Friday Faves No. 179

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Appetite For Change is a North Minneapolis nonprofit organization that uses food as a tool to build health, wealth and social change. "Grow Food" is the culminating project of Appetite For Change's Summer 2016 Youth Employment & Training Program.

I guess that the tag line of "favorite finds from the front lines of food" could be a bit misleading. Sometimes there are important finds that are not really "favorite" finds. This is one of those cases - it's time we discuss the state of kids here in the USA going hungry. 

This past week the Washington Post ran an article discussing the record breaking numbers of kids benefiting from the school breakfast program that is ultimately in the crosshairs of some conservatives in Congress. (Washington Post) 

Since this is such an important topic, I want to expand on it a bit more. The blog named The Lunch Tray has done a great job outlining the issues surrounding kids who rely on school nutrition programs. and what may happen to those programs under the new administration. Its a good read that anyone in the food business int he US should take a look at. (The Lunch Tray)

And for those out there who want to do something about this, the website We Are Teachers have outlines how to leverage social media to fight against childhood hunger.  remember all of us who work in food know that kids learn better, behave better and are healthier when they have a good breakfast. This is not rocket science, nor is it new information. (We Are Teachers) And major shout out and thanks to Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation & No Kid Hungry / Share our Strength

In other news...

More unintended consequences from recent voting....Looks like the UK fishermen won't be getting their waters back anytime soon. (Guardian)

Sing Along Snacks: Beer

It's SF Beer week y'all! Time to celebrate with one of my favorite groups - People Under The Stairs.  Now, I know they are LA-based....but NorCal represents never the less. 


Now who wants a 40? (We want a 40!)

Who wants a quart? (We want a quart!)

You want a 32? (No!) 

You want a whole keg? (Yeah!)

Sing Along Snacks: Grow Food

It's never too early or too late for a snack, so crank up that volume on your computer.

Major props to the kids at Appetite For Change! They deserve as much green as they can get. 

Appetite For Change is a North Minneapolis nonprofit organization that uses food as a tool to build health, wealth and social change.

"Grow Food" is the culminating project of Appetite For Change's Summer 2016 Youth Employment & Training Program. Urban Youth wanted to share their message - the importance of actively choosing healthy foods - with their peers in a fun, accessible music format. At AFC, we believe that youth are the truth. We hope this song will inspire you to explore new ways to eat, cook and grow food. 

#GrowFood is NOW AVAILABLE on iTunes

Directed By Chancellor Tha Beast in collaboration with Beats & Rhymes.

Learn more about Appetite For Change at:

Friday Faves No.178

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Trials of plastic-free laser labels have begun with sweet potatoes and avocados. Photograph: ICA/Nature & More (Guardian)

Trials of plastic-free laser labels have begun with sweet potatoes and avocados. Photograph: ICA/Nature & More (Guardian)

Swedish supermarkets are now trying the replace those little plastic produce stickers with laser marking.  “By using natural branding on all the organic avocados we would sell in one year we will save 200km (135 miles) of plastic 30cm wide. It's small but I think it adds up," says Peter Hagg, ICA business unit manager (Guardian) 

Yes this is a bit grim....but its a good and necessary read.  A couple of gems from the article: Ans now opening a sit-down restaurant is like walking into one of those machines in roller rinks where you have 30 seconds to grab as much money as you can, except all the money is fake, minus the one lottery ticket taped to the bottom of one of those dollars. (Thrillist)

Love this story about this urban farming project taking over the top of the Israel's oldest mall in Tel Aviv.  They are using hydroponic systems to produce 10,000 heads of leafy greens a month, no dirt required! Besides the grow out area they have bird habitats, a tree nursery, a rooftop apart and a bat cave for native fruit bats to call home. (inhabitat)

Let them eat is a look into the impending inauguration menu. (CNN)


Sing Along Snacks: Peanut Butter Conspiracy

It's never too early or too late for a snack, so crank up that volume on your computer.

For all of those who think we might be revisiting those "hard luck days" in the near future...

