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Tinned Fish Could Be the Next Grocery Item to Run Out. Blame TikTok

Tinned fish, especially expensive brands that cost up to $10 per can, is hard to find at some grocery stores. Next time you go to the grocery store you may have a hard time finding tinned fish like tuna, anchovies, or sardines in the aisle. That’s thanks to the viral “tinned fish” niche on TikTok and the growing group of online creators making video content on “conservas”—tasty and sometimes elaborate dishes made from canned fish and seafood. One such creator, Danielle Matzon, posts videos of her nearly daily consumption of tinned sardines, smoked mussels, and caviar to her 500,000 followers. Tinned fish videos have garnered 27 million views on the platform, with content ranging from taste tests to tinned fish snack boards. There’s even a tinned seafood subreddit with over 28,000 enthusiasts sharing their favorite tins, accompanying condiment pairings and their thoughts on its newly coined title of “hot girl food.” [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] [video id=WlHaYUDB] How TikTok became obsessed with tinned fish A large allure to U.S. audiences is the fact that most Americans appear unfamiliar with the concept of tinned fish as a delicacy. Chef José Andrés has been quick to remind viewers just discovering tinned fish that it has long been common as part of the cuisine in Spain and Portugal. But this isn’t the chunk light tuna in water, which most known to Americans as “canned fish.” The focus of TikTok’s obsession is upscale tinned fish with colorful packaging from companies like Los Angeles-based Fishwife (one of TikTok’s favorite brands). Cans can cost you upwards of $10 each. Now, the big canned-fish producers like Bumble Bee are trying to get in on the action, and promoting their higher-end cans to live up to the trend. “It’s possible to have a gourmet experience with a can of tuna,” Jeremy Zavoral, Bumble Bee’s brand marketing director told the Wall Street Journal. The internet’s obsession with tinned fish has gone beyond the confines of TikTok’s ForYouPage. Matzon’s online success has even made it difficult for her to find some of her favorite tinned fish snacks, and she now stocks up in advance of recommending a product to her viewers. Its real life effects are apparent in the countless comments on her videos of users not able to find her recommendations anywhere. “You need to make some calls because there’s no mussels at Whole Foods,” writes one fan. Ali Hooke, a professional chef by trade in the San Francisco area known for her “tinned fish date night” videos, has also noticed the impact at her local grocery store, Mollie Stone’s. There’s a new “tinned fish” sign by their entrance. The canned fish market size is forecast to reach over $11 billion dollars by 2027, according to IndustryARC. Younger consumers are, thanks to videos such as Matzon’s, becoming more familiar with products such as caviar, a usually slow selling product, mainly popular during holidays or bought for special occasions. Products are now often hard to come by at local grocery and gourmet stores, says Matzon. The attraction of tinned fish is its convenience. “It becomes this gourmet snack that literally took five minutes to put together,” Matzon says. “I think that’s what really resonated with my audience.” Matzon isn’t a newcomer to the world of tinned fish—her family owns Marky’s Caviar, whose products she often reviews on her page. “It’s always been a natural synergy,” she says of her tinned fish and caviar obsession. “Not only because of my family’s business, but because in our Eastern European culture, it’s a staple we’ve always had in the house.” Bay Area chef Hooke is believed to have kickstarted the TikTok trend when she started posting her “tinned fish date nights” back in July 2022, a tradition she has with her husband every Friday. The viral videos feature her at-home date night set ups: an assortment of tinned fish, usually paired with some natural wine and crackers. Her audience has grown to nearly 100,000 followers who tune in every week to see what tinned fish Hooke will try next. “I did not at all expect that to have a reaction. I just was posting it because it was what we were doing, what we were eating and we loved it,” Hooke tells TIME. Her most popular video, with over 4.5 million views, features a snack board of chorizo sardines, char-grilled octopus, and fried mussels. Comments on the post range from “This is my new favorite series on TikTok” to “I do not like tin fish, but I would try every one of these.” [video id=UK18p3jl] Tinned fish gets a second look For Hooke and Matzon, posting this content is more than just a passing internet trend. It’s an opportunity to destigmatize a genre of food that Matzon recalls feeling embarrassed to eat when she was younger. “You can call it a trend in terms of numbers, but what’s really happening here is consumer education,” says Hooke. “I’m very passionate about discrimination in food and highlighting food that is viewed as less than, to be worth as much as it should be. Tinned fish absolutely falls in that category.” Audiences are now more aware of the range of this fish, but it doesn’t make the fancy cans any less expensive for trying. When asked for recommendations for beginners looking to participate in the craze, both Matzon and Hill reference $10-per-tin Fishwife products, known for their bright, retro-like packaging and quality fishes, like their popular Smoked Rainbow Trout and Smoked Atlantic Salmon. Becca Millstein, who co-founded the company after noticing a gap in tinned fish innovation in the U.S., argues bringing this elevated tinned fish experience to the market comes at a cost. “These products are expensive because high quality, sustainably sourced seafood is extremely expensive.” Sourcing and manually packing premium fish is a rigorous process, and building a supply chain for the company with a finite amount of canaries in the U.S. has been no easy feat, says Millstein. “You can’t really imagine how much work goes into this,” she says. Since launching the company in 2021, they’ve grown by 200% and are now having to expand to other canaries to keep up with the growing demand for their products. Despite the success, Millstein is eager to get more people on the tinned fish train. “Sometimes I think we’ve saturated the market and that this is as big as it gets. And then you realize that there’s still millions of mindsets to change about an ingrained idea they’ve had about this food category for years,” she says. “That’s really exciting.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeJan 25th, 2023

I compared Whole Foods and Wegmans, and the smaller chain is the clear winner due to thoughtful design and private label grocery staples

Both stores are fun to walk through, but Wegmans is bigger and much better for getting grocery staples. Wegmans.Talia Lakritz/Insider I visited Wegmans and Whole Foods locations in Western New York.  Both chains have cheese shops, bakeries, and other specialty shops.  Both stores are fun to walk through, but Wegmans is bigger and much better for getting grocery staples. Wegmans and Whole Foods are both relatively high-end grocery stores with passionate fans, so I visited both to see how they compare.Mary Meisenzahl/Insider GettyWegmans is a beloved regional grocery chain founded and based in my hometown of Rochester, New York.Shutterstock/tarheel1776I don't tend to do my regular grocery shopping at Wegmans, but I visited to remember why the chain has such a loyal following — taking the No. 1 slot in a recent national survey of grocery customers.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderNewsweek and Statista's 2022 "America's Best Retailers" survey of more than 10,000 shoppers named Wegmans as the No. 1 grocery chain. Wegmans has 109 stores around the Northeast United States, including highly anticipated locations in Brooklyn and a suburb of Boston.Courtesy of WegmansSource: WegmansI visited the East Avenue location in Rochester around 5 pm on a Tuesday, and it was completely packed.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderDespite a large parking lot, it's almost always nearing full at this location, and there's often a police officer stationed in the lot to handle traffic.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThere's a coffee bar immediately to the right of the entrance.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderDisplays around the entryway change throughout the year, but during my trip they were themed around holiday hosting.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThe store is set up as if you were already hosting a gathering, with snacks and drinks near the entrance, next to the flower shop.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThe fruit and vegetable trays are on the less expensive end, while cheese trays are pricier.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThe cheese counter is one of the more unique things about Wegmans because it carries types of cheese I don't normally see at Walmart, Aldi, or even Trader Joe's.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThere are also employees who are experts on cheese who can make recommendations, with similar workers in each section with knowledge about the displays.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThe cheese counter is separate from the deli, which has its own selection of meats and cheeses.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThe huge selection of prepared foods is definitely one of the big draws of Wegmans, which has a hot bar with takeout meals and offers catering.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThe bakery makes all kinds of breads and baked goods.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThere are always fresh bagels available, and the bakery also takes custom cake orders.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderUnlike other grocery stores I've been to, for example, there's an entire display dedicated to smoked fish.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderWhile most grocery stores have some pre-made salad bowls, Wegmans has dozens of varieties.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThat level of selection extends to the rest of the produce section, which carries fruits I don't usually see at other grocery stores like starfruit, jackfruit, and cherimoya.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderI think a lot of the appeal of Wegmans comes from the design of the store, which is cozy and warmer than a standard grocery store, rather than the products for sale.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThere's a small train that drives over the refrigerated food section.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThere are plenty of grocery staples in addition to the specialty foods.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderFor most items, the selection ranges from relatively low-priced Wegmans brand to standard brand names up to more specialty options that aren't typically available at Walmart.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThis is true in just about every section, with a huge selection of any grocery item you could need.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderWegmans also caters its offerings to the local market, like selling Josh's Jaqs cereal in Rochester to Buffalo Bills fans, and locally brewed Genesee beer.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderA back corner of the store is dedicated to a fairly extensive beer selection with both local and national brands.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThe far end of the store has a pharmacy and aisles of hygiene and beauty products.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderWith most of the store dedicated to food, there's one aisle dedicated to dishes, kitchen tools and other homewares.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThe chain did $11.2 billion in sales in 2021, and employs more than 50,000 people, according to the company.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderSource: WegmansI love the huge selection, and the prepared foods are always delicious whenever I've gotten them. They're especially great to bring to parties or events.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderUnfortunately, all the things that make Wegmans different from other grocery stores are also the most expensive, so I can't usually justify that for a regular grocery trip.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderI don't do my regular grocery shopping at Wegmans because I can find lower prices elsewhere, but I still consider the gold standard and my favorite place to shop for food.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderNext up I visited Whole Foods. the Amazon-owned supermarket known for its organic food.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThe chain has just over 500 locations, making it about five times as large as Wegmans, and did $16 billion in sales in 2017, the last year for which data is available.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderSource: InsiderThe entryway has an Amazon pickup locker and signs about how to use your Amazon Prime membership to get better deals in the store.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThe produce section was impressive for the store's size, though not as large as Wegmans'.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderWhole Foods definitely beats Wegmans in the breadth of organic options, though.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderWhole Foods had Italian food-themed displays posted around the store similar to end caps at Wegmans, although the ones at Whole Foods seemed to be placed less thoughtfully, like cheese and olive oil next to produce.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderWhole Foods has the same type of specialty shops inside as Wegmans does, but they take up a larger proportion of the store because it has a smaller overall footprint than Wegmans.Mary Meisenzahl/Insider.comThe seafood counter was really impressive, with a variety of fish, clams, and octopus that Wegmans doesn't carry.Mary Meisenzahl/Insider.comThe smoked fish selection, though, was on par with Wegmans.Mary Meisenzahl/Insider.comA freezer next to the counter had less expensive fish and mussels in the private label 365 brands, making seafood one area where Whole Foods beats Wegmans on selection.Mary Meisenzahl/Insider.comThe butcher counter was also large and impressive, even bigger than the one at Wegmans.Mary Meisenzahl/Insider.comThere was a significant variety of pre-packaged meats too, including bison and lamb in addition to standard items like chicken, beef, and sausage, which was more varied than at Wegmans.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderWhole Foods is clearly catering to customers looking for alternatives to meat, dairy, and other popular mainstream products with large displays of plant milk and alternative meats.Mary Meisenzahl/Insider.comThe chain has been criticized by analysts for not differentiating itself enough from other grocery stores, but at least in this location Whole Foods is positioning itself as "America's healthiest grocery store" with a neon sign.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderSource: Grocery DiveWhole Foods had the most robust plant-based protein section I've seen in a grocery store, with multiple types of tofu plus meat substitutes.Mary Meisenzah/Insider"We believe in real food" is painted on the wall above another refrigerated section, which reminded me of Wegmans' slogan for its private label brand: "food you feel good about."Mary Meisenzah/InsiderThe last section of the store you walk through has containers of handmade pasta for sale, much more prominently displayed than at Wegmans.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThe cheese counter was bigger than the one at Wegmans, though it didn't necessarily seem to have a larger selection, so the space could maybe have been used better for something else.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderNext to the cheese counter, there was a bakery with breads, bagels, and cakes.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThe bakery seemed on par with Wegmans'.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderBoth stores had hot food bars near checkout that looked and smelled delicious, with mostly the same types of soups, salads, and side dishes.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderBoth stores also sell sushi platters, although I thought the one at Whole Foods looked more appealing.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderTo get to the checkout at Whole Foods, you have to walk past a coffee and juice bar, while Wegmans' coffee shop is located at the entrance.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderWhile I can see the appeal of both grocery stores, Wegmans was the clear winner on several fronts.Freezers at Wegmans.Talia Lakritz/InsiderBoth stores seem to position themselves as elevated above a regular grocery store, implying that they sell healthier or more "real" foods that you can get from a deli, cheese shop, and bakery while staying inside a single store.Mary Meisenzah/InsiderWhole Foods prioritizes these shops and displays to the point where it's difficult to shop for actual grocery staples like canned goods, pasta sauce, or baking supplies, especially on the lower end of the price range.Mary Meisenzahl/Insider.comHowever, Wegmans' layout and larger footprint are much more conducive to buying grocery necessities, with more affordable private label brands and more space dedicated to non-specialty groceries.My first look at the inside of Wegmans.Talia Lakritz/InsiderI might go to Whole Foods to pick buy octopus or kombucha, but I could never see it being a primary shopping destination.Inside of Wegmans located in Brooklyn, New York.Tallie Spencer/InsiderDo you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at mmeisenzahl@businessinsider.com.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 13th, 2022

