Collective action, money, and the definition of success
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One of the biggest fights in food is about to become a civil war

How the bitter debate over a producer-funded organic "checkoff" program reveals a movement's growing pains—and the fault lines of American agriculture.

By Joe Fassler | Read more
In California's "Food Court," a Kona controversy

Spoiler alert: It's not brewed in Hawaii. And if two beer drinkers who filed suit have their way, it could cost the Craft Beer Alliance millions.

By Patrick Clinton | Read more

In anticipation of South by Southwest, we now interrupt our regularly scheduled news programming for this week’s "Shit Startups Do."

Drambuie on the doorstep. Perhaps you’ve indulged in our recent coverage on how a micro-revolt in the mega food delivery business is challenging Seamless and GrubHub customers to order direct from local restaurants rather than the apps, for which restaurants pay hefty fees. But if the thought of having to add three more minutes to your digital delivery experience drives you to drink, never fear: you’ll soon be able to do just that—on demand. Read more. 
—Kate Cox

Brady barley vs. DiCaprio dogfish. Tom Brady doesn’t eat nightshades. Or fruits, really, according to his private chef. Or drink caffeine.

That's fortunate for vegan meal kit company Purple Carrot, which announced on Tuesday a partnership with Brady’s TB12 brand. You can now eat like the quarterback and his supermodel wife for a mere $78 a week. The Brady-inspired subscription service, which is now accepting pre-orders, comes with three different meals for two, ringing in at a price point of about $13 per meal.

There’s reason to believe football fans will take the bait. When the quarterback launched a $50 snack box last summer (Caco Goji Energy Squares! Buffalo Almonds and Ranch Cashews!), it sold out quickly. Apparently, niche diets get a lot less niche once the right celebrity signs on.

Vegan pigskin not your thing? Climate activist Leonardo DiCaprio also got in on the meal kit game this week. He invested in LoveTheWild, a frozen seafood company that focuses on sustainable sourcing. Perhaps his trip on the Titanic fostered an undying love for the open sea, as none of the startup’s fish are caught from it—LoveTheWild uses aquaculture techniques to raise its fish in ponds, enclosed ocean pens, and artificial channels.  

Dicaprio-endorsed barramundi with mango sriracha chutney will set you back about $7. Red trout, $10. A meal funded in part by the Citibike-texting wolf of Wall Street: Priceless.  
—Claire Brown

Who's benefiting from the billions invested in food startups? Not Middle America

On the failure of Oklahoma City's Urban Agrarian—and why local food is struggling outside the coastal bubbles

By Chelsey Simpson | Read more
See you in the Lone Star State!

We'll be in Austin for SXSW. If you will be too, don't miss our daytime panel on busting food media silos and a small-producer food showcase and party that night! Both are going down on the Saturday, the 11th. RSVP here. 
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