Kiko's Food News, 3.23.12

Can a neighborhood corner store improve public health? As part of the nationwide Healthy Corner Stores Initiative, more than 600 corner stores in Philadelphia have signed pledges to stock healthy food: (full story)

A dismal option for the school lunch menu: the U.S.D.A. announced that starting this fall, schools will be able to choose whether or not they buy hamburger that contains lean finely textured beef known as “pink slime”; it was previously sold only to dog food or cooking oil suppliers: (full story)

That make you want to go meatless? Since I was away last week, I want to make sure you caught Bittman’s characteristically persuasive argument about why fake chicken is worth eating. Did you know “a third of Americans now eat meatless meals ‘a significant amount of the time’”? (full story)

Packaged-food companies facing stagnant growth are turning to snacks as a way to report sales increases to their stakeholders; snack prices can be raised more easily than those of grocery staples (and who hasn’t been itching for the invention of a chocolate-flavored tortilla chip??): (full story)

In what I consider a missed opportunity for new precedents in meat sourcing, McDonald’s was granted an exemption to London’s local food sourcing goals for the upcoming Olympics and will therefore source only 10% of the chicken it processes from British farmers: (full story)

Sales of products with Fair Trade USA’s seal of approval for ethics and sustainability rose 75% in the fourth quarter of 2011 over the first quarter, according to a recent SPINS report; this even though fair trade-certified products almost always cost more than the alternative: (full story)

The number of health-oriented and vegan food trucks across the country is growing; here’s a helpful list by city, should you have a hankering: (full story)

Inspiration for your Friday happy hour: a growing band of brewers is turning to the complex, earthy spice of rye for a new take on the strong flavors craft-beer drinkers have grown to love: (full story)