The 34 best gifts for foodies and gourmands, starting at $6

Whether the foodie in your life has a sweet tooth or a spicy side, these mouth-watering food gifts are creative and delicious. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Boarderie Ciccetti; Mark Wang for Insider; Vicky Leta/InsiderIn our opinion, food is one of the best gifts you can give or receive. Food gifts are appropriate for any occasion and can be customized depending on the person's taste or your budget. Even the trickiest giftee on your list is bound to enjoy a consumable treat — even if they follow a special diet, there's a food gift out there that will feel tailor-made for them. At Insider Reviews, we have decades of taste testing under our belts. This gift guide is pulled together based on treats that have delighted and surprised us over the years. Check out the 34 best gifts for foodies below. An ice cream mix for the foodie who loves inventing their own flavorsHijinxHomemade Ice Cream Mix, available at Hijinx, $9.99This ice cream base lets them experiment with making their own custom flavors. Just add milk and your favorite ingredients, blend, and then freeze. If you need inspiration, Hijinx has a number of recipes on its site, ranging from Everything Bagel to Chili Oil Chocolate Caramel. A plant they can eatVia Citrus/EtsyVia Citrus Meyer Lemon Citrus Plant, available at Amazon, Etsy, and Via Citrus, $65If you have a green-thumbed foodie in your life, give them a plant they can use in their kitchen. This dwarf lemon tree grows indoors and produces petite meyer lemons you can actually eat.Oprah's favorite cheese boardBoarderieBoarderie Ciccetti All Cheese Board, available at Amazon, Williams Sonoma, and Boarderie, from $129Named one of Oprah's Favorite Things for 2022, Boarderie makes prearranged cheese and charcuterie boards that ship right to your door. This one serves 3-4 and includes artisan cheese, crackers, dried fruits, nuts, chocolates, and jam. It would make an excellent host gift.A bundle of tinned fish they probably haven't tried beforeFishwifeLimited Edition Trio, available at Fishwife, $36Tinned fish: so hot right now. One of the most talked about brands in the space is Fishwife, a buzzy startup known for its smoky flavor profiles. This limited edition bundle includes a tin of Fishwife's collaboration with chili crisp brand Fly By Jing, along with tins of smoky Campfire Cod and chewy Rainbow Trout Jerky Gems.A box of 'self love' from our favorite chocolate brandVosgesSelf Love Chocolate Box, available at Vosges, $32What says "self love" better than peanut butter bonbons and caramel marshmallows? We named Vosges our best overall pick in our chocolate buying guide, which was written by an actual chocolatier. This gift set includes a mix of aforementioned bonbons and marshmallows as a sweet treat for anyone who needs a little confidence boost.  A double dose of birthday cake babkaGoldbellyJake Cohen's Birthday Cake Babka (2-pack), available at Goldbelly, $59.95As Jake Cohen says, "this isn't your bubby's babka." Instead of a classic fruit jam or cinnamon filling, this babka is filled with frosting and sprinkles.Colorful croissant-shaped gnocchiAmazonSalty Seattle Crocchi Croissant-Shaped Gnocchi (18 oz), available at Amazon and Salty Seattle, $69 While $70 may seem like a wild amount to pay for a little over a pound of pasta, you won't find anything like these Oprah-approved gnocchi anywhere else. Brainchild of Linda Miller Nicholson (aka @saltyseattle), these "crocci" are handmade and get their vibrant color from vegetables and herbs, not food dye. They'd make a special gift for the pasta lover in your life.Swedish fish that are actually SwedishAmazonKolsvart Swedish Gummy Fish & Licorice Candy Variety Pack, available at Amazon and Food52, from $46.99 In addition to the classic red gummy fish, this Swedish candy brand makes gummy turbot, pike, and cod in flavors like elderflower and sour blueberry.A fresh take on the classic popcorn tinFood52Food52 x BjornQorn Limited Edition Holiday Popcorn Tin, available at Food52, $50This popcorn tin, which was made as part of a collaboration between Food52 and BjornQorn, eschews the traditional trio of butter, cheese, and caramel in flavor of classic, maple, and chili crisp flavors. It comes with a hearty 3.5 gallons of popcorn; enough for a crowd (or one person who just really loves popcorn).The best part of any box of Lucky CharmsAmazonLucky Charms Just Magical Marshmallows, available at Amazon and Walmart, from $5.98Hearts, stars, and horseshoes, clovers, and blue moons…live out all your childhood fantasies with this box of Lucky Charms that only includes the very best parts: the marshmallows.A huge tub of flakey sea saltAmazonMaldon Sea Salt Flakes (3.1 lb), available at Amazon and Walmart, $24.78 Pardon the pun, but any food lover worth their salt knows that the root of all flavor lies in a little sodium. Maldon is beloved by chefs worldwide, and this tub should last them a solid year before they need to restock.  Explosively delicious and spicy chili crispMilk StreetFly By Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp, available at Target, Thrive Market, and World Market, $14.99Fly by Jing is a relatively new food startup making delicious Sichuan-inspired condiments and dumplings. This is the chili crisp that first put them on the map, and it can be drizzled over everything from noodles to fried eggs. It's not incredibly spicy, but it uses warming Sichuan peppercorns, dried chili, garlic, and more to create a complex and delicious pop of flavor. Everything they need to make buttery lobster rollsGoldbellyMcLoons Lobster Shack Maine Lobster Roll Kit (4-pack), available at Goldbelly, $124.95Not included — chips, pickles, or a gorgeous coastal view. Still, if your recipient loves lobster and lighthouse drives, they'll be grateful for this gift. Read our review of Goldbelly here. Some of the best ice cream in the countryHumphry Slocombe/InstagramHumphry Slocombe Choose Your Own (6 Pints), available at Goldbelly, $104.95Best for: The all-year ice cream eaterBay Area favorite Humphry Slocombe serves up interesting flavors like Matchadoodle, Toasted Sesame and Chocolate, and perennial favorite Secret Breakfast (bourbon ice cream with cornflake cookies). Your recipient will be thankful you sent over six whole pints instead of just one. A breakfast spread they'll be excited to wake up forGoldbellyRuss & Daughters New York Nostalgia, available at Goldbelly, $230They can customize their breakfast with a variety of smoked and pickled fish, cream cheese, and assorted bagels. Cap it all off with a sweet treat of marble halvah or rugelach.  Fundamental spices for flavorsome cookingBurlap and BarrelFundamentals Collection, available at Burlap and Barrel, from $52.99 The right spices accentuate flavors and uplift flat dishes, so it's worth it to splurge on the good ones. Burlap & Barrel sustainably sources its spices and works directly with the farmers. We used Burlap & Barrel black peppercorns to test the best pepper mills and were amazed by the freshness and complexity of the spice's flavor.  A pack of non-alcoholic sparkling drinksTOSTTÖST 25.4 fl oz. Sparkling Beverage, 3-pack, available at Amazon, $33.99Made with white tea, cranberry, and ginger, TÖST is the perfect drink for sober party-goers. It has the look of a bottle of bubbly, but without the alcohol content. We found it refreshing and very sweet, a great non-alcoholic option for a celebration.  A pickle subscriptionMouthPickle of the Month Club Subscription, available at Mouth, from $47.75/monthA crunchy pickle makes nearly anything taste better, and this subscription will ensure your recipient always has one to accompany a sandwich or a salad.  A big box of charcuterie that includes duck, pork, and chickenD'ArtagnanClassic Charcuterie Gift Box, available at D'Artagnan, $99.99Save this delicious sampler for wine nights and summery picnics. You can trust this 35-year-old farm-to-table purveyor of sustainable, free-range meats to deliver on flavor and quality.  Classic cocktails in gummy formSmith & Sinclair/InstagramThe Night in Box of Alcoholic Cocktail Gummies, available at Smith & Sinclair, $25We love making our own cocktails, but we also don't mind creative twists like Smith & Sinclair's cocktail gummies. They're a fun, mess-free way to enjoy happy hour.  A colorful assortment of bite-sized treatsBaked by Melissa/InstagramClassic 25-Pack Cupcake Gift Box, available at Baked by Melissa, $47There's no rule saying they can only eat one. And with 12 different flavors including PB&J, brownie batter, and chocolate chip banana, they won't want to.  Premium maple syrupAmazonRunamok Maple Organic Vermont Maple Syrup Barrel-Aged and Infused Collection, available at Amazon, $31.95Vermont maple syrup calls to mind warmth and sweetness. Your giftee can dress up their pancakes, drinks, or baking with one of these four classic and unique flavors: Pecan wood smoked, bourbon barrel-aged, vanilla-cinnamon, and makrut lime leaf infused syrups.  An international cheese tourMurray's CheeseCheeses of the World Sampler, available at Murray's Cheese, $87They'll never get bored of this six-pound set that features French, Swiss, and Spanish cheeses from local farms and Murray's own cheese caves. It should serve 5-7 people, but we're sure it varies depending on how much your recipient loves cheese.  A mix of rich cake truffles and creatively flavored cookiesMilk BarThe Little Somethings Box, available at Milk Bar, $84The truffles and cookies are a couple of the best things you can get from New York City institution Milk Bar. There's no shortage of variety in this gift: your lucky recipient will get six different cookies (like the famous Compost Cookie), 12 birthday cake truffles, and 12 chocolate birthday cake truffles. Read our review of Milk Bar here.A guide to the world of honeySavannah Bee HoneyBook of Honey, available at Uncommon Goods, $49Spread on toast or dropped into tea, the earthy sweetness of Savannah Bee Honey goes with everything. This gift set comes with five varieties and a book to explain where the honey comes from, how it was produced, and the different tasting notes.    Bread to pair with their favorite brewThe GrommetSoberDough Artisan Brew Bread Sampler, available at SoberDough, $75With this bread baking kit, they can have a fresh loaf imbued with their favorite beer in under an hour. Plus, the gift includes six starter doughs, so they can experiment and perfect their art. A box of yummy mochiMochidokiMochidoki Signature Box Set, available at Mochidoki, $100The mochi lover in your life will adore this assortment of ice cream treats. The collection includes 12 of Mochidoki's most popular flavors, including matcha, passion fruit, chocolate, and strawberry.  Zero-proof cocktail kitsLily AligZero-Proof Cocktail Subscription, available at Raising the Bar, from $50.75/monthEach Raising the Bar box is like a crash course in mixology, teaching you about flavors and techniques that you could apply to any cocktail. The box includes your zero-proof cocktail materials as well as extras like cocktail picks and pink peppercorns.  The subscription is a little pricey, but the experience of such a cohesive and jam-packed kit is worth it.  Fairtrade and organic chocolateAmazonTheo Chocolate Organic Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Variety Pack, available at Amazon, $27.48This collection of dark chocolate peanut butter cups is only the beginning of what Theo Chocolate has to offer. Theo Chocolate is creamy and has a full cocoa flavor that isn't overshadowed by mix-ins. An alcohol subscription that supports indie wine makersJada Wong/InsiderBuzzworthy Wines 11-Pack, available at Nakedwines.com, $334.99Nakedwines.com supports wine enthusiasts' desire to bring you new blends and brands. Once a wine is approved, they can sell their wine through the website at shockingly affordable prices considering the quality. Your favorite wine snob can enjoy trendy wine from small winemakers around the country, even from the most prestigious soils of Napa Valley.Read our review of NakedWines.com here. A subscription that delivers responsibly sourced meat, poultry, and seafoodCrowd CowBest of Crowd Cow Box, available at Crowd Cow, $150Crowd Cow sources its meat, poultry, and seafood directly from independent farms with ethical and environmentally friendly practices or from the wild. In addition, the service provides you with information about where your meat came from and how the animal was treated before you cook it. Send someone an e-gift card to go towards a subscription which they can pause, change the frequency of, or cancel at any time (delivered on an automatic basis) or build a custom box for a one-time delivery.  Read our review of Crowd Cow here. Authentic Japanese snacksBokksu/InstagramClassic Box, available at Bokksu, from $39.99/monthEvery month feels like an adventure when they have a subscription to Bokksu, which delivers Japanese snacks, candies, and a tea pairing they can't find in most stores. The cool snacks also come with a culture guide that explains each snack's origins and flavors. Read our review of Bokksu here. Hot sauces ranging in heat level from "mellow" to "evil"Food52Fuego Box Tame to Insane Hot Sauce Box, available at Food52, $135Gift this 11-bottle box of fiery sauces to that friend who goes to the Hot Sauce Expo every year and always has a new bottle of hot sauce in their grocery cart. They'll probably want to keep a glass (or jug) of milk nearby.  A monthly delivery of cool international snacksUniversal YumsYum Yum Gift Box, available at Universal Yums, from $15/monthIt's not always possible to travel, but Universal Yums' boxes let your recipient do so through food. Past boxes have highlighted the sweet and savory snacks of Scandinavia, Brazil, France, and Indonesia. Read our review of Universal Yums here. This article is part of "Holiday Insider," your go-to guide for celebrating the festive season.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 12th, 2022

I visited Wegmans and it"s clear why the supermarket chain was recently rated America"s top grocery store

During my visit, I could see why people say Wegmans is a step above other stores. But the prices reflect that, and I won't do my regular shopping there. Wegmans.Talia Lakritz/Insider Wegmans is a regional grocery chain based in Rochester, New York, with just over 100 stores around the Northeast. The chain is known for specialty shops inside, including a cheese counter, bakery, and florist. During my visit it was clear that Wegmans is a step above other grocery stores, but the prices reflect that. Wegmans is a beloved regional grocery chain founded and based in my hometown of Rochester, New York.Shutterstock/tarheel1776I don't tend to do my regular grocery shopping at Wegmans, but I visited to remember why the chain has such a loyal following — taking the No. 1 slot in a recent national survey of grocery customers.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderNewsweek and Statista's 2022 "America's Best Retailers" survey of more than 10,000 shoppers named Wegmans as the No. 1 grocery chain. Wegmans has 109 stores around the Northeast United States, including highly anticipated locations in Brooklyn and a suburb of Boston.Courtesy of WegmansSource: WegmansI visited the East Avenue location in Rochester around 5 pm on a Tuesday, and it was completely packed.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderDespite a large parking lot, it's almost always nearing full at this location, and there's often a police officer stationed in the lot to handle traffic.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderIn late November, the store was already decked out for Christmas with wreaths and banners.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThe displays right outside the entrance held miniature Christmas trees.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderOther Christmas decor items were on sale next to the trees.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThen I walked through the door, where snowflakes were hanging from the ceiling.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThere's a coffee bar immediately to the right of the entrance.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderDisplays around the entryway change throughout the year, but during my trip they were themed around holiday hosting.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderFruit and vegetable trays and dips were in a small setting labeled "seasonal favorites."Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThe store is set up as if you were already hosting a gathering, with snacks and drinks near the entrance, next to the flower shop.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThe fruit and vegetable trays are on the less expensive end, while cheese trays are pricier.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderFor an even more extravagant spread, there are different cheese wedge combinations with nuts.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThe cheese counter is one of the more unique things about Wegmans because it carries types of cheese I don't normally see at Walmart, Aldi, or even Trader Joe's.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThere are also employees who are experts on cheese who can make recommendations, with similar workers in each section with knowledge about the displays.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThe cheese counter is separate from the deli, which has its own selection of meats and cheeses.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThe huge selection of prepared foods is definitely one of the big draws of Wegmans, which has a hot bar with takeout meals and offers catering.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThe bakery makes all kinds of breads and baked goods.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThere are always fresh bagels available, and free cookies for kids.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderCustomers can also order custom cakes.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderUnlike other grocery stores I've been to, for example, there's an entire display dedicated to smoked fish.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderWhile most grocery stores have some pre-made salad bowls, Wegmans has dozens of varieties.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThat level of selection extends to the rest of the produce section, which carries fruits I don't usually see at other grocery stores like starfruit, jackfruit, and cherimoya.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderMost of the fruit displays in the middle of the section are out in the open and not packaged, which give an attractive ambiance in the store's warm lighting.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderI think a lot of the appeal of Wegmans comes from the design of the store, which is cozy and warmer than a standard grocery store, rather than the products for sale.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThere's a small train that drives over the refrigerated food section.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderEven aisle marker signs are neutral colors and understated, fitting in with the overall design theme.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThere are plenty of grocery staples in addition to the specialty foods.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderWegmans has sold its private label brand since the 1970s, and in the 1990s added the "food you feel good about" distinction to note it as free from certain additives.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderSource: WegmansFor most items, the selection ranges from relatively low-priced Wegmans brand to standard brand names up to more specialty options that aren't typically available at Walmart.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThis is true in just about every section, with a huge selection of any grocery item you could need.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderWegmans also caters its offerings to the local market, like selling Josh's Jaqs cereal in Rochester to Buffalo Bills fans.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderIt also highlights local brands, like Rochester-based Genesee Brewing Company.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderA back corner of the store is dedicated to a fairly extensive beer selection with both local and national brands.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThere are also seltzers, and Wegmans owns a nearby wine shop that carries other liquors.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThe far end of the store has a pharmacy and aisles of hygiene and beauty products.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderWith most of the store dedicated to food, there's one aisle dedicated to dishes, kitchen tools and other homewares.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderAfter going back to Wegmans, it's clear why people like it so much.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderThe chain did $11.2 billion in sales in 2021, and employs more than 50,000 people, according to the company.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderSource: WegmansI love the huge selection, and the prepared foods are always delicious whenever I've gotten them. They're especially great to bring to parties or events.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderUnfortunately all the things that make Wegmans different from other grocery stores are also the most expensive, so I can't usually justify that for a regular grocery trip.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderAs much as I love shopping at Wegmans, I save it as a treat for special occasions or foods I can't get anywhere else, and I stick with Aldi for my regular groceries.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderDo you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at mmeisenzahl@businessinsider.com.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 3rd, 2022

Thanksgiving Dinner Cost Soars 20% From 2021, Biden Admin Blames Climate Change & Putin

Thanksgiving Dinner Cost Soars 20% From 2021, Biden Admin Blames Climate Change & Putin While spending time with family and friends at Thanksgiving remains important for many Americans, the cost of that indulgence has never been higher, up a stunning 20% from last year to $64.05 for the classic feast. The cost for the classic meal was the most affordable in the South - $58.42, followed by the Northeast - $64.02, Midwest - $64.26 and West - $71.37. “General inflation slashing the purchasing power of consumers is a significant factor contributing to the increase in average cost of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner,” said AFBF Chief Economist Roger Cryan. “Farmers are working hard to meet growing demands for food – both here in the U.S. and globally – while facing rising prices for fuel, fertilizer and other inputs,” said Cryan. Over the past two years, the grocery bill for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner has risen by 36.6%. All these changes are illustrated in the following chart from PoliticalCalculations blog: In the chart, we've ranked the cost of the individual items and groupings used by the Farm Bureau for their traditional turkey dinner menu from high to low according to their 2021 cost as you read from left to right. We've also tallied the cumulative cost of the meal, with the totals for each shown on the far right side of the chart. Ranking the data this way lets us see that the increase in the cost of turkey is once again responsible for most of the year-over-year increase in the cost of the meal. Here we see the cost of a 16-pound bird rose by 20.7% to $28.96 in 2022. This single item alone accounts for over 46% of the year-over-year increase in the total cost for the meal. Since 2020, the cost of turkey has increased by $9.57, making up 56% of the realized increase in Thanksgiving dinner ingredient costs over that time. Meanwhile, only the price of cranberries fell compared to last year, dropping by 13.8%. Every other Thanksgiving dinner items increased in cost during 2022. Among those items, a 1-pound veggie tray of carrots and celery registered the smallest year-over-year price increase of 7.3%. Every other item's cost was up significantly, recording double-digit year-over-year price increases ranging from a low of 11.2% for sweet potatoes to a high of 69.4% for a 14-ounce package of cubed bread stuffing. During the last ten years, the cost of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner held steady within a relatively narrow range between $46.90 (2020) and $50.11 (2015). Thanks to the cumulative effect of President Biden's inflation, celebrating Thanksgiving with a traditional turkey dinner has never been more costly for Americans. Of course, the Biden administration was quick to ascribe blame for this record surge in the cost of Americans' most traditional meal. A USDA memo this month said turkey prices will be higher because of this year’s outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), which led to the death of 8 million turkeys in 2022. But USDA also said "Russia’s war on Ukraine and drought across the United States" are other factors that are "pushing up the price of Thanksgiving staples." USDA told Fox News Digital that both the COVID pandemic and "Putin's Price Hike" have boosted food prices around the world, and said Russia's move against Ukraine cut off a "critical supply" of wheat, corn, barley and other grain. Russia's war in Ukraine plus the pandemic have putt "pressure on food prices," USDA said. As a reminder, a year ago, the St.Louis Fed offered this little beauty of a tweet, suggesting Americans switch from Turkey to Tofurkey to save some cash... As of the third quarter of 2021, a hearty Thanksgiving dinner serving of turkey costs $1.42. A tofurkey (soybean) dinner serving with the same amount of calories costs $0.66 and provides almost twice as much protein. Keep in mind that this plant-based meal would be almost 3 times larger by weight than the poultry-based meal and may either keep you at the dinner table longer or provide you with more leftovers. Remind us again who was responsible for soaring poultry and soybean prices back then? Spot the turkey... Tyler Durden Wed, 11/23/2022 - 17:40.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytNov 23rd, 2022

