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.
Roundup rumble. Monsanto and glyphosate are making news again … again. For the very latest, Politico’s Morning Agriculture should be your bible. Read them here.
Food fight. A new policy proposed by the Trump administration is scaring some immigrants away from food aid programs, says The New York Times. For those who hope to become citizens, reliance on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, commonly known as food stamps) could hurt their applications. That’s if a proposed Department of Homeland Security regulation becomes law. As the Times reported, some SNAP offices may even lay workers off due to drops in enrollment. Forcing immigrants to choose between food and future citizenship is a most cruel kind of rock and hard place.
Fairly fair. What’s the difference between “Fairly Traded” and “Fairtrade” tea? ¯_(ツ)_/¯. UK grocery chain Sainsbury’s is in trouble for failing to distinguish between the two, Beverage Daily reports. The store recently started advertising tea bearing its own private label—Fairly Traded—which looks and sounds suspiciously similar to the internationally recognized, decades-old “Fairtrade” label. The UK’s advertising standards watchdog slapped Sainsbury’s on the wrist this week, saying the store needs to try a bit harder to make sure customers can tell the difference. Tea drinkers across the pond can breathe a sigh of relief.
Salvation staples. The Salvation Army opened its first-ever grocery store in Baltimore on Wednesday, the Shelby Report writes. DMG Foods is named after the Salvation Army’s motto: “Doing the Most Good.” (Evidently, the non-profit’s other motto, “blood and fire,” didn’t quite make the cut.) It’ll feature on-site butchers, discounted produce, and even pre-made meals cooked in partnership with local food banks. The Salvation Army plans to replicate the nonprofit grocery store model if this project is successful.
What is the deal with Antoni? Perhaps even more delightful than the surprisingly watchable reboot of “Queer Eye” is the intrigue surrounding the show’s food guru, Antoni. He’s the most enigmatic member of the franchise’s Fab Five. Isn’t he a little too beautiful? Can he really cook? And what’s up with that guacamole recipe? We present a tale of two Antonis: First, The New Yorkertears him down. Then The New York Times builds him back up. Foodie or fraud? You decide.
Happy International Women’s Day. Yes, McDonald’s did this. Yes, it’s glib. Yes, people are upset that it’s glib. But honestly, was anyone actually expecting McDonald’s, or any other food company for that matter, to make real, structural changes to the inequitable economics of working for them? Not when there’s profits to be lost. The “W” stands for “wishful thinking.” In other useless-PR-moves news, KFC locations in Malaysia are replacing the Colonel Sanders logo with an icon of his second wife to commemorate the day. (Not to be confused with Colonel Reba, who is just singer Reba McEntire dressed as Colonel Sanders.) Keeping up with food marketing antics is almost as exhausting as sexism.
Brooklyn barbecue is over. Last weekend, the internet erupted in outrage over a photo of greasy sliced meat, a couple of potato buns, and a beer in a mason jar dwarfed by a giant wax-papered tray. “Why is Brooklyn barbecue taking over the world?” queried the Vice headline. (Note to readers: it’s not.) Ted Cruz weighed in. Even normally above-the-food-fray radio station WNYC jumped on the rage-wagon, airing an interview with Texas pitmaster Wayne Mueller. But as so often happens, the joke’s on us. The article was four years old, and the impassioned debate owes its life cycle to some weekend editor’s cynical scheme to generate a little extra traffic. Don’t believe us? Here it is, straight from the horse’s mouth: “Vice keeps republishing it every so often with that photo and a clickybaity headline to draw up controversy,” reporter Nicholas Gill, who wrote the offending story, told Buzzfeed on Monday. He says wrote the whole thing in about 30 minutes in 2014.