Today's notes on national stories, local trends, random tastes, and other bycatch dredged up from the food media. Jonathan Kauffman is out this week, so Jesse Hirsch is filling in on Talking Points. Teamwork!
1. Small Farms Keep Struggling. There is so much farmer love here in the bay that we may forget the continuing struggles of America's small family farms. This article in USA Today does a good job of using the trials and tribulations of one town to paint a bleak prognosis for small Midwestern farmers. For a heartbreaking case study along the same lines, The Farmer's Wife is a must-see.
2. No Love for Groupon. Serious Eats gets in on the Groupon backlash with another first-person story from a restaurateur who felt burned by the group-purchase coupon
scam promotion. The familiar complaints: customers abuse the rules, restaurants take a serious financial hit, attention is distracted from regular patrons. By now most of you likely know these hard-luck stories, but does it stop you from buying your Groupons? We aren't judging; a hot deal is hard to pass up.
3. Dogs on the Menu. At some point we've all had a witty friend crack wise about eating stray dog at a Chinese restaurant. We typically vow not to eat with that schmo again, but the truth is that dog remains a thriving menu item in much of China. An interesting (though scantily reported) UPI piece explores the conflict between China's rising middle-class pet owners and the country's longstanding tradition of eating pooch.