'walmart' on Serious Eats

Is Walmart Actually Benefiting Local Farmers?

Since 2010, Walmart has worked to buy more produce from local farms. The company currently reports that 11% of its produce comes from local producers. But it seems that most of the local farms partnering with Walmart are classified by the USDA as "very large", with millions of dollars in annual sales. Will it actually benefit farmers, or will the situation turn out to be one where the benefit really is transferred to Wal-Mart?" More

Hispanic Foods Moving Out of the 'Ethnic Aisle'

Hispanic products may no longer be hiding in supermarket aisle corners like the gluten-free breads and Manischewitz yolk-free noodles. Several major chains are expanding their specialty offerings to capture business from Latinos, the country's fastest-growing population and already almost one-sixth of the U.S. total in 2008, according to this MSNBC report. Walmart is in the process of converting two stores (one in Phoenix, the other in Houston) into Supermercados aimed at Hispanic shoppers. According to the Walmart website, the Houston store opened in late April and has a bakery with over 40 traditional sweet breads and fresh corn tortillas, and a meat department with milanesa (kind of like the Hispanic schnitzel), fajitas, and arrachera (similar to skirt steak). This... More

Serious Green: A Preview of 'Food, Inc.' in Theaters June 12

"Though heavy-handed in places, Food, Inc. is both a chilling expose and a practical manifesto." "You can change the world with every bite," ends the film Food, Inc., in theaters on June 12. Directed by noted documentarian Robert Kenner, with Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser on the production team, Food, Inc. takes a sharply critical look at Big Agra--the corporations that manage an enormous percentage of America's food supply by controlling the nation's beef, poultry, corn, and soy industries. Pointing fingers squarely at corporations driven by profit motive rather than product quality or consumer health, along with the government agencies that allow them to do so, Food, Inc. finds plenty of villains to tackle, blaming them for obesity, illness... More

Possible Paula Deen-Inspired Candle Scents

The recent news that Wal-Mart is going to sell a line of scented candles based on Paula Deen's recipes got us thinking: What are the scents going to be? Serious Eater Tahitinova clued us in that Linens 'n Things already sells them, but the scents are uninspired: Vanilla Bean, Banana Oatmeal Chip Cookie, Dark Rum Cake, Coconut Pound Cake, Strawberry Shortcake, and Banana Cream Pie. I thought we'd get some honest Southern smells that might literally come out of Deen's kitchen. Scents like cornbread. Bacon. Pecan pie. Mac and cheese. Fried chicken. Pancakes with maple syrup and tons of butter. Bacon-donut egg burger. Velveeta fudge. Deep-fried butter. What other scents should there be?... More

New Green Milk Jug Design Cuts Costs But Is Difficult to Pour

The gallon milk container has a new look at Wal-Mart and Costco—one that's designed to cut shipping costs, be more environmentally friendly, and keep milk fresher. It also costs less, at $2.18 at one Sam's Club, down from $2.58. There's been some crying, though: Some customers complain that the boxy and spoutless shape makes them "feel like novices at the simple task of pouring a glass of milk." In fact, the jugs have caused so many gripes that Sam's Club now holds in-store demonstrations with milk and cookies to teach customers how to pour milk:... More

Salmonella Scare Halts Tomato Sales

These tomatoes may be safe, but others may give you Salmonella poisoning. Beware. Bountiful grape tomatoes still populate Mickey D's "premium salad," but you're out of luck if you want a tomato slice on your burger. Reuters reported today that McDonald's and Wal-Mart stores have stopped selling certain tomatoes. Chipotle and Target are also nixing tomatoes to play it safe. On Saturday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned U.S. consumers that the Salmonella outbreak—145 reported cases, including at least 23 hospitalizations since mid-April—is linked to raw red plum, red Roma, and red round tomatoes. The FDA says that it is safe to eat cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, tomatoes sold with the vine still attached, and tomatoes grown at home.... More

Wal-Mart's Push for Sustainable Seafood

Wal-Mart sells more than 50 million pounds of shrimp a year, most of it from Thailand, where the company has put into place new rules requiring the shrimp to be farmed in environmentally sound ways as certified by Global Aquaculture Alliance or Aquaculture Certification Council.... More

Wal-Mart Is Selling Mexican Coke Too

Remember last week's story about Costco selling Mexican Coke? This morning, because we love soda with real sugar—and you, too—an update: alaina: mexican coke sighting at napa wal-martlia: link please!lia: or did you see?alaina: no link, i saw it myself!lia: no photo???alaina: it's a coke bottlealaina: nolia: also i did not think "napa" and "wal-mart" were allowed to be in the same sentencealaina: me neither (Alaina is in Napa attending Taste3, the annual conference sponsored by Robert Mondavi Winery that "aims to push the exploration and marriage of wine, food and art.")... More

Man Bites Dog: Wal-Mart gets into organic food

This week the New York Times reported that Wal-Mart is about to get into organic food in a big way. At first glance this seemed like real progress. It conjured up visions of Alice Waters giving out samples of Frog Hollow peaches at Wal-Marts all over the country. But a more careful examination of the story reveals a different scenario. As Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Assocation put it, "This model of one size fits all and lowest prices possible doesn't work in organic. Their (Wal-Mart) business model is going to wreck organic the way it's wrecking retail stores, driving out all competitors." An editorial today in the Times got it exactly right. On one hand... More

Wal-Mart Eats

Visiting my son at college in rural Ohio, I found myself in a Wal-Mart for the very first time. We don't have Wal-Marts in NY, so when I walked into the football field-sized Wal-Mart in Mount Vernon, Ohio, I felt... More

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