- Chipotle customers come flocking back for lunchtime burritos despite the chain's 30-cent price hikes
- Chipotle sales were up nearly 40% year-on-year at the end of June.
- Lunchtime diners were returning to the chain as offices reopened, its CEO said.
- It suggests customers aren't put off by Chipotle's June price hikes on burritos and tacos.
- In a call with investors on Tuesday, Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol said dine-in sales jumped during this quarter to about 70% of their pre-pandemic levels, driven by lunchtime diners. Digital sales grew 10.5% in the quarter.
- Taco Bell warns it is running out of several key ingredients due to supply-chain snags, as customers report shortages of chicken, beef, taco shells, and hot sauce
- Taco Bell is telling customers on its website that some of its menu items may not be available.
- The chain said it was facing shortages because of transportation delays.
- Customers have reported shortages of meat, taco shells, sauce packets, sour cream, and soda.
- "Due to national transportation delays happening throughout most of the industry, we may temporarily be out of some items," a Taco Bell spokesperson told Insider. "Apologies for the inconvenience and we hope to feed fans' current Taco Bell cravings again soon."
Long John Silver's and Good Catch® to Launch Plant-Based Seafood at Select Locations
Gathered Foods, makers of Good Catch® plant-based seafood, has announced an exciting partnership with Long John Silver's, the nation's largest quick-service seafood chain. Starting Monday, July 19, Long John Silver's will offer two of Good Catch's newest innovations to guests while supplies last. The Plant-Based Breaded Fish-Free Fillet and Plant-Based Breaded Crab-Free Cake will feature as the national restaurant chain's first plant-based seafood offerings. These menu items will be available at five locations in California and Georgia.
"We're excited to propel change in quick service restaurants by teaming up with Long John Silver's," says Christine Mei, CEO of Gathered Foods, makers of Good Catch. "With the plant-based seafood sector expected to grow twelve-fold in the next ten years to $1.3 billion, there's room for dramatic growth. We're proud to fuel the momentum by delivering the delicious taste, unmistakable texture, and comparable protein that consumers crave."
The Plant-Based Breaded Fish-Free Fillet has a tender, flaky whitefish texture encased in a crunchy, crispy breading. The Plant-Based Breaded Crab-Free Cakes are entrée-sized with a lump crabmeat-like texture and sweet crab flavor complemented with sweet peppers, green onions, parsley and a kick of spice.
The company's proprietary six-legume blend (peas, chickpeas, lentils, soy, fava beans and navy beans) is packed with protein and used as the base of Good Catch products to create the texture that mimics the flakiness of seafood. Good Catch is on a mission to offer a delicious plant-based solution to support ocean health. In February, the brand partnered with Bareburger to bring its Plant-Based Classic Fish Burger to consumers through a delicious vegan offering called The Gulf. In its home state of Texas, Good Catch expanded their local presence with launches in Safeway, Randall's, and Tom Thumb, as well as Austin plant-based restaurants and grocers including Neighborhood Goods, The Beer Plant and Tiny Grocer. In March, Good Catch notably expanded its direct-to-consumer offerings to include its entire portfolio of both shelf stable and frozen appetizers and entrees.
Faux fish appears to be riding the growing wave of alternative meats. U.S. retail sales of plant-based foods grew 27% in 2020, to $7 billion, and alternative seafood is one of the fastest growing segments of that industry. More than $80 million was invested in alternative seafood companies in 2020 – four times the amount invested a year prior, reported CNBC.
Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown thinks he can eliminate all animal-based meat in 15 years. “Put it on your calendar,” Brown said in an interview with The Washington Post, “because Impossible Foods is going to do it.”
Bacon made of fungus, 3-D printed steaks and ‘meat’ made of air — the future for this new food category is promising but turbulent. Although alt-meat still only accounts for about 1 percent of the total meat market, Brown said, “food is the single biggest lever we can use to drastically change the trajectory of climate change.” He spoke about how to incentivize ranchers and farmers to capture greenhouse gases, how traditional animal agriculture threatens biodiversity, when Impossible Foods will likely have steaks and chops on the market and why he doesn’t like the term “plant-based meat.”
