The wild world of food reads continues — a diet avocado, slave labor gummy bears, and the pasta mafia are just a smidgen of the eccentric and the delicious on this week’s list.
+If you’re aggravated by loud noodle-slurping, there may be a solution. Instant ramen company Nissin has released a noise-cancelling fork.
+One New York Times correspondent follows the trail of American Thai food after living in Bangkok for a decade. Spoiler alert: the Bay Area is at the forefront.
German broadcaster ARD aired a pretty sobering investigative report on confectionary company Haribo—maker of globally beloved gummy bears and Happy Cola gummy bottles, among other candies—alleging that the company is unknowingly dependent on modern-day slave labor. The investigation reveals how Haribo’s optimization of its supply chain has led to punishing conditions for both the workers and the animals from which the company sources its ingredients.
+We always knew pasta could save the world. In Sicily, Libera Terra produces and distributes food in areas previously run by the mafia.
+Get a unique look into Saudi Arabia’s Unaizah date market and its date festival, the second-largest of its kind in the world.
Since 1980, the date festival has grown into its present form, a 70-day auction in late summer, generating as much as $300 million through the sale of thousands of tons of dates. This year marked the debut of Unaizah’s brand new festival grounds, the results of extensive investments totaling over $100 million in local money—a 2.5 million square foot complex arranged around a 37,000-square foot central plaza. The plaza can stock up to 9,000 date-carts, which, in turn, carry an awful lot of dates.
+The “wheat of the future” may be the answer to the normally-annual crop’s short life span.
+The beloved French croissant is in jeopardy due to a massive butter shortage.
The shortage is the result of falling milk production and rising butter demand globally, with consumer attitudes towards the spread, once shunned as unhealthy, turning more positive. As a consequence France has been caught short. Soaring prices and reduced dairy supplies have put strain on producers and food businesses, with some halting deliveries and considering passing higher costs onto retailers and shoppers.
+A Spanish fruit company has “invented” an avocado with 30% less fat. Now the question is: if you eat diet avocados on toast, does it still make you skinnier?
+Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Maria has destroyed more than just homes. NPR explores the devastation to the area’s coffee farms.