• In the USA, 30 companies control 95% of the $31b chicken industry

    Processing 1.5m birds per week.

    The Shocking Ways Lobbyists Eliminate Competition in the Farming Industry - YouTube  
  • Dangerous metals in spices on US shelves

    According to Consumer Reports, 1/3 of samples contained concerning or dangerous levels.

    Didn't matter if they were 'organic.'

    Every brand tested had lots of lead, arsenic and cadmium.

    Reasons? May be grown in areas where heavy metals are abundant in the soil. Grown and imported in large quantities because they're popular.

    Probably won't harm anyone eating a few times a week, but if combined with other sources of exposure like in water and in foods, it could be dangerous, particularly for children whose bodies are still developing. Heavy metals can't be easily cleared or metabolized, so they accumulate in the body.

    Consumer reports put a list on their website so people could check the dangerous ones and throw them out.

    The industry is largely self-regulated, and checks (FDA) are usually for bacteria (like salmonella).

     
  • Some restaurants using robots because they can't get workers

    In the US, 75 or 80% percent of restaurants are understaffed.

    Robo-chefs.

    Flippy-2 robot makes deep fried wings. The restaurants are looking at unlocking capacity: faster food for guests. Doing less desirable, more dangerous tasks. Costs now about $3000 per month (I don't know what that means exactly).

    Matri-D by Richtech delivers plates of food to tables. It's basically a robotic food tray. Costs up to $20k. Can serve more tables, customers get food faster, no tips.

    An Australian delivery robot delivers food from a mall to houses within a half a mile.

     
  • Corn, soy, wheat prices up

    The reasons include China buying more because the country is rebuilding its hog herd after major losses in 2019 and last winter (African Swine Fever); draught in Brazil and ongoing dry conditions in the U.S (two major suppliers); and traders trying to hedge inflationary risks.

    The robust Chinese demand is expected to continue for 2-4 years. Additionally, rising incomes in developing countries could keep food prices moving upward.

    There isn't much alternative (such as rice and wheat) to feeding livestock good grains (corn and soy beans) when a livestock economy is focused on maximizing gains and quality, as China's is.

    Offsetting factors to inflation in food prices have started to be seen in more elastic demand factors, such as Chinese animal protein demand, where indications are consumers are starting to pull back due to prices. Also, the supply side, if robust enough, could put downward pressure on prices. We'll see how robust U.S. production turns out to be this year in the June Acerage Report, as the U.S. is still planting this years crops.

    Rice prices aren't up in the same way because stocks have been built up over the past few years.


    USDA Acreage Reports
     

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