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Health Science

Study Suggests Eating Kimchi Could Help Protect Against Covid-19

As scientists have been scrambling for potential treatments and vaccines to combat against the COVID-19 pandemic, some have begun testing different unique foods that could play a role in disease prevention.

One food, kimchi, has shown in an early study to be a possible food that could help protect against COVID-19 when consumed.

The pre-printed study took a look at data of death rates from different countries and found that those that eat fermented vegetables, including fermented cabbage products, tended to have a lower death rate. The countries surveyed in this study were European ones, but authors noted that this could be similar for other countries with lots of fermented vegetables in their diets, which includes kimchi.

One could infer from these results that kimchi, sauerkraut, and other fermented cabbage products could help in protection against the disease as a result.

Scientifically, the theory behind this is that fermented vegetables like cabbages have high antioxidant activity, and can inhibit an entry point for coronavirus into the cells called the ACE-2 pathway. ACE-2 is a protein on the membranes of cells that some coronaviruses, including the one responsible for this outbreak, can enter the cell through.

Could eating more kimchi and other fermented cabbage products help prevent you from getting COVID-19? It’s possible, but this study was done to establish some possible hypotheses on how diets could affect the spread of the pandemic. That means that while the possibility is there, now is the time for massive epidemiological research to prove that it’s actually the case.

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Grocery Health Science

Walmart Requiring Face Masks To Enter Starting July 20th

Walmart has added on to the growing list of retailers implementing face mask requirements for customers to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in the United States.

Photo: ungvar // Shutterstock

Starting on July 20th, all Walmart customers will need to be wearing a face mask to gain entry into stores to shop. Walmart will be deploying trained “Health Ambassadors” to remind guests of the new requirements.

At Walmart’s Costco-like subsidiary, Sam’s Club, complimentary masks will be available for members, who can also purchase face masks inside of the store.

Walmart has cited the CDC in their decision to add this policy, saying that “face coverings help decrease the spread of COVID-19, and because the virus can be spread by people who don’t have symptoms and don’t know they are infected, it’s critically important for everyone to wear a face covering in public and social distance.”

The new policy was announced the same day that Starbucks’ own face mask requirements are scheduled to take effect. It also comes shortly after CDC Director Robert Redfield stated that if everyone wore face masks and practiced social distancing, COVID-19 could be controlled within 1-2 months.

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Drinks Health

NO MASKS, NO SERVICE: Starbucks’ New Rule For Customers Starts July 15th

Starbucks just updated its policies for how the coffee chain plans to continue to serve customers through the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the biggest additions is that the company will introduce a face mask requirement for all customers entering their stores.

The new policy, which goes into effect July 15th, marks a significant change of language from how Starbucks previously approached face masks. Previous language asked customers who came into stores to wear them, but did not require them to have one to gain entry.

Baristas have, and will continue, to wear facial coverings while in stores.

During a time when face masks have been questionably politicized, Starbucks is taking an informed stance on safety recommendations to help limit the spread of COVID-19 while folks are picking up coffee, beverages, and breakfast.

These changes also come as some states have begun to reopen both indoor and outdoor dining, with safety precautions, for customers. However, as COVID-19 cases have resurged across the United States, several areas have re-closed indoor dining operations.

For those who still object to wearing face masks but still want Starbucks, delivery, curbside pickup, and drive-thru orders are alternative options to going inside. This is only available, however, “at select locations where a local government mandate is not in place,” according to the new policy.

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#foodbeast Feel Good FOODBEAST SPONSORED

Foot Locker Partners With Foodbeast to Deliver 500 Meals to 100% COVID-19 Hospital

Last week, Foodbeast teamed up with Foot Locker LA and HiFi Kitchen, a local Filipino restaurant to announce a delivery of 500 meals to the Los Angeles Surge Hospital over the span of two weeks.

The hospital, which sprang up in the formerly closed St. Vincent Medical Center, has become one of Los Angeles’ treatment epicenters, as it remains a 100% COVID-19 facility.

The meals look to alleviate the ever busy essential staff, whose shifts have left them with little time to eat any substantial meal, according to sources on the ground at the hospital. Options looked to account for any dietary restrictions as well, with workers choosin from Chicken Adobo, pescatarian La’Ing, or vegetarian La’Ing rice bowls.

In addition, Melissa’s Produce will be donating fresh produce to the hospital’s staff weekly for the next eight weeks, so as to make eating healthy ever convenient.

