepare and serve in a confined space. He hit on the
idea of putting a hot sausage in a hard roll. Another version puts
Feltman in his German restaurant, Feltman's Ocean Pavilion, when at
some point a sausage ended up between two slices of bread. Feltman
called it a frankfurter, and cartoonists labeled it a "hot dog."
1868 A new meat market opened
in London at the site of the old Smithfield livestock market. The
original Metropolitan Railway passed underneath allowing the market
to receive much of its meat by hydraulic lifts. The railways stopped
carrying meat after 1950.
(Econ, 1/26/13, p.16)
1869 Jun 9, Charles Elmer Hires
sold his 1st root beer in Phila.
1869 Jul 15, Margarine was
patented by Hippolye Mega-Mouriss for use by French Navy.
1869 Aug 24, Cornelius
Swarthout of Troy, New York, patented the waffle iron.
1869 Henry John Heinz partnered
with L. Clarence Noble to form Heinz & Noble in Sharpsburg, Pa.
Their first product was grated horseradish. Their first ketchup was
introduced in 1876. They produced tomato and walnut ketchup for 24
cents per gallon and sold them from whiskey barrels. In 2013 Warren
Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital acquired Heinz in a
$23.3 billion deal.
1869 Pillsbury was founded as a
US flour milling company.
(WSJ, 5/5/99, p.B1)
1869 Margarine was invented.
(NW, 9/16/02, p.34D)
1870 Jun 17, George Cormack,
cereal inventor (Wheaties), was born.
1870 William Lyman of the US
invented the home can opener, with a cutting wheel that rolls around
1871 Jan 3, Henry
W. Bradley patented oleomargarine in Binghamton, NY.
(AH, 2/06, p.14)
1872 Apr 9, Samuel R. Percy
patented dried milk.
1873 Aug, The cannibalized
remains of 5 men were found on the banks of the Gunnison River,
Colorado. Alfred Packer (d.1907), one of a 6-man prospecting party,
had emerged from the area 3 months earlier. Packer was arrested but
escaped for 9 years. He then spent 18 years in jail and was paroled
in 1901. [see Apr 13, 1883]
(AM, 5/01, p.50)
1874 Jan 11, Gail Borden
(b.1801), inventor of condensed milk, died in Borden, Tx. Epitaph:
“I tried and failed, I tried again and again and succeeded.”
(ON, 5/04, p.5)(
1875 Dec 17, Violent bread
riots took place in Montreal.
1875 Seth Lewelling of
Milwaukie, Oregon, grew the 1st Bing cherry from the seed of a
Republican cherry. He named it Bing after a Chinese worker on his
(SFC, 4/12/03, p.E3)
1876 Feb 17, Sardines were 1st
canned by Julius Wolff in Eastport, Maine.
1876 Austin and Reuben Hills
began roasting coffee at the Bay City Market in SF. [see 1878]
(SSFC, 8/5/01, p.A1)
1876 Jun 5, Bananas became
popular in US following the Centennial Exposition in Phila.
1878 Austin and R.W. Hills
founded Hills Bros. Coffee in SF. [see 1876]
(SFC, 6/28/97, p.D2)(SFC, 6/5/08, p.C2)
1877 The 1st shipload of frozen
beef was carried to France from Argentina.
(Econ Sp, 12/13/03, p.7)
1877 Pietro Barilla opened a
shop in Parma, Italy, selling bread and pasta. The company left the
bread business in 1952. By 2007 it was the world’s leading pasta
maker. In 1999 the Parma pasta factory was closed and converted to
the Academia Barilla, which also housed a library dedicated to
(Econ, 6/23/07, p.75)(Econ, 12/20/08, p.145)
1878 Lyman C. Byce, Petaluma
poultry pioneer, began experimenting with an incubator to hatch baby
(Ind, 4/26/03, p.5A)
1879 Feb 27, Constantine
Fahlberg discovered saccharin, an artificial sweetener.
1879 Apr 8, Milk was sold in
glass bottles for the 1st time.
1879 Armour & Co., a
Chicago meat processor founded in the 1860s, introduced canned
meats. Canned condensed milk was introduced in 1912. The “Armour’s
Star” trademark was first used in 1931.
(SFC, 8/2/06, p.G7)
1880 Mar 23, John Stevens of
Neenah, Wis., patented the grain crushing mill. This mill allowed
flour production to increase by 70 percent.
1880 Mar 26, Duncan Hines, US
restaurant guide writer (Out of Kentucky Kitchens), was born.
(HN, 3/25/98)(SS, 3/26/02)
1880 Jul 27, A.P. Abourne
patented a process for refining coconut oil.
1880 B. Manischewitz founded an
operation in Cincinnati to make unleavened bread based on a
(SFC, 9/22/03, p.B4)
1880-1930 The 3rd wave of immigrants arrived in
Hawaii to work on sugar cane and then pineapple plantations owned by
Europeans and Americans. The first workers were Chinese and they
were followed by Japanese, Okinawans, Koreans, Puerto Ricans,
Portuguese and Filipinos.
(SFEM, 2/8/98, p.10,32)
1881 Aug 27, New York state’s
Pure Food Law went into effect to prevent "the adulteration of food
1881 Jul 8, Edward Berner of
Two Rivers, Wisconsin, created the Sundae.
1881 Aug 27, New York state’s
Pure Food Law went into effect to prevent "the adulteration of food
1881 Joseph Brandenstein opened
a coffee company in SF, naming it after his son Michael J.
Brandenstein and Co. The name was later shortened to MJB Inc.
(SFC, 6/28/97, p.D2)(SFC, 6/5/08, p.C2)
1881 William H. Purvis
introduced macadamia nuts to Hawaii.
1882 Feb 15, SS Dunedin left
New Zealand with 1st frozen meat for England.
1882 Mar 25, 1st demonstration
of pancake making was in a NYC Dept store.
1882 Heinz began patenting
(SFC, 8/27/03, p.E4)
1883 Apr 13, Alfred Packer was
convicted of cannibalism. [see Aug, 1873]
1884 Nov 25, John B. Meyenberg
of St. Louis patented evaporated milk.
1885 In Dr. Jacob's pharmacy
in Atlanta, "French coca wine," the future symbol of "the American
way of life" as Coca Cola became known, made its debut [see Mar 29,
May 8, 1886].
1885 Jules Harder, 1st chef of
the SF Palace Hotel, authored “The Physiology of Taste: Harder’s
Book of Practical American Cookery.”
(SFC, 9/7/05, p.F4)
1886 Feb 14, California orange
growers ship their first trainload of fruit from Los Angeles.
(HCB, 2003, p.92)
1886 Mar 29, Coca-Cola was
advertised for the first time in the Atlanta Daily. Its inventor,
Dr. John Pemberton, claimed it could cure anything from hysteria to
the common cold. John Stith (Doc) Pemberton, pharmacist, concocted a
bath of a dark, sugary syrup meant to be mixed with carbonated water
and sold at the city’s soda fountains. This was the beginning of
Coca Cola, which then contained enough cocaine to give the a drinker
a buzz and more caffeine than the drink contains today. Sales at the
soda fountain of Jacob‘s Pharmacy averaged 9 drinks a day in the
first year. The story is told by Frederick Allen in his book “Secret
Formula.” The drink was named by Frank Robinson and he created its
signature script logo. [see May 8]
1886 May 8, Atlanta pharmacist
John Stith Pemberton invented the flavor syrup for Coca-Cola, which
contained cocaine. The name for the soft drink came from his
bookkeeper, Frank Robinson. Sales of Coca-Cola at the soda fountain
of Jacob‘s Pharmacy averaged 9 drinks a day in the first year. [see
1886 In SF the Fior d’Italia
restaurant began to serve clients for a nearby North Beach bordello.
Tortellini was a nickel, risotto with clams a dime and veal
scallopine and calf’s liver was 15 cents. It was
originally located at 482 Broadway and later moved to 601 Union St.
In February 2005 the restaurant was burned out of its Washington
Square location. It re-opened in November on Mason Street at the
former San Remo Hotel.
(SFC, 4/23/02, p.A1)(SFC, 11/23/05, p.B5)(SSFC,
5/1/11, DB p.46)
1886 The beverages Moxie, Dr
Pepper, Coca-Cola [see Mar 29] and Hires Root Beer all appeared in
(SFC, 10/7/00, p.B5)
1888 Asa Candler purchased the
Coca Cola formula. In 2004 Constance L. Hays authored "The Real
thing: Truth and Power at the Coca-Cola Company."
(SSFC, 2/22/04, p.M3)
1889 The modern pizza was
reportedly invented by a Neopolitan named Raffaele Esposito. [see
(SFEC,11/16/97, Z1 p.5)
1889 Chris L. Rutt, a
newspaperman in St. Joseph, Missouri, began working on creating a
self-rising pancake mix. Within a year, he and two associates
developed the first pancake mix ever made. While seeking a name and
package design for the world's first self-rising pancake mix, Rutt
saw a vaudeville team known as Baker and Farrell whose act included
Baker singing the catchy song "Aunt Jemima" dressed as a Southern
mammy. Inspired by the wholesome name and image, Rutt appropriated
them both to market his new pancake mix.
1890 Sep 9, Colonel Harland
Sanders (d.1980), originator of Kentucky Fried Chicken fast-food
restaurants, was born in Henryville, Ind.
1890 Unable to raise the money
to promote Aunt Jemima pancake mix, Chris L. Rutt and his associates
sold their company to R.T. Davis Mill and Manufacturing Company,
which promoted the new product at the World's Columbian Exposition
in Chicago in 1893. The company hired Nancy Green (d.1923), a famous
African-American cook born in Montgomery County, Kentucky, to play
the part of Aunt Jemima and demonstrate the pancake mix. In 1917,
Aunt Jemima was redrawn as a smiling, heavy-set black housekeeper
with a bandanna wrapped around her head.
1891 George A. Hormel, son of
German immigrants, opened a small retail meat shop in Austin, Minn.
Within months he opened a packinghouse. His son Jay became president
in 1929. Their canned ham product, developed in 1926, was named Spam
on Jan 1, 1937, and registered as a trademark on May 11, 1937.
(SFEM, 6/16/96, BR p.26)(WSJ, 4/29/04,
1892 Feb 2, Bottle cap with
cork seal was patented by William Painter in Baltimore.
1892 Jun 18, Macadamia nuts
were 1st planted in Hawaii.
1892 The first Fig Newtons were
(SFEC, 10/31/99, Z1 p.2)
1893 Jan 17, Hawaii's monarchy
was overthrown by a group of businessmen and sugar planters under
Sanford Ballard Dole, who forced Queen Lili’uokalani to abdicate and
formed the Republic of Hawaii. This coup occurred with the knowledge
of John L. Stevens, the US Minister to Hawaii, and 300 Marines from
the US cruiser Boston who were called to Hawaii, allegedly to
protect American lives. Queen Lili’uokalani wrote to Pres. Harrison
for support. [see Jan 24]
(AP, 1/17/98)(HNPD, 1/25/99)(SFEC, 8/29/99,
p.T11)(MC, 1/17/02)(ON, 11/02, p.6)
1893 Apr 8, The Critic reported
that ice cream soda is the national drink of the US.
1893 Aug 1, Henry Perky and
William Ford patented a machine for making shredded wheat breakfast
(HN, 8/1/00)(MC, 8/1/02)
1893 Oct 6, Nabisco Foods
invented Cream of Wheat.
1893 At the Chicago Exposition
Milton Hershey was impressed with an exhibition featuring
chocolate-making machinery from Germany and commented to his cousin,
Frank Snavely, "Caramels are only a fad. Chocolate is a permanent
thing." With that, Hershey decided to go into the chocolate
business, purchasing the German-made machinery and installing it at
his Lancaster Caramel Company in Pennsylvania. With the help of
expert chocolate makers, Hershey was soon producing
chocolate-covered caramels, called "novelties." In 1900, Hershey
sold the Lancaster Caramel Company for $1 million, but retained the
chocolate-making machinery. Soon thereafter, he launched the Hershey
Chocolate Company and built a town around it, Hershey, Pennsylvania.
1893 F.W. Rueckheim introduced
a confection of popcorn, peanuts and molasses at the Columbian
Exposition in Chicago. It was given the name Cracker Jack in 1896.
(AH, 10/04, p.71)
1893 The first electric bread
toasters were made in England about this time.
(SFC, 1/23/08, p.G4)
1894 Milton Hershey (1857-1945)
founded Hershey Foods in Pennsylvania. He built an industrial town
near where he was born and named it after himself.
(WSJ, 7/26/02, p.B1)(SSFC, 4/13/03, p.D1)(Econ,
1895 Nov 26, Hawaiian Sugar
Planters Assn. formed.
1895-1942 The Hagiwara Family operated the
Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. In 1914 Makoto Hagiwara
introduced the fortune cookie.
(SFEC, 3/8/98, p.W30)(SFC, 9/7/05, p.F4)
1896 Jun 30, W.S. Hadaway
patented an electric stove.
1896 Aug 29, The
Chinese-American dish chop suey was invented in New York City by the
chef to visiting Chinese Ambassador Li Hung-chang.
1896 F.W. Rueckheim &
Brother of Chicago received a trademark for "Cracker Jack." The
popcorn and peanuts covered with molasses syrup sold for a nickel a
box in 1899.
(HFA, ‘96, p.67)(SFC, 7/29/98, p.)(SFC, 7/29/98,
Z1 p.23)(AH, 10/01, p.34)
1896 The Molinari family began
making air dried salami in San Francisco’s North Beach.
(SSFC, 10/30/11, p.G3)
1897 In Le Roy, New York,
Pearle Wait, a carpenter, and his wife May, made a concoction of
gelatin and fruit flavor that they named Jell-O.
(SFEC, 7/27/97, p.A2)
1898 Angelo Giurlani founded
Star Fine Foods. His family ran Star Olive Oil in the Lucca district
(SFC, 12/17/02, p.A23)
1898 A Campbell Soup executive
admired the red-and-white colors of the Cornell football team and
adopted them for Campbell Soup.
(SFC, 1/8/00, p.B4)
1899 Aug 8, The first household
refrigerating machine was patented.
(SFEC, 8/8/99, Z1 p.8)(HN, 8/8/00)
1899 Sep 6, Carnation processed
its 1st can of evaporated milk.
1899 In Le Roy, New York,
Pearle Wait, a carpenter, and his wife May, sold their formula for
Jell-O for $450 to neighbor Orator Frank Woodward.
(SFEC, 7/27/97, p.A2)
1899 In New Orleans Oysters
Rockefeller was invented at Antoine's restaurant.
(SFEM, 6/14/98, p.8)
1899 The American Rice Food and
Manufacturing Co. of New Jersey established a copyright for an
advertising doll for Cook's Flaked Rice.
(SFC, 3/11/98, Z1 p.5)
1899 Oakland Preserving Co. and
17 other firms combined to form the California Fruit Canners
Association. They adopted the Del Monte brand name. In 1916-17 the
canner’s association called itself Calpak and started advertising
the Del Monte brand.
(SFC, 3/1/97, p.B1)(SSFC, 10/3/04, p.J1)
1900 Jul 28, The hamburger was
created by Louis Lassing in Connecticut.
1901 The Monsanto Chemical
Works was founded in St. Louis, Mo., by John F. Queeny (1859–1933),
a purchasing agent for a wholesale drug company, to manufacture the
synthetic sweetener saccharin, then produced only in Germany.
1902 Jun 9, The 1st Automat
restaurant opened at 818 Chestnut Street, Phila.
1902 Aug 23, Fanny Farmer,
among the first to emphasize the relationship of diet to health,
opened her School of Cookery in Boston.
1902 Caleb Bradham launched the
Pepsi-Cola Co. from the backroom of his pharmacy in New Bern, N.C.
He was awarded the Pepsi-Cola trademark in 1903. [see Jun 16, 1903]
(SFC, 2/18/98, p.B2)
1902 The New Jersey Ralston
Health Club run by Webster Edgerley merged with Purina Mills, a food
manufacturer run by Will Danforth, to form the Ralston-Purina Co.
Ralston Breakfast Food had been manufactured by Purina and its
success led to the merger.
(Arch, 5/04, p.32)
1902 Auguste Escoffier
(1846-1935), French chef, authored “Le Guide Culinaire,” a
collection of some 5,000 recipes.
(Econ, 12/20/08, p.141)
1903 May 5, James Beard
(d.1985), US culinary expert, author (Delights & Prejudices),
was born in Portland, Ore.
1903 Jun 16, Pepsi Cola company
formed. [see 1902]
1904 Sep 18, In East London
Jewish anarchists on Brick Lane pelted Ultra-Orthodox worshippers
with bacon sandwiches on Yom Kippur.
(http://tinyurl.com/3x7moee)(Econ, 3/5/11, p.17)
1903 Sep 22, Italo Marchioni
applied for a patent for pastry cornets to hold ice cream and was
granted the patent on Dec 13, 1903. Ice cream cones were popularized
in the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair.
(HN, 5/2/98)(SFEC, 5/23/99, p.B7)(MC,
9/22/01)(SSFC, 10/5/03, p.C3)
1903 Dec 13, Italo Marconi
received a patent for the ice cream cone in NJ. [see Sep 22, 1903]
(MC, 12/13/01)(SSFC, 10/5/03, p.C3)
1904 Apr 30, At 1:06 p.m.
President Theodore Roosevelt officially opened the St. Louis World’s
Fair commemorating the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase.
Although the Fair was originally scheduled to open in 1903, the
opening was delayed for a year while the elaborate fairgrounds were
completed. Visitors were awed by 142 miles of exhibits shown in
palatial buildings like Festival Hall the centerpiece of the fair
boasting an auditorium seating 3,500 and the largest pipe organ in
the world. Other wonders seen at the St. Louis World’s Fair were the
Liberty Bell, ice cream cones. Food vendors, Arnold Fornachou (ice
cream) and Ernest Hamwi (sweet, rolled wafers), collaborated for the
ice cream cones. In 1903 Italo Marconi received a patent for pastry
cornets to hold ice cream. Charles Menches sold ice cream at the
fair and an anonymous Syrian sold the zalabia pastry in the next
(HN, 5/2/98)(SFEC, 5/23/99, p.B7)(SFC, 6/24/00,
1904 Apr 30, The St. Louis
World’s Fair popularized the all-American hamburger. The fair lasted
7 months and inspired the phrase "Meet Me in St. Louis." Cass
Gilbert designed the art museum in Foret park, the only building
left over from the fair. At the Louisiana Purchase Exposition the
temperatures in St. Louis soared and hot-tea vendor Richard
Blechynden began pouring his tea over ice thus the invention of
iced-tea. The fair popularized sausage in a bun, the hot dog with
prepared mustard and the ice cream cone.
(SFC, 8/18/96, Z1 p.2)(SFEC, 11/17/96, Par
p.19)(SFC, 10/12/97, p.T5)(SFEC, 4/19/98, Z1 p.8)(SSFC, 10/5/03,
1904 Although invented in Waco,
Texas in the 1880s, Dr Pepper first received national exposure at
the St. Louis World‘s Fair.
1904 Jul 23, By some accounts,
the ice cream cone was invented by Charles E. Menches during the
Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis. [see Sep 22, 1903]
1905 Frank W. Epperson
(1804-1983) invented the Popsicle on a cold night in San Francisco.
In 1923 Epperson remembered his frozen soda water mixture and began
a business producing Epsicles in seven fruit flavors.
1905 Nestle S.A. originated in
a merger of the Anglo-Swiss Milk Company for milk products
established in 1866 by the Page Brothers in Cham, Switzerland, and
the Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé Company set up in 1866 by Henri
Nestlé to provide an infant food product.
1906 Feb 19, In Michigan W.K.
Kellogg & Charles Bolin incorporated the Battle Creek Toasted
Corn Flake Co. Will Kellogg spent 2/3 of the company budget to
advertise Corn Flakes.
(SFC, 11/16/96, p.E4)(ON, 2/05, p.10)
1906 Jun 30, The Pure Food and
Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act became law.
(HFA, '96, p.32)(AP, 6/29/99)
1906 Jul 14, Tom Carvel, ice
cream mogul (Carvels), was born.
1906 The first chocolate
brownie recipe was published by American cookbook author, Fannie
Merritt Farmer. They were named after Celtic pixies. Farmer in 1905
first adapted her chocolate cookie recipe to a bar cookie baked in a
1906 C&H Sugar took over a
waterfront mill in Crockett, Ca.
(SSFC, 8/31/03, p.I3)
1906 The Louisiana McIlhenny
family were awarded a trademark for the word Tabasco, which was also
the name of their popular pepper sauce.
(WSJ, 10/9/07, p.D11)
1907 Jul 16, Orville
Redenbacher (d.1995), agronomist and popcorn entrepreneur, was born
in Brazil, Indiana. "Do one thing and do it better than anyone."
(AH, 10/01, p.36)(AP, 7/16/07)
1907 Milton Hershey, chocolate
tycoon, opened Hershey Park, an admission-free amusement park in
(SSFC, 4/13/03, p.D6)
1908 The Hydrox cookie was
created by a company that became Sunshine Biscuits Inc. Keebler
acquired Sunshine in 1996 and Kellogg acquired Keebler in 2001. In
2003 Kellogg stopped making the Hydrox cookie.
(WSJ, 1/19/08, p.A10)
1909 Sep 14, The Tootsie Roll
trade-mark was registered. The application by NYC candy makers
Hirschfeld and Stern & Saalberg stated that “Tootsie” had been
used in association with the candy since September 1908. Leo
Hirshfield had invented Bromangelon Jelly Powder around 1895.
1909 Harry V. Warehime
established Hanover Pretzel Company in Pennsylvania with a single
recipe, Hanover Olde Tyme Pretzels.
1911 May 18, San Francisco
received its first shipment of red onions from Stockton and growers
received $2.25 per sack for all they could deliver. Italian
gardeners earned about $500 an acre from their crop.
(SSFC, 5/15/11, DB p.46)
1911 Aug 15, Procter and Gamble
unveiled its Crisco shortening.
1911 Dinuba, Ca., began hosting
a raisin festival.
(SFC, 9/18/03, p.A10)
1911 Liguria started a focaccia
tradition in San Francisco’s North Beach.
(SSFC, 10/30/11, p.G3)
1911 The Victoria Pastry Co.
began making Sicilian specialties in San Francisco’s North Beach.
(SSFC, 10/30/11, p.G3)
1911 Quaker Oats bought the
Great Western Cereal Co., maker of Mothers Oats. Great Western of
Akron, Ohio, had owned the brand since 1901.
(SFC, 1/16/08, p.G4)
1912 Mar 23, Dixie Cup was
1912 Aug 15, Julia Child
(d.2004), American chef and television personality, was born as
Julia Carolyn McWilliams in Pasadena, Calif. Her 90th B-day party
was held in SF on Aug 1, 2002.
(SFEC, 9/28/97, BR p.5)(SFC, 10/20/99, Z1p.4)(HN,
8/15/00)(SFCM, 9/1/02, p.33)
1912 Prizes were added to boxes
of Cracker Jacks.
1912 National Biscuit, later
Nabisco, came up with the Oreo cookie.
(WSJ, 1/19/08, p.A10)
1912 California farmers in
Butte County began raising rice in the wet lowlands of the
Sacramento Valley, a Japanese variety imported from Texas.
(SFC, 5/22/96, zz-1)(SSFC, 11/25/12, p.C10)
1912 The cooperative California
Associated Raison Co. was formed in the Central Valley to produce,
process and market raisins. The Sun-Maid brand name was launched in
1915. In 1916 a portrait of Lorraine Collett of Fresno became the
1913 Brillo pads were
(SFC, 9/9/00, p.B4)
1914 Mother’s Cake & Cookie
Co. was founded in Oakland, Ca., by N.M. Wheatley, a newspaper
vendor. After a series of owners the firm was sold in 2005 to
Catterton Partners, a private equity firm. In 2006 Catterton
announced the closure of the Oakland bakery and distribution sites.
In 2008 Catterton sought bankruptcy protection for Mother’s Cookies.
(SFC, 2/28/98, p.D1)(SFC, 4/4/06, p.C3)(SFC,
1914 In Jackson,
Michigan, George Todoroff founded the Jackson Coney Island
restaurant and created his Coney Island chili sauce recipe. In the
1910s drenched German frankfurters with Mexican chili to make chili
1915 Jan 15, Fannie Farmer
(b.1857), American culinary expert, died. Her “Boston Cooking-School
Cook Book” (1896) became a widely used culinary text.
1915 The Frigerator electric
food cooler was introduced by Guardian.
(SFC, 12/29/99, Z1 p.1)
1916 Jul 4, Nathan’s Famous Hot
Dogs opened a stand at Brooklyn’s Coney Island and held an eating
contest as a publicity stunt that became an annual event.
(SFC, 7/5/97, p.A3)
1916 Sarah Williamson authored
“A California Cook Book.” It was reprinted in 2009.
(SSFC, 1/17/10, p.K2)
1916 Virginia schoolboy Antonio
Gentile won a nation-wide contest and $5 to create a logo for a
snack food company. His Mr. Peanut idea was enhanced by a
professional artist and became the logo for the Planters
1917 Columbus Salame was
founded in San Francisco. In 1967 its Salami making operation was
moved to South San Francisco.
(SFC, 7/24/09, p.D2)
1918 Sailor Jack and his dog
Bingo first appeared on Cracker Jack boxes.
(AH, 10/04, p.71)
1919 Jan 15, In Boston an
explosion opened a tank of molasses and the cylindrical sides
toppled outward knocking down 10 nearby buildings. 2 million gallons
of molasses oozed onto the streets and killed 21 people. Another 50
were injured [see 1872].
1919 The Swiss-based Nestle
company exhausted its local supply of milk and began opening
factories in Australia, England, Germany and Norway.
(Econ, 10/31/09, p.81)
1920 Sep 4, Craig Claiborne,
food critic, food columnist (NY Times Cookbook) and cookbook author,
(HN, 9/4/00)(MC, 9/4/01)
1920 Henry Burt created the
"Good Humor Bar," a chocolate covered ice cream bar on a stick, in
Youngstown, Ohio. Good Humor trucks cruised America's streets until
1976 and the company merged with Breyer's Ice Cream in 1993.
(SFEC,10/19/97, Z1 p.2)(WSJ, 7/16/99, p.W12)
1920 Walter Knott (d.1981)
first rented a berry patch in Buena Park, Ca., that he turned into a
family attraction called Knott's Berry Place. The farm later made
famous the "Boysen berry," named after Rudolph Boysen, a parks
superintendent who had crossed blackberry, red raspberry and
(SFC, 6/14/03, p.A20)
1920 Arthur Perdue began a
backyard egg business in Maryland. His son Frank (1920-2005) later
turned it into one of the nation's largest poultry processors.
(AP, 4/1/05)(SFC, 4/2/05, p.B5)
1921 May 17, Pres. Harding
opened the 1st Valencia Orange Show via telephone.
1921 Aug 15, The US Congress
passed the Packer and Stockyards Act. The Act's purpose was to
"regulate interstate and foreign commerce in live stock, live-stock
produce, dairy products, poultry, poultry products, and eggs, and
for other purposes."
1921 The Minneapolis-based
Washburn Crosby (later General Mills), purveyors of Gold Medal
Flour, invented Betty Crocker to serve as a public image food
expert. In 2005 Susan Marks authored “Finding Betty Crocker.”
(WSJ, 12/30/03, p.A1)(WSJ, 3/25/05, p.W10)
1921 White Castle, the world’s
first hamburger chain, originated in Wichita, Kansas. It used small
beef patties that cooked quickly and sold for a nickel apiece.
