Happy long weekend, all! Hopefully you’re celebrating with barbecues and naps and some fun in the sun (unless you’re in rainy Seattle, like us).
Of course, the best way to kick off any weekend is with our latest roundup of food tech news: bits that caught our eye around the web, but didn’t quite fit into a larger story. Enjoy!
Chick-fil-A uses social media to spot food-borne illness
During a presentation at the ReWork Deep Learning Summit in Boston this week, Chick-fil-A showed off a custom system that uses social media posts from customers to track food safety. VentureBeat reports that Chick-fil-A uses an AI framework to search social media posts to look for indicators of foodborne illnesses, such as certain keyworks and phrases (“food poisoning,” “nausea,” etc.) It’s currently live at all 2,400+ Chick-fil-A restaurants in the U.S.
Whole Foods gets rid of plastic straws
Natural grocery chain Whole Foods will eliminate single-use plastic straws from all of its locations in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. by July, replacing them with compostable paper straws upon request (h/t Grocery Dive). This move will make Whole Foods the first nationwide grocery chain to completely nix plastic straws. The grocer is also replacing its rotisserie chicken containers with bags that have less plastic and transitioning to smaller plastic bags for produce.
McDonald’s in Sweden to install beehives on roofs
In Sweden, McDonald’s has teamed up with ad agency Nord DBB to create a beehive shaped to look like a tiny version of the fast-food restaurant (h/t Food & Wine). Dubbed the “McHive,” it’s one of five beehives crowning McDonald’s franchises in Sweden. But it’s the only one with a miniature drive-thru and golden arches.
Silo raises $3 million seed round
This week Silo, the marketplace that leverages AI to better distribute perishable food, raised a seed round of $3 million according to a press release sent to The Spoon. The San Francisco-based startup has a platform that connects producers and buyers, using AI to help forecast production volume, facilitate payments, and negotiate purchase agreements.
Did we miss anything? Tweet us @TheSpoonTech and let us know!