Austin, TX-based distillery Garrison Brothers contributed to the cause as well, donating 200 6oz bottles of their housemade hand sanitizer, which has become one of the city’s rarest commodities.

“Just to be able to give back in some way and show our appreciation for these literal heroes putting their well-being on the line to care for the health of others is special. Let’s all go show love to medical, essential, and front line workers, and give them their roses while they can smell them.” said Reach Guinto, Foodbeast managing editor, who helped deliver the first batch of 250 meals last Friday.

The next round of meals will be delivered Friday, May 8. Stay tuned to Foodbeast for updates, as well as any news regarding food related pandemic relief.


Created in partnership with Foot Locker LA.

Categories
News

The U.S. Could Soon Be Seeing A Meat Shortage, Here’s What To Expect

You might very well see fewer meat options the next time you’re at the grocery store, as America may soon be facing a meat shortage in the not-too-distant future while the COVID-19 pandemic continues across the globe. This also means you might experience elevated meat costs, or limited selections while dining out. Yes, it sucks, but it’s reality right now.

Bloomberg reports that with slaughterhouses across the country closing down over workers falling ill to COVID-19, meat may be scarce in grocery stores in the months to come.

John Tyson, chairman of Tyson Foods, Inc, said in a statement that even if plants and facilities were to shut down for only a few months, that would equate to the loss of millions of pounds of meat. Animals such as chicken, pigs, and cattle will face depopulation resulting from the closure of processing facilities.

“The food supply chain is breaking,” Tyson says.

This shortage has already been affecting the fast food industry as KTLA reported 18 percent of Wendy’s stores across the United States have already stopped serving hamburgers due to meat closures. Due to this, the chain has shifted to highlighting their chicken sandwiches.

Folks, even with meat becoming scarce for a while, be sure to practice safe habits when shopping and never buy more than you need. Otherwise, this pandemic just continues on.

Categories
Health

Costco Now REQUIRES You To Wear A Mask Before Entering Their Warehouse

As more and more people flock to Costco to stock up  during this period of self isolation, the national warehouse club has been having to update their policies pretty frequently to ensure the safety of all its members and guests. The latest in these policies is a new requirement that everyone looking to enter their warehouse will be required to wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Effective May 4, the company announced that all Costco members and guests will have to wear a mask or face covering that covers the mouth and nose at all times while inside their warehouses.

The only exceptions will be children under the age of two or individuals who can’t wear a face covering because of an existing medical condition.

Costco also stresses that this policy is definitely not a substitute for social distancing (which should always be practiced throughout this pandemic). Looks like if you’re planning to go to Costco next week, you better have a mask ready. Otherwise you’ll be waiting in that long line for nothing.

Categories
Entrepreneurship Restaurants

Gozney Offers Free Outdoor Oven to Out of Work Pizza Chefs

Photo: Rich Webley for Gozney

Life has a tendency to queue the positive up to follow the negative. Reduced to take out and delivery, the coronavirus has dealt the restaurant industry a massive blow. The future is uncertain for small businesses and there’s industry-wide job loss. Thankfully, uncertainty breeds inventiveness and the way the world has responded to COVID-19 has been nothing short of inventive. 

In such an example, UK-based oven maker Gozney, known for the Gozney Roccbox outdoor portable pizza oven, has just announced that they will be offering free ovens to out-of-work chefs.

Launched in 2016, the Gozney Rocbox is widely recognized as the #1 outdoor portable pizza oven. Using the same professional design and materials, it’s the world’s first restaurant-grade outdoor oven, reaching temperatures of a fiery 950°F/500°C. With just the Gozney Roccbox, a smartphone, and social media, you’ll essentially be able to transform your home into the neighborhood’s new go-to pizza spot. 

Gozney wanted to give out-of-work chefs the opportunity to still earn money doing what they love, while feeding a world full of hungry quarantiners. How it works is, if you’re a chef that’s interested, you can apply here. Successful submissions will receive a Gozney Roccbox free of charge, along with an affiliate link which tracks your sales. For every sale received within 60 days from visitors through your social media, you earn 10% commission. 

Ironically, yearning for some semblance of our previous normalcy has given way to what may be new norms. Delivery apps are helping restaurants from going under and us from homemade-induced cabin fever.

