Another year, another chance to demonstrate just how large a role food plays in our lives. Whether it was about the politics, the outrageous creations or the unavoidable celebrity chefs, food was top of mind throughout 2013 (and the holidays will guarantee it'll stay that way for quite a while).
We've taken a look at 12 of the biggest food scandals that occurred throughout the year. And let us know, of course, if we missed anything you thought was important.
When one Manitoba mom neglected to pack enough grains in her kids' lunches, she received a $10 fine for the Ritz crackers the school had to supplement in order to create a Canada's Food Guide-based balanced meal. Rather than lambast the daycare, though, the scandal focused on some of the problems with Canada's Food Guide — namely, the blanket statements about grains and their supposed equality.
This one isn't exactly about food, but about a food personality (one of two on our list). When celebrity chef Paula Deen, best known for her uber-fried food and love of butter, admitted to having used the N-word in the past, her entire empire crumbled around her. Various high-profile partnerships fell apart (though it's debatable what kind of follow through there was on that), and different factions went back and forth as to whether it was necessary to hold a woman accountable for something she said 20 years ago.
What do you get when you identify a pasta on your restaurant's menu as, well, pasta? If you're in Quebec, a demand to change the language, apparently. Well-known Montreal restaurant Buonanotte was asked by the Quebec language police to change its menu, as it had too many Italian words — like botiglia, pasta and antipasto — without a French translation. The controversy opened the doors on the many problems the department had been having with its overly stringent rules, and led to the eventual resignation of its head.
Dating For Free Meals
When Erin Wotherspoon, 24, decided she wanted to visit Toronto's best restaurants, she did so in a way that had many feminists shaking their heads — she dated for it. The outcry ranged from calling her a prostitute to a genius, and in a blog on The Huffington Post Canada, Wotherspoon explained her "meaning" herself:
"My rationale? I want to go to nice restaurants and have guys pay for it while I review the food. I will review the restaurant and the date after the fact."
New Girl Scout Cookie
Growing up in Canada, it was hard not to be jealous of the various foods only available in the U.S., and Girl Scout cookies were certainly among them (sorry, Girl Guides). So when the Mango Creme flavour was introduced in January of this year, it may have angered some traditionalists — but we Canadians were still just thinking, 'How do I get my hands on the Peanut Butter Sandwich?'