Beef prices last year in the United States were the highest they have been since 1987 because of the country’s declining cattle supply and increased demand. This year, however, we expect the industry to see the price of beef fall as the country begins to import beef from Ireland.

Two of the largest wine and food festivals in the United States are four-day, star-studded gatherings that showcase the talents of the world’s most renowned wine and spirits producers, chefs and culinary personalities. But behind the glitz and glamour of the two festivals are noteworthy causes and a school that were really the driving forces for creating these two events.

Debra Levy Picard was first intrigued with cooking as a child. She remembers watching Julia Child and writing down her recipes and preparing them for her family at just 14 years old. After doing some market research, Picard found that men have a desire to enter the kitchen, but the motivation, support and resources were not available.

With all the scrutiny the food industry has been under with consumers demanding more transparency on the food they consume, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration added to the industry’s responsibilities last month by finalizing its menu labeling requirements for food establishments. “Americans eat and drink about one-third of their calories away from home and people today expect clear information about the products they consume,” FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. said in a press release.

Uncertainty about whether genetically modified food is safe and effective has led to it becoming one of the most controversial topics in the food industry today. “Many people look at the food they eat as an expression of who they are as people, and emotions run high when people identify with their food choices,” says Robert Rosenkranz, chairman of Intelligence Squared U.S. Intelligence Squared U.S., a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that hosts Oxford-style debates in New York City, invited four panelists to take the stage Wednesday night and debate the facts of genetically modified food.

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