The Week in Food: November 2 – 7, 2020

The election is over, except in minds where it isn’t. But with all the hullabaloo, people continued to eat. For various reasons, they probably drank a lot, too. Please let us help you catch up on the food world with these stories and links. This week saw the beginning of the end of single use bags, more price fixing settlements, cow-less cheese and gooseberries. Enjoy.


  • COVID escalating at worse rates than ever. Has already started impacting dining and shopping patterns
  • Based on employment growth, economy seems to be slowing. Markets rallied because…
  • Climate disruption now described as ‘locked in.”


  • Britain my be leaving the EU but that doesn’t mean they will start accepting banned US products.
  • Study suggest that diet sodas may cause higher heart disease in women.
  • Limitations on amounts of certain products at grocery as COVID re-asserts.
  • New Jersey is phasing out single use bags in grocery stores.


  • You should know that the distinction is that lamb is less than a year old whereas older sheep are good for mutton.
  • JBS settles a suit regarding price fixing in pork. The settlement was in civil court between them and distributors and food service operators. As a result, the terms were kept private. This is problematic as ultimately, the consumer (diners in this case) has been harmed but doesn’t get remedy nor even know what the terms of the settlement are. This also goes to the problem of too few producers, 4 large pork producers IIRC, dominating the industry. It simply makes price fixing more likely.
  • Chicago moves to cap Grubhub, DoorDash and Uber Eats fees. This was done to help local restaurants capture more of the delivery revenue.
  • Uber Eats generating more revenue than the ride sharing service.


  • Tyson is going to inspect its own bad self. USDA is going to allow self inspection regimes at its plants. The argument for de-regulation has always been that a company wouldn’t commit suicide by selling a bad product. And with a brand name like Tyson, the argument might stick. But a mega-company like this comes with an army of lawyers and PR folks. I dunno.
  • Cheese from microbial fermentation rather than cows milk. Could see this ramping up rapidly if process works. Costs of maintaining cows for cheese are really high – think price subsidies – and dairy industry conditions drive a lot of negative news stories.


  • Gooseberries may be in my garden next year. I don’t think I have ever tasted it but judging from descriptions that may be great cocktails.
  • Volcanic wines are a thing and it makes sense: the terroir should be a main determinant and soils that are full of ash and pumice should be at least. I can’t wait to try.
  • Scandal and intrigue in the Court of Master Sommelier. Actually it’s just rife with your basic sexual harassment.

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