Daily Essentials | Monday, November 7, 2016

Outback Steakhouse, Shibuya | Photo by Yi Chen | Flickr CC license
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• A heartbreaking story from Al Jazeera on olive groves in Bethlehem, occupied West Bank that produce some of the finest olive oil in the world but will be destroyed when Israel clears them to build a wall through that area.

 

At a Palestine olive grove | Photo by Nayef Hashlamoun | Flickr CC license
At a Palestine olive grove | Photo by Nayef Hashlamoun | Flickr CC license

• In Bloomberg, Megan McArdle makes a good case for why the future belongs to global chain restaurants and why independently owned restaurants will fade. I agree that the chains will displace the independent restaurants in and around downtowns, highway off ramps, and other traveler’s destinations that the chains compete with directly, however I disagree with her conclusion that independent restaurants are on their way out. I would expect the decline in independent restaurants to halt once that part of the herd has been culled. Away from home people are going to continue to seek greater consistency and predictability, closer to home people are going to continue to seek greater quality and authenticity.

• The New York Times reports on all the gory details of Christopher Kimball’s ugly, messy divorce from America’s Test Kitchen. What secrets lurk behind the bow tie? Find out.

• New Yorkers have once again shopped themselves into a plastic wasteland as Whole Foods thrives and neighborhood markets are in a state of collapse.

• USDA scientists are having some success with biocontrol of the invasive weed “giant reed” along the Rio Grande in Texas. The USDA’s Agricultural Research Service released arundo gall wasps and arundo scale insects to control the weed which creates a perfect habitat for cattle fever ticks.

• The factoids run the gambit from interesting to depressing in this short but leisurely stroll through the history of presidential dining out. Perhaps the most depressing bit? Truman was a fan of Dixon’s Chili Parlor in Kansas City MO, where the chili was made without onions, garlic, tomatoes, or chili powder.

Harry Truman visiting Dixon’s on his way home for the holidays, on December 23, 1950.
Harry Truman visiting Dixon’s on his way home for the holidays, on December 23, 1950.
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