Friday, January 21, 2011

Food TV Sees First Decline in Viewership

Posted By on Fri, Jan 21, 2011 at 7:00 AM

Food TV's popularity is waning. The New York Post says that the network's 2010 numbers showed the first decrease in the network's history. In the fourth quarter of 2009, viewership plunged 10.3 percent among viewers ages 25 to 54. The slide continued with 3.3 percent in the second quarter and 4.5 percent in the third quarter. Have we lost our taste for televised food? No, we're just tired of Food TV's offerings, preferring culinary competitions aired on other networks. It doesn't help that Food TV's schedule relies heavily on reruns of "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives," "Chopped," "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" and "Unwrapped."

Perhaps we should be watching more educational cooking shows so we can learn how to tell a real blueberry from a fake. The Los Angeles Times reports that a Consumer Wellness Center report found fake blueberries in many mainstream foods. The fakes are a combination of sugar, corn syrup, starch, hydrogenated oil, artificial flavors and artificial food dye blue No. 2 and red No. 40. Target's blueberry bagels have a few real berries mixed with the fakes. Other offenders include other baked goods and cereals from companies like Kellogg's, Betty Crocker and General Mills. Want to make sure your berries are real? Check the label for the artificial food dyes.

Gulf of Mexico oysters have had enough trouble recovering from last year's BP oil spill, but our sister paper the Houston Press reports that an invasive species of tiny snails called drills are endangering Texas oysters. The solution? Eat 'em. Turns out drills are tasty, and eating them gives oysters a chance to repopulate.

The website asks the important question, "How much time in the slammer does one deserve for putting pubic and chest hairs in a police officer's breakfast sandwich?" Fifteen days, says a judge in Mount Holly, New Jersey, where a former Good Foods to Go employee was found guilty of placing body hair in a cop's breakfast. The hairs were identified through DNA testing.

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