Chances are you live a stone’s throw away from a Thai restaurant in your neighborhood, and you’ve got a go-to local favorite for pad thai. These days I often find myself traveling north of Berkeley, where there’s quite a few wonderful Thai eateries clustered in Albany, El Cerrito and San Pablo locales.
It’s enough to leave you crying in your margarita: Lime prices are so high these days that in Mexico, organized gangs have even started stealing the fruit. Prices are no better stateside.
More than 80 percent of the seafood consumed in the U.S. now comes from abroad. And fishermen in other parts of the world continue to kill not just dolphins but seals and even whales. So conservation groups are calling for tougher import rules to protect sea animals at risk from fishing.
Earlier this month, China imposed a ban on shellfish imports from most of the U.S. West Coast after finding two bad clams. The move is hitting Washington state particularly hard. State agencies estimate businesses there are losing as much as $600,000 a week.
The USDA has quietly ended a ban on processed chicken imports from China. The products won’t require a country-of-origin label — which means there’s no way to know whether those chicken nuggets in the freezer aisle came from a country with a spotty food safety reputation.
Microscopic bugs called cheese mites are responsible for the distinctive rind and flavor of the bright orange French cheese Mimolette. But now, the FDA has blocked more than a ton of Mimolette from entering the country, because the agency says the mites left on it make it unfit for consumption.