Meanwhile, Beyond Meat Chairman Seth Goldman has a new plant-based snack business called Eat the Change. The venture’s first product, a line of mushroom jerky, tackles food waste by using imperfect vegetables that farmers cannot sell to stores, reported Forbes.
Family farm swaps cows for goats amid changed dairy industry
HYDE PARK, Vt. (AP) — Grappling with a changed industry, two brothers operating their family's dairy farm in Vermont have made the drastic decision to give up hundreds of cows for goats.
The Jones family, which had raised cows for 150 years at Joneslan Farm, houses about 1,000 goats in their barn that remains adorned with painted cut-outs of dairy cattle. Fluctuating milk prices paid to dairy cow farmers and rising costs have driven some small family farms to go big or out of business — or get creative like brothers Brian and Steven.
The Jones brothers finished constructing their nanny-milking parlor and delivered their first goat milk earlier this year to Land O’ Lakes-owned Vermont Creamery, to be used for cheese-making.
They plan to milk 1,200 to 1,500 dairy goats within two years.
“We’re growing all the time,” Brian Jones said.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of dairy cow farms fell by more than half between 2003 and 2020 while the number of cows nationwide grew as farms consolidated.
At the same time, the dairy goat industry in the U.S. has grown significantly in the last 20 years, with the number of dairy goats rising from more than 190,000 in 1997 to 440,000 last year — a 2% increase from 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The latest five-year census of agriculture shows that the number of dairy goat operations has more than doubled from 15,000 in 1997 to more than 35,000 in 2017. The next five-year census comes out in 2022.
Anti-competitive practices in the wine trade are coming under the government microscope President Joe Biden released a sweeping new executive order directing all federal agencies to "address overconcentration, monopolization, and unfair competition in the American economy". The order includes 72 separate initiatives; two involve the alcohol industry. The first provision says that within 120 days, the Treasury Department is supposed to submit a joint report with the FTC and Justice Department on "patterns of consolidation in production, distribution, or retail beer, wine, and spirits markets".
It won't take that long for these agencies to ascertain that distributor consolidation is the biggest threat to wine and spirits producers by limiting access to markets, and also to consumers by limiting access to products and keeping prices high. Wine industry experts have been talking about this for more than 15 years, yet the trend continues apace. But nobody in the federal government has ever taken it seriously – not anywhere near as seriously as producer consolidation. The second provision from Biden's order asks the TTB to follow up on the Treasury Department's report by updating TTB regulations, "reducing any barriers that impede market access for smaller and independent brewers, winemakers, and distilleries". Distributor consolidation is arguably the biggest impediment; small wineries and especially small distillers struggle to get their products on store shelves because big distributors aren't interested in them.
Scorched, Parched and Now Uninsurable: Climate Change Hits Wine Country
Sunscreen on grapes. Toilet water that is treated and used for irrigation. Napa Valley winemakers are taking extreme steps in the face of climate change.
In Napa Valley, the lush heartland of America’s high-end wine industry, climate change is spelling calamity. drive off the main road, and the vineyards that made this valley famous — where the mix of soil, temperature patterns and rainfall used to be just right — are now surrounded by burned-out landscapes, dwindling water supplies and increasingly nervous winemakers, bracing for things to get worse.Desperation has pushed some growers to spray sunscreen on grapes, to try to prevent roasting, while others are irrigating with treated wastewater from toilets and sinks because reservoirs are dry. Napa boasts some of the country’s most expensive farmland, selling for as much as $1 million per acre; a ton of grapes fetches two to four times as much as anywhere else in California. If there is any nook of American agriculture with both the means and incentive to outwit climate change, it is here.
But so far, the experience of winemakers here demonstrates the limits of adapting to a warming planet.
If the heat and drought trends worsen, “we’re probably out of business,” said Cyril Chappellet, president of Chappellet Winery, which has been operating for more than half a century. “All of us are out business.”
Wine Is Infused with the Sound of More Than 500 Musicians
To make wine, you pick grapes, crush them, ferment the juice, age the wine, and finally bottle it. But what if there were an additional step to make the wine taste a certain way and even speed up the fermentation process?