Maybe a few free Gozney Roccbox’s will help save a number of talented chefs. The new initiative is only available to chefs within the US & UK in limited locations.

Photo: Rich Webley for Gozney
Categories
Features Opinion Restaurants

LA Restaurant Owner Journaled Every Day of the Pandemic And It Is Eye-Opening

HomeState

Briana Valdez is a self-described disciple of the restaurant industry. Every day she lives out the crucial tenet of creating a wonderful dining experience for her customers that goes well beyond just the food. Having spent time at legendary chef Thomas Keller’s Bouchon in Beverly Hills, CA, Valdez soaked up everything she learned on what it takes to run a restaurant  — including maintaining a solid base of integrity for not only customers, but staff as well.

Being from Texas, Valdez had her sights set all along on developing the concept that would become HomeState: a restaurant that would serve as her ode to the Lone Star state’s cuisine. First opened back in December 2013, HomeState has since carved itself into the Los Angeles dining scene by serving up distinctive and memorable Texas staples like queso, brisket sandwiches, Frito pies, and crave-worthy breakfast tacos. Her first customer was her mother. Her second? “[He] was a guy who had just moved from San Antonio a few months before. He still comes in a few times a week and has become a good friend,” recalled Valdez. She continued, “He credits HomeState with staving off homesickness and giving him community.”

Growing to three busy locations across the Los Angeles area, HomeState — and as a whole, the city’s robust dining scene — was thriving. That is, all up until just a month ago. The beginning of March was a precipice that the restaurant industry stood at before the COVID-19 pandemic shoved it into a downward spiral of survival, uncertainty, and upheaval. Restaurants have since had to maneuver through a mishmash of mandates that have forced them to either close indefinitely or turn to new business models and operations as a stopgap to the loss of revenue. What’s more, countless jobs in the industry have been lost, leading to a perplexity and lack of confidence in how the recovery will be.

In the state of California alone, the California Restaurant Association was the second largest private employer, with as much as 1.4 million individuals employed, pre-pandemic. And within that astounding number of people, small businesses and those that keep them running were dealt a piercing blow.

briana valdez homestate

For Valdez, the precarious state of the restaurant industry just as the COVID-19 crisis was hitting the U.S. became something she couldn’t ignore. She began journaling and documenting the series of events that have unfolded for her business throughout the pandemic, from pre-quarantine up until recently. Even before Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s executive order to temporarily shut down bars, nightclubs, restaurants (except takeout and delivery), entertainment venues, and other establishments on the evening of March 15th, she knew she had to take preemptive action to anticipate just how drastic the coronavirus concerns were going to affect her business.

And it was the very integrity that she learned coming up that would be her North Star to steer HomeState through the murkiness of this new reality.

What’s resulted is a staggering and intimate glimpse into how the pandemic has affected her and HomeState. And though this example may be an account through Valdez’s lens, such may be what it has been for other small restaurant owners everywhere trying to stay afloat and navigate their businesses through this health and economic crisis.

Below is Briana Valdez’s account from her journaling.


Friday 3/6/20: We received word that SXSW would be cancelled and began reaching out to local bands to play the following weekend on our patio, like a mini South By in LA. Sounded like a great idea at the time.

Saturday 3/7/20: I had family in town. We spent hours catching up on the patio at HomeState Highland Park. It was crowded and overflowing with laughter and good times. Later that night I went to another crowded fundraiser.

Sunday 3/8/20: HomeState celebrated International Women’s Day on our patio by inviting a group of 25 attendees to a panel filled with the women who run/operate HomeState. Later that day, I went to a big Sunday supper at a friend’s house, with no less than 20 people.

Tuesday-Wednesday 3/10-20, 3/11/20: Letters from other companies were pouring in via social media and email. I wasn’t sure what we could say that would be productive or meaningful. I held off on releasing anything from HomeState.

Thursday 3/12/20: With some action items in place we sent a newsletter to our guests notifying them of changes to our operation including elimination of all communal items, free delivery, and curbside pickup.

Thursday 3/12/20: Evening into night I started reading more about the rates of spread and the importance of acting quickly. I couldn’t sleep.

