Starting off this week's food news digest with some very good news, the House of Representatives finally passed a bill that greatly strengthens the FDA's

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A Stronger FDA, a More Perfect Recipe, and Other Food News

Starting off this week's food news digest with some very good news, the House of Representatives finally passed a bill that greatly strengthens the FDA's ability to regulate and enforce food safety laws. If the bill becomes law, the agency will be able to make farmers and food producers beef up their food safety practices. More importantly, the FDA will have the power to demand product recalls (instead of politely requesting producers do it) and impose penalties on offenders. Food safety advocates have been agitating for these changes for years. Now we have to see if the Senate plays along.

In this Boston Globe magazine profile, Christopher Kimball -- founder of the highly profitable Cook's Illustrated empire, improbable host of America's Test Kitchen, the food geek's geek -- reveals that at the heart of his success is the belief in the perfectibility of every recipe. Even when you perfect it for the fifth article in 15 years. Side note: That is the WORST profile photo I've ever seen.

NY Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni, who's stepping down this month, is coming out of hiding more and more to promote his new memoir. If you were curious about what the most powerful anonymous critic in the States looks like, here you go. The Times JUST announced that Culture editor and former deputy Dining editor Sam Sifton will take Bruni's place.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Whole Foods is FINALLY reacting to the recession by refocusing on healthful food, not fancy food. Jeez.

This week, NPR profiled Jody Hall, the owner of Cupcake Royale, who has become an activist regarding healthcare reform for small-business employers. Hall has spoken before Congress on the matter, and Nancy Leson posts pictures of the new stamp on Cupcake Royale's paper cups, which asks drinkers to call their Congresspeople to agitate for the much-debated public option.

Michael Pollan wrote an essay in the NY Times magazine this week about how we're watching cooking on TV in lieu of actually cooking. Now that Pollan's a Great Man, everyone's talking about the essay. Some of the people talking about it are calling Pollan a windbag (thanks to @RebekahDenn for the link).

 
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