The Automat

We just celebrated one of the biggest days for food…Thanksgiving……and the pandemic has made our family meals a thing of the past…..at least the large gatherings….well for those people that do not drink the poison kool-aid about “nothing to fear”…..

In these days of automation and the attack from the virus….is it possible that an old form of food distribution could make a re-appearance?

The Automat……

It all sounds so futuristic: a restaurant without waiters, without workers behind the counter, without any visible employees whatsoever, where you simply feed your money into a glass-enclosed kiosk, remove a steaming plate of freshly made food, and carry it to your table. Welcome to Horn & Hardart, circa 1950, a restaurant chain that once boasted 40 locations in New York City and dozens more across the U.S., at a now-distant time when automats served hundreds of thousands of urban customers every day.

The automat is often considered to be an exclusively American phenomenon, but in fact, the world’s first restaurant of this kind opened in Berlin, Germany in 1895. Named Quisisana—after a company that also manufactured food-vending machinery—this high-tech eatery established itself in other northern European cities, and Quisisana soon licensed its technology to Joseph Horn and Frank Hardart, who opened the first American automat in Philadelphia in 1902.

https://www.thoughtco.com/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-automat-4152992

For those that are too self-absorbed to read…a short video…..

Look at vending machines today each machine generates about $100 a day…..and that is a $20 billion business a year……I bring this up because the vending machine is basically an automat….the pandemic could get this expanded….

There is a lot of money to be made in vending, and it shows in the current state of the industry. There are around 5 million operational vending machines in the US right now and they rake in over $7 billion in annual sales for their operators. As far as profits go, the snack niche alone generates $64 million in annual profits for vending machine operators.

As long as people eat and drink on the go, there will be a need for well-placed, well-stocked vending machines. But like any business, it is possible to have great success in vending machines, to fall in the middle of the pack, or even to fail. The key is having the right support, the right strategies and the right pricing structures in place to ensure a vending machine business makes money.

https://www.naturals2go.com/are-vending-machine-profitable/

I present this short history lesson because of the pandemic…..what is the possibility that the Automat could make a comeback?

Before there were fast food jingles on TV and drive-thrus seemingly on every corner, there was the automat. In the first half of the 20th century, this system of vending hot meals to diners through a series of glass lockers seemed like the wave of the future. But over the past 40 or so years, automats have existed as little more than dated literary references.

But with restaurants still struggling to survive amid a pandemic that’s forced them to both drastically scale back and overhaul their operations, there are some early signs that automats could be positioned for an unexpected comeback. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reports that two automats, one in Manhattan and another across the Hudson River in Jersey City, should be opening up before the end of 2020.

In the case of Jersey City’s Automat Kitchen, the pandemic didn’t birth the idea for proprietor Joe Scutellaro. In fact, it pushed back its scheduled opening from April to December. “In the Covid-19 environment, it’s actually the right concept,” he told the Journal. “We didn’t go into this anticipating a pandemic, but here we are.”

https://www.allrecipes.com/article/coronavirus-automats-return/

Whatcha think?

Could this make a return?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Remember That Meat Shortage?

About a month ago we were seeing the news that meat packing plants were shutting down and that our meat supply was dwindling and would soon be possibly gone….

We saw news after news report about the coming shortage and bloggers like myself also jumped on that bandwagon echoing the news that we could soon be out of meat….

Remember any of that?

Well it was a FAKE!

Say What!

As workers in meat processing plants around the country earlier this year fell ill with the coronavirus, threatening production, industry leaders appealed to the government to allow the facilities to remain open, citing the threat of a catastrophic domestic food shortage. 

It worked—President Donald Trump issued an executive order allowing the plants to stay open as essential businesses even as workers were getting sick and dying. However, according to new reporting from the New York Times and USA Today published Tuesday, the industry was lying about the threat of a shortage in order to maintain large exports to overseas markets.

“It was a fake meat shortage,” tweeted labor journalist Steven Greenhouse.