These are 42 foods that Costco employees and members love the most

Costco's food court and private label Kirkland Signature brand boast a huge variety of offerings for members. Consider these 50 beloved foods on your next Costco run.Rick Bowmer/AP Photos Costco's food court sells a number of cheap and tasty menu options that members and food critics love. Costco employees themselves have some favorites, too. Insider reached out to 49 Costco workers and scoured the web to figure out what meals and Kirkland Signature brand items in the store are considered standout hits. Costco is known for its in-store food courts and cult favorite Kirkland Signature brand.Shoshy Ciment/Business InsiderInsider spoke to 49 current and former Costco employees about their favorite foods sold by the chain.Tim Boyle / Getty ImagesMembers love the croissants and recommend one hack to make them even better.Costco's croissants.Robert P./YelpLooking for a warm treat in the morning? Costco members have recommended one hack that'll take one of the company's baked items to the next level.Two Costco members discussed Costco's croissants in a 2017 Reddit thread.One member said that the French pastries were "good" compared to most croissants sold in grocery stores, and said, "Where they really shine is freezing and then popping into the toaster oven."Another member added that, "Crisping up the croissants in the oven is really great stuff."Costco's giant muffins are also a good pick.A Costco bakery.Michael Stuparyk/Toronto Star via Getty ImagesSome Costco members enjoy starting — or finishing — the day with one of Costco's colossal baked offerings.Quora user Sue Lassman recommended the warehouse chain's "huge and insanely good" muffins, despite their caloric heft.The company's maple syrup is a "steal."Kirkland Signature maple syrup.Antho L./YelpLooking to sweeten up your pancakes without feeling sour about your spending?One food blogger recommended springing for the Kirkland Signature maple syrup."I've paid $11 to $14 for small bottles from Walmart and King Soopers," Hassle Free Savings blogger Kendal Perez told Go Banking Rates. "Yet, Costco sells a 33.8-ounce jug of Kirkland organic real maple syrup for less than that. It's a steal. Period."Kirkland coffee can be quite a pick-me-up for some.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesCostco is the place to grab everything you need for that cup of morning joe, according to some members.Quora user Soo Oh wrote that the chain's "coffee prices" was the best thing about Costco.Lindsay Sakraida, director of content marketing at DealNew, told Go Banking Rates that Costco coffee was a "great buy" for daily coffee drinkers. The massive quantities of blueberries are perfect for some members.Blueberries.Roberty F. Bukaty/AP ImagesA group of Costco employees previously told Business Insider they tend to skip buying produce at the warehouse. The reason? Many of them said they couldn't finish the bulk-sized orders fast enough, leading to food waste.But some members find the large quantity of fruits and vegetables just right.In a Quora thread about the most healthy and convenient options at the retail chain, Costco member Scott Sanders wrote that, when it comes to produce, "sometimes the quantities are just right for what I want.""Blueberries, for example, come in large containers at amazing prices year-round, and my wife and I can usually finish a container long before it goes bad," he wrote.One member praised the chain's almond milk.Lex A./YelpIn a recent 2018 Reddit thread about the best Kirkland products out there, one Costco member praised the chain's almond milk — or "organic unsweetened almond non-dairy beverage," as it's labeled.The user said the drink was "just as good as Blue Diamond" and praised its "convenient" containers.The chicken bake is a well-liked guilty pleasure even after a $1 price increase.Hollis Johnson"My favorite food court item is the chicken bake with a cup of Caesar dressing," a Costco employee from Washington told Insider. "Most of the time, if you ask for a cup of the dressing, they won't give it to you, but as an employee I tend to be able to get one. It makes it ten times better."Costco raised the price by $1 to $3.99 in July.The cheese pizza at Costco's food court is a popular pick among employees ...Costco cheese pizza.Hollis JohnsonThere's a reason Costco is technically one of the largest pizza chains in the US."Costco's pizzas are pretty incredible considering the price," Costco worker Stefan Winter wrote on Quora. "Crust is yummy, toppings are good quality, what's not to love?"Costco's food courts in the US typically offer up two options for pizza-lovers: cheese and pepperoni.  ... while others opted for the pepperoni slices.Costco pepperoni pizza.Kimberly J./YelpStill other Costco employees — three, to be exact — said they enjoyed the pepperoni pizza at Costco's food court."I love the pepperoni pizza," one employee told Insider. "It's very cheesy with nice and juicy crispy pepperonis."According to a 2011 edition of the Costco Connection, each pepperoni pizza pie is "adorned" with exactly 60 pepperoni slices.If you don't have time for the food court, there's always Kirkland's frozen pizza.The freezer aisle of a Costco.Shay B./YelpKirkland launched its frozen cheese pizza in 2010. Since then, it's attracted fans alongside its food court counterparts."We love the frozen pizzas," one Costco member and Reddit poster wrote. "They are the best on the market."The poster added that their household always has "some in the freezer, in case we ever need to throw one in the oven."The classic hot dog-and-soda combo has been a hit for decades.A Costco hot dog.Hollis Johnson"The hot dog soda combo for $1.50 is a classic," one San Diego-based Costco employee told Insider.Two other Costco employees concurred that the hot dog was their favorite food court item. An Oregon-based employee added that it was the best deal in the whole store.The food court staple has remained just $1.50 since 1985.Costco's poutine options are a big draw for Canadian members ...Costco's poutine.Pat K./YelpPoutine-smothered fries are a staple at Canadian Costcos."And it's pretty much the best poutine ever," one Costco member wrote on Reddit.Another Reddit added in response, "It's an incredible value... It costs around $5, but the value is over $10." They added that, while the gravy is thick and the fries are too crispy for their taste, they were blown away by the sheer quantity of cheese curds loaded into the dish.... and the chain's french fries are also an international hit ...Costco's French fries.John C./YelpFrench fries are native to Canadian Costcos, but the crispy dish also makes an appearance on the menus of food courts in France and the East Coast of the US."Best quantity and quality for normal fast food fries, in my opinion," one Costco member wrote on Reddit. "So disappointing that a lot of food courts don't have it."... as are the bulgogi bakes.Kate Taylor/Business InsiderA number of Costcos in Taiwan and Japan skip the chicken bakes, and instead showcase Korean barbecue known as bulgogi. "The bulgogi sandwiches in Costcos in Taiwan are awesome," a Costco member wrote on Reddit.Kirkland's olive oil is a boon to many members.Kirkland Signature Pure Olive Oil.Zelong L./YelpKirkland Signature Pure Olive Oil is a major buy for a number of members, who favor the item's size and price.One Reddit user wrote in 2018 that the chain's olive oil is "considerably cheaper" than its competitors' offerings.In another recent Reddit thread, one Costco member wrote that the olive oil was their favorite Kirkland product."It tastes good, at any rate," wrote another Reddit poster in 2017.And Costco's quinoa options allow shoppers to make healthier choices.A quinoa salad from Costco.Murissa M./Yelp"A Costco membership is definitely worth it for items like quinoa," one Reddit poster wrote.Another poster wrote that Costco's quinoa sells for "probably the best price you'll find anywhere."One more Costco member wrote on Reddit that, when it comes to quinoa, they "seriously couldn't justify the cost anywhere else."A number of members rely on the company's chicken stock ...FREDERIC J. BROWN/Getty ImagesOne Reddit user posted that their favorite Costco product is the brand's chicken stock.Another member replied that, "My wife uses the chicken stock like crazy. Always tastes great."... while the warehouse's chicken noodle soup is also a favorite ...Chicken noodle soup from Costco.Veronica C./YelpFor one Reddit poster and Costco member, the chicken noodle soup from the warehouse's deli was the all-time best Costco product.... and, of course, the chain's famous rotisserie chickens are a classic meal.Costco's rotisserie chickens.Paul Sakuma/AP ImagesThe rotisserie chickens at Costco are pretty iconic.According to The Kitchn: "Not only are they some of the cheapest rotisserie chickens on the market, but they're also among the tastiest. Rumor has it, the birds are actually loss leaders for the store, which means they don't make any money on them, but they use them to get shoppers in the door and hopefully buy something else while they're there."Costco opened a $450 million chicken processing plant in Nebraska to have more control over the supply chain that maintains the staple rotisserie chickens.One shopper praised the "gigantic pork loins" ...Pork loins from Costco.Mark H./YelpCostco has the "biggest deal on meat anywhere," according to one poster in a 2018 post on the best food deals at the chain. "The pork loin is a steal," they added.... while others swear by Costco when it comes to bringing home the bacon.Costco exterior.ShutterstockCraving some bacon? Well, according to one expert, it's one of the best things you can buy at Costco." It's often much cheaper than a regular grocery store," Sakraida told Go Banking Rates. Some members always make sure to pick up some pulled pork.Kirkland Signature Smoked Pulled Pork.Stuart L./YelpOne Reddit poster lauded the Kirkland Signature Smoked Pulled Pork, which they said, "has a very mild flavor, which allows you to 'spice it up' as you so desire, whether for BBQ sandwiches, Mexican dishes (carnitas), or anything else that might call for shredded, pulled, or chopped pork.""For those who love BBQ, it's a lot cheaper than getting two pounds from most local BBQ restaurants," the poster wrote.Some members like to live on the briny side and spring for Costco's seafood ...Seafood at Costco.Jen J./YelpOn Quora, Moe Rubenzahl praised Costco's seafood as being "very fresh."Oh also took to Quora to highlight the company's "wonderful seafood offerings," writing, "The cod and haddock are both excellent. I also love the mussels and clams."... specifically the salmon.A salmon milano dish prepared with basil pesto from Costco.Kristin A./YelpRubenzahl wrote on Quora that Costco's "salmon is especially good.""The individually-frozen salmon fillets are a convenient way to get more fish in your diet," Quora user Rafael Garcia wrote on the same thread. "I just transfer one from the freezer to the fridge the night before. To cook it, I just add salt and pepper and throw it in the toaster oven."And others said that the basil pesto makes everything better.Basil pesto at Costco.Mystery M./YelpTwo Costco members took to Reddit in 2018 to proclaim that they "absolutely" loved the Kirkland Signature Pesto.Kirkland's dried blueberries are a healthy snack beloved by at least one member.Kirkland-branded dried blueberries.Kay X./YelpOne Reddit poster wrote that Costco has "got dried blueberries that are really good. The organic are super-pricey, but the non-organic are somewhat reasonable."The beef jerky has been described as both "worthwhile" and "tender."Beef jerky from Costco.David O./Yelp"I am a big jerky fan and my girlfriend recently brought home some Kirkland brand jerky," one Reddit poster wrote in a post.The poster added that the jerky put a number of other competitors "to absolute shame, as it is thick cut and extremely tender and delicious.""I can't recall finding a product so worthwhile in quite a long while," the poster wrote.Kirkland granola bars are worth biting into.ROBYN BECK/Contributor/Getty ImagesCostco's bulk-sized packs of Kirkland Signature oft and Chewy Granola Bars "are great — so much better than the Quaker stuff," according to one Reddit poster.Another Costco member replied, "I just discovered the granola bars last week. Love them!"According to some members, Costco makes a mean Irish cream ...Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty ImagesOne Reddit poster and Costco member wrote that the Kirkland Irish Cream Liqueur is a good deal."It's a giant bottle, about double the size of a large bottle of Bailey's, but half the price," the poster wrote. "I bought a bottle for a friend who used to carefully ration her Bailey's consumption, and she really liked it too. It's a little different, but not any less good."... a party-worthy margarita mix ...Kirkland Signature Margarita Mix.Hanie B./YelpA number of Costco members gathered on Reddit to praise Costco's Kirkland Signature Margarita Mix. "It's seriously so good," one poster wrote.... standout vodka ...Kirkland Signature Vodka.Lynne H./YelpKirkland Signature Vodka earned a mention in a recent Reddit thread in which posters suggested the best Kirkland products.Vice reported that the chain's vodka is made from the same water source as Grey Goose.... "shockingly good" Scotch ...Richard Clement/Reuters"The Kirkland-branded liquors are shockingly good for their price point, across the board," Costco member and Quora user Ian Osmond wrote.He added that he regularly opted for Kirkland Signature Blended Scotch Whisky. ... and their gin is "good stuff," too.David P./Yelp"I'm a huge fan of the Kirkland gin," one poster wrote in a thread discussing the best Kirkland products. "It's good stuff."Kirkland Signature Gin is also a good option for mixed drinks, according to one member."I usually have several gins around, depending on my mood at the moment, but the Kirkland is one I often use for gin and tonics, gimlets, and other drinks that have strong enough flavors that they drown out the subtleties," Osmond wrote on Quora.According to one critic, Costco's wines are also worth a toast ...Wines at Costco.Sean R./YelpCostco reportedly provides a good deal for wine-lovers looking to save."On average, you can save $5 to $12 per bottle, depending on the original price of the wine," Kyle James, founder of deal discovery site Rather-By-Shopping, told Go Banking Rates.James added that the Costco Wine Blog is a great resource, too.... as is their prosecco.Kirkland Signature Prosecco.Joy X./YelpIn a 2018 thread about the best Kirkland products, one poster gave Kirkland's prosecco a shout-out.The chain's sheet cakes are a big deal for some members.A cake from Costco.Steven S./Yelp"Costco sheet cake is my life," a Reddit poster wrote in 2018. "I buy one for every birthday and cut it into pieces to freeze."Costco's pumpkin pies are more than just a holiday go-to for some families.Costco pumpkin pie.Crystal Cox/Business InsiderPie fans, listen up.One Reddit poster noted that Costco's "pumpkin pie is really good."Another Costco member responded that the warehouse chain's version of the pie was the only one that their children would eat."I once got a name brand and tried to pass it off as Kirkland, and my oldest took one bite, scowled, and pushed her plate back, then looked up at me and said, 'You tried to trick me! This isn't Kirkland!'" the poster wrote. "She is four."The chocolate chunk cookie is a mouthwatering treat for some members.One of Costco's cookie offerings.Rick L./YelpKirkland has plenty of options for members with a sweet tooth. A Costco member took to Reddit in 2018 to say that their "personal favorite" product from Kirkland was "the chocolate chunk cookie."Three employees find the mocha freeze yummy.A mocha freeze from Costco.Jon L./YelpThree Costco employees noted they went for this new addition to the food court menu."The new cold brew mocha freeze — yum," said one Costco employee from California.Gelato is a refreshingly icy treat for many food court denizens ...Gelato from Costco.Anna W./Yelp"Regardless of what you eat as the 'main course', the pistachio gelato — or any gelato — is to die for," former Costco employee Robert Lu wrote on Quora.A Washington-based Costco employee who spoke with Business Insider agreed.... and others go for berry smoothies instead.A berry smoothie from Costco.Hoki T./YelpOut of all of the frozen treats at Costco's food court, the berry smoothies were the most popular among the employees Insider spoke to.Seven Costco employees told Insider that they favored the food court's berry smoothies.One Arizona-based employee said they used to eat at the food court when they were younger and it was "much harder to gain weight." Nowadays, they added that they still "drink the smoothies."When it comes to dessert, churros are always a fan favorite.A churro from Costco's food court.Hollis JohnsonThree Costco employees who have worked for the warehouse chain for seven and half, eight, and ten years, respectively, told Insider that their go-to food court orders typically included a churro."Lunchtime is always a safe bet for fresh food," a seven-year Costco employee wrote in a Reddit AMA. "When the lines are long, the churros are good."One longtime Costco member even shared a churro-related tip with Insider: "One thing that is really tasty is getting the churro with an ice cream. Then scoop the ice cream up with the churro instead of a spoon. It's not too outrageous, but it's good."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytNov 21st, 2022

Marx"s 5th Plank: What You Need To Do As The Fed"s Credibility Evaporates

Marx's 5th Plank: What You Need To Do As The Fed's Credibility Evaporates Authored by Nick Giambruno via InternationalMan.com, International Man: First, the Federal Reserve told us there was no inflation. Then, they told us not to worry when inflation became undeniable because it was only “transitory.” Then, when it became apparent that it was not merely transitory, they told us not to worry because inflation is actually a good thing. Then, when it became obvious that inflation was not good, they told us not to worry because they had it under control. Do you think the Federal Reserve has lost its credibility? Nick Giambruno: The Fed should have lost credibility long ago for anyone with gray matter between their ears. The Fed is discrediting itself because of the ridiculous lies they’ve been spewing for the past couple of years, like “inflation is good.” What kind of person thinks higher grocery, gas, clothing, rent, and medical care costs are good? The only ones who do are fools or those who benefit from lowering the standard of living of everyone else. It’s like saying America needs more tapeworm infections. It’s repugnant. Please don’t believe the Fed’s absurd deceptions. They’re spitting on your boots and telling you it’s raining. It’s gaslighting. The reality is that inflation is out of control, nothing can stop it, and it’s poisonous for individuals and the economy. Here’s the correct way to think about the problem. Did you know the US government has printed more money recently than it has for its entire existence? Since the outbreak of the Covid hysteria in March 2020, the US government has inflated the money supply by around 41%. That amount of extreme money printing has never occurred before. So here’s what it means… If your after-tax wealth has not increased by 41% since then, you are not keeping up with the Fed’s monetary debasement and are losing ground. You’re on the road to serfdom. It’s just an anecdote, but I don’t know anyone whose after-tax wealth has grown by 41% since March 2020. I imagine that most people don’t know anyone, either. Here’s the bottom line. Most people are getting poorer, and the Fed is to blame. International Man: Do you think the Fed can get inflation under control? Nick Giambruno: This is a popular topic in the financial media, but the framing of the question is incorrect and deflects from the actual source of the problem. The truth is the Fed is the engine of inflation and is incentivized to create much more of it. Putting the Fed in charge of getting inflation under control is like putting Marlboro in charge of getting lung cancer under control. Further, it should be self-evident to everyone by now that central planning doesn’t work. In Marx’s Communist Manifesto, the 5th plank calls for the “centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.” That is a perfect description of the Federal Reserve and other central banks. In reality, the Fed is nothing more than a politburo of bureaucrats attempting to centrally plan the economy by tinkering with the money and interest rates—the most important prices in all of capitalism. Even if we presume the Fed has benign intentions—which it doesn’t—central planning is an impossible task and failure is inevitable. That’s why the Fed is in a mission-impossible situation—much like it was an impossible task for the Soviets to centrally plan their economy. The best thing investors can do is recognize that the Fed can’t save the day any more than the State Planning Committee of the USSR could—and get positioned accordingly. International Man: Since the Fed can create an unlimited amount of fake money out of thin air, does the US federal government’s debt even matter anymore? Nick Giambruno: Yes, I think the debt is becoming an urgent problem for the Fed. That’s because of the out-of-control inflation, which the Fed is attempting to combat by raising interest rates. However, the amount of federal debt today is so extreme that even a return of interest rates to their historical average would mean paying an interest expense that would consume more than half of tax revenues. Interest expense would eclipse Social Security and defense spending and become the largest item in the federal budget. According to even the government’s own crooked inflation statistics, which understate the problem, price increases are soaring to 40-year highs. That means a return to the historical average interest rate will not be enough to reign in inflation—not even close. A drastic rise in interest rates is needed—perhaps to 10% or higher. If that happened, it would mean that the US government is paying more for the interest expense than it takes in from taxes. In short, the Federal Reserve is trapped. Raising interest rates high enough to dent inflation would bankrupt the US government. The Fed could combat rising prices by hiking interest rates in the past. Today, thanks to the extreme debt levels, it does not have that option, which means inflation will continue to spiral out of control. That’s why the situation is unprecedented and dangerous. *  *  * Washington DC politicians and central planners have unleashed the most destructive monetary policies in the country’s history. It’s a foolish financial gamble that will ensure the destruction of the economy, people’s livelihoods, and ultimately the US dollar. There are still steps you can take to ensure you survive the coming turmoil with your money intact. That’s why bestselling author Doug Casey and his team just released an urgent new PDF report that explains how you to survive and thrive in the months ahead. Click here to download it now. Tyler Durden Wed, 10/19/2022 - 18:25.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 19th, 2022

I"ve been using a food-waste app to snap up free food, including coffee-shop salads, cookies, and meat from grocery stores

Olio users also give away clothes, books, and homeware on the food-waste app. There's only one rule: everything must be free. Grace Dean/Insider I've been using Olio to get free food and find new owners for items I no longer want. It's a food-waste app, but users also give away clothes, books, and homewares. Olio has about 6.3 million users, its cofounder told Insider. I've been using a food-waste app for a few months to get free food and find homes for items I no longer want.Olio, a British app that connects users with free meals, ingredients, clothing, and homeware, is fast becoming more popular.People can use Olio to give away products they no longer want, including leftover ingredients, unwanted clothing, and books they've read.Since I started using the app in May, I've collected food including croissants, sandwiches, and long-life pantry products. I've used Olio to find new homes for books I've read, clothes I don't like, and sweet rice I realized I'd never cook.A screenshot of listings on the Olio app.Screenshot of the Olio appBy using Olio I've saved money, but for me the main thing is preventing food from being thrown away while it's still edible.Many people use the app to give away items if they're moving house, but some use it to give away food before they go on vacation, because they bought a product they found out they don't like, or simply because they're having a clearout.But there's also another side to Olio. Companies such as retailers and coffee shops can pay to use Olio as a waste-disposal service. Volunteer – called a "food waste hero" – collects items from a store as they near expiry date. Olio says it has 63,000 food waste heroes, mostly in the UK.All users must write a description, submit photos, and say when and where the product can be collected.For food, users often state the expiry date, too. Sometimes the descriptions are thorough, while others are vague. One time I used the app to collect what was simply listed as "croissants." The user gave me his address, where I found 47 pastries waiting on his doorstep.Other food I've collected include items from Amazon Fresh and Pret a Manger, as well as tea, biscuits, and tinned soup from people who were having a clearout or moving house. A Pret a Manger salad I collected from Olio.Grace Dean/InsiderEverything on Olio is free. Users cannot accept money or any other compensation in exchange for goods.An important thing to remember is that corporate listings are usually because the food is about to expire. Pre-packaged products come with dates on them, but for some items – like the croissants – it's a judgment call as to whether they're safe to leave for a couple of days.After setting your approximate location on the app, Olio shows items available to collect nearby. You can choose how far you're willing to travel and filter to see the newest listings. Dozens of new items are added to Olio every day within the three mile radius I use.My profile on the Olio app.Screenshot of the Olio appCollecting and sharing items can feel a little scary at first. Your profile includes your first name, and you don't have to add a picture of yourself but I think that it makes you seem a bit more trustworthy when collecting items.When you upload an item, you set their own pickup location. While in many cases users allowed people to collect them from their house, they can also set the pickup location as a public place.After giving an item, both parties are invited to rate each other. Olio says users who fail to show up to collections could be booted off the app, and it's easy to report other users for poor conduct.The app is different from Too Good To Go, which also works to tackle food waste. It only features corporate listings from the companies themselves, and users collect them from the establishment in question. You also have to pay for these items, too, and they're mainly done on a "magic bag" basis where you don't know what you'll get until you collect it.Tessa Clarke, one of the company's cofounders, told Insider she had a "lightbulb moment" in 2014 when she was moving house and trying to give away uneaten food. The Olio app went live in July 2015.Clarke says it now has 6.3 million registered users, up from 2.3 million in September 2020 and 4.7 million a year later. Half the food listed on the app gets requested in about 20 minutes, she adds.Information about my impact on the Olio app.Screenshot of the Olio appThere are also large numbers of Olio users in Singapore, Ireland, and Mexico as well as the UK, Clarke said. It's also active in the US.Clarke said that companies partner with Olio so that they can become zero waste. She said these companies don't have the time to list their products themselves or turn to Olio after first trying to give them to charities themselves. Volunteering can be a big time commitment, with some helpers assisting on a one-off basis and others collecting items multiple times a week. Volunteers can keep up to 10% of the food they collect to redistribute, making it popular among students, Clarke said.The app raised 43 million euros ($43 million) in a funding round last September.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytSep 24th, 2022

