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Yelping About Yelp; Massive Candy Bar Recall

Seven things to know today.

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Late last week Yelp canned an employee after she wrote a letter to the listing site's CEO, Jeremy Stoppelman, and then posted it on the internet. First off, maybe it wasn't the most professional way to handle dissatisfaction with one's job, and maybe some millennials are lazy, as a lot of people (including other millennials) are trying really hard to point out, but that is all besides the point. The point is: Yelp pays some of its employees as little as $12.25 per hour. After taxes, that's $8.15 per hour. If Talia Jane was working for a small, family-owned operation maybe this would be okay. But she was working for a company that, as of last year, was said to be worth $3.5 billion dollars. It's true that Stoppelman has to please shareholders, but his response to the whole thing has been awfully cold. He says it's not up to him to pay a living wage in the Bay Area, it's up to the Bay Area to lower its rents. He can shift the blame all he wants. If working for Yelp means living in poverty we're sure the Bay Area's best will soon find other work. Meanwhile, Talia Rose will probably be able to pay her rent for a few more months thanks to the generosity of complete strangers.

In other news:

— The James Beard Foundation has named its 2016 America's Classics Award Honorees: Michigan's Al Ameer Restaurant; upstate New York's Brooks' House of BBQ; Matt's Place Drive-In in Montana; Mississippi's Bully's Restaurant; and New Mexico's Rancho de Chimayó Restaurante.

Matt's Place. [Photo: Bill Addison]

— Modern Farmer reviews Michael Pollan's new Netflix series Cooked and enjoys the visual poetry and enlightening history: "The series is thoroughly entertaining, and makes a strong case for getting off the couch at the end of each episode and into the kitchen. 'Is there any practice less selfish, any time less wasted than preparing something delicious and nourishing for the people you love?'"

— Uh oh: There's a widespread candy bar recall in Europe: Mars and Snickers bars are being recalled in Germany and the Netherlands (plus 53 other, as-yet-unnamed countries) after some packages were found to contain pieces of plastic.

— Big Food meets Big Pharma: While Nestlé is struggling to keep its Nespresso coffee pod products relevant in light of ongoing environmental concerns, the Swiss company is also dipping its toe into the sphere of health and medicine. Bloomberg reports Nestlé has invested $43 million into Pronutria Biosciences, a company that develops proteins that target neurological, muscle, and liver diseases. Is this the future of food?

— Crucial/minuscule Bollywood Chef film updateRumor has it that actor Akshay Kumar will replace Saif Ali Khan in the lead role. Additionally, tweaks to the script include adaptation of the dishes depicted for "the Indian palate." So no taco truck Cubanos then?

NASA is growing potatoes in Peru (the origin of the potato) to see if they can be grown on Mars. Let that sink in for a minute.

— Finally, how Emeril Lagasse invented a cooking catchphrase: 

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