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04.12.2013 admin
Whole Foods Market is in on a mission to battle food deserts and is set to open an 18,000 square-foot store at 63rd Street and Halsted, in the impoverished Chicago community of Englewood, by 2016. Currently there is just an old parking lot for stores that once thrived in the area on the 63-acre plot. Whole Foods Market is a high-end grocer that is known for its pricier organic foods and many are questioning the move to build in the poverty-stricken South Side community.
The store will be across from the rebuilt Kennedy-King College, which is a cornerstone of the area. The South and West side communities have long had the problem of few groceries and healthy eating choices and the Englewood store is the fruition of hard work. March 21, 2013 by Scott Bomboy Share:EmailPennsylvania lawmakers will vote Thursday afternoon on ending restrictive liquor laws that date back to 1933, but the Prohibition-era booze battle is far from over.
Pennsylvania and Utah are the only two states that kept monopolies on the sales of beer, wine, and spirits in the decades after the 18th Amendment was repealed and Prohibition ended. The state’s House of Representatives will hold a vote on a complicated resolution to privatize sales to consumers, which in itself is a first for the Commonwealth. In its current form, the law would require the Liquor Control Board to sell most of its proprietary state stores to private interests, with people who have dedicated beer distributorships getting the first chance to buy licenses. Currently, Pennsylvania consumers need to travel to specially designated state-controlled stores to buy wine and spirits, with limited amounts of beer sold at bars, restaurants, and a handful of grocery stores.
If the resolution is passed by a majority of the Republican-controlled House on Thursday afternoon, it moves onto the state Senate on April 9, where it will likely be rewritten.
The law’s future in the Pennsylvania Senate is far from certain, as a united coalition of unions, social conservatives, drunk-driving opponents, beer brewers, and Democratic lawmakers oppose it for various reasons. Historically, that coalition has been very successful in articulating its points and rallying opposition across political and social lines. The supporters of the liquor privatization law include Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett and many Republicans, tea party members, and fiscal conservatives. But Corbett’s powerful predecessors lost the booze battle in previous years to a fight that has its roots in the second term of former Governor Gifford Pinchot in 1933. As a vocal “dry” in late 1933, Pinchot used his position as governor to make sure the state’s liquor system made buying booze difficult. In the past, the liberal-conservative alliance defeated efforts to privatize liquor by two powerhouse Republican governors, Dick Thornburgh and Tom Ridge.
The board’s counterclaim is that its system is one of the largest bulk buyers of liquor in the world, and it passes those savings on to consumers.
The board’s supporters also point to maintaining union rather than private-sector jobs, the board’s ability to control responsible access to liquor, its ability to protect the long-time investment of beer distributors in the system, and the constant flow of revenue from the board to taxpayers as benefits of the traditional system. Corbett and privatization supporters hope to realize $800 million from the sales of liquor and beer sales licenses.
Privatization opponents will also point to the struggles of another state, Washington, which recently ended its Prohibition-era battle over liquor.
In November 2011, Washington voters decided in a referendum to end its Pennsylvania-style liquor system. Taxes aren’t currently part of Pennsylvania’s proposed law, except that the state will continue to levy an 18 percent Johnstown Flood Tax on liquor products, which dates back to 1936. Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation and Wendy Weiser of the Brennan Center for Justice explore recent court rulings on the right to vote in America.
The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia inspires active citizenship as the only place where people across America and around the world can come together to learn about, debate, and celebrate the greatest vision of human freedom in history, the U.S. While beer volume was up across all retail channels through July 8, supermarkets still lag other channels of trade, according to a report from Chicago-based SymphonyIRI Group. The home-delivery snack box trend has expanded rapidly over the last few years, to the point that you can find just about any kind of specialized box, from gluten-free to Paleo-diet-friendly. Most of the founders I spoke with credit savvier consumers for the proliferation of these snack-of-the-month clubs—best described as subscription-based food services that deliver a box of goodies to your door. Founded in late 2011 by Aihui Ong, a software engineer with a passion for food, Love With Food is part snack box business, part charity. Based on the volume and variety, I definitely felt like I got my money's worth, and adding coupons for a few of the items was a nice touch.
