What We’re Reading This Week: October 11, 2016

Sustainable coffee, meat alternatives and the dangers of palm oil—here’s what’s been on the Edible editors’ radar this week.

The New York Times Magazine’s annual Food Issue.
We’re especially taken with the above photo essay that captures “the dizzying grandeur of 21st century agriculture.”

NPR reports on the FDA’s evolving definition of “healthy”:
“Now the FDA has begun the process of redefining the term “healthy” on food labels.

Policymakers are looking for input from food makers, health experts and the public. You can weigh in with your ideas about what factors and criteria should be used for the new definition.”

Get lunch and register to vote in the upcoming election at a taco truck, says Konbini:
“The organization, Guac the Vote, is hoping to increase voter participation and with registration deadlines coming up, USHCC wants to get things moving quickly for taco trucks everywhere.”

Priya Krishna writes at Eater of five foods that wouldn’t exist without Dan Barber’s agriculturists:
“The potatoes in his pizza, the tomatoes in his marinara sauce, the wheat in his biscuits — these are all the result of his work with plant breeders, who develop better-tasting crops through seed saving and cross-pollination.”

McDonald’s wants to serve all sustainable coffee by 2020, Bloomberg reports:
“Switching its coffee sourcing is part of the burger giant’s attempt to spruce up its menu with better ingredients. McDonald’s is shifting to cage-free eggs and removing artificial preservatives from its Chicken McNuggets — changes announced since Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook took over in March 2015.”

At Washington Post, using food as a route to one’s past and roots:
“My come-to-Krishna moment happened at my aunt’s house around that time, when I had my first Indian dinner in years. As I scooped up a mouthful of spicy chole with warm, freshly fried puri, my first thought was, ‘I can’t believe I hated this as a kid!’”

Could tequila be endangered? A report from the Phoenix New-Times:
“If the agave is the bountiful mother of all mezcals, it is a mother which spoiled one of her mestizo children, tequila, to the detriment of all others. This temperamental child, the national drink of Mexico, is an opportunist benefiting from the economic and physical ravages of war.”

The Food and Environment Reporting Network and the Auduban Magazine remind us why we should avoid palm oil.
“As palm oil finds its way into an astonishing half of all grocery-store products, Indonesian rainforests are falling to make way for plantations, releasing vast quantities of CO₂ and giving poachers easy access to endangered Helmeted Hornbills.”

Tyson Foods invests in protein alternatives, reports the New York Times’ Stephanie Strom.
“Tyson, the country’s largest meat processor, announced last week that it was investing an undisclosed amount for a 5 percent stake in Beyond Meat, a company based in El Segundo, Calif., that makes “meats” from protein sources like soy and peas.”

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Alicia Kennedy is a Long Island–born, Brooklyn-based food writer and recipe developer.