The Morning Brew: 5.10

May 10, 2010 at 7:00 am

Food poisoning claims three lives at Louisiana mental hospital and sickens 40 others. The Associated Press reports that patients at Central State Hospital in Pineville, Louisiana, were served chicken salad for dinner on Thursday. Patients started falling ill the next morning, with the three deaths occurring Friday night and Saturday morning. Officials haven't narrowed down what ingredient was tainted.

300 Lebanese chefs joined forces to make the world's largest plate of hummus. CNN reports that the final product weighed over 11 tons. This is the latest victory in the "Hummus War' that's raged between Lebanon and Israel for years. Both countries claim hummus' origination and have fought to have it designated as the national dish and control of the hummus market. Despite the competition, the Hummus War could be beneficial to strained Middle East relations, according to Shooky Galili, an Israeli hummus blogger: "If you enter any good hummus restaurant in this region, you will see Jews and Muslims, Palestinians and Israelis sitting at the same table, eating the same food. I think in the end this rivalry will show that we in the Middle East have far more in common than the things that divide us."

Florida can't catch a break. First, frost hit the citrus crops, and now coyotes are threatening the watermelon season. The Gainseville Sun said that coyotes have moved into Florida over the past 40 years. In times of drought one coyote will eat 10-15 watermelons a day. Watermelon grower Lois McPherson said, "Crows and raccoons will poke holes in the watermelons or just scoop some of the insides out, but coyotes will eat them right down to the rinds, and I can't help but appreciate that about them. They don't just wreck the watermelons, they enjoy them."