17 Stories

Why Wendy's Spent 3 Years Looking for Blackberries

It hopes to compete with fast-casual eateries' fresh ingredients

(Newser) - Finding 2 million pounds of blackberries is no easy feat. "It's been a slow, painful journey for us," says the procurement boss at Wendy's. "We spent 14 months scavenging around the industry, looking at more suppliers than we ever have." The number actually topped... More »

Why Farmers Markets Aren't That Great

Study says they're pricey and not much healthier

(Newser) - Who doesn't like a farmers market? Organic food, weird jams, and a sense of community have drawn shoppers nationwide for years. But a new study says the markets don't really fulfill their reputation of promoting a healthy diet—and definitely don't save people money, Pacific Standard reports.... More »

A Few Myths About Washing Produce

No, you don't need produce wash

(Newser) - Obsessed with using produce wash, or cavalier about biting into unwashed organic fruits and veggies? Modern Farmer dispels a few myths about cleaning produce:
  • "Produce wash is a must": Yes, produce wash claims to destroy more bacteria, but the Center for Food Safety reports that tap water is as
... More »

The Horrible Cost Behind Your Cheap Mexican Produce

'LA Times' investigation finds a cutthroat farming culture that abuses workers

(Newser) - Hanging over the steady stream of brightly colored peppers, avocados, and other produce that line the shelves of our Walmarts and Whole Foods is a darker cost, one carried on the backs of farm laborers in Mexico who often work six-day weeks for $8 to $12 a day. In an... More »

Germany: Beansprouts Caused E. Coli

Outbreak traced to one farm, recall issued

(Newser) - Locally grown beansprouts are the likely cause for Germany's E. coli outbreak, which has killed 22 people and sickened hundreds. Lower Saxony Agriculture Minister Gert Lindemann says definitive results will be available tomorrow, but that sprouts from a farm in the greater Uelzen area between Hamburg and Hannover could... More »

Japan: Here, Eat Some Veggies

They're good for you, not oozing radiation

(Newser) - Japan has become the latest ardent convert of the locavore movement, reports the Washington Post, launching a public relations blitz intent on convincing its citizenry that produce fresh from the nuclear-contaminated Fukushima prefecture is safe, even yummy. The government even opened a restaurant yesterday, making a show of high-ranking politicians... More »

Tomato Thieves Nab 6 Truckloads

'Smooth as silk' crooks created fake trucking firm

(Newser) - With produce prices soaring, thieves decided the time was ripe for a major operation—and they got away with $300,000 worth of Florida produce, including six truckloads of tomatoes, the New York Times reports. “I’ve never experienced people targeting produce loads before,” said one trucking broker.... More »

What'd Michelle Buy at Farmers Market? Kale

No produce yet from White House's own garden, however

(Newser) - The farmers market Michelle Obama has been pushing for opened near the White House today, Eleanor Barkhorn writes for the Atlantic—though without any produce from the first lady’s own much-publicized garden. Mrs. O was among the first customers, and though she skipped the “Beets Even the President... More »

After E. Coli Outbreaks, Food Industry Looks to Tracing Tech

Labeling system would pinpoint the source

(Newser) - In the wake of health scares like the 2006 E. coli outbreak traced to tainted spinach, the food industry is scrambling to reassure the public—and hoping to head off a congressional response, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Voluntary efforts are under way to make tracing easier. For example, one... More »

Finally, a 'Leak-Proof' Tomato

(Newser) - Dutch scientists say they've built a better tomato, ABC News reports. The “Intense” variety is being heralded as “leak-proof” and an end to soggy sandwiches by Tesco, the British supermarket chain that will sell it. The tomato—the result of a Dutch seed-breeding program—leaks virtually none of... More »

Look for Black Widows in Your Grapes

(Newser) - Spiders are hitching rides into grocery stores on organically grown grapes, and growers can't find a way to stop them, Gourmet reports. The problem is, spiders are helpful: They feast on bugs that feast on grapes, allowing growers to avoid pesticides. But stores from Boston to South Africa are... More »

EU Repeals Straight Banana, Curvy Cucumber Laws

Rules set tight standards for produce size, shape, color

(Newser) - The EU took a U-turn on curved cucumbers and bent bananas and voted to repeal strict laws that ban the sale of imperfect produce, the Washington Post reports. Shops are barred from selling cauliflower less than 4.33 inches in diameter and not-green-enough asparagus until July, when such laws—long... More »

Feds Mandate Nation-of-Origin Labels for Meat, Produce

But new law covers as little as possible: critics

(Newser) - Grocery shoppers will soon be able to tell their Argentine steak from their Midwest chicken at a glance, as a new federal law mandating nation-of-origin labels kicks in Sept. 30. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) will cover everything from fruit and nuts to beef, lamb, and chicken, reports the Chicago ... More »

FDA Approves Irradiation of Spinach, Lettuce

Practice common in meat coming soon to produce aisle

(Newser) - Consumers worried about salad safety may soon be able to buy fresh spinach and iceberg lettuce zapped with just enough radiation to kill E. coli and a few other germs. The Food and Drug Administration will issue a new regulation tomorrow allowing spinach- and lettuce-sellers to take that extra step,... More »

You Say Tomato, the FDA Says There's Another Culprit Here

Feds eye other produce as salmonella source

(Newser) - Health officials are looking into produce other than tomatoes as the source of the recent salmonella outbreak, reports the Los Angeles Times. With much of the tomato harvest wrapped up and new cases emerging, the FDA is investigating produce typically served with tomatoes, though officials refuse to say what that... More »

Global Food Chain Ensures Ills Never Go Out of Season

Local sources look ever better considering price and risk, as tomatoes show

(Newser) - On the heels of a tomato scare, US consumers need to look closely at the risks and ever-rising costs of the global network that supplies produce no matter the season, Tim Rutten writes in the Los Angeles Times. "When one packer's tainted produce goes to three or four countries,... More »

Tracking Toxic Greens Is Growth Industry

(Newser) - Still smarting from this fall's E. coli outbreaks, the produce industry is trying to coax Americans into eating their greens again with high-tech solutions. Companies like Dole and Western Growers are using radio-frequency tags and GPS surveillance to track veggies as they move from farm to grocery store. More »

17 Stories