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.
Life in plastic, it’s fantastic. Surprise! Your store-bought cake may contain PFAS—a chemical developed in the 1940s, found in a variety of consumer products, and linked to an increased risk of cancer, Mother Jones reports. That’s according to a recent FDA survey of PFAS presence in commonly eaten food. The agency found that many assessed items, including seafood, meat, and cake, contained PFAS at levels beyond what the federal government has established for drinking water. Read FDA’s complete report here.
Corn wars. Remember the corn syrup wars? A new salvo has been fired. MillerCoors announced that it was backing out of a new industry-wide ad campaign because rival Anheuser-Busch hadn’t stopped their “category denigration campaign,” referring to the mean ad that accused MillerCoors of using corn syrup. Ad Age reports that even Heineken is taking sides, stepping away from the campaign until everyone gets along. Sometimes it’s viral marketing, and sometimes it’s actually real, honest-to-goodness competition.
Beyond Tyson. Think it’s cool that Tyson is making a plant-based chicken nugget? By 2040, 60 percent of “meat” will come from plants, or be cultured from cells in giant vats, according to a new study from consulting firm A.T. Kearney. The Guardian reports that evolving consumer habits and a changing planet will drive the change. Consider it a sign of things to come when one of the world’s biggest companies is swapping out chicken for peas.
Rough Waters. In an alarming new investigative feature, The Atlantic describes a Coast Guard drug seizure that went horribly wrong. Two years ago, four fishermen left Jamaica looking for tuna and snapper, and disappeared. Five weeks later they turned up in Miami, covered in burns and blisters. They’d been held and allegedly abused at sea, on suspicion of marijuana smuggling. (No drugs were found on the boat.) The ACLU is suing on behalf of the fishermen.
Spit take. In an effort to rebrand salad dressing for kids, Kraft Heinz has introduced “salad frosting,” which is…a squeezable tube of ranch dressing. The goal is to trick kids into thinking that a big bowl of lettuce is, in fact, some kind of delicious treat. It would seem this marketing ploy doesn’t really give kids much credit! Will they believe a mouthful of ranch dressing is, in fact, fun and yummy frosting, simply because we tell them it is? An early object lesson in deception.