Toys That Lead to Ruin: In an attempt to stop bribing kids to eat fast food, Santa Clara County in the San Francisco Bay Area has decided to ban the promotional toys that come with McDonald’s Happy Meal and other chains’ kid meals that don’t meet certain nutritional standards. via the New York Times

I Feel Better, Starbucks: Food prices apparently went way the hell up in March, rising 2.4 percent (the most since January 1984). But that didn’t scare off Frappuccino fans, who helped Starbucks post massive second quarter earnings, quite possibly signaling the end of the recession. via the Huffington Post and the Big Money

A Really Rewarding Volunteer Job: Food Corps, a “Habitat for Humanity for school meals,” is established with a grant from the Kellogg Foundation. Volunteers help source healthy food for school lunches, plant campus gardens, and develop curriculum. via the Washington Post

Anchor Sells Out: The craft beer world was rocked by the news that San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing Company, considered by most to have launched the craft beer movement in the United States, was sold to two Bay Area entrepreneurs who “plan to preserve and expand the iconic brand.” via the San Francisco Chronicle

War of the Recipe Developers: The hard-line recipe developers and testers over at Cook’s Illustrated are facing off with crowd-sourcing recipe website Food52 to see if traditionally developed test kitchen recipes are better than recipes from home cooks. via the Washington Post

A Good Read: Alan Richman, the hilarious restaurant critic for GQ, delivers a candid and insightful interview for Media Bistro. Good advice for wannabe food writers: Be journalists first.

Thread of the Week: A writer’s description of making a pig’s head terrine on Serious Eats leads to a passionate exchange about readers’ own DIY-meat-project obsessions: “My idea of an awesome Friday night is a bowl of lard potato chips and a movie.”

Deaths, Firings, Recalls, and Other Endings:

  • RIP Jean Vergnes, the opening chef for NYC’s famed Le Cirque.
  • Debuts, Openings, and Other Beginnings:

  • The Cheesecake Factory’s burger line is unfortunately renamed “glamburgers.”
  • IHOP rides KFC’s Double Down coattails and introduces “Pancake Stackers,” cheesecake filling sandwiched between pancakes.
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