Thinly sliced: The beginning of the end of the dollar store boom?

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.

A dollar short. Cleveland, Ohio, is considering a moratorium on dollar stores, Next City reports. Blaine Griffin, the councilman who proposed the ordinance, points out that the stores are concentrated in the city’s poor communities of color. Typically, these stores do not offer fresh food options. As we’ve reported, grocery stores aren’t likely to open in neighborhoods where they’ll face super-low price competitors, which is why Tulsa, Oklahoma, adopted a similar moratorium last year.

Pouring cold water. Lobstermen and fishers in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island, among other states, are asking a federal judge in Washington, D.C., to let them fish the protected area off the coast of Cape Cod that’s home to a staggering landscape of undersea mountains and valleys. The area was designated a monument by President Obama in 2016. Two years ago, they sued to overturn the designation, saying the Antiquities Act doesn’t apply to the seas. They’re not backing down. The New York Times has the story.

Oh, we have fun. We’re a pretty serious newsroom here at NFE, but well, it’s just so good to laugh. That’s why it was such a treat to read the Onion’s take on plant-based vs. lab-grown meat. There are a handful of chuckles within, but the kicker is especially delicious. When you’ve penetrated the satirical press, you know your particular food sector is thriving.

Figgy flesh. Over at Taste, Max Falkowitz has a fascinating look at why some true-blue vegans avoid figs. Without spilling too many of the grody details, it has to do with how figs are pollinated. Teaser: “[E]nzymatically digested by the fig until it becomes one with the plant that killed it and birthed her young.”

Zombie deer. A few months back, we reported on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a degenerative neurological disorder that is contagious among deer and elk. At the time, public health officials were starting to worry that the disease may be capable of infecting humans. The jury’s still out on that one, but now High Country News reports that some scientists are starting to believe we’ve only seen but a glimpse of this particular phenomenon. “Perhaps … there is not just one chronic wasting disease, but rather a bunch of different strains of it. And those different strains could be emerging at different times across the globe,” Rae Ellen Bichell writes.

The Counter Stories by our editors.