Red Meat Fans, Rejoice: A study by the Harvard School of Public Health revealed that steaks, burgers, and other nonprocessed red meats might not be a heart disease risk after all; it’s the processed kinds like bacon and sausage that you’ve gotta look out for. The study suggests that the high levels of salt in them might be the real culprit. via Wall Street Journal

Paging Mr. President: Stop Undermining Michele: In an open letter, Phil Vettel asks the president to lay off the burgers, since all the photos of him eating fast food are counterproductive to his wife’s campaign against childhood obesity. via Chicago Tribune’s The Stew

Gourmet Pollution: Hudson Valley Foie Gras was ordered to stop dumping waste into the Middle Mongaup River. via the Atlantic

Contract Killing Burns Calories: Former Food Network “Calorie Commando” host allegedly gave homeless people money to kill his wife, who reportedly hadn’t been able to get pregnant. via ABC News

Bribing and Imbibing: Last week, the American Beverage Association offered to donate $10 million to the government of Philadelphia if it dropped a proposal to tax sugary drinks. via the Big Money

Thread of the Week: A fistfight at the artisanal pig cookoff event Cochon 555 left organizer Brady Lowe with a broken leg and concussion. A chef allegedly attacked Lowe and his girlfriend because he was enraged that the pig had been sourced from Iowa, not Oregon. Commenters on Willamette Week’s blog were in top form:

The Rules of Chef Club:

1) First rule of Chef Club: you do not talk about pigs.

2) The second rule of Chef Club is you DO NOT talk about pigs.

3) If some yells swine flu, throws out-of-state bacon or calls your girlfriend a fat pig the fight is over.

4) Two-chefs to a fight.

5) One chef fight at a time.

6) No chef shirts, no shoes for crews. Chef hats must be worn.

7) Chef fights will go on until the police show up or Magic Garden closes.

8) If this is your first Chef fight you have to insult someone’s cooking.

A Good Read: Kim Severson creates a buzz with her story about the rise of “haute stoner cuisine” and chefs finding their inspiration in a packed bowl of weed.

Deaths, Firings, Recalls, and Other Endings:

  • Richard LaMotta, inventor of the chocolate chip ice cream sandwich, the Chipwich, dies.
  • Debuts, Openings, and Other Beginnings:

  • In a WTF move, the Mead Johnson company introduces chocolate-flavored baby formula.
  • The San Francisco Chronicle‘s new food site “Inside Scoop” launches. SFoodie notices that one of its contributors has already published a story lambasting the Chron‘s food critic Michael Bauer.
  • Pacific-Northwest chain Burgerville rolls out receipts that give the nutritional breakdown of your order at all 39 of its locations.
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