Archive for April, 2012

What We’re Following: School Lunches

April 29, 2012

While never exactly far from public scrutiny, public school lunches have shot to the top of the headlines in recent weeks following the start of the Pink Slime controversy. Here we provide excerpts from the current dialogue, and a healthy bit of retrospective on where this dialogue, so consistently laden with morally-evocative rhetoric, has been in recent years.

Editorial

Chef Ann Cooper Explains School Lunch — Dana Woldow, Beyond Chron

Sixth Graders Write Op-Ed to Protest 10-Minute Lunch Period — Bettina Elias Siegel, The Lunch Tray

11 Minutes To Eat School Lunch?!? — Tom Philpott, Mother Jones

School Lunch Fraud Goes to Grand Jury — Joy O., Gather News

Under the Shadow of Pink Slime

New School Lunch Rules Call for Colorful Menus — Le Mars Daily Sentinal

School Lunches From Scratch May Soon Be a Nationwide Reality — Diets in Review

‘Farm to School’ Food Reaches 500k Students — FoodServiceNews

 

…And a Refresher From the ‘Pizza is a Vegetable’ Controversy of Last Year

No, Congress did not declare pizza a vegetable — Sarah Kliff, The Washington Post

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Testimonials: Cathy

April 28, 2012

“I love the PEN Pals program, surveys have very new and inventive ideas. I have tried some great products over the past 10 years.
I also like the trends tracker, keeps me up to date with what our customers want. Yes I do remember our telephone survey’s, we have come a long way in 10 years. I hope it will be around for years to come!”

Cathy

What We’re Following: Food Trucks

April 24, 2012

A staple in some parts of the country for years now, food trucks are growing in popularity in new markets, bringing them to the forefront of local policy in many areas. Licensing incompatibilities, concerns over food safety and community eating habits, and concern over the effects of low-cost, low-price mobile eating hubs on established brick-and-mortar restaurants and eateries have brought these mobile food providers into the courts and legislation halls all over North America. Meanwhile, the news has seen reportage on why these providers are so controversial, and what place they hold in the food service industry as a whole, often providing a low-overhead, low-start-up-cost entry into the restaurant world for young chefs (who sometimes later make the jump to brick-and-mortar establishments), but also, perhaps surprisingly, appearing as a viable opportunity for the expansion of established restaurant brands. Here’s a look at what we’ve been reading with regard to food trucks in America:

Legal Issues

Letters: Threat to Food Trucks in Baton Rouge — The Advocate

Midwest Food Trucks Hit Legal Roadblocks — Changing Gears

Chicago Food Trucks Steer Around Legal Speedbumps — Mobile-Cuisine

Danger Zone for DC’s Food Trucks — The Washington Post

Food Truck Roadblock — The Chicago Reader

Food Trucks vs Traditional Restaurants

City Council Not Lovin’ Burger King’s Food Truck Idea — Gothamist

Food Trucks as a Vehicle to Sit-Down Restaurant Success — The LA Times

Food Truck Fad Comes to Fine Hotels Hawking Restaurant Fare — USA Today

Food Trucks Taking a Bite out of Restaurants — The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Food Trucks Shift From Road to Restaurant — American Public Media, Marketplace

The Atlanta Food Truck Park to open this month — Access Atlanta

Testimonials: C. Layton

April 21, 2012

“I love the PEN Pals program, surveys have very new and inventive ideas. I have tried some great products over the past 10 years.

I also like the trends tracker, keeps me up to date with what our customers want. Yes I do remember our telephone surveys, we have come a long way in 10 years. I hope it will be around for years to come!”

C Layton, PA

What We’re Following: Daily Deal Sites

April 16, 2012

So-called “daily deal” online businesses sprouted up during the Recession, but as economic concerns lighten, we’re seeing increased reporting on the controversial economic effects of these deals. The questions are mounting: will “daily deal” providers survive in periods of economic growth, when local business owners may be less interested in giving massive discounts, or will they need to change their business model, and if so, in which direction will they move? What’s more, how will consumers who have come to rely on these deals react to such a change? Here’s a collection of the stories we found most interesting with regard to daily deals, and a reactionary movement identified as “Cash Mobs”.

Daily Deals

Daily Coupon Deals May Not Work for Buyers, Sellers — USA Today

When Today’s Deal is Tomorrow’s Regret — The New York Times

Why do Daily Deal Customers Leave Harsher Yelp Reviews? — Foodservice.com

Should Your Restaurant Participate in a Group-Buying Deal? — Open Forum, American Express

Cash Mobs

Cash Mobs, the Anti-Groupon, Are Coming to a Store Near You — Good Business

”Cash Mobs” Gather to Splurge in Locally Owned Stores

Cash Mobs Blog — WordPress

Changes On the Horizon

LivingSocial Launches Food Delivery Web Site — The Daily Meal

Testimonials: V. Dodds

April 14, 2012

“I think the PEN Pals and Product Evaluations programs are great! Not only do I get to provide input that helps to shape the face of new products in food service, but I get incredible benefits from it myself. I have gotten to try many new/test products in my restaurant, and have been able to receive many useful (or just fun) items in return. Some for the bar, some for the kitchen, and some for myself! I recently had enough points from all the surveys and test product placements that I was able to get a Sony home theater sound system for my bedroom. It is very high quality, just like all the rewards in your catalog. Thank you PEN Pals and Product Evaluations!”

Sincerely,

V. Dodds, FL

What We’re Following: Pink Slime

April 10, 2012

Who online isn’t following the debate around ‘pink slime’ lately? We’ve collected here a few of the more interesting articles, both concerning pink slime itself, and one of the principle battlegrounds: school lunches, where there seems to be a growing dialog over educating students on the “How-To” and “Where-From” of their food.

Pink Slime

BPI and Pink Slime: A Timeline — Food Safety News

‘Pink Slime’ Beef Manufacturer Suspends Production At 3 Of 4 Plants Amid Outcry — Huffington Post

School Lunches

New School Lunch Rules Call for Colorful Menus — Le Mars Daily Sentinal

School Lunches From Scratch May Soon Be a Nationwide Reality — Diets in Review

‘Farm to School’ Food Reaches 500k Students — FoodServiceNews

Ditch the Mystery Meat — QSR, via Foodservice.com

Getting ‘Pink Slime’ Out of Cafeterias Not Easy — The Epoch Times

Enjoy! Feel free to add other articles in the comments section. We’d love to hear what you think about this!

Testimonials: Steve

April 7, 2012

“By participating, I get to see what is being looked at as far as new products/packaging/merchandising. To then see some items at a later date actually come to the marketplace makes you feel like you had a part in that happening.”

Steve