wild turkey

The Week in Food: November 16 -22, 2020

Another election week is over and while you were distracted, we were monitoring the world of food. As you enjoy your weekend, we can catch you up on Mars buying Kind, Ahold Delhaize buying Fresh Direct, Amazon’s entry into pharmacy, workers on food stamps and a Thanksgiving po’boy recipe.


  • Economic landscape relatively stable despite political and epidemiological churn.
  • At best we are only halfway through the pandemic.
  • A quiz about Thanksgiving. As a food and history person I am deeply ashamed of my score.
  • It is increasingly hard to write blurbs without a pandemic spin at this point.


  • Mars Attacks. Acquires Kind.
  • Ahold Delhaize has taken a stake in Fresh Direct, after acquiring Peapod a number of years back. How they re-configure direct to consumer groceries should be very interesting.
  • Amazon’s entry into pharmacy can only hurt supermarkets. The existing grocery business model is to give people a variety of reasons to go into the store; this takes another one away.
  • Two rudimentary but helpful guides for substitutions when you are out of ingredients. Or you can Instacart and have them in a couple of hours.
  • Pepsi gives us apple pie soda and Mondelez gives us our own Oreo flavors.


  • Europe keeps schools open and closes restaurants. US closes schools but strains to keep restaurants open. All other things being equal, Europe has had better results but we shall see…
  • More than half of workers at McDonalds and WalMart are on food stamps.
  • The future of restaurants is…murky. Seated diners is down 50%. With COVID spiking and outdoor dining increasingly weather-constrained. This will get worse.
  • In a move that seems very on-brand, the National Restaurant Association is pushing back against any limitations to indoor dining regardless of public health recommendations. Their disregard for the health of their workers – opposing ACA and minimum wage increases – is matched by the insults to the customer’s intelligence with their bullshit sanitation theater.


  • The lunatic farmer from Omnivore’s Dilemma – a wonderful book – is holding mask-less rallies because…
  • This is sick: Tyson plant managers making bets on the number of COVID worker illnesses. New outbreaks in other plants too.
  • in the same vein a judge issues scathing condemnation of at Smithfield plant. If the meat industry was trying to destroy itself, it couldn’t be doing a better job.
  • Chinese now accusing meat coming out of New Zealand (!) of having COVID. This is not the first time the Chinese have made this claim and it seems like they are the only nation doing it. It is hard not to come to the conclusion that COVID is being leveraged for trade advantage


  • 101 side dishes for Thanksgiving. I am sure every single one of them has to be piping hot when served, making the Thanksgiving meal itself as untenable as always.
  • A nice recipe for a Thanksgiving po’boy but it seems to me it would have been improved with oysters.
  • Tips on cooking French cuisine at home.

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