12:40 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Should 'Pink Slime' Be Labeled?

Beef cuts that are used to make "pink slime" or lean finely textured beef were on display during a tour in March of the Beef Products Inc.'s plant in South Sioux City, Neb.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 12:06 pm

The fallout from the consumer backlash to so-called "pink slime" continues to hurt meat sales. Now, some companies are taking steps to label the product they call "lean, finely textured beef" in hopes that they can earn back consumer trust.

Tyson and Cargill, two multinational firms that sell ground beef containing the processed trimmings, say they have submitted labeling requests to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in hopes that some customers will feel better about buying ground beef containing LFTB if it's labeled.

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AM Update
8:32 am
Thu March 29, 2012

AM Update: 'Texan' Apologizes For Trayvon Martin Cartoon, See Michael Morton, Artz Rib House Closes

Following increased scrutiny and protest, The Daily Texan issued a formal apology for running a controversial editorial cartoon about Trayvon Martin
Image courtesy

Texan Issues Formal Apology for Trayvon Martin Cartoon

The editors from The Daily Texan issued an apology regarding the controversial Trayvon Martin cartoon the paper published on Tuesday.

The cartoonist, Stephanie Eisner, no longer works for the paper.

In their apology, the student editors admit to showing “a failure in judgment.” Yesterday the editors of the Texan met with angry students and protestors to discuss the paper’s decision to publish the cartoon and the editorial team’s oversight in recognizing the sensitive nature of the cartoon.

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10:52 am
Wed March 21, 2012

Don’t Bee Cruel: Item Calls to Relocate, Not Eradicate, Feral Bee Colonies

Pointing to their value as pollinators, a City Council item discourages eradication of feral bees.
Photo courtesy

A resolution on the Austin City Council agenda this Thursday has the city buzzing.  

Item 19 seeks to protect Austin bees, by essentially codifying a long-standing but informal practice of relocating wild colonies instead of exterminating them.

Joe Staudt, program supervisor for Health and Human Services’ Environmental Health Services department, said that every spring bees start thriving in Austin. People end up calling pest removal companies and have them eradicate the bee hives – which could prove detrimental in the long run.

The resolution before council is “just putting into writing essentially what we’ve been doing for years,” Staudt tells KUT. When someone calls the city to report a feral hive or bee swarm, they’ll be advised that it’s preferable to relocate the bees instead of destroying them, and then they’ll be provided a list of companies that can help.

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5:25 pm
Tue March 20, 2012

There's More To Fixing Food Deserts Than Building Grocery Stores

Concepsion Alcantar-Alvarez looks through her cart in the check-out line at a Food 4 Less store in Chicago.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 2:54 pm

There has been a lot of talk about what's wrong with food deserts. First lady Michelle Obama, for one, says far too many people can't access the fruits and vegetables they need to be healthy.

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4:51 pm
Mon March 19, 2012

Farmers’ Market Doubles Purchasing Power for Needy Families

Sustainable Food Center, which operates three farmers’ markets, is opening a fourth in Northeast Austin.
Photo courtesy

A new farmers’ market opens on Austin's eastside tomorrow. And aside from offering fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses, the market offers a special incentive for families needing food assistance.  

The market, located at the YMCA East Communities Branch will be run by the Sustainable Food Center (SFC). It’s the fourth farmer’s market the SFC operated in Austin.

But SFC community relations director Susan Leibrock notes that this center is different: shoppers using a SNAP, Lone Star or WIC benefits card will have their fruit and vegetable purchases matched, up to $10 each week, by the market.

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Arts and Culture
9:55 am
Wed February 15, 2012

Don't Mock The Artisanal-Pickle Makers

Neilson Barnard Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 15, 2012 8:48 am

Below is an excerpt from Adam Davidson's latest New York Times Magazine column, "Don't Mock the Artisanal-Pickle Makers" Read all of Davidson's Times Magazine columns here.

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4:21 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

Will the Gypsy Picnic Redeem Itself This Year?

It's time again for the Gypsy Picnic Trailer Food Festival, which takes off this Saturday from 11 am to 8 pm at Auditorium Shores.

Last year's picnic was anything but. Long lines (up to an hour for a donut), nightmare parking, vendors running out of food, and massive crowds soured many attendants.

The festival received a two-star rating on Yelp!, and led John Kelso of the Austin American-Statesman to quip: "If you wanted something to eat, it would have been quicker to sit on the corner with a tin cup, collect change and grab a tuna sandwich at a convenience store. Or bag a possum and build a fire."

This year promises to be different, according to Festival Marketing Manager Lindsay Hoffman of C3 Presents, which is producing the festival.

"Last year was the first year of the festival, so everything was unknown. We couldn't even anticipate those kind of numbers," she told KUT News.

"This year we're working with those kind of [anticipated] numbers, so it's a lot easier to work with the food vendors and prepare them to get their menu out faster," Hoffman said. "We've taken in all the feedback from last year."

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3:37 pm
Fri October 14, 2011

Drought Haunts Pumpkin Farmers

Photo by furyksx

Pumpkins are kind of like fruit cakes. They only sell for about six weeks out of the entire year. And it’s usually around the time specials like this one air on television.

But the great pumpkin might be harder to find these days, according to agricultural experts.

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4:16 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

Texas Grocery Prices Fluctuate As Beef Price Surge Looms

This grid from the Texas Farm Bureau shows how grocery prices have changed. The "quarterly change" represents price fluctuations over the last three months.
Photo by Texas Farm Bureau

The price of grapefruit in Texas skyrocketed by almost 25 percent from June to September and sliced turkey was up 14 percent. But chicken breast was six percent cheaper over the same time frame and the price of a head of lettuce cost nine percent less.

