Chocolate pricing

What does war mean for American chicken, what to ask about precision fermentation, and is this the end of grocery store cashiers?

Why Hello! Chloe arrives in your inbox with a special report on the food ramifications of the Ukraine invasion. The country is Europe’s breadbasket and a major exporter of crops, especially organic produce, and especially those eaten by organic American chickens, as I report in my article today. For example, the fourth largest US chicken producer, Perdue Farms, confirmed to me that it imports oilseeds and grains from Ukraine to feed its birds.

With problems such as drought and delays at ports, commodity prices were already rising before the war. Since the invasion of Russia, they have skyrocketed. Some experts worry that without the right feed ingredients from Ukraine, organic chickens, which are more expensive to produce than other chickens, will become too expensive to raise in the United States. Chicken is generally less expensive than beef or pork, which means consumers, who already have labor under the highest inflation in 40 years, may not be willing to pay the high prices whose producers need to make a profit.

The implication is that the economy could be thrown out of whack and poultry farmers could decide that organic just isn’t worth the cost. Instead, farmers seriously concerned about price might go back to raising more of their chickens conventionally, or raising chickens with more general label claims like “natural.”

“It could harm the overall size of the organic market,” Alison Grantham, who owns her own consultancy Grow Well, told me. “People are already dealing with so much inflation. It’s a choice whether you buy organic or non-organic chicken. We might see a decrease in organic poultry. I don’t know how much the consumer can take.

It would be really unfortunate. Organic farming eliminates fertilizers, which means yields can be lower, but the soil won’t be polluted with chemicals like nitrogen, and there’s less runoff into rivers and yards. of water. As the latest United Nations climate report released this week shows, companies like meat suppliers who control much of the agricultural resource must be held accountable. The catastrophic rise in global temperature has already hit many parts of the world, and extreme weather conditions will continue to disrupt global food supply chains.

I will continue to follow these consequences.

I am a journalist, but I am also a human being, whose Jewish ancestry comes from Kiev, Ukraine. These few days have been difficult, filled with horror, courage and hope.

I wish you a restful weekend.

— Chloé Sorvino, editor

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


What’s new

The war in Europe’s breadbasket reverberates in an unlikely place. The war in Ukraine, Europe’s breadbasket, may spill over into an unlikely place: the American organic chicken chilling affair, by yours truly.

Ex-CEOs of Pilgrim’s Pride face trial for felony chicken price fixing. A retrial in a major case of 10 poultry executives accused of price collusion began in late February, after the Justice Department spent seven weeks arguing the same case in court in late 2021, per yours truly.

Why grocery retailers can eliminate cashiers. In-person payment is a mainstay of retail operations. Yet, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, cashierless technology is gaining traction among food retailers, writes Errol Schweizer.

10 states have banned Russian vodka – a symbolic gesture with little economic punch. States from Oregon to Maine have shown their condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by pulling Russian vodka from shelves. However, Russian-made vodka only accounts for 1.3% of U.S. vodka imports, making the gesture mostly symbolic, reports Zachary Snowdon Smith.

What consumers should ask about precision fermentation. Foods produced by genetically modified microorganisms are entering the grocery market. As Errol Schweizer asks, what do consumers need to know about this technology?

Meet the immigrant woman who started Franzia, the world’s biggest wine brand. Teresa Franzia, who immigrated to California from Italy in the 1900s, is credited with starting two of the world’s greatest wineries, by wine master Liz Thach.


IRarely follow a recipe, but I couldn’t resist trying this Nigella Lawson Citrus Orzo Stunner! Unlike many other stews I make in the winter that have lots of tomatoes, this one was brilliant.


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 logging 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 about the fight for the future of meat is forthcoming from Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books in September 2022.

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