“The meat companies were saying the sky was falling, and it really wasn’t,” Food & Water Watch senior lobbyist Tony Corbo told the Times. “It wasn’t that there was not enough supply. It was that the supply was being sent abroad.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/06/17/it-was-fake-meat-shortage-reporting-suggests-industry-sacrificed-workers-during

The reporting was dire and even the MSM did not research the reports deep enough….and most of us as consumers of the MSM reporting bit into the false narrative of a meat shortage on the horizon….

I am attempting to rectify my part in this hoax….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Food For A Sunday

I am an old fart and one of the greatest joys in life is a good meal and a good glass of wine…..I admit it….I am a meat eater and will remain so until the day I die….

The trendy thing these days is “plant based” meat……a couple burger joints have jumped on that trendy thing….

I read a lot and I read stuff about th direction food is taking…..

I do enjoy a good steak…..but this may be a bit far for me…..

A number of startups have already managed to create plant-based alternatives to ground meats like hamburger. Creating a plant-based version of whole cuts of meats, however, has proven far more challenging.

But now, Spanish startup Novameat has unveiled a plant-based steak it says is the “most realistic” yet — and it costs about the same as what you’re likely to pay for a traditional cut of beef.

Novameat’s Steak 2.0 certainly looks like the steak you’d find at the grocery store, but it’s actually made out of a mix that include peas, seaweed, and beetroot juice.

The company used a 3D printer to produce thin fibers out of the ingredients, thereby giving its Steak 2.0 the “meaty” appearance that meat eaters are used to seeing in their steaks.

https://futurism.com/the-byte/plant-based-steak-made-peas-seaweed

Maybe beef is not your cup of tea…..you like pork?  There is a Plant based answer for that as well…..

Impossible Foods Inc. has revealed its own plant-based take on pork called — you guessed it — Impossible Pork. Pork is the company’s second core offering after beef.

According to a press release, Impossible Pork can be steamed, baked in an oven, charbroiled, grilled on a flat-top or sauteed, much like the real thing.

But is it any good? Director Becca Farsace told The Verge after sampling the product at CES that although the texture wasn’t quite right, the taste was basically accurate. And visually, it looks amazing.

https://futurism.com/the-byte/impossible-foods-pork

When I was young we were poor so meat was not the center dish at every meal…….I ate a lot of beans and veggies…..but I will admit that we never resort to this for a meal…..

Image

Just a bit of yummies in closing….

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–14May19

I remember a couple of years ago WalMart caught some grief because they threw away coats in dumpsters in some big cities….cities that have a large homeless population that could have used some warmth from the coats in the harsh winters.

I said then that it should be unacceptable to Americans to see a corporation care so little when they could have done the right thing and donated the coats marked for the trash bin…..

And now AmazonGo has been caught being a douche with food…….

Seattle resident Nathan Gregg was at a waste facility, about 15 minutes south of the city’s downtown area, dumping construction materials at around 3:30 p.m. Thursday when he discovered a nearly 6-foot-high pile of prepared meals still in their Amazon Go packaging. Amazon Go is the e-commerce giant’s cashierless convenience store concept.

Photos provided by Gregg showed various wraps, salads, and sandwiches encased in their original sealed plastic containers alongside packaged hot dogs, mushrooms, loose bell peppers, and other grocery items. The discarded food was found at South Transfer Station. There are four Amazon Go stores located in Seattle, and eight other locations across San Francisco, Chicago, and New York.

After Gregg reported the incident, Seattle Public Utilities told him that the Amazon Go waste is being investigated, and the items would be removed from the landfill.

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/nicolenguyen/amazon-go-waste-food-packaging

This is disgusting but something I expect from corporation…..

I am sure that Seattle food pantries/churches/charities could have put that food to good use….feed the hungry something apparently Amazon could care little about…..

Homeless And Hungry (Just Another Country Song)

There are two situations that have been with us since the beginning and will be with us when this world ends its life cycle……homelessness and hunger.

The promise of politicians says that if you live right then these two situations will never know your name……well my dear friends….that is a LIE! (capitalized for effect)

Take homelessness…….

