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.
Careful with that club sandwich. A new report published in The World Journal of Surgery studies the damage an unwittingly swallowed toothpick can inflict on the body. The upshot? Avoid at all costs. According to the report, about half of the people who suck down a toothpick during a meal aren’t aware of what they’ve done, but about 10 percent of those who do end up dead. Once swallowed, toothpicks were found to cause gut perforation in 79 percent of all patients, and the slivers can even migrate to other parts of the body, from liver and kidney to lung. Inspired by the report, The New York Times tells the harrowing story of one young athlete nearly killed by the wood in his sandwich. Let’s raise a cocktail glass—carefully—to him and other victims, like American author Sherwood Anderson, taken from us too soon by the olive-skewer in his martini.
Golden ouches. This week, McDonald’s reported lower than expected sales in the United States, thanks in part to renovations—self-order kiosks, new kitchen walls, and pick-up counters for Uber Eats drivers—that have required some stores to close temporarily. The high costs are pushing some franchisees to the edge. CNBC breaks down the company’s latest earnings report.
Why so salty? Cooks across the country endured a momentary crisis when they heard rumors that Diamond Crystal kosher salt would be discontinued, Tejal Rao reports for The New York Times. The brand is beloved for its unique crystals, formed through a patented evaporation process. Eventually, Diamond Crystal’s parent company Cargill had to issue a statement saying that the salt was safe from obsolescence. Any confusion likely stemmed from a packaging update. Keep walking, people. Nothing to see here.
***Meatless. There isn’t much we wouldn’t do in exchange for free tickets for Jay-Z and Beyoncé concerts for life. (Actually for the next 30 years, according to the fine print.) It seems Bey’s betting that a lot of fans feel that way: In anInstagram post on Wednesday, she announced a chance to attend her concerts for free by committing to eating less meat and dairy. The post promoted The Greenprint Project, a website that measures the carbon emissions supposedly offset by eating vegan meals from 22 Days—the meal-kit company co-owned by Bey, Jay, and their superstar trainer.