In the US, 37 million people struggle to get enough healthy, affordable food, yet at the same time 40% of edible produce — enough to feed 164 million people — is thrown away. Laura Paddison meets the twins who are trying to untangle this contradiction. It was a story about broccoli soup that really brought home to Shirley Zhu the value of the work she was doing. She and her twin sister Annie, who are 18, were delivering boxes of food to people struggling to get affordable, nutritious food in their home city of Houston, Texas. One woman, who Shirley was visiting for the second time, was excited to tell her that she had made broccoli soup for her and her young daughter with the previous food package. “It was heartening to see that even giving people a bag of produce can have an effect and positively impact their lives,” says Shirley. It demonstrated the power of fresh food – not just for improving health, but in bringing families closer together by encouraging them to cook and eat together. “When people just have access to convenience store junk food and fast food that’s cheap and convenient, I think that it also breeds an emotional toll on families,” she says.
Food & Drink
Growing vegetables and fish together in a confined space, and without fertilizers and pesticides. Is this the future of food production? Like a shimmering purple spaceship, the glowing greenhouse stands in the middle of an old dairy factory in an Eindhoven industrial park in the Netherlands. It can’t fly — but, if the founders of the startup Phood Farm have their way, their business will soon take off. They hope the future of agriculture will be birthed here. The method used by the five young founders to grow up to 200 kilograms (440 pounds) of lettuce per week on an area smaller than a tennis court is called aquaponics — a combination of aquaculture, or fish farming, and hydroponics, which is growing vegetables in water without soil. The two systems together create a highly resource-efficient water and nutrient cycle.
A lawsuit details the efforts of Taylor Company — the firm that manufactures McDonald’s ice cream machines — to maintain its monopoly over repairs. Two years ago, a startup called Kytch created a device that circumvents the need for franchise owners to solicit help from Taylor repairmen — who, according to the lawsuit, are notoriously slow. The lawsuit alleges that after the unsuccessful attempts, Taylor solicited Tyler Gamble — a leading McDonald’s franchisee — to acquire a Kytch device. On July 30, however, Kytch was granted a temporary restraining order against Taylor by a California judge. Taylor was forced to turn over any Kytch devices in its possession and is now restricted from using information potentially gleaned from its dissection of the machines.
A new fast food franchise in Kitchener has been greeted by many customers as well as protesters. The Chick-fil-A on Fairway Road officially opened its doors to the public Saturday morning, with roughly 100 people lined up beforehand waiting to get in. Later in the morning, about a dozen protesters showed up at the location to demonstrate. The restaurant chain has attracted opposition from LGBTQ2S+ grounds whenever a new store has opened, including the two locations in Toronto.
In just five months, California may well be the first state in America that effectively bans any pork products. This is because, back in 2018, voters approved an animal welfare proposition setting out space requirements standards for those who breed pigs, egg-laying chickens, and veal calves. While chicken farmers and veal producers across America have mostly met those standards, it seems the hog farmers have had a harder time. This is an interesting story because it touches upon the laws of unintended consequences and the effect a state like California has on the rest of America. The story comes from the Associated Press: At the beginning of next year, California will begin enforcing an animal welfare proposition approved overwhelmingly by voters in 2018 that requires more space for breeding pigs, egg-laying chickens and veal calves. National veal and egg producers are optimistic they can meet the new standards, but only 4% of hog operations now comply with the new rules. In 2018, Californians undoubtedly patted themselves on the back for their humanitarianism. As the article explains, though, the unintended consequences are huge.
Coffee prices surged this week to multi-year peaks, extending stellar gains this year after frost damaged crops in the world’s biggest producer Brazil. The futures price for arabica coffee, one of the South American nation’s top commodity exports, soared Friday to just over $2 a pound, the highest level since 2014. The commodity has rocketed by a blistering 60 percent since January. Lower quality robusta coffee, mainly grown in Asia, leapt to an October 2017 peak of $1,993 per tonne, capping a near 40-percent gain so far this year. “Several reasons explain the astronomical gains for coffee prices,” Rabobank analyst Carlos Mera told AFP, citing mainly the devastating weather conditions in Brazil. Mera also blamed soaring transportation costs and political unrest in number-three producer, Colombia. Brazil suffered a historic drought earlier this year. That was followed by damaging frosts this week at key plantations in Minas Gerais—a southeastern inland state that produces 70 percent of the nation’s arabica beans. Sub-zero temperatures have “sparked defoliation of crops and even kill the youngest plants” that are crucial for future harvests, Mera said.