These men and women, and increasingly children, are the collateral damage of the corporate state, their dignity and lives destroyed by the massive transference of wealth upward, deindustrialization and the slashing of federal investment in affordable housing begun during the Reagan administration.

It is 8 a.m. I am in the small offices of Street Roots, a weekly newspaper that prints 10,000 copies per edition. Those who sell the newspaper on the streets—all of them victims of extreme poverty and half of them homeless—have gathered before heading out with their bundles to spend hours in the cold and rain.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/10/08/homeless-america

The necessities are shelter (home) and food…..in some regions food is almost a luxury item…..famine is always with us somewhere in the world….(BTW an Iphone is not a necessity)

Scientists are getting concerned about the global food supply…..

Researchers from Washington State University have published a new report of the Great Drought, the most destructive known drought of the past 800 years – and how it sparked the Global Famine that claimed the lives of 50 million people. The scientists warn that the Earth’s current warming climate could spark a similar drought, but even worse.

One of the lead researchers, Deepti Singh, a professor in WSU’s School of the Environment, used rainfall records and climate reconstruction models to characterize the environmental conditions leading up to the Great Drought, a period in the mid-1870s known for widespread crop failures across Asia, Brazil, and Africa. The drought was connected to the most extreme manifestation of the El Nino supercycle ever recorded.

“Climate conditions that caused the Great Drought and Global Famine arose from natural variability. And their recurrence — with hydrological impacts intensified by global warming — could again potentially undermine global food safety,” lead author Singh and her colleagues wrote in the Journal of Climate, published online Oct. 04.

The release of the study came days before the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that global warming could cause intense droughts, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-10-15/scientist-warn-world-brink-major-famine-lead-severe-shocks-global-food-system

I realize that the term “climate change” is a dirty word in some circles…..but that should not matter…..making damn sure that the food supply holds should be a priority…..not a partisan issue….sadly it is not.

Why not?

On a side note….Americans lead the world in wasted food……Americans waste about a pound of food per person each day, with people who have healthier diets rich in fruit and vegetables the most wasteful, research has found.

About 150,000 tons of food is tossed out in US households each day, equivalent to about a third of the daily calories that each American consumes. Fruit and vegetables were the most likely to be thrown out, followed by dairy and then meat.

How pathetic is that?

Are You Hungry?

When I was a mere boy I recall when the government had a give-a-way……my grandmother would take us kids and wait in long lines for a couple of pounds of butter and some cheese….those were the days before food stamps and such…..

What made me think of those days gone by was something I read about another surplus the government has on its hands…..

There’s a lot of uncertainty these days. So here’s a comforting thought: The United States of America will not run out of cheese or meat anytime soon.

US dairy producers now have a 1.39 billion-pound surplus of cheese, according to data from the US Department of Agriculture. As the Washington Post has noted, that’s the largest domestic reserve of cheddar, Swiss, American, and other cheese varieties on record.

It means there’s enough excess cheese to arm each American citizen with a hefty 4.6 pounds of the crumbly, melty, salty good stuff. Why is this happening? Simply put: US dairy producers have been overproducing milk. Thanks to selective breeding, American cows are more productive than ever. And when demand for milk and dairy goes down in the summer, dairy producers store their excess milk as cheese, which has a longer shelf life in cold storage.

https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/7/24/17606958/meat-cheese-surplus-visualized

You read that right……2.5 billion (with a “B”) pounds of surplus meat.

What is wrong with having more of these give-a-ways from the past?

My Saturday has started with a bang…..August in the Deep South…..100+ heat and humidity at about 90% or higher…..a joy to behold …..we have another 2 maybe 3 months of heat….I cannot wait for cooler temps……I miss my days in the garden sipping wine and watching the wildlife go by…..my property has become an unsanctioned refuge….I have many many birds, squirrels, raccoons, and who knows at night….anyway fun to watch them all interact….

