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Food fight
August 14, 2019

At the Iowa State Fair this year, it was once again a competition to deliver the most insanely hyperbolic food-related quote possible.

From ridiculously over-the-top descriptions of BLTs to celebrations of turkey legs, let's take a look at the silliest, and possibly most disingenuous, ways 2020 Democrats wildly played up their love of fair food this time around.

1. Pete Buttigieg on the bacon ball BLT - The mayor of South Bend, Indiana ranted and raved about the bacon ball BLT like it was an M. Night Shyamalan movie. "The surprise and delight," he recalled to the Des Moines Register. "Because you got the bacon, then you find the meatball in it. Then you get to the part with the cheese. And I didn't see the cheese coming."

2. Bill de Blasio on the corn dog - The mayor of New York City chowed down a corn dog, which he somehow decided was "health food," and said, per journalist Marcus DiPaola, "Amazing. Corn and hot dogs were meant to be married. I could eat this at every meal."

3. Jay Inslee on everything - The governor of Washington was so enthusiastic about the fair that he declared he'd be the first presidential candidate to eat something from every single stand, which sounds all well and good until you find yourself scarfing down an ice cream cone at 10:30 in the morning, reports The Economist's Jon Fasman.

4. Cory Booker on the fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich - The vegan New Jersey senator not only praised this sandwich as a "little slice of heaven" but also challenged his fellow 2020 Democrats to an eating contest, reports Eater. "I think I could take the field."

5. Andrew Yang on turkey legs - The entrepreneur declared his turkey leg purchase to be "best 10 dollars I ever spent," reports Eater, leading into a pitch for his $1,000-a month for every American plan. "Think of it, America," he said. "A hundred of these a month." Brendan Morrow

April 25, 2016

After John Kasich was berated earlier in the day by Donald Trump over his table manners, Kasich's campaign fired back at the modern day Emily Post, telling him the Ohio governor would have eaten a Trump steak had the venture not failed.

During a rally in Rhode Island on Monday, Trump seemed downright scandalized by the footage he saw of Kasich eating in a diner while on the campaign trail. "I have never seen a human being eat in such a disgusting fashion," he told the crowd. Seemingly unable to get the mental image out of his mind, Trump continued: "This guy takes a pancake and he's shoving it in his mouth. It's disgusting." He did not mention Ted Cruz, his well-documented love of soup, or how he consumes it.

Kasich's campaign responded as such:

Here's a thought, RNC: To avoid a contested convention, why not just cancel the rest of the primaries, televise the remaining candidates chowing down at Chili's, and hand the most graceful eater the nomination? Catherine Garcia

August 25, 2015

Heinz can no longer call its ketchup "ketchup" in Israel (sort of), after a recent ruling by the country's Health Ministry. Instead, Haaretz reports, it has to call itself "tomato seasoning," at least on its Hebrew label. (In English, it can still use the word ketchup.)

You don't have to read too far down in the comments section of the articles on this regulatory ruling to notice that many readers of Israeli news remember that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, has familial ties to Heinz ketchup (she is the widow of Heinz heir Sen. H. John Heinz III [R-Pa.]). Many people in Israel are upset over the deal Kerry helped negotiate with Iran. That has nothing to do with the ketchup business.

First of all, that's silly. Secondly, it makes no sense even if the Israeli health ministry were so petty. "Think the Israelis know Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of the U.S. secretary of state who shepherded the controversial Iran nuke deal, cashed out of the company a few years ago?" quips Phil Rosenthal at the Chicago Tribune. Heinz is now owned by Kraft, and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway.

What is behind the reclassification is business, apparently. In January, Israel's dominant ketchup maker, Osem, filed a complaint with the Health Ministry, seeking to force Heinz out of the "ketchup" game because, it claimed, its famous red sauce doesn't have enough tomato paste or tomato solids to meet the Israeli definition. The Heinz distributor in Israel, Diplomat, is asking for the Israeli definition of ketchup to be changed; Heinz told Newsweek that the country's current standards have "yet to be brought in line with U.S. and European accepted international standards." Peter Weber

August 21, 2014

The Russian consumer protection agency Rospotrebnadzor closed down at least four McDonald's in Moscow on Wednesday, saying it found multiple, undisclosed sanitary violations. Among those suspended is the symbolically important Golden Arches in Pushkin Square, the first McDonald's in Russia, opened in January 1990, about two years before the collapse of the Soviet Union.

McDonald's gets all its ingredients for its 438 Russian locations in Russia, so it isn't affected by the recent ban on Western agricultural products. Finding health violations at a McDonald's isn't totally implausible, but this move against the iconic American brand is being widely interpreted as a symbolic slap against the U.S. for its support of Ukraine in its tussle with Russia and pro-Moscow separatists.

"We are studying the substance of the complaints in order to define what action is necessary in order to open the restaurants for customers as soon as possible," said McDonald's in a statement. Peter Weber

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