TRENDS: ‘Natural’ expo-sed; Penn on pie; Wal-Maybe

A compendium of food, dining and beverage trend information from the U.S. and the world

Reported by Waylon Lewis at elephantjournal.com:

 “I’m at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, for the first time. It’s amazing. It’s huge. … The view from the press room is such a long far drop down to the entrance that you feel like you’re in the Himalayas, instant vertigo. There’s more eco schwag, a contradiction in terms, here than at any conference I’ve ever been too. It’s all food, health supplements, buyers for grocery stores, men in ill-fitting suits, gorgeous women hired by men in ill-fitting suits to attract other men in ill-fitting suits to their booth, where sales are made… It’s all very Mad Men, here, backwards, though there are many strong women entrepreneurs, thankfully, and talented PR agents, luckily it’s far from black and white. Still, there are an awful lot of pot-bellied balding men talking to other pot-bellied balding men while they pay a 22 year old buxom beauty dressed like she’s going to a club to sit there and watch them talk shop, mutely.”

From a commentary by Penn Jillette at latimes.com
“I turned 55 on stage in Jersey and more than 1,000 audience members sang “Happy Birthday.” I blew out some candles, cut a couple pieces of cake, and Teller and I pretended to eat the cake as we walked off stage. My wife and children called up to sing a smaller and more in-tune version of “Happy Birthday,” ending with “We love you, Daddy.” You can’t do better than that. Unless someone gives you pie.”

From a piece in the The Atlantic by Corby Kummer:

In an ideal world, people would buy their food directly from the people who grew or caught it, or grow and catch it themselves. But most people can’t do that. … The vast majority of Walmarts carry a large range of affordable fresh fruits and vegetables. And Walmarts serve many “food deserts,” in large cities and rural areas—ironically including farm areas. I’m not sure I’m convinced that the world’s largest retailer is set on rebuilding local economies it had a hand in destroying, if not literally, then in effect. But I’m convinced that if it wants to, a ruthlessly well-run mechanism can bring fruits and vegetables back to land where they once flourished, and deliver them to the people who need them most.”

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