The latest: September 13, 2017

Why you can probably stop freaking out about acrylamide in your coffee

Another day, another piddly-assed warning that frightens everyone, informs no one, and drives home for all the fact that regulators and courts don’t actually care much about the safety of consumers.

By Patrick Clinton | Read more

A deadly herpes virus is threatening oysters around the world

Death by cold sore.

By Colleen Burge | Read more

By the way, we’re hiring! If you think you’d make a great News Producer or General Assignment Reporter, check out our job descriptions here. Or know someone great? Send them our way by forwarding this email. Please apply by September 30.

Not so fast, Maine. You might recall that, on July 5, the New England state passed historic legislation allowing municipalities to make their own regulatory decisions on locally produced food. Well, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) jumped in right quick—sending state officials a letter on July 6—to say the feds would take over meat and poultry inspections in thousands of state-regulated food production facilities if the new law is not amended to ensure compliance with federal law. Read more. 
—Jesse Hirsch

Screenshot/Impossible Foods

Factory condition. In mid-August, a factory in Oakland quietly began accepting shipments of wheat protein, potato protein, and heme, a “plant blood” produced via genetically modified yeast. This factory, which can whip up a ready-to-grill burger in a fraction of the time it takes to turn a calf into a cow, represents the eagerly anticipated next step for the Impossible Burger, an all-vegan patty that looks, bleeds, sizzles, and tastes pretty damn close to the real thing.

Pretty soon, the rest of the country will be able to try Impossible Foods’ $183-million-in-the-making vegan burger. The company says it plans to place its patty on a thousand menus by the end of the year. Read more.
—Claire Brown

PSA: You can’t eat anything that’s been touched by flood waters. If you live in a storm-affected area and catching up on the latest food safety concerns hasn’t been on top of your to-do list, you need only visit one place if you also want your information in context: Food Safety News.

FSN reported on Tuesday that there is no way—repeat: no way—to salvage or sanitize fresh produce that has come into contact with flood waters (no, dad, you can’t just cut away the bad parts). That warning includes even the edible portions of produce with thick rinds, like melons or pumpkins (which one of our editors just admitted is something she maybe didn’t totally know). So, as Yoda might say: destroy them you must.

Just the one-liners

An “Ag-gag” law was struck down in Utah, and Wyoming may be next. Harvest Public Media has the story.

Hurricane Irma devastated many Florida citrus groves, NPR reports. Much of the fruit was nearly ready to be picked.

The Counter Stories by our editors.