When Oklahoma prison officials asked Thomas J. Grasso, a convicted killer on death row, what he wanted for his last meal, he said SpaghettiOs. But on the day of his execution, March 20, he was disappointed.

"I did not get SpaghettiOs, I got spaghetti," an outraged Grasso complained before he was executed. "I want the press to know about this."

Winning Stories

"On the Hamburger Trail," a Food section cover story by Times Staff Writer Daniel P. Puzo, was awarded the 1995 Food Science Journalism Award for newspaper reporting Saturday night at the annual convention of the Institute of Food Technologists in Anaheim. The institute comprises 27,000 food scientists from industry, academia and government.

Puzo also recently received an honorable mention in the 1995 Consumer Affairs Reporting category in the 35th annual University of Missouri Lifestyles Journalism Awards program.

The Auction 'Net

This year, dedicated wine lovers who are Internet surfers can follow the Napa Valley Wine Auction as it happens through computerized images taken with a digital camera, courtesy of Sterling Vineyards and FreeRun Technologies. They'll be available starting at noon Friday at http://www.freerun.com/napavalley/wineauction/.

For the rest of us, it'll be just another Friday.

Veggie Violence

We're just getting word that a group of militant vegetarians broke into a butcher shop in Bremen, Germany, in January, according to the German news agency Deutsche Press Agentur. They smashed equipment worth $21,800 and painted the message "Meat Is Murder, Animal Killer" across the shop window. Later they broke into the apartment of shop owner Matthias Groth, slashed his car tires and made threatening anonymous phone calls.

The question is why Groth was singled out for the attack. He sells organic meat from small, local farms.

In any case, the media attention brought by the attacks has actually helped business. "Sales have increased every month by 20%, which is 5% to 8% after taxes," reports Groth.

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