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Ramadan Deadline Pressures Date Growers; Prison Inmates Garden for Food Banks

• Due to its shifting schedule, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan is straining California date growers, who are concerned the harvest will not be ready in time to meet orders. [L.A. Times]

• California, in addition to other states, is using prisoner labor to garden for food banks in need. [Google/AP]

• Russian President Medvedev declares his country’s alcoholism a “national disaster” after efforts to curb binge vodka drinking fail. [Yahoo/Rueters]

• 50 noted French chefs and wine experts have warned President Nicolas Sarkozy that global warming will end France’s wine and gourmet produce production. [The Age]

• Carl’s Jr. and Hardees’ parent company is trying to lure customers away from McDonald’s new Angus burgers of which the company’s CEO claims “blatantly copied our burgers.” [WSJ]

• Outgoing New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni has written an auto-biography that admits he long struggled with his feelings about food and was even briefly bulimic. [MSNBC]

Ramadan Deadline Pressures Date Growers; Prison Inmates Garden for Food Banks