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.
StarKost. StarKist has been ordered to pay $100 million, the statutory maximum, for its role in a conspiracy to fix prices on tuna sold in the United States, The Hill reports. For years, the Department of Justice has been pursuing the tuna giant, along with Bumble Bee, and the parent company of Chicken of the Sea, for colluding to jack up prices. We’ve reported on this investigation, which has been years in the making.
Restaurant roulette. You know that old saying about how it’s better not to know what happens in restaurant kitchens, as long as your meal tastes good? Blissful ignorance is one thing when you’re talking about a pork chop that fell on the floor, but it’s another when chefs are putting dangerous ingredients in the meals of allergy sufferers. The Guardian has a disturbing piece on restaurant kitchens that ignore allergy claims, because we all need more things to worry about.
When Costco gets costly. The concept is simple: Costco wants to raise and slaughter its own $5 rotisserie chickens, and plans to build a massive processing plant in Fremont, Nebraska. Large-scale farms have since popped up all over the state, and and some Nebraskans are pissed. Citing environmental and quality-of-life concerns, an advocacy coalition has launched a petition to stop any new farms statewide. FERN News has more on the latest development in the three-year battle over Costco’s plant.
Can meets can’t. Too many cans, says the Wall Street Journal. Tin-coated steel production ramped up this year, after steelmarkers hoped Trump’s tariffs would make imports more expensive. But after a weak vegetable harvest and surprisingly steady imports, there’s a lot of tin on table. Not such a canny prediction, after all.
Rejected! In August, basketball star LeBron James quietly filed an application to trademark the phrase “Taco Tuesday,” which he’d taken to screaming during Instagrams of family dinner. Why the trademark? Some thought a podcast was in the works, or maybe a cooking show. After his application was discovered, the news media went into overdrive, and everyone from a Wyoming restaurant to a Las Vegas party promoter claimed the right to keep using the phrase. Yesterday, James’ application was rejected, and the patent office cited those articles, saying the phrase was too popular to be owned. “He’s from Cleveland, okay,” a scholar told reporter Daniel Hernandez. “I just don’t know how culturally sensitive he is.”