Thursday, June 12, 2008 | 01:46 PM ET
by Tara Kimura, CBCnews.ca
From tainted tomatoes to generous P.E.I. potato farmers, food figured prominently in the news this week. Here's a roundup of the top stories.
1. Canadian restaurants and retailers clear tomatoes from shelves as U.S. investigators search for the source of salmonella that has sickened 167 people. Meanwhile, growers in Mexico defend their produce as sales drop sharply.
2. Canadian consumers still love their beer but a growing number of consumers are favouring wine, according to
Statistics Canada figures. In 2007, beer accounted for 47 per cent of alcohol sales, down from 52 per cent in 1997. Wine sales comprised 28 per cent of the market, up from 21 per cent in 1997.
Canadian tomatoes were on sale at the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved tomatoes from a list of locations, including Canada, that it believes safe from the salmonella outbreak. (Matt Rourke/Associated Press).
3. Another Statistics Canada study found consumers haven't had to fork over too much more for food over the past year, with prices increasing modestly by 1.2 per cent. The report also suggested Canadian farmers stood to profit from the global grains shortage and had beefed up their crops this season.
4. Despite a soggy spring, farmers in Prince Edward Island dug deep and sent an emergency shipment of 27,000 kg of potatoes to Nova Scotia food banks.
5. Thousands of South Koreans flooded the streets on Tuesday to protest the government's decision to lift a ban on U.S. beef. Protestors voiced concerns over the safety of U.S. beef, citing concerns over mad cow disease.
6. And, finally on a light-hearted note, U.S. President George Bush discussed his affinity for German asparagus after meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The president told reporters after feasting schnitzel and asparagus, Bush told reporters: "For those in the German press who thought I didn't like asparagus: You're wrong," he said. "The German asparagus are fabulous."
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About the blog
From trends and culture to politics and nutrition, Food Bytes serves up tasty tidbits about food and the issues surrounding it that flavour our everyday lives.
About the writers
Amber Hildebrandt writes for CBCNews.ca in Toronto. Growing up on a farm in Manitoba, she acquired an insatiable appetite, but it was during a stint in Japan that she developed her discerning tastebuds and "foodie" ways.
Andrea Chiu is an associate producer at CBC Radio Digital. Though she loves to eat, cook and discuss food, don't ask her to bake. It never turns out well. She tweets as @TOfoodie on Twitter and organizes food and wine events in Toronto called FoodieMeet.
Tara Kimura is the consumer life reporter for CBCNews.ca, covering a wide range of issues that range from rising food costs and the growing organic movement, to new trends in the marketplace.
Andree Lau is a CBC web reporter in Calgary. Her journalism career includes seven years as a CBC-TV reporter. Her own blog called "are you gonna eat that?" chronicles her eating adventures (including sampling snake and camel hoof tendon).
Jessica Wong is a CBCNews.ca writer who loves to eat and cook, as well as discuss, read and watch programming about food, sometimes all at once.
Kevin Yarr, CBCNews.ca's writer in Prince Edward Island, wrote about food and beer for national and regional magazines before joining the CBC. He acquired a desire for new tastes on his first trip to Europe, and an appreciation of eating locally and in season when he finally settled down on P.E.I.
Elizabeth Bridge is a writer with the CBC Digital Archives in Toronto. She first ventured into the kitchen as a child to indulge a sweet tooth by baking cookies and making fudge. A student budget compelled her to be a vegetarian (for a while) and instilled in her an ongoing curiosity about food and cooking.
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