Fresh Take: The Truth About Gun Violence, Food Insecurity And Food Workers

Food & Drink

As chef Jenny Dorsey, the founder of food justice nonprofit Studio ATAO, and her team write in their edition of this week’s newsletter, “one of the less visible realities of gun violence is its intersection with food insecurity and its impact on food system workers. It is no accident that gun violence heavily impacts those left vulnerable by an inequitable food system.” Let’s take that in for a moment.

There’s no better time to talk more about this. The horrific Monterey Park, California, attacks during Lunar New Year transpired just a week ago, and in January 2022 alone, at least four fast-food workers were shot while working. The stats, simply, are startling: In nine California cities between 2017 and 2020, 911 call logs show over 77,000 violent or threatening incidents just at McDonald’s, Burger King, Carl’s Jr. and Jack-in-the-Box locations.

Creating a more equitable and just food system is one key way, Dorsey and the team write, to combat this violence at its core. Another way is to keep learning more about these intractable issues. (Which is why I highly suggest you read more from Studio ATAO here.)

I’m wishing you a relaxing winter weekend. I’m off next week, but I’ll look forward to sending you the next Fresh Take on February 17. Enjoy!

—Chloe Sorvino, Staff Writer

Order my book, Raw Deal: Hidden Corruption, Corporate Greed and the Fight for the Future of Meat, out now from Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books.

This is Forbes’ Fresh Take newsletter, which every Friday brings you the latest on the big ideas changing the future of food. Want to get it in your inbox every week? Sign up here.

What’s Fresh

Antibiotics Use In Farm Animals Is Growing—Here’s Why It Could Pose A Danger To Humans. The use of antimicrobials in often healthy farm animals promotes drug resistance and could help render infections like gonorrhea, tuberculosis and staph untreatable, reports Robert Hart.

A Partnership Between Target And Black-Owned Family Farms Brings Sustainable Cotton Products To Consumers. A pilot program to buy cotton from Black farmers delivers on Target’s goal of expanding diversity within its supply chain. It also supports farmers who employ sustainable growing practices aligned with the retailer’s environmental goals, writes Steven Savage.

Fungi-Powered Ingredients Startup Michroma Promising To Remove Petroleum From Food Colorings Raises $6.4 Million In Venture Funding. San Francisco-headquartered startup, Michroma, which uses fungal biofactories to produce natural food coloring and flavors, has amassed $6.4 million in a recent venture-backed seed funding, writes Douglas Yu.

Plant-Based Fail: The Empty Promise Of Animal Meat Displacement. As Michele Simon asks, the only relevant question is: Are meat eaters substituting plant-based meats for animal meats in any significant way?

The Environmental Movement Forgot About Animals. It’s not acceptable to address the well-being of the planet and humankind while ignoring all other animals, including those raised for food on factory farms, writes Brian Kateman.

New Evidence That Ultra-Processed Foods May Increase Cancer Risk. A new study funded by Cancer Research UK and the World Cancer Research Fund suggests that a 10% incremental increase in the consumption of ultra-processed food is linked to an elevated risk of 34 types of cancer and cancer death, reports Daphne Ewing-Chow.

Agricultural Groups Among Plaintiffs Suing EPA For Revised Water Rule. Left to its own devices, water doesn’t remain still for long. The same could be said for regulations to define the federal government’s scope to control the discharge of pollutants and man-made sediment into bodies of water, reports Ann Hinch.

After Layoffs And A CEO Change, Cometeer’s Frozen Coffee Pod Business Is In Hot Water. In December, Cometeer quietly conducted layoffs and installed its chief operating officer as co-CEO. Former employees spoke of dysfunction and high executive turnover as growth has slowed at the most-funded coffee startup ever, where head count is down nearly 50%, reports Alex Konrad.

I love cooking a pasture-raised chicken whole, in a dutch oven. This one I fashioned in a Mediterranean-meets-Moroccan style, with orange juice, dates, olives, shallots and garlic. I throw in orzo at the end, too, to make this a simple one-pot meal.

Chloe Sorvino leads coverage of food and agriculture as a staff writer on the enterprise team at Forbes. Her book, Raw Deal: Hidden Corruption, Corporate Greed and the Fight for the Future of Meat, will publish on December 6, 2022, with Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books. Her nearly nine 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.

Thanks for reading the 60th edition of Forbes Fresh Take! Let me know what you think. Subscribe to Forbes Fresh Take here.

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