Whole Foods Nixes Live Lobsters

Last month, The Post's Walter Nicholls reported that Whole Foods Market had decided to stop selling live soft-shell crabs after complaints of animal cruelty. Yesterday, the Austin-based company went one step further on the animal rights front, announcing its decision to ban sales of live lobsters in its 183 stores in North America and the UK. There are 13 Whole Foods stores in the Washington metropolitan area.

Yesterday's World Cup match between England and Trinidad and Tobago apparently made Scotland hungry for mangoes (and rum drinks, of course). The recent outpouring of love for the tropical fruit is rooted in Scottish animosity for the English team. What do you think they'll chow on when England plays Sweden next week -- smorgasbord with shots of aquavit? Stay tuned.

Will Travel for Food
As you make plans for summer vacations, consider including a food festival as part of your itinerary. A hallmark of summer eats, food festivals of all flavors are taking place in road trip destinations, great and lesser-known. Here are a few fete-ing fruit:

I've got a hankering to attend the International Mango Festival, now in its 14th year, at the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens in Coral Gables, Fla. It's a two-day affair, July 8-9.

Michigan isn't just for blueberries; it's sour cherry country, too. The folks in Traverse City have been celebrating the pitty fruit since 1926, with its National Cherry Festival. The week-long festivities kick off July 1. About 75 percent of US sour cherry production comes from Michigan.

Hampton, S.C. is home to the Hampton County Watermelon Festival, in its 64th year. Watermelon-eating and judging of home-grown melons are among the highlights, next Saturday, June 25. Be there or be a pickled rind.

Know of other food-centric festivals coming up this summer? Please, share the wealth in the comments area below.

Radio Chow

At about 2:25 this afternoon, I predict that radio host Sam Litzinger will fall into a coma of the ice cream variety. He will be sampling my chocolate/cinnamon/rum ice cream, just churned this morning. Join us for the icy hoopla on Washington Post Radio (107.7 FM, 1500 AM or give us a call (877/POST-107) with questions, comments or just to say hello.

By Kim ODonnel |  June 16, 2006; 9:37 AM ET Food in the News
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

Re: Crabs & Lobsters

Yo, Whole Foods! Mussels, oysters and clams are sold live too. Are you gonna stop selling them as well, or are you just sympathetic towards shellfish with faces?

Posted by: Zipster | June 16, 2006 10:16 AM

I am very serious here.

What is the cruelty involved? Is the cruelty actually in the store, transporting and keeping the anmial on ice? Or is it assumed that the home cook takes a lobster, crab or whatever home and tortures it? Most of the cookbooks I have read and cooking shows I have watches show how to kill or pith an animal for cooking it.

Is it any more humane to kill a fish in a food factory than in the home kitchen?

Posted by: Better off on ice | June 16, 2006 11:10 AM

What in the world are Whole Foods and the world coming too? Dead softshells and lobsters are extremely low quality. Should we not be eating them at all? Have they lost their minds? The "objectors" should have a better sense of priorities, like, say, Darfur!

Posted by: Mike | June 16, 2006 11:13 AM

That's okay Whole Foods, you're becoming irrelevant anyway. You used to be my gourmet store of choice, but as you inevitably slide down that slippery slope you have stepped on (first soft-shell crabs, then lobsters, what next? Oh, I know, how about veal?) and more specialty food stores like Cowgirl Creamery open in the city, I will no longer feel the need to patronize your shops to purchase those hard-to-find, high-end, quality food items that you are slowly removing from your stores.

But it's okay. I've found other places to get what I need. You are no longer necessary. Goodbye.

Now, if only Balducci's was metro-accessible......

Posted by: Jaredd | June 16, 2006 11:18 AM

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