Thinly sliced: Chickens don designer diapers, Canada Dry facing multi-state lawsuits over “false advertising,” 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.
Achtung! The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a public health alert due to concerns about contamination with Cyclospora—an intestinal parasite—in beef, pork, and poultry salad and wrap products distributed by Caito Foods, LLC. The Indiana-based company discovered the problem when it was notified by its lettuce supplier, Fresh Express, that the romaine Caito uses to produce some of its wraps and salads was being recalled.
What’s important to know here is that Cyclospora has an especially long incubation period of up to 14 days. Given the “Best By,” “Enjoy by, “Best if Sold By,” and “Sell By” dates on these products, which range form July 18 through July 23, 2018, the incubation window is July 25 through August 6. That means we may not know the full extent of this particular public health scare for as long as six weeks. A full list of products and identifying information can be found here. If you think you may have one of these items. FSIS advises you to throw it out or return it to the place of purchase immediately.
The future is fancy. Alpha Food Labs, a New York City-based company that creates prototypes of future shelf staples based on cultural and economic influences, has released a list of five conceptual food items we can expect to be eating in 25 years, Time magazine reports. If you’re a fan of farmers’ markets or your local food co-op, future foods like “polyculture polenta” served in a box, or cell-cultured shark fin soup may leave you feeling a bit depressed. The good news is, not only will there still be potato chips 25 years from now, but advancements in gene-editing technology will make their taste and texture much easier to manipulate. Hope that doesn’t mean Lay’s will stop inventing wacky flavors.
A chicken in children’s clothing. Behold the subheadline on Michael Waters’s story for The Outline about a luxury chicken diapers startup: “It’s Instagram’s fault.” (Hey editors, let’s just make that the headline on every story from today until the internet goes dark, okay?) Now, back to poultry layette. Lest you think this piece is all whimsy, the breadth of Walters’s reporting on America’s burgeoning indoor-chicken fetish and its inevitable spawn—upscale poultry accessories—is pretty remarkable. Hats off to Michael. It ain’t easy to spin a legit yarn out of a social-media-sensation-meets-
The root of the problem. Canada Dry can’t cure your agita if it doesn’t contain actual ginger. Or so discovered Julie Fletcher, a mother from Bolivar, New York, to her great dismay. According to a report from The Buffalo News, Fletcher is suing the company for years of false advertising that she says “hurt her economically” (though, the specifics of that hurt—and the amount she’s requesting in damages—have not been disclosed.) Her gripe? As a young mother, she’d given her children the soda to ease their upset stomachs, believing it contained real ginger (hey, the can does say “made from real ginger”), the root of which is often used to calm belly aches. Many years later, she evidently looked at the ingredient list and discovered that it does not. Commence litigation. Fletcher is in good company, it seems. Similar cases are underway in Massachusetts and California. But perhaps all this legal controversy just confirms what we already know: soda has never cured anyone of anything.
Peak meat. Last month, we reported on conscious carnivores, the growing number of Americans trying to limit their meat intake due to a mix of lifestyle and ethical concerns. Now, a countervailing movement is stirring: constant carnivores, those who eat meat, and only meat, three meals a day. Their de facto leader is University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson, the YouTube demagogue who preaches about personal responsibility, traditional gender roles, and dragons on speaking tours and in a series of rambling vlogs. Now, Buzzfeed reports, Peterson has added meat-only eating to his list of hobby horses, taking to talk shows to claim that his crippling depression was cured once he ditched vegetables and grains. According to Buzzfeed, Peterson’s daughter Mikhail has jumped on the bandwagon, hawking $90 Skype diet consultations to her Instagram followers. We congratulate the Petersons on their forthcoming cases of stomach upset and only hope the funds raised will help them buy many cases of ginger ale.