Have a good day my friends and thanx for the visits this past week…..much appreciated…..be well, be safe……chuq

Saturday 21Jul18–Food Issues

Let me begin my weekend with some food stories that would fit nicely in my old food blog “The Food Nazi”……

First some archeology and food…..

At least 4,000 years before the advent of farming, humans were baking bread. Two dozen charred crumbs found in hearths at an ancient hunter-gatherer site in northeastern Jordan have been identified as the world’s oldest samples of bread—specifically, a 14,400-year-old flatbread made from wild cereals. That predates the next oldest sample found in Turkey by 5,000 years. Making bread from scratch—including grinding cereals—is labor intensive, note the researchers. “That it was produced before farming methods suggests it was seen as special, and the desire to make more of this special food probably contributed to the decision to begin to cultivate cereals,” says Dorian Fuller, one of a team of researchers who discovered the crumbs at the Natufian site of Shubayqa 1 in the Black Desert between 2012 and 2015, reports the Guardian.

Described Monday in PNAS, the bread was likely made from wild wheat and barley flour, with ground tubers of a plant called club-rush adding a bitter, nutty flavor, reports the BBC. Combined with water, the mixture is believed to have been baked in ashes or on a hot stone and consumed as part of a feast of gazelle, water birds, and hare, remains of which were also found. Tasting a bit like modern multigrain bread, the flatbread might have even formed part of a meat sandwich. Noting “food remains have long been ignored in archaeology,” researcher Amaia Arranz-Otaegui believes similar “bread-like cereal products” perhaps existed 25,000 years ago. Given this “exceptional find,” she now hopes to explore how the Natufians’ bread production influenced the later agricultural revolution

That was fascinating…..now let’s move into the present and possibility a look into the future of food…….

A Dutch company that presented the world’s first lab-grown beef burger five years ago said it has received funding to pursue its plans to make and sell artificially grown meat to restaurants in 2021.

Maastricht-based Mosa Meat, which has in the past received more than $1m from Google co-founder Sergey Brin, said it hopes to sell its first products – most likely ground beef for burgers – in the next three years.

The aim is to achieve industrial-scale production two to three years later, with a typical hamburger patty costing about $1.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/07/lab-grown-meat-restaurants-2021-180718065215654.html

Another interesting story……my burger is grown?  Now that may turn me vegan….but I like my beef medium to medium rare……LOL

https://theantimedia.com/mosa-meats-could-disrupt-factory-farming/

Have a good day….chuq

“An Army Travels On Its Stomach”

Closing Thought–12Jun18

Who the Hell said that?  Oh yeah…the Little General or as you probably know him, Napoleon….his point was too make sure that the army was well fed so they would be ready for a fight when needed.

When I was in Vietnam our rations were those magic things called C-Rations…….such great canned stuff as Lima Beans and Ham, Ham and Eggs, Spaghetti in meat sauce, and my favorite Pork and Beans. Plus the best part of C-Rations were the canned fruit, peaches, apricots and fruit cocktail.  The truth of the matter is that only a few of the canned entrees were actually palatable.  The cigs were the best part of the package.

Then came the MREs, Meals Ready To Eat, that was after I left service so my only exposure to these was during Katrina when our food supply was kinda limited.  For the most part they are pretty palatable….only a couple would not make my top 10, like the veggie burger, it tasted like sawdust….there was a Thai inspired meal that was very tasty and spicy…..these are the food sources of our troops in the field these days.

Taking Napoleon at his word the US Army is testing new form of MRE for the Infantry……

The prototype Close Combat Assault Ration on display at the Pentagon on May 24, 2018, includes a tart cherry nut bar, cheddar cheese bar, mocha dessert bar, vacuum-dried strawberries and trail mix of fruit and nuts, among other items that were vacuum microwave dried. (U.S. Army photo by Gary Sheftick)

U.S. military nutrition experts hope to start testing a new assault ration, known as the Close Combat Assault Ration. that is drastically lighter than existing field rations by 2020.

Ten years ago, the Defense Department’s Combat Feeding Directorate began fielding the First Strike Ration, which was designed to give combat troops the equivalent of three Meals, Ready to Eat a day in a compact, lightweight package.