One of Britain"s biggest grocery chains is restricting how many discount-brand items shoppers can buy as inflation bites

Asda shoppers can only buy three of each item from its Just Essentials brand, which it says is because of huge demand and is just for "a short time." Asda is restricting how many items shoppers can buy from its discount range as inflation continues to soar.Grace Dean/Insider Asda is restricting how many items shoppers can buy from its discount range to three of each product. The grocer says this is because of huge demand and is just for "a short time." Inflation is soaring in the UK. Food and beverage prices rose 12.7% in the year to July 2022. Britain's third-biggest supermarket chain is restricting how many items shoppers can buy from its discount range as inflation continues to soar.Asda introduced a new Just Essentials range in May that it rolled out more widely in August, featuring bright yellow packaging and low prices. This replaces its Smart Price budget range.Asda Just Essentials and Smart Price products pictured next to each other.Grace Dean/InsiderAsda has since placed a limit on how many items shoppers can buy, restricting them to three of each product for a "short time.""We love that you love Just Essentials and we're working hard to keep up with demand," signs on Asda's aisles underneath some of the Just Essentials products read. "To help make sure customers can get what they need, we're limiting purchases to 3 of each product per customer for a short time."Signs on Asda's Just Essentials products in a store in Tower Hamlets, London.Grace Dean/InsiderAn Asda spokesperson told Insider: "Just Essentials is proving really popular at the moment and we're working hard to get the out-of-stock products back on the shelves as quickly as we can."They added: "To make sure as many customers as possible can buy these products we are temporarily limiting purchases to a maximum of three of each product."The full product line, made up of almost 300 products, including meat, fish, bread, cupboard staples, and household and toiletry products, is expected to be fully rolled out by the end of the year. Asda has previously said that Just Essentials is "set to become the largest budget-friendly essentials range in the market."The range includes tins of red kidney beans for £0.33, or $0.39, tins of sliced carrots for £0.23, 2.5-kilogram (5.5-pound) bags of white potatoes for £0.99, and 400-gram (seven-ounce) packs of cooked ham for £1.69.The range includes cooked sandwich meats.Grace Dean/InsiderGerman discount supermarket Aldi – often ranked as Britain's cheapest grocery store – also sells 2.5 kilogram bags of "wonky" potatoes for £0.99 under its budget range. It similarly charges £1.69 for 400 gram-packs of cooked ham under its generic label. Tins of red kidney beans and sliced carrots also sell for the same price as at Asda.Data from the UK's Office for National Statistics shows that food and non-alcoholic beverage prices rose by 12.7% in the year to July 2022, including an increase of 2.3% between June and July, the highest monthly increase since May 2001.Inflation-strapped customers are trading down, switching to cheaper brands or grocery store private labels. Some are even changing the types of products they buy as certain categories, like meat, get more expensive.Asda, which Walmart sold for $8.8 billion in 2020, has almost 600 stores across the UK, where it's the third-biggest grocery store by market share.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytSep 13th, 2022

J Sainsbury’s – Cracker Christmas But The New Year Has A Lot To Prove

J Sainsbury plc (LON:SBRY)’s grocery trading was better than expected in the third quarter and important Christmas period. That reflects increased market share as the group invested heavily in reducing prices and expanding its food ranges. Q4 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more General Merchandise and Clothing sales fell year-on-year because of weak demand, […] J Sainsbury plc (LON:SBRY)’s grocery trading was better than expected in the third quarter and important Christmas period. That reflects increased market share as the group invested heavily in reducing prices and expanding its food ranges. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q4 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more General Merchandise and Clothing sales fell year-on-year because of weak demand, comparisons with last year’s exceptional trading, supply chain issues and the decision to reduce promotional activity. Total retail sales are up 1.4% on a two-year basis. The better-than-expected grocery results and cost savings means full year underlying operating profit guidance has been upped by £60m, to £720m. The shares rose 2.3% following the announcement. Sophie Lund-Yates, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown: “Sainsbury’s is the latest supermarket directly trying to take on the discounters, with massive investment in reducing prices helping the supermarket up its market share. The group also benefitted from another year of customers wanting to treat themselves over the festive season, as rules were relaxed and people went all-out, piling trollies and virtual baskets high. Record champagne sales will have helped the overall picture, but are also a marker of a wider benefit for bigger superstores. Sainsbury’s can offer customers everything they need under one roof, including famous drink labels – that’s not something the German discounters can say. Striking the right balance between offering good value and having the correct food proposition has meant good news for Sainsbury’s this time around. As we embark on the new year there are some lingering challenges. General Merchandise sales remain subdued, and while current events including supply chain disruption are partly to blame, there are structural declines in some markets. Sainsbury’s is especially exposed to this market thanks to the acquisition of Argos. Compared to pre-pandemic times, overall sales growth is sluggish. That’s largely because the supermarket sector is incredibly competitive, holding onto market share is a bit like trying to grab a wriggling fish. To reverse this, Sainsbury’s is sliding down the value chain to appeal to cost-conscious shoppers. It’s a relief to see the group target a more specific market, and this approach could certainly help in an inflationary environment as incomes don’t stretch as far. Progress can’t really be knocked. However, keeping margins inflated will rely on volumes keeping pace, doing that over the long-term will involve nailing the proposition time and time again.” About Hargreaves Lansdown Over 1.67 million clients trust us with £138.0 billion (as at 30 September 2021), making us the UK’s number one platform for private investors. More than 98% of client activity is done through our digital channels and over 600,000 access our mobile app each month. Updated on Jan 13, 2022, 3:12 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJan 13th, 2022

THEN AND NOW: How fast-food menus have changed over time

The menus at McDonald's, Burger King, Chick-fil-A, In-N-Out, White Castle, Taco Bell, and Popeyes once looked totally different. In-N-Out in the 1960s.In-N-Out Fast-food restaurant menus, from McDonald's to Chick-fil-A, have changed over the years. Some menu changes brought about astronomical sales.  However, others outraged customers to the point of social media rants and even violence. When the McDonald brothers opened their first restaurant, it served barbecue food.The exterior of a McDonald's drive-in fast-food restaurant, which advertises 15-cent hamburgers, Chicago, Illinois.Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesAt the original McDonald's Bar-B-Q restaurant in San Bernardino, California, customers could pull up to the restaurant for carhop service. Future locations would switch to the walk-up model to order from the restaurant's large menu.In 1948, the McDonald brothers reduced the restaurant's offerings down to just nine items to make their Speedee Service system even more efficient.McDonald's menu.Tim Boyle/Getty ImagesThe new menu included hamburgers, cheeseburgers, soft drinks, milk, coffee, potato chips, and a slice of pie for dessert. In 1949, potato chips were swapped with french fries and McDonald's began selling milkshakes.The addition of milkshakes to the McDonald's menu in 1949 would completely shift the future of the chain.McDonald's milkshake cups in the McDonald's museum.Ralf-Finn Hestoft/Corbis/Getty ImagesThe new item, called Triple Thick Milkshakes, was made using a Multimixer.After Multimixer salesman Ray Kroc visited the original McDonald's brothers to sell them more mixers, he became intrigued with the business. He would go on to purchase the small business and become the tycoon and leader of the fast-food giant for 30 years.Today, McDonald's still serves milkshakes, as well as McFlurries.In 1965, McDonald's introduced the Filet-O-Fish sandwich nationwide.An ad for the Filet-O-Fish.Mike Blake/ReutersAccording to Smithsonian Magazine, it was created in 1962 by Lou Groen, a McDonald's franchise owner in Cincinnati, Ohio, after he realized hamburger sales were declining on Fridays during the season of Lent.Groen then decided to create a sandwich featuring fish instead of beef. Three years later, it was made available nationwide and has remained on McDonald's menus ever since.McDonald's added the now-iconic Big Mac to its menu in 1967.Product shot of a McDonald's Big Mac hamburger in 1977.Henry Groskinsky/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty ImagesThe first "Big Mac" featured a triple-decker burger and sold for 45 cents. Initially, there was a lot of deliberation over what the iconic burger would be named. However, Esther Glickstein Rose, a 21-year-old secretary for the company's advertising department in 1967, had the winning name: "Big Mac." Despite the name originally being ridiculed, according to the AP, it's now known as one of "the best-known product names of all time."Chicken McNuggets were added to menus in 1983.McDonald's Chicken McNuggets.Irene Jiang / Business InsiderAccording to USA Today, many diners in the 1980s were looking to reduce their fat intake and were shaking up their diets by introducing more lean protein and poultry and cutting out red meat. For McDonald's, adding chicken to their menu was a no-brainer.In 2020, McDonald's added a spicy version of its chicken nuggets to menus, and they quickly sold out.As a result of the coronavirus pandemic and trying to streamline its operations, McDonald's limited its menu.McDonald's drive-through during the coronavirus pandemic.AP Photo/Ross D. FranklinMcDonald's stopped serving all-day breakfast and removed its chicken tenders, grilled chicken sandwich, a few burgers, and salads from menus nationwide."To simplify operations in our kitchens and for our crew, and ensure the best possible experience for our customers, we are working with our franchisees and local restaurants to focus on serving our most popular choices and will begin temporarily removing some items from the menu," Bill Garrett, McDonald's senior vice president of operations, said in a statement to Business Insider.While some items, like the Bacon McDouble, are back, others were permanently cut from the menu.McDonald's is also experimenting with celebrity collaborations in a bid to reach Gen Z customers.McDonald's Saweetie meal.Erin McDowell/Insider/Jerritt Clark/Getty ImagesRapper Travis Scott's collaboration with the chain was a huge success — so much so that McDonald's reported it was experiencing burger shortages as people clamored to try it. About a month after the release of the Travis Scott meal collab, McDonald's launched another partnership with reggaeton star J Balvin.Since then, McDonald's has partnered with South Korean boy band BTS and rapper Saweetie on meal collaborations, which both included limited-edition sauces.McDonald's has also brought back some fan-favorite, nostalgic menu items.McDonald's McRib.PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty ImagesThe infamous McRib sandwich first appeared on McDonald's menus in 1981. After four years of lackluster sales, it was removed from the chain's menu. However, in 1989, the McRib returned. Until 2005, the item could be found on many McDonald's menus worldwide and is a staple at locations in Germany and Luxembourg. In 2012, the McRib made its return to some menus after years of fan requests. However, just as quickly as it came, it disappeared. McDonald's brought the McRib back for a limited time in 2020, and it's now available to order again.Plant-based menu items could be the future of McDonald's.McDonald's PLT.McDonald'sOn November 9, 2020, McDonald's announced it would officially be venturing into the world of plant-based meat products. The chain said it is developing the "McPlant," a lineup of plant-based burgers, "chicken," and more meat-free menu items. The McPlant was rolled out at just eight US restaurants on November 3, 2021, as part of a test run."It's not a matter of if McDonald's will get into plant-based," CEO Chris Kempczinski said, according to Business Insider. "It's a matter of when."Burger King opened its doors in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1953, as "Insta-Burger King."An early Burger King restaurant.Burger KingThe chain, which quickly grew to be the second-largest fast-food chain in the country, behind McDonald's, served 18-cent flame-broiled burgers, milkshakes, and fries.In 1957, Burger King released its signature burger, the Whopper.Burger King Whopper.ReutersThe Whopper was 37 cents compared to Burger King's original burger, which cost 18 cents. The Whopper came with sauce, cheese, lettuce, pickles, and tomato, all piled on top of a larger patty.Today, Burger King still broils and flame-grills its burgers.More recently, Burger King revolutionized its menu with the addition of the Impossible Whopper, a meat-free version of its iconic sandwich.Close-up of Burger King menu board with an advertisement for the Impossible Whopper.Smith Collection/Gado/Getty ImagesBurger King's Impossible Whopper was hugely successful for the chain. According to CNN, Burger King reported a 10% increase in sales following the launch of the Impossible Burger in 2019.However, while the burger is plant-based, Burger King received criticism after a customer sued the company for serving a burger that's not actually 100% vegan. Since the patties are cooked on the same grills as traditional meat burgers, they may come into contact with meat by-products. Burger King responded saying the chain never advertised the burger as vegan or promised to cook them in a particular way.The Dwarf Grill in Hapeville, Georgia, opened in 1946. It would eventually become what we now know as Chick-fil-A.Dwarf Grill menu.Business Insider/Hayley PetersonThe business, owned and operated by founder Truett Cathy, started off by selling standard items like waffles, breakfast foods, sandwiches, and burgers. However, everything changed when Chick-fil-A created its original chicken sandwich in 1964.Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich.Shutterstock/rblfmrAccording to Chick-fil-A, Cathy tested hundreds of recipes for the original chicken sandwich before landing on a winner — a fried chicken fillet with two pickles on a toasted butter bun.Though Chick-fil-A has expanded immensely since then, the chicken sandwich has remained virtually the same.In 1989, Chick-fil-A added a grilled chicken sandwich to its menu.Chick-fil-A grilled chicken club sandwich.Hollis JohnsonIntroduced as a "health-conscious option" for Chick-fil-A customers, Cathy introduced the original grilled chicken sandwich alongside the deluxe grilled chicken sandwich, which included the same pickle-juice-marinated grilled chicken, pickles, and white bun, along with lettuce and tomato.In 1993, Chick-fil-A added the grilled chicken club sandwich to its menu. Then, in 2017, the chain announced it would be releasing a gluten-free bun option.Today, the menu has more than 40 different menu items, but you certainly won't find burgers.Chick-fil-A restaurant.Mark Lennihan/Associated PressThe menu is continually shifting gears to appeal to customers, but the chain's most famous item is undoubtedly still its original chicken sandwich.In-N-Out became California's first drive-thru hamburger stand when it opened in 1948.In-N-Out in the 1960s.In-N-OutIn 1958, In-N-Out replaced its bottled drinks with fountain service, offering customers beverages like Pepsi Cola, Nesbitt Orange, and Hires Root Beer. According to In-N-Out, a 12-ounce soda cost just 10 cents at the time.In 1961, In-N-Out added "animal style" burgers to its menu.In-N-Out animal style burger.Erin McDowell/InsiderThe first Animal Style burger hit menus as a response to overwhelming customer requests. The recipe is still the same today as it was in the 1960s — a mustard-cooked beef patty, lettuce, tomato, pickles, extra spread, and grilled onions.In 1963, In-N-Out began serving its famous Double-Double burger.Double-Double burger on the menu.Irene Jiang/Business InsiderIn 1975, In-N-Out began serving milkshakes. A few years later, In-N-Out opened its first location with a dining room in Ontario, California.However, while some new items have been added since 1948, the menu is still pretty similar to the original menu, offering basic fast-food items like burgers and fries.White Castle is regarded as the first fast-food hamburger chain in America. It opened its doors in 1921.White Castle.White CastleFounded by Billy Ingram as a family-owned business, the fast-food establishment originally sold 5-cent, small, square hamburgers by the sack. They would come to be known as "sliders."In 1943, White Castle would sell hot dogs and fried eggs instead of its iconic burgers as a result of the war's beef rationing.In 1962, White Castle began selling cheeseburgers.White Castle sliders on a grill.Win McNamee/Getty ImagesThis addition came 15 years after the chain secured a patent for its "holy" burgers — each burger is still grilled with five holes punched into it to add more flavor and help them cook faster.Today, White Castle still sells its iconic sliders.White Castle food.Hollis JohnsonThe sliders are also sold in grocery stores nationwide, meaning you can get your White Castle fix right at home. In 2018, White Castle revolutionized its menu by offering the plant-based Impossible Slider.Taco Bell offered just five menu items when it opened in 1962.Taco Bell's original menu, with its first franchisee, Kermit Becky.Taco BellEach item cost just 19 cents, and the menu featured traditional Mexican favorites like frijoles, tostadas, burritos, and tacos.In 1984, Taco Bell introduced the Taco Salad and Taco BellGrande and, in 2004, Taco Bell began selling Mountain Dew Baja Blast.In 2014, Taco Bell officially launched its breakfast menu nationwide.Taco Bell breakfast burrito.Hollis JohnsonIt was the brand's largest marketing campaign to date and has proven to be successful year over year.However, the coronavirus pandemic caused fast-food breakfast sales to plummet, leaving the future of breakfast foods at giants like Taco Bell and McDonald's uncertain.Today, Taco Bell has an expansive menu that offers a lot more than it did in the 1960s.Taco Bell menu.Irene Jiang / Business InsiderCountless different varieties of tacos and burritos make eating the entire menu a tall order.However, the menu has changed over the years.Taco Bell Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes.Diana G./YelpIn July 2020, the fast-food chain announced it would be removing 12 items from its menu, including fan-favorite items such as Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes, Nachos Supreme, and Loaded Grillers. Some fans were outraged by the decision to ax potatoes, calling it the chain's "worst idea to date."In September of that year, Taco Bell announced it would be dropping the fan-favorite Mexican Pizza from its newly streamlined menu starting November 5.However, potatoes have since returned to the Taco Bell menu, and new items like the grilled cheese burrito have been added. Popeyes first opened in 1972 as "Chicken on the Run" in the New Orleans suburb of Arabi, Louisiana.Popeyes restaurant in 2000.David McNew/Newsmakers/Getty ImagesThe restaurant originally served traditional, Southern-style fried chicken. However, after the restaurant faced lackluster sales for a few months, founder Alvin C. Copeland Sr. changed the restaurant's name to "Popeyes" and began selling spicy New Orleans-style chicken.In 1983, Popeyes began selling buttermilk biscuits.Popeyes restaurant.Brad Kemp / AP ImagesThe biscuits are now regarded as one of Popeyes' most iconic menu items and come with the chain's combo meals.Before its famous chicken sandwich hit the menu, Popeyes mainly sold fried chicken and seafood.A Popeyes restaurant takeout order menu is seen on February 21, 2017, in Miami, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesThe chain launched its Butterfly Shrimp Tackle Box in 2009, while Chicken Waffle Tenders and the Cajun Surf & Turf hit menus in 2013. Popeyes changed its direction — and, perhaps, the entire face of fast food — when it launched its now-famous chicken sandwich in 2019.A sign indicating that chicken sandwiches are sold out at a Boston Popeyes in 2019.Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe/Getty ImagesThe chicken sandwich was so popular, it quickly sent restaurants into chaos before selling out entirely in just two weeks. A few months later, the menu item finally returned, much to the satisfaction of chicken and fast-food lovers nationwide.Since then, Popeyes has also started experimenting with celebrity collaborations.The author holding the Megan Thee Stallion Popeyes chicken sandwich.Erin McDowell/InsiderOn October 19, Popeyes launched a new collaboration with rapper Megan Thee Stallion. The collab included a new iteration of its iconic chicken sandwich, which comes covered in limited-edition "Hottie" sauce, a slightly spicier version of sweet-and-sour sauce.When Insider's Erin McDowell tried the sandwich, she thought it was better than the original, although the sauce could have been spicier.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 16th, 2021

