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The week in ideas, September 17, 2012

This week: inhaling food and other substances. Plus: Darden makes a big bet on aquaculture-raised lobster. And the upside of bankrupt cities.

Idea #1: Inhale your food. If you’re really hungry and down your meal fast, you might say that you “inhaled” your food. Ottawa, Canada, restaurant Juniper Kitchen and Wine Bar is taking the term more literally. If your order from the restaurants “Le Whaf” menu you will be served a broth of sorts made from the ingredients you’d find in a regular menu item. The boiled-down and strained liquid is served in a tilted, large-mouthed bottle that allows steam to accumulate at the top. Then, you inhale it. Supposedly you taste the meal just like if you were eating it. Plus—and here’s the hook—it’s supposed to reduce cravings so you eat less.

Idea #2: Grow your own lobster. In an estimated $200 to $300 million dollar investment, Darden Restaurants has announced it will begin raising spiny lobsters to supply its Red Lobster restaurants in Asia. The aquaculture facilities will be located in Malaysia and, according to the company, will ensure a long-term supply. “It’s absolutely a cost-effective measure,” said Darden spokesman Rich Jeffers. “There’s no way in the world we can continue to feed the world’s populations with just the natural fisheries.” 

Idea #3: Fewer restaurant inspections. It was reported Saturday that for the past two years the city of Dallas has been cutting back on restaurant inspections so it can use the money to fill holes in the budget. According to the Dallas Morning News, more than 240 of the city’s restaurants went without inspections for the past year.

Idea #4: Let celebs toke up. But don’t be surprised if you get in trouble for it. New York City’s Phillippe Restaurant allegedly let bold-faced names Nicki Minaj and Rick Ross smoke weed in the basement. The restaurant is being sued by workers for it.

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