(SFEC, 11/17/96, Par p.19)(AH, 6/07, p.11)
1922 Jan 24, Christian K.
Nelson of Onawa, Iowa, patented the Eskimo Pie.
1922 Feb 18, Pres. Harding
signed the Capper-Volstead Act. It exempted farmers from federal
antitrust laws permitting them to share prices and orchestrate
1922 Clarence Birdseye returned
to New York state and began experimenting with packaging frozen
(ON, 8/12, p.5)
1922 Vegemite, a salty,
slightly bitter spread made from brewer's yeast, was introduced by
Australian chemist Cyril Callister for the Fred Walker Cheese
Company in Melbourne. The company wanted a Vitamin B-rich spread
that could compete with Britain's popular Marmite. The name came in
a 1923 national poll. In 2009 Kraft Foods Australia announced that a
creamier variation of Vegemite would be on store shelves July 5
alongside the original.
1923 The Chocolate
Manufacturers Association was founded.
(WSJ, 11/25/03, p.B10)
1924 Jan 29, An ice cream cone
rolling machine was patented by Carl Taylor in Cleveland.
1925 The Michelin Guide
introduced its star system for hotels and restaurants.
(WSJ, 2/20/04, p.W5)
1925 Franz Colruyt, Belgian
baker, set up a wholesale business importing coffee and spices from
overseas. In 2002 the 160th Colruyt store opened in Belgium.
(WSJ, 9/22/03, p.R3)
1925 Aaron Streit, an Austrian
immigrant, founded Streit’s kosher matzo factory in Manhattan’s
lower East Side.
(SSFC, 4/17/11, Par p.4)
1925 Ernest Van Tassel leases
75 acres on Round Top in Honolulu (Nut Ridge) and began a macadamia
nut orchard, Hawaii's first macadamia nut farm.
1926 Nov 5, Webster Edgerly
(b.1852), head of the New Jersey-based Ralston Health movement and
co-founder of Ralston Purina, died.
(Arch, 5/04, p.35)
1926 The Aunt Jemima Mills Co.
was purchased by the Quaker Oats Company of Chicago.
1927 Pez candy originated in
Austria as a breath mint for cigarette smokers. The name came from
"pfefferminz," the word for peppermint in German. The line was
imported to the United States in 1952, when the company decided it
could do better with fruit candy dispensed by plastic toys.
1928 Mar 30, Petaluma farmers
shipped 58 carloads of eggs by train to SF. 50,000 cases contained
some 18 million eggs.
(Ind, 4/26/03, p.5A)
1928 Walter E. Diemer (23), an
accountant for Fleer Chewing Gum in Philadelphia, began testing
recipes for a gum base. He invented the first batch of bubble gum,
making it pink because that was the only shade of food coloring on
hand. It was sold under the Dubble Bubble name for a penny.
(SFC, 1/13/98, p.A19)(SFC, 8/2/99, p.A22)
1928 The ice cream and oatmeal
cookie sandwich called "It’s-It" was invented at
Playland-at-the-Beach by owner George Whitney. The
made-to-order It’s It sandwich was a disk of vanilla ice-cream
between 2 oatmeal cookies dipped in melted chocolate. The trademark
was acquired by Jamal’s Enterprises in 1974.
(SFEC, 3/8/98, p.W30)(SFC, 5/20/98, Z1 p.3)
1928 Coca-Cola began sales in
Africa. By 2008 Coca Cola claimed to be the largest private sector
employee in Africa.
(Econ, 7/5/08, p.58)
1929 Mar 26, The SFC reported
that a test shipment of California juice grapes was on its way to
the Orient. Grapes were packed in a new way that would allow them to
stay frozen for a year.
(SFC, 3/26/04, p.F7)
1929 May, Clarence Birdseye and
his partners sold their frozen food operations to the Postum Company
for $23.5 million and became director of research for the
Gloucestor-based “Birds Eye” frozen food division of General Foods,
owner of Postum.
(ON, 8/12, p.6)
1929 Ernest Van Tassel
negotiates with Bishop Estate to obtain 100 acres of land in Keahoe
Mauka for planting more than 7000 macadamia nut trees resulting in
the first macadamia nut farm on the island of Hawaii.
1930 Mar 6, Clarence Birdseye
of Brooklyn developed a method for quick freezing food.
1930 Apr 6, Hostess Twinkies
were invented by bakery executive James Dewar.
1930 Aug 4, Michael Cullen
introduced King Kullen in Queens, NYC, the 1st US supermarket.
(SFC, 8/4/05, p.C1)
1930 Ocean Spray was founded by
3 cranberry growers. In 1963 it launched its juices.
(Econ, 12/18/04, p.123)
1930 In Philadelphia, Pa.,
Pat’s King of Steak’s opened at Ninth and Passyunk Ave. They helped
make famous the Philadelphia cheese steak sandwich.
(SSFC, 9/17/06, p.G5)
1930 Futurist poet, Filippo
Tommaso Marinetti denounced pasta as obsolete and urged Italians to
try more avant-garde combinations like cooked salami sauced in
espresso and spiked with eau de Cologne.
(WSJ, 12/29/95, p.A-11)
1930s The Depression era "Eau
Claire" system set milk prices according to the distance from Eau
Claire, Wisconsin, to ensure that every region of the country
maintained a local supply of fresh milk.
(SFC, 11/17/99, p.A12)
1931 May 22, Canned rattlesnake
meat 1st went on sale in Florida.
1931 Oct 2, Aerial circus star
Clyde Pangborn and playboy Hugh Herndon, Jr. set off in Miss Veedol
to complete the first nonstop flight across the Pacific Ocean from
Sabishiro Beach in Misawa City, Japan. A young boy gave Panghorn 5
apples from Misawa City.
(HN, 10/2/99)(ON, 1/03, p.10)
1931 Oct 3, Clyde Pangborn and
Hugh Herndon, Jr. belly landed Miss Veedol, a Bellanca CH-200
monoplane, in Wenatchee, Wa., to complete the first nonstop flight
across the Pacific Ocean from Japan. They won a $25,000 prize from
the Japanese Ashi Shimbun newspaper. Panghorn sent apple cuttings
from Wenatchee's Richard Delicious apples to Japan which were soon
distributed across Japan.
(ON, 1/03, p.10)
1931 Ernest Van Tassel
establishes a macadamia nut processing factory on Puhukaina Street
in Kakaako; nuts sold as Van's macadamia nuts.
1933 Mar 29, The front page of
the New York Evening Post said "Famine Grips Russia — Millions
Dying." The report was by Welsh journalist Gareth Jones who had
recently sneaked into Ukraine, at the height of a famine engineered
by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. Jones was killed by bandits in 1935
while covering Japan's expansion into China. In 2009 the diaries of
Jones were put on display for the first time in London.
1933 Sam Zemurray, a
Russia-born immigrant and shareholder in United Fruit, appeared at a
board meeting of United Fruit and with a bag of proxies declared
himself overseer of the company. He proceeded to rule UF for the
next 25 years. In 2012 Rich Cohen authored “The Fish That Ate the
Whale: The Life and Times of America’s Banana King.”
(SSFC, 7/8/12, p.F5)
1934 Clarence Birdseye, since
there were no freezer cases in grocery stores, entered a joint
venture to manufacture them. National distribution of frozen foods
became a reality in 1944 when Birdseye began leasing refrigerated
railroad cars to transport his products. Birdseye's innovations led
to the founding of General Foods Co.
1933 Malcolm Muggeridge
(1903-1990), English writer and reporter, broke the story on the
famine in the Ukraine.
1934 Bob’s Big Boy restaurants
popularized the double patty hamburger sandwich.
(AH, 6/07, p.11)
1934 The Popeye cartoon “We Aim
to Please” introduced the catch phrase “I will gladly pay you
Tuesday for a hamburger today,” uttered by J. Wellington Wimpy.
(AH, 6/07, p.11)
1935 Jan 24, The 1st canned
beer, "Krueger Cream Ale," was sold by Krueger Brewing Co.
1935 Kentucky Gov. Ruby
Laffoon, enjoyed the fried chicken of Harland Sanders so much that
she named Sanders a Kentucky Colonel.
(Econ, 8/27/05, p.62)
1935 Tyson Foods was founded.
By 2002 the company was the world’s largest processor and marketer
of beef, chicken and pork.
(WSJ, 6/24/02, p.A2)
1935 Giuseppe Luigi Mezetta and
his son Daniel Joseph Mezetta (1916-2005) founded G.L. Mezetta,
importer of Italian specialty foods that included glass-packed
peppers and olives. The firm was originally based at the SF Produce
(SFC, 3/26/05, p.B4)
1937 Jan 1, At a party at the
Hormel Mansion in Minnesota, a guest won $100 for naming a new
canned meat-Spam. SPAM was originally called Hormel Spiced Ham in
1936 without much success.
1937 May 11, Spam, a canned ham
by Hormel, was registered as a trademark. It was introduced to the
public as Spam on July 5, 1937.
(WSJ, 4/29/04, p.D10)
1937 Vernon Rudolph (d.1973)
launched Krispy Creme, a donut operation, in Winston-Salem, NC.
Heirs sold the business to Beatrice Foods, which changed the recipe.
Some 20 franchisees bought the company in 1982. the 1st shop outside
the Southeast opened in Indianapolis in 1995. The company went
public in 2000.
(WSJ, 9/3/04, p.A5)
1937 General Mills introduced
Kix cereal. It was made possible by the development of the “puffing
gun” invented by Lester Borchardt Sr. (1907-2007).
(WSJ, 1/27/07, p.A6)
1938 Feb 16, The US Federal
Crop Insurance program was authorized.
1938 Jul 24, Instant coffee was
invented. Nestle came up with the first instant coffee after 8 years
(SFEC, 2/7/99, Z1 p.8)(MC, 7/24/02)
1938 The Food, Drug and
Cosmetics Act included a restriction on the sale of embedded
non-food items, unless there’s a functional value, like the stick on
(WSJ, 6/24/02, p.A8)
1938 The Salvation Army coined
the unofficial National Doughnut Day holiday, later marked on the
first Friday of June, to commemorate the female volunteers who
served doughnuts and coffee to soldiers during World War I.
1938 David Reid (d.2003 at 86)
created the image of Elsie the Cow for the Borden milk company.
Elsie's web site is at: www.elsie.com.
(SFC, 12/19/03, p.A25)
1938 Inventor Earl Silas Tupper
left the Du Pont company in 1938 to form the Tupper Plastics
Company. The material called "Poly-T" used to create Tupperware was
developed from a black, putrid, rock-hard oil refining waste product
called polyethylene slag. He refined and purified the slag into a
higher quality plastic. He then turned his attention to replacing
the widely used glass and metal food containers with his waterproof
and airtight seal introduced in 1947. [see 1939]
1939 Apr 30, The New York
World’s Fair, billed as a look at "the world of tomorrow,"
officially opened. NY Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia mandated that the
city's nude dancers cover up during the fair. The cover-up evolved
into the G-string and later the thong. The General Motors exhibit
was titled Futurama. Philo T. Farnsworth premiered his television at
the fair. AT&T presented its first Picture Phone at the World's
Fair. Salvador Dali created a pavilion that was called “Dream of
Venus” and described as the “funny house of tomorrow.” In 2000 Miles
Beller authored "Dream of Venus (Or Living Pictures): A Novel of the
1939 New York world’s Fair." National Presto Industries introduced
the home pressure cooker at the fair.
(AP, 4/30/97)(WSJ, 6/7/99, p.A8)(SFEC, 4/16/00,
BR p.7)(NYTBR, 2/2/03, p.20)
(www.imdb.com/title/tt0149460/trivia)(WSJ, 12/27/08, p.A7)
1939 May 16, US food stamps
were 1st issued.
1939 Jun 11, King & Queen
of England tasted their 1st "hot dogs" at FDR's party.
1939 Jim Rex founded the Ranger
Joe Breakfast Food Co. in Philadelphia. It was sold in the 1940s to
Philadelphia businessman Moses Berger and sold again in 1954 to
Nabisco and renamed "Wheat and Rice Honeys."
(SFC,11/19/97, Z1 p.7)
1939 The Toastolator Co., a
subsidiary of Crocker-Wheeler, began making the conveyer belt
Toast-o-Lator toasters. Production continued to 1952.
(SFC, 5/14/08, p.G6)
1939 Earl Tupper (d.1983), a
Massachusetts tree surgeon and inventor, founded Tupperware. In 1942
he introduced a polyethylene container with a fitted cap. The
containers took off in 1951 when he hired Brownie Wise (d.1992), a
secretary from Detroit, who developed a sales network based on patio
parties. Tupper forced Wise out in 1958 and sold the company to
Rexall Drugs. [see 1938]
(WSJ, 2/18/04, p.A9)
1940 Jan 8, Britain began
rationing sugar, meat and butter.
1940 The Mountain Dew beverage,
a lemon-lime mixer, was trademarked by Barney and Ally Hartman of
Knoxville, Tenn. In 1948 a cartoon drawing of Willy the Hillbilly
was trademarked and used on bottles until the early 1970s. Pepsi
bought Mountain Dew in 1964.
(SFC, 6/25/08, p.G3)
1941 Apr 19, Michel Roux, chef
de cuisine, was born.
1941 May 1, General Mills
introduced Cheerioats, later renamed Cheerios. It was made possible
by the development of the “puffing gun” invented earlier by Lester
1941 May 19, Jane Brody, food
and health writer, was born.
1941 The US Army asked Prof.
Ancel Keys (1904-2004) of the Univ. of Minnesota to help develop an
army ration that soldiers could carry in combat. His package was
called the K ration.
(SFC, 11/24/04, p.B6)
1941 Carl Karcher (1917-2008),
an Ohio-born farm boy, bought a hot-dog stand in southern California
and soon expanded to 3 stands and then a drive-in barbecue joint
called Carl’s. In 1956 he opened his first two Carl’s Jr. fast-food
burger outlets, which were among the first to later offer salad bars
and grilled-chicken sandwiches. By 2008 there were 1,121 Carl’s Jr.
restaurants in the US and 3,036 franchised or company-operated
(WSJ, 1/19/08, p.A10)
1942 May 4, The U.S. began food
1942 May 5, Sales of sugar
resumed in the United States under a rationing program.
(AP, 5/5/97)(HN, 5/5/98)
1942 Nov 29, Coffee rationing
went into effect in the U.S., and lasted until the next summer.
1942 The founders of Wing Nien
dubbed their soy sauce Longevity. It was 1st fermented in the
basement of an old bank in San Francisco's Chinatown.
(SFC, 10/11/03, p.B1)
1943 Jan 12, Frankfurters were
replaced by Victory Sausages, a mix of meat & soy meal.
1943 Mar 29, World War II meat,
butter and cheese rationing began.
1943 May 1, Food rationing
began in US. [see Mar 29]
1943 May 29, Meat and cheese
began to be rationed in US.
1943 Jul 28, President
Roosevelt announced the end of coffee rationing.
1944 May 25, Robert Michael
Payton, pizza magnate, was born.
1944 Jeno Paulucci (b.1918),
American food entrepreneur, started his Chun King business with a
loan of $2,500. Less than 2 decades later he sold it to R. J.
Reynolds for $63 million. In 1985 he sold his Jeno pizza roll
business to General Mills for $150 million.
(SSFC, 12/24/06, p.F2)
1944 The Vegan Society was
founded in England. Vegans generally limit their diets to
vegetables, fruits, nuts, and grains.
1944-1945 In Vietnam 1-2 million people starved to
death during this period in large part due to policies imposed by
(Econ, 2/5/11, p.97)
1945 Oct 13, Milton Hershey
(b.1857), Philadelphia chocolate tycoon, died. In 2005 Michael D.
Antonio authored “Hershey: Milton S. Hershey’s Extraordinary Life of
Wealth, Empire and Utopian Dreams.”
1945 Nov 23, Most US wartime
rationing of foods, including meat and butter, was set to expire by
(HN, 11/23/98)(AP, 11/23/07)
1945 Dec 7, The microwave oven
was patented. Percy LeBaron Spencer accidentally discovered that
microwaves would also heat food. Spencer, an eighth-grade dropout
and electronic wizard, worked for the Raytheon Manufacturing
Corporation of Massachusetts developing a radar machine using
(HN, 9/5/01)(Econ, 10/29/11, p.100)
1946 The US Agricultural
Marketing Act of this year established grade standards for fruits
and vegetables including peanuts.
1946 David Barham (1913-1991)
founded Hot Dog on a Stick at Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, Ca.
1946 John Baugh (1916-2007) and
his wife Eula Mae launched Zero Foods to deliver frozen food to
businesses in Houston. In 1970 Baugh persuaded eight similar firms
to merge with his to form Systems Services Company (SYSCO).
(Econ, 12/14/13, p.74)
1946 Ray Dunlap, a chemist for
Idaho’s J.R. Simplot, invented a way to make frozen french fries
that wouldn’t turn soggy.
(WSJ, 10/7/04, p.A12)
1947 Dec, Harold Dobbs
co-founded Mel's Drive-In, at Mission Street and South Van Ness
Avenue, in San Francisco. It would become an icon of mid-century
American popular culture, memorialized in George Lucas' film
American Graffiti about the early 1960s.
1947 Pres. Truman raised margin
requirements of futures to 33% as wartime controls ended and food
(Econ, 10/11/08, SR p.16)
1947 The new Florida Foods Co.
changed its name to Minute Maid. Their initial powder orange juice
proved more drinkable as a juice concentrate. Founder John Fox hired
Bing Crosby as his 1st spokesman.
(SFC, 1/20/03, p.B4)
1947 Walter S. Mack, president
of Pepsi-Cola, hired an all-black sales force led by Edward F. Boyd
to sell Pepsi directly to blacks.
(WSJ, 1/9/07, p.B1)
1947 Britain amid post-war
rationing and food shortages introduced the snoek, a relative of the
barracuda, to a hungry nation.
(Econ, 11/1/08, p.66)
1947 Canada’s Montreal
mayor-to-be Jean Drapeau declared food trucks to be unsanitary and
undignified. The Montreal ban on food trucks ended in 2013.
(SSFC, 6/23/13, p.A4)
1948 Idaho put “World Famous
Potatoes” on its car license plates. Its potato business was mostly
due to the efforts of J.R. Simplot (1909-2008), later known as the
spud king of America.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._R._Simplot)(Econ, 6/14/08, p.105)
1948 Henry (d.1976) and Esther
(1920-2006) Snyder opened In-N-Out Burgers in Baldwin Park, LA
County. They numbered 152 stores in 2001 as their 1st SF outlet
opened. By 2006 the chain numbered 202 restaurants. In 2009 Stacy
Perman authored “In-N-Out Burger: A Behind-The Counter Look at the
Fast-Food Chain That Breaks All the Rules.
(SFC, 3/3/01, p.D1)(SFC, 8/15/01, p.B1)(SFEC,
3/23/97, p.A1)(WSJ, 8/12/06, p.A6)(WSJ, 4/15/09, p.A13)
1948 Al Ross founded Doggie
Diner in Oakland, Ca., on San Pablo and 19th Ave. Its iconic
dachshund head was designed by Harold Bachman in 1965. The chain
grew to 30 diners including 13 in San Francisco and was sold in
1979. The chain closed down in 1986.
(SFC, 10/6/05, p.B7)(SFC, 4/5/10, p.C6)
1948 Burt Baskin (1913-1967)
and Irvine Robbins (1917-2008) combined their ice cream parlors in
Glendale and Pomona, Ca., to form the Baskins-Robbins ice cream
1948 Earle Swenson opened his
1st ice cream store at Hyde and Union streets in SF. In 1980
Swenson’s Ice Cream Co. was sold to Red River Resources of Phoenix.
(SFC, 2/4/05, p.F9)
1949 The Pillsbury Bake-Off
began as a contest for Americans with a knack for home cooking. In
1998 Ellie Matthews won a Pillsbury million dollar prize for her
salsa couscous chicken. In 2008 Matthews authored “The Ungarnished
(WSJ, 3/22/08, p.W10)
1950 May 13, Diner's Club
issued its 1st credit cards.
(SS, Internet, 5/13/97)
1950-1959 Panama disease in the 1950s obliterated
the Gros Michel variety of bananas. By the 1960s it was close to
extinction. It was replaced by the Cavendish variety. Most edible
bananas do not have seeds and are sprouted from shoots of original
trees that date back 10,000 years.
(SFC, 4/5/04, p.D5)(Econ, 3/1/14, p.62)
1950-1959 Cannibalism was banned in Papua New
(SFC, 4/11/03, p.A6)
1951 Feb 26, Bread rationing
began in Czechoslovakia.
1951 Apr 5, In San Francisco
the first fully separate food section made its Chronicle debut.
(SSFC, 6/7/09, p.W3)
1951 Ruben Rausing (1895-1983)
of Sweden founded Tetra Pak as a subsidiary to Akerlund &
Rausing to produce milk cartons. In 1963 the company gave the
world a flat-topped carton that can be packed and shipped like
bricks. The development revolutionized the packaging and
distribution of milk and fruit juices worldwide.
1952 Topps Chewing Gum Company
issued its first large set of baseball cards. They included team
logos and facsimile signatures and were later considered as the
first true set of the modern era. Topps had issued a smaller card in
1951, but it flopped.
(AH, 6/03, p.52,54)
1952 Alvin Edlin (1912-2008)
bought Bud’s Ice Cream store in Noe Valley from his cousin Bud
Scheideman for $8,000. Revenue at the time was about $30,000. He
increased the quality and by 1976 revenues rose to about $1 million.
In 1980 Edlin sold the operation to a group of Bay Area businessmen.
In the 1990s the operation was sold to Berkeley Farms.
(SFC, 6/10/08, p.B5)
1952 The first Weber grill was
made in by George Stephen (d.1993) of suburban Chicago and was
called George's Barbecue. It was manufactured by Weber Brothers
Metal Works in Chicago. Stephen started selling his Weber kettle in
1954 and the rest is grilling history.
1953 Mar 8, Census indicated
239,000 farmers gave up farming in last 2 years.
1953 Dec, Swanson and Sons
introduced the TV Dinner. The turkey, sweet potatoes and peas
package was priced at 98 cents and could be cooked in 25 minutes. It
was invented by Gerry Thomas (d.2005), a salesman for Nebraska based
C.A. Swanson, following an oversupply of turkey from the 1953
Thanksgiving holiday season. Campbell Soup acquired control of
Swanson’s in 1955.
(PC, 1992 ed, p.943,952)(WSJ, 1/7/04, p.B1)(SFC,
1953 A chemist working for J.R.
Simplot, Idaho potato mogul, perfected a technique of freezing
chipped potatoes. By the late 1960s Jack Simplot was the largest
supplier of French fries to McDonald’s.
(Econ, 6/14/08, p.105)
1953 In Brazil JBS Friboi began
as a butchers founded by Jose Sobrinho in Anapolis, Goias state. By
2011 it was the world’s largest meat producer.
(Econ, 9/24/11, SR p.22)
1954 May 5, The largest store
in the Safeway chain opened at Duboce and Market in SF.
(SFC, 4/9/04, p.F10)
1954 Jul 3, Food rationing
ended in Britain almost nine years after the end of World War II.
1954 James Whitman McLamore
(1926-1996) and Dave Edgarton opened Insta Burger King in Miami, the
forerunner to the international Burger King chain.
(SFC, 8/10/96, p.A20)
1954 Bartender Larry J. Cano
(1924-2014) took over an old Polynesian restaurant in southern
California’s San Fernando Valley and created a sit-down Mexican
restaurant named El Torrito. By 1978 he was operating 22 locations
and sold the chain to W.R. Grace, but continued for a decade as
(SFC, 12/18/14, p.D3)
1954 The WSJ described the new
fish sticks as "boneless oblongs roughly four inches long."
(WSJ, 1/7/04, p.B1)
1955 Apr 15, Ray Kroc acquired
the McDonald’s chain of fast food restaurants. He was a food service
equipment salesman who owned the national marketing rights to the
milk-shake mixers used at the chain. He purchased the chain from
Richard (d.1998 at 89) and Maurice McDonald (d.1971) who started the
operation in California in 1948. Kroc built his first restaurant in
Des Plains, Illinois, and later established his world headquarters
and a company museum there.
(WSJ, 5/30/97, p.A1)(HN, 4/15/98)(SFC, 7/15/98,
1955 Jun, Gordon Wasson, a
vice-president of J.P. Morgan, traveled to Mexico and became one of
the first outsiders to eat the hallucinogenic psilocybin mushroom.
(Econ, 7/15/06, p.78)
1955 Toshiba introduced the
world’s first automatic electric rice cooker. In 2006 Mitsubishi
introduced an upscale rice cooker selling for $1000.
(WSJ, 6/4/07, p.A12)
1956 Oct 7, Clarence Birdseye
(b.1886), founder of the modern frozen food industry, died in NYC.
(ON, 8/12, p.7)(
1956 William Mitchell
(1912-2004) patented Pop Rocks, an exploding candy. It hit the
market in 1975.
(SFC, 7/29/04, p.B7)
1957 Apr 27, Mario A. Gianini,
creator of the maraschino cherry, died.
1957 Life magazine printed R.
Gordon Wasson’s “Seeking the Magic Mushroom” detailing his
experiences at a religious ritual in Mexico. Wasson, a
vice-president of J.P. Morgan, experienced the hallucinogenic
psilocybin mushroom during a trip to Mexico in 1955.
(WSJ, 7/11/06, p.B10)(Econ, 7/15/06, p.78)
1957 Ben Eisenstadt, founder of
Cumberland Packaging Corp., with his son Marvin and chemist Paul
Kracauer developed a saccharine-based sweetener that was initially
geared toward diabetics. It later became known as Sweet’N Low, which
became a registered trademark of Cumberland Packaging Corp. in 1970.
In 2006 Rich Cohen authored “Sweet and Low: A Family History.”
p.M6)(Econ, 1/30/10, p.77)
1958 Aug 25, Momofuku Ando
(48), head of Japan’s Nissin Food Products, announced that he had
finally perfected his flash-frying method and therefore invented the
1958 US Congress banned futures
trading in onions to stop speculation on prices. Onion farmers had
lobbied Michigan congressman Gerald Ford to ban trading in onion
futures. They blamed speculators for the volatility in the crops’
(Econ, 10/11/08, SR p.16)(Econ, 11/14/09, p.93)
1958 Al Lapin Jr. (d.2004) and
younger brother Jerry Lapin founded the Int’l. House of Pancakes
(IHOP) with a single outlet at Toluca Lake in LA County. Lapin left
IHOP in 1973.
(SFC, 6/21/04, p.B4)
1958 The SF Golden Grain pasta
company introduced the SF treat "Rice-A-Roni." The company was owned
by the DeDomenico family, who learned the recipe from Armenian
neighbors. A 15th century Damascus cookbook titled "Kitab
al-Tibakha" included a recipe that said "brown noodles in the oven
and cook them with rice." Golden Grain was later headquartered in
San Leandro, Ca.
(SFC, 11/25/98, Z1 p.5)
1958 Arnold Gridley (d.2004),
invented the motorized cable car after buying and converting some
old SF California Street cable cars. The cars were used in 1961
Rice-A-Roni commercials. Gridley was the great grandson of G.W.
Gridley, sheep rancher, rice farmer, and founder of Gridley, Ca.
(SFC, 5/15/04, p.B6)
1958 In Fair Lawn, New Jersey,
a new Nabisco bakery opened.
(WSJ, 11/22/08, p.W4)
1958 The aluminum can was
introduced as a food container.
