Free chow mein frenzy, local food under threat and health inspectors walk the line

Free chow mein frenzy, local food under threat and health inspectors walk the line

Overload: the municipal workers’ strike is affecting more than just garbage collection (Photo by Danielle Scott)

• As restaurateurs deal with permit headaches and piling up garbage, we hope they’re not too distracted to keep their kitchens clean. With health inspectors walking the picket line, city hall has been forced to cancel the dozens of inspections it conducts each day. During the strike, managers will check restaurants only if it receives a complaint. [Globe and Mail]

• More evidence that the recession is bad: by 10 a.m. on Canada Day, more than 800 people waited three hours in line at the Mandarin at Yonge and Eglinton for free Chinese food—a full two hours before the restaurant opened. Owner James Chiu offered free lunch to all Canadians at his 21 Mandarin locations as a thank you to his patrons. Let’s hope he decides to thank us for the free publicity. [Toronto Sun]

• It’s true that the treats at Urban Dog look better than the banana loaf at Starbucks, but they likely don’t taste as sweet. While a growing number of establishments are now offering gourmet fare for dogs, they’re determined that man’s best friend will live healthier than man. An Alberta bakery is now using carob instead of sugar, and yogurt instead of icing to top its dog-scotti and muffins. [National Post]

• A Now Weekly’s conspiracy theorist is blaming Jamie Kennedy’s demise on the Canadian government’s support for “big food.” Wayne Roberts writes that subsidizing free highways to America is what’s keeping the price of local ingredients so high. Now wants the powers that be to force grocery stores to promote local food, much like the LCBO is required to promote Ontario wines. That’s all well and good at the height of summer, but what would happen in February when all we’re left with for nourishment are potatoes and VQAs? [Now]

• The EU has ended its strict rules on how fruits and vegetables should look for consumers. The Guardian has rounded up the cutest vegetable anomalies and freakish Freudian fruits in an entertaining slideshow. Our favorite is the tomato-bunny (although the vegetarians among us are conflicted). [Guardian]