The top food story for 2008, according to a survey of 900 food editors and bloggers, was the worldwide spike in food prices. The next two stories on the list of the top ten were all upsetting, literally: China’s tainted milk scandal was second and the salmonella outbreak in raw tomatoes ranked third. These three stories were landslide winners among the food writers, according to Hunter Public Relations, which conducted the survey.

What else? No. 4 was the increasing willingness of supermarket chains to stock more locally-grown products. The implementation of country-of-origin labeling (COOL) ranked fifth. Sixth was the decision of food companies to adopt nutrient standards and the “Smart Choices” program to show nutritious foods. #7 was salmonella in jalapeno peppers. #8 was the death of Paul Newman, founder of Newman’s Own products. #9 was New York City’s ban of trans fat. And, finally, the tenth most important food story was a decision by the FDA to consider removing salt from its list of safe foods.

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