Throughout history - war, famine, economic instability has affected what we choose to buy at the grocery store. Even today, the pandemic has shifted our grocery shopping and eating habits. This week, we rewind back to the Great Depression, which forced millions of Americans to find new recipes and get creative with the limited number of ingredients they could afford.
Americans spent 700 billion dollars on groceries in 2018. Across the U.S., there are more than 38,000 supermarkets, each stocking thousands and thousands of distinct products. But what is the human cost of this mass consumerism? Well, the burden largely falls on low-paid workers at each level of food production and distribution - and the pandemic has only exacerbated many of these problems.
Millions of Americans have embraced plant-based meat like the Impossible Burger, but how do you feel about real meat that’s grown in a petri dish in a lab? If the taste, texture and smell exactly resembled meat that was traditionally farmed outside, would you eat it? Lab-grown, cell-cultured chicken, beef and pork is set to hit the mass market in just a few years. What’s the science and process behind this new technology?
Even as Americans shelter-in-place, coffee consumption is up in the first four months of 2020. Why is coffee a drink that is so popular across the globe? The drink was first consumed by Sufi monks in the fifteenth century as part of a religious ceremony, but quickly gained popularity across the Middle East where it then eventually spread to Europe. Viewpoints discusses the complicated history of coffee production and American’s reliance on this caffeine-packed drink.
Could you ever imagine that some imported white asparagus could cost upwards of $250? Neither did we. This week on Viewpoints, we delve into the niche world of luxury and on-trend ingredients as well as roles in the food industry you’ve probably never heard of.
Strawberries are ubiquitous across the U.S. Supermarkets in every town stock cartons of fresh strawberries year round at a reasonable price. But this widespread availability may come to a halt in the near future as the industry faces several big challenges: labor shortages, climate change, sustainable farming legislation, etc. We discuss the history of the fickle fruit and how its evolved over time.