Fighting food waste by chopping restaurant prices

A restaurant in Toronto is avoiding food waste by chopping menu prices on Sunday night until all the food it wants to sell is gone, much to the delight of its diners, reports Jonathan Bloom in FERN’s latest story, produced in partnership with NPR’s The Salt.(No paywall)

FERN event examines restaurant industry’s #MeToo problem, and what to do about it

Allegations brought as part of the #MeToo movement have revealed the abusive behavior of several high-profile chefs and restaurateurs, sparking a national conversation about sexual harassment and gender inequity in the restaurant industry. But for many women working in that industry, the revelations came as no surprise. On Monday, FERN hosted a panel in Brooklyn of top woman chefs and food activists to discuss the problem, and how to work toward a more equitable and inclusive future. (No paywall)

Food inflation forecast lowered

U.S. food prices will rise a scant 1.5 percent this year, continuing a three-year run of below-normal food inflation rates, said a USDA forecast, pointing to grocery store prices that are at a near standstill.

For the second year in a row, no overall increase in retail food prices

Thanks to the strong dollar, food inflation is standing still this year following the first instance, in 2016, of food deflation since the 1960s, says the USDA. In a new forecast, USDA economists say overall supermarket price levels in 2018 could be lower than they were in 2015.

Where to find a celebrity chef? At a natural disaster.

Washington chef and restaurateur Jose Andres hit a milestone in relief work in Puerto Rico: Serving the 1 millionth meal to hurricane victims in three weeks through his World Central Kitchen, aided by hundreds of volunteers. Restaurateur Guy Fieri, a resident of Santa Rosa, Calif., cooked meals for wildfire evacuees in Sonoma County.

If the menu calls it vegetarian, people don’t want it

When researcher Linda Bacon showed 750 adults in Britain menus that included two plant-based entrees, they were half as likely to chose them if they were listed in a section called "Vegetarian Dishes." In a World Resources Institute blog, Bacon says the grouping "highlights the lack of meat or fish" and reduces interest for a variety of reasons.

Maryland joins California in restricting use of antibiotics on livestock

Gov. Larry Hogan stood aside and let a Maryland law take effect without his signature that will bar use of medically important antibiotics to promote weight gain among cattle, hogs and poultry. The Maryland law will take effect on Jan. 1, 2018, the same implementation date as a similar law enacted in 2015 in California, the only other state to control antibiotic use with the goal of preserving the effectiveness of the drugs to fight disease in humans.

Will Chicagoans go hazelnutty over the Nutella Cafe?

The world’s first Nutella Cafe is set to open on Chicago’s famed Michigan Avenue in a location abutting Grant Park, whose grassy and wooded expanse leads to the Lake Michigan shoreline, says Eater.

Thieves target fry oil

Thieves are stealing fryer oil from restaurants, as the price per pound climbs to 25 cents, up from 7.6 cents per pound in 2000. “[T]hanks to a 2007 energy law, oil companies must use 2 billion gallons of biodiesel this year, 100 million gallons more than last year, and the most ever in U.S. history. Most of that biodiesel is made from soybean oil, but old fryer grease is the second largest (and fastest growing) source,” says Eater.

Burger joint serving food desert earns L.A. Times’ Restaurant of the Year

The L.A. Times has named its first-ever Restaurant of the Year, but it didn’t go to the usual high-end suspects. Instead Locol — a burger restaurant started by renowned chefs to serve customers in Watts, where unemployment and gang violence are rampant — is the winner.