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.
I vant to suck. Food and drink are responsible for a quarter of a theme park’s earnings, but that could be higher during holidays, according to The Los Angeles Times. Like, for instance, during Halloween, when concessionaires transform rather ordinary, high-calorie grub into Insta-bait. There’s the milkshake that’s covered in licorice to resemble an evil supernatural spider and macaroons that look like cartoon characters. And, at the Six Flags in Valencia, California, you can drink sangria from an IV blood bag.
Scoop no more. Tide Pods are not at the table, but consumer goods like instant coffee and oatmeal can be portioned into packets that dissolve in water. Food Navigator reports on MonoSol, the company behind a wave of new edible packaging. By using patented food-grade packets, items like rice and pasta are sealed in a water-soluble film to increase convenience, reduce waste, and eliminate the mess.
Waste not. Bottled water brands are exploring the idea of swapping out plastic for aluminum, Reuters reports. The move—in beta trials at Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Nestle, among others—is a reported response to growing consumer dismay about plastic’s contribution to environmental degradation. Unlike plastic, aluminum cans are infinitely recyclable and lighter to transport. But they also have some major drawbacks: The production of cans accounts for twice as many emissions as plastic, it costs more, and cans can’t be recapped like plastic bottles. It’s almost as if single-use containers of water are just not that great of an idea in the first place?
Upcycle or upchuck? This may be the first time you’ve heard of “Yappah,” a brand of munchy snacks from Tyson Foods. Sadly, you may never get a chance to sample these “bite-sized protein crisps sourced from leftover chicken breast trim, vegetable puree, juice pulp and Molson Coors spent grain.” (That is how Tyson actually billed the product!) It was part of an initiative to appeal to sustainability-minded consumers—and was also the first product to come out of the company’s Innovation Lab, yikes. But according to Food Dive, that market segment still doesn’t really want to eat by-products. Also, some customers reported getting cut by Yappah’s oddly beer-like can. Good job, everybody.
Special seasoning. Taco Bell is recalling over 2 million pounds of beef from its restaurants in 21 states in the Midwest and on the East Coast. Grub Street points out that salmonella isn’t to blame, but metal shavings are the culprit. So far, there haven’t been any reported illnesses or injuries. Disgusting? Dangerous? Maybe. But as we’ve reported, it’s not uncommon for foreign objects to end up in our food.