10 Things You Need to Know in Food This Week

Will drones soon become a farmer’s best friend?

From food waste to food samples here are the stories the Edible editors are reading this week.

ScienceMag looks at the potential good use of drones in farming:
“Billions of gallons of freshwater are used every day to irrigate crops, but a lot of it gets wasted on already ripe or dying plants.

Now, researchers have used images captured by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)—i.e., a drone—to map barley fields and determine which rows of plants are most in need of water.”

The New Yorker on the rise of vertical farming:
“The mini-farm in the cafeteria at Philip’s Academy is a significant piece of technology. In fact, it is a key to the story, and it figures in the larger picture of vertical farming worldwide and of indoor agriculture in general. If the current movement to grow more food locally, in urban settings, and by high-tech indoor methods follows the path that some predict for it, the mini-farm in the school cafeteria may one day have its own historical plaque.”

The Fern on new FDA regulations on antibiotic use in livestock:
“The rules do not ban all antibiotic use in livestock raising, and some advocates worry that they may not have as much effect as the FDA believes. But their implementation, scheduled for Jan. 1 and confirmed by the FDA Tuesday afternoon, marks an important shift in a battle that has been going on since 1977, the first time the agency tried — and failed — to restrict farm antibiotic use.”

And the Huffington Post talks to a woman who is working to close the gender gap in farming: 
“Farms in the U.S. have a problem: There simply aren’t enough women working on them, especially at the top of the industry.

About 30 percent of U.S. farmers are women, but that representation dissipates the higher you go. Fourteen percent of U.S. farms are principally operated by women, according to data from the Department of Agriculture, and only 7 percent of American farmland is owned by women.”

The Times reviews book that look at why we eat the way we do:
“If every generation rewrites history, then our current food historians are only beginning to claim large tracts. These three new books about America’s culinary past explore less-trodden territory with an eye to concerns that seem surprisingly contemporary: the need of workers for a higher minimum wage and better conditions; the need for women to gain equality with men; and the need for immigrants to be treated fairly and with respect.”

Meanwhile Business Insider looks at first fast-food chain in America that requires zero human interaction:
“Fast-food chain Eatsa is redefining automation in the restaurant industry by taking out employee interaction completely. Ordering is done via an app or in-store on a kiosk, and your order is placed in a cubby upon completion. Humans prepare the food behind the wall of cubbies, so you never have to speak with a single person.”

Mashable writes about how food stamps can now be used for online grocery shopping:
“Online grocery services from the grocers Safeway, ShopRite, Hy-Vee, Hart’s Local Grocers and Dash’s Market will also be included in the USDA’s program. The USDA is trying to determine whether local grocers or national services like Amazon will work best for families using SNAP, the agency said in a press release.”

Forbes chose their “30 Under 30, Food and Drink”:
“If the ranks of the newest class of 30 Under 30 in food and drink are any indication, this duality is likely to extend into 2017 and beyond. The 30 young chefs, restaurateurs, food engineers and entrepreneurs who made the 2017 list are spearheading a new wave of clean eating — but they’re also churning out cakes, cookies and toffee that are well-worth a ruined diet.”

Yes! Magazine reports on a small town that wouldn’t just go shop at Walmart:
“In October, Iola’s first grocery store in nearly a decade broke ground, thanks to a unique public-private partnership. Allen County agreed to sell property for it at a steep discount to G&W Foods Inc., a Missouri-based chain with stores scattered throughout the region.”

Food Tank looks at food waste:
“There are too many to list comprehensively, but a short list includes cutting food waste, reducing the incidence of non-communicable diseases arising from diet, policy capacity building, and supporting agriculture research.”

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