Wal-Mart: “Welcome, Ugly Apples.”

Wal-Mart has become one of the largest links in the food supply chain to take a massive step towards curbing food waste; the grocer is now purposefully selling blemished apples.  America’s largest grocer is currently piloting sales of weather-dented apples at a discount in 300 Florida stores.  “We’re excited to announce that after months of discussion, a brand of apples from Washington state, called “I’m Perfect,” will make its debut in Walmart stores this week,” said Shawn Baldwin, senior vice president for global food sourcing, produce and floral for Wal-Mart U.S.

Farmers and up against a constant battle with nature and the produce often shows it.  Cosmetic issues have traditionally kept sun-spotted, crooked, and pocked product and fruit from store shelves, despite being perfectly delicious and nutritious.  These rejects usually end up in landfills wasting away and contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.  “we’ve typically found that growers reported [cosmetic-related] losses ranging up to 20 percent of production in a given year, but it could be higher in years of bad weather,” said JoAnne Berkenkamp, a senior advocate for food and agriculture at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Fortunately, more retailers are taking steps to correct the problem.  Whole Foods Markets is operating a similar program in Northern California, and Giant Eagle is piloting something similar in the Pittsburgh area.

To read more, click here.

Floyd Cardoz Returns to NYC Dining with Paowalla

In 1998, Floyd Cardoz shook up the New York City dining scene when he opened Table with Danny Meyer and the Union Square Hospitality Group.  Cardoz made his mark there for more than 10 years before moving on to North End Grill and White Street.  Now, after having spent time with Mumbai running his acclaimed Bombay Canteen there, he is opening Paowalla this week on the western edge of SoHo.

Paowalla, which means a person employed to make or deliver bread, is part Portuguese and Sanskrit.  However, this is not a continuation of the Bread Bar that existed at Tabla.  While this new restaurant will bring back some familiar favorites, it is largely an attempt to update New York’s comprehension of Indian cuisine, and reflect who Cardoz is as a chef today.  According to Cardoz, America is still learning Indian cuisine, and suggests it is in a rut like “where Italian food was before Mario Batali did Babbo.”

The menu consists of items pulled from India’s diverse regional cuisine; pork ribs vindaloo from Goa, banana leaf-wrapped skate from Kerala, and roast goat fro Hyderabad.  The restaurant will center on a large wood-fired oven, with which the chef will bake a range of naan varieties, Cheddar cheese-stuffed Kulcha, and Portuguese sandwich pao buns.

New York City has seen an expansion of late in Indian cuisine: Indian Accent opened in Midtown, Pondicheri in NoMad just last week, Babu Ji on the Lower East Side, and Tapestry in the West Village.

To read more about Floyd Cardoz’ project, click here.