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During times of unknown, uncontrollable circumstances, like, say, a pandemic, people react by bulk-buying toilet paper, beef jerky, and active dry yeast. Psychologists have studied our panicked purchasing behavior during this time and it all makes sense—the term “scarcity mindset” needs no explanation. I have more yeast than I need. I’m sorry!

The yeast was irrational, but even in non-pandemic times, I buy in bulk the foods that I go through quickly: rice, flour(s), sugar, oats, and cases of tuna. I get a better deal this way, it reduces my trips to the grocery store, it reduces packaging waste and

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1 min read

We ride through the cold night, gray snow lingering in the bike lanes, toward a private yurt nestled next to a sprawling Southeast Portland warehouse and our first proper date night in nearly a year. As we lock up our bikes, a masked figure emerges from a dark doorway, digital thermometer in hand: The dreaded temperature check, a process that seemed like pure sci-fi a year ago, but one we’ve grown used to since sending our kids back to daycare six months ago.

We hold our breath.

The display turns green.

We can pass.

Inside, The Redd has never looked

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I felt awful, because I’ve reported on how food waste contributes to climate change. More than a third of all food grown for human consumption in the United States never makes it to someone’s stomach, according to the nonprofit ReFED. That’s about $408 billion worth of food, grown on 18 percent of U.S. farmland with 4 trillion tons of water.

The carbon footprint of U.S. food waste is greater than that of the airline industry. Globally, wasted food accounts for about 8 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. The environmental consequences of producing food that no one eats

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1 min read

“Welcome to McDonald’s, what can I get for you?” it asks in a welcoming, unmistakably feminine tone.

While the voice sounds helpful, it’s also stilted and monotonous enough for the average customer to figure out they’re being served by a computer, not a human. It’s a lot like Alexa or Siri, but for a drive-thru: a system driven by artificial intelligence that McDonald’s is testing out to speed up its service.

In 2019 the average McDonald’s drive-thru took six minutes and 18 seconds, but recently the company trimmed that to five minutes and 49 seconds in 2020, according to an … Read More

1 min read

In 10 years of writing about the processed food industry, I’ve been struck by how many insiders don’t touch their own goods. They can’t without losing control.

At Philip Morris, which made cigarettes and Oreos, only one of those products scared the company’s general counsel, Steve Parrish. He smoked, but only during meetings, and could easily put his pack away for the rest of the day. Not so with the cookies. “I’d avoid even opening a bag of Oreos because instead of eating one or two, I would eat half the bag,” he told me.

Now comes word from

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1 min read

The future is now – at least at the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).

On Monday, the airport launched a robotic food delivery program using gita robots developed by Piaggio Fast Forward.

Each gita robot can hold up to 40 pounds in its cargo bin, where customers’ orders are kept.

TSA LISTS GUNS, SUSPICIOUS DEVICES AND A DEAD SHARK AMONG ITS ‘TOP 10 CATCHES’ OF 2020

“Now more than ever we are looking to be forward-thinking and innovative regarding our contactless ordering options,” Megan O’Connell, PHL Food & Shops marketing and customer service manager, said in a statement. “Gita allows

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