Welcome to the CHOW Crib Sheet, your weekly recap of recent food news and events. Now, a look at our top stories:

Hot News Feed

Farm Party
Twentysomethings in North Carolina spontaneously amass to clear rocks and haul mulch in “Crop Mob,” a farming version of Flash Mob. What, were pillow fights and zombie bar crawls not doin’ it for them? via New York Times

Smart Shoppers
In an experiment at SUNY Buffalo, mothers shopping in a fake grocery store bought less junk food when the prices were jacked up with taxes. When healthy food was discounted, they bought more of it, however they used the savings to buy more junk food. So the idea of subsidizing healthy food isn’t a great idea, apparently, in a world where 10-cent mini peanut butter cups exist. via Grist

Italy Says Ciao to Molecular Gastronomy
Italy’s Ministry of Health announced that many ingredients—a.k.a. “chemical additives”—used in molecular gastronomy such as the Texturas line from Ferran and Albert Adrià would be banned in kitchen use in restaurants until December 2010. Seems they might want to take care of the whole cat-eating thing before worrying about this? via Eater National

USDA’s New Rules for Organic Meat and Milk Sink In
Small farmers and organic advocacy groups are feeling more optimistic about the USDA after it finally stepped up and reformed laws for organic meat and milk last month to include things such as four months of actual pasture time for animals, as opposed to the previously vague and meaningless “access to pasture” requirement. via Los Angeles Times

More Gross Factory Farm Stuff
Pig Business, an important documentary about the mind-bending evils of large-scale pig farming, can’t be released in the U.S. due to legal pressure from its main villain, Smithfield Foods. Watch it on YouTube, or request it from the filmmaker for a private screening. via Grist

A Good Read: Emily Stokes’ Financial Times profile on Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Eating Animals, and disser of the sense of taste, “the crudest of our senses.”

Thread of the Week: Beer geeks diss a Black Book article where the female writer walks into a serious NYC craft beer bar and—shockingly!—isn’t noticed, much less hit on. “No shit lady… Ginger Man isn’t a ‘singles’ bar or a fucking NYC Club… It’s a goddamn beer bar…” via BeerAdvocate

Recipe We Want to Make: Bon Appétit‘s blood orange upside-down cake, made with crunchy bits of polenta.

Deaths, Firings, Recalls, and Other Endings:

  • “Foul smelling” Lemon Chalet Creme Girl Scout cookies recalled.
  • Huntington Meat Packing Inc. recalls an additional 4.9 million pounds of ground beef products and some veal.
  • Rose Gray, the influential founder and chef of London’s River Cafe, dies at 71.

Debuts, Openings, and Other Beginnings:

  • Chocolate-covered Peeps, dark and milk.
  • Top Chef Masters season 2 lineup unveiled, includes David Burke, Susan Feniger.
  • Shamrock shake begins its annual rounds; McDonald’s stores in SF Bay Area pledge 25 cents per shake sale will go to charity.
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