Thinly sliced: Salmonella contamination in the news, roadblock hits insect protein research, and more

This is the web version of a list we publish twice-weekly in our newsletter. It comprises the most noteworthy food stories of the moment, selected by our editors. Get it first here.

Summer of salmonella. Pre-cut melonHy-Vee Spring Pasta SaladKellogg’s Honey Smacks CerealSome Ritz cracker productsSeveral Goldfish cracker varietiesSwiss Rolls sold under five different brand names. All contaminated with one of a number of salmonella strains. Some attributed to a whey ingredient. All voluntarily recalled (though, FDA has issued a warning that some retailers are still offering Honey Smacks for sale). All in the month of July alone.

Soy ploy. After the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Tuesday announced a $12-billion tariff relief package for producers of corn, soybeans, dairy, pork, wheat, sorghum, and cotton, staff writer Sam Bloch wrote about why we can’t manage a soybean surplus the way we do other surpluses (cold storage, anyone?). Now, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that some Wisconsin farmers see the aid as an election ploy.

Money hungry. Gone are the days where the rich and famous gorged on lobster, caviar, and canapés, Quartz reports. While Ivana Trump may have displayed salmon and foie gras pastries on a gilded table back in 1991, celebrities of today are eschewing decadent, high-calorie foods for healthier and more “rarefied” dining experiences. Looks like clean eating has taken even—or especially?—the wealthy by storm.

Bug off. Jeff Flake, the Republican Senator from Arizona, is trying to ban funding for insect protein-related research, Roll Call reports. Flake’s logic? Edible bugs are significantly more costly right now than traditional meat like beef or pork. This has more to do with the economics of scale than anything else. Not to be deterred by logic, Flake submitted an amendment to the Senate funding bill that would have banned spending on research to make insects cheaper and tastier. Maybe Flake should just focus on finding his next job.

CBD still TBD. The proliferation of CBD products almost seems like a kiss from the cannabis gods. A THC-free chemical compound in marijuana, CBD comes with marketable medical benefits and is an easy way to garner food-and-bev hype (and $$). Just ask the folks who somehow sold people on a $59 CBD-infused smoothie. Since recreational marijuana became legal in California in 2016, CBD has popped up in coffee, cocktails, and even tacos. But the industry continues to shape itself, as does the law. Now, California lawmakers have hit the CBD brake pedal, Eater LA reports. Earlier this month, the California Department of Public Health issued a statement that hemp-derived CBD in any food and drink is no longer allowed until FDA declares that CBD is an approved food, food ingredient, food additive, or dietary supplement. Stoner foodies, stymied again.

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