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California Could Soon Require Cancer Warnings on Coffee

Plus: Cholita Linda expands, Sweetgreen uses blockchain, and more


California to label coffee with cancer warning

California already has consumers on high alert for cancer-causing chemicals following the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (aka Proposition 65), with may stores and restaurants forced to post warnings. Now coffee shops may have to post warnings for acrylamide, a trace carcinogen created when beans are roasted. It’s the result of a lawsuit filed in LA Superior Court in 2010 alleging that coffee companies like Starbucks haven’t been forthcoming on the risks of acrylamide; the named companies, and potentially all coffee in the future, would have to post warnings with an explanation about the risks of consuming coffee. Read more here.

How one local company is combatting sexual harassment

Homeroom, a woman-owned company in Oakland, has devised a way to prevent sexual harassment from customers with a color-coded system that alerts managers to issues as they occur. By flagging tables through the system, servers can protect themselves, changing the power dynamic between customers who feel they can act inappropriately. Read more via the SF Chronicle’s full report, here.

Cholita Linda has added a to-go counter

The popular East Bay restaurant has expanded into the former record store next door, creating an easier way for diners to pick up food to go. Known for its Latin cuisine, Cholita Linda will soon offer its popular tacos, lechon sandwich, and sofritos at its designated counter in Temescal.

Salad chain Sweetgreen is using blockchain to upgrade salads?

So says a report by Bloomberg, though Recode Editor-in-Chief Dan Frommer isn’t so sure. The company says their first major menu upgrade — essentially tweaks like subbing in lentils or tofu for other ingredients — is the result of intensive research and use of technology like blockchain. Co-founder and CEO Jonathan Neman told Bloomberg “We were the first to use blockchain as an application for food. We were one of the first in the category to release an app [in 2013]. We designed this new menu for flavor, and the analytics from our app allows us to find out what people are craving.” For more on why the term blockchain has become largely meaningless, check out this article from Eater sister site The Verge.

Local businesses rewarded by credit card company for going cashless

Visa recently announced 50 small businesses as winners of the Visa Cashless Challenge, which encouraged food businesses with less than 100 employees to tout how the “cashless movement” could benefit their businesses. Local winners include alaMar Kitchen, the Dorian, and Senor Sisig, all of whom received $10,000 to invest in digital commerce enhancements, POS upgrades, and marketing efforts. The only problem: Not everyone has a bank account, debit/credit card, or smart phone, making the cashless movement problematic for certain classes. Read more about how cashless can be classist on Eater National.