Wineries could soon be recommending Led Zeppelin for a zingier wine and Bach for a more robust wine. Some wineries, like Frequency Winery, have already integrated music into their winemaking process.
How Music Alters the Taste of Wine
Located in Kelowna, Canada, Frequency Winery has incorporated a sound studio to allow their wine to receive all of the “harmonic sound frequencies and good vibes.” They have had visiting artists play the blues, acoustic sets, and Rolling Stones covers. Bottles of wine surround a soundboard, guitars, and a piano, and speakers line the wine-filled studio.
It has been contested that not much can be done to alter the taste of wine, as even bottles made from the same batch often don’t taste the same. But this hasn’t stopped wineries around the world from playing music for the settling wine as it ferments.
Seven Stones Winery in British Columbia lets wine ferment to classical music in its barrel room. George Hanson, a winemaker at Seven Stones, believes that by playing classical music, yeast particles will be stimulated to eat more sugar, which makes the wine age more quickly and lowers the sugar content.
Montes Wine, a Chilean winery, has a preference for quiet music because the soft vibrations age the wine better.
One winery in Piedmont, Italy, has been playing piano music for their wine for 12 years. They consider the testing still in its early stages but said “the music induces the yeasts to greater activity.”
This may be explained by the study of electromagnetic waves. Electromagnetic waves have been said to affect the environment and even our DNA. When sound waves move through air, water, or earth, the vibrations affect how those molecules behave. When winemakers play music for their wine, the vibrations have the potential to alter the wine’s taste and the timeline of the fermentation process.
Sonochemistry, the use of ultrasound to alter or enhance chemical reactions, hasn’t just been used when producing wine but also cheese.
Does Listening to Music Impact the Taste of Wine?
Listening to music while sipping wine has been proven to confuse the tongue. Studies have shown that people often describe the wine they are drinking as having similar characteristics to the music they are hearing. Think about the ambiance of a restaurant and how it is impacted by the music played.
A 2008 study by Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, gathered a group of 250 to test wine while different types of music played. Participants sat in different rooms with some listening to music and others sipping in silence.
Researchers found that the taste of red wine was altered by 40% when exposed to heavy music and 25% with mellow music. Participants described the white wine as more refreshing when exposed to music that was “zingy and refreshing.”
Some researchers agree that certain types of music are better for certain types of wine, and if the music is just right, the wine-tasting experience is entirely different.
Blank Street Is Aiming To Disrupt The Street Cart Industry In New York City Blank Street, a food and beverage company based in New York City, run by two immigrants, Vinay Menda and Issam Freiha, has two strategies to disrupt the long-term coffee cart: mobile and battery-powered carts, and establishing compact, 200-square-foot brick-and-mortar kiosks or mini-storefronts.
Freiha describes its mission as “creating high-end specialty coffee at every corner, at a price that doesn’t break your wallet. To do that you have to be efficient with tiny real estate, such as carts, kiosks and pickup windows.” Menda says that Starbucks with its 1,500 to 2,000-square-foot storefronts outlays $350,000 to $500,000 to open while Blank Street spends between $60,000 to $75,000 on its kiosks or carts, about 75% to 80% less than its global competitor.
A medium latte with oatmilk costs $4.25 to $4.50 at Starbucks or Joe Coffee Company but $3.75 at Blank Street But it’s not just about the 50 cents saving. “If your cup of coffee is way better, that’s the hook,” Menda asserts. Currently Blank Street has nine locations, covering four carts, including two in McCarren Park and two others in Brooklyn, and five micro-retail kiosks, with three in Brooklyn and two in Manhattan. It launched in August 2020.
Its carts are considered better for the environment than the old-fashioned models because they are completely electric, which means zero emissions, and powered by a battery that isn’t toxic or polluting.
There are approximately 8,000 street carts in New York City, which are highly regulated by city government, restricted in areas and numbers. They must rely on a permitting system called “Unrestricted Area Permits,” and their numbers are capped.
But Blank Street avoids these restrictive designations and falls under “Restricted Area Permits,” which enables them to be located either on private property or under the jurisdiction of the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation.
The partners explain that these permits are essentially unrestricted and revolve around negotiating leases with private landlords. Hence, they think they can identify enough parks, vacant parking lots and gardens to make this a viable business, and pay rent to landlords and parks departments.
