Strange Sauce: The week in national food news

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In the heat of Michael Bloomberg's


to limit the use of salt in NYC restaurants, a

recent study

has found that a program aimed at reducing the nation's salt intake could shave 24 BILLION dollars from the national health-care budget. Healthy or not, we're siding with David Chang,

who makes an obvious point

: "You need salt to draw out the flavor of food; it's a skill you teach cooks. For that to be regulated by the government is just stupid and foolish."

Weight Watchers was awarded a temporary restraining order that prohibits competitor Jenny Craig from advertising that their participants shed more pounds than those other dieters. Coincidentally, the floor collapsed during a Weight Watchers meeting in Sweden. The proof is in the pudding, folks. And the cheeseburgers. And the doughnuts. In case you were worried, dieters managed to save the scales in a mad dash for safety, and all successfully completed their weigh-in.

Chef Daniel Boulud will hit the streets of New York next month in a food truck -- and he'll be bringing the legendary Alain Ducasse with him. We wonder how New Yorkers feel about Ducasse, given that he just snubbed the Big Apple by declaring that London is the best restaurant city on the planet. Mad Englishman Gordon Ramsay is learning how to use Twitter and announced he will start tweeting in February. Thomas Keller's bombastic Ad Hoc at Home had such high holiday sales that most retailers will have to wait six weeks before they can restock it again.

Glen W. Bell Jr., the founder of Taco Bell, passed away at the age of 86. A California woman stabbed her husband following an argument about tacos and eight German teenagers suffered digestive burns after drinking hot sauce that is reportedly 200 times spicier than Tabasco. We get heartburn just thinking about it.

By June, the Mars candy conglomerate will reduce the saturated fat in their chocolate bars by fifteen percent. Starbucks raised the prices on all of their beverages except for their drip coffee, and it was announced that last year's beer sales experienced their largest plummet since the 1950s even though people aren't boozing any less. Considering how craptastic 2009 was, most people probably switched to the hard stuff.

That's a wrap, folks.

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