Kiko’s Food News: 2.17.12

Five years after moving from NYC my heart must officially be in SF, because I lamented reading that Mission Chinese Food is replicating in New York–I don’t want to share Danny with the Big Apple! (full story)

But it wasn’t all bad news this week. Several big food businesses took steps towards healthier offerings made by healthier people and from healthier animals:

In a move that will hopefully inspire other grocery chains, Trader Joe’s signed a Fair Food Agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in Florida; it requires them to pay a penny more per pound of tomatoes and to ensure better working conditions for tomato workers: (full story)

And McDonald’s said it will work with its U.S. pork suppliers to phase out the use of gestation crates, admitting that the metal crates were “not a sustainable production system for the future”. (Wondering how the National Pork Board responded? They’re defending stalls as a “conventional” practice and saying that alternatives, including open pens and pasture, have “welfare advantages and disadvantages that must be considered by an individual farmer”.) (full story)

The House introduced a bill that would require labeling on egg cartons to specify whether the eggs are from caged, cage-free or free-range hens; the American Farm Bureau Federation (a trade group for farmers), National Pork Producers Council, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association oppose the bill, fearing this humane regard for the well-being of farm animals will spread to their own industries: (full story)

Mars candy company has made a move to focus on “reasonable snacking”, pledging that by the end of 2013, it will stop selling chocolate with more than 250 calories-goodbye king-size Snickers! (full story)

Using a strategy of “price perception”, Whole Foods is looking to broaden its socioeconomic appeal by marketing to a less affluent clientele with smaller stores: (full story)

Dog lovers, I don’t even know what to say about this one but I think you’ll love it: (full story)

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