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.
Poopity scoop. Earlier this month in Canada, Heinz launched “Mayochup,” a condiment that is literally just ketchup and mayonnaise combined. There’s something condescending about Mayochup’s existence—after all, “we can just mix ketchup and mayo by ourselves on our plates,” one NFE staffer noted. However, as it turns out, the worst thing about “Mayochup” may be its very name. According to Grand Chief Jonathan Solomon of the Kashechewan First Nation, that’s because “mayochup” translates to “shitface” in Cree, Indian Country Today reports. “May” refers to shit, and “chup” refers to “face,” an excited Twitter user further explained. Talk about lost in translation….
Let there be light beer. Did you know that Bud Light, Coors Light, and Miller Light are three of the four top-selling beers in the country? Though craft brewers have gained a significant chunk of market share in the past decade, none have really planted a flag in the world of low-calorie, low-ABV booze. Now, many popular craft beer manufacturers are launching lighter beers with unique flavors and ingredients, while also trying to appeal to the health-conscious drinker, The New York Times reports. Raise a glass to competition.
T.H.C. you across state lines. The USDA quietly descheduled tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana, earlier this week in a legal filing about hemp production, Real Money reports. This means that states can’t prevent the legal transportation of hemp across state lines, even if the crop remains prohibited in certain jurisdictions. So now, a hemp farmer in Colorado can drive her crop to Maine without worrying about getting arrested in Kansas. Real Money points out that, since it’s virtually impossible to distinguish THC derived from hemp from THC derived from marijuana, this may effectively allow interstate transport of both.
Spray cheese, a staple? The internet is aflutter today with Bloomberg’s report that a proposed Trump administration rule would classify spray cheese and beef jerky as “staple” foods. Since this is the section where we get to editorialize, we’re just going to go ahead and say it: This isn’t a big deal! The rule matters only for convenience stores hoping to qualify to accept foodstamps. It has no direct bearing whatsoever on nutrition policy. But as Bloomberg points out, only 6 percent of SNAP dollars are spent at convenience stores. Our columnist Patrick Clinton wrote about these stocking rules for retailers back when they were first proposed in 2016. His conclusion? There’s no obvious solution.
Price-fixing in the poultry aisle, again. If you’ve read NFE for longer than a month or two, you know we’re obsessed with price-fixing in the poultry industry. The premise is simple: Buyers and distributors say a handful of chicken companies (Pilgrim’s Pride, Koch Foods, Tyson) have been conspiring to limit supply and keep prices artificially high. Companies like Winn-Dixie,Olive Garden, and even Hooters have filed tantalizing lawsuits in the last few years, but so far the beat has been a quiet one: Nothing’s been resolved. This week, Walmart piled on, filing an antitrust suit in federal court against 30 poultry producers alleging price conspiracy as far back as 2008. Grocery Diveadds that the company may have filed suit just to ensure it gets a piece of a settlement, should we ever see an end to the saga. We’re not holding our breath.