Food Week September 18 – 24, 2023

Welcome to Food Week September 18 – 24, 2023. Jam packed week. Fresh doubts on the big grocery merger. Dollar General is a nightmare on many levels. A $78 airport restaurant tab goes viral. Low groundwater levels in upper Midwest a big problem. Nestle’s greenwashing. Jimmy Carter’s Francisco Franco routine fueled by peanut butter ice cream. And more. Enjoy!


  • Carbon offsets, the free-market solution to climate change, are mostly hooey.


  • Is the Kroger Albertson’s merger in trouble? While they would own less than 30% of supermarket retail, in many geographical areas they would have dominance.
  • Who knew? The skills necessary to market cigarettes turn out to be really good for marketing foods that are bad for you and possibly addictive.
  • Bad pay, bad customers, bad managers. The worst job in retail is likely Dollar General – a really appalling collection of details.
  • Do as little as possible to address climate change then sponsor Climate Week NYC and, viola, you are greenwashed, It’s the Nestle way.


  • Restaurant adds 18% service charge for parties of 1 or more. Many become outraged. Most miss the point.
  • 96% of restaurants plan on expansion in the next 18 months. This should be a leading indicator for a robust economy.
  • I will miss Xitter when it finally dies but this week it did what it does best. NYT columnist David Brooks write a tweet about a $78 meal tab at Newark Airport as demonstration of why the economy is terrible. A little research led to a avalanche of snark as it turns out that $60 of that bill was expensive whiskey.
  • However if your food budget is still mostly food, here are 50 restaurants the Times is most excited about. Whatever that means.


  • On of the problems of falling groundwater levels is that nitrogen fertilizer concentrations increase and the water becomes toxic.
  • How the structure of crop insurance is a major hurdle for farmers to adjust to climate change.


  • Lima, Peru receives less than 1 inch of rain per year but is tremendously humid. Home farmers use specialized screens to capture the humidity and water crops.

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