The Juicy Bits
Ever wonder how your indispensable, indestructible cast iron pans get made? Watch and learn in this short, engaging video. Or maybe you're more curious about regional American BBQ. Just how does an area become known for a particular style? Southern California has the answer in this deep dive into the region's unique history of smoking meat...and other things. Lawmakers may soon be credited with shaping those BBQ traditions. California's new animal welfare laws take effect in a few months, and only 4% of US hog operations comply. Will pork take a back seat to beef in the state? We shall see. Elsewhere across the country, restaurants are still caught in the crossfire of vaccination debates, Congress thinks it can define "healthy" and "unhealthy" foods, and further north of the border a biophysicist is transforming apples, asparagus and other produce into functioning medical implants. August is usually a slow news month but not in the food world. There was even a pizza delivery to the International Space Station!
Southern California Stakes Its Claim As A Great American Barbecue Region
Image Source: Eater
From Santa Maria beef tri-tip and vaquero-style pit-cooked lamb to the traditional barbecue of Filipino, Korean, and Chinese immigrants, southern California has developed a unique smoked meat culture. Add some classic central Texas brisket, Carolina-style pulled pork, and Memphis-style dry rub ribs, and the region emerges as a global melting pot of barbecue styles with a side of California flair. At least, that's how this Eater LA story sees it. Read on to see if you agree.
Major Cities Mandate Vaccination Proof For Indoor Dining, Prompting Backlash
Image Source: EJ Hersom / Department of Defense
New York City became the first US city to mandate proof of vaccination for dining inside restaurants. San Francisco soon followed, and so did a slew of lawsuits from restaurateurs who find the mandates unconstitutional. Meanwhile, Texas has banned such vaccine passports, along with its ban on mask mandates. If you require vaccination proof in your Texas restaurant, you could get your liquor license revoked.
More Restaurant News
OpenTable Offers Verified Vaccination Status To Streamline Restaurant Reservations
Seafood Prices Spike 18%, Prompting US Restaurants To Strike It From Menus
Average Pay For Restaurant And Grocery Workers Now Exceeds $15 An Hour, A US Labor Milestone
The Forgotten History Of The World's First Restaurant May Foretell The Industry's Future
Plum Pits? Pasilla Chiles? Koji? Modern Distillers Push The Limits Of Liquor
Image Source: Dashti Jahfar
The liquor business is going through a renaissance. Companies like Denmark's Empirical Spirits are distilling unique types of booze from ingredients other than traditional grains and grapes. Pasilla chiles, purple wheat, and pilsner malt get distilled into a spicy, smoky clear liquor with hints of pineapple and scotch. Distilled kombucha made from marigold flowers has an astringent tannic quality more often tasted in wine and tea. Rice-based whiskeys fermented with koji (the fungus used to make soy sauce) develop a savory, umami finish. Welcome to the mind-bending future of booze.
Bacon May Disappear From California As New Hog Operation Rules Take Effect
Image Source: AP Photo/Eric Risberg
In a few months, California will begin enforcing new animal welfare laws that require more space for pigs no matter where the pork products originate. Only 4% of US hog operations currently comply with the state's new rules. Unless lawmakers intervene, California may lose most of its pork supply, and pork producers will face higher costs in one of their key markets (the Golden State consumes 15% of the nation's pork products). In the California of 2022, bacon could be harder to come by.
USDA Permanently Increases Food Stamp Benefits By 25%
Image Source: Scott Heins, Getty Images
About 42 million Americans will soon get an increase in their food stamp funds, officially known as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). Following a lengthy review, the USDA determined that current SNAP benefits are too low to pay for a healthy diet. On average, beneficiaries will receive an increase of about $36.24 per month beginning on October 1, and the change is permanent.
Congress Proposes New Food Labels To Identify Healthy And Unhealthy Foods
Image Source: Alamy
To crack down on misleading health claims, US lawmakers have introduced the Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2021. The proposed legislation would require standardized front-of-package labeling that tells consumers if a product is healthy or not. The new label may feature star ratings or a system of red, green, and yellow traffic icons. The legislation would also require packages labeled "whole grain" to list the actual percentage of whole grain in the food. The well-intentioned legislation faces an uphill battle before it becomes law.
Please Help DigestThis.news Continue
Like what you're reading? Help keep DigestThis.news going by supporting it here. Any amount helps. Thanks!
Biophysicist Transforms Apples And Other Produce Into Medical Implants
Image Source: Andrew Pelling
University of Ottawa professor Andrew Pelling has turned an apple into a viable mammalian ear and asparagus into a functioning spinal-cord implant. Pelling's team spent two years decellularizing fruits and vegetables and growing mammalian cells onto them. “It just kept working," he says. They implanted decellularized asparagus into lab rats with severed spinal cords and within weeks the rats could walk again. Pelling now believes the future of “augmented biology” lies in the supermarket produce aisle.
Pizza Delivery In Space
Image Source: AP Photo/Steve Helber
Earlier this month, pizza was delivered to the International Space Station along with a cheese smorgasbord, fresh apples, tomatoes, and kiwi. The supply run also included a mounting bracket for the station's new solar wings, some material simulating moon dust, and slime mold for a French educational experiment called the Blob. The space station is currently home to three American astronauts, two Russians, one French and one Japanese. If the Russians get the next food delivery pick, maybe they'll all be dining on beef stroganoff.