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The Week in Food: November 23 -28, 2020

We hope your Thanksgiving was full of gratitude and mercifully small. A short, quiet week for most of the industry; even the supermarkets were slower than usual. Among the topics we explored were the growth of Tofurkey, the absence of Michelin or Zagat ratings, Rick Bayless and Torchy’s Tacos, farm consolidation and aluminum shortages, and, most importantly, napping.


  • COVID still dominates our daily lives. Great news on the vaccine front but it will still be with us for the long haul.
  • Jobless claims rose along with the financial markets.
  • 26 million Americans were in food lines.


  • It was good week for Tofurkey, the granddad of the meat substitutes.
  • This is, in my household like many others, a source of controversy. I think canned cranberries are both gross weird and gross. They call it a sauce; do you know of any sauces that can stand up on their own? The rest of the family thinks this is okay. This explains the exegesis.
  • Where the rest of your your thanksgiving meal came from.
  • Supermarkets think they are getting pretty good at reacting to panic buying. I am not sure this is a good thing.
  • Pandemic still here; hazard pay not so much.


  • No Zagat or Michelin ratings this year.
  • The reluctant Michelin chef: Rick Bayless tries to send the experience along with the food.
  • The cult-like following of Torchy’s Tacos has attracted the interest of the financial market. Look for them to go national.
  • Chicago caps delivery fees while announcing grants to keep restaurants afloat.


  • The USDA wants to allow for an increase on line speeds at chicken plants. This may (probably) lead to more injuries to workers. But the USDA says it isn’t in charge of worker safety. However OSHA has no authority to regulate line speeds. Catch 22! More injured workers! Now with higher incidences of salmonella!
  • A book I will be reading: Perilous Bounty. The resource intensive agricultural practice that define California’s central valleys and the Midwest are unsustainable. Climate change will only accelerate this curve. Controlled Environment Agriculture is THE solution: economic, decentralized, local, sustainable.
  • This is a big part of the problem. 70% of he farmland owned by 1% of the population. Most of us do not know any farmers. And if we met a farmer he would seem more like a businessman. Because he probably is.
  • We don’ t talk a lot about packaging, but right now if you are a craft brewer you are struggling just to get aluminum cans.


  • How to nap after your Thanksgiving meal. All very well and good but they left off watching the Detroit Lions or Dallas Cowboys play football as a key element in developing the proper torpor.
  • Charity is a poor substitute for a government that takes care of its people but its all we have right now. Food insecurity is widespread and only increasing, Here is a list of food charities and insight on how to give.

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