Summer has descended upon us like a thick, laze-inducing haze. If you’re like us, all you want to do is head to the local pool and drink cool beverages out of our stainless steel straws.

Steamy weekends are not the time for more work, so we went ahead and rounded up some news-worthy food tech stories from around the web for your reading pleasure. Bonus: you can peruse while you’re lounging in air conditioning.

Bronx Brewery Beer Fights Produce Waste
On July 30th New York’s Bronx Brewery will release a beer made with repurposed food scraps. Called More To The Core, it’s a Kolsch style ale brewed with pineapple cores and skins, which are normally tossed into the trash and end up in landfills. This tasty, waste-y beer is a collaboration between Baldor Specialty Foods and The Bronx Brewery, and is available in their taproom.


Capital sprouts up for fungi-based meat company
This week Terramino Foods, a startup which uses fungi to make meat and seafood alternatives, raised $4.25 million in a seed funding round co-led by Collaborative Fund and True Ventures. In a press release, True Ventures indicated that Terramino Foods has already developed a plant-based salmon burger, and has plans to create alternatives to beef, chicken, and pork with its new capital


Costco partners with Zest Labs to optimize food supply chain
Wholesale giant Costco announced this week that it would start working with Zest Labs, a company which works in fresh food supply chain traceability. According to a press release, Costco is expecting this partnership to help modernize and optimize their fresh foods, reducing food waste up to 50%.


McDonald’s workers are short on soft skills
This week McDonald’s released the results of its Workplace Preparedness Study, which analyzed skill development across multiple age groups. The survey polled 6,200 people and discovered that many were missing soft skills, such as teamwork, customer service, and responsibility. We’ve addressed the restaurant labor shortage before on the Spoon, and have wondered if companies will pad their meager workforce with robots in coming years. But will robots have better soft skills than teenagers looking for a summer job? Or maybe the robots will take over the physically repetitive jobs, like food prep and dish running, freeing up people with soft skills to interact with customers.


Allrecipes & Tito’s vodka launch Barkeep, a chatbot ‘bartender’

Ready to get your drink on through Facebook? Allrecipes and Tito’s vodka got you covered. The recipe site is working with the Austin, TX craft vodka maker to launch a chatbot by the name of Barkeep using Facebook Messenger chatbot platform. After checking if the user is of legal drinking age, Barkeep suggests a few cocktails (using Tito’s, natch) and then walks the user through a conversation branch flow that has the user ultimately choose a cocktail recipe. Once a recipe is picked and the user is sent to Allrecipes, they can then order their some Tito’s or other liquor through Drizly. You can try Barkeep out for yourself here.

Did we miss anything? Tweet us @TheSpoonTech!

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