close up shot of black peppers on a spoon

Food Week January 24 – 30, 2022

Welcome to Food Week for January 24. Little on supply chain, less on COVID this week which is refreshing. We’re looking at the past: Native agriculture and the Long Pepper. We are looking at the present with more consolidation, this time with hot sauce. And at the future: less packaging and more info about antibiotics on it. And maybe a realistic alternative to gas stoves. Enjoy!


  • Food Week January 24 had snow finally showing up in the Midwest but nothing compared to the Northeast.
  • Russia/Ukraine tensions. Hoo boy.
  • Economic output in the U.S. grew 5.7 percent over the past year, the biggest annual increase in decades


  • Kroger is out in front on reusable packaging right now but a lot of change is coming fast. Not only is packaging redundant and wasteful, it is expensive. The latest sign that no-waste shopping will catch on.
  • The newest consolidation is in the hot sauce world with the owner of the seasoning category McCormick rolling up sauce brands.
  • PEI farmers launched a PR campaign aimed at Mass consumers asking them to pressure pols to pressure the USDA to pressure Canadian gov to release potatoes with wart. Kind of a 3 bank shot. Good Luck!
  • Perimeter departments like bakery did poorly at the height of the pandemic b/c many shoppers were surgical and fast. Things are better now…


  • Restaurants are giving up on having landline phones. For olds (like me) not being able to call a business is disorienting & disqualifying. For my sons, phoning is a last resort that they may or may not bother with.
  • In what is probably trolling, this article claims the best cheesesteak is found in New Jersey. Gonna go all parochial here and say I have never had a Philly cheesesteak that compares to an Italian beef, dipped, hot and sweet.
  • Fantasy Football booby prize: 24 hrs. in a Waffle House. “Good Behavior” i.e. eating a waffle gets you a hour off. I like to think about the consumption ratio I would use to get paroled. 3/hour? Out in 6 hrs? Doable?


  • A mini tariff war with China has caused a 40% reduction in US apple exports.
  • An article does okay on some of the supply chain issues but then leaps to defend consolidation and monopoly in food. You want more flexibility & choices? Have more competition.
  • Honeybees are just one pollinator. Colony collapse is a problem but saving honeybees doesn’t necessarily help other pollinators who can do the same job. In fact it may hurt them.
  • Japanese restaurants facing “Potato austerity” due to lack of supply in food week January 24.
  • There is a disconnect between use of antibiotics and labeling.


  • More bad news on gas stoves: they are always polluting, even when it’s turned off. We’ve talked about this before. I just wish there was a real alternative.
  • I am not sure I have ever tasted long pepper but I am intrigued about how it is different from black pepper. A thousand years ago it was more popular; some claim it is tastier.
  • In case you were confused about the water you are mixing in your drink. However personally I only care about tonic, really. A vodka and club soda tells me 2 things about you: you hate drinking. And you hate yourself.

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