Walmart's Blockchain Technology Can Give Consumers Product Traceability

You’ve probably heard about blockchain as it was initially developed for, the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. But now the technology in the cryptocurrency context is being developed for the foodservice industry.

Blockchain, as defined by Investopedia is a digitized, decentralized, public ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions. Constantly growing as ‘completed’ blocks (the most recent transactions) are recorded and added to it in chronological order, it allows market participants to keep track of digital currency transactions without central record keeping. Each node (a computer connected to the network) gets a copy of the blockchain, which is downloaded automatically.

Most recently, in the food service space, blockchain can be seen used by Walmart and Sam’s Club. The grocery giant has been working closely with IBM to create a digitized handheld system that will allow farmers to give consumers full traceability with a produce product.

The blockchain technology is currently open to those in Walmart’s leafy green food supply chain, in an attempt to ease concern with recent outbreaks in lettuce.

The system will be used to report to stakeholders where a particular head of lettuce came from, during what harvest, and on what particular farm. Allowing government investigators to have a clearer investigation if a consumer gets sick. As opposed to tracking down the tainted lettuce for days, they can find the source within seconds, ideally meaning less wasted produce, less sick people and boosting confidence in the food system.

Will blockchain technology transform the food industry? Learn more in the video above and read more at “Forbes”!

Lucuma, Peru's New Superfood is Making its Way to U.S. Menus

With rich geography like the Andes Mountains and the Amazon rainforest, Peru introduced superfoods quinoa and acai berries to the world. Lucuma, the latest nutritious food hailing from Peru is appearing to menus globally.

The fruit resembles a large, orange-fleshed avocado with a caramel taste profile. Health benefits of lucuma are that it’s high in beta carotene, iron, zinc, calcium, protein, and fiber. As well as containing antioxidants and potassium, which are thought to be good for your heart, immune system, and skin.

Growing at altitudes of about 9,000 feet, it is impossible to find fresh outside of South America due to lucuma’s delicate nature it begins to spoil right after picking.

So how are chefs and retailers like Moon Juice and Walmart acquiring it?

Shipped around the world frozen or in powdered form, lucuma has made its way to menus and homes alike.

As a powder, lucuma is often promoted as a sweetener. Juice bars present it as a booster, but it's popularly found in desserts.

La Mar Cebicheria Peruana in San Francisco serves lucuma ice cream with a chocolate mousse. Rosaliné in Los Angeles creates lucuma ice cream bonbons, and Nazca Mochica in Washington offers it in a tiramisu. Chef Erik Ramirez of Michelin “bib gourmand” restaurant Llama Inn, currently uses lucuma in a mousse but plans to make the fruit a bigger deal at his soon-to-open rotisserie chicken spot Llamita in Manhattan’s West Village.

“We’re going to give lucuma more exposure,” said Ramirez. Planning to offer it in a smoothie mixed with Peruvian coffee. “It’s going to be on display in all its glory.”

Learn more about the Peruvian superfruit taking over menus in the video above and at “Bloomberg.”

FoodMaven Is Solving All of The Industry's Problems, Starting with Food Waste

FoodMaven Is Solving All of The Industry's Problems, Starting with Food Waste

On this episode of The Barron Report, we explore an issue that has been plaguing our industry for years. Patrick Bultema and FoodMaven have been working to completely optimize food distribution systems in Colorado to reduce food waste, and they’re getting really good at it. Hear how FoodMaven is a win-win for producers, restaurateurs, food manufacturers, food banks, and the environment, all in this Earth-saving episode.

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This Food Supply Blockchain Between IBM, Nestlé and Walmart Aims To Improve Food Safety

This Food Supply Blockchain Between IBM, Nestlé and Walmart Aims To Improve Food Safety

Global food safety is a major concern in the world.

Retailers and food companies, like Nestlé and Walmart, have announced a blockchain collaboration with International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), one of the largest information technology companies in the world, to help address concerns and help “strengthen consumer confidence” in the foods purchased.

IBM is tasked with identifying the “most urgent areas” across the global supply chain that would benefit from the blockchain, as reported by “Forbes.” “Many of the critical issues impacting food safety such as contamination, food-borne illness, waste and the economic burden of recalls rest though on a lack of access to information and traceability.”

The blockchain will fill in the gap that currently exists since the supply chain is currently not being overseen and it is hard to trace problems to the actual source.

Data will help identify the source through this proposed blockchain.

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Walmart Aims to Bring Affordable Organic Food to the Masses

Photo Credit: John J Kim//Chicago Tribune

Photo Credit: John J Kim//Chicago Tribune

As the demand for more healthful and organic food increases, many factors come into play — food cost, for one, is a growing concern. Organic products are, of course, more expensive than conventional groceries — so how do we meet the demand of the low- and middle-income markets?

Walmart has made this its most recent mission, and is succeeding. The retail giant has teamed up with Wild Oats to offer organic packaged food set at a price point similar to that of conventional foods. The brand’s selection will reportedly cost 25% less than other organic brands in the store. 

Looking at the bigger picture, this could be a big move for other retailers and supermarkets. Read More