(SFC, 8/4/05, p.C1)
1959 Sep 11, The US Congress
passed a bill authorizing food stamps for poor Americans.
1959 Dec 9, A Memorandum of
Understanding was signed in New York that established IRRI (Int’l.
Rice Research Institute) “as an organization to do basic research on
the rice plant and applied research on all phases of rice
production, management, distribution and utilization.”
1959 In Chicago Kikkoman first
introduced soy sauce to American consumers at an International Trade
(Econ, 4/11/09, p.68)
1959-1961 In China mass starvation followed Mao’s
"Great Leap Forward." The famine killed millions of people. The
famine of this period is described by Jasper Becker in his book:
"Hungry Ghosts: Mao’s Secret Famine" (1997).
(WSJ, 2/7/97, p.A14)(Econ, 5/8/10, p.28)(SFEC,
8/17/97, BR p.8)
1960 Jun 30, US stopped sugar
imports from Cuba.
1960 Jul 22, Cuba nationalized
all US owned sugar factories.
1960 Wilbur Hardee (1917-2008),
opened his first Hardee’s restaurant, in Greenville, NC. The company
went public in 1963.
(SFC, 6/24/08, p.B5)(http://tinyurl.com/6ztal8)
1960 George Leonard Herter
(1911-1994), Minnesota-born catalogue writer, published his “Bull
Cook and Authentic Historical Recipes and Practices.” Herter was
later considered the prince of fantasy food historians.
1960s Big Top peanut butter produced a glass mug
to hold its product with a picture of Hopalong Cassidy, the old
singing cowboy star.
(SFC, 2/18/98, Z1 p.3)
1960s Tin-lined cans and tin foil yielded to
aluminum cans and aluminum foil.
(NH, 7/02, p.35)
1961 Jan 13, Prof. Ancel Keys
of the Univ of Minnesota landed on the cover of Time Magazine for
providing a solution to why middle-aged men were dropping dead from
heart disease: eat less fat. This led the US government to its first
set of dietary guidelines in 1980.
(Econ, 5/31/14, p.76)
1961 Mar 18, The "Poppin'
Fresh" Pillsbury Dough Boy was introduced.
1961 May 22, The 1st revolving
restaurant, Top of The Needle in Seattle, opened.
1961 Dec 19, The UN General
Assembly adopted Resolutions 1714 (XVI) for the formation of its
World Food Program (WFP).
1961 Fred Turner (1933-2013),
operations manager for McDonald’s Corp., founded Hamburger
University in a restaurant basement in Elk Grove, Illinois.
(Econ, 1/26/13, p.82)
1961 Calisto Tanzi dropped out
of university to concentrate on the a family delicatessen business
near the Parma railway station: Calisto Tanzi & Sons - Salamis
and Preserves. In 1966 Calisto Tanzi adopted the new ultra-high
temperature (UHT) Swedish pasteurizing technique to produce
long-life milk. In 2003 the company filed for bankruptcy.
(WSJ, 12/22/03, p.A6)(WPR, 3/04, p.18)
1962 Feb, The UN’s
Intergovernmental Committee, the governing body of the World Food
Program (WFP), held its first session. Addeke Boerma was appointed
as WFP's first Executive Director in April.
1962 Glen Bell Jr. (d.2010 at
86) founded the Taco Bell fast food chain in Downey, Ca. He had
launched Bell’s Drive-In in 1948 in San Bernadino and later helped
establish Taco Tias in Los Angeles, El Tacos in the Long Beach area
and the Der Wienerschnitzel hot dog chain. In 1978 he sold his 868
Taco Bell restaurants to PepsiCo for $125 million in stock.
(SFC, 1/19/10, p.C4)
1962 Edwin Traisman
(1915-2007), food researcher for McDonald’s, patented a method for
preparing frozen French fried potatoes. In 1968 his associate Ken
Strong patented a method for quick frying cut potatoes before
freezing along with a short steam blanch to preserve sugars and
other flavors. Traisman was instrumental in the development of
Cheese Whiz for Kraft Foods and had bought the first McDonald’s
franchise in Madison, Wis., in the late 1950s.
(SFC, 6/9/07, p.B6)
1964 Jan 22, World's largest
cheese (15,723 kg) was manufactured in Wisconsin.
1964 Apr 22, At the opening of
the New York World’s Fair in Queens the Vermersch family from
Belgium introduced Belgian waffles, topped with fresh whipped cream,
powdered sugar and sliced strawberries. They had first served the
treat two years earlier at the 1962 World's Fair in Seattle, and for
years after they made the waffles at the annual New York State Fair
in Syracuse. But it was at the 1964 event in New York City that the
waffles became a sensation.
1964 The Cracker Jack Co. was
purchased by Borden and sold to PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division in
1964 Kentucky Colonel Harland
Sanders (1890-1980) sold his fried chicken business for $2 million
to private investors, who resold it in 1971 for $285 million to
Heublein. R.J. Reynolds acquired Heublein in 1982 and sold it to
PepsiCo in 1986.
1965 May 16, Spaghetti-O's were
1965 Fred DeLuca, fresh out of
high school, founded Subway, a sandwich shop, with $1,000 start-up
money from a family friend. By 2007 it was the world’s largest
sandwich chain with over 25,000 stores in 83 countries.
(WSJ, 1/10/07, p.C2)
1965 Harold Bachman (1921-2005)
designed the logo for San Francisco’s Doggie Diner. In 1966 his
dachshund head design was turned into a rotating giant head for the
chain of diners founded by Al Ross (d.2010 at 93). Ross had founded
Doggie Diner in Oakland on San Pablo and 19th Ave. in 1948 and sold
his chain in 1979.
(SFC, 10/6/05, p.B7)(SFC, 4/5/10, p.C6)(SSFC,
1965 A 7-Eleven manager
happened upon an Icee machine in a rival's store. He saw potential
and got them into three 7-Eleven stores. Slurpee was born in Kansas
at a Dairy Queen where owner Omar Knedlik served semi-frozen bottled
soft drinks. When they were a hit, he worked with a Dallas company
to develop the "Icee" machine that replicated that consistency in
slushy soft drinks served at 28 degrees.
1966 Nov 18, US Roman Catholic
bishops did away with the rule against eating meat on Fridays
outside of Lent.
1966 Nabisco introduced a
cheese spread in an aerosol can under the name Snack Mate. It later
became part of Kraft and sold as Cheeze Whiz in a can.
1967 The California Packing Co.
(Calpak) changed its name to Del Monte.
(SFC, 3/1/97, p.B1)(SSFC, 10/3/04, p.J1)
1967 Robert Capon (1925-2013),
Episcopalian theologian and food writer, authored “Supper of the
Lamb,” a metaphysical treatise on cooking.
1968 Sep, The Big Mac was
created by McDonald’s franchisee Jim Delligatti in Pittsburgh. It
sold for 49 cents.
(SFC, 9/10/98, p.B2)
1968 The J.M. Smucker Co.
introduced Goober Grape, a single container with peanut butter and
grape jelly swirled together.
(SFC, 1/31/08, p.A13)
1968 Denny’s bought Winchell’s
Donut Houses. Verne Winchell (d.2002 at 87) founded the business in
(SFC, 11/29/02, p.A27)
1968 The 4th Betty Crocker, a
General Mills advertising icon, made her appearance and continued to
1968 Newton Glekel (1913-2007),
NYC real estate lawyer and deal maker, purchased a controlling
interest in Detroit-based Hygrade Food Products Co., maker of Ball
Park hot dogs. He sold his stake to Britain’s Hanson Industries Inc.
(WSJ, 8/4/07, p.A4)
1968 Fred Mattson (d.1997 at
76) and Dr. Robert Volpenhein, employed by Proctor & Gamble,
created olestra, a cocktail of fatty acids that enzymes left
1969 Oct 18, The US federal
government banned artificial sweeteners known as cyclamates because
of evidence they caused cancer in laboratory rats.
1969 Nov 15, Wendy's
Hamburgers, begun by Dave Thomas, opened in Ohio. In 2008 the chain
was sold to Triarc Cos., owner of the Arby’s roast beef sandwich
1969 Frank Zappa recorded a
song entitled "Electric Aunt Jemima" on his album Uncle Meat.
1969 Best Foods Inc., changed
its name to CPC International. It had begun as American Cotton Oil
(WSJ, 5/28/96, p. R-45)
1969 Robert Byck (d.1999 at 66)
identified MSG, monosodium glutamate, as the cause of headaches for
some people who ate Chinese food with the additive. The psychiatrist
and brain researcher at Yale Medical School in 1979 gave Congress an
early warning that the United States faced an epidemic of smokable
(SFC, 8/24/99, p.A22)(http://tinyurl.com/a6bdpn)
1969 Country singer Jimmy Dean
(1928-2010 started the Jimmy Dean Meat Co. He sold it to Sara Lee
Corp. in 1984.
(SFC, 6/14/10, p.C4)
1969 Britain’s chocolate maker
Cadbury merged with Schweppes. In 2006 the Schweppes unit was spun
(Econ, 11/7/09, p.63)
1970 Jul 24, Robert B. Choate
(d.2009 at 84), an engineer turned consumer advocate, testified on
nutrition information for consumers at a Senate subcommittee hearing
and used data supplied by cereal manufacturers. He ranked 60
cereals, including Sugar Smacks, Froot Loops, and Lucky charms, by
their nutritive value, showing that 40 products offered such poor
nourishment that they were essentially “empty calories.”
(SFC, 5/22/09, p.B6)(http://tinyurl.com/qy7rgb)
1970 Orville Redenbacker’s
Gourmet Popping corn was launched at Chicago’s Marshall Field’s.
Partners Charlie Bowman (1919-2009) and Orville Redenbacker
(1907-1995) sold the popular brand in 1976 to Hunt-Wessen Foods Inc.
The company was later acquired by ConAgra Foods.
(WSJ, 4/18/09, p.A4)
1972 Jul 8, US sold grain to
USSR for $750 million. Soviet grain buyers over 6 weeks purchased
$750 million worth of US grain. This was later called the "great
grain robbery" and the privately-held agribusiness giant Cargill
played a major role. The story of Cargill was told in the 1998 book
"Cargill Going Global" by Wayne Broehl Jr.
(MC, 7/8/02)(PC, 1992, p.1040)
1972 Dr. Robert C. Atkins
(d.2003), cardiologist, published his weight loss plan "Dr. Atkins’
Diet Revolution," which allowed patients to eat fat but restricted
(SFC, 4/18/03, p.A1)
1972 The See family sold their
South San Francisco chocolate and candy business to Warren Buffett,
chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Buffet named Charles Huggins as
See’s Candies top officer. Huggins retired at the end of 2005.
1972 Herb Peterson (1919-2008),
a McDonald’s operator in Santa Barbara, Ca., created the Egg
(WSJ, 1/30/06, p.B2)(WSJ, 4/5/08, p.A7)
1973 Jul, Russia experienced a
weak harvest. Commodity prices were sent soaring as spot prices for
wheat rose by 24% and by more than 50% between the start of June and
(Econ, 8/14/10, p.62)
1973 Time Magazine announced
the debut of beefalo, meat from cross-bred cattle and bison
pioneered by D.C. Bud Basolo (1923-2012) of Tracy, Ca.
(SSFC, 2/17/13, p.C12)
1973 Stanley Cohen, Stanford
geneticist, and Herbert Boyer of UCSF co-discovered the basic
process of gene-splicing. They spliced the DNA of one bacteria into
another and cultivated a new organism. The discovery was patented by
Stanford and UCSF and resulted in 25 year earnings of more than $200
million. Recombinant DNA technology soon led to Genetically Modified
Organisms (GMOs) in food products.
(SFC, 1/19/98, p.A10)(WSJ, 12/24/04, p.W6)
1973 Dorothy Turner Everett
(1932-2007) started a barbecue business in Oakland, Ca., that grew
to become the Everett & Jones chain of barbecue restaurants.
(SFC, 10/12/07, p.B11)
1973 Antoine Riboud (1918-2002)
merged his glassware company with the dairy business Gervais Danone,
creating Danone, the biggest food group in France.
1973 Dun-Rite, a Fresno, Ca.,
maker of a pop-up timer for roasting turkeys, was sold to 3M Co. of
St. Paul, Minn. In 1982 3M sued the Volk Enterprises, another Fresno
maker of pop-up timers developed by Tony Volk. A few years later a
settlement was negotiated. In 1991 Volk acquired 3M’s pop-up
(WSJ, 11/22/05, p.A1)
1973 Kikkoman became the first
Japanese food company to open a factory in America.
(Econ, 4/11/09, p.68)
1974 Jun 26, At the Marsh
Supermarket in Troy, Ohio, Sharon Buchanon became the 1st cashier to
scan a Universal Product Code (UPC) code. The 59 black and white bar
code was used on a 67 cent 10-pack of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing
gum. The scanner was a Spectra-Physics Model A. Norman Joseph
Woodland and Bernard Silver (d.1962) had patented the 1st bar code
scanner in 1952. In 1977 an int’l. version was created.
(SFC, 7/5/04, p.E3)(SSFC, 11/6/05, p.B5)(SFC,
1974 Nov 16, In Rome the first
UN World Food Conference ended. At the conference, which had opened
on Nov. 5, governments examined the global problem of food
production and consumption, and solemnly proclaimed that "every man,
woman and child has the inalienable right to be free from hunger and
malnutrition in order to develop their physical and mental
1974 Richard J. Mercer
(1924-2006), advertising executive, helped create the Burger King
“Have it your way” ad campaign. Mercer also wrote the phrase.
(WSJ, 1/6/07, p.A4)
1975 General Foods was awarded
US Patent No. 3,870,803 for its Instant Stuffing Mix (Stove Top
Stuffing). Ruth M. Siems (1931-2005) was listed first among the
(SFC, 11/25/05, p.B4)
1976 Clint Murchison Jr., owner
of the Dallas Cowboys, visited Miami for the Super Bowl and stopped
for ribs at a restaurant owned by Tony Roma (d.2003). He enjoyed the
foods so much that he purchased the majority of US franchise rights.
In 2003 the chain had grown to over 250.
(SFC, 6/14/03, p.A21)
1977 Feb 11, A 20.2-kg lobster
was caught off Nova Scotia (heaviest known crustacean).
1977 Wendell Berry (b.1934)
authored "The Unsettling of America," a treatise against the
industrialization of agriculture.
(SSFC, 6/23/02, p.M6)(SSFC, 3/21/10, p.F5)
1977 Bill Niman (32) and
Orville Schell purchased 200 acres in Bolinas, Ca., to run cattle,
starting their Niman-Schell ranch. They operated under the
assumption that meat could be raised naturally, humanely and
sustainably. The partners split in 1997 and the business became
known as the Niman Ranch. In 2007 Hilco became the chief investor
and in 2009 Niman withdrew from the operations, which never turned a
(SSFC, 2/22/09, p.A1)
1978 Dec 26, In San Jose, Ca.,
Nolan K. Bushnell, inventor of the Pong video game, opened the
20,000-sq.-foot Pizza Time Theater, the world's largest pizza
(SFC, 12/26/03, p.E2)
1978 John Mackey began his
Whole Foods Market in a garage in Austin, Texas, under the name
SaferWay. In 1980 he merged with a natural grocery store and opened
as Whole Foods Market. The natural foods grocery went public in
1978 The Chicago Food
Depository opened with its main mission to feed the hungry. In 1998
it began to offer chef training classes to help people get jobs.
(WSJ, 11/28/06, p.A1)
1978 In the Philippines Tony
Tan Caktiong formed Jollibee after realizing that customers in his
Manila ice cream parlor liked his soy and sugar seasoned burgers
better than his sundaes.
1979 May 25, Etan Patz (6), the
first missing child to appear on the side of a milk carton,
disappeared on the way to school in the Soho area of New York City.
It was the first time he was allowed to walk 2 blocks to the bus
stop alone. The case led to the creation of National Missing
Children's Day, marked on May 25.
1979 Tim and Nina Zagat began a
mimeographed list of restaurants rated by a few friends that grew
into the Zagat restaurant guides. Their first guide covered
restaurants in NYC. Sales exceeded $20 million in 2002.
1979 Bob Charles, a McDonald’s
franchisee in Colorado, helped create the Happy Meal when he added a
toy to children’s orders at his restaurants.
(WSJ, 1/30/06, p.B2)
1980 Nov 19, T.J. Palmer and
her husband Bill opened the first Applebee’s restaurant in Atlanta,
Georgia. T.J. Applebee’s Rx for Edibles & Elixirs became popular
and they soon opened a second one. In 1983 they sold them to W.R.
Grace which passed the brand in 1988 to franchisees in Kansas City,
who took the chain public.
1980 Dec 16, Harland Sanders,
founder of the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant chain, died in
Shelbyville, Kentucky, at age 90.
1980 Stephen Bernard (d.2009 at
61) and his wife Lynn founded his kettle-cooked Cape Cod Potato
Chips brand. The company was sold to Anheuser-Busch in 1985, but
they reacquired it when the brewer sold its Eagle Snacks division to
Lance Inc. in 1999.
(SFC, 3/13/09, p.B7)
1980-1989 US bottlers of Coca-Cola switched from
cane sugar to high-fructose corn syrup in the 1980s to cut costs.
Mexican bottlers continued to use cane sugar.
(WSJ, 1/11/06, p.A1)
1982 May 1, Richard LaMotta
(1942-2010) dispatched 60 street-cart vendors to the streets of
Manhattan to begin selling his 4½-ounce Chipwich cookies, which
included 3½ ounces of ice cream. Within weeks he was selling 40,000
a day at $1 each. He sold the company to Coolbrands Int’l., a
Canadian distributor in 2002.
(SSFC, 5/16/10, p.C9)
1982 Coca-Cola bought Columbia
Pictures for $750 million.
(SSFC, 1/18/04, p.A14)
1982 Alberto Culver introduced
Mrs. Dash, a salt-free seasoning made of dried onion, garlic, lemon
rind, and spices. Its popularity ebbed in the 1990s.
(WSJ, 2/25/05, p.A1)
1982 McDonald's Corp.
introduced Chicken McNuggets.
(WSJ, 9/16/99, p.B1)
1982 McDonald's, the US fast
food giant, began operations in Malaysia.
1982 Actor Paul Newman
(1925-2008) put up $40,000 to help start a specialty food company
with writer A.E. Hotcher called Newman’s Own. 100% of the profits
were directed to charities.
(SSFC, 9/28/08, p.A17)
1982 Klaus Jacobs (1936-2008),
head of the German coffee dealer Jacobs AG, orchestrated the
takeover of Switzerland’s Interfood SA, maker of the Toblerone candy
bar. In 1990 Philip Morris bought Jacobs Suchard for $3.8 billion.
Klaus went on to buy a Swiss staffing firm and in 1996 merged it
with France’s Ecco SA to form Adecco SA, which became one of the
world’s largest staffing firms.
(WSJ, 9/20/08, p.A12)
1982 The cow named Ubre Blanca
(10), crossed from a Holstein and a Zebu, produced 241 pounds of
milk in a single day. The town of Nueva Geron erected a marble
statue for her after her death in 1985.
(WSJ, 5/21/02, p.A1)
1983 Oct, Frank W. Epperson
(89), who invented the Popsicle on an extraordinarily cold night in
San Francisco in 1905, died in SF.
(SSFC, 10/19/08, DB p.58)
1983 In the Philippines
dictator Ferdinand Marcos secretly took some $228,000 from the
National Food Authority and transferred the money to a private
account. In 2010 an anti-graft court ordered his wife, Imelda
Marcos, to return the money plus 27 years of interest and $44,000 in
damages and litigation costs.
(SSFC, 9/19/10, p.A4)
1984 Jan 10, Clara Peller
(1902-1987) 1st asked: "Where's the Beef?," as part of a TV ad for
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where's_the_beef%3F)(AH, 6/07, p.11)
1984 Jan 14, Ray Kroc (b.1902),
founder of MacDonalds and owner San Diego Padres, died.
1984 Feb 23, Two oceanic
conservation groups reported that SF Bay Area fishermen have caught
only 10-12% of their 10,000 ton herring quota as they passed more
than halfway through the fishing season. Quotas had doubled since
1977 and they were concerned that the herring stocks may be at the
point of no return. The herring was harvested primarily for their
roe, which fetched up to $500 a ton and was eagerly sought by
(SSFC, 2/22/09, DB p.54)
1984 Mar 2, One of the first
McDonald's franchises was closed in Des Plaines, IL.
1984 Nov 20, McDonald's made
its 50 billionth hamburger.
1984 Robert Brooks (1937-2006)
and a group of Atlanta investors bought expansion and franchise
rights to the Hooters restaurant chain. The 1st store had opened in
Florida in 1983.
1984 Harold McGee authored “On
Food and Cooking.” It became the standard authority on gastronomical
science, that area where science and art, technique, and aesthetics
1985 Jan 21, James Beard
(b.1903), US culinary expert, author (Delights & Prejudices),
(http://members.localnet.com/~jgeorge/jbeard.htm)(SFC, 5/4/05, p.E1)
1985 Mar 7, Victor W. Farris
(75), inventor of paper clip and paper milk carton (1932), died in
Palm Beach, Fla. [see 1824 and Oct 19, 1915]
1985 Apr 23, The Coca-Cola Co.
announced it was changing the secret formula for Coke. Negative
public reaction soon forced the company to resume selling the
1985 Jun 30, James A. Dewar,
creator of the Twinkie (1930), died.
1985 Jul 10, Bowing to pressure
from irate customers, the Coca-Cola Company said it would resume
selling old-formula Coke, while continuing to sell New Coke.
1985 Ruth Brinker (1922-2011)
founded Project Open Hand, a SF program to provide meals for people
with AIDS. By 1988 the project was serving 500 meals a day. In 2005
she was honored with a Jefferson Award for community service.
(SFC, 7/23/05, p.B6)(SSFC, 8/14/11, p.C9)
1985 Phil Sokolof founded the
National Heart Savers Association. He went on to spend some $15
million to change American eating habits, encourage cholesterol
testing and getting nutritional labels placed on everything edible.
(SFC, 11/28/03, p.C6)
1985 In California an outbreak
of listeria was linked to soft cheese made from raw milk produced in
Los Angeles. Of the 142 cases reported, 93 were in pregnant women or
their children. There were 48 deaths, including 20 fetuses.
1985 AstraZeneca introduced the
fake meat Quorn, a processed mycoprotein, into a variety of food
products. It was made from a fungus discovered in the 1960s. it
reached US markets in 2002.
(SSFC, 3/3/02, p.A2)
1986 Brian (d.2004 at 51) and
Jennifer Maxwell of Marin Ct., Ca., founded PowerBar, an energy
supplement for athletes. They sold the company in 2000 to Nestle SA
for $375 million.
(SFC, 3/20/04, p.B1)
1986 The Bay Area Doggie Diner
chain went out of business. The diners had numbered 30 at one time.
(SFEC, 11/14/99, p.C3)
1986 In France Michel Lescanne,
in response to the crises in Ethiopia, founded Nutriset to develop a
product for feeding malnourished children. An initial product met
WHO standards F-75 and F-100 for therapeutic milk products that
needed to be mixed with water. In 1997 he hit upon a peanut-based
spread and called the new product Plumpy’nut.
(WSJ, 4/12/05, p.A14)
1986 In Italy the first
McDonald's Hamburger restaurant opened in Rome.
(SFEC, 1/23/00, Z1 p.2)
1986 In Italy 62 founding
members met to inaugurate Arcigola, the forerunner of Slow Food.
1987 Jun 19, Vermont’s Ben
& Jerry Ice Cream & Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia announce
new Ice Cream flavor, Cherry Garcia.
1987 New Jersey adopted
legislation requiring bottled water to carry an expiration date.
Water companies began stamping all bottles.
(WSJ, 2/11/04, p.D11)
1987 Michael Gilliland and his
wife, Elizabeth Cook, purchased a vegetarian food store in Boulder,
Colo. In 1991 they opened their 1st supermarket-size store in Santa
Fe, NM, and renamed the company Wild Oats Vegetarian Market.
They went public in 1996 and by 2006 had 114 stores in 24 states.
(WSJ, 10/26/06, p.C1)
1987 Nov, The US-headquartered
KFC launched its first China outlet in the Qianmen area of Beijing,
neighboring Tiananmen Square.
1988 Apr 29, McDonald's
announced it would open its first restaurants in Moscow.
1988 Aug 2, Joe Carcione
(b.1914), US produce expert known on radio, TV and newspapers as the
Green Grocer, died in Burlingame, Ca.
(SSFC, 7/28/13, DB p.46)
1988 Aug 28, The Yan Hee
Polyclinic in Bangkok, Thailand, reported on a new slimming
technique. Overweight Thais were suppressing their appetites by
sticking lettuce seeds in their ears and pressing them in ten times
1988 In southern Peru Eduardo
and Mirtha Ananos began making a cola drink. By 2003 their Kola Real
was being marketed in Mexico and Ecuador.
(WSJ, 10/27/03, p.A1)(Econ, 10/11/03, p.69)
1989 Oct 20, Smith Dairy at
Orrville, Ohio, made the largest milk shake (1,575.2 gal).
1989 Quaker Oats modernized
Aunt Jemima, making her thinner, eliminating her bandanna, and
giving her a perm and a pair of pearl earrings.
1989 Carlo Petrini founded the
Slow Food Movement and adopted the Slow Food Manifesto. In 2003
William McCuaig translated "Slow Food: The Case for Taste" by Carlo
(SSFC, 7/27/03, p.M3)
1990 Feb 14, Perrier recalled
160 million bottles of sparkling water after traces of benzene, a
carcinogen, were found in some bottles.
1990 Mar 7, Health and Human
Services Secretary Louis Sullivan announced the US government would
propose a more informative food-labeling system that would require
the disclosure of the fat, fiber and cholesterol content of nearly
all packaged foods.
1990 Apr 5, Paul Newman won a
court victory over Julius Gold to keep giving all profits from
Newman foods to charity.
1990 Apr 10, H.J. Heinz said it
would not sell tuna caught in nets that also trap dolphins.
1990 Apr, Jamba Juice was
founded by Kirk Perron, Joe Vergara, Kevin Peters, and Linda Ozawa
Olds as a single Juice Club in San Luis Obispo, Ca.
1990 Oct, McDonald's chose
Shenzhen for its first Chinese restaurant.
1990 The California Organic
Food Acts was established.
(SFC, 6/22/02, p.B1)
1990 McDonald’s switched to
vegetable oil and added beef flavoring to improve the
cholesterol-producing profile of its french fries.
(SFC, 9/4/02, p.A14)
1992 Apr 13, Crystal Pepsi
began test marketing in Providence, Denver and Dallas.
1992 Apr 23, McDonald's opened
its first fast-food restaurant in the Chinese capital of Beijing.
1992 Apr 28, The Agriculture
Department unveiled its pyramid-shaped recommended-diet chart that
had cost nearly $1 million to develop.
1992 Jun 22, M.F.K. Fisher
(b.1908), cook book author, died of Parkinson Disease. In 2004 Joan
Reardon authored “Poet of the Appetites: The Lives and Loves of MFK
(www.foodreference.com/html/html/june22.html)(SFC, 11/16/04, p.D1)
1992 Lanai, Hawaii, had its
last pineapple harvest.
(SFC, 6/27/12, p.D6)
1992 Panama disease, caused by
the fusarium fungus, mutated to a form capable of attacking the
Cavendish variety of banana and wiped out plantations in Malaysia.
