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.
They shoot corn, don’t they? Every couple of months, it seems, there’s a new article on how tricky it is to make ends meet as a farmer. Income enhancers include barn weddings, corn mazes, goat yoga, and our personal favorite, the Midwest’s legendary pizza farms. This week, The Wall Street Journal has another novel farming side hustle: Shooting vegetables from cannons. That’s it, that’s the story.
GMOhNo. Another week, another legal kerfuffle for Chipotle. This time, the company settled for $6.5 million a California class-action case in which it was accused of misleading customers with claims that there are no genetically modified ingredients in its menu items. In actuality, Chipotle has sold meat and dairy from animals that consumed GM feed. Class members can receive between $2 and $20, if they saved their greasy, years-old receipts. Law360 has more on the settlement (registration required). Oh, and if you savor stories about Chipotle getting spanked, try our piece from last week about New York City filing a $1-million suit for alleged labor violations.
Impossibly still a story. Eaters have weighed in. Investors have weighed in. States have weighed in. Now it’s time for religion to collide with the alt-protein tsunami. Writing for The Washington Post, Laura Reiley looks at dietary law through the lens of an Impossible Burger and finds that alternative proteins present unique ethical and religious quagmires for the faithful. Mock duck may not be theologically problematic, but cell-cultured meat raises some pricklier questions about dietary restrictions related to animal welfare.
The gilded peanut. Perhaps you’re familiar with oral immunotherapy, in which allergy sufferers are given tiny doses of their problematic allergen to develop an immunity. James Hamblin at The Atlantic reports on a pharma startup that caters to the peanut-allergic at a very normal price tag of $4,200 per year. As Hamblin archly notes, the product is “simply peanut flour.”
Ants on a blog. Ever wondered who invented ants on a log? Food52 tried to track the roots of the peanut butter-slathered celery treat. Turns out, it’s a snacktime mystery of the highest order. The beloved pre-K classic first appeared in print in 1959, and some journalists have credited the Girl Scouts with its invention, but writer Mara Weinraub found no smoking gun. So much for raisin our hopes!