Who's gonna steal the peanut butter
I'll get the can of sardines
Runnin' up and down the aisle of the mini mart
Stickin' food in our jeans
We never took more than we could eat
There was plenty left on the rack
We all swore if we ever got rich
We would pay the mini mart back
Yes sir! yes sir!
We would pay the mini mart back

Friday Faves No. 177

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Happy Holidays

Beware the dreaded "slotting fee". Take an insiders look at the "Hidden war for grocery shelf space". Shopping will never be the same! (Vox)

While we are in the grocery store, why not take a look at some innovative research on how to increase the shelf life of produce all WITHOUT gases, wax or other tricky techniques. (New York Times)

Its simple fizz-ics! A new study has found that champagne with bigger bubbles tastes better. It turns out that bubbles measuring 3.4mm across enhance the release of aerosols into the air above the glass. I think I need to do my own research just to make sure! (Guardian)

Here is a great way to round up 2016. Listen to the Munchies podcast - Holiday Martinis with Uncle Tony. Thats right, a little holiday cheer with Anthony Bourdain. (Munchies

Friday Faves No. 176

Our favorite finds from the front lines of food

What started it all.....The Slapfish Lobsticle

What started it all.....The Slapfish Lobsticle

Data is not delicious in and of itself. However, the clever folks over at Google New Lab and Truth & Beauty have created a very interesting view of Google search trends of popular foods. It is called the Rhythm of Food. They have taken the search terms and applied them to a annual clock map to show when people are looking for particular foods. Some of the results are surprising while others just confirm what we already know. Yes, it is confirmed, NOBODY cares about pumpkin spice outside of November and December. (Rhythm of Food)

Disturbing news about one of our favorite subjects — seaweed. In this case, carrageenan. In the story called Carrageenan Backlash, a committee that proposes rules for the organic food industry just voted to ban it from organic products. They site reports of intestinal problems etc, but no laboratory has every been able to reproduce these effects.  Here is to hoping that seaweed as a category is not being maligned. There is a lot of potential here and we need to support more seaweed cultivation. (NPR: The Salt

More in seaweed news, scientists are supporting the idea that adding seaweed to cow diets will help reduce the amount of methane they produce! (Inhabitat)

The Forbes "Supermarket Guru" Phil Lempert just came out with his 2017 trend list. The #1 trend, Silicon Valley & Food. There are estimates that over $1 billion dollars have been invested in food start-ups and food projects alone in 2016. Also on the list, enhanced foods and the decline of the traditional grocery store. (Forbes)

Congrats to one of our favorite seafood chefs, Andrew Gruel, founder of Slapfish. He is taking his successful concept to South Korea.  When will we get a Slapfish in  the San Francisco Bay Area? (SeafoodSource)

And last but not least — Looking for a couple of last minute gifts for the foodies in your life? If so, check out the latest book by Sarah Lohman, on the 'Eight Flavors' of American modern culture: black pepper, vanilla, curry powder, chili powder, soy sauce, garlic, MSG and, yes it had to be, Sriracha. (WBUR- Boston)


Sing Along Snacks: Fruitcake

It's never too early or too late for a snack, so crank up that volume on your computer.


The holidays are here and if you haven't made your fruitcake yet it might be too late. But don't worry, here is a catchy little B-52's inspired ode to those rum-soaked, fruit studded doorstops known as FRUITCAKE!

Happy Holidays

They are all nuts,
Citrus peel, lots of stuff,
Add what you feel!
Sticks of butter, cinnamon,
Molasses, lots of dark rum, 
Artificial color, artificial flavor,
If your family don’t want it, 
Give it to a neighbor!
It’s fruit cake! 
It’s fruit cake!

Friday Faves No.175

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

What a great idea! ReGrained is a start-up making Honey Almond IPA & Chocolate Stout bars from spent grain originating from some our favorite local Bay Area brewers: Magnolia Brewing, 21st Amendment Brewery and Triple Voodoo Brewery.  And, wait for it....they are talking about developing cookie mixes from this stuff eventually! (Munchies)


We were sad to hear the news of the recent passing of Chef Peng Chang-kuei.  He was the creator of the all-time American favorite and Chinese menu staple, General Tso's Chicken. Also, for those who have not seen it, we highly recommend the 2014 documentary "The Search for General Tso" - you can find it on Netflix. Chef Peng was the real deal and he left a huge impact on the culinary landscape. He was 98.  (New York Times)


A lot has been going on in the wacky world of food delivery system. Dominos Japan tried to train reindeer to deliver pizza but despite the sophisticated GPS tracking system and such it is just not going to work. Turns out that reindeer are too difficult to control.  Really? (Eater)


In other delivery news, in the South London neighborhood of Greenwich, a local Turkish restaurant will be starting a droid delivery program. How is that going to go? Apparently, to thwart attempts to ride and/or steal them,  the droid are outfitted with alarms and there are robot handlers in Estonia who can talk to people through a built in microphone. Easy!  What could go wrong with that? (Guardian)



Friday Faves No. 174

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

To the ovens! OK its not just a holiday battle cry, but the result of a recently published study that proves that cooking or baking can help you feel better.  We knew that of course, but these days when a lot of people are feeling down from post-election to holiday stresses, we could all turn to our kitchens to conjure up a bit a hearty helping of homemade 'feel-good'. (Smithsonian Magazine & Munchies)