Babies are increasingly dying of syphilis in the US - but it"s 100% preventable

Babies with syphilis may have deformed bones, damaged brains, and struggle to hear, see, or breathe. A newborn baby rests at the Ana Betancourt de Mora Hospital in Camaguey, Cuba, on June 19, 2015. Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters The number of US babies born with syphilis quadrupled from 2015 to 2019. Babies with syphilis may have deformed bones, damaged brains, and struggle to hear, see, or breathe. Routine testing and penicillin shots for pregnant women could prevent these cases. This story was originally published by ProPublica, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom, in collaboration with NPR News. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.When Mai Yang is looking for a patient, she travels light. She dresses deliberately - not too formal, so she won't be mistaken for a police officer; not too casual, so people will look past her tiny 4-foot-10 stature and youthful face and trust her with sensitive health information. Always, she wears closed-toed shoes, "just in case I need to run."Yang carries a stack of cards issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that show what happens when the Treponema pallidum bacteria invades a patient's body. There's a photo of an angry red sore on a penis. There's one of a tongue, marred by mucus-lined lesions. And there's one of a newborn baby, its belly, torso and thighs dotted in a rash, its mouth open, as if caught midcry.It was because of the prospect of one such baby that Yang found herself walking through a homeless encampment on a blazing July day in Huron, California, an hour's drive southwest of her office at the Fresno County Department of Public Health. She was looking for a pregnant woman named Angelica, whose visit to a community clinic had triggered a report to the health department's sexually transmitted disease program. Angelica had tested positive for syphilis. If she was not treated, her baby could end up like the one in the picture or worse - there was a 40% chance the baby would die.Yang knew, though, that if she helped Angelica get treated with three weekly shots of penicillin at least 30 days before she gave birth, it was likely that the infection would be wiped out and her baby would be born without any symptoms at all. Every case of congenital syphilis, when a baby is born with the disease, is avoidable. Each is considered a "sentinel event," a warning that the public health system is failing.The alarms are now clamoring. In the United States, more than 129,800 syphilis cases were recorded in 2019, double the case count of five years prior. In the same time period, cases of congenital syphilis quadrupled: 1,870 babies were born with the disease; 128 died. Case counts from 2020 are still being finalized, but the CDC has said that reported cases of congenital syphilis have already exceeded the prior year. Black, Hispanic, and Native American babies are disproportionately at risk.There was a time, not too long ago, when CDC officials thought they could eliminate the centuries-old scourge from the United States, for adults and babies. But the effort lost steam and cases soon crept up again. Syphilis is not an outlier. The United States goes through what former CDC director Tom Frieden calls "a deadly cycle of panic and neglect" in which emergencies propel officials to scramble and throw money at a problem - whether that's Ebola, Zika, or COVID-19. Then, as fear ebbs, so does the attention and motivation to finish the task.The last fraction of cases can be the hardest to solve, whether that's eradicating a bug or getting vaccines into arms, yet too often, that's exactly when political attention gets diverted to the next alarm. The result: The hardest to reach and most vulnerable populations are the ones left suffering, after everyone else looks away.Yang first received Angelica's lab report on June 17. The address listed was a P.O. box, and the phone number belonged to her sister, who said Angelica was living in Huron. That was a piece of luck: Huron is tiny; the city spans just 1.6 square miles. On her first visit, a worker at the Alamo Motel said she knew Angelica and directed Yang to a nearby homeless encampment. Angelica wasn't there, so Yang returned a second time, bringing one of the health department nurses who could serve as an interpreter.They made their way to the barren patch of land behind Huron Valley Foods, the local grocery store, where people took shelter in makeshift lean-tos composed of cardboard boxes, scrap wood, and scavenged furniture, draped with sheets that served as ceilings and curtains. Yang stopped outside one of the structures, calling a greeting."Hi, I'm from the health department, I'm looking for Angelica."The nurse echoed her in Spanish.Angelica emerged, squinting in the sunlight. Yang couldn't tell if she was visibly pregnant yet, as her body was obscured by an oversized shirt. The two women were about the same age: Yang 26 and Angelica 27. Yang led her away from the tent, so they could speak privately. Angelica seemed reticent, surprised by the sudden appearance of the two health officers. "You're not in trouble," Yang said, before revealing the results of her blood test.Angelica had never heard of syphilis."Have you been to prenatal care?"Angelica shook her head. The local clinic had referred her to an obstetrician in Hanford, a 30-minute drive away. She had no car. She also mentioned that she didn't intend to raise her baby; her two oldest children lived with her mother, and this one likely would, too.Yang pulled out the CDC cards, showing them to Angelica and asking if she had experienced any of the symptoms illustrated. No, Angelica said, her lips pursed with disgust."Right now you still feel healthy, but this bacteria is still in your body," Yang pressed. "You need to get the infection treated to prevent further health complications to yourself and your baby."The community clinic was just across the street. "Can we walk you over to the clinic and make sure you get seen so we can get this taken care of?"Angelica demurred. She said she hadn't showered for a week and wanted to wash up first. She said she'd go later.Yang tried once more to extract a promise: "What time do you think you'll go?""Today, for sure."The CDC tried and failed to eradicate syphilis - twiceSyphilis is called The Great Imitator: It can look like any number of diseases. In its first stage, the only evidence of infection is a painless sore at the bacteria's point of entry. Weeks later, as the bacteria multiplies, skin rashes bloom on the palms of the hands and bottoms of the feet. Other traits of this stage include fever, headaches, muscle aches, sore throat, and fatigue. These symptoms eventually disappear and the patient progresses into the latent phase, which betrays no external signs. But if left untreated, after a decade or more, syphilis will reemerge in up to 30% of patients, capable of wreaking horror on a wide range of organ systems. Marion Sims, president of the American Medical Association in 1876, called it a "terrible scourge, which begins with lamb-like mildness and ends with lion-like rage that ruthlessly destroys everything in its way."The corkscrew-shaped bacteria can infiltrate the nervous system at any stage of the infection. Yang is haunted by her memory of interviewing a young man whose dementia was so severe that he didn't know why he was in the hospital or how old he was. And regardless of symptoms or stage, the bacteria can penetrate the placenta to infect a fetus. Even in these cases the infection is unpredictable: Many babies are born with normal physical features, but others can have deformed bones or damaged brains, and they can struggle to hear, see, or breathe.From its earliest days, syphilis has been shrouded in stigma. The first recorded outbreak was in the late 15th century, when Charles VIII led the French army to invade Naples. Italian physicians described French soldiers covered with pustules, dying from a sexually transmitted disease. As the affliction spread, Italians called it the French Disease. The French blamed the Neopolitans. It was also called the German, Polish, or Spanish disease, depending on which neighbor one wanted to blame. Even its name bears the taint of divine judgement: It comes from a 16th-century poem that tells of a shepherd, Syphilus, who offended the god Apollo and was punished with a hideous disease.By 1937 in America, when former Surgeon General Thomas Parran wrote the book "Shadow on the Land," he estimated some 680,000 people were under treatment for syphilis; about 60,000 babies were being born annually with congenital syphilis. There was no cure, and the stigma was so strong that public-health officials feared even properly documenting cases.Thanks to Parran's ardent advocacy, Congress in 1938 passed the National Venereal Disease Control Act, which created grants for states to set up clinics and support testing and treatment. Other than a short-lived funding effort during World War I, this was the first coordinated federal push to respond to the disease.Around the same time, the Public Health Service launched an effort to record the natural history of syphilis. Situated in Tuskegee, Alabama, the infamous study recruited 600 black men. By the early 1940s, penicillin became widely available and was found to be a reliable cure, but the treatment was withheld from the study participants. Outrage over the ethical violations would cast a stain across syphilis research for decades to come and fuel generations of mistrust in the medical system among Black Americans that continues to this day. People attend a ceremony near Tuskegee, Alabama, on April 3, 2017, to commemorate the roughly 600 men who were subjects in the Tuskegee syphilis study. Jay Reeves/AP Photo With the introduction of penicillin, cases began to plummet. Twice, the CDC has announced efforts to wipe out the disease - once in the 1960s and again in 1999.In the latest effort, the CDC announced that the United States had "a unique opportunity to eliminate syphilis within its borders," thanks to historically low rates, with 80% of counties reporting zero cases. The concentration of cases in the South "identifies communities in which there is a fundamental failure of public health capacity," the agency noted, adding that elimination - which it defined as fewer than 1,000 cases a year - would "decrease one of our most glaring racial disparities in health."Two years after the campaign began, cases started climbing, first among gay men and, later, heterosexuals. Cases in women started accelerating in 2013, followed shortly by increasing numbers of babies born with syphilis. The reasons for failure are complex: People relaxed safer sex practices after the advent of potent HIV combination therapies, increased methamphetamine use drove riskier behavior, and an explosion of online dating made it hard to track and test sexual partners, according to Ina Park, medical director of the California Prevention Training Center at the University of California San Francisco.But federal and state public-health efforts were hamstrung from the get-go. In 1999, the CDC said it would need about $35 million to $39 million in new federal funds annually for at least five years to eliminate syphilis. The agency got less than half of what it asked for, according to Jo Valentine, former program coordinator of the CDC's Syphilis Elimination Effort. As cases rose, the CDC modified its goals in 2006 from 0.4 primary and secondary syphilis cases per 100,000 in population to 2.2 cases per 100,000. By 2013, as elimination seemed less and less viable, the CDC changed its focus to ending congenital syphilis only.Since then, funding has remained anemic. From 2015 to 2020, the CDC's budget for preventing sexually transmitted infections grew by 2.2%. Taking inflation into account, that's a 7.4% reduction in purchasing power. In the same period, cases of syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia - the three STDs that have federally funded control programs - increased by nearly 30%."We have a long history of nearly eradicating something, then changing our attention, and seeing a resurgence in numbers," David Harvey, executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, said. "We have more congenital syphilis cases today in America than we ever had pediatric AIDS at the height of the AIDS epidemic. It's heartbreaking."Adriane Casalotti, chief of government and public affairs at the National Association of County and City Health Officials, warns that the US should not be surprised to see case counts continue to climb."The bugs don't go away," she said. "They're just waiting for the next opportunity, when you're not paying attention."Syphilis has fewer poster children than HIV or cancerYang waited until the end of the day, then called the clinic to see if Angelica had gone for her shot. She had not. Yang would have to block off another half day to visit Huron again, but she had three dozen other cases to deal with.States in the South and West have seen the highest syphilis rates in recent years. In 2017, 64 babies in Fresno County were born with syphilis at a rate of 440 babies per 100,000 live births - about 19 times the national rate. While the county had managed to lower case counts in the two years that followed, the pandemic threatened to unravel that progress, forcing STD staffers to do COVID-19 contact tracing, pausing field visits to find infected people, and scaring patients from seeking care. Yang's colleague handled three cases of stillbirth in 2020; in each, the woman was never diagnosed with syphilis because she feared catching the coronavirus and skipped prenatal care.Yang, whose caseload peaked at 70 during a COVID-19 surge, knew she would not be able handle them all as thoroughly as she'd like to."When I was being mentored by another investigator, he said: 'You're not a superhero. You can't save everybody,'" she said.She prioritizes men who have sex with men, because there's a higher prevalence of syphilis in that population, and pregnant people, because of the horrific consequences for babies.The job of a disease intervention specialist isn't for everyone: It means meeting patients whenever and wherever they are available - in the mop closet of a bus station, in a quiet parking lot - to inform them about the disease, to extract names of sex partners, and to encourage treatment. Patients are often reluctant to talk. They can get belligerent, upset that "the government" has their personal information, or shattered at the thought that a partner is likely cheating on them. Salaries typically start in the low $40,000s.Jena Adams, Yang's supervisor, has eight investigators working on HIV and syphilis. In the middle of 2020, she lost two and replaced them only recently."It's been exhausting," Adams said.She has only one specialist who is trained to take blood samples in the field, crucial for guaranteeing that the partners of those who test positive for syphilis also get tested. Adams wants to get phlebotomy training for the rest of her staff, but it's $2,000 per person. The department also doesn't have anyone who can administer penicillin injections in the field; that would have been key when Yang met Angelica. For a while, a nurse who worked in the tuberculosis program would ride along to give penicillin shots on a volunteer basis. Then he, too, left the health department.Much of the resources in public health trickle down from the CDC, which distributes money to states, which then parcel it out to counties. The CDC gets its budget from Congress, which tells the agency, by line item, exactly how much money it can spend to fight a disease or virus, in an uncommonly specific manner not seen in many other agencies. The decisions are often politically driven and can be detached from actual health needs.When the House and Senate appropriations committees meet to decide how much the CDC will get for each line item, they are barraged by lobbyists for individual disease interests. Stephanie Arnold Pang, senior director of policy and government relations at the National Coalition of STD Directors, can pick out the groups by sight: breast cancer wears pink, Alzheimer's goes in purple, multiple sclerosis comes in orange, HIV in red. STD prevention advocates, like herself, don a green ribbon, but they're far outnumbered.And unlike diseases that might already be familiar to lawmakers, or have patient and family spokespeople who can tell their own powerful stories, syphilis doesn't have many willing poster children. Breast Cancer survivors hold up a check for the amount raised at The Congressional Womens Softball Game at Watkins Recreation Center in Capitol Hill on June 20, 2018. Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call "Congressmen don't wake up one day and say, 'Oh hey, there's congenital syphilis in my jurisdiction.' You have to raise awareness," Arnold Pang said. It can be hard jockeying for a meeting. "Some offices might say, 'I don't have time for you because we've just seen HIV.' ... Sometimes, it feels like you're talking into a void."The consequences of the political nature of public-health funding have become more obvious during the coronavirus pandemic. The 2014 Ebola epidemic was seen as a "global wakeup call" that the world wasn't prepared for a major pandemic, yet in 2018, the CDC scaled back its epidemic prevention work as money ran out."If you've got to choose between Alzheimer's research and stopping an outbreak that may not happen? Stopping an outbreak that might not happen doesn't do well," Frieden, the former CDC director, said. "The CDC needs to have more money and more flexible money. Otherwise, we're going to be in this situation long term."In May 2021, President Joe Biden's administration announced it would set aside $7.4 billion over the next five years to hire and train public health workers, including $1.1 billion for more disease intervention specialists like Yang. Public health officials are thrilled to have the chance to expand their workforce, but some worry the time horizon may be too short."We've seen this movie before, right?" Frieden said. "Everyone gets concerned when there's an outbreak, and when that outbreak stops, the headlines stop, and an economic downturn happens, the budget gets cut."Fresno's STD clinic was shuttered in 2010 amid the Great Recession. Many others have vanished since the passage of the Affordable Care Act.Health leaders thought "by magically beefing up the primary care system, that we would do a better job of catching STIs and treating them," Harvey, the executive director of the National Coalition of STD Directors, said.That hasn't worked out; people want access to anonymous services, and primary care doctors often don't have STDs top of mind. The coalition is lobbying Congress for funding to support STD clinical services, proposing a three-year demonstration project funded at $600 million.It's one of Adams' dreams to see Fresno's STD clinic restored as it was."You could come in for an HIV test and get other STDs checked," she said. "And if a patient is positive, you can give a first injection on the spot."'I've seen people's families ripped apart and I've seen beautiful babies die'On August 12, Yang set out for Huron again, speeding past groves of almond trees and fields of grapes in the department's white Chevy Cruze. She brought along a colleague, Jorge Sevilla, who had recently transferred to the STD program from COVID-19 contact tracing. Yang was anxious to find Angelica again."She's probably in her second trimester now," she said.They found her outside of a pale yellow house a few blocks from the homeless encampment; the owner was letting her stay in a shed tucked in the corner of the dirt yard. This time, it was evident that she was pregnant. Yang noted that Angelica was wearing a wig; hair loss is a symptom of syphilis."Do you remember me?" Yang asked.Angelica nodded. She didn't seem surprised to see Yang again. (I came along, and Sevilla explained who I was and that I was writing about syphilis and the people affected by it. Angelica signed a release for me to report about her case, and she said she had no problem with me writing about her or even using her full name. ProPublica chose to only print her first name.)"How are you doing? How's the baby?""Bien.""So the last time we talked, we were going to have you go to United Healthcare Center to get treatment. Have you gone since?"Angelica shook her head."We brought some gift cards..." Sevilla started in Spanish. The department uses them as incentives for completing injections. But Angelica was already shaking her head. The nearest Walmart was the next town over.Yang turned to her partner. "Tell her: So the reason why we're coming out here again is because we really need her to go in for treatment. [...] We really are concerned for the baby's health especially since she's had the infection for quite a while."Angelica listened while Sevilla interpreted, her eyes on the ground. Then she looked up. "Orita?" she asked. Right now?"I'll walk with you," Yang offered. Angelica shook her head."She said she wants to shower first before she goes over there," Sevilla said.Yang made a face. "She said that to me last time." Yang offered to wait, but Angelica didn't want the health officers to linger by the house. She said she would meet them by the clinic in 15 minutes.Yang was reluctant to let her go but again had no other option. She and Sevilla drove to the clinic, then stood on the corner of the parking lot, staring down the road.Talk to the pediatricians, obstetricians, and families on the front lines of the congenital syphilis surge and it becomes clear why Yang and others are trying so desperately to prevent cases. J.B. Cantey, associate professor in pediatrics at UT Health San Antonio, remembers a baby girl born at 25 weeks gestation who weighed a pound and a half. Syphilis had spread through her bones and lungs. She spent five months in the neonatal intensive care unit, breathing through a ventilator, and was still eating through a tube when she was discharged.Then, there are the miscarriages, the stillbirths, and the inconsolable parents. Irene Stafford, an associate professor and maternal-fetal medicine specialist at UT Health in Houston, cannot forget a patient who came in at 36 weeks for a routine checkup, pregnant with her first child. Stafford realized that there was no heartbeat."She could see on my face that something was really wrong," Stafford recalled. She had to let the patient know that syphilis had killed her baby."She was hysterical, just bawling," Stafford said. "I've seen people's families ripped apart and I've seen beautiful babies die." Fewer than 10% of patients who experience a stillbirth are tested for syphilis, suggesting that cases are underdiagnosed.A Texas grandmother named Solidad Odunuga offers a glimpse into what the future could hold for Angelica's mother, who may wind up raising her baby.In February of last year, Odunuga got a call from the Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital in Houston. A nurse told her that her daughter was about to give birth and that child protective services had been called. Odunuga had lost contact with her daughter, who struggled with homelessness and substance abuse. She arrived in time to see her grandson delivered, premature at 30 weeks old, weighing 2.7 pounds. He tested positive for syphilis.When a child protective worker asked Odunuga to take custody of the infant, she felt a wave of dread."I was in denial," she recalled. "I did not plan to be a mom again." The baby's medical problems were daunting: "Global developmental delays [...] concerns for visual impairments [...] high risk of cerebral palsy," read a note from the doctor at the time.Still, Odunuga visited her grandson every day for three months, driving to the NICU from her job at the University of Houston. "I'd put him in my shirt to keep him warm and hold him there." She fell in love. She named him Emmanuel.Once Emmanuel was discharged, Odunuga realized she had no choice but to quit her job. While Medicaid covered the costs of Emmanuel's treatment, it was on her to care for him. From infancy, Emmanuel's life has been a whirlwind of constant therapy. Today, at 20 months old, Odunuga brings him to physical, occupational, speech, and developmental therapy, each a different appointment on a different day of the week.Emmanuel has thrived beyond what his doctors predicted, toddling so fast that Odunuga can't look away for a minute and beaming as he waves his favorite toy phone. Yet he still suffers from gagging issues, which means Odunuga can't feed him any solid foods. Liquid gets into his lungs when he aspirates; it has led to pneumonia three times. Emmanuel has a special stroller that helps keep his head in a position that won't aggravate his persistent reflux, but Odunuga said she still has to pull over on the side of the road sometimes when she hears him projectile vomiting from the backseat.The days are endless. Once she puts Emmanuel to bed, Odunuga starts planning the next day's appointments."I've had to cry alone, scream out alone," she said. "Sometimes I wake up and think, 'Is this real?' And then I hear him in the next room."There's no vaccine for syphilis A health worker tests a migrant from Haiti for HIV and syphilis to in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, on September 25, 2021. Daniel Becerril/Reuters Putting aside the challenge of eliminating syphilis entirely, everyone agrees it's both doable and necessary to prevent newborn cases."There was a crisis in perinatal HIV almost 30 years ago and people stood up and said this is not OK - it's not acceptable for babies to be born in that condition. [...We] brought it down from 1,700 babies born each year with perinatal HIV to less than 40 per year today," Virginia Bowen, an epidemiologist at the CDC, said. "Now here we are with a slightly different condition. We can also stand up and say, 'This is not acceptable.'" Belarus, Bermuda, Cuba, Malaysia, Thailand, and Sri Lanka are among countries recognized by the World Health Organization for eliminating congenital syphilis.Success starts with filling gaps across the health care system.For almost a century, public health experts have advocated for testing pregnant patients more than once for syphilis in order to catch the infection. But policies nationwide still don't reflect this best practice. Six states have no prenatal screening requirement at all. Even in states that require three tests, public-health officials say that many physicians aren't aware of the requirements. Stafford, the maternal-fetal medicine specialist in Houston, says she's tired of hearing her own peers in medicine tell her, "Oh, syphilis is a problem?"It costs public health departments less than 25 cents a dose to buy penicillin, but for a private practice, it's more than $1,000, according to Park of the University of California San Francisco."There's no incentive for a private physician to stock a dose that could expire before it's used, so they often don't have it," she said. "So a woman comes in, they say, 'We'll send you to the emergency department or health department to get it,' then [the patients] don't show up."A vaccine would be invaluable for preventing spread among people at high risk for reinfection. But there is none. Scientists only recently figured out how to grow the bacteria in the lab, prompting grants from the National Institutes of Health to fund research into a vaccine. Justin Radolf, a researcher at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, said he hopes his team will have a vaccine candidate by the end of its five-year grant. But it'll likely take years more to find a manufacturer and run human trials.Public-health agencies also need to recognize that many of the hurdles to getting pregnant people treated involve access to care, economic stability, safe housing, and transportation. In Fresno, Adams has been working on ways her department can collaborate with mental health services. Recently, one of her disease intervention specialists managed to get a pregnant woman treated with penicillin shots and, at the patient's request, connected her with an addiction treatment center.Gaining a patient's cooperation means seeing them as complex humans instead of just a case to solve."There may be past traumas with the healthcare system," Cynthia Deverson, project manager of the Houston Fetal Infant Morbidity Review, said. "There's the fear of being discovered if she's doing something illegal to survive. [...] She may need to be in a certain place at a certain time so she can get something to eat, or maybe it's the only time of the day that's safe for her to sleep. They're not going to tell you that. Yes, they understand there's a problem, but it's not an immediate threat, maybe they don't feel bad yet, so obviously this is not urgent.""What helps to gain trust is consistency," she added. "Literally, it's seeing that [disease specialist] constantly, daily. [...] The woman can see that you're not going to harm her, you're saying, 'I'm here at this time if you need me.'"Yang stood outside the clinic, waiting for Angelica to show up, baking in the 90-degree heat. Her feelings ranged from irritation - Why didn't she just go? I'd have more energy for other cases - to an appreciation for the parts of Angelica's story that she didn't know - She's in survival mode. I need to be more patient.Fifteen minutes ticked by, then 20."OK," Yang announced. "We're going back."She asked Sevilla if he would be OK if they drove Angelica to the clinic; they technically weren't supposed to because of coronavirus precautions, but Yang wasn't sure she could convince Angelica to walk. Sevilla gave her the thumbs up.When they pulled up, they saw Angelica sitting in the backyard, chatting with a friend. She now wore a fresh T-shirt and had shoes on her feet. Angelica sat silently in the back seat as Yang drove to the clinic. A few minutes later, they pulled up to the parking lot.Finally, Yang thought. We got her here.The clinic was packed with people waiting for COVID-19 tests and vaccinations. A worker there had previously told Yang that a walk-in would be fine, but a receptionist now said they were too busy to treat Angelica. She would have to return.Yang felt a surge of frustration, sensing that her hard-fought opportunity was slipping away. She tried to talk to the nurse supervisor, but he wasn't available. She tried to leave the gift cards at the office to reward Angelica if she came, but the receptionist said she couldn't hold them. While Yang negotiated, Sevilla sat with Angelica in the car, waiting.Finally, Yang accepted this was yet another thing she couldn't control.She drove Angelica back to the yellow house. As they arrived, she tried once more to impress on her just how important it was to get treated, asking Sevilla to interpret. "We don't want it to get any more serious, because she can go blind, she could go deaf, she could lose her baby."Angelica already had the door halfway open."So on a scale from one to 10, how important is this to get treated?" Yang asked."Ten," Angelica said. Yang reminded her of the appointment that afternoon. Then Angelica stepped out and returned to the dusty yard.Yang lingered for a moment, watching Angelica go. Then she turned the car back onto the highway and set off toward Fresno, knowing, already, that she'd be back.Postscript: A reporter visited Huron twice more in the months that followed, including once independently to try to interview Angelica, but she wasn't in town. Yang has visited Huron twice more as well - six times in total thus far. In October, a couple of men at the yellow house said Angelica was still in town, still pregnant. Yang and Sevilla spent an hour driving around, talking to residents, hoping to catch Angelica. But she was nowhere to be found.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 2nd, 2021

