The latest: September 15, 2017

Fast chicken, old fish, and restaurants' political capital

Poultry inspectors check more than 2 birds per second. The industry wants them to work faster

By law, poultry processing plants can run their slaughter lines at 140 birds per minute. Now the National Chicken Council has petitioned to waive speed caps entirely, a move with labor and consumer health implications.

By Joe Fassler | Read more


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One fish, two fish, old fish, blue fish. There are plenty of fish in the sea, they say. But a study published Thursday in the journal Current Biology indicates the well-worn reassurance may need a new caveat, one that echoes Matthew McConaughey’s infamous line in Dazed and Confused (“I get older, they stay the same age…”). Here’s the 2017 update: There are plenty of fish in the sea, but they’re getting younger and younger. Read more.
—Claire Brown


But how good is the food? Last year, I traced the evolution of the chef-as-policy-wonk in an effort to understand how restaurants could be used as tools of political change. I looked at three key attributes: 1) buying power, 2) built-in followings, and 3) access. At the time, Katherine Miller, senior director of food policy advocacy for the James Beard Foundation, was putting it to chefs this way: “You employ hundreds of people, generating millions in local revenue. You’re exactly the constituent that should be in conversation with legislators.”

Now—at least for the 90 restaurants in an economic impact study released this week—we know just how many millions of dollars in impact they’ve had. Read more.
—Kate Cox

Fruittoos. A particular subsection of Twitter rejoiced today, at the intersection of “people who hate minor inconveniences” and “people who love the absurd.” The source of their joy is a novel concept, discussed Wednesday on ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation): replacing those ubiquitous, annoying produce stickers with…tattoos. Read more.
—Jesse Hirsch

Just the one-liners

Many of our most important foods are getting less nutritious. And carbon dioxide likely plays a role in that change, Helena Bottemiller Evich reports for Politico. If you read one story this week, make it this one.

Take his ass to Red Lobster. Because they evidently have a secret menu right now.

Nestlé purchased a 68 percent stake in Blue Bottle Coffee. BlueQuik? NesBottle? Blesstlé!

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

The Counter Stories by our editors.