Chocolate Industry

What does the western drought mean for food, why does the food industry need economic justice, and have we reached the peak of vegan chicken nuggets?

I started Fresh catch to keep sustainability at the forefront of the conversation every week, not just when the newsletter drops on Earth Day.

That said, I have concocted an edition for you today that is particularly focused on the climate. Many climate reports can be hard to digest. Instead of overwhelming you with data points and statistics from the United Nations, I have focused on stories that I hope will energize and inspire you. Everyone will have to work together to counterbalance what awaits us.

Small acts can go a long way. I hope you’ll join me in spending some time in nature this weekend, whatever that means to you. I plan to get my Lower Manhattan patio garden back into springtime good condition while tending to my compost worms.

— Chloé Sorvino, editor

It’s Forbes’ Fresh Take newsletter, bringing you the latest news every Friday on the big ideas that are changing the future of food. Want to get it in your inbox every week? register here.

What’s new

Dry weather forecasts predict higher food prices and billions in agricultural losses. Much of the American West lingers in a prolonged mega-drought that hints at a difficult future that is expected to worsen as the planet heats up. History by yours truly.

Why economic justice begins in the food industry. How do you quantify essential work in the US grocery industry? This does not translate into living wages, writes Errol Schweizer.

Have we hit the peak of vegan chicken nuggets? The race is on for the best alternative to chicken nuggets, reports Michele Simon.

How to make plastic disappear. Most of human history has been plastic-free, but it has now become difficult for some to imagine a plastic-free world, writes Sofia Lotto Persio.

Why ‘Alt Protein‘ won’t save the planet. Promising a more sustainable and humane food system, the “alternative protein” sector has been flooded with investment dollars and hype. And while such well-capitalized merchandising warrants serious consumer attention on store shelves, researchers continue to question its merits, reports Errol Schweizer.

Mars is revising the cocoa sustainability program to focus entirely on farmer income. West Africa produces most of the world’s cocoa. It’s also a hotbed of deforestation, which is a major contributor to climate change, reports Shayna Harris.

Palestinians could run out of wheat reserves in three weeks as the ripple effect of the war in Ukraine. Oxfam says Gazans will be among the first to suffer from hunger linked to shortages and rising prices due to Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine. By your servant.

IIt’s spring onion season here in NYC, and I just had to stop by the farmer’s market. I generally try to have a stronger relationship with where my food money is spent. But my share of neighborhood community-supported agriculture is on hiatus until June, which means spring is when I indulge in the occasional trip to the farmers’ market. What went on sale in your local market?

Chloe Sorvino leads food and agriculture coverage as a staff writer on Forbes’ corporate team. Her nearly eight years of reporting at Forbes have taken her to In-N-Out Burger’s secretive test kitchen, to drought-ravaged farms in California’s Central Valley, to burned-out national forests logged by a timber billionaire, to a century-old slaughterhouse in Omaha, and even a chocolate croissant factory designed like a medieval castle in northern France. His book, Raw Deal: Hidden corruption, corporate greed and the fight for the future of meat will be published in December 2022 by Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books.

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