The disease had previously destroyed the popular Gros Michel
variety, which was left growing only in remote parts of Uganda and
(Econ, 10/22/05, p.85)
1994 Apr 5, Andre Victor
Tchelistcheff (92), winemaker, died.
1994 May 19, The US FDA
approved of the first genetically engineered tomato. Flavr Savr
tomatoes supermarkets this year.
1994 Oct, Congress passed the
Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act. It was intended to keep
the FDA’s hands off of vitamin and mineral supplements unless
something goes wrong. It relaxed rules on how herbs could be
marketed by allowing companies to advertise structure and function
claims even if medical evidence was sketchy.
(SFEC,10/26/97, p.A10)(WSJ, 12/3/97, p.A1)
1994 Pop singer Gladys Knight
became a spokesperson for Aunt Jemima Lite syrup.
1994 In Zambia Francis Grogan
and Carl Irwin founded Zambeef with a staff of 60 people. In 2013
the company employed 5,000.
(Econ, 6/8/13, p.68)
1995 Sep 19, Orville
Redenbacher (b.1907), popcorn magnate, died at his home in Coronado,
Ca., from drowning in a bathtub.
c1995 Fresh Del Monte launched its "Gold"
pineapple, grown in the volcanic soils of Costa Rica, and secured a
patent for it.
(WSJ, 10/7/03, p.A1)
1995 The EU banned Sudan 1, a
red dye and genotoxic carcinogen, from use in food.
(Econ, 2/26/05, p.56)
1995 Len Kretchman and David
Geske of Fargo, ND, developed the Uncrustable sandwich, a peanut
butter and jelly sandwich sealed in a pocket of bread. Smucker Corp.
bought their company and received a patent for the sandwich in Dec,
(WSJ, 4/5/05, p.B1)
1995 Noah Alper, founder of
Noah’s Bagels, sold his chain of 38 stores to Einstein Bagel Bros.
for $100 million. Alper had opened his first store in Berkeley, Ca.
1996 Jan 24, The FDA approved a
fat substitute to be marketed by Proctor and Gamble under the name
Olestra. It is know to cause abdominal cramps but not to a medically
(WSJ, 1/25/96, A-1)(AP, 1/24/01)
1996 May 31, The Finnish food
company Raisio Group has invented a new product that blocks the
body’s absorption of cholesterol. The new "pharmafood" is called
benecol and based on a plant extract known as beta sitostanol, a
plant sterol extracted from Nordic pine trees.
(WSJ, 5/31/96, p.B3C)
1996 Jul 5, An essay by SB
Stewart discussed the history of Betty Crocker and showed the latest
8th Betty Crocker [General Mills advertising icon]. She was put
together from the features of 75 women from around the country.
(WSJ, 7/5/96, p.A6)
1996 Jul 7, The average cost of
a Big Mac in the US was $2.36. In Germany it was $3.22.
(SFC, 7/7/96, Par, p.17)
1996 Aug 26, A new fake fat,
Z-trim, was announced. It was developed by a researcher of the US
Dept. of Agriculture.
(SFC, 8/26/96, p.A4)
1996 Helen Gustafson (d.2003 at
74) authored "The Agony of the Leaves / The Ecstasy of My Life With
Tea," a mixture of memoir, tea lore and recipes.
(SFC, 12/18/03, p.A25)
1996 Claudia Roden authored “A
Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey from Samarkand and Vilna to the
1996 Dr. Robert Steinberg
(d.2008 at 61) and John Scharffenberger opened their Scharffen
Berger chocolate business in South San Francisco. They sold the
business to Hershey in 2005.
(SFC, 9/23/08, p.B5)
1997 Feb 22, The new welfare
law in the US put tens of thousands of people off of food stamps as
of today. The new law stated that adults under age 50 without
children or jobs could only receive food stamps for 3 months in any
3-year period. The law authorized states to contract with private
companies to provide welfare services.
(SFC, 2/22/97, p.A12)(WSJ, 3/19/97, p.A1)(AP,
1997 Mar 3, It was announced
that scientists had discovered why some people get fat, while others
do not. They identified a gene that produces the UCP2 protein which
tends to convert fat to energy rather than leaving it stored as fat.
(SFEC, 3/3/97, p.A3)
1997 May 18, From London it was
reported that new self-cooling cans would soon hit the soft-drink
market. The cans would use HFC 134a as the coolant and scientist and
environmentalists feared the impact on global warming. The coolant
was developed to replace CFCs and there was no int’l. control on its
(SFEC, 5/18/97, p.A2)
1997 May 24, In the Ukraine the
first McDonald’s restaurant opened.
(SFEC, 5/25/97, p.A10)
1997 Aug 15, The US government
expanded its recall of ground beef sold under the Hudson brand name
to 1.1 million pounds because of new evidence of possible
contamination by E. coli bacteria.
1997 Aug 21, A hamburger recall
was extended to cover some 25 million pounds. The Hudson Foods Inc.,
of Rogers, Ark., closed its Nebraska beef-processing facility under
a "non-negotiable" recommendation by Agricultural Sec. Dan Glickman
due to E. coli poisonings in Colorado.
(SFC, 8/22/97, p.A3)(AP, 8/21/98)
1997 The EU made labels
compulsory for genetically modified (GM) food.
(Econ, 11/2/13, p.32)
1997 The Italian Parmalat Corp.
acquired Beatrice Foods.
(WSJ, 12/22/03, p.A6)
1998 Feb 19, Scientists
reported the discovery of the brain’s hunger hormone. It was named
"orexin" after the Greek word "orexis" meaning hunger.
(SFC, 2/20/98, p.A11)
1998 May 29, It was reported
that 54% of adult Americans are overweight and that 22% are obese.
(WSJ, 5/29/98, p.A1)
1998 May, In Maryland Tyson
foods agreed to pay $6 million to the federal government to settle
environmental violations from 1993-1997 at its 105-acre chicken
processing plant in Berlin, 8 miles west of Ocean City. The plant
was then owned by Hudson Foods.
(SFEC, 6/21/98, p.A5)
1998 The US began to fortify
grains for bread and cereal with folic acid. By 2009 this led to a
31% decline in cases of spina bifida.
(Econ, 8/29/09, p.70)
1998 John V.R. Evans of
Alaska’s Matanuska Valley set a Guinness world record by growing an
18-pound, 13 ounce carrot.
(SFC, 7/6/05, p.A2)
1998 Oct 9, The weekly Der
Spiegel reported that spinach grown near the nuclear reprocessing
plant in Sellafield, England, had doses of technetium-99 that was 7
times above EU food standards. Greenpeace in April had demonstrated
that game pigeons in the area were irradiated.
(SFC, 10/10/98, p.A9)
1998 Nov 23, The European Union
lifted a worldwide export ban on British beef. The ban was imposed
after experts announced a possible link between "mad cow" disease
and a fatal disease in humans.
c1998 Fried candy bars began to
show up at US fairs, imported from the fish-and-chip shops of
(WSJ, 10/21/03, p.A1)
1998 The EU imposed a ban on
genetically modified crops.
1998 In Uganda plant breeder
William Wagoira found stem rust on his crops. The fungal wheat rust
(Puccinia graminis) had not been seen since the Green Revolution. By
2010 the fungus had spread as far as Iran and South Africa and
scientists feared further spread.
(Econ, 7/3/10, p.57)
1999 Mar 26, In Uganda it was
reported that wheat stem-rust fungus had appeared on a crop. The
fungus killed nearly half the world's crop before the green
revolution of the 1950s. The black rust disease was named Ug99 and
by 2007 had jumped to Yemen. In 2008 it was confirmed in Iran. In
2008 Cornell Univ. received a $26.8 million grant from the Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation to help combat the new strains of rust
(WSJ, 3/26/99, p.A1)(WSJ, 4/3/08, p.A16)
1999 Apr, Dioxin was discovered
in Belgian animal feed. It was estimated to be some 4 months after
the contamination began. Verkest, a firm that sold animal fats to
feed mills, was implicated, but the dioxin source was not yet
pinpointed. Dioxin from motor oil that was mixed into animal feed in
Belgium led to a withdrawal of food products and widespread import
bans. Quality controls on animal feed were also put in place as a
(WSJ, 6/7/99, p.A19)(AP, 1/7/11)
1999 May 3, It was reported
that Take Control, a new butter-margarine substitute from Lipton,
was deemed safe by the FDA. The produce was made to help promote
healthy cholesterol levels.
(SFC, 5/3/99, p.A6)
1999 May 19, Researchers
reported that pollen from corn infused with genes from the Bacillus
thuringiensis (Bt) is toxic to monarch butterfly larvae when
sprinkled on milkweed, a natural food source for the caterpillars.
The genetically manipulated corn comprised about 20% of the US crop.
(SFC, 5/20/99, p.A1,15)
1999 May 26, In Belgium the
public was informed that animal feed contaminated with dioxin was
fed to chickens and pigs.
(WSJ, 6/7/99, p.A19)
1999 Jun 2, The EU ordered that
a vast array of Belgian products be withdrawn from sale and
destroyed due to a fear of dioxin-poisoning in chickens and eggs.
(SFC, 6/3/99, p.A13)
1999 Jun 16, Austria reported
that it found animal feed contaminated with Dioxin.
(WSJ, 6/17/99, p.A18)
1999 Jul 29, Belgium announced
that it had quarantined 175 more farms and that it would destroy all
115,000 tons of dioxin suspect beef, pork and poultry. Testing for
all pork and poultry products for export was extended to Aug 31.
(SFC, 7/30/99, p.A13)
1999 Nov, The US FDA started
allowing manufacturers to claim that soy products might cut the risk
of heart disease. In 2006 long term studies cast doubts on the
health benefits of soy-based foods.
(SFC, 1/23/06, p.A2)(SSCM, 8/13/06, p.7)
1999 The Weston A. Price
Foundation was established in Washington DC to promote traditional
foods such as grass-fed beef and unpasteurized milk.
(WSJ, 9/11/03, p.A1)
1999 In Washington DC
Restaurant Nora, under chef-owner Nora Pouillon, became the 1st
certified organic restaurant in the US.
(SFC, 12/31/03, p.E7)
1999 Wisconsin dairy farmers
began a cow-sharing program in order to send owners unpasteurized
milk. Sale of unpasteurized milk was illegal in Wisconsin and 21
(WSJ, 9/11/03, p.A1)
1999 Au Bon Pain, a chain
selling coffee and cakes, sold its Au Bon Pain division to
Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co., which then sold it to Compass
Group in 2000. Co-founder Ron Saich sold the firm to concentrate on
the smaller sister company, Panera Bread. In 1984 the first Au Bon
Pain cafe outside of Boston opened in New York City. In 1991, the
company went public as Au Bon Pain Co. Inc.
2000 Apr 5, A 261-page report
by the 12-person National Research Council said "it was not aware of
any evidence suggesting foods on the market today are unsafe to eat
as a result of genetic modification."
(SFC, 4/6/00, p.A3)
2000 Aug 17, It was reported
that a soybean aphid from China threatened the $13.5 billion US
(WSJ, 8/17/00, p.A2)
2000 Sep 6, In India the
Defense Research Laboratory (DRL) located in Tezpur, Assam,
published a report stating that it had achieved a new world record
of 855,000 SHU (Scoville heat units) obtained from a Naga Jolokia
(bhut jolokia) pepper. Seeds were brought to the US for testing and
in the Fall of 2006 Professor Paul Bosland of NMSU succeeded in
testing the chili. The Bhut Jolokia was confirmed as the world
record holder by Guinness, and in February, 2007 it was official.
2000 In Ukiah, Ca., the Ukiah
Brewing Company became the 2nd certified organic restaurant in the
(SFC, 12/31/03, p.E7)
2000 Austin Decoster, Iowa hog
farmer, acknowledged being a habitual violator of polluting Iowa’s
rivers and streams. He was the first Iowa farmer to be branded with
the official label. In 2010 his Iowa egg farming operations were
involved in the recall of some 380 million eggs.
(SFC, 8/28/10, p.A6)
2000 The artificial sweetener
sucralose, manufactured by Tate & Lyle began to be marketed
as Splenda by McNeil Nutritionals.
(Econ, 1/30/10, p.77)
2000 Mauritania launched a
radio and television campaign to end gavage, the practice of
force-feeding girls to make them gain weight as a sign of health and
fertility. Illiteracy made progress slow.
(WSJ, 12/29/04, p.A1)
2001 May 1, In Seattle Hindus
filed a suit against McDonald’s for nondisclosure of beef flavoring
in French fries.
(SSFC, 5/20/01, p.A9)
2001 Jun 13, Kraft Foods went
public in the NY Stock Exchange.
(WSJ, 4/16/03, p.C1)
2001 Dec 16, The Mexican
freighter N.V. Ikon Mazatlan arrived in Cuba with 26,400 tons of
American corn a day after 500 tons of American frozen chicken parts
(SFC, 12/17/01, p.A3)
2001 Eric Schlosser authored
“Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal.”
(SSFC, 8/8/04, p.M2)
2001 Andrew F. Smith authored
"Pure Ketchup, A History of America's National Condiment."
(SFC, 8/27/03, p.E4)
2001 Researchers identified a
“skimmed milk” gene in a cow. In 2007 a biotech company in New
Zealand announced that it had bred a cow to produce low-fat milk.
(SFC, 6/2/07, p.B6)
2001 California-based Webvan, a
grocery home delivery service founded in 1999, collapsed after
expanding at breakneck speed. In 2009 it was resurrected by Amazon.
(Econ, 11/30/13, p.61)
2002 Jan 8, Dave Thomas (69),
founder of Wendy's hamburger chain, died in Fort Lauderdale,
(SFC, 1/9/02, p.A1)(AP, 1/8/03)
2002 Mar 6, It was reported
that a diet rich in tomato products can lower the risk of prostate
cancer (Journal of National Cancer Institute).
(SFC, 3/6/02, p.A2)y(WSJ, 3/6/02, p.A1)
2002 Apr 4, Draft rice-genome
maps were published by scientists from China and Switzerland’s
(WSJ, 4/5/02, p.A1)
2002 Jul 26, The SF-based Texas
Pacific Group agreed to buy Burger King from Diageo PLC for $2.26
(SFC, 7/26/02, p.B1)
2002 Jul 26, Hershey Foods in
Hershey, Pa., announced that it would put itself up for sale under
directions by the Hershey Trust Co.
(SFC, 7/26/02, p.B3)
2002 Sep 3, McDonald’s
announced it will use a new soy-corn oil to reduce the levels of
trans fat and increase polyunsaturated fat in its fried products.
(SFC, 9/4/02, p.A1)
2002 Sep 20, William Rosenberg
(86), founder of the Dunkin' Donuts chain, died in Mashpee, Mass.
2002 Sep 30, It was reported
that asparagine, a naturally occurring amino acid, formed
acrylamide, a suspected carcinogen, when heated with certain sugars.
This reaction was believed to occur in the making of fried foods
such as potato chips and french fries.
(SFC, 9/30/02, p.A3)
2002 Andrew Kimbrell edited
"Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture," an
encyclopedia of what’s gone wrong with how we provide food in the
(SSFC, 6/23/02, p.M6)
2002 Chris Cuvelier founded
SF-based Zola to distribute Brazilian acai juice in the US. In 2011
the company added coconut water to its product list.
(SFC, 4/20/13, p.C2)
2002 Heinz introduced the
upside down squeezable ketchup bottle.
(AH, 6/07, p.11)
2002 Paris businessman Tawfiq
Mathlouthi launched Mecca Cola.
(SFC, 6/27/03, p.D1)
2003 Feb 24, Bernard
Loiseau (52), a celebrated French chef whose Cote D’Or restaurant in
a small Burgundy town became a mecca for the world’s gourmets, died
of apparent suicide.
2003 Feb 28, The FDA announced
that every bottle of ephedra would soon bear stern warnings that the
popular herb could cause heart attacks or strokes, even kill.
2003 Apr 17, Dr. Robert C.
Atkins (72), cardiologist, died in NYC from a fall on ice. In 1972
he published his weight loss plan "Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution,"
which allowed patients to eat fat but restricted carbohydrates. A
medical report in 2004 said Atkins weighed 258 pounds at his death
and that he had a history of congestive heart failure. Atkins
weighed 195 pounds when he fell on ice, but gained some 63 pounds
from fluids during efforts to revive him.
(SFC, 4/18/03, p.A1)(WSJ, 2/10/04, p.D1)(WSJ,
2003 Apr 22, A new study
reported that tea boosts the body’s defenses against infections.
L-theonine in black tea is broken down in the liver to ethylamine, a
molecule that primes the response of the immune system.
2003 Apr, Amrat Cola was
launched in Pakistan.
(SFC, 6/27/03, p.D1)
2003 May 15, San Francisco
attorney Stephen Joseph withdrew his recent suit against Kraft Inc.
to stop the sale of Oreo cookies. He was satisfied with the media
attention on the high trans fat content in the cookies and other
(SFC, 5/15/03, p.A3)
2003 Jun 18, The Mercury Policy
Project reported that 1/3 of albacor tuna contained levels of toxic
mercury exceeding a federally recommended dose fro women of
(SFC, 6/19/03, p.A10)
2003 Oct 21, A report from the
Environmental Working Group ranked pesticide contamination for 46
fruits and vegetables based on lab tests done between 1992 and 2001.
(SFC, 10/21/03, p.A3)
2003 Dec 2, Alan Davidson (79),
a career diplomat who shared his knowledge of exotic cuisines in a
series of best-selling books, died in London. His books included:
"Mediterranean Seafood" (1972), "Seafood of South East Asia" and
"North Atlantic Seafood" (1979).
2003 Dec 19, Parmalat SpA, an
Italian food giant, reported a $4.9 billion shortfall. Soon another
$3.6 billion in bonds was also in question. Parmalat planned to file
for bankruptcy protection in what turned into the biggest corporate
fraud in Europe's history. Parmalat employed 36,000 people in 29
countries. Fausto Tonna, former chief financial officer, soon
acknowledged that there was systematic falsification of accounts for
some 15 years. In 2001 an auditor in Brazil had raised an alarm over
financial transactions. The accounting scandal reached $17 billion.
(SFC, 12/24/03, p.B1)(WSJ, 12/26/03, p.C1)(WSJ,
3/29/04, p.A3)(Econ, 8/6/05, p.57)
2003 Dec 30, The Bush
administration banned the use of meat from all sick or lame animals.
(SFC, 12/31/03, p.A1)
2003 Dec 30, The US FDA banned
the dietary supplement ephedra. Some 16,000 adverse reactions had
been reported along with 155 deaths.
(WSJ, 12/30/03, p.A1)(SFC, 12/31/03, p.A1)
2003 Arkansas state legislators
passed an act to measure the body mass index of its schoolchildren.
Data soon revealed that 40% of the children are obese or at risk of
(Econ, 6/12/04, p.29)
2003 In Chinese researchers at
the State Key Laboratory of Agrobiotechnology of the China
Agricultural University introduced human genetic coding into the DNA
of Holstein dairy cow embryos, then transferred the embryos into cow
surrogates. This followed years of testing on mice. By June, 2011,
over 300 cloned cattle lived on an experimental farm in suburban
Beijing, with new calves delivered every week.
2003 Denmark became the first
country in the world to introduce restrictions on the use of
industrially produced trans fatty acids. Oils and fats were
forbidden on the Danish market if they contain trans fatty acids
exceeding 2 per cent.
2003 Plumpy’nut, a peanut paste
developed in France in 1997, was 1st used on a large scale in
Sudan’s Darfur region to alleviate hunger.
(Econ, 11/5/05, p.51)
2004 Jan 8, The journal Science
reported high levels of dangerous chemicals in farmed salmon. Wild
Pacific salmon had 10 times less than the farmed ones.
(SFC, 1/9/04, p.A2)
2004 Jan 22, US Congress
approved an $820 billion spending bill. It included a labeling law
for the seafood industry for "country of origin."
(SFC, 1/23/04, p.A3)(SFC, 2/4/04, p.A1)
2004 Feb, Amadeus Corp. of Peru
launched a new soft drink called Vortex, made with coca extract. The
cocaine alkaloid was removed but export was still banned.
(Econ, 4/24/04, p.36)
2004 Mar 9, Britain ended a
3-year review and agreed to allow farmers to grow one variety
genetically modified "GM" corn.
(WSJ, 3/10/04, p.A14)
2004 Mar 15, Missouri jurors
agreed that vapors from butter flavoring at the microwave popcorn
factory had permanently ruined the lungs of Eric Peoples. The
verdict was against International Flavors and Fragrances Inc. and
its subsidiary Bush Boake Allen Inc. The flavoring manufacturers
were ordered to pay $18 million to Peoples and $2 million to his
2004 Mar 27, Edward J. Piszek
(87), founder of Mrs. Paul's Kitchens, died in Fort Washington, Pa.
(SFC, 4/1/04, p.B7)
2004 Apr 19, Jim Cantalupo
(60), McDonald's Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive, died of an
apparent heart attack in Florida and the company named Chief
Operating Officer Charlie Bell to replace him as CEO.
2004 May 19, The European Union
lifted its 6-year-old ban on biotech products by approving imports
of an insect-resistant strain of sweet corn for human consumption.
2004 May 26, The US government
planned to set a limit on how much salt American should consume to
2,300 mg a day.
(WSJ, 5/26/04, p.A1)
2004 Jul 4, In NYC Takeru "The
Tsunami" Kobayashi chewed up the competition at the Nathan's Famous
hot dog eating competition, breaking his own previous world record.
Kobayashi, of Nagano, Japan, gulped down 53 1/2 wieners in 12
minutes and shattered his own world record by three dogs. 105-pound
Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas, 36, of Alexandria, Va., ate more hot
dogs (32) than any other woman and any other American in the
2004 Jul 16, Peru’s National
Agrarian Research Institute launched a new super-cuy (guinea pig),
weighing up to 10 pounds, to help improve the Peruvian diet.
(Econ, 7/17/04, p.37)
2004 Jul 29, Milk prices in the
Bay Area, $4.71 pre gallon, were reported to be 29% higher than the
$3.66 per gallon average reported by the USDA in a survey of 29
major US cities outside California.
(SFC, 7/29/04, p.A1)
2004 Aug 8, Gypsy Boots (~89),
health fanatic born as Robert Bootzin, died in LA. He was the author
of “Bare Feet and Good Things to Eat.”
(SFC, 8/12/04, p.B6)
2004 Aug 13, Julia Child (91),
the grande dame of US television cooking shows and books, died in
Santa Barbara, Ca. During WWII she spent 3 years working for the
Office of Strategic Services (OSS). In 2006 Her memoir “My Life in
France,” co-written with Alex Prud’homme, was published. In 1997
Noel Riley Fitch authored ”Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia
Child.” In 2012 Bob Spitz authored “Dearie: The Remarkable Life of
(Reuters, 8/13/04)(Econ, 8/28/04, p.78)(SSFC,
4/2/06, p.M1)(WSJ, 8/19/08, p.D7)(Econ, 8/18/12, p.74)
2004 Aug 20, Thailand’s PM
Thaksin said he would overturn the country’s current ban on
commercial production and trade in genetically modified food (GMOs).
(WSJ, 10/29/04, p.A13)
2004 Oct 2, In Ontario, Canada,
a record 1,446 pound pumpkin was unveiled.
(SFC, 10/12/04, p.B1)
2004 Oct 20, Terra Madre, an
international meeting of food communities, held its first meeting in
Turin, Italy. It formed as a part of the Slow Food movement. The
group followed with meetings every 2 years.
2004 Steve Almond authored
“Candy Freak,” a sort of travelogue on US candy makers.
(WSJ, 5/12/04, p.A1)
2004 Nina Fedoroff and Nancy
Marie Brown authored “Mendel in the Kitchen,” a look at the past,
present and future of genetics in agriculture.
(WSJ, 11/11/04, p.D9)
2004 Mireille Guiliano authored
“French Women Don’t’ Get Fat.”
(SSFC, 1/23/05, p.F3)
2004 Richard Manning authored
"Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization."
(SSFC, 2/29/04, p.M1)
2004 Ken Midkiff authored “The
Meat You Eat: How Corporate Farming Has Endangered America’s Food
(SSFC, 8/8/04, p.M1)
2004 Jack Turner authored
“Spice: The History of a Temptation.”
(SSFC, 8/15/04, p.M3)
2004 The South Pole Food Growth
Chamber began operating. It provided at least one fresh salad a day
during the winter months to the staff of the Amundsen-Scott South
(Econ, 12/11/10, TQ p.15)
2004 It was reported that
McDonald County, Miss., home to 13 million broiler chickens and a
few hundred thousand turkeys, had every stream on a government
“impaired water body” list.
(SSFC, 8/8/04, p.M2)
2004 In Chile days after the
recipe was published in the paper's "Woman" magazine, hospitals
around the country began treating women for burns suffered when the
dough boiling in oil suddenly shot out of kitchen pots. In 2011
Chile's Supreme Court ordered the publisher of La Tercera to pay
$125,000 to 13 people who suffered burns while trying out the
2005 Jan 2, H. David Dalquist
(86), creator of the aluminum Bundt pan (1950), the top-selling cake
pan in the world, died at his home in Edina, Minn. He founded St.
Louis Park-based Nordic Ware, which has sold more than 50 million
2005 Jan 12, New US government
Dietary Guidelines suggested 30 minutes of daily physical activity
to reduce risk of chronic disease; 60 minutes to maintain a healthy
weight; and 90 minutes to lose weight.
(SFC, 1/13/05, p.A4)
2005 Jan 31, The US government
released a list of 17 new carcinogens that included X-rays, some
viruses and chemicals used in frying and grilling meat.
(SFC, 2/1/05, p.A1)
2005 Mar 12, Customers of the
German Edeka supermarket chain will soon be able to pay for their
shopping by placing their finger on a scanner at the check-out,
saving up to 40 seconds spent scrabbling for coins or cards.
2005 Mar 15, It was noted that
Israeli researchers had found that pomegranate juice, 8 ounces a
day, helps lower cholesterol.
(WSJ, 3/15/05, p.D4)(WSJ, 4/5/05, p.D4)
2005 Mar, American potato
farmers formed the United Potato Growers of America, a group of
regional farming cooperatives intent on keeping demand for potatoes
high by controlling supply. The 1922 Capper-Volstead Act exempted
farmers from federal antitrust laws permitting them to share prices
and orchestrate supply.
(WSJ, 9/26/06, p.B1)
2005 Apr 14, A US Federal Court
ruled in favor of Neutraceutical Corp. and struck down the 2004 ban
on supplements containing ephedra, a once-popular weight-loss aid.
(SFC, 4/15/05, p.A6)
2005 Apr 19, The US government
sacked its one-size-fits-all food pyramid in favor of a dozen
different guides geared to individual nutritional needs and
2005 Jun 20, H.J. Heinz Co.,
the largest ketchup maker in the US, said it has agreed to buy the
HP Foods and Lea & Perrins sauce divisions from France's Groupe
Danone for $852 mil.
2005 Aug 11, A team of
scientists from 10 countries reported that they had deciphered the
genetic code of rice. This was the first cereal crop to be
(SFC, 8/11/05, p.A6)(Econ, 5/10/14, p.14)
2005 Tom Standage authored “A
History of the World in Six Glasses: How beer, wine, spirits,
coffee, tea and Coca-Cola made the modern world.”
(Econ, 7/2/05, p.76)
2005 Burger King introduced its
hamburger operations in China.
(Econ, 10/25/08, p.78)
2006 Jan 27, Belgium’s food
safety agency closed 96 pig and chicken farms as it traced the
source of dioxins found by a Dutch firm last week back to a vat of
Belgian pork fat.
