Welcome to the dog days of summer as we review Food Week July 12. Concerns about inflation, consolidation and dehydration. You can learn about gleaning, upcycling and making a pizza under a volcano. Plus why are avocado seeds so big? Enjoy.
- Food week July 12 saw double digit increases in COVID cases in practically all states. This isn’t done yet.
- Drought causing California growers to switch to less water intensive crops. Meanwhile flooding in Europe…
- Food Inflation slowed considerably:
RETAIL AND CONSUMER
- Amazon will average double digit growth in online food and beverage sales over the next 5 years.
- Covid killed the supermarket salad bar. Few mourn.
- As an inflation skeptic, I think supermarkets are creating exposure for themselves. Nonetheless they are stockpiling to get ahead of inflation.
- Perhaps I am lucky to live in a city with excellent water. But the 74 BILLION bottles of water sold in the US each year is an environmental disaster. A consumer habit caused by a lack of investment in infrastructure.
- Consolidation in industries hurts competition, stifles innovation, weaken regulations and suppresses wages. In food, it might endanger your health. America’s giant food monopolies may control as much as 80% of your supermarket receipt.
RESTAURANTS AND FOODSERVICE
- Soon you will need a vaccine passport to dine in French restaurants.
- Workers aren’t just leaving the restaurant industry b/c of poor pay. They are also tired of being treated like sub-humans. Therefore a restaurant shut down for a ‘Day of Kindness’ after customers make staff cry.
- For the 10,000th time, unemployment benefits not causing shortage of restaurant workers. Among other things, the industry lost workers because tipped workers had a hard time getting adequate benefits anyway and left the industry.
- When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When it gives you lava, make pizza. In Guatemala, an active volcano is giving a restaurant a heat source that a Neapolitan would envy.
- I am very interested in this new Anthony Bourdain documentary.
FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN
- Upcycling uses normally discarded food by products to make new foods and reduce waste.
- While CEA (greenhouse) grown crops have less exposure to illness causing micro-organisms, it doesn’t mean they are immune. A Rochelle IL grower instituting a recall on greens for salmonella.
- Speaking of recalls, Tyson’s latest up to 9 million pounds. Yikes
- Related to above, one of problems with consolidation in any industry is the oligopolists have too much power over the people regulating them. The USDA is trying to create more competition.
- It never gleaned on me that gleaning existed. The leftover crops in the field are picked for free, thereby not wasted. Programs exist for those most in need.
- The externalities – social-borne costs – of the food production system are 3 times greater than the revenue from the sale of the food. These are mostly in the form of climate impacts, price supports and health impacts. A penetrating analysis from the Washington Post.
FOOD WEEK JULY 12 LAGNIAPPE
- 150 goats are eating grasses and shrubs on hills in California. This vegetation is fuel for wildfires. This is cool and enhances the ecology of the region in other ways. More please.
- Brassica Rapa is the mother plant to turnips, bok choy, rabe and more. Atlas Obscura with a fascinating look at its origins of the roots vegetable that ‘Took Over the World‘.
- The fried chicken sandwiches come home to to roost. Americans who soothed themselves with calorie-laden comfort foods are frantically trying to slim down before they return to the office.
- Apparently some people don’t eat avocados whole. Pikers. Here is a quick look at how a fruit with a stupidly large seed managed to defy evolution.