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News

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.

Pig, if true. The Trump administration is transferring food safety oversight in pork production from USDA inspectors to pork producers themselves, The Washington Post reports. This is just the latest attempt by the federal government to loosen regulations in the meatpacking industry. In January of last year, we reported on USDA’s proposal to remove caps on pork processing speeds. The proposed changes are being compared to the FAA outsourcing safety oversight duties to Boeing, which did not end well.

Print, once dead, is revived. The Zagat guide for New York City restaurants will return to print this fall, four years after the publication became an online-only resource in 2016. Founded in 1979 as a pre-Internet Yelp, Zagat was sold in 2011 to Google, which stopped printing the brand’s physical issues. It was then sold again to online restaurant review site, The Infatuation, which is now resuscitating the printed version (but only for New York City restaurants). The New York Times has the story.

No crop relief for farmers. In a piece reported by Reuters this week, U.S. Agriculture Undersecretary Bill Northey has some tough news for Midwestern farmers who lost crops in the floods: “The USDA has no mechanism to compensate farmers for damaged crops in storage.” Specific aid legislation would need to have been approved by Congress—but it wasn’t.

Native seeds. The Cherokee Heritage Center in Park Hill, Oklahoma, is on track to distribute a record 10,000 packets of seeds this year. Tove Danovich reports for NPR that after initially sourcing a historic “Trail of Tears” bean, the center now is offering two dozen different seed varieties for traditional Cherokee crops and native plants. Members of the Cherokee Nation get all seeds for free.

Who killed the great buffet chain? Maybe it was the internet. Maybe it was the business model. Or maybe it was just one too many food poisoning outbreaks. This week, Vox searches for an explanation of what happened to the great American feeding trough. Spoiler alert: Millennials may be to blame.

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