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Food Waste Is the Next Great Gold Rush

Plus, how Netflix became the next Food Network, and more news to start your week

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Food waste startups are attracting big investors

Are food waste startups the new meal kit companies? Based on the amount of cash venture capitalists are pumping into the former, it certainly looks that way. Bloomberg reports companies fighting food waste raked in $125 million in funding in just the first 10 months of 2018. The U.S. wastes an estimated 63 million tons of food every year, so it’s no surprise investors are seeing dollar signs when it comes to high-tech solutions, which include “smart tags that change color when milk goes bad and “software to help grocery stores order just the right amount of produce so they throw less away.”

And in other news...

• As China faces a swine flu crisis, farms are going high-tech, using facial and voice recognition software to track the health of their pigs. [NY Times]

• How Netflix became the new Food Network. [Fast Company]

• Bill Maher pissed off a lot of people with his monologue on Friday night’s episode of Real Time With Bill Maher in which he cracked jokes about culture in red states, proclaiming, “We have chef Wolfgang Puck, they have Chef Boyardee.” [Salon]

• Surprise: Most paid subscribers of the New York Times’ cooking app are actually from rural America, not big cities. [Bloomberg]

• NYC mayor and presidential hopeful Bill DeBlasio got stranded in Iowa due to a blizzard and was forced to survive on a diet of gas station burritos. [NY Post]

• The Cheesecake Factory’s new fast-casual concept, Social Monk, opens today in Thousand Oaks, California, serving pan-Asian food (but no cheesecake). [Nation’s Restaurant News]

• People apparently aren’t too fond of eating steak while standing up, because 9 of Japan-based chain Ikinari Steak’s 11 NYC locations are closing or being converted to another concept. [Nation’s Restaurant News]