2006 Jun 27, The City Council
of Oakland, Ca., passed a measure to ban Styrofoam food packaging
for restaurant takeout food effective January, 2007.
(SFC, 6/29/06, p.B3)
2006 Jul 16, Robert Brooks
(b.1937), chairman of Hooters of America, died in South Carolina. He
made a fortune selling chicken wings served by scantily clad
2006 Sep 6, Reporting in the
Annals of Internal Medicine, European researchers said virgin olive
oil may be particularly effective at lowering heart disease risk
because of its high level of antioxidant plant compounds.
2006 Sep 14, US federal health
officials said an outbreak a deadly strain of E. coli (0157:H7) had
left at least one person dead in Wisconsin over 100 others sick and
warned consumers not to eat bagged fresh spinach. The outbreak in 8
states soon extended to 25. The number sickened rose to at least
190. Most of the spinach crop at this time of the year comes from
California. A special effort was under way in the Salinas Valley of
California, a major leafy-vegetable growing region, to look for any
possible source of contamination there. The outbreak was traced to
California’s Natural Selection Foods of San Juan Bautista, which
recalled all suspect products. This was the same deadly strain that
in 1982 had sickened at least 47 people in Oregon and Michigan who
ate McDonald’s burgers. A surveillance system setup after a 1993
outbreak at the Jack-in-the-Box fast food chain helped single out
spinach as the likely source of this outbreak. A 2nd death on Sep
20, a 2-year-old boy in Idaho, was attributed to the spinach E.
coli. A 3rd death in late August, a woman (84) in Nebraska, was also
attributed to the spinach E. coli. On Sep 29 the FDA cleared spinach
from California’s Monterey, San Benito and Santa Clara counties.
(SFC, 9/23/06, p.A9)(WSJ, 9/25/06, p.A4)(SFC,
9/30/06, p.A5)(SFC, 10/7/06, p.A6)
2006 Oct 26, The Slow Food
movement, founded in 1989, sponsored Terra Madre in Turin, Italy.
The 5-day event brought together representatives of food communities
that produced good, clean and fair food in a responsible and
2006 Dec 4, An E. coli outbreak
that sickened at least 58 people, two of them seriously, was linked
by health investigators to three Taco Bell restaurants in New
Jersey. The outbreak, initially believed to stem from green onions,
was later believed to have come from lettuce.
(AP, 12/4/06)(SFC, 12/14/06, p.A6)
2006 Dec 5, New York became the
first city in the nation to ban artery-clogging trans fats at
restaurants. The ban became effective July 1,2007.
(AP, 12/6/06)(SFC, 7/2/07, p.A4)
2006 Michael Pollan authored
“The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals,” an
indictment of the American industrial food system.”
(SFC, 10/28/09, p.E1)
2006 Tristram Stuart authored
“The Bloodless Revolution: “Radical Vegetarians and the Discovery of
India.” In 2007 the American version was subtitled “A Cultural
History of Vegetarianism from 1600 to Modern Times.”
(SSFC, 1/7/07, p.M1)
2006 McDonald’s sold its 90%
stake in Chipotle, its Mexican grill chain.
(Econ, 1/18/14, p.68)
2007 Jan 2, The UN lifted a ban
on int’l. trade in several types of caviar from the Caspian Sea.
Permission for the export of the expensive beluga variety was not
(SFC, 1/3/07, p.A6)
2007 Jan 26, It was reported
that Dr. Robert Bohannon, a Durham, North Carolina, molecular
scientist, has come up with a way to add caffeine to baked goods,
without the bitter taste of caffeine. Each piece of pastry is the
equivalent of about two cups of coffee.
2007 Feb 7, The US Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) announced its approval of sales of Alli, a
reduced-strength version of the prescription diet drug Xenical. The
first diet pill for over the counter sale hit stores June 15.
(AP, 2/8/07)(SFC, 6/14/07, p.A1)
2007 Feb 15, Government
scientists struggled to pinpoint the source of the first US
salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter. Nearly 300 people in 39
states have fallen ill since August, and federal health
investigators said they strongly suspect Peter Pan peanut butter and
certain batches of Wal-Mart's Great Value house brand, both
manufactured by ConAgra Foods. By June the number of cases grew to
over 600 in 47 states.
(AP, 2/16/07)(AP, 6/1/07)
2007 Feb 17, James Morris, the
head of the UN food agency, said some 18,000 children die every day
because of hunger and malnutrition and 850 million people go to bed
every night with empty stomachs, a "terrible indictment of the world
2007 Feb, An Indian chili, the
bhut jolokia, was accepted by Guinness World Records as the world’s
spiciest chili. In 2010 the Indian military decided to use the bhut
jolokia to make tear gas-like hand grenades to immobilize suspected
(SFC, 3/24/10, p.A2)(www.thehottestpepper.com/)
2007 Mar 13, Environmental
group Greenpeace launched a fresh attack on genetically modified
maize developed by US biotech giant Monsanto, saying that rats fed
on one version developed liver and kidney problems.
2007 Mar 16, Menu Foods, a
major manufacturer of dog and cat food sold under Wal-Mart, Safeway,
Kroger and other store brands, recalled 60 million containers of wet
pet food after reports of kidney failure and deaths.
2007 Mar 30, The Food and Drug
Administration said it had found melamine, a chemical used to make
plastics, in samples of Menu Foods pet food, as well as in wheat
gluten used as an ingredient in the wet-style products.
2007 Jul 1, In NYC a ban on
restaurant cooking with trans fats went into effect.
(SFC, 7/2/07, p.A4)
2007 Jul 12, HM Capital
Partners LLC, a leading, Dallas-based private equity firm, and Booth
Creek Management Corporation sold Swift & Company to Brazil’s
JBS Friboi S.A., the largest beef processor in South America and one
of the largest worldwide beef exporters. Swift was the 3rd largest
processor of beef and pork in America and the biggest processor of
beef in Australia.
2007 Jul 23, The US FDA said
people should immediately throw away more than 90 different
products, from chili sauce to corned beef hash to dog food, produced
at a Castleberry plant in Augusta, Ga., linked to a botulism
2007 Sep, The world price of
wheat rose to over $400 per ton, the highest ever recorded.
(Econ, 12/8/07, p.81)
2007 Sep 29, The Topps Meat Co.
expanded its recall of frozen hamburger patties to include 21.7
million pounds of ground beef that may be contaminated with E. coli
bacteria that sickened more than a dozen people in eight US states.
2007 Oct 16,
A study in Hong Kong reportedly found that Lupeol, a compound
in fruits like mangoes, grapes and strawberries, appears to be
effective in killing and curbing the spread of cancer cells in the
head and neck.
2007 Oct 20, Peg Bracken (89),
author of the "I Hate to Cook Book," died in Portland, Ore.
2007 Nov 1, General Mills
recalled about 5 million frozen pizzas sold nationwide under the
Totino's and Jeno's labels because of possible E. coli
2007 Kate Colquhoun authored
“Taste: The Story of Britain through its Food.”
(Econ, 11/24/07, p.89)
2007 In Italy Oscar Farinetti
set up the first Eataly food market in Turin. In 2013 his 21st store
opened in Chicago.
(Econ, 11/30/13, p.62)
2008 Jan 1, This marked the
start of the International Year of the Potato as declared by the UN.
The potato stood s the world’s 4th biggest food crop, after maize,
wheat and rice.
(Econ, 3/1/08, p.18, 92)(SSFC, 10/5/08, p.A15)
2008 Jan 11, The EU food-safety
agency endorsed meat and milk derived from cloned animals.
(WSJ, 1/12/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 22, The NYC Board of
health voted to require restaurant chains to state the number of
calories in everything on their menus. Full enforcement began in
2008 Feb 1, Scientists in Japan
and New Zealand said they have created a "tear-free" onion using
biotechnology to switch off the gene behind the enzyme that makes us
2008 Feb 3, Police said
Japanese investigators found insecticide on the outside of six bags
of Chinese-made dumplings in Japan after separate dumplings made by
the same company sickened 10 people there.
2008 Feb 8, Officials said that
the WTO has ruled against the EU's import tariffs for bananas,
possibly opening the door to millions of dollars in US commercial
2008 Feb 9, The French
government suspended the use of genetically modified corn crops in
France while it awaits EU approval for a full ban.
2008 Feb 17, The US Department
of Agriculture ordered the recall of 143 million pounds of frozen
beef from a California slaughterhouse, the subject of an
animal-abuse investigation, that provided meat to school lunch
programs. Downer cows at the Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company
had been processed and sent for use in the National School Lunch
(AP, 2/18/08)(Econ, 3/1/08, p.36)
2008 Feb 26, A "doomsday" seed
vault, built to protect millions of food crops from climate change,
wars and natural disasters, opened deep within an Arctic mountain in
the remote Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard.
(AP, 2/26/08)(Econ, 3/10/12, p.71)
2008 Feb, In China poisoned
food at a snack bar in the southern boomtown of Shenzhen, killed two
diners and sickened 61 others. In 2009 two migrant workers were
sentenced to death for the poisoning. Ke Bizhi was sentenced to
death, while Wang Yingde was also given death but with the
possibility of it being commuted to a life sentence if he shows good
behavior over the next two years. Zhu Yuanlin, the businessman who
masterminded the plot, was sentenced to life in prison. Another man
was given 15 years for his role in the scheme.
2008 Mar 11, The SF Board of
Supervisors passed a law requiring chain restaurants to post
nutrition information on their menus.
(SFC, 3/12/08, p.C1)
2008 Mar 15, It was reported
that spores of Ug99, a wheat killing fungus that emerged in East
Africa nearly 10 years ago, has been spread by winds into the Saudi
Peninsula and South Asia.
(SFC, 3/15/08, p.B6)
2008 Mar 17, The Mozambican
government made an urgent appeal to the UN World Food Program to
help more than 60,000 people left destitute when cyclone Jokwe hit
northern and central parts of the country.
2008 Mar 18, The World Food
Program (WFP) made a six million dollar appeal to feed some 90,000
Burundian refugees in Tanzania who expect to return to the central
African country in 2008.
2008 Mar 22, In southern Sudan
two World Food Program (WFP) drivers on their way to the oil-rich
Abyei state were stabbed to death by six assailants.
2008 Mar 25, In Sudan a World
Food Program (WFP) driver was shot dead and his assistant seriously
wounded in South Darfur state.
2008 Mar 26, It was reported
that British pig husbandry is in crisis due to exploding global
grain prices. Last month British pig farmers recorded “Stand By Your
Ham” based on the 1968 US country classic “Stand By Your Man” by
(WSJ, 3/26/08, p.A1)
2008 Mar 26, Italian officials
held a crisis meeting after Japan and South Korea banned imports of
mozzarella following the discovery of high dioxin levels in buffalo
milk used to make the famed cheese.
2008 Mar 26, Philippine farmers
warned that the country was facing a serious rice supply crisis, as
the government signed a deal to import rice from Vietnam to boost
local reserves at a time of rising prices and shrinking global
2008 Apr 2, Argentine farmers,
rebelling over soaring export taxes on their crops, declared a
30-day truce suspending a three-week-long strike that has stripped
grocery shelves of beef and produce, granting Cristina Fernandez a
reprieve in the first major crisis of her presidency.
(AP, 4/3/08)(WSJ, 4/3/08, p.A1)
2008 Apr 3, Corn prices jumped
to a record $6 a bushel, driven up by an expected supply shortfall
that will only add to Americans' growing grocery bill and further
squeeze struggling ethanol producers.
2008 Apr 12, About 20,000
workers rioted over high food prices and low wages close to the
Bangladesh capital Dhaka, amid spreading global unrest over soaring
2008 Apr 14, Pres. Bush ordered
the release of $200 million in emergency aid as the UN Sec. Gen.
said a global food crises has reached emergency levels.
(WSJ, 4/15/08, p.A1)
2008 Apr 15, Mike Leavitt, the
top US health official, said US food and drug regulators will start
working in China next month once Beijing gives its final approval.
2008 Apr 15, Kazakhstan joined
other Black Sea grain exporters in curbing shipments to combat
double-digit inflation. Wheat exports were suspended until Sep 10.
Kazakhstan will become the world’s 5th largest wheat exporter this
year, shipping half its record 2007 crop.
(WSJ, 4/16/08, p.A8)
2008 Apr 18,
In Mongolia more than 20,000 people flooded the center of the
capital, Ulan Bator, to demand that the government do something
about rising food prices that have nearly tripled in some cases.
2008 Apr 21, In Sudan gunmen
killed a second driver delivering food aid for the UN's World Food
Program in the Darfur region, where banditry has forced vital
rations to be halved.
2008 Apr 21,Thailand’s
government said more than 10 million people in parts of its rice
bowl region have been hit by drought causing further concerns as
prices of the staple grain soared.
2008 Apr 22,
Security forces in northern Somalia stormed a hijacked ship carrying
food, rescuing hostages and arresting seven pirates. The seizure was
the latest in a spate of pirate attacks off the increasingly lawless
2008 Apr 23, Venezuela’s
President Hugo Chavez joined with his leftist allies to create a
$100 million program to fight the rising cost of food for Latin
2008 Apr 27, It was made public
that Mars Inc. of McLean, Va., together with Berkshire Hathaway had
agreed to acquire Wrigley Co. of Chicago, Ill., for about $23
billion. The deal closed on Oct 6.
(WSJ, 4/29/08, p.A1)(SFC, 10/7/08, p.D2)
2008 Apr 30, Canada pledged an
extra C$50 million ($49.5 million) for international food aid and
said it would also allow its money to be used to buy food abroad and
not tie it to purchases of Canadian produce.
2008 May 3, The Asian
Development Bank, announced emergency funding to help poor countries
struggling with rice prices that have nearly tripled in four months.
The Manila-based organization made the announcement while meeting in
2008 May 4, Senegal’s Pres.
Abdoulaye Wade called the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization
(FAO) a “bottomless pit of money largely spent on its own
(Econ, 5/10/08, p.69)
2008 May 5, In Somalia troops
opened fire and killed at least two people as tens of thousands of
people rioted over high food prices in Mogadishu.
2008 May 20, British PM Gordon
Brown urged rich countries to end agricultural subsidies, and said
he will press for a global trade agreement to help the world's
poorest farmers escape poverty.
2008 May 23, A UN food aid
agency said the response to its appeal for money to help meet
soaring fuel and food costs went beyond what it had hoped to
collect, saying $500 million from Saudi Arabia means it won't have
to cut rations.
2008 May 28, African leaders,
in Japan for a major development conference, lashed out at rich
nations for erecting trade barriers that prevent the continent's
economic development even as they make lofty pledges to boost aid.
Japan pledged to double aid to Africa by 2012 and to help the
continent boost rice production two-fold to ease food shortages.
2008 Jun 5, In Italy a 3-day UN
summit aimed at fighting hunger worldwide ended with pledges to
boost food output, calls to cut trade barriers and more research on
biofuels. Just before the meeting Saudi Arabia announced a donation
of $500 million.
(WSJ, 6/6/08, p.A10)(Econ, 6/7/08, p.70)
2008 Jun 7, In Egypt thousands
of demonstrators fought with police after a protest over flour
rations in a town on the Mediterranean coast. Mustafa Khalil (88), a
former Egyptian prime minister (1978-1980), died. He was an
architect of the 1979 Camp David peace treaty between Egypt and
2008 Jun 12, In Indonesia a
local health official said at least 21 toddlers have died of
malnutrition in eastern Indonesia in recent months due to a food
shortage that threatens the lives of thousands more children.
2008 Jun 18, Food manufacturers
promised Mexico's government that they would freeze prices on more
than 150 food products to help families cope with rising costs.
2008 Jun 30, The UN said
thousands of tons of food from the US has started flowing into North
(SFC, 7/1/08, p.A3)
2008 Jul 21, The US FDA issued
an advisory for consumers to avoid eating uncooked jalapeno peppers
after it found a jalapeno grown in Mexico in a Texas border town
warehouse that tested positive with the same strain of salmonella
that was earlier associated with tomatoes.
(SFC, 7/22/08, p.A10)
2008 Jul 25, California’s Gov.
Schwarzenegger signed a bill banning trans fat in restaurants and
food facilities, making California the first state to do so. The law
takes effect in two stages: Jan 1, 2010 and Jan 1, 2011.
(SFC, 7/26/08, p.A1)(WSJ, 7/26/08, p.A1)
2008 Jul 30, The UN said hunger
in North Korea is at its worst since the 1990s, prompting the
resumption of emergency UN food shipments after a two-year hiatus.
2008 Aug 8, Nebraska Beef, an
Omaha meat packer, recalled 1.2 million pounds of beef after
products were linked to illnesses in 12 states. In July the company
had recalled over 5 million pounds of beef due to an outbreak of E.
coli in 7 states.
(SSFC, 8/10/08, p.A4)
2008 Aug 29, In SF the 4-day
Slow Food Nation opened at the Civic Center Plaza and continued at
Fort Mason, where tickets to the Taste Pavilion sold for $65. The
Slow Food movement had begun in Italy in 1986.
(SSFC, 8/31/08, p.A1)(Econ, 9/13/08, p.38)
2008 Sep 12, Shops throughout
China pulled a milk powder, suspected sickening babies, from shelves
in the latest safety scandal to rock the country's food industry.
Investigators soon detained 19 people and were questioning 78 to
find out how melamine was added to milk supplied to Sanlu Group Co.,
China's biggest milk powder producer. On Sep 15 Zhang Zhenling, vice
president of Sanlu Group, read a letter of apology at a news
briefing in Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei Province, where the
corporation is based. China later reported that more than 6,000
babies had fallen ill and three died after drinking contaminated
milk powder. Consumer complaints to Sanlu Group regarding its baby
milk formula had begun as early as last December. By the end of the
year 6 children had died and tens of thousands were made ill from
milk powder tainted with melamine.
(AP, 9/12/08)(AP, 9/13/08)(AFP, 9/15/08)(AFP,
9/17/08)(SFC, 9/24/08, p.A12)(Econ, 5/25/13, p.67)
2008 Sep 19, Singapore banned
all dairy imports from China and the European Union demanded answers
from Beijing as the baby formula scandal, which left 4 babies dead
and over 6 thousand infants ill across China, spread to liquid milk.
2008 Sep 21, Wallace N.
Rasmussen (b.1914), former head of Beatrice Foods (1976-1979), died
at his home in Nashville, Tenn.
(WSJ, 10/4/08, p.A12)
2008 Sep 22, The number of
Chinese infants sick in hospital after drinking tainted milk formula
doubled to nearly 13,000 and the country's top quality regulator
resigned in the latest blight on the "made-in-China" brand.
2008 Sep 22, The UN appealed
for $460 million to feed some 10 million Ethiopians hit by drought
and high food prices.
2008 Sep 24, Britain pledged
26.9 million pounds for drought-hit Ethiopia, where some 9.6 million
people are in need of emergency food aid.
2008 Sep 25, The EU banned
imports of baby food containing Chinese milk as tainted dairy
products linked to the deaths of four babies turned up in candy and
other Chinese-made goods that were quickly pulled from stores
worldwide. More than a dozen countries have banned or recalled
Chinese dairy products as melamine was found in milk products from
22 Chinese dairy companies.
(AP, 9/25/08)(SFC, 9/25/08, p.A3)
2008 Sep 29, British candy
maker Cadbury said it is recalling 11 types of Chinese-made
chocolates found to contain melamine, as police in northern China
raided a network accused of adding the banned chemical to milk.
2008 Sep 30, A new US law took
effect as part of the 2008 Farm Bill requiring food retailers to
label or display the country of origin for meat, produce and certain
kinds of nuts.
(WSJ, 12/27/08, p.A7)
2008 Oct 1, In Australia a
major report to the government on global warming suggested that
Australians should eat kangaroos instead of cattle and sheep.
2008 Oct 1, Fifteen more
Chinese dairy companies were identified as producing milk products
contaminated with an industrial chemical, further broadening a
scandal affecting products ranging from baby formula to chocolate.
2008 Oct 5, Hong Kong said it
found two Cadbury chocolate products contained considerably more of
the industrial chemical melamine than the city's legal limit in a
growing scandal over Chinese tainted food. China attempted to
contain the fallout from the tainted milk scandal, announcing a new
survey of dairy products showed no traces of melamine and promising
to subsidize farmers hit by the scare.
(AP, 10/5/08)(AFP, 10/5/08)
2008 Oct 7, The UN food agency
(WFP) said it is resuming free breakfasts for hundreds of thousands
of poor Cambodian schoolchildren after securing new funds for a
program suspended due to high food prices.
2008 Oct 8, The Asian
Development Bank announced $35 million in emergency food aid to ease
the burden of soaring food prices among some of Cambodia's poorest
2008 Oct 9, Zimbabwe's
opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said that power-sharing talks
with President Robert Mugabe's government had stalled and outside
mediation was needed to break the deadlock. The UN food agency made
an urgent appeal for 140 million dollars (102 million euros) in food
aid for more than five million Zimbabweans facing severe hunger. A
state newspaper said Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate soared to 231
million percent in July.
2008 Oct 13, Swiss authorities
said they have found high concentrations of melamine in biscuits
from Thailand and Sri Lanka and have called on other European
countries to withdraw the products.
2008 Oct 14, An Ethiopian
minister said his country urgently needs US$265 million to feed 6.4
million people affected by drought.
2008 Oct 16, Around one million
Burundian children under the age of five suffer chronic
malnutrition, the UN food agency announced as it marked World Food
Day in the tiny central African nation.
2008 Oct 16, The European
Commission announced 15 million euros (20 million dollars) of
emergency food aid for victims of drought and soaring food prices in
five east African countries. The biggest share will go to Ethiopia
and Somalia and smaller amounts to Kenya, Uganda and Djibouti.
2008 Oct 29, A local Chinese
government acknowledged that officials knew about melamine-tainted
eggs for a month before the contamination was publicly disclosed. A
Dalian government notice said that local authorities were notified
Sept. 27 of tests by the customs bureau of Liaoning province that
had found melamine in a batch of export-bound eggs produced by
Dalian Hanwei Enterprise Group.
2008 Oct 30, In Iowa US federal
agents arrested Sholom Rubashkin, a former senior executive of the
Agriprocessors, a kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, for
employing illegal immigrants for commercial gain and helping them
secure fake documents. A day earlier Iowa labor authorities levied
some $10 million in fines against Agriprocessors for labor
violations. On Nov 12, 2009, Rubashkin was convicted on 86 of 91
financial fraud charges.
(WSJ, 10/31/08, p.A3)(SFC, 11/13/09, p.A8)
2008 Oct 30, China’s state
media reported that the industrial chemical melamine is commonly
added to animal feed in China to make it appear higher in protein.
This appeared to be a tacit admission by the government that
contamination is widespread in the country's food supply.
2008 Nov 12, Hong Kong
officials said they had found elevated levels of melamine in fish
feed from China’s Fuzhou Haima Feed Co.
(WSJ, 11/13/08, p.A13)
2008 Nov 13, US Federal health
officials slapped a sweeping detention order on dozens of imported
foods from China, from snacks and drinks to chocolates and candies.
The agency said the action was needed as a precaution to keep out
foods contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine, which can
cause serious kidney problems.
2008 Nov 15, Gazans seeking
food aid walked away empty-handed from locked United Nations
distribution centers after a strict Israeli border closure depleted
UN food reserves.
2008 Nov 19, The UN asked for
$7 billion (5.5 billion euros) to fund its humanitarian work around
the world in 2009, almost double last year's appeal as a result of
soaring food prices and crises in Africa, among other factors. The
UN's food agency will slim down its bureaucracy, work to cut costs
and make investments that will improve efficiency as part of a
reform plan adopted by member nations.
2008 Nov 19, The World Food
Program said that it has signed a new food aid deal to allow the UN
agency to provide 350,000 tons of grain to millions in Zimbabwe.
2008 Nov 19, In Haiti Max Cosci
of Doctors Without Borders said at least 26 children had died over a
two-week period in the remote, southeastern area of Baie d'Orange.
The UN World Food Program says it is sending medical and food aid to
2008 Nov 27, South Korea's
supermarket chains resumed selling US beef, nearly five months after
the government lifted an import ban imposed over fears of mad cow
2008 Dec 1, China's Health
Ministry said six babies may have died after consuming tainted milk
powder, up from a previous official toll of three, and announced a
six-fold increase in its tally of infants sickened in the scandal,
to nearly 300,000.
2008 Dec 15, In China
substances commonly used as industrial dyes, insecticides and drain
cleaners were included on a list of illegal food additives released
as part of a months long government crackdown aimed at improving the
country's shoddy food safety record.
2008 Dec 18, The US FDA cleared
stevia, a shrub and an artificial sweetener extracted from it, for
public use. The FDA did not technically granted approval to stevia
but affirmed it will not object to companies using it in foods and
2008 Dec 24, Mexico began
blocking imports of meat from at least 30 US meat processing plants
due to a new US law that required food retailers to label or display
the country of origin for meat, produce and certain kinds of nuts.
The law, effective as of Sep 30, was part of the 2008 Farm Bill.
(WSJ, 12/27/08, p.A7)
2008 Dec 31, Tian Wenhua,
former chairwoman of the Sanlu Group, one of China’s biggest dairy
producers, pleaded guilty to selling fake and substandard milk
(SFC, 1/1/09, p.A3)
2008 Maria Balinska authored
“The Bagel: The Surprising History of a Modest Bread.”
(WSJ, 11/29/08, p.W11)
2008 Betty Fussell (70)
authored “Raising Steaks: The Life and Times of American Beef.”
(SFC, 11/18/08, p.E5)
2008 Marion Nestle authored
“Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine,” which
illuminates the connections between the food supplies of
humans, farm animals and pets.
(Econ, 9/6/08, p.97)
2008 Michael Pollan authored
“In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto,” an exploration of the
relationship between nutrition and the Western diet. In 2009 it
became the basis for the PBS TV documentary “The Botany of Desire.”
(SFC, 10/28/09, p.E1)
2008 John Reader authored
“Propitious Esculent: The Potato in World History.”
(Econ, 3/1/08, p.92)
2008 Indonesia achieved rice
self-sufficiency for the first time in 24 years.
(Econ, 1/10/09, p.38)
2009 Jan 12, Minnesota
officials said lab tests had confirmed salmonella bacteria in a five
pound container of King Nut brand peanut butter. King Nut of Solon,
Ohio, had recalled the product on January 10. At least 6 people had
been killed and over 470 sickened nationwide in 43 states.
(WSJ, 1/13/09, p.A2)(SFC, 1/20/09, p.A12)
2009 Jan 12, In China a
Shanghai distributor of a popular brand of dog food said it had
suspended sales of the product following reports that dogs who ate
it had died from aflatoxin poisoning. This appeared to involve an
imported product, Optima, a brand of dog food made by Nashville,
Tennessee-based Doane Pet Care Co. It was not clear if the pet food
sold in China was the US brand.
2009 Jan 16, Kellogg Co. of
Battle Creek, Mich., recalled 16 products containing peanut butter
due to possible salmonella contamination as federal officials
confirmed contamination at a Georgia facility that ships peanut
products to 85 food companies. On Jan 21 federal health authorities
confirmed that peanut butter and paste made by a Virginia company
were the sole sources of the outbreak. The Blakely, Ga., facility
was owned by Peanut Corp. of America, based in Lynchburg, Va. In
2013 four former executives of Peanut Corp. were indicted for the
outbreak that left 9 people dead and hundreds sickened.
