This week was a bit of a whirlwind for food and kitchen news. And no, we’re not just talking about Snoop Dogg’s cookbook announcement.
For all the stories we write about on the Spoon, there are a few we don’t cover but still think are worthy of a shoutout. Hence: food tech news roundup. Check out the list of stories that caught our eye this week, from craft beer hotels to President Trump-bound letters about cultured meat:
Kroger is phasing out plastic shopping bags
Grocery giant Kroger is gradually reducing their use of plastic bags. This week they started phasing them out in their Seattle QFC stores, and they plan to eliminate them altogether by the end of 2019. Kroger claims they’ll be completely plastic bag-free in its roughly 2,800 stores by 2025. This is in line with other initiatives to reduce single-use plastics; Seattle has already banned plastic straws and Starbucks is eliminating straws in all of their locations. Plastic bags seem like the next step in the march to prevent more plastic waste getting in our oceans.
Opposing sides work together to regulate cultured meat
Lab-grown meat company Memphis Meats and the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) teamed up to pen a letter to President Donald Trump asking his administration to “clarify the regulatory framework for cell-based meat and poultry products.” They asked that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) collaborate to oversee regulation of the new product.
This letter comes almost a month after a band of agricultural groups wrote their own letter to the President, asking for similar regulation to be applied both to traditional meat and “cell-based meat and poultry. It’s also close on the heels of the FDA’s public meeting on cultured meat, in which they examined safety and labeling issues around this emerging food. The fact that these two groups reached across the aisle to ask for the same thing — fair, consistent regulation — is a reality check for those groups who thought that cultured meat was a thing of the distant future.
Zippin unveils checkout-free tech to compete with Amazon Go (and others)
This week startup Zippin launched their software platform which lets retail shoppers fill their bag and walk out, without stopping to check out. Their shop, which uses a combination of cameras and smart sensing shelves to track shoppers’ selections, will open in San Francisco sometime next month. The company is trying to compete with Amazon Go, who pioneered their cashierless tech at their Seattle store, as well as rival technology Trigo Vision. Microsoft and All_ebt are purportedly working on cashierless shopping systems of their own.
Brewdog opens craft beer hotel in Ohio
Craft beer obsessives, we’ve got your next vacation lined up for you. This coming Monday Scottish craft beer company Brewdog will open what their website calls “the world’s first crowdfunded beer hotel” in Columbus, Ohio, right next door to their U.S. brewery. According to Food & Wine, The Doghouse has beer taps in all of the rooms, beer-stocked minifridges in the showers, and even uses beer-infused products in their spa. Guests can also play beer pong in the lobby and hop (pun intended) over to the brewery for an interactive tour. As the company’s name implies, dogs are welcome.
U.S. Army Lab turns plastic water bottles into 3D printed goods
The U.S. Army Research Lab (ARL) are repurposing plastic from sources like yogurt containers and water bottles as 3D printing materials. 3D Printing Industry reported that the ARL is hoping that this tech can be used within Army bases, so service members can quickly create parts for equipment and weapons. This shortens the supply chain, makes use of recyclable materials, and ensures that military members can create necessary plastic parts without having to wait for their next supply truck.
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