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Swine Flu, The End of The World, & Haute Lunchboxes [Foodie News]

The week is still young, but it’s already been pretty rough in terms of foodie news…

Agribusiness Strikes Again: Just in case bird flu, Salmonella, E.Coli, mass meat recalls, and melamine scares didn’t convince you that industrial food production was a very bad thing, two words: swine flu. But, hey, let’s not point fingers. According to an article in Science Magazine, the CDC only found out that “after years of stability, the North American swine flu virus…jumped onto an evolutionary fasttrack” six years ago. Maybe they lost the memo… [via Guardian]

Right at the Beginning of Barbecue Season: New York Times writer Jane E. Brody reminded us that red-meat consumption will probably kill you. “Extrapolated to all Americans in the age group studied, the new findings suggest that over the course of a decade, the deaths of one million men and perhaps half a million women could be prevented just by eating less red and processed meats, according to estimates prepared by Dr. Barry Popkin, who wrote an editorial accompanying the report.” Is it wrong that we’re still craving a Corner Bistro burger? [via NYT]

The End of The World: While we’re discussing catastrophes, a recent article in Scientific American predicted that food shortages in the developing world would eventually lead to the, ahem, collapse of civilization. Food for thought? [via Scientific American]

To Stay Informed: Join the Comfood listserv. They will fill your inbox more aggressively than even the most prolific spammers, but seventy percent of it will be information you want about the food system. Trust us.

Marion Nestle Remains Skeptical: Food Politics expert, Marion Nestle expressed her doubts about the Obama administration’s ag policies to Serious Eats saying, “I wish I had a clear view of what the first 100 days mean for agriculture, food, nutrition, and health, but I think it’s way too early to tell. The most hopeful signs are strictly symbolic: the organic gardens at the White House and USDA. Obama has appointed some people interested in sustainable agriculture and in nutrition for the poor to high positions at USDA, and the nomination of Margaret Hamburg to be FDA commissioner is an excellent choice. I’m hoping she gets confirmed soon…” [via Serious Eats]

On Another, More Positive, Note: “The Food Bank for NYC has recruited the likes of Grant Achatz, Mario Batali, the Bastianiches, Tom Colicchio, Wylie Dufresne, and Anne Burrell to design lunchboxes for its annual Lunchbox Auction.” Our money was on Batali’s box until we found that that it’s cover in “pig’s blood, fennel seed, salt, and pepper.” [via Feed Bag]

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