(SFC, 1/17/09, p.A2)(WSJ, 1/22/09, p.A4)(SFC,
2009 Jan 16, Kenya's president
declared the country's food crisis a national disaster and asked
international donors to contribute $406 million toward emergency
2009 Jan 27, In California
federal prosecutors said purchasing managers for Kraft Foods and
Frito-Lay have admitted to taking $318,000 in bribes from Randall
Rahal, a former sales broker for SK Foods of Lemoore, a major
Central California tomato processor. On August 11 Robert Watson
(59), former Kraft Foods purchasing manager, was sentenced to 2
years and 3 months for taking $158,000 in bribes.
(SFC, 1/28/09, p.B3)(SFC, 8/12/09, p.D2)
2009 Jan 28, Peanut Corp.
expanded its recall to all peanut products produced at its Blakely,
Ga., plant since Jan 1, 2007, due to a salmonella outbreak.
(SFC, 1/29/09, p.A3)
2009 Jan 30, Ethiopia said that
4.9 million of its people will need emergency food aid in the first
six months of 2009 due to drought and appealed for $390 million from
donors to pay for it.
2009 Feb 17, The UN said some
4.9 million more Ethiopians are in urgent need of food aid, bringing
the total number of people in Ethiopia who need relief aid to 12
million, or 15 percent of the population.
2009 Feb 23, China’s state
media said pig organs contaminated by a banned animal feed additive
have been blamed for sickening at least 70 people in southern China.
The pig organs tainted by the steroid clenbuterol were sold last
week in markets in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province.
Another 14 cases in Guangzhou were reported on Feb 25.
(AP, 2/23/09)(AP, 2/26/09)
2009 Feb 28, China's
legislature enacted a tough new food safety law, promising tougher
penalties for makers of tainted products in the wake of scandals
that exposed serious flaws in monitoring of the nation's food
2009 Mar 6, Mexico published a
new law allowing the planting of genetically modified corn for
(SFC, 3/7/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 14, President Barack
Obama said the nation's decades-old food safety system is a "hazard
to public health" and in need of an overhau. Obama used his weekly
radio and video address to announce the nomination of former New
York City Health Commissioner Margaret Hamburg as FDA commissioner,
and his choice of Baltimore Health Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein as
2009 Mar 24, Kraft Foods Inc.
notified the FDA that it had detected salmonella in roasted
pistachios through routine product testing. Kraft and the Georgia
Nut Co. recalled their Back to Nature Nantucket Blend trail mix the
next day. The FDA contacted California-based Setton Pistachio and
California health officials shortly afterward. California alone is
the second-largest producer of pistachios in the world.
2009 Mar 31, In China and
official said police have arrested nine people and revoked the
license of a livestock market owner in a case involving pork tainted
with a chemical that made 70 people sick in Guangzhou, southern
China's biggest city. Investigators determined the pork was tainted
with clenbuterol and ractopamine, banned chemicals used to make
animals develop more muscle and less fat.
2009 Apr 2, The US
Environmental Working Group issued a press release drawing attention
to a study by scientists at the US Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention which looked for the chemical, perchlorate, in different
brands of powdered baby formula. The study was published last month.
2009 Apr 25, In San Francisco
Anthony’s Cookies held its grand opening at 1417 Valencia Street.
(http://tinyurl.com/yae5jzv)(SFC, 12/7/09, p.E1)
2009 May 4, Dom DeLuise
(b.1933), film and TV actor, died. Though lighthearted onscreen, the
prolific actor was deeply passionate about food, forging a second
career as a popular chef and cookbook author.
2009 May 14, Scientists
reported that ginger, long used as a folk remedy for stomach aches,
limits nausea caused by chemotherapy used in cancer treatments.
(SFC, 5/15/09, p.A14)
2009 Jun 7, Egypt's public
prosecutor ordered the return of a shipment of Russian wheat
impounded last month on health grounds. The decision to ship back
the 52,000 tons of wheat, worth 9.6 million dollars (6.8 million
euros), came after an investigation found the grain was contaminated
with insects and unspecified heavy metals.
2009 Jun 19, The UN Food and
Agriculture Organization said one in six people in the world, or
more than 1 billion, is now hungry, a historic high due largely to
the global economic crisis and stubbornly high food prices.
2009 Jul 4, Joey Chestnut (25),
of San Jose, Ca., ate a record 68 hot dogs capturing his 3rd
straight Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Int’l. Hot Dog Eating
Contest at Coney Island, NYC.
(SSFC, 7/5/09, p.A2)
2009 Jul 10, A US plant
scientists said late blight, which caused the Irish Potato Famine of
the 1840s and 1850s, is killing potato and tomato plants in home
gardens from Maine to Ohio and threatening commercial and organic
2009 Jul 17, Russia said it
would lift a ban on live pigs and raw pork imports from the US state
of Wisconsin and Canada's Ontario province from July 18 due to what
it said was a "stabilization" of the situation of the H1N1 virus in
2009 Aug 25, The World Food
Program said that 3.8 million Kenyans need emergency food aid
because of a prolonged drought, which is even causing electrical
blackouts in the capital because there's not enough water for
2009 Aug 25, In China Wang
Yunlong, the head of the legislative committee on agriculture and
rural affairs, told his fellow lawmakers that efforts to stop the
use of "lean meat powder" (clenbuterol) had fallen short in many
areas and called for a "concentrated countrywide effort to bring it
under control." Farmers used the banned drug because it boosted
profits in two ways: It speeds up the growth of animals to get them
to market quicker and creates meat for which consumers are willing
to pay extra.
2009 Sep 1, In Japan dolphin
hunting season opened in Taiji. Over the next 6 months fishermen
were expected to catch about 2,300 of Japan’s annual quota of 20,000
dolphins, to be sold for meat and to aquariums.
(SSFC, 9/20/09, p.A20)
2009 Sep 8, Guatemalan
President Alvaro Colom declared "a state of public calamity" to help
mobilize funds and resources to confront a food shortage that will
affect thousands of families.
2009 Sep 12, Dr. Norman Borlaug
(b.1914), Nobel Prize winner (1970), died at his Dallas home. He was
known as the father of the “green revolution” for his work in
high-yield crop varieties, which helped to more than double food
production between 1960 and 1990.
(SFC, 9/14/09, p.A7)
2009 Sep 13, It was reported
that the hoki fish, harvested in the deep waters around New Zealand,
had declined substantially. Hoki, the main ingredient in McDonald’s
Fillet-O-Fish sandwich, was also used by Denny’s and Long John
Silver’s restaurants. From 1996 to 2001 some 275,000 tons were
harvested by factory trawlers. The allowed catch was reduced to
100,00 tons in 2007 and 2008.
(SSFC, 9/13/09, p.A20)
2009 Sep 16, Brazil’s JBS
Friboi company announced that Texas-based chicken processor
Pilgrim’s Pride has agreed to be taken over for $800 million. This
and a pending acquisition with Bertin, another Brazilian firm, would
make JBS the world’s largest processor of meat.
2009 Sep, Huntington, West
Virginia, ranked as America’s fattest town, welcomed Jamie Oliver,
Britain’s famous Naked Chef, into its school district. His food
education program was turned into a reality television series called
2009 Oct 19, The EU agreed to
give the dairy sector an extra $420 million in special aid in an
effort to quell a season of unrest in agriculture. Meanwhile angry
farmer pelted riot police with eggs and buckets of milk in
(SFC, 10/20/09, p.A2)
2009 Oct 22, Ethiopia said it
needs emergency food aid for 6.2 million people, an appeal that
comes 25 years after a devastating famine compounded by communist
policies killed 1 million and prompted one of the largest charity
campaigns in history.
2009 Oct 29, Chinese officials
agreed to lift the ban on US pork imports they imposed last spring
out of fear of swine flu.
2009 Nov 4, US federal
prosecutors said Alan Huey (53), a former top executive of SK Foods,
has agreed to plead guilty to taking part in a 4-year conspiracy in
which the California tomato processor bribed food companies and
mislabeled tomato paste that exceeded government mold standards.
(SFC, 11/5/09, p.C2)
2009 Nov 9, US giant Kraft
Foods launched a hostile 9.8-billion-pound takeover bid for Cadbury
which the British confectioner rejected.
2009 Nov 12, Afghanistan
exported 12 tons of apples to India and touted the shipment as a key
step in exploring much-needed international markets for its
2009 Nov 13, In Russia
prosecutors said police have arrested three homeless people
suspected of eating a 25-year-old man they had butchered and selling
other bits of the corpse to a local kebab house. Parts of a human
body had been found near a bus stop in the outskirts of the Russian
city of Perm, 1,150 km (720 miles) east of Moscow.
2009 Nov 16, A 3-day summit on
world hunger opened in Rome. Zimbabwe’s Pres. Mugabe used the UN
summit on world hunger to lash out at the West and defend land
reforms blamed for plunging his people into starvation. Some 60
heads of state and dozens of minister rejected a UN call to commit
$44 billion annually for agricultural development in poor countries.
(AP, 11/17/09)(SFC, 11/17/09, p.A8)
2009 Nov 18, In Italy the head
of a UN food agency expressed regret that an anti-hunger summit
failed to result in precise promises of funding, and critics said
the meeting had only thrown crumbs to the world's 1 billion people
without enough to eat.
2009 Dec 1, China’s quarantine
bureau said it has lifted bans on imports of pork products from the
United States, Canada and Mexico, but analysts said the move would
not likely lead to a surge of new imports.
2009 Dec 9, The International
Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said it needs $32
million to feed 220,000 Zimbabweans who cannot access hard currency
in the collapsed economy.
2009 Dec 15, Ecuador said that
it had reached a deal with the EU aimed at ending a long-running
dispute between Latin American nations and the EU over tariffs on
2010 Jan 1, Chinese state media
said authorities have shut down a dairy in Shanghai and arrested
three of its executives after tests found some of its milk products
were tainted with the same industrial chemical at the center of a
milk safety scandal more than a year ago.
2009 Mark Caro authored “The
Foie Gras Wars: How a 5,000-Year-Old Delicacy Inspired the World’s
Fiercest Food fight.”
(SSFC, 3/22/09, Books p.J5)
2009 Jonathan Safran Foer
authored “Eating Animals.”
(SSFC, 11/8/09, p.E1)
2009 Brad Kessler authored
“Goat Song: A Seasonal Life, A short History of Herding and the Art
of Making Cheese.”
(Econ, 7/4/09, p.81)
2009 Mark Kurlansky authored
“The Food of a Younger Land: A Portrait of American Food from the
Lost WPA Files,” an anthology of food writing from 1930s America.
(Econ, 5/30/09, p.86)
2009 Tom Standage authored “An
Edible History of Humanity.”
(SSFC, 6/7/09, books p.J4)
2009 Richard Wrangham authored
“Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human.”
(SSFC, 6/7/09, books p.J4)
2010 Jan 5, The UN food agency
said it is stopping aid distribution to about 1 million people in
southern Somalia because of attacks against staff and demands by
armed groups that aid organizations remove women from their teams.
2010 Jan 8, Israeli cooks
doubled the previous record for the world's biggest serving of
hummus, set in October by cooks in Lebanon. An adjudicator sent from
London by Guinness World Records, Jack Brockbank, confirmed that
Israeli chefs now held the record for hummus. He put the exact
amount of hummus in a giant satellite dish at 9,017 pounds (4,090
2010 Jan 17, Glen Bell Jr.
(86), founder of the Taco Bell fast food chain (1962), died at his
home in Rancho Santa Fe, Ca.
(SFC, 1/19/10, p.C4)
2010 Jan 18, US officials said
on some 390 tons of ground beef produced by a California meat
packer, some of it nearly two years ago, is being recalled for fear
of potentially deadly E. coli bacterium tainting.
2010 Jan 19, British chocolate
bar maker Cadbury melted into the arms of US giant Kraft in a
multi-billion-dollar deal to create a world leader in food and
confectionery that sparked fears of job losses.
2010 Jan 20, US researchers
reported that shaving 3 grams off the daily salt intake of Americans
could prevent up to 66,000 strokes, 99,000 heart attacks and 92,000
deaths in the United States, while saving $24 billion in health
costs per year.
2010 Feb 1, China launched a
10-day emergency crackdown on tainted milk products after several
were found creeping back onto the market despite a massive scandal
that sickened hundreds of thousands of children in 2008.
2010 Feb 3, China’s official
Xinhua News Agency reported that Lekang Dairy Company general
manager Zhang Wenxue and vice general managers Zhu Shuming and Tong
Tianhu have been charged with manufacturing and selling tainted milk
powder in the latest crackdown. Xinhua quoted Health Minister Chen
Zhu as saying "all melamine-tainted milk products will be found and
destroyed," as part of the current 10-day crackdown.
2010 Feb 3, Mexico’s
Agriculture Dept. said private companies there have begun the first
legal plantings of genetically modified corn.
(SFC, 2/4/10, p.A2)
2010 Feb 5, In Pennsylvania
about 18,000 people turned out before dawn for the 18th Wing Bowl,
an eating competition dubbed the world's biggest, and an annual
celebration of Philadelphia's raucous sports-crazed culture.
2010 Feb 8, The China Daily
newspaper reported officials have recalled more than 170 tons of
milk powder tainted by the industrial chemical melamine and closed
two dairy companies in the northern region of Ningxia. The current
10–day emergency crackdown has made it increasingly clear that many
products discovered in the country's 2008 milk scandal were
repackaged for sale instead of destroyed.
2010 Feb 9, India halted the
release of the world's first genetically modified eggplant, saying
further study needed to be done to guarantee consumer safety before
it could be cultivated in the country.
2010 Feb 10, China declared a
new food-safety campaign after contaminated milk products from an
earlier scandal showed up repackaged in several places around the
country, exposing weaknesses in the country's promise to stop such
problems from happening again.
2010 Mar 1, A World Food
Program spokesman militants in Somalia are preventing food from
reaching more than 366,000 people who need it, following a statement
by Islamists that aid agencies were helping "apostates" in the
war-ravaged Horn of Africa nation.
2010 Mar 9, University of
Florida researcher Nam Dang and colleagues in Japan said that papaya
leaf extract and its tea have dramatic cancer-fighting properties
against a broad range of tumors, backing a belief held in a number
of folk traditions.
2010 Mar 11, The Zimbabwe Red
Cross said at least 2.17 million Zimbabweans need food aid and the
figures are set to rise because of an expected poor harvest this
2010 Mar 13, In Qatar a two
week UN conference that opened with a focus on the Atlantic bluefin
tuna and other marine life in the world's overfished oceans.
2010 Mar, The number of
Americans receiving food stamps topped 40 million this month as the
jobless rate hovered near a 26-year high.
(SFC, 6/3/10, p.A7)
2010 Apr 9, Meinhardt Raabe
(94), who played the Munchkin coroner in "The Wizard of Oz" (1938)
and proclaimed in the movie that the Wicked Witch of the East was
"really most sincerely dead," died in Florida. He was about 3 1/2
feet tall when the movie was made but eventually grew to about 4 1/2
feet. He toured the country for 30 years in the Oscar Mayer
Weinermobile, promoting hot dogs as "Little Oscar, the World's
2010 Apr 28, Dunkin' Donuts
said it is returning to Russia, following an 11-year absence, with
plans to tap growing appetite for coffee and sweets by opening up to
20 outlets in Moscow this year.
2010 Apr, The World Bank
formally set up the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program
with G20 donors pledging $900 million. Leaders at the G20 summit in
Pittsburgh in September 2009 had called on the World Bank to “work
with interested donors and organizations to develop a multilateral
trust fund to scale up agricultural assistance to low income
(Econ, 1/29/11, p.57)(http://tinyurl.com/4qwtyaz)
2010 May 6, An E.coli outbreak,
possibly linked to tainted lettuce, sickened at least 19 people in
Ohio, New York and Michigan prompting a recall throughout much of
the US. Freshway Food in Sidney, Ohio, said it was recalling lettuce
sold in 23 states and Washington DC.
(SFC, 5/7/10, p.A4)
2010 May 7, It was reported
that bisphenol-A (BPA), contained in the lining of most US canned
foods, has been found in the urine of 93% of tested adults and
children. The hormone mimicker leaches from cans into foods,
especially acidic content like tomatoes.
(SFC, 5/7/10, p.A14)
2010 May 15, Niger government
spokesman Mahamane Laouali Dan Dah said that more than 21,000 tons
of food would be given to 1.5 million people in need.
2010 May 17, US researchers
said eating bacon, sausage, hot dogs and other processed meats can
raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes, in a study that
identifies the real bad boys of the meat counter.
2010 May 21, Nigerian officials
and residents said hundreds of Niger nationals, mostly women and
children, have flooded into the country in search of food.
2010 May 25, The UN Food and
Agriculture Organization warned that a dramatic shortfall in
donations for Chad's agriculture relief puts 2 million people at
risk of hunger.
2010 Jun 4, Cadmium has been
discovered in the painted design on "Shrek"-themed drinking glasses
being sold nationwide at McDonald's, forcing the burger giant to
recall 12 million of the cheap US-made collectibles while
dramatically expanding contamination concerns about the toxic metal
beyond imported children's jewelry.
2010 Jun 12, Food critic Egon
Ronay (b.1915), whose eponymous restaurant guides helped Britain
embrace fine dining after years of postwar austerity, died. Ronay
left communist Hungary for Britain in 1946 and began writing about
food for The Daily Telegraph newspaper. In 1957 he produced the
first Egon Ronay Guide to British restaurants, modeled on France's
2010 Jun 17, The US
Agricultural Dept. announced that Campbell Soup Co. is recalling 15
million pounds of SpaghettiOs with meatballs after a cooker
malfunctioned at one of the company's plants in Texas and left the
2010 Jun 19, It was reported
that the North Korean government has lifted all restrictions on
private markets in a desperate attempt reduce food shortages.
(SFC, 6/19/10, p.A2)
2010 Jun 21, The US Supreme
Court lifted a nationwide ban on a genetically modified alfalfa. The
injunction, imposed by a federal judge in San Francisco, prevented
farmers from planting Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa seed.
(SFC, 6/22/10, p.A6)
2010 Jul 2, In Geneva the World
Food Program declared its work in Niger an "emergency operation"
after a survey found a sharp rise in malnutrition rates among young
children. WFP spokeswoman Emilia Casella said 16.7 percent of
children under 5 years old suffer from acute malnutrition in the
2010 Jul 8, Australian police
investigated the mysterious mass poisoning of seven million tomato,
eggplant and other crops which is expected to send prices soaring.
Detectives probed whether vandals or a competitor with a grudge had
put herbicide in sprinklers at a nursery near the northeastern city
of Cairns, wiping out 16 million tons of produce, mostly tomatoes.
2010 Jul 4, Joey Chestnut (26),
of San Jose, Ca., ate 54 hot dogs capturing his 4th straight
Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Int’l. Hot Dog Eating Contest at
Coney Island, NYC.
2010 Jul 6, California Gov.
Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill extending voter approved
mandates for the humane treatment of egg-laying hens in the state.
(SFC, 7/7/10, p.C1)
2010 Jul 9, Aid agency Oxfam
warned that the food crisis gripping the Sahel region of Africa was
reaching disastrous levels and called on governments and the
international community to act now. The crisis stretched across the
region taking in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger and northern
2010 Jul 9, Chinese state media
said authorities have seized 76 tons of milk powder tainted with
melamine, the same chemical responsible for the deaths of six babies
two years ago.
2010 Jul 19, China's Cabinet,
the State Council, issued an order that said the black-market trade
in food waste and used oil posed "serious potential food safety
risks." It vowed to crack down on refined restaurant waste finding
its way back to dinner tables through illegal channels.
2010 Aug 12, President Dmitry
Medvedev said drought has destroyed a quarter of Russia's grain crop
this year, pushing some farmers to the brink of bankruptcy and
hurting Russia's bid to expand food exports.
2010 Aug 14, China’s People's
Daily reported that China will test a wider range of dairy products
and even breast milk as authorities investigate claims that a brand
of infant formula caused apparent breast growth in a small number of
babies. State media have said the babies with apparent breast growth
were found to have abnormal levels of the hormones estradiol and
prolactin, which stimulate lactation, or the making of breast milk.
2010 Aug 14, Aid officials said
Niger is now facing the worst hunger crisis in its history, with
almost half the country's population in desperate need of food and
up to one in six children suffering from acute malnutrition.
Villagers described the situation as worse than in 2005, when aid
organizations treated tens of thousands of children for
malnutrition, and worse even than 1973, when thousands died.
2010 Aug 18, The US FDA said
some 380 million eggs have been recalled nationwide due to
salmonella contamination. Officials soon confirmed that over 2,000
people had been sickened by salmonella from May to July and over
500m eggs were recalled. The affected eggs were all traced back to
two farms in Iowa.
(SFC, 8/19/10, p.C3)(Econ, 9/4/10, p.32)
2010 Aug 27, British
researchers said they have decoded the genetic sequence of wheat.
(SFC, 8/28/10, p.A2)
2010 Sep 2, It was reported
that Miami-based Burger King Holdings has agreed to be acquired by
3G Capital for $3.3 billion, or $24 per share. The NY investment
firm was backed by Brazilian investors.
(SFC, 9/3/10, p.D6)
2010 Sep 13, The US government
and the chocolate industry pledged $17 million to help end child
labor — some of it forced and dangerous — in Ghana and the Ivory
Coast, where much of the world's cocoa is grown.
2010 Sep 13, South Korea
announced plans to send 5,000 tons of rice and other aid to
flood-stricken North Korea in a sign of easing tension between the
2010 Sep 15, Ethiopian PM Meles
Zenawi said his often drought-ravaged country would not need food
aid after 2015 as he formally launched a five-year development
2010 Sep 16, China warned that
the worst offenders of food safety rules would get the death penalty
in a new crackdown on an industry that has spawned embarrassing and
deadly scandals in products ranging from seafood to baby formula.
2010 Sep 20, In China JCRB.com,
a legal issues website administered by China's Supreme Court, said a
Jinfulai Dairy Company executive in Yangquan city of Shanxi province
and six other people were arrested after authorities discovered 26
tons of milk powder tainted with a toxic chemical.
2010 Sep 22, Drugmaker Abbott
Laboratories said it is recalling millions of containers of its
best-selling Similac infant formula that may be contaminated with
2010 Sep 29, The World Trade
Organization ruled that a US ban on Chinese poultry is illegal,
giving Beijing a win in the first international commerce ruling
against the administration of President Barack Obama.
2010 Oct 19, The EU announced
plans for a five-year ban on animal cloning for food production as
well as a traceability system for imports of semen and embryos of
2010 Oct 21, The Guinness World
Records confirmed that a pumpkin grown in Wisconsin is officially
the world’s heaviest. Chris Stevens of New Richmond grew the1,810.5
pound gourd. It was 85 pounds heavier than the record set in Ohio in
(SFC, 10/22/10, p.A10)
2010 Oct 21, In the Dominican
Rep. 126 students were sickened after eating free school breakfasts
despite the government's efforts to resolve past problems with
tainted school food.
2010 Oct 25, South Korea
prepared to send 5,000 tons of rice to flood victims in North Korea
in its first humanitarian rice shipment to its communist neighbor
since a conservative, pro-US government took office in 2008.
2010 Oct 26, A Brazilian court
ordered McDonald's to pay a former franchise manager $17,500 because
he gained 65 pounds while working there a dozen years. The
32-year-old man says he was forced to sample food products each day
to ensure that quality standards remained high because McDonald's
hired "mystery clients" to randomly visit restaurants and report on
the food, service and cleanliness.
2010 Nov 2, San Francisco’s
Board of Supervisors passed a law that cracks down on the popular
practice of giving away free toys with unhealthy restaurant meals
for children. The law, which would take effect on December 1, would
allow toys to be given away with kids' meals that have less than 600
calories, contain fruits and vegetables, and include beverages
without excessive fat or sugar. Mayor Newsom vetoed the measure on
Nov 13. On Nov 23 the board overrode the veto.
11/3/10)(http://tinyurl.com/25458to)(SFC, 11/24/10, p.C1)
2010 Nov 24, The National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it had closed 4,200
square miles/10,880 square kms of federal waters in the Gulf of
Mexico to royal red shrimping after a commercial shrimper discovered
tar balls in his net.
2010 Nov 25, The EU high court
ruled that there is no such thing as "pure chocolate," ending an
EU-Italy food fight over chocolate labels. It also said the EU's
1999 chocolate labeling rules make no room for a "pure chocolate"
reference like the one Italy enacted in a 2003 law.
2010 Nov 25, Bernard Matthews
(80), Britain’s largest turkey processor, died. He began in 1950
with an investment in 20 eggs. In 1953 he bought a derelict country
house, Great Witchingham Hall, where he and his wife, Joyce, raised
turkeys in all but one of the 36 rooms. It is still the company
2010 Nov 25, San Francisco
based Del Monte said it has agreed to be acquired by a group led by
KKR & Co. in a $4 billion deal. KKR, Vestar Capital Partners and
Centerview Partners agreed to pay $19 a share in cash and would
assume $1.3 billion in net debt.
(SFC, 11/26/10, p.C1)
2010 Dec 2, PepsiCo agreed to
buy one of Russia's top drinks companies in a deal that would make
the US food giant a dominant force in the Russian market and extend
its reach deep into former Soviet lands. Pepsi announced that it
will buy 66% Wimm-Bill-Dann for $3.8 billion and launch a tender
offer for the rest of the company.
(AFP, 12/2/10)(Econ, 12/11/10, p.75)
2010 Dec 2, The UN appealed for
$415 million (€315 million) to feed almost two million Zimbabweans
facing near immediate malnutrition.
2010 Dec 13, President Barack
Obama signed into law the $4.5 billion Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act,
part of an administration-wide effort to combat childhood obesity.
Thousands more children would get into school-based meal programs
and those lunches and dinners would become more nutritious.
(AP, 12/13/10)(SFC, 12/14/10, p.A7)
2010 Dec 22, The Indian
government, facing mounting public anger over soaring onion costs,
scrapped tax on imports of the vegetable to try to rein in prices of
the staple food.
2010 Dickson Despommier, a
professor at Columbia Univ., authored “The Vertical Farm: Feeding
the World in the 21st Century.”
(SFC, 12/24/10, p.15)
2010 Paul Greenberg authored
“Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food.”
(SSFC, 7/11/10, p.F1)(Econ, 7/24/10, p.82)
2010 Arnold Hiura authored “Kau
Kau: Cuisine and Culture in the Hawaiian Islands.”
(SFC, 8/3/10, p.E1)
2010 Adrienne Sylver authored
“Hot Diggity Dog: The History of the Hot Dog.” Cartoon illustrations
were created by Elwood H. Smith.
(SSFC, 6/27/10, p.F7)
2011 Jan 4, Pres. Obama signed
a $1.4 billion overhaul of the nation’s food-safety system.
(SFC, 1/5/11, p.A4)
2011 Jan 6, Donald J. Tyson
(b.1930), chicken entrepreneur, died in Arkansas. He had built his
father’s chicken business into the behemoth Tyson Foods.
(SFC, 1/7/11, p.A9)
2011 Jan 7, German authorities
stopped more than 4,700 farms from selling their meat and eggs as a
precautionary measure after animal feed was found to be contaminated
with cancer-causing chemicals. Authorities believed that some
150,000 tons of feed for poultry and swine containing industrial fat
has been fed to livestock across Germany. The fat contained dioxins
and should not have been in the food.
2011 Jan 8, In Algeria Fresh
protests erupted against soaring food prices as the government
considered measures to limit the cost of staple foodstuffs to quell
the unrest. 2 people were already dead and 400 injured in protests
across the country since Jan 6.