What sets this two-year-old snack-of-the-month company apart is that it lets you choose what you want in your own boxes.

Despite the relatively streamlined website, I couldn't figure out how to put my subscription on hold—there wasn't an easy "cancel" button on the account page—but my correspondence with customer service via email was quick and easy. This company, which launched two years ago, is the most expensive option on the list—but it's also the sharpest. The website is simple and easy to use, but the search function didn't work that well; key terms such as "flax," "fig," and "sesame" turned up no results. How it works: Frequency is weekly, every other week, or monthly, and you can pause or cancel at any time.
Like Nibblr, the website is simple and clean-lined, though it has a lot more specific categories to search (including "flapjacks," British for oat-based granola bars). Only 532 Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings have been constructed, but his vision and impact loom large in the world of architecture. The team behind the concept belongs to London-based architectural firm Foster + Partners, which is headed up by starchitect Norman Foster. The Prairie style is a hallmark of Wright’s famed “organic architecture” philosophy, which argued that any architectural design that “should be suited to its environment and be a product of its place, purpose and time,” according to the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust. The plans for Chicago’s new 20,000-square-foot store have made it through the approval process and will be presented publicly on Thursday, 9to5Mac reports.
It isn’t clear what Wright, who clearly was never exposed to the technology wave that came after his death, would think of his influence on his hometown Apple store. Great brands are built from within–and it starts with an organization’s people and culture. That would take away much of the power from the state’s Liquor Control Board, one of the biggest buyers of booze in the world. Grocery stores would be able to sell wine, though probably not beer, and big-box stores and pharmacies would sell wine, with limited beer sales. The state’s voters also have approved, in various polls, moves to allow liquor sales at retail and convenience stores, like many other states, and more products in more stores.
Private competition was the evil that Pinchot really feared, because of the potential for political corruption. And the state has changed its laws in recent years to extend store hours and offer some products at grocery stores and other outlets. Prices were higher for hard liquor after privatization, reports a local newspaper as of January 2013, because of taxes that were tacked onto the law.
But being the snack-obsessive that I am, I was most interested in testing out the bigger and broader options, some of the best of which are reviewed here.
They also point to the lack of innovation in standard grocery and convenience stores, which are more focused on the bottom line than selling unique and independent labels.
The box also had a card listing every snack included, along with a description (and Twitter handle of the company); this came in handy to remind me what I liked even after I'd eaten it in case I wanted to order more directly from Love With Food website. Subscribers also earn points with each box, which can be redeemed online for individual snacks they want more of (100 points = $1).
Subscribers can choose from more than 120 products that are free of high fructose corn syrup, trans fat, and artificial colors, sweeteners and flavors; filters like dietary needs and taste (such as savory, sweet, and spicy) make the website easy to navigate and fun to use.
And though this one is on the pricier end, you get enough snacks to last at least a few weeks (assuming you adhere to the serving sizes). It all starts with the website, which really is a work of art; I challenge you to visit and not go down the rabbit hole of impeccably photographed food. The price comes out to $60 per month, so it's best for that person who is committed to supporting homegrown brands and quality goods, rather than someone who just wants the convenience of snacks delivered to their door.
When I found my way to the snacks I had received, I noticed that many of my opinions didn't match up with the overall "Love it" ratings: the pretzel pearls came in at 42% (I would have said "No thanks"), while the cashew mix ranked 21% ("Like it" for me). Also like Nibblr, rating your snack box is a huge part of the process and helps the company customize deliveries. They initially come every two weeks, but you can choose to get them every four weeks or even weekly. Apple will pay its respects to Wright, who headed to the Great Drafting Table in the Sky in 1959, with the design for a new flagship store in Chicago, where Wright made his home.
If you squint, the view from the river almost recalls Wright’s iconic Fallingwater home. Assuming the design plans are approved, locals and visitors can look forward to seeing 32-foot-tall glass walls and a glassy-yet-classy presence on the river’s edge, replacing a vacant food court at the south end of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile shopping district, Chicagoist notes.

