Parmigiano-Reggiano cheesemakers in Italy are testing the use of high-tech, edible microchips to track and authenticate their products, whose name is protected by EU law. Blockchain tracking and real time inventory control are two of the key ways the technology can help. The authentic 90-pound wheels of cheese can cost more than 1000 euros, and the counterfeit market has been estimated at $2 billion annually. Video Spotlight: Parmesan makers microchipping cheese to fight fakes (Sept 3, 2023, CBS News: The National) Why Italy is Attaching Microchips in Parmesan Cheese | Vantage with Palki Sharma (Aug 18, 2023, Firstpost) This post is based on the El País article, Cheesemakers experiment with microchips [...]
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Wendy’s has added a Loaded Nacho Cheeseburger and Queso Fries to the menu. The chef-inspired cheeseburger begins with a quarter-pound patty with poblano queso, crispy corn, tortilla chips, chipotle sauce, American cheese, lettuce, tomato on a jalapeno cheddar bun. The burger is designed as a “nacho platter” on a bun. It took Wendy’s over two years to develop the burger. The Queso Fries required over 20 iterations to develop. This is the first time that Wendy’s has made a complimentary side to go with a new burger or sandwich. Additional options include replacing the hamburger patty with chicken. Video Spotlight: Trending now - Wendy's adds loaded nacho sandwiches, queso fries (Aug [...]
Restrictions on daily transit as well as cargo weight will continue throughout 2024, as the Panama Canal deals with drought that has lowered water levels. Shippers as well as recipients of goods are feeling the impact. (For an earlier post explaining restricted load sizes through the Panama Canal, see this June 2023 post.) Video Spotlight: Drought hampering Panama Canal could have major economic repercussions (Aug 23, 2023, CBS Evening News) Drought causing backups in Panama Canal (Aug 27, 2023, CBS Evening News) This post is based on the Reuters article, Panama Canal water levels at historic lows, restrictions to remain, by Elida Moreno, September 2, 2023; the CNN article, A severe [...]
Customer confusion is not uncommon in drive-thru lanes. Increasing demand, and various order types such as in-person, online, and 3rd party delivery, have complicated the drive-thru line. Many restaurants are adding multiple lines to handle demand, adding complication for the customer. Many Chick-fil-A’s have experienced backups that extend into the street blocking traffic. A new Chick-fil-A in Lafayette, Louisiana, is a recent example. Many of their customers have been driving into the area where employees park. Chick-fil-A employees are working to help customers figure out and efficiently move through the line. Video Spotlight: Double Drive-Thru (Mar 26, 2021, jacuzzibusguy) Chick-fil-A Lunch Rush Aerial View (July 7, 2020, Bryan Boyle) New Lafayette, [...]
In Blair, Nebraska, Dollar General has opened its first dual distribution center. At full capacity, the DC will supply traditional and fresh produce to 1,000 Dollar General stores. The discount retailer expanded fresh produce options recently at its stores. This site was chosen for its central location, quality roads, and hard-working labor. The Blair DC will serve as a hub for distributing products across stores in the U.S. Video Spotlight: How Dollar Stores Quietly Consumed America (Sept 7, 2023, Wendover Productions) Dollar General stores adding produce gets fresh food closer to Little Rock shoppers (Aug 5, 2022, KARK 4 News) This post is based on the Storebrands article, Dollar General [...]
The patent system is outdated. In the US, a patent protects an inventor by preventing others to manufacture, sell, or use the invention for 20 years. In principle, this is a fair reward which spurs innovation and thus benefits us all. In reality, the system is flawed. It protects the first person that files for a patent, whether the invention works or not. Does the system really foster progress? Could AI exploit its flaws even further? This post requires students to evaluate BingChat with GPT-4’s answers to prompts. Video Spotlight: Why are drug prices so high? Investigating the outdated US patent system | Priti Krishtel (February 26, 2020, TED) This post [...]