At about two pounds, the FSR is about half the weight and size of three MREs.

https://www.military.com/kitup/2018/05/29/pentagon-test-combat-rations-specially-designed-infantry-troops.html

An Army Travels On Its Stomach…..so do the right thing and make a good meal.

Closing Thought–18Dec17

WE hear about the suicide rate among our veterans…..also we read about children committing suicide because of bullying…..it seems that suicides are becoming all too regular.

I read something that gave me something to think about….a group that we do not connect to the word suicide……farmers…..

On the day in May 2011 that Matt Peters took his own life, he spoke on the phone with Dr. Mike Rosmann. Rosmann, himself an Iowa farmer, is also a psychologist who doubles as “one of the nation’s leading farmer behavioral health experts,” writes Debbie Weingarten for the Guardian. She knows that firsthand: The former vegetable farmer, weighed down by depression, once called Rosmann herself. “We were growing food, but couldn’t afford to buy it. We worked 80 hours a week, but we couldn’t afford to see a dentist, let alone a therapist. I remember panic when a late freeze threatened our crop, the constant fights about money,” she writes. And she’s not alone. Weingarten cites CDC figures that show the industry with the highest suicide rate is agriculture.

As for possible reasons why, the CDC lists “social isolation, potential for financial losses, barriers to and unwillingness to seek mental health services (which might be limited in rural areas), and access to lethal means.” And the financial picture isn’t pretty right now, with Weingarten noting the median farm income for this year is expected to be negative $1,325. Rosmann says many farmers’ issues can be addressed in no more than five therapy sessions, something he likens to an Employee Assistance Program. Congress in 2008 voted not to fund the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network, a program that would have made hotlines and counseling available to farmers. The cost would have been $18 million a year; Rosmann maintains that the price we pay annually due to suicide is much higher. Read Weingarten’s full piece here.

It is sad to read this……but keep in mind once these people are gone from agriculture then all we have is agri-business….corporate farms……the prices will be going up until the poor eat what they can grown in a pot on the window sill…..

Gotta bounce my friends…..but will return tomorrow….see you then……chuq

Spring Has Sprung

Happy May Day everyone!

Sunday and my day in the garden making sure my stuff is doing good….and the best news was…..the first tomato of the season…..

(a little outta focus but I was excited to have my first tomato sandwich of the season)

Most of us will be hitting our local farmer’s market to scoop up some of those “garden fresh” veggies……but we need to be careful….why?

Your fresh veggies from the Farm could be a con…….

NBC Los Angeles’ news team decided to do some checking around at local farmer’s markets, and paid visits to the farms where the vendors claimed they grew the food they were selling. In some cases, they found fields full of weeds or dry, empty fields. The vendors were selling vegetables and fruit they had bought wholesale, and were selling it at premium prices at local farmer’s markets, claiming it was locally grown and organic.

Source: Farmers Markets Aren’t Always The Better Buy: The Pros And Cons Of Eating Local

And there is another aspect of buying this produce…..

With farmers market season upon us, anyone looking for extra incentive to get up early on Saturday to check out the organic offerings from local growers might want to take a gander at the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen,” the organization’s annual roundup of conventionally grown produce most likely to be contaminated with pesticides.

That plural—pesticides—is no joke. Despite growing consumer demand for healthier, more sustainably grown food, many samples of the most contaminated produce tested positive for residues from not one but two or more chemical pesticides. A single sample of strawberries contained residues from a whopping 17 different pesticides.

Source: The 12 Most Pesticide-Contaminated Fruits and Veggies | Alternet

This is why I grow most of my fave veggies…..onions, peppers, tomatoes, asparagus and my fave fruit….figs, pears, plums, peaches and tangerines….that way I know they are not treated with anything harmful……

Sorry to be a bummer on this Sunday but I feel that you guys need to know what is coming your way….go enjoy the rest of your weekend……I will catch up with everyone tomorrow.

Have A Day, My Friends!