red orange soup in a bowl

Food Week July 19 – 25, 2021

Happy weekend and welcome to Food Week July 19 – 25, 2021. COVID, climate and employment issues continue to dominate our review of the industry. Below is a terrific article about GMOs and a depressing one about Mario Batali. You can learn about the history of chilies in Chinese cuisine, smoking cream cheese and alcoholic sno-cones. Enjoy.


  • COVID cases rising due to the Delta variant and the stubbornness of the unvaccinated.
  • Olympics open to a dearth of adoring fans.
  • Wild ride for the financial markets in Food Week July 19 but they ended on a high note.


  • The hard seltzer category, once bubbly, has now turned flat. One would expect to start seeing exits and consolidation.
  • There are significant parallels and overlaps between the Anti-vax and anti-GMO movement. Among the unifying themes is that distrust of corporations out-weighs the actual science involved.
  • The tension between the food supply and COVID rules in Britain: supermarket workers exempt from isolation rules..
  • Frito-Lay workers are striking. Among other things, negotiating to cap hours at 60??? Weren’t there laws ensuring a 40 hour work week passed about 90 years ago?


  • Mario Batali always seemed kind of cuddly. Apparently he was verrry cuddly and not in a good way. And frequently..
  • Chipotle has discovered that paying a reasonable wage means that finding workers is easy.
  • This guy put ballast in my hold hold in Wicker Park bars twenty five years ago. It’s good to see he’s still at it.


  • Water for farmers being stolen by marijuana growers in California. Drought causes more disruptions.
  • Related to our discovery about gleaning last week, farms are wasting about twice as much food as originally thought. Among other things this has repercussions for climate change, perhaps to the tune of 10% of total carbon emissions.
  • The container shortage is not over. As a result, US agriculture exports, particularly to Asia, are in crisis.
  • Wine production depends on very particular climatological conditions. However these conditions are changing rapidly in California.


  • Many people don’t realize that the chili pepper was introduced to China only a few centuries ago, coming from the New World. Therefore Szechuan cuisine that we know is a relatively recent innovation.
  • Want a plaque for your local food innovation? (Thinking of the Fat Johnny’s mother-in-law) Here are the rules.
  • Danish iron age corpse had a good diet but it didn’t shield him from parasites though. A body in a bog for 2400 years still contains undigested last meal.
  • Cream cheese in the smoker sounds awesome. Therefore I will experiment and report back..

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