Not that you should....but you it that is JetBlue just came out with an edible ad campaign just in time for holiday travel. Yes indeed, don't let winter travel delays worry you. Just eat the paper made out of potato starch, water, vegetable oil and glycerin (adWeek)

Have we got a stocking stuffer idea for all the Canadians out there! Yes, it's here! Poutine flavored lip balm!  Well, if KFC can come out with fried chicken scented sunscreen, we really have nothing to say about this lip balm. Just please Canada, don't make poutine your new favorite pumpkin spice replacement for the holidays. (Munchies)

And finally some good news for bees. General Mills just announced a $4 million dollar commitment that should help plant over 100,000 acres of pollinator habitat through 2021.  This is a deal, bringing together GM along with the non-profit Xerces Society and the USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service, will help farmers plant and protect pollinator habitat including native wildflower field edges and flowering hedgerows.  Since bees are responsible for an annual $25 billion in agricultural production, it's nice to see companies that understand that good environmental practices make good financial sense. (Food Business News)

Friday Faves No. 173

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

How do you eat your Nutella? 

How do you eat your Nutella? 

It's a dessert! No, it's a spread! No, it's a __________! The FDA is asking people to weigh in (pun totally intended) on how Nutella is enjoyed. Is it more like a honey, a dessert topping or a fruit spread? The FDA's public commenting period is open until January 3, 2017. (NPR)

While on the subject of sweet spreads, producing Manuka honey has become downright dangerous! Thefts, vandalism and poisonings are occurring across New Zealand's far north. In one instance 300 hives were mysteriously killed causing beekeepers to fear for their well-being. For simple honey? Not really simple honey when you consider that Manuka honey can fetch as much as NZ$100/kg. (Guardian)

Sensing a sweet theme here? Let's keep going then! New Belgium Brewing and Ben & Jerry's have teamed up for climate change....and chocolate chip cookie dough beer. Some of the proceeds from the beer sales will go to Protect Our Winters. Maybe pair it with a fancy buche de noel this holiday season. (Thrillist)

Did we just say buche de noel? Why yes indeed! French blog Atabula just published a rather fancy buche round up for this holiday season. From Anne-Sophie Pic's London telephone boxes to realistic mandarine shaped "buche" this year there is some amazing craft and creativity on display. Here is a peek. (Atabula)

Sing Along Snacks: Lost in the Supermarket

It's never too early or too late for a snack, so crank up that volume on your computer.

Get Lost in the Supermarket with The Clash. It sounds just as fresh as it did when the London Calling album was released in 1979.

"I’m all lost in the supermarket
I can no longer shop happily
I came in here for that special offer
A guaranteed personality"

Friday Faves No. 172

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Oil-cured Coho salmon. We're still waiting on the seafood "charcuterie" revolution. Photo by Polished Brands.

Oil-cured Coho salmon. We're still waiting on the seafood "charcuterie" revolution. Photo by Polished Brands.

Shop till you flop: Why can’t anyone make money in online grocery delivery? "Despite immense growth in demand in recent years, the online grocery business remains largely unprofitable. As an online grocery business grows, it can no longer rely on sending workers to local grocery outlets to fill orders. Instead, they must invest heavily in more intricate and more costly ordering and logistics systems in order to pick, pack and deliver the near-infinite combinations of items customers select."

‘Big ag’ omega-3 solutions in canola oil, algae stoke fears for fishing companies. It's not good news for fishmeal producers, but it is good news for the oceans and the food chain. (Undercurrent)

Teff could be the next quinoa as Ethiopia boosts exports. Ethiopia’s staple grain is the latest superfood, but there are fears about impact of rising exports on local people who rely on it as their staple food. “What happened with quinoa will not happen with teff. We just won’t let it," said Khalid Bomba, the head of the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA). (Guardian)

Time for more product innovation. Sales of specialty meat and seafood are up, and Millennials are pushing the trend. "Specialty frozen and refrigerated meat, poultry, and seafood accounts for 10.5 percent of all meat, poultry, and seafood sales. The category hit $3.6 billion in 2015, jumping 23.1 percent since 2013." (Specialty Food)

Friday Faves No. 171

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

From the You Can't Make this Stuff Up files, Joan Crawford goes to the supermarket, in white gloves, in a 1969 Pepsi promo (video above). You can read here about where this wacky three and a half minutes of TV came from. (Stargayzing)