2011 Jan 8, A spokesman for
Germany's Agriculture Ministry said an overly high concentration of
cancer-causing dioxin has for the first time been detected in
samples of meat following the discovery that farm animals were fed
2011 Jan 11, German authorities
ordered 140 pigs slaughtered after tests showed high levels of
cancer-causing dioxin in swine at a farm near Verden that purchased
tainted animal feed.
(SFC, 1/12/11, p.A2)
2011 Jan 26, Algeria confirmed
it bought almost a million tons of wheat and ordered an urgent
speeding up of grain imports, a move seen heading off unrest over
food prices as protests swept north Africa.
2011 Jan, The US Dept. of
Agriculture approved the use of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa,
ending a nationwide ban that had been imposed in March 2007. A
federal judge upheld the decision on Jan 6, 2012.
(SFC, 1/7/12, p.D1)
2011 Jan, Ethiopia’s government
imposed price controls to combat rising prices, giving food sellers
long lines of customers but barely any profit.
2011 Feb 5, In Iran A
state-owned news website said Iran's broadcasting authority has
banned Iranian TV channels from showing cooking programs that
present recipes for foreign cuisine. The deputy head of Iran's state
broadcasting company, Ali Darabi, announced the ban during a visit
to one of the country's 30 state-run TV channels.
2011 Feb 24, A British
specialist ice cream parlor planned to serve up breast milk ice
cream and says people should think of it as an organic, free-range
treat. The breast milk concoction, called the "Baby Gaga" ($23 per
serving), will be available from Feb 25 at the Icecreamists
restaurant in London's Covent Garden.
2011 Mar 19, One of Japan's six
tsunami-crippled nuclear reactors appeared to stabilize but the
country suffered another blow after discovering traces of radiation
in food and water from near the stricken power plant. Crews fighting
to cool reactors managed to connect a power line. Japan halted sales
of food products near Fukushima because of contamination by a
radioactive element which can pose a short-term health risk. Japan's
police agency said 7,348 are dead and 10,947 are missing after last
week's earthquake and tsunami.
(AP, 3/19/11)(AFP, 3/19/11)(Reuters, 3/19/11)
2011 Mar 20, Japan’s ministry
official Yoshifumi Kaji said that tests found excess amounts of
radioactive elements on canola and chrysanthemum greens, in addition
to spinach. He said the areas where the tainted produce was found
included three prefectures that previously had not recorded such
contamination. Tokyo Electric Power Company said two of the six
reactor units are now safely under control after their fuel storage
pools cooled down. The toll of dead or missing from Japan's worst
natural disaster in almost a century neared 21,000.
(AP, 3/20/11)(Reuters, 3/20/11)(AFP, 3/20/11)
2011 Mar 26, In Maine a whoopee
pie maker created a massive 1,067 pound whoopee pie. State Reps.
Paul Davis and Emily Cain, sponsors of a bill to make the whoopee
pie Maine’s official “treat,” were on hand.
(SSFC, 3/27/11, p.A10)
2011 Mar 27, Venezuela’s
President Chavez urged citizens to cut their calories to avoid
obesity, the latest lifestyle recommendation by the self-proclaimed
socialist crusader. Chavez has lobbied in recent weeks against what
he calls the evils of capitalism, including alcoholism, breast
implants and violent television programs.
2011 Mar 28, Federal
agricultural workers in Louisiana were reported using blow torches
to burning every prickly pear cactus they came across in hope of
killing off a cactus-eating pest that's been on a tear across the
Gulf Coast and is moving West. Cactoblastis cactorum, a tan-colored
moth from Argentina, has been moving steadily across the Gulf Coast
for the past decade. Federal workers hoped to stop it before it gets
to Texas and the population explodes with an abundant food supply.
2011 Apr 2, Chinese officials
said over 500 of the country’s 1,176 dairies were being shut down in
an attempt to clean up the scandal-plagued dairy industry.
(SSFC, 4/3/11, p.A4)
2011 Apr 4, Japanese engineers
were forced to release radioactive water into the sea while
resorting to desperate measures to try to find the source of leaks
at a crippled Fukushima nuclear power complex hit by a tsunami on
March 11. Tokyo Electric Power said it had found radioactive
iodine-131 at 7.5 million times the legal limit in seawater near the
facility. Biologists admitted that the contamination could
eventually find its way into the ocean food chain.
2011 Apr 7, Thailand
authorities seized 1,800 Bengal monitor lizards being smuggled on
pickup trucks to the capital. Their meat could sell for $7.50-$15
per pound ($16-$33 per kg) in China, making them worth more than
2011 Apr 8, China’s government
and state media said 3 babies have died and 36 people, mostly
children, fallen ill after drinking possibly tainted milk in the
country's latest food scare.
2011 Apr 10, Chinese state
media reported that Intentional poisoning was behind the tainted
milk that killed three children and caused 36 others to become ill
in northwestern Gansu province last week. Police suspected that a
couple poisoned milk from a local farmer, causing three deaths,
because of anger over business disputes. Police soon found that
nitrite was added to milk from Ma Wenxuan's farm near the city of
Pingliang in Gansu province.
(Reuters, 4/10/11)(AP, 4/12/11)
2011 Apr 20, China’s Legal
Daily newspaper said authorities in Shenyang have found bean sprouts
tainted with banned food additives to make the vegetables grow
faster and look shinier. Police had seized 40 tons of bean sprouts
treated with the chemical compounds sodium nitrite and urea, as well
as antibiotics and a plant hormone called 6-benzyladenine.
2011 Apr 26, The
Philippines-based Asian Development Bank said world food prices that
surged 30 percent in the first two months of the year threaten to
push millions of Asians into extreme poverty and cut economic
2011 Apr 27, Kenya's government
said it is removing the tax on maize and wheat imports in a bid to
cushion citizens from the effects of rising global food prices. PM
Raila Odinga told parliament that the government also wants to
remove all taxes on kerosene, the main fuel used for cooking.
2011 May 7, Chinese farmer Liu
Mingsuo came out and counted 80 burst watermelons. By the afternoon
it was 100. Two days later he didn't bother to count anymore.
Watermelons began bursting by the score in Jiangsu province, after
farmers gave them overdoses of growth chemicals during wet weather.
About 20 farmers were affected, losing up to 115 acres (45 hectares)
2011 May 24, North Korea’s
reclusive leader Kim Jong Il reportedly traveled to an eastern
Chinese city to study Beijing's economic reforms, while a US
government team was in North Korea on a rare trip to assess food
2011 May 28, German government
officials said two more people have died of a bacterial outbreak
allegedly caused by contaminated Spanish cucumbers, bringing the
number of deaths to nine. Almost 300 people were sick with
haemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, in recent days. HUS is a rare
complication arising from an infection most commonly associated with
E. coli, a bacterium found in undercooked beef or contaminated food.
Almost a dozen people with HUS have been hospitalized in Sweden in
the past two weeks after travel to Germany. In Denmark, eight people
are hospitalized with E.coli infection that could be linked to the
outbreak. The E. coli was later identified as type O104:H4.
(AP, 5/28/11)(AP, 5/29/11)(Econ, 6/4/11, p.63)
2011 May 30, Russia banned the
import of all vegetables from Germany and Spain and warned the
sanction could soon be applied to the rest of Europe because of the
deadly E. coli bacteria scare. German officials suspect the deadly
strain, which has already killed 12 people, may have come from
organic cucumbers imported from Spain.
2011 May 31, The death from a
food-borne bacterial outbreak in Germany rose to 16 with nearly 400
people suffering severe symptoms. Scientists were unsure of which
produce and which country was responsible for the unusual E. coli
(SFC, 6/1/11, p.A2)
2011 May, Taiwan’s biggest-ever
food scare began when government inspectors testing sports drinks
and soft drinks discovered dangerous levels of industrial
plasticizers. Two food additive suppliers had substituted the
plasticizers for palm oil as clouding agents. Traces of plasticizers
were soon found in pharmaceuticals.
(Econ, 6/18/11, p.48)
2011 Jun 2, The Obama
administration replaced the food pyramid standard for healthful
eating with new icon, a plate half filled with fruits and
vegetables, the other half with grains and protein.
(SFC, 6/3/11, p.D1)
2011 Jun 2, Spain's prime
minister hit out at the European Commission and Germany for singling
out the country's produce as a possible source of a deadly bacterial
outbreak in Europe, and said the government would demand
explanations and reparations. The World Health Organization said the
E. coli bacteria responsible for a mysterious outbreak that has left
18 people dead and sickened hundreds is a new strain that has never
been seen before. The illness had now spread to at least 10 European
countries and fanned uncertainty about eating tomatoes, cucumbers
2011 Jun 6, German officials
retracted their assertion that the E.coli epidemic was caused by
bean sprouts from an organic farm. They said there was not enough
data to determine if the farm was in fact the source of the deadly
outbreak, which sickened people all over Europe and resulted in
2011 Jun 10, Laboratory tests
have determined that the E. coli epidemic in Germany and parts of
Europe was in fact caused by contaminated bean sprouts from an
organic farm. German authorities had been forced to retract their
assertion that the sprouts were to blame, but now, high-tech
laboratory testing proved that the sprouts were the culprit in the
outbreak that has killed 31 people and sickened nearly 3,000
(AP, 6/10/11)(SFC, 6/11/11, p.A3)
2011 Jun 14, In an effort to
help combat childhood obesity, the Los Angeles Unified School
District agreed to stop serving flavored milk; neither chocolate nor
strawberry milk will be available in school cafeterias after July 1.
(LAT, 6/15/11)(AP, 6/14/11)
2011 Jun 22, Russia and the EU
signed a deal agreeing conditions for the resumption of EU fresh
vegetable imports to Russia, which banned them because of a deadly
2011 Jun 23, Russia’s PM Putin
said his government would not revoke a ban on European vegetable
imports until Brussels met Kremlin conditions.
(SFC, 6/24/11, p.A4)
2011 Jun 26, Jose Graziano da
Silva of Brazil was elected as director-general of the Food and
Agriculture Organization, the UN agency tasked with reducing world
hunger at a time of high food prices.
2011 Jun 28, The Dutch
parliament agreed with the Dutch Party for the Animals (pvdD) and
passed a bill banning the slaughter of livestock without stunning it
first, removing an exemption that has allowed Jews and Muslims to
butcher animals according to centuries old dietary rules.
(SFC, 6/28/11, p.A2)(Econ, 12/21/13, p.80)
2011 Jun, Ethiopian consumers
started a text-message campaign to boycott meat in an attempt to
force prices down. The campaign has not worked.
2011 Jul 4, The European Union
said it will restart food aid to North Korea after the country's
repressive communist regime agreed to an unprecedented monitoring
system as it suffers through its worst food crisis in years. The WFP
will check delivery at every stage and pay more than 400 visits a
month to distribution sites, hospitals, child-care facilities and
2011 Jul 5, The EU announced
action against Egyptian bean and seed imports, after tests indicated
that a 15-ton batch of Egyptian fenugreek seeds imported in 2009 to
Germany and then distributed elsewhere was at the root of an E.coli
outbreak that killed 50 people.
2011 Jul 11, Ethiopia said it
needed $398 million to help millions of people in need of food aid
due to a severe drought. It was estimated that a total of 4.5
million people will require humanitarian assistance during the
remaining period of the current year.
2011 Jul 14, Switzerland
suspended imports of some seeds, beans and sprouts from Egypt, after
the EU blamed Egyptian fenugreek seeds for E.coli outbreaks in
Germany and France. The temporary ban would expire in October 31,
2011, in line with the EU's suspension.
2011 Jul 22, UN food official
Olivier De Schutter ended a five-day visit to Madagascar. He said
nearly 70 percent of people living in the south of the island nation
are food insecure and that the country has one of the world's
highest levels of child malnutrition. He also said US and EU
sanctions have led to major job losses and hurt agricultural
development and urged nations to reconsider their sanctions.
2011 Jul 26, The UN refugees
agency said some 40,000 famine-hit people have fled to the Somali
capital Mogadishu over the past month in search of food and water.
An estimated 3.7 million people in Somalia, around a third of the
population, are on the brink of starvation and millions more in
Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda have been affected by the worst
drought in the region in 60 years.
2011 Aug 3, US meat giant
Cargill said it is recalling 36 million pounds of ground turkey
linked to a nationwide salmonella outbreak that has killed one
person in California and sickened at least 76 others. The fresh and
frozen ground turkey products were produced at the company's
Springdale, Ark., plant from Feb. 20 through Aug. 2.
2011 Aug 5, Somali government
troops opened fire on hungry civilians, killing at least seven
people, as both groups made a grab for food at a UN distribution
site in Mogadishu.
2011 Aug 9, The World Food
Program said it is sending 800 metric tons of high energy biscuits
to East Africa to help fight the famine in Somalia. The UN food
agency said that the series of nine airlifts will be enough to feed
1.6 million people for a day.
2011 Aug 10, Tanzania pledged
300 tons of maize for Somalia's drought-hit people during a visit by
Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed.
2011 Aug 15, The UN's World
Food Program for the first time acknowledged it has been
investigating food theft in Somalia for two months. Vast piles of
food sacks with stamps on them from the World Food Program, the US
government aid arm USAID and the Japanese government were found for
sale in Mogadishu markets.
2011 Aug 17, Southern Ethiopia
teetered on the brink of a food crisis. The Ethiopian government
said 250,000 people need food aid amid what the UN says is the worst
drought in 60 years. An aid organization and agricultural officials
said the number of people who need emergency food aid in Ethiopia is
bigger, around 700,000.
2011 Aug 19, Russia and North
Korea both announced that Moscow will provide food assistance,
including some 50,000 tons of wheat, to Pyongyang. North Korea might
face another food crisis this year due to heavy rains.
2011 Aug 19, The UN said tens
of thousands of people have already died in Djibouti, Ethiopia,
Kenya and Somalia. It warned that the famine has not peaked and that
12 million people in the area need food aid.
2011 Sep 5, The UN said famine
has spread into Somalia’s southern Bay region, where nearly 60% of
people are acutely malnourished, four times the rate at which an
emergency is declared. Hundreds were reported dying every day, with
at least half of them children.
2011 Sep 27, The US Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention said that 72 illnesses were linked to
tainted Colorado cantaloupe. Colorado state and local officials said
they are investigating three additional deaths that may be
connected. Cantaloupes from Jensen Farms were recalled on Sep 10.
The listeria outbreak left 33 people dead. On Sep 26, 2013, Eric and
Ryan Jensen were arested on charges of introducing adulterated food
into interstate commerce. On Oct 22, 2013, Eric and Ryan pleaded
guilty to misdemeanor charges.
(AP, 9/28/11)(SFC, 10/1/11, p.A6)(SFC, 9/27/13,
p.A7)(SFC, 10/22/12, p.A5)
2011 Oct 1, Denmark imposed a
“fat tax” on foods such as butter and oil as a way to curb unhealthy
eating habits. The tariff on saturated fats was abolished in
(SFC, 10/3/11, p.A2)(Econ, 11/17/12, p.52)
2011 Oct 4, USAID director Raj
Shah said the US will donate more than $121 million to Ethiopia to
fight food insecurity amid a drought in the East African nation.
2011 Oct 7, California’s Gov.
Jerry Brown signed measures to ban the importation, possession and
sale of shark fins. The importation ban begins in January, but sale
and use will continue to July 2013.
(SFC, 10/8/11, p.A1)
2011 Oct 10, In California a
1,704 pumpkin won a prize of $11,224 in the annual Half Moon Bay
Pumpkin Festival. Leonardo Urena’s pumpkin set a state record, but
was 106 pounds short of a world record set in 2010 by a Wisconsin
(SFC, 10/11/11, p.C1)
2011 Oct, The USDA awarded a
10-year contract worth up to $25 million to Fairfax, Va.-based SRA
International, Inc., to step up the technology used to combat food
stamp fraud. A criminal swindle of the nation's $64.7 billion food
stamp program was playing out at small neighborhood stores around
the country, where thousands of retailers are suspected of trading
deals with customers, exchanging lesser amounts of cash for their
2011 Nov 15, The EU said it has
tightened controls on imports of Chinese rice products after a
growing number of shipments were contaminated by unauthorized
2011 Nov 18, US Congress lifted
a 5-year-old ban on funding horse meat inspections in a spending
bill Pres. Obama signed into law to keep the government afloat until
mid-December. The last US slaughterhouse that butchered horses
closed in 2007 in Illinois. Animal welfare activists have warned of
massive public outcry in any town where a slaughterhouse may open.
2011 Nov 18, The European
Commission said an extra 10 million euros ($13.5 million) in
humanitarian funding will go on addressing "major shortfalls" in
food in the Sahel region. The crisis is affecting 7 million people
in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Nigeria.
2011 Nov 24, Pakistani police
in Karachi arrested Zainab Bibi (32), a woman who had killed her
husband and was attempting to cook his body parts after he planned
to marry another woman without her permission.
2011 Dec 8, The UN's World Food
Program said meager rains and diminished harvests have left between
five and seven million people in Africa's Sahel region facing food
shortages. The countries of Niger, Mauritania, Mali and Chad were
2011 Dec 26, China's biggest
milk producer, Mengniu Dairy Group, said it has destroyed a batch
found to have excessive levels of a cancer-causing toxin, in another
safety scare for the country's dairy industry. The problem was
reportedly discovered before the milk containing high levels of
aflatoxin was sold to the public.
2011 Dec 30, China’s food
safety regulator in Shenzhen said it had found excessive levels of
aflatoxin in peanuts sold in three stores, and in cooking oil in
2011 Lizzie Collingham authored
“The Taste of War: World War Two and the Battle for Food.”
(Econ, 2/5/11, p.97)
2011 The first McDonald’s
restaurant in Bosnia opened.
(Econ, 2/1/14, p.65)
2011 In Somalia at least 80,000
people died this year of famine. A large amount of food sent by the
UN to Mogadishu during the famine never reached the starving people
it was intended for. Some of the World Food Program supplies went to
the black market, some to feed livestock. One warehouse full of
rations was looted in its entirety by a government official. Across
the city, feeding sites handed out far less food than records
indicate they should have. A report in 2013 raised the number of
Somali deaths due to famine in 2011 to 260,000, half of them under
(Econ, 2/25/12, p.58)(AP, 3/17/12)(AP, 5/6/13)
2012 Jan 3, Mali's government
announced a plan to distribute 40,000 tons of food in emergency aid
to drought victims and those lacking food security.
2012 Jan 10, India's Premier
Manmohan Singh called malnutrition in the country "a national shame"
as he released a major survey that found 42% of children under five
2012 Jan 10, A survey across 33
states by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, a
government watchdog, found that 68.4% of 1,791 milk samples
contained adulterants. Detergent was found in 8.4% of all samples.
2012 Jan 14, Dan Evins (76),
the founder of the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store chain, died in
Lebanon, Tenn. He opened his first restaurant in Lebanon in 1969.
The restaurant catered to highway travelers and focused on offering
Southern hospitality, country-style cooking and an associated gift
2012 Jan 18, Aid agencies said
thousands of people, more than half of them children, died
needlessly and millions of dollars were wasted because the
international community did not respond to early warnings of an
impending famine in East Africa. Earlier this week food donated by
Cargill, the Minnesota-based producer and marketer of food,
agricultural, financial and industrial products, was delivered to
communities in need in Kenya. Cargill donated 10,000 metric tons of
rice to World Food Program USA. The donation, the largest ever food
donation to WFP USA, would feed nearly 1 million people for a month.
2012 Jan 18, The EU said it is
doubling humanitarian aid to Africa's Sahel area to 95 million euros
in a "race against time" to lift two million people facing food
shortages out of danger.
2012 Jan 18, Niger PM Brigi
Rafini said 34.9% of local households, or more than five million
people, are going hungry.
2012 Jan 20, South Korea lifted
its nine-year import ban on Canadian beef.
2012 Jan 30, The World Food
Program estimated that as many as a half million people could be
forced to flee Sudan if the government in Khartoum does not allow
humanitarian aid into the country. A top US official said that a
humanitarian crisis is looming.
2012 Jan 31, WFP officials said
the World Food Program (WFP) will give emergency food to more than
80,000 people in Mozambique after twin cyclones left 32 dead.
2012 Feb 3, A Minnesota food
company said it is recalling more than a million hard-cooked eggs
distributed to 34 states after testing revealed some may be
contaminated with listeria.
2012 Feb 3, Puerto Rico's
government announced plans to kill as many iguanas as possible and
export their meat in hopes of eradicating an imported species that
has long vexed residents and entertained tourists. The reptiles were
first seen in the wild in Puerto Rico in the 1970s when owners began
to release them, and their numbers have since exploded. The US
territory estimated it has 4 million iguanas, which is a little more
than the island's human population.
2012 Feb 9, The World Food
Program said a food crisis in Mauritania as a result of drought is
expected to be three times worse that in 2010, when the Sahel was
crippled by food shortages.
2012 Feb 15, A report from Save
the Children said 5 children around the world die every minute
because of chronic malnutrition. It also said that almost half a
billion children risk are at risk of permanent damage over the next
2012 Feb 15, United Nations and
EU aid chiefs called for "urgent" assistance for West Africa's
drought-hit Sahel region (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania,
Niger), saying it needed $725 million (552 million euros) this year.
2012 Mar 8, Taiwanese pork
farmers pelted police with rotten eggs and animal feces as anger
over policies on US meat imports sparked a mass protest. Thousands
of protesters gathered in downtown Taipei to voice fears that
President Ma Ying-jeou's government will lift a ban on US pork
treated with ractopamine, a controversial additive used to promote
lean meat. Early this week the government announced a plan to lift a
ban on ractopamine-treated US beef. But a government guarantee to
keep a ban on US pork containing the additive failed to convince the
2012 Mar 12, The UN and
humanitarian group Oxfam said more than six million people in Niger
need immediate help as the country faces a persistent food crisis
due to drought and a number of other factors.
2012 Mar 15, New research
reportedly showed a link between an increase in the death of bees
and insecticides, specifically the chemicals used to coat corn
seeds. A study, titled "Assessment of the Environmental Exposure of
Honeybees to Particulate Matter Containing Neonicotinoid
Insecticides Coming from Corn Coated Seeds," was published in the
American Chemical Society's Environmental Science & Technology
journal, and provided insight into colony collapse disorder.
2012 Mar 21, Safeway said it
will stop selling fresh or frozen ground beef containing the filler
known as “pink slime.” Supervalu Inc. also said it will stop
carrying products with the filler.
(SFC, 3/22/12, p.A6)
2012 Mar 21, Arysta LifeScience
Corp. of Japan canceled its registration to sell the controversial
methyl iodide pesticide in California. The pesticide was intended
for strawberry fields and had been approved for use in the state in
(SFC, 3/22/12, p.C1)
2012 Mar 21, Vietnamese police
seized five tons of frozen pangolins and iguanas that were destined
for the cooking pot in China.
2012 Mar 23, In Sacramento,
Ca., Frederick Salyer (56), the former owner of SK Foods, pleaded
guilty to running the company as a racketeering enterprise that
bribed purchasers, fixed prices and doctored lab tests of moldy
tomato paste. Salyer served as CEO from 1999-2009, when the company
filed for bankruptcy. Salyer was arrested in Feb, 2010, during a
brief return to the US from Andorra. In 2013 he was sentenced to 6
years in federal prison and ordered to forfeit $3.45 million.
(SFC, 3/24/12, p.D5)(SFC, 2/13/13, p.E3)
2012 Apr 2, The Bill and
Melinda Gates Foundation gave a $12-million grant to a project aimed
at boosting yam production and doubling the income of west African
farmers of the crop. The initial focus is on 200,000 smallholder
farm families in Ghana and Nigeria.
2012 Apr 5, A Vietnamese survey
reported that nearly a third of pre-school children in Vietnam
suffer from malnutrition and stunted growth, while in urban areas
rates of childhood obesity are rising. The study by the National
Institute of Nutrition was based on research in 2009 and 2010.
2012 Apr 13, Zimbabwe state
media said the country will suffer a one million ton maize deficit
due to drought, after nearly half of the national crop now coming up
for harvest has failed. The United Nations has already appealed for
$488 million dollars in food aid for Zimbabwe for last year and the
first months of this year.
2012 Apr 14, The United States
called off plans to send food aid to North Korea after the
impoverished state's defiant rocket launch, as an aid group feared
more than two million children would go hungry.
2012 Apr 15, In southern India
a beef-eating festival at Osmania University triggered clashes
between rival students as Hindu activists fought with low-caste
Dalit groups who had organized the event in Hyderabad.
2012 Apr 23, Swiss-based Nestle
said it would buy Pfizer Nutrition, the infant nutrition arm of
American Drug firm Pfizer, for $11.85 billion.
(Econ, 4/28/12, p.75)
2012 Apr 25, Two major South
Korean retailers pulled US beef from their stores following the
discovery of mad cow disease in a California dairy cow. US health
authorities a day earlier said the animal was never a threat to the
nation's food supply. US authorities said the dead cow had what
scientists call an atypical case of BSE, meaning that a random
mutation in the animal rather than infected cattle feed was the
2012 Apr 27, The UN food agency
appealed to oil- and mineral-rich nations to set up a fund to combat
the food crisis gripping the Sahel desert region (Chad, Mali,
Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger) and other parts of Africa. The
group said it needed $110 million (83 million euros) to combat the
crisis in the short term.
2012 May 13, Japanese artist
Mao Sugiyama (22) had his penis and testicles surgically removed in
March and kept them frozen for two months before dishing them out,
seasoned and braised, to customers at an event hall. Diners paid
20,000 yen ($250) for the plate with a portion of genitals. Police
in Tokyo said they knew of the episode, but added that it had not
broken the law as cannibalism was not illegal in Japan.
2012 May 15, The UN World Food
Program launched the distribution of cash vouchers for the purchase
of food in Neteboulou, in Senegal's Tambacounda region, for people
hit by poor harvests and high food prices.
2012 May 18, Pres. Obama
pledged that the United States will keep providing emergency aid to
feed the world's hungry and said that firms had committed $3 billion
to improve agriculture.
2012 May 25, Chinese media
reported that police in southwest China have detained a man
suspected of murdering more than a dozen boys and young men,
chopping up their bodies and selling the flesh to unsuspecting
consumers. Zhang Yongming (56) was detained two weeks ago in his
home village of Nanmen in Yunnan and is being investigated over the
murder of a 19-year-old man in late April and the disappearance of
2012 May 30, A consortium of
geneticists reported that they have decoded the genome of the tomato
and that is has 31,760 genes, about 7,000 times more than human
beings. They sequenced both the Heinz 1706 variety, used for
ketchup, and its closest wild relative, Solanum pimpinellifolium,
from the highlands of Peru.
(SFC, 5/31/12, p.A10)
2012 Jun 1, Australian
researchers reported that eating a block of dark chocolate daily
over 10 years has "significant" benefits for high-risk cardiac
patients and could prevent heart attacks and strokes.
2012 Jun 13, Chinese dairy
maker Yili started recalling batches of baby formula after
authorities found they contained high levels of mercury. The recall
covered baby formula produced from November 2011 to May 2012.
2012 Jun 15, A Scottish
authority in Argyll lifted its ban stopping a nine-year-old Scottish
girl from photographing her school lunches and posting them on her
blog, after the move sparked outrage online. Six weeks ago, Martha
Payne began taking photos of the uninspiring lunches provided by her
school canteen and posting them on her blog, "NeverSeconds."
2012 Jun 27, Austrian police
stopped 3 overloaded vans about to ross into Hungary and found them
packed with 9.5 tons of stolen garlic, valued at $37,500, apparently
coming from Spain.