Friday 3/13/20, 3:00am: I couldn’t shake the urgency to do something drastic, like close our three restaurants, in order to keep our teams and community safe. It felt crazy. I came into the office at 7 am, and couldn’t get there fast enough. When our team arrived, I shared my concerns and the conviction to close the restaurants to the public. Thankfully, everyone backed the idea 100% and sprung into action. We decided to close to the public at 2pm that day. That left little time to notify guests or our team. I knew communication would be key to pulling this off quickly, orderly, and with our team’s morale intact. I had to notify our mgmt team, our 150 team members, our investors, and vendors, and most importantly, our guests.
    – 1:30 pm: We had a crowded dining room finishing their lunch. It was raining outside. We posted signs on the front windows saying “To reduce the spread of COVID-19, we are serving our guests via delivery + to-go only. Thank you for understanding.” We allowed guests to finish their meals and kindly prevented additional guests from entering. As we let our team members know the plan, some were relieved, others were scared, others cried. I related to them all.
    – 2:00pm: We locked the doors at both locations and immediately pivoted to curbside pick-up and delivery only. I believe no other restaurant in LA had closed their dining rooms. 

Saturday 3/14/20: First full day with closed dining rooms. It was raining. We had team members outside wearing gloves and using walkie talkies to communicate with team members inside to avoid contact as much as possible. We were trying to figure it out but knew that we had made the right decision to close the dining rooms.

Sunday 3/15/20: Governor Newsom and Mayor Garcetti issued a mandate that all dining rooms close.

Wednesday 3/18/20, 1:00pm: Got on a conference call with fellow chefs and leaders in the hospitality industry to discuss how this impacts us, our employees, and auxiliary vendors and what we can do to mobilize in an effort of support and relief.

Thursday 3/19/20, 8:45pm-1am: Had a roundtable call with the leadership team to discuss pros/cons of keeping stores open for pickup and delivery. What were the risks and benefits to our team members? What were the risks and benefits for our community? The meeting was held on Google Hangouts so we could all see each other. We kept it brutally honest and tried to laugh here and there. Ultimately, we decided what would best serve the overall community was to radically reduce our menu and launch a General Store. This would achieve our overarching goals: 1. Keep our team employed but provide the ability to keep 6’ apart while working. 2. Continue providing food for our community in the form of tacos but ADDING much needed pantry essentials like eggs, flour, milk, butter, and products our vendors were/are still able to provide.

HomeState

Friday 3/20/20: We closed our Playa Vista location and set about planning out the General Store menu and operations. ABC (California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control) announced relaxed regulations allowing us to offer cocktails, beer and wine for pickup and delivery. A big boost to our guests and our ability to generate revenue. Margaritas started flowing the next morning, much to our guests’ delight and appreciation!

Saturday 3/21/20, 8:00am: We launched the first ever HomeState General Store at our Hollywood location, shifting our entire way of doing business and interacting with each other and our guests. It was wild. It was crazy. We got lots of praise and some negative commentary when we started selling toilet paper. We wanted to fill the gap of what was most in demand for the community so we drove an hour to pick up toilet paper from our only vendor who could find any to sell us. Our cost was $2.12 plus the drive. We put it on the menu for $3 and people were outraged, one person even told us that we would “burn in hell.” We all did our best to focus on the positive while continuing the hunt for cheaper toilet paper. We could have just removed it from the offerings but we know people were desperately searching for supply. Thankfully, within a few days, we found a cheaper option and reduced the price to $1. We are learning how to be a grocer minute by minute. Grateful to have found an alternative to closing our doors and laying off our team.
We continue to work with incredible vendors who are a pipeline for much needed goods and have workers to employ as well. The response has been overwhelmingly positive.

Sunday 3/22/20: We strengthened the General Store model with everything we learned on Day 1. Went MUCH smoother.

HomeState

Monday 3/21/20: Began writing letters to state legislators and local officials about the devastating impact on the hospitality industry at large.

Tuesday 3/24/20: We closed all stores for deep clean, allowed teams to rest while we rolled up our sleeves to get General Store #2 ready in the Highland Park location.

Wednesday 3/25/20: We launched the General Store at Highland Park, offering products like olive oil, whole chickens, ground beef and… MARGARITAS. Can’t make margaritas fast enough. I feel like it’s medicine for the city, helping us all cope.

Friday 3/27/20: Watching live coverage of LA CITY council as they hear from fellow operators. Decisions will be made in the next few days that will have lasting effects on HomeState plus the restaurant industry as a whole, including many of our dear friends. Only time will tell. Now we wait, and keep fighting as hard as we can to survive.

 

Feature Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash