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.
Cancer warning, canceled. Last spring, a California judge ruled that coffee sold in the Golden State must carry a cancer warning because it contained acrylamide, a potentially carcinogenic chemical that comes out during roasting. The presence of the chemical wasn’t enough to actually prove that coffee caused cancer, our own Pat Clinton wrote, and soon after, the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment proposed removing the brew from what is known as the Proposition 65 list. On Monday, that request was formally approved, the Wall Street Journal reports.
“It’s OK to do if you don’t get caught.” That’s what a student told the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Stateline Blog about ordering lunch to school via DoorDash and UberEats. School districts all over the country have been cracking down on deliveries ordered to middle and high schools, citing concerns about nutrition and security. Teenagers being teenagers, some students have already found workarounds, meeting delivery drivers a step or two outside of school property. If a driver delivers in the woods…
Over-the-counter. Want to see where Americans buy groceries? Go to the drugstore. Walgreens, for instance, is more popular than Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s combined. CVS, a competitor, is even bigger. That’s a big problem for public health, The Guardian finds, because pharmacies, ironically, aren’t stocking healthy items. A Stanford researcher suggests that neighborhoods dominated by drugstore grocers aren’t food deserts, but food swamps, dominated by shelf-stable, processed foods, and bereft of produce.
Pits stop. A recall of apricot pits has been issued over concerns about the risk of cyanide poisoning, Food Safety News reports. Wait, what? None of us at NFE knew about this, but apparently people do eat apricot pits, and some believe they are effective in treating cancer. According to a 2017 story in Smithsonian Magazine, a 67-year-old Australian man was found to have near-toxic levels of cyanide in his blood after eating five years’ worth of apricot pits in an effort to keep his prostate cancer in remission. Despite the poison scare, the man continued his regimen.
Let them eat cake. Please. Let them. On the day of a graduation party in Pasadena, Texas, a local Walmart informed a mother that it had lost her order for a two-tier cake. No worry: It offered to give her another one, on the house. When she brought it home, though, and sliced into it, she saw it was merely Styrofoam covered in frosting. Walmart has since apologized, and offered her a $60 gift card, CBS New York reports, but the family says the intended celebration became an irreplaceable “moment that we lost.” Priceless?