"People Are Hoarding" - Supermarkets Are The Next Supply Chain Crunch As Food Shortages Persist

"People Are Hoarding" - Supermarkets Are The Next Supply Chain Crunch As Food Shortages Persist It's been 19 months since the virus pandemic began, and supply chain disruptions continue, making it more difficult for customers to find their favorite item at supermarkets nationwide. Simultaneously, the psychology of empty store shelves and President Biden's inability to normalize supply chains forced some people to panic hoard this fall as uncertainty about food supplies mount. Chris Jones, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs & Counsel of the National Grocers Association, told Today, "shopping early for the holidays is a wise strategy, especially under current conditions."   "There's plenty of food in the supply chain, but certain items may be harder to get at certain times due to a nationwide shortage of labor impacting manufacturers, shippers and retailers. Additionally, lack of enforcement of antitrust laws in the grocery marketplace have allowed dominant retailers to secure more favorable terms and ample supplies of high-demand goods while leaving many smaller retailers with limited selections or, in some cases, bare shelves," Jones said.  In a separate report, USA Today listed items that customers are having trouble finding at grocery stores.  Ben & Jerry flavors This frozen treat is usually the perfect dessert, but in an email on Sept. 14, Ben & Jerry's parent company, Unilever, cited labor shortages as the reason for reducing the amount of flavors produced. The company said it will focus on producing its most popular flavors. Phish Food lovers, you have nothing to worry about. Carbonated drinks Fertilizer plants, which lead to the production of carbon dioxide, had to reduce their output because of rising costs, causing shortages in food and other products, Per Hong, senior partner at consulting firm Kearney, told CNBC. "We almost certainly will be faced with a global shortage of CO2 that is used widely. CO2 is used extensively in the food value chain from inside packaged food to keep it fresher longer, for dry ice to keep frozen food cold during delivery, to giving carbonated beverages their bubbles," he said.  Chicken People have substituted fast food for home-cooked comfort meals, causing chicken to become scarce. In May, suppliers announced a shortage of chicken, which limited some restaurants' menu items and increased the price in stores.  Coffee Brazil is a supplier of most of the world's coffee, but the country has been experiencing a drought that slowed production and transportation of coffee beans. Diapers Households with small children should be aware that diaper prices have increased because of increases in prices of raw materials, shipping delays and container shortages, according to Business Insider. Diaper manufacturers Proctor & Gamble (Pampers and Luvs) and Kimberly-Clark (Huggies) announced price increases in early April. Fish sticks A customs dispute at the U.S.-Canada border has kept the Alaska pollock, which is used for fish sticks and sandwiches, stored across the border. Cross-border violations have halted transportation of the fish and may cause permanent seafood supply chain problems. Frozen meals Rodney Holcomb, food economist at Oklahoma State University, told ABC27 News that concerns over the delta coronavirus variant have some customers buying more than usual, as Americans saw at the beginning of the pandemic, in case there is another lockdown.  Heinz ketchup packets With restrictions on indoor dining, most people switched to pickup, takeout and delivery orders, limiting the supply of individual ketchup packets. Kraft Heinz confirmed to USA TODAY in early April that it was working to increase supplies, such as adding manufacturing lines that would increase production by about 25% for a total of more than 12 billion packets a year. Marie Callender's pot pies The holidays call for comfort foods – even if you aren't the one making it. But expect shortages of Marie Callender's 10-ounce and 15-ounce pot pies. According to parent company Conagra, it would be allocating shipments through Nov. 29 after it "encountered packing material challenges from our tray and carton supplier resulting in a production interruption," CNN Business reports. McCormick Gourmet spices With the holidays around the corner, meals being prepared across the nation may be missing a very important ingredient: seasonings. McCormick Gourmet spices are short of packaging supplies due to pandemic-related shutdowns. Lori Robinson, a spokesperson for McCormick, told CNN Business, "Gourmet is the only product line impacted by this packaging shortage" but can be substituted with their regular spices.  Rice Krispie Treats This lunchbox treat's production has been "below service expectations," as stated in an email sent to suppliers. The shortage persists as Kellogg's workers remain on strike, even though production lines have restarted as replacement workers were brought in. Sour Patch Kids In an Oct. 1 email to a grocery distributor, parent company Mondelez says there is "limited availability" on some of their items such as Sour Patch Kids, Swedish Fish candy and Toblerone chocolate "due to supply chain constraints."  Toilet paper This is something that isn't new to the pandemic shortage list, but the industry has yet to keep up with the demand. The shortage stems from lumber's raw material, wood pulp, which is used to make toilet paper. Fox Business reports only 60% of orders are being shipped out. Some retailers, such as Costco, have reinstated purchasing limits.  Persistent disruptions in supply chains continue to upended daily life as supplies of essential goods at grocery stores continue to dwindle.  "I never imagined that we'd be here in October 2021 talking about supply-chain problems, but it's a reality," Vivek Sankaran, CEO of supermarket chain Albertsons Cos., told Bloomberg. "Any given day, you're going to have something missing in our stores, and it's across categories." Food suppliers are stocking up on extra supplies to mitigate panic hoarding. Saffron Road, a producer of frozen meals, is increasing inventory to about four months instead of two months.  "People are hoarding," said CEO and founder Adnan Durrani. "What I think you'll see over the next six months, all prices will go higher." Food producers are also complaining about the challenges in the supply chain continuing and will unlikely wane by the end of this year, suggesting these issues will continue into early 2022. Last week, one of the top trending topics on Twitter was the hashtag #EmptyShelvesJoe, referring to Biden's inability to normalize supply chains that have resulted in empty store shelves at supermarkets.  America is becoming more and more like a third-world nation as shortages and soaring food inflation crush the working poor.  Tyler Durden Wed, 10/20/2021 - 10:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 20th, 2021

I research harmful microplastics. Here"s what I do to keep my family safe from their toxic chemicals.

Tiny bits of plastic are in tea bags, breastmilk, and baby bottles. An expert explains how she keeps her newborn safe from their toxins. Microplastics are 10 times more abundant in baby poop than adult poop. Thats partly why plastics expert Laura Hardman keeps plastic away from her baby.Robyn Phelps/InsiderAs an expert on microplastics, here's what I do to keep my family safe.This is an as-told-to-essay based on a conversation with Laura Hardman, 33, the mother of a 5-month-old and the director of the Ocean Wise Plastic Initiative at the Ocean Wise Plastic Lab in Vancouver, Canada. Hardman does research on microplastics — tiny pieces of plastic debris that are broken down from larger plastic items. Microplastics are often too small to pick up or even notice, but they are everywhere: in the air, dust, and rain. While most microplastic research focuses on marine ecosystems — where plastics are known to harm growth and reproductive health in creatures including fish, shellfish, and plankton — these tiny plastic particles are also ingested by humans and have recently been found in human blood and major organs. In new mothers, microplastics have been found in placentas and breast milk, and they appear especially abundant in baby poop — 10 times more than in adult feces. The effects of microplastics on human health are not yet fully known, but emerging research has linked polyethylene, the most commonly used plastic, to cell damage, and environmental microplastics are known to attract and carry dangerous contaminants like cancer-causing toxins, heavy metals like mercury, and disease-causing pathogens. Plastic household items often contain chemicals that are hazardous to humans and can leach, or seep, into water, the air, or food, especially when heated. Because of this, Hardman tries to minimize the amount of plastic her family is exposed to. As the director of the Ocean Wise Plastic Initiative, I am responsible for our plastic-reduction program where we partner with businesses and individuals to help them minimize how much plastic they use. When we're starting to work with a group, I'll say: "Stand up if you care about plastic pollution," and everyone will stand up. And then I'll say: "Sit down if you've used an unnecessary piece of plastic today." Very rarely is anyone left standing. When I start running through plastic items like toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes, it quickly becomes clear that even if everybody cares, it's difficult to stop using plastics because we're almost blind to our plastic use (through no fault of our own). It's insidious — it's in everything and every part of our day. And what keeps me awake at night is that plastic consumption is still increasing. The amount of plastic waste we produce is projected to triple by 2060.As a new mom, Laura Hardman is concerned about how much plastic babies are exposed to.Laura HardmanPlastic is a relatively new pollutant, so there's still a lot we don't know about it. In the lab, my team of researchers and I focus on the sources, effects, and fate of plastics in the ocean. We research how plastic is affecting certain species, and there are a number of serious negative effects. We're seeing things like endocrine disruption, which affects reproduction, and bioaccumulation, which is when plastic in the food-supply chain accumulates in the digestive tract and can cause blockages or cause marine creatures to feel full when they're not. And it's not just about the microplastics themselves being dangerous — plastic has this unique ability to attract other pollutants, and that increases its toxicity. For instance, if you're a whale and you're consuming vast amounts of food carrying microplastics, the chemical concentration in the plastic and the cocktail of whatever may be attached to the plastic compounds increases and becomes more toxic to you. What I take away from that is, if we're starting to see this in marine species, what's the impact for humans? We know that we're ingesting a lot of microplastics — as many as 230,000 tiny particles in a typical roast dinner made with ingredients that are packaged in plastic, and over a billion in a plastic tea bag. Much of the early science on how plastics impact human health is inconclusive right now, but for me, "inconclusive" just means we're at the start of a very long research journey. And it doesn't mean that I, on a personal level, am not going to be proactive now in trying to limit my and my loved ones' exposure. Robust research takes time, but if we wait until we know the full extent of the risks, it is likely to be too late for a generation or more. The simple answer is we don't know what plastics might be doing to us, but I've started to get really concerned. So, why wait?How to limit plastics for a newbornResearchers don't know exactly how much plastic babies ingest, but they do know that babies are exposed to microplastics in the womb and tend to have higher exposure than adults, and of course, babies put everything in their mouths. When my partner and I learned we were having a baby, I went down a rabbit hole looking at all the things that you really "need" for a newborn. You're in this really vulnerable position where, unless you've got a great network of friends and family to help you navigate it all, you don't know what you actually need and what is unnecessary waste that's being marketed to you as a new parent. Eventually I decided that my approach to reducing plastic pollution was to break all of the items on our list into three categories: unnecessary items, items that are unnecessarily made of plastic, and plastic items that are unavoidable. So my starting point was a series of at-home audits to evaluate the plastics that were already in my life. I asked myself: "What am I using? Where is it coming from?" For instance, my partner and I used to go through a lot of plastic bread bags from bread we got at the grocery store. The swap for us was to find a good secondhand bread machine, because I'm not going to bake it entirely by hand!Like most young moms, I worry about anything that my daughter comes into contact with and about setting her up for the best possible start. I knew quickly that I wanted to keep plastics and microplastics away from her as much as possible, because researchers are increasingly finding them in human placentas, breast milk, and baby poop — which terrifies me. Those kinds of studies scare me the most. One of the biggest sources of plastics that you encounter when you have a baby is disposable diapers — in North America around 30 to 40 billion diapers end up in landfills each year. I wanted to avoid them as much as possible and find something reusable, but we weren't sure how that was going to work. Reusing diapers is not the nicest concept to imagine, and my partner was understandably resistant. We agreed after some research that we would buy two reusable brands that were mostly plastic-free and one box of disposable ones and see how we got on. We were pleasantly surprised by the reusable diapers. After all of the horror stories about reusables, the reality was nowhere near as bad as we thought. In fact, quite the reverse — we're saving money and, honestly, they look cuter. My other half is now a firm advocate for reusable diapers. Of course, the caveat is we're only five months in — solid food is coming.Another plastic-ridden nonnegotiable for me was wipes. Most commercial wipes are sold in dreadful plastic packaging, and in order to make the wipes more resilient, they have plastic as part of the fiber weave. Plus, they're not commonly disposable in anything other than the landfill — where 68 billion of them end up every year. I considered going for reusable wipes, but we decided reusable wasn't practical for our family in terms of the sheer volume of washing and how much we're traveling with our little one. So we've opted to make our own wipes, and I would say it is the best thing I've done. I buy paper towels that are wrapped in paper and sustainably forested, and I make up a solution of almond oil and baby-safe Dr. Bronner's soap and use that to make wet wipes, which we store in a reusable plastic diaper dispenser. I wasn't sure how much work it was going to be and whether I was going to be able to maintain it, but we're still going strong. I'm using a plastic box, and I'm still using a disposable product, which is more consumption than I'd like, but it is working well for me. For baby bottles, I use glass bottles with a natural silicone teat. Because the bottle is going to have heat applied to it, and from what we know about how plastics can leach harmful chemicals into the air or liquid over time — and specifically how plastic baby bottles shed millions of microplastics when they're sterilized — using a plastic bottle was not something that I was going to be comfortable with. To limit plastic in my breast milk, I already try to avoid a lot of prepackaged foods, which is where a lot of plastic contamination comes from, and I use silicone pouches to store breast milk in the freezer. Our approach to weaning is to use homemade purées made out of carrots or broccoli or whatever we buy at the loose produce section of the grocery store, instead of packaged pouches of baby food.There are a lot of places where plastics appear that we don't really think about. For example, a lot of children's cutlery and plates are plastic. And there's clothing — which can contain a lot of plastic. A lot of people make sure their babies' clothes are organic, cotton, and made with child-friendly dyes, but they're not aware of their own clothing. Your baby is probably sucking on your clothes more than she's sucking on hers. I try to apply the same rules to myself as I do to her, so for the clothing I wear now, I try to stick to natural fibers and dye.Cutting down on consumptionI live and breathe plastic reduction every day, but I still feel anxious about what decisions to make — and all of this can be really intimidating for young parents who want to raise their kids in a way that is safe and environmentally friendly. It's also tough with other people. Other people want to be amazing and buy stuff for your baby, right? And I have never refused gifts, because that would be awful — you don't want to be a complete monster. But one of the things that's been super helpful is sharing my values with family and friends. I don't want to ram it down people's throats, but my sister said that she enjoyed learning along with me. So talk about it with your family and friends and share that this is what you're trying to do — because it isn't easy — and then they can help you and enjoy the journey with you. I want people to know that you're not the only person thinking or learning about this. "You can't be perfect in everything," is what I have to keep telling myself, and what I would tell anybody else. Anything that you can do is a win for your child and a win for the ocean. Every time you say, "I don't need that" or "I can get that secondhand," that's a win. And that has to be celebrated, because if we don't start there, it's going to feel too big and we're going to become too overwhelmed. And that paralyzes us from taking action.Adrienne Matei is a freelance journalist based in Vancouver, Canada. She writes about culture, technology, lifestyle, the environment, and more.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJan 25th, 2023

