It’s Friday afternoon, and that means it’s time for me to give you a little weekend reading from around the web. Here are a few food related items that I thought might interest you.

First though, I didn’t have the opportunity to do a gardening adventures update this week. I think that I’ll be doing them every other week from now on. I think there will be more to report. If anything extraordinary happens in between updates, though, I’ll let you know.

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Restaurant News reports that McDonald’s and Wendy’s are exploring cage-free eggs. I suppose this is a step in the right direction, but cage-free doesn’t necessarily mean that the chickens are living happy lives, and they are just exploring it at this point.

Wendy’s and McDonald’s, two of the largest quick-service chains, said they would either purchase or explore sourcing cage-free eggs, as animal welfare, the environment and food quality and safety become more forceful trends in foodservice.

The Humane Society of the United States praised Wendy’s decision to purchase some of its eggs from cage-free sources, and separately, McDonald’s said it would participate in a major study of housing alternatives for egg-laying hens.

 

Click here to read the full story.

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The Economist reports something that might be of concern. Investors in more affluent countries are buying land in poorer countries to grow food – food that can be sent directly back to the richer countries. Sometimes, they are buying water rights, too.

EARLY this year, the king of Saudi Arabia held a ceremony to receive a batch of rice, part of the first crop to be produced under something called the King Abdullah initiative for Saudi agricultural investment abroad. It had been grown in Ethiopia, where a group of Saudi investors is spending $100m to raise wheat, barley and rice on land leased to them by the government. The investors are exempt from tax in the first few years and may export the entire crop back home. Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) is spending almost the same amount as the investors ($116m) providing 230,000 tonnes of food aid between 2007 and 2011 to the 4.6m Ethiopians it thinks are threatened by hunger and malnutrition.
Click here to read the full story.

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Preserving and canning are back in style reports The New York Times. (If it’s something you’re interested and want to take a baby step into it, see my post yesterday about small batch strawberry jam preserving).

FOR Eugenia Bone, opening the kitchen cupboard in her SoHo apartment is like dipping into a favorite TV show. “The jars are like characters, with story lines that I remember,” she said recently, scrabbling around in search of a jar of yellowfin tuna preserved in olive oil and salt. “Seeing them brings back the farm where I bought that case of artichokes, or the day we picked all those cherries.”
Click here to read the full story.

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And finally, this made me laugh hysterically, but I don’t know how many other people will find it as funny as I do. A Consumerist piece on How To Tell if You have Religious Food has a video from a legitimate news program about a couple who found a Jesus shaped Cheeto in their 99 cent bag (a Cheesus, if you will). The writer of the piece sets out to find his own personal Cheesus and ends up cracking me up.

Last week, a couple in Dallas discovered a Jesus-shaped Cheeto in their bag of Cheetos. They promptly named it Cheesus, which is a masterstroke of marketing (although not that original, it turns out), and are considering auctioning it off on eBay—with the implied threat that if it doesn't sell, they may just eat it. The big question you may be asking yourself now is, "How can I get in on this racket?"
Click here to read the full story.

Enjoy your weekend!

Image: Matt Callow

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