If you haven’t seen the usual mounds of pumpkins lined up in fields or canned pumpkin stocked to the ceiling at your local supermarket, it’s because there’s a pumpkin shortage in the Northeast. Due to heavy rains and the destruction left in the wake of Hurricane Irene, many farmers say they’ve lost thousands of pumpkins, some their entire crop.
“Wholesale prices have doubled in some places as farmers nurse their surviving pumpkin plants toward a late harvest. Some farmers are trying to buy pumpkins from other regions to cover orders,” said The Associated Press.
Food Network Kitchens stock up early »
Public school lunches are on the way to being more nutritious thanks to the child nutrition bill signed by President Obama in December. What most people don’t realize, however, is that they’re also getting more expensive.
The bill, which reduced whole milk in cafeterias and bolstered the amount of fresh produce in use nationwide, requires school districts to raise lunch prices in order to match the cost of producing meals.
The law suggests prices go up by a maximum 10 cents a year, eventually making lunch $2.46 on average, according to a New York Times article. Many districts raised lunch by 25 cents after years of no increase and are wary of resistance as the prices continue to climb.
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Buyers beware: That peanut butter you’ve been snacking on since childhood is soon to undergo a price hike. Sweltering temperatures and parched soil in Peanut Belt states like Georgia and Texas are to blame for the spoiled peanut crop.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, this year’s peanut crop is predicted to be about 3.61 billion pounds, 13 percent smaller than last year.
Peanut butter powerhouse J.M. Smucker Co., who dominates 45 percent of the peanut butter market, expects to raise prices by 30 percent in November, making that $3.19 jar of Jif $4.15, says a Cleveland article.
Vote: Will you continue to buy peanut butter? »
After months of anxiously waiting, football season is finally back. And with the return of your favorite teams comes an all-new lineup of signature sandwiches from Food Network and partner Delaware North Companies. For the 2011 baseball season, the duo made eight steak sandwiches and one sausage with local twists.
This time, it’s all about the brisket.
Five NFL stadiums are serving up a delicious signature pub-style brisket sandwich with cheddar cheese, whole-grain mustard and crispy onions on a pretzel roll — one stadium will also serve a specialty bratwurst sandwich. Don’t forget to snag a locally-inspired version.
Browse the menu for each stadium after the jump »
Although sweet summer is coming to a close, regional farmers’ markets are still going strong. Not all markets are created equal, however. Earlier this summer, American Farmland Trust asked local markets to sign up to participate in a contest that would ultimately be named “America’s Favorite Farmers’ Market.” Once that was completed, the organization polled readers across America: “Where is your favorite farmers’ market?” More than 94,000 votes were counted in four categories: boutique, small, medium and large markets.
American Farmland Trust holds this annual contest to raise national awareness about the importance of buying fresh food from local farms. “Farmers’ markets offer a great way for consumers to support local farms and farmers,” said American Farmland Trust President Jon Scholl. “In addition to providing access to fresh, seasonal foods, farmers’ markets help strengthen our ties to the land where our food is grown and the people who grow it.”
Did your market take the #1 spot? The winners after the jump »
We can’t help but love a good Twitter trend, especially when it deals with food. Right now, the hashtag #foodmovies is trending — not movies that feature great food scenes, but titles that are morphed into something delicious. Food Network has some of the most dedicated food followers on the web, so we’re asking you: Can you come up with a creative #foodmovie? Include the @foodnetwork handle in your response on Twitter and we’ll feature six of our favorites on the blog.
Bobby Flay has been cast to play a fictional version of himself in the final season of the HBO series Entourage. The character Ari Gold will discover his wife is dating the chef. In real life, Bobby is married to actress Stephanie March, but the TV show will portray him as a bachelor. Fans who prefer the nonfiction version of chef Flay can find him offering barbecue and grilling tips at Guild Hall in East Hampton, N.Y., on July 31 at 11am. The event is part of the hall’s series Stirring the Pot: Conversations With Culinary Celebrities.
Iron Chef Marc Forgione, with the help of other chefs, will host his first fundraising dinner this November for Feeding America, a Chicago-based nonprofit with a network of 200 food banks. “Charity is an extension of what we do,” said Forgione, as he took a break from taping Iron Chef episodes. “I don’t even have to think twice about it.”
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While some contestants on Food Network Star admit to being star-struck upon meeting Giada De Laurentiis for the first time, the popular Food Network personality is about to have her own star-stricken experience. On July 9, Giada will cook for Prince William and his new bride, Dutchess Kate at The Foundation Polo Challenge in California, along with 2,500 other guests for this charity event.
According to her interview on The Today Show, Giada signed up to cater the event without knowing that the royal couple would be there. “At first I was crazy nervous, but now I am purely excited,” shares De Laurentiis.
The Prince will be playing a Polo match while lunch is being served, but Giada will have something at the ready for him nevertheless. She promises, “No leftovers for the Prince!”
Find out what’s on the menu »
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- Photo: USDA.gov
Today, the USDA and First Lady Michelle Obama introduced MyPlate, the updated version of the American nutrition guide — the food pyramid.
The new diet incorporates these seven key messages:
1. Enjoy your food, but eat less.
2. Avoid oversized portions.
Read the remaining 5 messages and take our poll »