The Juicy BitsThe Juicy Bits

The US Food and Drug Administration has received more than 100 complaints of illness related to Lucky Charms. Did someone put a hex on the breakfast cereal? Hopefully the FDA investigation reveals the truth. Another popular breakfast food is under the microscope this month: eggs. The second-worst avian flu in US history is ripping across the country, causing "free-range" egg producers to keep their birds indoors. Is an egg "free-range" if the bird doesn't go outside? Not in the UK, where eggs can no longer be labeled free-range because hens have been cooped up for months. In other UK food news, a British scientist has analyzed the subterranean electrical impulses of mushrooms and found that the patterns closely resemble that of human language. He asserts that mushrooms talk to other plants. Crazy? We shall see. Elsewhere in Europe, two Danish brothers have figured out how to cultivate morel mushrooms indoors, at scale. It's European mushroom mania! Food innovation is also thriving in Japan, where a tech scientist developed a pair of chopsticks that enhances the perception of saltiness. He hopes the device will help Japanese consumers reduce their sodium intake. Speaking of salt, two US economists analyzed data from the 1920s and found that adding iodine to salt actually boosted the IQ of Americans. Their source material? Military records. The food world never ceases to amaze.

-Dave Joachim




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