Once a quarter, Love With Food invites celebrity chefs such as Ming Tsai and Andrew Zimmern to curate boxes.
If you'd rather not decide for yourself, pre-made boxes like Picnic Season and Fall Feast are also available. Like Love With Food, NatureBox donates a meal for every box it ships—the company says it's on track to donate over 1 million this year. The company champions what it calls "indie food"—made-in-America, small-batch goods that use mostly fair trade and organic ingredients, with cute packaging.
I could have used a second (or third) serving of the Sesa-Me & You (sesame honey almonds), but the Stuck on Flax (flax sea salt pretzel pearls) felt like they were giving me cavities while I ate them. It made me curious what the highest-ranking snacks were—perhaps a tab the website could incorporate in the future.
According to an article on Market Watch, more than 15,000 new ratings are generated per hour. Craft beer represents 11% of supermarket dollar sales year-to-date in 2012, up from 9.5% in all of 2011. The focus is on organic or all-natural goods with no artificial flavors or colors, trans fats, hydrogenated oils, or high-fructose corn syrup. Users are very active on the company's website, writing about and rating (from 1 to 5 stars) individual snacks; one item had more than 1,000 reviews. The seasoned curry cashews were the highlight of the Oh My Thai mix, which also had raisins and toasted coconut.
The format is essentially the same as Nibblr: boxes contain four individually packaged and pre-portioned snacks. Private-label beer sales, which more than doubled in the supermarket and drug channels in 2011, to just over 2 million cases, are on pace to surpass that level in 2012 with 1.1 million in case volume year-to-date.
The cheery red box I received was a grab bag of somewhat random single-serving items that skewed sweet—I could have used a few more salty or savory options (or even a second bag of the addictive 479 Degree black truffle-white cheddar popcorn). The Pistachio Power Clusters— nut squares with almonds, cashews, and pistachios— were a crunchy treat, while the French Toast Granola (maple-flavored granola with pecans) tasted too sugary for me. Full nutritional info can be found online, though each package is labeled with a symbol that describes its health benefit, from having a serving of fruit to being a source of protein.
The dark-chocolate-covered blueberries by Emily's Chocolate and chocolate-chip biscotti from Biscotti di Suzy weren't anything special, but the individually wrapped pieces of TCHO chocolate—including Mokaccino, made with Blue Bottle Coffee—made up for it. I used the Cherry Berry Bonanza (dried cranberries, cherries, and blueberries) in my cereal every morning —it saved me from having to buy that week's worth of dried fruit. There was not one thing I didn't like or wanted more of once it was gone (except maybe for the pickles—that was one huge jar). There's also a tab for "undiscovered foods," which indicates the snacks that you personally have not yet tried, which is a nice touch.
And of course, services should be convenient, giving you the ability to start and stop whenever you want. The Back to Nature honey graham sticks were like that somewhat healthy dessert you put into your kid's lunch; for me, they hit the spot when I wanted something just a little sweet.
The box also includes a pamphlet that illustrates the serving size for each snack, which made it clear that I was eating way too many of both the Masa Crisps (mini corn chips with flax seeds) and Roasted Kettle Kernels (honey-coated toasted corn that made me never want to eat a salty corn nut again). In general, I've never been a fan of paying more for pre-portioned anything, but if nothing else, Nibblr showed me how much dried fruit I should be eating (a lot less than I usually do). And though I was skeptical at first of the small pouch of seasoned pitted olives ("packed loose without the juice!"), they were surprisingly good. The pamphlet also mentions ways to use them in recipes, though telling me to sprinkle dried cherries over Greek yogurt for "tart texture" or serve masa crisps with a homemade dip (without providing a recipe for said dip) wasn't that helpful. Users can go online and rate the products, from "Love it" to "No thanks." While you can't choose exactly what you get, the more you rate, the more the company will know what you like and don't like, so your box still maintains some element of surprise. Sure, it had somewhat cardboard-y mini chocolate cookies and white chocolate "buttons," but hazelnuts and a lot of sunflower seeds outnumbered them.

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