The Juicy Bits
Let's get the sad news out of the way: Mimi Sheraton, the groundbreaking food writer, died last month at age 97. Over her six-decade career, she became the first restaurant critic to wear a disguise and ate more than 21,000 restaurant meals in 49 countries. Also last month, legendary chef Emily Meggett passed away at the age of 90. Meggett authored 2022's acclaimed Gullah Geechee Home Cooking and was famed as the matriarch of South Carolina's Edisto Island. Both amazing women. RIP. In better news, New York City food scraps have been converted into biogas and are now heating New Yorkers' homes for the first time. Here's to effective recycling. And the James Beard Foundation has released its full slate of 2023 Media Award Nominees. Congrats all! (Winners announced June 3.) Elsewhere in the fine dining world, you can now buy and sell restaurant reservations for hard-to-get tables, just like concert tickets. Many of those restaurants are also opting for service fees in lieu of traditional tips. When you dine out, check the bill's fine print to help calculate your tip. It may already be baked in. Finally, are you easily grossed out by food? You can now put a number to your level of food disgust thanks to this simple test devised by Swiss food researchers. FTR, my food disgust is pretty low at 20%.
Texas Barbecue Goes Global
Image Source: Jane Yun
Disclaimer: This article was sponsored by Travel Texas, the state's tourism office. That said, it has illuminating info on Texas BBQ history and how the traditional trinity of oak-smoked brisket, ribs, and sausage pioneered by African, Spanish, Mexican, German, and Czech cooks in the state has evolved into today's multicultural mix of joints that embrace Ethiopian, Pakistani, Persian, Vietnamese, and Japanese barbecue influences.
Restaurants Increasingly Opt For Service Fees Over Tips
Image Source: John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune
While tipping is deeply ingrained in the American restaurant experience, the practice is changing due to pay disparities relative to state and federal minimum and subminimum wages (for tipped workers). In many cities, restaurants have implemented 20% service fees instead of tips to ensure that workers receive fair wages year-round regardless of tipping fluctuations. Restaurant guests are still adjusting to the fees, but it's generally understood that if your bill includes a service fee, additional tips are completely optional.
Hydroponic Hops May Help Save The World's Beer
Image Source: Juan Medina / Reuters
In 2022, hop yields were down 40% in Czechia, 21% in Germany, and 12% in the US. To ensure a sufficient supply of the flowers essential to beer-making, Spanish company Enokoke has begun growing hydroponic hops under LED lights in Madrid warehouses. Its systems aren't subject to climate change and use about 95% less water than traditional outdoor farming. A limited edition IPA using Ekonoke's hops is already on tap in a Madrid bar and one of its funders, industry giant Anheuser-Busch InBev, calls the venture "very promising."
Plummeting Stocks Set To Trigger Salmon Fishing Ban In California
Image Source: Steve Martarano/US Fish and Wildlife Service
The Pacific Fishery Management Council, a federal commission that oversees West Coast fisheries, has recommended that Chinook salmon fishing off the California coast be called off until 2024. The ban would halt both commercial and recreational salmon fishing in the state and much of the neighboring Oregon coast. The reason? Chinook salmon have become increasingly endangered due to drought, heat waves, and agriculture. To take effect, the National Marine Fisheries Service must approve the ban by May 16.
First Offshore Fish Farm Proposed For New England Waters
Image Source: Robert F Bukaty / AP Photo
Blue Water Fisheries group wants to be the first to bring fish farming to the open ocean off New England. Most aquaculture takes places in coastal waters or on land, but the group's proposed farm would consist of 40 submersible fish pens on two sites about 7 1/2 miles off the coast of Newburyport, Massachusetts. It would raise millions of pounds of Atlantic salmon and steelhead trout. Critics say the open ocean pens increase the likelihood of storm damage, fish escapes, diseases, parasites, and threats to wild salmon due to hybridizing and competition for food. The group's environmental impact statement is yet to be released.
CA And NY Propose Ban On Five Food Additives Deemed A Health Risk To Children
Image Source: Jenna Sachs / Fox6Now
Potassium bromate, brominated vegetable oil, titanium dioxide, propylparaben, and red dye No. 3 are widely used in US food products, including hundreds of baked goods, candies and soda. For years, the food additives have been banned in Europe due to evidence linking them to cancer, neurodevelopmental issues and hormone dysfunction, particularly in children. Newly proposed bills in California and New York seek to ban all five additives in US food products. If approved, the bans would take effect in 2025.
Help DigestThis.news Continue With Only $3/month
Like what you're reading? Help keep DigestThis.news going by supporting it here with only $3/month. Thanks!
What's Your Food Disgust Level?
Image Source: IDRlabs.com
Are you grossed out by bloody meat, blue cheese, or a fly in your soup? To better understand negative food reactions, researchers at the Technical University of Zurich have classified and quantified the yuk factor into eight distinct metrics of disgust. Take their simple test to find out your food disgust level. Mine's 20%, which is pretty low. You might also want to check out the other food tests on this site, such as the Eating Disorder Test and the Diet Mapping Test to see how your food intake compares to that of others.
Your Ad Here!
To reach more than 50,000 engaged readers across the food and cooking industries, place a Classified ad in an upcoming issue. Classifieds are inexpensive and easy to book with a few clicks.