(SFC, 6/28/12, p.A2)
2012 Jul 4, In NYC Joey
Chestnut of San Jose, Ca., won his 6th straight title matching his
own record of eating 68 hot dogs in ten minutes at Nathan’s Coney
(SFC, 7/5/12, p.A7)
2012 Jul 13, Papua New Guinea
police said they have arrested 29 people accused of being part of a
cannibal cult in the jungle interior and charged them with the
murders of seven suspected witch doctors. The cult members allegedly
ate their victims' brains raw and made soup from their penises.
2012 Aug 1, In Chile
McDonald's, Burger King, KFC and other fast-food companies were
accused in Chile of violating the country's new law against
including toys with children's meals. Sen. Guido Gerardi filed a
formal complaint with the health authority accusing those and other
companies of knowingly endangering the health of children by
marketing kids' meals with toys more than a month after the law took
effect June 7.
2012 Sep 3, In Minnesota the
Black Bear Casino Resort near Carlton cooked up a world-record bacon
cheeseburger that's 10 feet in diameter and weighed a record 2,014
pounds. It included 60 pounds of bacon, 50 pounds of lettuce, 50
pounds of sliced onions, 40 pounds of pickles and 40 pounds of
2012 Sep 4, US fast food giant
McDonald's, famed for its beef-based Big Mac burgers, said it will
open its first ever vegetarian-only restaurant in the world in India
2012 Sep 4, The three UN food
agencies urged governments to take quick action to curb rising
prices of corn, wheat and soybeans and avoid a repeat of the
2007-2008 food crises.
2012 Oct 2, The US National
Institute for Public Health and the Environment said a salmonella
outbreak traced to smoked salmon has sickened hundreds of people in
the Netherlands and the United States. It has been traced to Dutch
company Foppen, which sells fish to many major Dutch supermarkets
and to stores around the world.
(AP, 10/2/12)( http://tinyurl.com/m3wv4tr)
2012 Oct 8, In Half Moon Bay,
Ca., Thad Starr (45) of Pleasant Hills, Oregon, won the 39th annual
giant pumpkin contest with a 1,775 gourd, a local record. The world
record was recently set in Massachusetts by a 2,009-pound specimen.
(SFC, 10/9/12, p.C2)
2012 Oct 9, The UN Food and
Agriculture Organization (FAO) said its 2009 headline-grabbing
announcement that 1 billion people in the world were hungry was
off-target and that the number is actually more like 870 million.
2012 Oct 16, The UN's Food and
Agricultural Organization marked World Food Day, a day dedicated to
highlighting the importance of global food security. It said one in
eight people around the world goes to bed hungry every night.
2012 Nov 16, Hostess Brands,
the bankrupted maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs and other baked goods,
said it is closing all of its 33 plants and 565 distribution centers
nationwide and laying off 18,500 workers.
(SFC, 11/17/12, p.A1)
2012 Nov 19, Hostess Brands Inc
agreed in court to enter private mediation with its lenders and
leaders of a striking union to try to avert the liquidation of the
maker of Twinkies snack cakes and Wonder Bread.
2012 Nov 21, Arysta, the
Japanese maker of the pesticide methyl iodide, agreed to remove all
of its products from the US market and end sales permanently.
Exposure to the fumigant was shown to have caused thyroid cancer,
miscarriages and nervous system damage on rats and rabbits.
(SFC, 11/22/12, p.A15)
2012 Nov 26, The US Food and
Drug Administration halted operations of the country's largest
organic peanut butter processor, cracking down on salmonella
poisoning for the first time with new enforcement authority the
agency gained in a 2011 food safety law. FDA officials had found
salmonella all over Sunland Inc.'s New Mexico processing plant.
2012 US First Lady Michelle
Obama authored “American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen
Garden and Gardens Across America.”
(Econ, 6/9/12, p.40)
2012 In Brazil the voracious
helicoverpa armiger caterpillar, that likely arrived from Asia, was
spotted for the first time in the Americas on cotton farms in
drought-prone western Bahia. The caterpillar was soon in soybean
fields thousands of kilometers away thanks to the long-distance
flying power of its moths, consuming everything from tomatoes to
2013 Jan 3, Hormel Foods said
it has agreed to buy the Skippy peanut butter business from Unilever
for about $700 million.
(SFC, 1/4/13, p.C3)
2013 Jan 7, Fred Turner (80),
former CEO and chairman of McDonald’s Corp., died. He introduced the
first Drive-Thru in 1975.
(Econ, 1/26/13, p.82)
2013 Jan 8, The UN World Food
Program said it is unable to help 1 million Syrians who are going
2013 Jan 13, Argentina said
that a monthly basket for an indigent family of four cost 719 pesos
in December, or about 5.99 pesos per day, per person. On the streets
of Buenos Aires, 6 pesos doesn't stretch beyond a pack of chewing
gum, or a cup of yoghurt, or a single "alfajor" cookie.
2013 Jan 16, British PM David
Cameron condemned horse meat found in beef burgers sold by Tesco and
said this was likely to prove both embarrassing and costly for the
2013 Jan 18, McDonald's and
Finley's Management Co. agreed to pay $700,000 to members of a
Muslim community to settle allegations a Detroit-area restaurant
falsely advertised its food as being prepared according to Islamic
2013 Feb 2, The US and Mexico
reached a tentative agreement on cross-border trade in tomatoes.
(SFC, 2/4/13, p.A8)
2013 Feb 4, Argentina announced
a two-month price freeze on supermarket products in an effort to
stop spiraling inflation.
2013 Feb 7, UK authorities said
beef lasagna products recalled from British supermarkets by frozen
food company Findus had tested positive for more than 60% horsemeat.
(SFC, 2/8/13, p.A2)
2013 Feb 9, The French and
British governments promised to punish those found responsible for
selling horsemeat in beef products. French consumer safety
authorities said companies from Romania, Cyprus and the Netherlands
were part of a supply chain that resulted in horsemeat being
disguised as beef in frozen lasagna sold around the continent.
(Reuters, 2/9/13)(AP, 2/10/13)
2013 Feb 14, H.J. Heinz said it
has agreed to be acquired by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and
3G Capital in a $23.3 billion deal.
(SFC, 2/15/13, p.C4)(Econ, 2/23/13, p.63)
2013 Feb 15, Britain’s Food
Standards Agency (FSA) said it had found 29 positive tests for
horsemeat after demanding samples from UK retailers engulfed in a
contamination scandal that is spreading across Europe.
2013 Feb 15, The EU agreed to
begin random DNA checks on meat products in a bid to put a lid on a
spreading scandal over horsemeat.
(SFC, 2/16/13, p.A2)
2013 Feb 20, The Czech
Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority said DNA tests showed two
batches of frozen Nowaco Lasagne Bolognese in a branch of the Tesco
supermarket chain in the western city of Pilsen contained horsemeat.
Luxembourg was listed as the country of origin.
2013 Feb 22, Frozen food maker
Birds Eye said it would withdraw some products in Britain and
Ireland after it found traces of horse DNA in one of its ready meals
sold in Belgium.
2013 Feb 22, French catering
and vouchers group Sodexo said it was withdrawing all frozen beef
products from the market in Britain after finding horse meat in some
of its products.
2013 Feb 22, Ireland’s
government said B&F Meats in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary,
has been caught labeling horse meat as beef and shipping it to a
company in the Czech Rep.
(SFC, 2/23/13, p.A2)
2013 Feb 25, Swedish furniture
giant Ikea was drawn into Europe's widening food labeling scandal as
authorities said they had detected horse meat in frozen meatballs
labeled as beef and pork and sold in 13 countries across the
2013 Feb 26, Hungary’s National
Food Chain Safety Office (Nebih) horse meat labeled as beef has been
sold in the country.
2013 Feb 26, A South African
study was released showing that donkey, water buffalo and other
unconventional ingredients have been found in almost two thirds of
hamburgers and sausages tested in South Africa.
2013 Mar 1, Britain’s Food
Standards Agency said traces of horse meat has been found in ground
beef sold by Taco Bell, which has only three British outlets. Horse
DNA also was found in Birds Eye spaghetti Bolognese and beef lasagna
and spicy minced beef skewers from catering supplier Brakes.
2013 Mar 5, Frozen food maker
Birds Eye said horse meat DNA found in two of its products came from
an Irish meat processor that is part of one of Ireland's largest
agricultural businesses. The company said investigations had found
its Belgian supplier Frigilunch NV had unknowingly sourced meat with
horse DNA from Irish meat processor QK Meats.
2013 Mar 11, New York City
Mayor Michael Bloomberg vowed to appeal a judge's ruling that struck
down his pioneering ban on large sugary drinks sold by the city's
restaurants, movie theaters and other food service businesses just a
day before it was to take effect.
2013 Mar 11, In China Shanghai
officials said the number of dumped adult and piglet carcasses
retrieved had reached 2,813. The city government, citing monitoring
authorities, said the drinking water quality has not been affected.
Authorities have been pulling out swollen and rotting pigs since
March 8. By March 21 the dead pig count reached over 16,000.
(AP, 3/11/13)(SFC, 2/23/13, p.A2)
2013 Mar 11, CITES
conservationists in Bangkok voted to regulate the trade of shark
species threatened because their fins are used for expensive
delicacies in Asia.
(SFC, 2/12/13, p.A2)
2013 Mar 21, In San Francisco
commercial beekeepers and environmental organizations filed suit
against federal regulators for not banning the use of two pesticides
they say harm honeybees.
(SFC, 3/27/13, p.E5)
2013 Apr 1, In Egypt an
outbreak of food poisoning at al-Azhar University forced the
hospitalization of 479 students. It occurred after a meal served at
the university dormitories in Cairo's Nasr City district. The
outbreak led to student protests.
2013 Apr 6, Sweden-based Ikea
said it has withdrawn 17,000 portions of moose lasagna from its home
furnishings stores in Europe after traces of pork were found in a
batch tested in Belgium. The product had only been on sale for a
month when it was pulled off the shelves on March 22.
2013 Apr 9, British supermarket
chain Asda said very low levels of the horse pain-killing drug
phenylbutazone, also known as bute, had been found in horsemeat
discovered in tins of corned beef. This was the first such case in
2013 Apr 9, The United Nations
reopened food distribution centers in Gaza that closed last week
following a violent protest at a UN compound.
2013 Apr 15, The United Nations
Children's Fund said more than a quarter of children under the age
of 5 worldwide are permanently "stunted" from malnutrition, leaving
them physically and intellectually weak and representing a
scandalous waste of human potential.
2013 Apr 16, EU officials said
that over 7,000 tests of food products across the EU have shown that
nearly 5% of food labeled as beef contained horse meat.
(SFC, 4/17/13, p.A2)
2013 Apr 18, Irish company ABP
Foods, at the center of a scandal in Europe over horsemeat in beef
products, said it is leaving the frozen burger market after selling
the factory where burgers containing horse DNA were first
2013 Apr 27, The US military
said that 100 of 166 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have joined the
hunger strike. 19 were receiving liquid nutrients through a nasal
tube to prevent dangerous weight loss. Lawyers put the number of
hunger strikers at 130.
(SSFC, 4/28/13, p.A5)(Econ, 5/4/13, p.27)
2013 May 2, China’s Ministry of
Public Security said police have broken a crime ring that passed off
more than $1 million in rat and small mammal meat as mutton.
2013 May 7, Scientists said
Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD) is destroying entire crops of
cassava and has spread out of East Africa into the heart of the
continent. It is attacking plants as far south as Angola and now
threatens to move west into Nigeria, the world's biggest producer of
the potato-like root that helps feed 500 million Africans.
2013 May 20, New Zealand PM
John Key said a frozen meat issue is a technical hiccup that he
expects will be resolved this week. Hundreds of tons of frozen
mutton, lamb and beef from New Zealand have been stranded for 2-3
weeks on Chinese docks after China halted their import due to a
2013 May 21, It was reported
that NASA has given a six-month grant to a company developing what
could be the world’s first 3-D food printer. And the project’s
developer, reports Quartz, an online digital news site, believes the
invention could be used to end world hunger.
2013 May 21, Rob Rhinehart (24)
raised $100,000 in after requesting donations on Twitter for support
to manufacture Soylent, an artificial food substance. Over 1,000
backers overnight pledged $65 for a week’s supply.
(SSFC, 5/26/13, p.D2)
2013 May 29, It was reported
that Wan Long, chairman of China’s Shuanghui International has made
a 4.7 billion bid for Virginia-based meatpacker Smithfield Foods.
The purchase was endorsed by Smithfield's board but still require
approval from shareholders and US regulators.
2013 Jun 4, Venezuelan
officials said restrictions on the sale of 20 basic items including
toilet paper and chicken subject to price controls are set to begin
next week in Zulia, its most populous state.
2013 Jun 13, "The Fast Diet",
also known as the 5:2 diet, is the brainchild of TV medical
journalist Michael Mosley and journalist Mimi Spencer and allows
people to eat what they want for five days but only eat 600 calories
a day on the other two. Their book, "The Fast Diet", has topped
bestselling book lists in Britain and the United States this year
and been reprinted more than a dozen times.
2013 Jun 19, The World Food
Prize Foundation awarded this year’s prize to 3 pioneers of plant
biotechnology: Marc Van Montagu, founder and chairman of the
Institute of Plant Biotechnology Outreach at Ghent Univ. in Belgium;
Mary-Dell Chilton, founder and researcher of Syngenta Biotechnology;
and Robert Fraley, chief technology officer at Monsanto.
(SFC, 6/20/13, p.A6)
2013 Jul 3, The Indian
government launched a $22 billion welfare program to give cheap food
to hundreds of millions of people, a center-piece of the ruling
Congress party's plan to win a third term in office in elections due
by May 2014.
2013 Jul 10, The World Food
Program said it needed $27 million every month to deal with the
growing ranks of Syrians made hungry because of the war as Muslims
began observing the dawn-to-dusk fast for the month of Ramadan
across the Middle East.
2013 Jul 16, In India 23
children died and more than two dozen others were sick in Bihar
state after eating a free school lunch that was tainted with
insecticide. The principal of the school was arrested on July 24,
nine days after she went into hiding. In October Meena Kumari and
her husband were charged with murder.
(AP, 7/17/13)(AP, 7/18/13)(AP, 7/24/13)(AP,
2013 Jul 30, A New York sate
appeals court ruled that NYC’s Board of health exceeded its legal
authority when it voted last year to put a 16-ounce size limit on
high calorie soft drinks.
(SFC, 7/31/13, p.A6)
2013 Aug 5, In Britain Dutch
scientists served hamburgers made from cow stem cells at a public
tasting in London. Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, underwrote the
250,000-euro ($330,000) project, which began in 2006.
2013 Aug 6, In France masked
farmers began dumping pallets holding tens of thousands of eggs in
front of a grocery store in Ploumagoar. The action has continued
nightly in the region due to low egg prices. Over-production and
expensive renovations to meet new European norms on hen houses have
reduced egg farmer incomes.
2013 Aug 7, Arkansas-based
Tyson Foods Inc, declared it would no longer accept cattle that had
been fed the most popular brand of the feed additive, called Zilmax,
a powerful and fast-selling product from pharmaceutical company
Merck & Co.
2013 Aug 7, In Denver, at the
National Cattlemen's Beef Association conference, meat producer JBS
USA presented a video showing short clips of cows struggling to walk
and displaying other signs of distress. It was shown as part of a
panel discussion on the pros and cons of using a class of drugs
known as beta-agonists - the additives fed to cattle in the weeks
before slaughter to add up to 30 pounds to bodyweight and reduce fat
content in the meat.
2013 Aug 7, China fined six
companies, including Mead Johnson Nutrition Co, Danone and New
Zealand dairy giant Fonterra, a total of $110 million following an
investigation into price fixing and anti-competitive practices by
foreign baby formula makers.
2013 Aug 26, India's parliament
passed a flagship 18-billion-dollar program to provide subsidized
food to the poor that is intended to "wipe out" endemic hunger and
malnutrition in the aspiring superpower.
2013 Sep 2, India's upper house
of parliament approved a $20 billion scheme to distribute subsidized
wheat and rice to 800 million people, backing an anti-malnutrition
drive that investors fear will mean missing the fiscal deficit
2013 Sep 11, The UN Food and
Agricultural Organization said one-third of all food produced in the
world gets wasted, amounting to a loss of $750 billion a year.
(SFC, 9/12/13, p.A2)
2013 Sep 24, Burger King
introduced “Satisfries,” a new crinkle-cut french fry with about 20%
fewer calories and a slightly higher price.
(SFC, 9/25/13, p.A5)
2013 Oct 16, Washington became
the 2nd state to adopt rules for the recreational sale of marijuana.
Initiative 522, a measure requiring retail outlets to label
genetically modified (GM) food, failed.
2013 Oct 24, In India retail
prices of onions were reported to have quadrupled in three months -
now costing over 100 rupees ($1.62) a kilo, which is what a third of
the population live on per day - as a supply squeeze caused by wet
weather has hampered harvests.
2013 Oct 26, Wisconsin’s
Milwaukee-based Garden-Fresh Foods recalled 50 more tons of chicken
and ham products over concern of possible listeria contamination.
The company first recalled 9 tons of food on Sep 25.
(SSFC, 10/27/13, p.A8)
2013 Nov 16, The governing body
on the Hawaiian island of Kauai voted to override their mayor's veto
of a bill that seeks to reign in widespread pesticide use and the
testing of new genetically modified crops.
2013 Nov 17, The head of
Syria's General Foreign Trade Organization (GFTO) said Syrian bank
accounts frozen abroad are gradually being freed up for use to fund
food purchases, with France being the most committed to releasing
2013 Dec 11, The US FDA said it
will begin curbing the use of some medically important antibiotics
commonly fed to animals to fatten them up for market. A 3-year plan
to implement this was called the Veterinary Feed Directive.
(SFC, 12/12/13, p.A1)
2013 Dec 13, Europe's
second-highest court said it has overturned a decision by the
European Commission to allow the cultivation and sale of a
genetically modified potato developed by German chemicals group
2013 Dec 16, French police made
21 arrests as part of an investigation into claims that meat from
horses used to produce anti-rabies and other serums got into the
2013 Michael Pollan, food
intellectual, authored “Cooked: A Natural History of
(Econ, 4/27/13, p.76)
2013 Mary Roach authored “Gulp:
Adventures on the Alimentary Canal.”
(Econ, 5/4/13, p.82)
2014 Jan 9, Health experts
launched Action on Sugar, a drive to cut sugar levels in food in an
effort to tackle obesity and diabetes.
2014 Jan 24, The World Food
Program said looters in South Sudan have stolen UN food aid that
would have fed over 220,000 people for a month.
2014 Jan 31, A US federal judge
gave Hosam Amara, a former Agriprocessors Inc. manager, a 41-month
prison term for exploiting immigrant workers at a kosher
slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa. 389 workers were arrested in a
May, 2008, raid at the plant.
(SFC, 2/1/14, p.A6)
2014 Feb 3, St. Louis-based
Post Holdings Inc. said it is buying the PowerBar and Musashi brands
from Nestle SA, further diversifying its business by expanding into
the active nutrition category. Musashi is a leading sports nutrition
brand in Australia.
2014 Feb 3, The UN launched a
bid to raise $2.0 billion (1.48 billion euros) from international
donors in 2014 to help more than 20 million people threatened by
famine in Africa's Sahel region.
2014 Feb 21, The EU bloc's
executive Commission added Bavarian pretzels to its "protected
2014 Mar 2, Mozambique
agriculture minister Jose Pacheco said that more than 300,000 people
in central and southern regions of the country face famine this
2014 Mar 10, Fruit supply
companies Chiquita of the United States and Fyffes of Ireland said
they had agreed to merge to create the world's biggest banana
supplier. Fyffes is Europe's biggest banana importer and the oldest
industry brand, dating to 1929.
2014 Apr 16, British food bank
operator Trussell Trust reported that the number of people in
Britain using food banks has nearly tripled to more than 900,000
over the past 12 months.
2014 Apr 23, The Vermont House
approved the country’s first state bill to require the labeling of
genetically modified food, effective July 1, 2016. Gov. Peter
Shumlin said he plans to sign it.
(SFC, 4/25/14, p.A6)
2014 May 1, The EU as of today
banned imports of Indian mangoes including the Alphonso, considered
the king of all the mango varieties grown in South Asia, because a
large number of shipments were contaminated with fruit flies. The
pests are considered a threat to crops grown in Europe.
2014 May 8, Religious leaders
in Britain called for all meat to be labelled with details of how it
was slaughtered after it emerged halal and kosher meat in
supermarkets is often not marked as such.
2014 May 28, The City Council
of Irwindale, Ca., voted to drop a public nuisance declaration and
lawsuit against Huy Fong Foods, the maker of Sriracha hot sauce.
Residents have complained last year that the spicy odors burned
their throats and eyes. Other suitors including Texas have offered a
friendlier home to the company.
(SFC, 5/30/14, p.A4)
2014 May 29, In southern
billionaire Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, unveiled Dragon V2, a new
spacecraft designed to carry up to seven astronauts to the Int’l.
Space Station (ISS).
(SFC, 5/30/14, p.A4)
2014 Jun 16, Britain's food
safety watchdog said you should not wash a chicken before cooking
it, because washing raw chicken spreads the campylobacter bacteria.
2014 Jul 1, The UN warned that
nearly 800,000 refugees in Africa have had their food rations
slashed by up to 60 percent, threatening to push many to the brink
of starvation. The situation was most dire for the 300,000 refugees
in Chad, mainly from Sudan's Darfur region and from the Central
2014 Jul 2, The UN's food aid
agency warned that Ethiopia is facing a huge wave of refugees from
South Sudan, where the specter of famine threatens to heap further
misery on a people already rocked by civil war.
2014 Jul 4, In NYC high-ranking
chowhound Joey "Jaws" Chestnut dropped to one knee and proposed to
his longtime girlfriend before the annual Nathan's Famous Fourth of
July Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island, then packed away 61
franks and buns to hold onto his coveted mustard yellow winner's
2014 Jul 4, It was reported
that Israeli inventor Dror Sharon has created a small scanner, the
SciO, that can read the chemical makeup of foods, drugs and other
items we use. His infrared spectrometer, the size of a thumb drive,
was being marketed for aplications in food, pharmaceuticals and
(SFC, 7/4/14, p.A3)
2014 Jul 23, Chinese police
detained five people from a unit of US food supplier OSI Group, in a
case involving expired meat sold to fast food giants including
McDonald's and KFC.
2014 Aug 14, Agricultural
officials from all 28 European Union countries began emergency talks
to weigh the impact of Russia's ban on Western food imports and
whether to compensate EU farmers.
2014 Aug 19, Poland said it has
asked the European Commission to lodge a formal complaint to the
World Trade Organization (WTO) over a Russian ban on EU food
products that has hit Poland particularly hard.
2014 Aug 21, Russia said it was
investigating dozens of McDonald's restaurants, in what many
businessmen said was retaliation for Western sanctions over Ukraine
they fear could spread to other symbols of Western capitalism.
2014 Aug 26, Burger King said
it has agreed to buy Canada's coffee and donut chain Tim Hortons in
an $11 billion deal that would create the world's third-largest fast
food company and be based in Canada.
2014 Sep 8, Hong Kong pulled
pineapple buns and dumplings from the shelves after Taiwanese
authorities said a factory in the south of the island illegally used
243 tons of tainted products, often referred to as "gutter oil", to
mix with lard oil. Oil from Chang Guann, the Taiwanese oil
manufacturer, was at the heart of the scandal.
2014 Sep 9, Ukraine said it was
drafting a list of food and other products it plans to ban from
Russia in retaliation for Moscow's own painful and
2014 Sep 24, In Indonesia
scientists released some 3,000 tiny wasps in a secure tent-like
habitat to monitor their success in an effort to halt an infestation
of cassava crops by mealybugs. Scientists hoped their number would
multiply to 450,000 prior to release in a month following government
(SFC, 9/25/14, p.A6)
2014 Sep 30, It was reported
that China's government has kicked off a media campaign in support
of genetically modified crops, as it battles a wave of negative
publicity over a technology it hopes will play a major role in
boosting its food security.
2014 Oct 23, Brazilian
companies Cutrale and Safra said they are again raising their bid
for banana producer Chiquita, to $681 million, a day before Chiquita
shareholders are expected to vote on a combination with Irish fruit
importer Fyffes. Shareholders rejected the proposal.
(AP, 10/23/14)(AP, 10/24/14)
2014 Oct 24, Russia’s
agricultural safety agency said some 600 tons of banned meat from
Europe were discovered disguised as other items such as frozen
mushrooms, juice, fruit jellies and chewing gum.
2014 Nov 4, Voters in Berkeley,
California, adopted the nation’s first soda tax, a 1-cent per-ounce
levy on most beverages with added sugar.
(SSFC, 11/9/14, p.C1)
2014 Nov 5, Russia gave 12
South African firms rights to supply canned and frozen fish. South
Africa will resume seafood exports to Russia for the first time in
almost two decades as Moscow looked elsewhere for food sources
following Western sanctions over Ukraine.
2014 Nov 13, India won US
support for its food stockpiling scheme, rescuing the World Trade
Organization from paralysis and giving new Prime Minister Narendra
Modi a victory without major concessions.
2014 Nov 14, In Syria armed
clashes erupted in Douma after hungry residents stormed food
warehouses belonging to an Islamist rebel group. Residents said the
Army of Islam only distributes food and medical supplies to its
2014 Nov 25, The US FDA
announced long-delayed calorie labeling rules, requiring
establishment that sell prepared foods and have 20 or more location
to post calorie content on the menus and displays. Compliance for
most companies was due to November, 2015.
(SFC, 11/26/14, p.A6)
2014 Nov 27, Britain’s Food
Standards Agency (FSA) said some 70 percent of fresh chickens on
sale in Britain are contaminated with a food poisoning bug.
2014 Dec 1, The UN World Food
Program suspended a food voucher program serving more than 1.7
million Syrian refugees, citing a funding crisis after many donors
failed to meet their commitments.
2014 Dec 9, The UN World Food
Program said it has reinstated a food aid program to help feed over
1.7 million Syrian refugees following a significan cash infusion.
(SFC, 12/10/14, p.A3)
2014 Dec 19, US health
officials warned consumers to avoid prepackaged caramel apples after
they were linked to 4 deaths in which people were sickened with
listeria. At least 28 more were known sickened in ten states.
(SFC, 12/20/14, p.A5)
2014 Sandra Gilbert authored
“The Culinary Imagination: From Myth to Modernity.”
(Econ, 8/30/14, p.73)
2014 Nina Teicholz authored
“The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a
(Econ, 5/31/14, p.76)
2015 Jan 5, Ireland said the
United States will permit imports of beef from the country, the
first European Union state allowed to resume sales since the mad cow
disease scare over 15 years ago.
2015 Jan 7, In California US
District Judge Stephen Wilson ruled that the state prohibition
on the sale of foie gras illegally encroached upon the regulatory
domain of the federal government. The state ban was passed in 2004
and went into effect in 2012.
(SFC, 1/8/15, p.A1)
2015 Jan 21, It was reported
that an Alabama man was cited by police in Georgia for eating a
cheeseburger whilte driving issued under the state’s distracted
(SFC, 1/21/15, p.A6)
2015 Jan 23, It was reported
that robbers and looters were targeting trucks carrying food across
Venezuela in another sign of worsening shortages that have turned
basics like flour and chicken into coveted booty.
2015 Liz Carlisle authored
“Lentil Underground: Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food in
(SSFC, 1/25/15, p.N1)