Thinly sliced: ICE raids take a toll on restaurants and workers, cows need a little seaweed, 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.
Food disservice. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency’s raids on predominantly immigrant workplaces are having a chilling effect on the restaurant industry’s labor pool. As sweeping crackdowns continue amid accusations of racial profiling and violations of due process, many undocumented immigrants have stopped going to work. Mic reports on two byproducts of the Trump administration’s increasingly draconian immigration policy: Restaurants are scrambling to fill a growing labor gap, and undocumented workers are struggling to make ends meet.
Excuse me. Last year, we reported that adding red seaweed to animal feed can have a dramatic effect on livestock health and productivity. Now, researchers from the University of California, Davis, have determined that feeding dairy cows seaweed reduces the amount of methane in their burps, a finding with major environmental implications. That’s because belching (er, enteric fermentation) represents around one-quarter of all planet-warming methane emissions in the United States. Yale Environment 360 takes a look.
Delectable picks. On July 4th, Google decided to grace our browsers with a puzzling food map of the U.S., one that paired each state with a specific dish. We weren’t the only ones to notice the choices were a little, well, strange: Near-snowless North Carolina was associated with snow cream, Oregon with teriyaki sauce, and Missouri with hamburgers slathered in peanut butter. Confused? The News & Observer provides a reasonable explanation for the bizarre selections: Google apparently picked dishes that each state’s residents searched for disproportionately, even if they’re not everyday local fare. So tell us, Missourians—what’s with the peanut butter?
Don’t play with your food. From Ocean’s 8 to Mrs. Doubtfire, food poisoning has long been used as a comic plot device in Hollywood films. Today, a completely serious article from The Guardian rounding up some of the more memorable cinematic bouts with illness reminds us that food poisoning is also completely serious and, thus, nothing to joke about. (Translation: Don’t be trope-y, movies!) Maybe the writer should sip some flat ginger ale?
Snap, Crackle, FunkO Pop! Toy company Funko is launching a line of cereals featuring characters from its collection of toy figurines, Variety reports. Cereal mascots like Count Chocula and the Lucky Charms leprechaun are already vaguely terrifying, but Funko is upping the ante with breakfast concepts based on villains like Lord of the Rings’ Gollum and Friday the 13th’s Jason Vorhees. Who needs Tony the Tiger when you can buy a box of Freddy Krueger FunkOs, guaranteed to turn your cereal milk blood-red?