Fresh Take: Less Waste In 2022, Why Food Price Inflation Is Not Inevitable, And What Lab-Grown Meat Startups Can Learn From Theranos

Food & Drink

The start of the new year has me deeply analyzing a lot of my habits, and I’m resolved to live with less waste in 2022. It’s been a long journey. I’ve been composting with worms on my terrace for three years now, and rarely buy products with plastic. But staying at home more, and seeing the leftover boxes from packages piling up around my building’s trash, has infuriated me.

Progress has been shunted to the consumer. More is getting delivered directly to homes than ever before, and those households are now responsible for properly recycling any packaging that comes to their doorstep. That’s unfair, considering individual households lack the resources of a corporation or even a startup where the waste originates.

The global food system is responsible for more than a third of all greenhouse gas emissions annually. All aspects of production, from transportation to the packaging used, play a part. I’d like to see corporations hold themselves to higher levels of accountability this year, and I’m looking forward to keeping you up-to-date on who’s actually trying, and who is not.

— Chloe Sorvino, Staff Writer

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What’s Fresh This Year, One Week In

5 Lessons Cell Cultured Meat Companies Can Learn From Theranos. The guilty verdict against disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes should give the cell cultured meat industry pause, writes new contributor Michele Simon.

Why Food Price Inflation Is Not Inevitable. Inflation has been driven by the companies at the commanding heights of the food system pulling in massive profits throughout the pandemic. And it sure isn’t inevitable, writes Errol Schweizer. By passing higher costs downstream, corporations have taken full advantage of rising fuel and input prices, supply chain logjams and increased labor costs to grow their profit margins to the highest rates since 1950. 

Pabst Blue Ribbon Apologizes For Inappropriate ‘Dry January’ Tweets. The beer brand posted—and then soon deleted—a series of posts about the month designated as alcohol-free. Staff writer Marty Swant breaks the scandal down.

A By-The-Numbers Look At The Food Listing Boom That Wasn’t. During the rush to market in 2021, it seemed like almost every corner of the food industry was looking for a seat at the table. But investors in restaurant chains, grocery store favorites and even a lab-grown meat maker had trouble digesting a year’s worth of spicy and bland public listings, from Oatly’s $10 billion IPO bust to Sweetgreen’s abrupt reversal from a first-day run up. By yours truly.

Sweetgreen Is Testing A $10 Subscription Membership Program. Sweetgreen is the latest chain to test a subscription program to generate frequency and loyalty, as well as higher tickets, longtime restaurant writer Alicia Kelso reports.

A splurge like this isn’t often, but I love honoring my Italian-American heritage with a festive Feast of the Seven Fishes. Here are four of my seven from this past Christmas Eve: skewered lobster tails, seared scallops, vongole and black cod with a pesto crust. Coconut shrimp, crab cakes and anchovies in caesar salad were the other dishes served.

Chloe Sorvino leads coverage of food and agriculture as a staff writer on the enterprise team at Forbes. Her nearly eight years of reporting at Forbes has brought her to In-N-Out Burger’s secret test kitchen, drought-ridden farms in California’s Central Valley, burnt-out national forests logged by a timber billionaire, a century-old slaughterhouse in Omaha, and even a chocolate croissant factory designed like a medieval castle in Northern France. Her book on the fight for the future of meat is forthcoming from Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books in September 2022. 

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