Average it all out, and Texas food prices were relatively steady over the last three months, according to the Texas Farm Bureau’s Grocery Price Watch report.

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university of texas
10:40 am
Tue August 30, 2011

UT Co-Op To Start Selling Some Groceries

The University of Texas Co-Op is located on Guadalupe St., across from the UT campus.
Photo by Daniel Reese for KUT News

It won't quite a full-blown grocery store, but the University of Texas Co-Op is about to start selling some grocery items, ranging from milk and eggs, to frozen dinners and canned food, to beer and wine.

“We’ve actually got one of the largest coolers that money can buy,” Co-Op Market Manager Zack Voelker told KUT News. “We’ve got a twenty door reach-in/walk-in vault.”

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12:34 pm
Fri August 5, 2011

Austin's Food Truck Market Saturated?

There’s no question that Austin’s food truck scene has grown over the past five years. Travis County had fewer than 700 mobile food vending permits in December 2006. Today, the official count is above 1,300.

But a closer look at county data obtained by KUT News through an Open Records Request shows the number of mobile food vending permits has remained relatively stagnant since mid-2009. While that number doesn’t tell the whole story, it may raise questions over whether the city’s food truck market is approaching saturation.

The county changed how it counts mobile food permits in September 2010 to include delinquent permits. Those are permits that have expired in the last six months. It makes comparing 2006 to 2011 difficult.

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3:51 pm
Thu July 28, 2011

Sam’s Bar-B-Cue To Be Shut Down Amid Meat Theft Allegations

Photo by manue_aka_crazeecrafteez

The legendary East Austin barbeque restaurant Sam’s Bar-B-Cue is having its business license revoked today following allegations the owners purchased meat stolen from H-E-B.  Two other restaurants, La Morinita at 2944 East 12th St. and Willie’s BBQ at 4505 East Martin Luther King Blvd., are also being shut down.

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2:51 pm
Mon July 25, 2011

Help Drought Stricken Farmers: Eat Their Food


Three-quarters of Texas is experiencing “exceptional drought”, the worst category used by the US Drought Monitor. The effect on farmers and ranchers has been profound. But a state program launching today aims to give city folk a way to help farmers and ranchers by enjoying the fruits – and meats – of their labor.

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4:58 pm
Mon July 18, 2011

Packaging-Free Grocery Store Announces Location

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Has an Austin grocery store ever received this much hype before it has enough money to open a single location? Perhaps it’s the packaging-free premise explained in this catchy video, or maybe it’s the lack of healthy grocery options in East Austin, but in.gredients has attracted a lot of media attention.

Now here’s some more: in.gredients has announced a location for its yet-to-exist store. It's going to be at 2610 Manor Road.

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1:35 pm
Mon July 11, 2011

Actor Jesse Eisenberg Serves Free Pizza at Home Slice

Photo by WEBN_TV

Jesse Eisenberg, an actor who recently portrayed Mark Zuckerberg in "The Social Network", served free pizza to Home Slice customers this afternoon. The promotion was intended to draw attention to his new movie, "30 Minutes or Less." Can you guess what the movie's about?

Eisenberg has been doing this in several other markets with his co-star Aziz Ansari, including at Goat Hill Pizza in San Francisco and Lincoln Road Pizza Rustica in Miami. 

Here is some of the response on Twitter and Facebook from Austin fans who lined up today to have a famous guy hand them their slice of cheese and pepperoni.

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12:00 pm
Thu June 2, 2011

Austin Food Trucks Get Politically Organized

Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

The number of food trucks and trailers in Austin continues to expand rapidly. Now a new organization has popped up aiming to organize the hundreds of mobile food vendors in the city to confront issues ranging from permitting issues to what to do with used grease. 

The Food Trailer Alliance is largely organized by Tony Yamanaka, a marketing guy at Austin's Better Business Bureau. We called him up to find out more about his organization.

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1:48 pm
Tue May 17, 2011

P. Terry's Opens New Stand on Ben White at S. Congress

Photo by Joey Parsons

Austin is a city for burger lovers, and one famous local brand just opened a new location in South Austin.  P. Terry's began selling burgers last week on the northwest corner of the intersection at Ben White Blvd. and S. Congress Ave, right behind the Shell gas station.

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4:46 pm
Wed May 11, 2011

Farmers Sound Alarm On Drought Disaster

Photo by Whatknot

Historically dry conditions have brought the the Texas agriculture industry to its knees, according to the Texas Farm Bureau's board of directors. The board met for its quarterly meeting in Waco today and released this statement.

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4:01 pm
Wed May 11, 2011

You Will Soon Be Able To Hunt Hogs From Helicopters

The Texas Senate gave final approval to a bill today that would allow farmers to rent spaces in helicopters from which people could hunt feral hogs.
Photo by Dave Govoni (Va bene!)

Farmers are already allowed to fire up a helicopter and gun down feral hogs tearing up their property. But a bill is now headed to the Governor's desk that will allow property owners to rent out seats in helicopters to anyone willing to pay for the privilege of hunting wild pork from the sky.

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10:49 am
Tue May 3, 2011

Trader Joes Coming To Texas

A Trader Joe's in South San Francisco, Calfiornia
Photo by BrokenSphere

First it was In-N-Out Burger. Then it was H&M clothing chain. Now you can add Trader Joe's to the list of popular consumer brands looking to open their first Texas location in Dallas this year.  Dallas Morning News business reporter Maria Halkias says the grocer may even expand to the State Capitol.

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