"God is always doing geometry.” Plato.

The Greek teacher Plato believed the universe is ultimately orderly and is painted on the eternal easel with perfect mathematical equations, Everything fits, even if we, as mere mortals,  don’t know exactly how.

For some reason, I have the thought that the fresh produce industry needs some divine inspiration to create a more perfectly safe world for their consumers. Wouldn’t it be great if God was always working on food safety solutions?

Speaking of mere mortals, the government shutdown could go on into January. We already have posted some coverage on what the partial government shutdown will mean to the USDA. Here is a link to what it will mean to the Food and Drug Administration.

A few highlights:

What will continue:

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – The FDA would also continue vital activities to respond to emergencies, manage high-risk recalls, pursue criminal enforcement work and civil investigations related to imminent threats to human health or life, review import entries to determine potential risks to health, and respond to other critical public health issues, as appropriate. The FDA would also continue to address existing critical public health challenges, including drug shortages, and outbreaks related to foodborne illness and infectious diseases.

What won’t continue: 

FDA – FDA would be unable to support some routine regulatory and compliance activities. This includes some medical product, animal drug, and most food related activities. FDA will also pause routine establishment inspections, cosmetics and nutrition work, and many ongoing research activities.



Is local food the secret sauce for the growth of online grocery?
New research from Packaged Facts suggests just that. 

From the report: 

However, the best way for major retailers such as Amazon and Walmart to engage with local producers and independent grocers is to allow them to use their online grocery marketplaces for a fee in the same way they have opened up their regular online marketplaces to other sellers. Trust issues for picking perishables would be alleviated, assuming the consumer already has a good retail relationship with the local provider.



On a related front, e27.co reports that Fresh At Heart, an online fresh food retailer in Malaysia has secured more than a quarter of a million from more than 20 investors through online equity crowdfunding platform Ata Plus.

The report said the go-to-market concept of the online retailer is to cut out the supply chain between fresh food producers and end-consumers by working directly with local producers.



Irresistible fluff read of the day: I switched to organic produce: here is what happened next