Food isn't just fuel. It's culture. Tradition. Fashion. And Big Business too. Whether exploring why undocumented immigrants feed America or how the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company of the 1870's is remarkably similar to Amazon of today this show is about that business. Wonder what working at Trader Joe's is like? Whether cage free eggs are really cage free? Whether marijuana legalization might change restaurants forever. Novices, geeks or industry pros love us. Cornucopia will open your eyes and maybe your mouths too. If not what you eat, what you talk about while you are eating.
TRAILER - HERE IN SF: BAMBOOZLING BAY AREA BILLIONAIRES
If you've listened to episode 23, Poor Jack Dorsey and the Search for Meaning Through Food you heard our admonition that if you think we're being unfair to that lanky fellow worth 15 billion don't troll us on Twitter until you listen to the Bonus Episode Bamboozling Bay Area Billionaires. Well it's not ready yet because there was so much juice in the bonus episode of a berry, that we are making this into a regular episode.Please know that we editing our fingernails off trying to hurry the hell up and get it posted.
By the way Square took a nose dive this week, so who knows how many billions he has by the time you read this, but if you see him waiting in line at St. Anthony's for a meal, you really have got to stop drinking so much.
Ep 23: Here in San Francisco: Poor Jack Dorsey and The Search for Meaning Through Food
In this episode we take a look at the anti-Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey and his unconventional approach to living. His lifestyle offers something to marvel at -- okay, laugh at too -- but also provides an opportunity for self-reflection. In other words he's not the only buying stupid things. Though his are way, way, way more expensive than the things most of us buy to “improve" our lives.
One other thing. When we first wrote this episode we weren't going to dive into tech's impact on the city or Dorsey's vocal opposition to a small tax to aid programs for the homeless. But after several drafts we decided leaving it out was a bit like going to the oncologist's office just to read the magazines. In other words, some things are so important they can't ignored.
Listener Favorite: Pilot Episode The History of the Supermarket-From A & P to Amazon
As food shopping and grocery stores have become the center of so much of our pandemic life we thought it would be great to replay our pilot episode. In this episode we’ll look at the history of food retailing in America, how self-service replaced counter service, the way a couple of notable innovators changed how we shop and discuss how today’s retail landscape resembles a florescent-lit Hunger Games minus the bloody sword wounds and gratuitous sex.
Plus what we discovered in our researching and writing is that the issues people are talking about today in regards to Amazon's ever growing power were on the minds of Americans dating back to the 19th century. In other words while the scope and pace of change is new the basis for change remains eerily familiar.
Of course today we can buy groceries everywhere, even while wearing nothing but dirty underwear sitting at home. But not that long ago buying food at gas stations or drug stores was something new. Add in mass merchants, bodegas and corner stores and of course blessed supermarkets too and in case you didn't figure it out before you'll now know why we call our show Cornucopia.
Episode 22: Here in San Francisco: The New Gold Rush
In our new series we'll look at how San Francisco and the Bay area both influence and reflect our national obsession with food. In this episode we'll set the scene. Since the gold rush we've been boom and bust, sometimes crazy rich and stupid too. An anecdote from just before Covid-19 changed where and how we eat sums this up quite well. A young guy wearing a PayPal t-shirt was talking loudly to his friends, proclaiming how much he loved a new coffee shop, adding with excitement that " a coffee and muffin only cost nine dollars."
And while we won't yet be exploring the dramatic way the coronavirus is changing things rest assured we'll be diving into that can of pandemic basted worms in episodes this spring.
One last thing. Listen and let us know what you think. Follow us wherever you listen. Hate mail or love letters. Either way we'd love to hear from. Actually, we prefer the fan mail but even if you feel otherwise it would still ne nice (ummm...interesting...deflating...err good anyway) to know what you think.
Ep 021: Open The Refrigerator Door Hal. Can iGrabit's Artificial Intelligence Take on Amazon
In the age of Alexa, Siri and Amazon's never ending reach, it might not be a surprise that a new app can monitor your what you buy and eat and automatically create and send shopping lists to your store for delivery or pickup. What might be surprising is that iGrabit's new app could even the playing field between retail giants and the pipsqueaks, allowing independent stores the ability to offer blink of an eye technology that to date has been the limited to behemoths like Wal-Mart, Amazon, Target and national supermarket chains. Currently available only in South Florida, iGrabit is about to expand to Chicago and New York. While we don't know whether the ability to link shoppers and stores with seamless technology will reduce divorce rates or the need to borrow a cup of sugar from the neighbors, the competitive landscape between brick and mortar and online is changing even quicker than we thought.
EP 20: POV Amazon's Greed, Whole Foods, Costco Trader Joe's and the Myth of The Good Wage
While Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods has received a lot of media attention, there has been little discussion of the impact on Whole Foods' employees. And the impact has been huge. But while Amazon's gutting of employee profit sharing is just plain greedy, it's nothing new. Ever since the last quarter of the 20th century corporations have been reducing wages, gutting unions and getting richer in the process. And the conventional wisdom about good places to work, places like Costco, Trader Joe's and others, ignores the fact that in 1980 the average grocery store worker, when wages are adjusted for inflation made nearly twice as much as today.