4 expensive psychological tricks retailers use that I"ve learned to decode

Companies have all sorts of tricks to make you spend money on things you don't need, but you can avoid falling prey by learning how they do it. Ariana Arghandewal.Ariana Arghandewal If you've ever bought something because an influencer used it, you've experienced social proof. The scarcity principle drove many people to buy way too much dry pasta at the start of the pandemic. When you see that you could get free shipping by spending just a little more, that's loss aversion. We're a few weeks into a new year, which is a great time to take stock of your financial goals and how to create better habits to achieve them.One of my goals is to cut back on gratuitous spending. While I largely avoided the temptation of holiday sales, I made my share of impulse buys that put a dent or two in my wallet. We've all had our moments of weakness when shopping and that's not entirely our fault — there's an entire industry built around getting us to spend money, even when we don't intend to.The solution? Learn the psychological principles driving these marketing strategies and beat them at their own game. Here are four psychological principles you can use to cut back on needless spending.1. Social proofIn psychology, social proof refers to the idea that people adapt their behaviors to emulate other people. It's why influencers are so successful at getting us to buy six tubes of mascara or the same Revlon lipstick that keeps popping up on your Instagram Explore page. Watching other people use a product successfully and discuss its benefits triggers us to want to emulate them.I've seen this in action many times — it's how I ended up with a drawer full of The Ordinary skincare products that I probably won't get through any time soon. When you're inundated with social media posts touting the same product over and over, it's tempting to give in and buy said product. Especially when doing so is just a few clicks away.So what can you do about it? I, for one, have stopped watching YouTube videos of product reviews — unless it's something I actually need. I also stay off the Instagram Explore page, where influencers are constantly hawking the miracles of skincare products. Knowing what triggers your impulse shopping habits is the first step in addressing it.2. Anchoring biasAnchoring bias refers to our tendency to rely on the first piece of information we're presented with to make a decision. When shopping, anchoring can distort our ability to accurately value a product by focusing our attention on the original versus sale price. By seeing the price difference, you might feel you're getting a good deal and thus become more likely to purchase an item.In this scenario, it's important to remember what an item is worth rather than how much you're saving on the sale price. I fell into this trap with an Amex Offer recently, making a purchase merely because the discount made it more palatable. But I wasn't really saving money because I was still spending more on an item than it was intrinsically worth. Keep this in mind and avoid falling for the trap of comparing past and present pricing.3. Scarcity principleThe scarcity principle is technically an economic principle, but it explains a crucial aspect of consumer behavior that leads to overspending. Consumers are more likely to buy items that they perceive as dwindling in supply. This is one reason grocery shelves were empty in the early days of the pandemic. Many consumers heard about dwindling supplies of toilet paper and dried pasta on the news and rushed to stock up on items before they ran out completely.Retailers will use the scarcity principle to convince consumers to purchase items by emphasizing dwindling supplies or limited-time offers.Here's the workaround: Remember that most things are quickly replenished and sales will come around again. Don't let a sale dictate your purchases — instead, time the purchase of necessities around sales.4. Loss aversionHave you ever bought something online and then spent more money than you intended just to get free shipping? That might have been loss aversion at play. According to this behavioral principle, the negative impact of losing money is perceived as worse than gaining that same amount. It becomes preferable to "gain" free shipping by adding more items to your cart than to "lose" money on shipping.I've definitely been in that position, stockpiling things and spending more than I needed because it made more sense to spend money on items than shipping. By recognizing this habit, you can reassess whether the extra spending is worth it. Maybe you don't need to place that Target order after all and can instead walk into a store to make your $20 purchase. You'll get it faster and will avoid the shipping charge.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJan 23rd, 2023

Organized retail thieves" most-wanted list: Survey reveals which items are most likely to be stolen from stores

Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS, Lowe's, Home Depot, and more have been sounding the alarm on growing theft rates at their stores. Tide laundry-detergent bottles have a security-locking system to prevent theft at a CVS Pharmacy in Queens, New York.Lindsey Nicholson/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images Organized retail crime has contributed to a $94.5 billion inventory-shrink problem for the retail industry. Companies from Walgreens to Target have been sounding the alarm on growing retail theft for months. Retail criminals steal across many different product categories, per the National Retail Federation. If you see containers of Tide detergent locked up in your local Walmart or Target, you may have organized retail criminals to blame.A 2022 survey conducted by the National Retail Federation found laundry detergent to be among the most stolen items in organized retail crime, which has contributed to a $94.5 billion inventory shrinkage issue for the retail industry.These crimes aren't as simple as a lone shoplifter pocketing a product. Instead, criminal organizations are stealing large quantities of goods and reselling them for profit. And organized retail crime is not the $10,000 jewelry heist you see in the movies, Jake Stauch, the director of product for the security company Verkada, previously told Insider.Rather, he said a group of individuals that "specialize in a certain category," like thermal coats, steal the goods in thefts or "smash-and-grab" jobs where they break into the retailer, and then resell the goods through new distribution channels like online marketplaces or sell the goods back to local retailers.Here are the most popular items targeted for organized retail crime as identified by the National Retail Federation, in no particular order.ApparelDenim clothes are among the most likely items to be targeted in organized retail crime.Celia Fernandez/InsiderDenimDesigner apparelActivewearIntimatesElectronicsOrganized retail criminals like to target charging cords, according to the National Retail Federation.Moyo Studio/Getty ImagesAppliancesCharging cordsSmartphonesHeadphonesVacuumsHealth and BeautyFragrances catch the eyes of organized retail criminals.Alle Connell/RevelistMedication (allergy and pain)FragrancesBlades and razorsCosmeticsBody washAccessoriesOrganized retail criminals may steal watches and resell them at a higher price.Shoshy Ciment/Business InsiderDesigner handbagsFashion and fine jewelryBeltsWatchesDesigner sunglassesBranded eyewearFootwearShoe retailers need to be wary of organized retail criminals.PYMCA/Universal Images Group via Getty ImagesMen's and women's footwearAthletic shoes and sneakersDesigner shoesHome FurnishingsBedding is one of the top targets for organized retail crime.Danielle BauterBeddingHome goodsHousewaresHigh-end mirrorsHome ImprovementHome Depot and Lowe's have developed ways to keep power tools from working if stolen.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesPower tools and equipmentOutdoor and seasonal toolsWireOffice SuppliesPrinters, ink cartridges and toner all catch the eyes of organized retail criminals.WUTTISAK PROMCHOO/ShutterstockInk cartridgesPrintersTonerFood and BeveragesMeat and other grocery items are also stolen by organized retail criminals.Mary Meisenzahl/InsiderMeatSeafoodCandyAlcoholEnergy drinksChildren's ItemsInfant formula, which has been in short supply, is a target of organized retail crime.REUTERS/Jessica DinapoliInfant formulaInfant and toddler itemsChildren's toysOtherGift cards also aren't safe from organized retail crime.ShutterstockDetergentTobaccoPet MedicationTravel itemsPhysical and electronic gift cardsRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 21st, 2023

How To Plan For Saving Money Each Month

What are your plans for your retirement years? According to the 2022 Transamerica Retirement Survey, the top two retirement goals are “traveling” and “spending more time with family and friends.” But to reach those goals, you’ll need to know how to plan for saving money. Unfortunately, over half (55%) of Americans admit they’re behind in […] What are your plans for your retirement years? According to the 2022 Transamerica Retirement Survey, the top two retirement goals are “traveling” and “spending more time with family and friends.” But to reach those goals, you’ll need to know how to plan for saving money. Unfortunately, over half (55%) of Americans admit they’re behind in their retirement savings. According to a survey from Bankrate, more than a third (35%) claim to be “significantly behind.” If this sounds familiar, don’t panic. The following tips can help you learn how to plan for saving money every month. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q4 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more   Find A Qualified Financial Advisor Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn't have to be hard. SmartAsset's free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you're ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now. Figure Out How Much Money You Need to Live Each Month Start by calculating your personal cost of living. To do so, you’ll need to add up your fixed, variable, and discretionary expenses. Fixed Expenses Fixed expenses are necessary costs that don’t change from month to month. Common examples of fixed expenses are: Rent or mortgage Car payments Phone/cable bills Insurance premiums Property taxes Student loans or other debt payments Don’t factor in your savings just yet. Right now, you’re seeking to determine the amount of money you absolutely need each month, and that starts with these fixed costs. Variable Expenses Variable expenses are also necessary, but their amounts can vary from month to month. These include such expenses as: Groceries Utility bills Gas Clothing Credit card bills Remember that these are running averages and can peak during certain times of the year. You might consider adding up your utility bills from the last year and then dividing the total by 12 to calculate your monthly average. Discretionary Expenses Finally, you’ll need to account for discretionary expenses. These are the purchases you choose to make, such as: Meals/coffee out Entertainment Streaming subscriptions Hobbies and sports Gym memberships If you’re unsure where to start, look at your bank statements from the past three months (or more). This will give you an idea of where your money is going, and you can use the information as a foundation when learning how to plan for saving money. Create a Budget that Allocates Money for Necessary Expenses, Savings, and Discretionary Spending Once you determine the amount of money you need each month, you can create a budget that meets these needs while leaving room for savings. Start by allocating money toward your fixed costs. Since these expenses remain constant, they make it easier to plan your overall budget. Next, divert money toward your variable and discretionary expenses. Remember that you’re not trying to allocate your total monthly income but only enough to cover what you’ll need from each category. This will ensure you have enough left over to put toward your savings. If you’ve adequately budgeted, you should have enough remaining money to build your savings. Start by ensuring that you have a short-term savings account. Having enough money on hand to cover three to six months of expenses can prevent you from tapping into your long-term savings if an emergency arises. Once your short-term savings are built, you can start working on your long-term savings account. Don’t worry if you don’t have enough to put in savings at present. Even small amounts can accumulate over time. Remember that you may have more to set aside once you pay off your car loan, student debt, and other time-limited bills. Make Adjustments as Needed to Ensure You’re on Track to Meet Your Goals To learn how to plan for saving money, you’ll need to prepare yourself for something of a reality check. First, compare the budget you’ve created to how much you’ve actually been spending each month. It could be that your current spending habits are not in line with your financial goals. If that’s the case, don’t panic. Now is the time to align your personal spending habits with your long-term goals. You probably won’t be able to eliminate needed expenses, but the following suggestions can help you trim your variable and discretionary expenses: Cut back on gourmet coffee or dining out Eliminate one or more streaming services Cancel unused subscription services Buy store-brand products Use coupons to purchase groceries Adjust your thermostat to lower utility bills Admittedly, these changes can take some time to get used to. So make a game of it. Challenge yourself to eliminate one takeout meal or gourmet coffee next week. Then, the week after, challenge yourself to eliminate another discretionary purchase. Before you know it, you’ll meet your desired budget, and you’ll have plenty of room to save for the future. Automate Your Finances, So You’re Not Tempted to Spend More Than You Have Allocated Knowing how to plan for saving money is the easy part. The hard part is sticking to your budget. But you can make it easier by automating your finances. Many consumers already rely on automated bill payments to cover recurring expenses. But some banks let you take this a step further by automatically transferring money between your checking and savings accounts. For example, you could set up an automated transfer that ensures you set aside money for monthly savings. This means you won’t be tempted to spend before you have a chance to save. Just be careful with automated payments. It’s easy to lose track of which companies can access your payment details. It’s too easy to sign up for automated services only to have the company raise the price later. This can derail your budget and even cause an overdraft if you’re not careful. Otherwise, keeping tabs on your automated payments can be a convenient way to stay on track and even build your credit by making consistent on-time bill payments. Make a Plan to Pay Off Any High-Interest Debt While most of the adjustments you make to your budget will focus on variable costs and discretionary purchases, you can also cut back on certain fixed expenses. Many of these costs come from high-interest debt such as credit card bills, student loans, or car payments. You can free up some room in your budget by eliminating these expenses as soon as possible. Here are two common strategies for doing so. The Snowball Method Start by paying off your smallest debt first. Then, once you eliminate this debt, apply the amount you were paying to your next-highest debt. The goal is to allow your payments to “snowball” until you’ve eliminated all smaller debt and you can now afford to make more significant progress on your larger debt elimination. The Avalanche Method The avalanche method works in reverse. Start by paying off your largest bills (or loans with the highest interest rates), then work your way down to your smaller bills. This will help you cut out your largest bills as quickly as possible. Just be aware that since some debts can be pretty high (student loans, for example), eliminating these expenses may take a while. Caution: Watch Out for Prepayment Fees While eliminating credit card debt is a wise choice, not all of your debts can be paid off so easily. For example, some mortgages and car loans have prepayment penalties that will charge you money if you attempt to pay off your debt too early. So check to ensure that paying off your debts won’t result in added charges. Discipline your spending, buy only what you need, and avoid impulse buys. Keep a tight rein on your wallet. It’s easy to get carried away and buy more than what you need. So instead, stick to the essentials, and avoid impulse purchases that can derail your budget. Easier said than done? When learning how to plan to save money, you’ll need to develop some discipline in your purchases. Here are some workable strategies. Stick to a Grocery List Before you go grocery shopping, make a list of your essentials. This prevents you from making snap decisions or being influenced by store displays once you’re there. Eat before you go to the grocery store so that you aren’t hungry — hunger can overcome your good senses. Give Yourself  Time to Think About It Impulse decisions happen quickly. Discipline yourself to think about your spending before making the purchase. When shopping, put the item down and return to it before you leave. Or leave the item in your online shopping cart until you can determine how it fits your budget. If, after this pause, you decide you genuinely need the item, then you can complete the transaction. Pay for Discretionary Purchases in Cash Pay for your significant bills using automated bill pay, but complete your discretionary purchases with cash. That way, you will always have a limited amount of money to draw from and can make buying decisions accordingly. Celebrate Small Victories Along the Way as You Work Toward Your Financial Goals Your retirement years are basically a lifetime away. That’s why it helps to set solid benchmarks to track your progress. For example, you might make it a goal to set aside 15% of your monthly income toward your retirement goal. Or you could make it a goal to set aside a year’s salary for your retirement by your 30th birthday.   Setting a series of short-term goals can help you track your progress toward retirement and give you a sense of accomplishment along the way. Knowing how to plan for saving money can also be your whole family’s responsibility. If the family shares progress updates, you can celebrate the accomplishments together. Depending on their ages, your children might not be enthused about your retirement progress, but sharing these victories can help them learn the importance of long-term planning. Review Your Budget Regularly to Make Sure it Still Meets Your Needs Your financial circumstances change all the time. Your budget should do the same. Make a plan to review your budget at least once per year. This can help you make adjustments as you pay off debts or have more revenue to draw from. Reviewing your budget is especially important during periods of inflation. For example, higher prices at the grocery store and the gas pump may prompt you to adjust your variable expenses. In addition, you may need to reevaluate your regular expenses to ensure you’re still able to allocate money to your savings. You may find more income as you advance in your career. Raises at work will allow you to devote even more to your retirement savings or give you a bit more breathing room when it comes to dining out or entertainment. Changing Your Approach to Retirement Now that you know how to plan for saving money each month, it’s time to put your knowledge into action. Due can help. At Due, we believe in helping our customers strategize and reach their retirement goals. We also offer an annuity that can provide a stable income during retirement. So no matter where you are in your financial journey, Due can help you. To learn more, contact Due today. Article by John Boitnott, Due About the Author John Boitnott graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a Masters Degree in Education. He worked for 14 years as a broadcast news writer for ABC, NBC, and CBS News where he covered finance, business and real estate. He covered financial news for SAP for four years. Boitnott is now working as a columnist for The Motley Fool where he covers personal financial and investing strategies......»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJan 19th, 2023

Need to return an Amazon purchase? The ecommerce giant has doubled its return options.

To return a package to Amazon, you can drop it off at Kohl's, ship it yourself, or schedule a UPS pick-up, among other options. You can return items to Amazon Hub Lockers if there’s room inside.Getty/Smith Collection/Gado Online shoppers are making more returns than ever. Amazon offers multiple return options, with the choice to drop off or have a package picked up. Shoppers are returning online orders at an unprecedented rate, totaling more than a quarter of all online purchases in 2022. With $279 billion worth of returns in 2022, some processes are smoother than others. As an ecommerce giant, Amazon is responsible for many of those returns.Here are all the ways to return your Amazon order.Return to a UPS storeKen Wolter/ShutterstockYou can return an item to the UPS store without any packing or printing labels. Once you select the UPS store as your return method on Amazon's website, you'll receive a QR code that can be scanned at the store, and workers will label, and ship the item. Addresses in the US are eligible for free return shipping, Amazon says.UPS Access PointReutersIf a UPS Store isn't convenient, the delivery service also has an interactive map to find other drop points that work the same way. These access points are in CVS stores, banks, grocery stores, and other locations, and they work the same way as the store using a QR code.Amazon Hub LockerMatthew Horwood / Contributor/Getty ImagesAmazon allows packages smaller than 18 in x 12 in x 14 in to be returned in lockers. To do this, package the item and bring it to the locker. Enter the drop-off code provided by Amazon the locker touch screen, and follow the instructions on screen.Ship it yourselfChainarong Prasertthai/Getty ImagesYou can ship a return to Amazon yourself and skip the drop-off points, but then you're responsible for all shipping costs.Amazon generally recommends its drop-off options, but you may be required to ship returns yourself if the item is large or heavy.Drop off at Kohl'sBusiness Insider/Jessica TylerReturns at Kohl's work the same as they do at the UPS store. All you need is a QR code, and workers will package and label the item for you at no extra cost.Dropoff at Whole FoodsAP/Danny JohnstonSome Whole Foods locations accept unpackaged and unlabeled returns, Amazon says, using the same system as other free dropoffs.Return to a physical Amazon storeAP/Ted S. WarrenAmazon buyers can bring an unboxed item to return at physical Amazon stores for free using a QR code.Schedule UPS PickupJustin Sullivan/Getty ImagesIf none of those options are convenient enough, you can also arrange for a UPS driver to come right to your front door and pick up your package. You must pack it yourself, but UPS will bring a label. This option costs $7.99, so its pricier than the many free dropoff choices.Amazon generally only gives 30 days from when you receive the item to ship it back.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 13th, 2023

The Scientist Leading the Push to Bring Lab-Grown Seafood to Your Plate

Shiok Meats' co-founder Sandhya Sriram is on a mission to make seafood more sustainable. Sandhya Sriram is impatient. The stem-cell scientist wanted to put her knowledge to use developing cultivated seafood, but no one was doing that in Singapore. So four years ago, she set up a company to create lab-grown crustacean meat. Eagerly, she registered her company, Shiok Meats, at 3 a.m. in August 2018. “Nobody was doing crustaceans,” says Sriram, Shiok’s Group CEO and co-founder. “What do Asians eat the most? Seafood. It was a simple answer … And they’re so delicious.” A lifelong vegetarian, she had never tried real shrimp, but she sampled it the week she registered the company. Today, the results of her enthusiasm can be seen at Shiok Meats’ headquarters, in an industrial Singapore neighborhood. During a fall 2022 visit, a bespectacled bioprocess engineer clad in personal protective gear peered into a microscope. He had taken samples from a bioreactor in the room next door, where the company is culturing crustacean cells. Under the lens, he was checking to see if the cells were ready to harvest. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Shiok Meats has already unveiled shrimp, lobster, and crab prototypes to a select group of tasters, and it plans to seek regulatory approval to sell its lab-grown shrimp by April 2023. That could make it the first in the world to bring cultivated shrimp to diners, putting it at the forefront of the cultivated-meat race. As of this writing, only one company has gained regulatory approval to sell lab-grown animal-protein products: Eat Just’s cultured chicken is available—but only in Singapore. Shiok Meats still needs to submit all the paperwork necessary and get regulatory approval, but the company hopes to see its products in restaurants by mid-2024, offering foodies a cruelty-free and more environmentally friendly option than crustaceans from farms. But even if that ambitious timeline is met, it will likely be a while before the average person is eating cultivated crustaceans. It will require not just regulatory approval but also more funding and a bigger factory, along with persuading consumers and governments around the world to accept lab-grown seafood. “We’re at an interesting stage of a startup; it’s called the Valley of Death,” says Sriram. “We are in the space where we haven’t submitted for regulatory approval yet, but we’re looking to commercialize in the next two years.” Nevertheless, the impatient entrepreneur is optimistic. Sriram hopes to have the company’s next manufacturing plant ready by the end of 2023, where a 500-liter and a 2,000-liter bioreactor will be a major scale up from its current 50- and 200-liter bioreactors. The goal is for her products to enter the mainstream in Singapore in five to seven years. Popularizing these products could help tackle some of the environmental impacts of crustacean production. Organic waste, chemicals, and antibiotics from seafood farms can pollute groundwater and coastal estuaries. Hatcheries are often in places that may otherwise be home to mangroves that can sequester carbon and protect vulnerable coastlines from storms, says Sriram. A 2018 Nature study found that production of crustaceans—measured by the weight of edible protein—can result in carbon emissions comparable to beef and lamb. That’s in part because of how much fuel is used in fishing boats proportional to the end-product amount of protein obtained. And although shrimp and lobster accounted for only 6% of seafood (based on 2011 data), the study found they represented 22% of the industry’s carbon emissions. Shiok Meats says the way it produces crustacean meat minimizes animal cruelty, as growing protein in a lab helps avoid killing animals. Trawling vessels that ensnare bycatch are also avoided. And cultivating shrimp closer to where it’s consumed cuts emissions from fishing-boat fuel and shipping products around the world. Mindy Tan for TIMESandhya Sriram, Group CEO ands Co-Founder of Shiok Meats, seen here in their R&D laboratory on Nov. 11. Asia consumes more seafood than any other region. Several food-tech companies are tapping into this demand, including a Hong Kong company making lab-grown fish maw, a Chinese delicacy, and a South Korean company also developing cultivated crustaceans. But Shiok may have a first-mover advantage. In 2018, it filed for a patent covering how to use stem cells from crustaceans to make food—which it’s hoping to receive in the next year or so; it could then license its technology to other companies. Diversifying how and where the world gets its seafood will be crucial for feeding Asia’s fast-growing population, which is expected to increase by 250 million by 2030. Singapore’s authorities, at least, are keenly aware of the challenge. The Southeast Asian city-state—which lacks farmland and imports 90% of its food—is aiming to produce enough food to meet 30% of its nutritional needs by 2030 (up from less than 10% in 2021). Hoping to become Asia’s food-tech capital, Singapore is focusing on innovations like plant- and cell-based proteins; these “require far less space and resources to produce the same amount of food as traditional food sources,” Bernice Tay, director of food manufacturing at Enterprise Singapore, a government agency that supports small businesses, told Nikkei Asia. In December 2020, Singapore became the first country to approve the sale of cultivated meat—the chicken product from Eat Just—to the public. Sriram says the government has helped Shiok with grants, in matching venture-capital funding, and in hiring foreign talent. The company has raised about $30 million, with backers like the Netherlands-based aquaculture investment fund Aqua-Spark, South Korean food giant CJ Cheil-Jedang, and Vietnamese seafood company Vinh Hoan. Fundraising is challenging, says Sriram, and it’s expensive to scale up manufacturing—which is being hampered by a global shortage of stainless steel, needed for the bioreactors. Ultimately, the company’s goal of feeding the world will be contingent on other governments getting on board with lab-grown meat. Then there’s the need to persuade consumers to eat the stuff. Price is also a barrier. Shiok shrimp’s launch price will be about $50 for 2 lb., nearly two to four times the price for fresh or frozen prawns at the grocery store. Sriram envisions launching Shiok’s crustacean meat as a premium product at first, where some restaurants could offer it in select dishes to diners willing to pay the price. She also plans to work with food manufacturers like CJ CheilJedang to create ready-to-eat products like dumplings. “The vision,” she says, “is to have sustainable, delicious, healthy food for everybody, without animal cruelty.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeJan 12th, 2023

I compared poke on the continental US with the authentic version from Hawaii, and now I"ll only eat the real deal

I tried ahi and salmon poke in Washington, DC, and Hilo, Hawaii. Toppings like pineapple and mango made mainland poke worse, in my opinion. Poke has become popular far beyond Hawaii.Alex Bitter/Insider Poke has become popular around the world, with restaurants popping up far beyond its home of Hawaii. The US market for poke is expected to grow by $782 million, or 71%, between 2021 and 2026, according to market research firm Technavio. I tried poke on the US mainland and compared it with what's available in Hawaii. The Hawaii poke was simpler but tasted better to me since it wasn't cluttered with toppings. Poke, or marinated raw fish, has become popular around the US — and the world.A poke bowl with kimchi.GettyRestaurants that serve the dish have popped up everywhere from Manhattan to European capitals.Diners at a poke restaurant in London.Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty ImagesYou can't get a can of Pepsi or a Big Mac in Moscow anymore, but a quick search suggests you can choose between several poke restaurants in the Russian capital.A map showing poke restaurants in and around Moscow.Alex Bitter/InsiderI grew up in Hawaii eating poke, so I decided to try poke in Washington, DC, and compare it with what I could find in Hawaii.Alex Bitter/InsiderI started my comparison with a visit to Poke Papa, a restaurant in Washington's Chinatown.Alex Bitter/InsiderPoke Papa has roughly 1,100 reviews on Google, with an average rating of 4.7. That makes it the most reviewed poke shop in Washington, as well as one of the highest-rated.Alex Bitter/InsiderAt the counter, the first thing that caught my eye was the variety of toppings you could add to your poke. Examples were corn, mango, pineapple, and seaweed salad.Alex Bitter/InsiderPoke Papa guests can choose from a list of pre-built "signature" bowls.Alex Bitter/InsiderThey can also create their own custom bowls, with more-traditional options like spicy tuna and furikake (a mix of dried seaweed, fish, and sesame seeds), as well as unconventional additions such as crab salad and carrot.Alex Bitter/InsiderI ordered three of Poke Papa's signature bowls, each of which came with a few additional-topping options free of charge. The bowls were about $15 each.Alex Bitter/InsiderOne of the bowls was the "onolicious," which uses ahi (yellowfin tuna) in a soy sauce as its base. I added seaweed salad, mango, and pineapple as optional toppings.Alex Bitter/InsiderThe pineapple and mango were odd additions to the bowl. Ultimately, it was my choice to add them, but I wondered what on the menu, if anything, they would complement.Alex Bitter/InsiderThe fish wasn't fresh, but I liked the sauce on it the best out of the three bowls I ordered. It reminded me most of the poke I had growing up in Hawaii.Alex Bitter/insiderI also ordered the sakura-salmon bowl, which included salmon marinated in a sauce of cilantro, jalapeño, and yuzu, a citrus fruit that tastes like a cross between a lemon and a grapefruit. I added crab salad, seaweed salad, and corn as optional toppings.Alex Bitter/InsiderThe yuzu sauce mixed together flavors that didn't work well together, let alone on poke. Meanwhile, the fish itself didn't taste much like salmon.Alex Bitter/InsiderOverall, each of the three bowls felt like an odd mix of flavors. The mismatch was most pronounced with the fruit and vegetable toppings, but the sauces also disappointed me, especially the yuzu marinate on the salmon.Alex Bitter/InsiderAfter leaving Poke Papa, I headed a few blocks down the street to get something I would find more satisfying for dinner.Alex Bitter/InsiderA few days later, I met up with some friends who had also grown up in Hawaii to visit another local poke restaurant: Hilo Poke & Sushi in Washington's Adams Morgan neighborhood.Alex Bitter/InsiderI scanned the picture menu posted outside before entering. Like Poke Papa, the choices seemed to contain several toppings each.Alex Bitter/InsiderAnd like Poke Papa, Hilo's menu gave diners a lot of choices when it came to toppings. This time, though, I stuck to the restaurant's signature bowls and did not add any extra toppings.Alex Bitter/InsiderThe poke bowls at Hilo contained a dollop or two of fish. The "toppings," meanwhile, made up the majority of what was in the bowls.Alex Bitter/InsiderA great example was a bowl called "R. House" on the menu. It contained more cubed cream cheese, which I already thought was an odd choice, than poke.Alex Bitter/InsiderOne of my friends said that the wide variety of toppings reminded him more of Chipotle or Cava fare than authentic poke from Hawaii, which tends to include few, if any, additions.A Chipotle order.Grace Dean/InsiderI agreed. By this point, it was obvious that a lot of mainland poke restaurants were serving something very different from traditional poke from Hawaii.Alex Bitter/InsiderSo I flew to the real Hilo, Hawaii, to visit my parents for the holidays — and get some Hawaii poke to compare with what I had on the mainland.Alex Bitter/InsiderMy destination was a Hawaii supermarket chain called Sack N Save, which operates a store near my family's house.Alex Bitter/InsiderWhile there are many great restaurants in Hawaii that serve poke, Sack N Save and its sister chain, Foodland, have stores on the most populous Hawaiian islands, making it an easy place to stop for poke.Francis Dean/Corbis via Getty ImagesSack N Save and Foodland have built a reputation as a place to get poke, as demonstrated by these reusable bags I found near the front of the store.Alex Bitter/InsiderI headed to the back of the grocery store to get to the seafood department and the poke counter.Alex Bitter/InsiderI could choose from several kinds of poke, including spicy ahi and octopus.Alex Bitter/InsiderThere were almost no toppings, just different prices for different poke options. The only add-ons were cucumber kimchi and imitation crab, according to the menu.Alex Bitter/InsiderShoppers can also buy poke by the pound, a popular choice in Hawaii if you're headed to a party or plan on serving multiple people.Alex Bitter/InsiderI kept it simple and ordered a bowl with just spicy ahi, white rice, and furikake.Alex Bitter/InsiderAt $7.50, it was half the price of the poke bowls I had ordered in Washington — partially because it came from a grocery-store counter.Alex Bitter/InsiderWhile the entire bowl wasn't as big as the ones I got in Washington, there was a lot more fish than in any of the bowls that I had ordered at Poke Papa or Hilo.Alex Bitter/InsiderThe fish itself tasted fresher than anything I had in Washington.Alex Bitter/InsiderThe furikake provided a seaweed-flavored kick to the bowl without overpowering the poke itself.Alex Bitter/InsiderThis grocery-store poke was simple, but to me, it was superior to anything I ordered at the restaurants in Washington.Alex Bitter/InsiderI wanted to understand the disparity between poke on the mainland and in Hawaii, so I talked to Akina Harada, who grew up on the island of Oahu and founded Abunai Poke, a restaurant with locations in Washington and Philadelphia.Akina Harada, the founder of Abunai Poke.Akina HaradaHarada serves poke similar to what you can find in Hawaii, which means her poke doesn't come with toppings like mango or pineapple. "If you want something less traditional, per se, then there's other options," she said.Alex Bitter/InsiderGetting quality fish is a challenge outside Hawaii, Harada said. Abunai sources its ahi from farms on the East Coast, a higher-quality, more-expensive option than the frozen fish that many poke restaurants use, she said.Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty ImageThose two differences — fresh fish and fewer toppings — made the poke I had in Hawaii much better than the copy-cat versions I tried on the mainland.Alex Bitter/InsiderBefore I left Hawaii, I made sure to eat as much good poke as I could. The cluttered poke bowls of the mainland just didn't hit the spot for me.Alex Bitter/InsiderIf you can't get to Hawaii but like poke, I recommend ordering ahi or salmon marinated in spicy mayo or soy sauce. And, most importantly, skip the toppings.Poke from Koloa Fish Market on the island of Kauai.Michelle MishinaRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 12th, 2023

Olive Garden, Wendy"s, and Chick-fil-A are suddenly adding sesame to popular foods like bread sticks and buns, and people with allergies are furious

The FDA does not support the practice of restaurant suppliers adding sesame flour to foods such as bread sticks at Olive Garden and buns at Wendy's. Sesame became the ninth major food allergen on January 1.FDA On January 1, sesame was listed in the US as a major food allergen, joining eight others. Restaurant bakers are adding in sesame flour since it makes it easier to avoid cross-contamination. Allergy-friendly foods like breadsticks at Olive Garden are now off-limits to allergic consumers. Once a week, Kelly Meyer and her 3-year-old son, Alexander, would stop at Chick-fil-A or Wendy's after a day at Disney World in Florida. With Alexander's seven food allergies, including sesame, she said she considered these fast-fast chains safe havens for eating.Not anymore.On January 1, sesame joined eight other major food allergens that the Food and Drug Administration required to be listed on packaged foods and beverages as part of the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research Act. The other allergens are milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans.The law, designed to protect people from major food allergens, has prompted some restaurant suppliers to find workarounds. Instead of following regulatory guidelines for preventing cross-contamination of sesame in food facilities, these companies are adding sesame flour to items because that process is easier and less expensive than guaranteeing a contaminant-free product, the Associated Press report.As a result, restaurant chains once scrutinized and deemed "sesame-safe" by consumers are now off-limits. The changes have affected buns at Wendy's and Chick-fil-A and breadsticks at Olive Garden.Olive Garden now lists sesame as an ingredient in its bread sticks.Olive Garden/Facebook"My daughter used to safely eat Wendy's burgers, as the buns did not contain sesame," Valerie Lockey of Arkansas told Insider. "They have always had nutrition and allergen information listed online as well as their app. Allergens for the burger never included sesame until now." Restaurant chains blame suppliers Restaurant chains say they're at the mercy of their suppliers, which are adding sesame flour to products instead of taking steps to prevent cross-contamination in their facilities.Wendy's told Insider the chain used "a number of suppliers and some of them have elected to add sesame flour to our premium and value buns as well as our Homestyle French Toast Sticks" to address sesame being added to the FASTER Act as of January 1.The homestyle French-toast sticks at Wendy's now contain sesame flour.Wendy'sChick-fil-A and Olive Garden also punted the blame to suppliers."Chick-fil-A sources bread from multiple suppliers across the country, and due to the shared production lines in our supplier facilities and use of shared cooking and preparation areas, we cannot ensure that our menu items are sesame-free," the company told Insider. "This is an industry-wide matter that led to the recipe change for our white bun and multigrain brioche bun to now include sesame as an ingredient."In a statement, Olive Garden said: "Following the FDA's declaration of sesame as a major allergen, our suppliers have added a minimal amount of sesame flour (less than 2%) to our breadsticks due to the potential for cross-contamination at the bakery. We have updated our allergen guide accordingly and are sharing this information with our guests."Turano Baking, Bimbo Bakeries USA, and Kurz & Co., which have supplied baked goods for Chick-fil-A, Wendy's, and Olive Garden, declined to comment or did not return requests for comment.A representative for the FDA, which enforces the law, said adding sesame flour to foods that were once free of the allergen was not a violation.But the spirit of the law is another matter. "While a practice of adding sesame and then declaring it on the label is not violative, it would make it more difficult for sesame-allergic consumers to find foods that are safe for them to consume, a result that the FDA does not support," the FDA official said.Consumers lose allergy-friendly safe havensConsumers with sesame allergies say they're disappointed that top "allergy-friendly" chains, like Wendy's and Olive Garden, are leaning into these changes to their foods.Olive Garden is out for Jadyn Grenshaw, a 20-year-old college student. The Italian-inspired chain was one of the few restaurants that was safe for both Grenshaw's and her sister's various food allergies, she said, but now the chain has added sesame flour to its breadsticks, making them unsafe for her to eat."I feel like they value money over people's lives," she told Insider."This new labeling law was supposed to be a blessing," Karin Woodward, a parent, told Insider. She said Wyatt, her teenage son, was allergic to sesame, which made "every fast-food meal a possible emergency call" for him.She said Wyatt was excited about the new law because it meant "more information and accountability from food-service companies."Food-allergy experts thought the same. The new law was intended to make labels clearer for people with allergies so sesame couldn't be hidden under "natural flavors" or other terms, Dr. Scott H. Sicherer, a professor of pediatrics and the director of the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, told Insider.Since the FASTER Act went into effect, he's been hearing from patients that they can no longer eat formerly safe foods because sesame has been added."This is an extremely stressful issue for my patients who already have so many limitations on their diet," he said. Australia, Canada, and the European Union all require labeling of sesame as an allergen, and Sicherer said he wasn't aware of companies responding by adding sesame to products in those countries.Families locked out of their "allergen safe havens" say they have no recourse but to stop patronizing these chains.Melissa Reinert no longer eats at Wendy's, where her 3-year-old son regularly ate a junior cheeseburger and fries."He has loved eating at Wendy's," she told Insider in an email. "It has been a favorite spot after school, when meeting up with my mom for lunch and even when our family has been on road trips. We felt safe eating there, and everyone could find something they liked."Meyer said she had deleted her loyalty apps for Chick-fil-A and Wendy's."I've seen my son stop breathing, and that scares the hell out of you," she said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJan 10th, 2023