The Next Hot Trends in Food as identified by the Wall Street Journal. Not a lot of surprises here for those who keep up with the food scene and sustainability discussions, but concepts like "regenerative agriculture" might get more mainstream. (Wall Street Journal)

Is Dry Farming the Next Wave in a Drought-Plagued World? Some fruit growers in California eschew irrigation and have escaped the financial fallout experienced by fellow farmers in recent years. “There’s all this talk about watering the almonds...When you set up almonds to receive water every few days and the roots don’t go deep, then yeah, they will die if we don’t water them. But almonds were once dry farmed in many parts of California, including San Luis Obispo County, southern Monterey County, and the Sierra foothills.” (Food & Environment Reporting Network)

As with our politics, fast food keeps getting weirder and more over the top. Why fast-food chains are making ‘increasingly outrageous’ creations to get you through the door. (Washington Post)

Entrepreneurs getting creative with seafood byproducts “If all fish were processed and all the byproduct collected, it is estimated that globally there would be around 36 million tons of raw material available, producing about 9.5 million tons of fishmeal and 1.5 million tons of fish oil,” according to the University of Stirling/IFFO report. (Seafood Source)

Meat packers add plants to plate as consumers, competition shift. "We are going to see the meat industry recognize that it needs to diversify." (Reuters)

The Real Soylent Sickness "Silicon Valley’s failure to capture our appetites lies at the heart of what the technology industry misses about so many other things in this world. Though it may be possible to create technically feasible products for any aspect of our lives, those only succeed if they improve—rather than seek to replace—the human, highly tactile, and pleasurable world we want to live in." (New Yorker)

Friday Faves No. 170

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Grand Lake Farmers Market, Oakland, CA. Photo by Polished Brands.

Grand Lake Farmers Market, Oakland, CA. Photo by Polished Brands.

Investors urge food companies to shift from meat to plants "'The world's over reliance on factory farmed livestock to feed the growing global demand for protein is a recipe for a financial, social and environmental crisis,' said Jeremy Coller, founder of the FAIRR initiative and chief investment officer at private equity company Coller Capital." (Reuters)

Your phrase for the day "carbon confident" Greener pastures: the dairy farmers committed to sustainability. Biological farming, conservation planning and water recycling are part of a concerted push to make the milk industry more ‘carbon confident’ "The report says dairy farmers want to create “a carbon-confident industry” and various software has been created to help to calculate and reduce farm emissions. These include the dairy climate toolkit and the dairy greenhouse abatement strategies calculator." (Guardian)

A Dickensian headline on a situation that should not still be in 2016: Skipping Meals, Joining Gangs: How Teens Cope Without Enough Food At Home "Roughly 7 million children in the U.S. aged 10-17 struggle with hunger, according to one report, which examines teenage access to food. Dogged by hunger, teenagers may try a wide range of solutions, from asking friends for meals to bartering sex for food." (NPR/The Salt)

Is tech the answer to a streamlined restaurant experience, or just another distraction? Danny Meyer has found a use for the Apple Watch with his staff. "When Meyer’s 30-year-old Union Square Cafe reopens in Manhattan next month, every floor manager and sommelier will be wearing an Apple Watch. And when a VIP walks through the front door, someone orders a bottle of wine, a new table is seated, a guest waits too long to order her or his drink, or a menu item runs out, every manager will get an alert via the tiny computer attached to their wrist." (Eater)

Most concepts in food live or die by logistics. A peak behind the production to delivery curtain: How One Delivery-Only Service Makes Dinner Without a Restaurant  (Eater)

Friday Faves No. 169

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Fish-themed treats. How could we resist? This Japanese Dessert is Made from Fish-Shaped Waffles (Food52)

A lovely short video about the people behind our restaurant food who we never see, the immigrant cooks. About the video: "This video was produced by visual journalist Andrea Patiño Contreras and journalist Victoria Bouloubasis, who met as graduate students at UNC-Chapel Hill. Their mutual interest in sharing immigrant narratives through personal and empowering ways makes them natural friends and collaborators. Their first collaboration was an Instagram video series on how the pain and hope in the case of Mexico’s missing students affects North Carolina’s immigrant communities. La Comida de los Cocineros is part of Victoria’s folklore master’s thesis work." More on the project.

Climate Change Threatens World’s Coffee Supply, Report Says "The strategies the organization is developing acknowledge the severity of the threat from climate change, and many are adaptive rather than preventive — taking for granted that temperatures are bound to keep rising." (New York Times)

Is Caffeine Addiction Real? Is it the chemical that we're attached to, or the ritual? Or both? Whichever way, we hope we never have to live without our coffee. (Extra Crispy)