Is It Safe To Eat Moldy Bread? : The Salt : NPR

This is a good read. But I really don’t want you cutting the funk off hard foods, either.

This is a good read. But I really don’t want you cutting the funk off hard foods, either.

“No, say food safety experts. Molds can easily penetrate deep into a soft food, like bread. But you can salvage other foods with tougher surfaces, like cabbages, carrots and hard cheeses.”

Source: Is It Safe To Eat Moldy Bread? : The Salt : NPR

Visualizing the Popularity of Pizza

First thoughts:

The NE and Midwest comprise a definite ‘za corridor.

California is, like, so over pizza. Or maybe authentic pizza joints never really made it out there.

The person who reported this on Boing Boing, his name rhymes with pizza.


Restaurant preferences mapped

Source: Restaurant preferences mapped / Boing Boing

Click through to Boing Boing and then to the link for the Google project, which also maps other kinds of eateries. I think it’s interesting that Sandwich Shops are really, really concentrated in eastern Pennsylvania (where I live) and New Jersey. We love our hoagies and grinders. (Navy beans, navy beans).

Campbell’s Closing Historic Toronto Factory, Laying Off 380

Campbell’s Soup is closing its oldest Canadian factor and laying off close to 400 people.

The company blames over-production.  Ana Dominguez, the company’s head of Canadian operations, said “Simply put, we are in a situation where we can produce a lot more soup than we can sell.”

The Canadian closing is a net win for three US Campbell factories (Maxton, N.C.; Napoleon, Ohio; and Paris, Texas) which will add jobs to meet the production void left by the closure in Toronto.  Which doesn’t make sense if overproduction is the driving issue, but okay.

The company’s market cap has crumbled over the past year (see below).  The Toronto Metro use notes that Campbell’s Denise Morrison thinks changing trends toward fresh fruits and vegetables and away from canned soups is part of the reason. It’s worth noting that this is happening at the same time that “bone soup” (also known as broth) is selling at a premium in little start-up kitchens and trendy new chains.

Are more people cooking simple meals at home?  As badly as I feel for the laid-off Campbell’s workers, and I do, I hope the answer is yes.  I don’t see much reprieve in the North American economy, even though Obama said the recession was over years ago and Trump says the booming stock market will lift all boats.  I’ve seen some positive changes, certainly, and I’m sure you have, too.  But one of the reasons fresh fruit and vegetables are once again on-trend (like he were for 100,000 years) is simple economics.  They’re cheaper.  Homemade broths turn chicken carcasses and beef bones into meals that stretch.  Fresh vegetables are also healthier, and getting sick is expensive. Some research now indicates that homemade broths really do have long-attested remedial properties.

Given the shift in production south of the Canadian border, overproduction of canned soups can’t really be the culprit behind Campbell’s problems.  Maybe they’ve been too slow to change with market demands.  Or maybe the industrial food complex we’ve come to depend on needs serious re-thinking.

Best wishes, hopes, and prayers for the hardworking Toronto staff.

McDonald’s Franchisees See Writing On The Wall

For McDonald’s, things are going from bad to worse as the corporate makeover-that-isn’t continues to take shape (or doesn’t).

29 franchise owners took part in an ongoing survey conducted by Mark Kalinowski.  July’s results reveal an outlook even more dour than sentiments captured in April, the former low-water mark for franchisee confidence as rated by Kalinowski’s model.

Meanwhile, Chipotle, despite some market disappointments of its own, continues to thrive because it understands that people just want better food.

When Did We Start Eating Chicken?

Sometime between 400 and 200 BC?  So says new evidence being reported by NPR and Grist.

An interesting line from the Grist piece, noting that eating chicken (though not meat in general) seems to have been a relatively recent cultural decision:

Perhaps we can just decide that we’re not gonna raise animals in horrific conditions just so we can have our all-you-can-eat buffets and cheap burgers. Perhaps we can just decide that we’ll start eating insects or lab-grown meat or weird veggie-based imitation meat simply because it’s better for the planet…

NPR here. Grist here.

No Veggie Burgers At McDonald’s?

Venessa Wong with the original story, shared here by Ashley Lutz.    White Castle announced their own veggie burger on January 2nd, joining Burger King and countless fast casual concepts in catering to meat-free palates.

McDonald’s says it doesn’t carry veggie patties because no one buys them.  As Lutz notes, MCD CEO David Thompson told investors that when the world’s largest burger joint did offer meatless burgers, they “sold four a day” per location.

To me, that means veggie burgers are scalable.  If Burger King can do them, so can McDonald’s.  They just have to want to.  And they should.


McDonald’s Had the Solution. It Was Called Chipotle.

Millennials want authenticity.  Because Chipotle has good food and invests in the kinds of things Millennials care about, they forgive the fact that Chipotle Mexican Grill is not authentically Mexican.  But when McDonald’s has to put out a video defending the authenticity of their chicken as chicken, you have to wonder what else is coming home to roost.