Weekly reads: Bananacoin, cereal box tops & meal kits

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Weekly reads: Bananacoin, cereal box tops & meal kits

In this food-centric weekly reads: Cryptocurrency that's tied to banana prices, the dark side of clipping box tops for education and how Blue Apron is harming local farms.


crispy-bananacoin
Extra Crispy
Bananacoin Is a New Cryptocurrency Based on Banana Prices

It’s 2018. Iced tea has its own cryptocurrency. Kodak has its own cryptocurrency. So the only thing that would be surprising is if bananas didn’t have their own cryptocurrency. Bananacoin, a not-bitcoin currency “backed by the market value of one kilogram of bananas”, is a real thing and not a rejected Black Mirror plot. If you’re interested in jumping into cryptocurrencies and blockchains but thought it was all a little too hard to wrap your head around...well, I’m not sure this will help, but at least bananas are easier to understand than bitcoin.


wapo-cereal
The Washington Post
A popular school fundraiser is just ‘junk-food marketing to kids,’ experts say

If you’ve been a kid or had a kid over the past four decades, you’re probably familiar with the concept of cutting cereal box tops and other food labels for school-related rewards. It seems like a great idea, but some advocates are celebrating its decline, saying that it’s just a way to market junk food to kids. Most of the foods are sugary snacks that aren’t sold in schools, so the rewards program is a type of stealth advertising. Is it a valid concern, or pearl-clutching by overly worried parties? The answer is probably: yes.


marketplace-csa
Marketplace
Small farmers say meal kits cut into their CSA businesses

Don’t let Blue Apron’s plunging stock price fool you: Meal kits are big business. But they’re also big trouble for farmers participating in CSAs, or community-supported agriculture programs. CSAs deliver produce to local customers on a regular basis, allowing farmers to supplement their income without any middlemen. But as more people opt for ready-to-cook meal kits, participation in CSAs are dwindling. So if you can, support your local farmer! At least until Amazon/Whole Foods starts its own meal kit.

Image: melecis