Freiha explains that these permits operate like “retail. As long as you sign leases, you can continue rolling them out, and there’s no limit on how many you can operate.”
Coffee Protects You From This Disease According To New Research
here’s a lot of information out there regarding coffee and its impact on your health. Recently, a lot of new studies have shown that it’s not all bad when it comes to your caffeine habit; drinking moderate amounts of coffee has been linked with decreased cancer odds, promoting fat burn, and more. Now, there’s a study that links the consumption of coffee with preventing liver disease.
Published in the journal BMC Public Health, the study tracked the development of liver disease in more than 495,000 people for a decade. Participants who drank coffee had 21% less chance of developing chronic liver disease when compared to non-coffee drinkers. Twenty-percent of coffee drinkers also had reduced risk of developing chronic or fatty liver disease.
Europe is seeing a growing trend of startup companies catering to the edible insect scene. The continent now features dozens of bug-based businesses offering products like cricket chips, and the European Union is also researching insect-based proteins as part of a broader sustainable food strategy, reported Associated Press.
A higher intake of ultra-processed food is associated with higher risk of inflammatory bowel disease, finds a study published by The BMJ, reported MedicalXPress.
10 Edible Flowers With Potential Health Benefits
Hibiscus flowers are large, colorful blossoms that grow in warm climates. The flowers can be eaten raw but are often used to make herbal tea. Some research suggests that hibiscus may have a positive impact on cholesterol and blood pressure.
Dandelions are considered weeds but double as a highly nutritious edible flower. The flowers — edible raw or cooked — can be used to make various foods like jelly and wine. Nutritious and tasty.
Lavender is a violet flower admired for its distinct aroma. It may be eaten fresh or dried and pairs well with a variety of ingredients, such as citrus, berries and savory herbs. Known for its calming effects.
Honeysuckle is a fragrant flower known for its distinct aroma, sweet flavor and traditional medicinal uses. It can be eaten straight from the plant or made into an infused syrup that can complement many dishes. Honeysuckle has been vital to traditional Chinese medicine practices for centuries
The flowers and their extracts are ingested or applied to the skin to treat various inflammatory conditions. However, its efficacy as medicinal therapy for humans remains scientifically unproven. Don’t eat the berries.
Nasturtium is a brightly colored flower known for its savory, peppery flavor. Its blossoms and leaves are nutritious and can be prepared in a variety of ways. Nasturtium is not only a versatile and eye-catching ingredient but also nutritious — containing a variety of minerals and health-promoting compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects
Borage is an herb that produces small, blue, star-shaped flowers. Used in both traditional medicine and culinary practices, it makes for a beautiful garnish for salads or cocktails and can also be cooked into soups and sauces.
Purslane is a nutrient-rich succulent whose flowers and leaves may be eaten cooked or raw. It provides a wide array of vitamins and minerals — especially omega-3s. It’s filled with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, but its biggest claim to nutritional fame is its omega-3 fat content. In fact, purslane provides more omega-3s than almost any other vegetable of its kind.
Roses-All varieties of roses are edible, but the ones with the sweetest fragrance are likely to have the most flavor. Rose petals can be used to infuse liquids with flavor or added to sugar or butter to boost your favorite recipes. Like many other edible flowers, roses may offer health benefits. Some research suggests that certain compounds in roses may play a role in reducing anxiety and promoting relaxation.
Squash Blossoms- The flowers that bloom on summer squash can be eaten raw, stuffed or fried. If you’re picking straight from a garden, stick to eating the male flowers so that the squash plants still grow. You don’t have to sacrifice your squash harvest to enjoy eating the flowers. Only the female blossoms can turn into squash, so stick to eating the male flowers to ensure a full harvest (11).
The male flowers have a long, thin stem and typically grow around the outer edges of the plant. Female flowers tend to grow closer to the plant’s center and have a small, bulbous fruit at the base of the blossom where it meets the stem.
Pansies-Although commonly used for ornamental purposes, pansies make a colorful and nutritious addition to a variety of desserts and salads. Aside from being a unique addition to a meal, pansies are also a rich source of several potent plant compounds known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties