– Some sad news for fans of Lucky Peach: The six-year-old food media company created by Peter Meehan and David Chang announced that it will soon close up shop. Lucky Peach will put out one final book (about eggs) in April, and the magazine will put out its last regular issue in May, and close out with a double issue in the fall before turning out the lights for good. Lucky Peach is beloved for its in-depth irreverent take on food reporting. It will be sorely missed. (Eater)
– Whisky, craft beer, and now natural wine. Saveur visits Tokyo’s tiny standing bars specializing in natural wine, or wines that are produced without additives, pesticides, or artificial fertilizers. Japan’s natural wine scene has been growing since the ’90s, although many Japanese still prefer European bottles to domestically produced wines. You’ll find many of these closet-sized natural wine bars tucked within the artsy neighborhoods of Roppongi and Ebisu. If this article has peeked your interest and you’re heading to Tokyo, you’ll want to bookmark Punch’s list of Tokyo’s natural wine bars. (Saveur)
– While I’m on the topic of wine, my friend Julia Weinberg took the above photo of an alcohol warning label affixed to the back of a bottle of Hungarian wine with a message to a certain orange Republican. The bottle was discovered at Metzger Bar & Butchery in Richmond, VA. Egészségedre! (cheers!) to you, cheeky Hungarian winemakers!
– I’m lovin’ it. Yesterday, another food company sent a message to Donald Trump. Or so it seemed. The McDonald’s Twitter account tweeted that Trump is “a disgusting excuse of a President” and that they’d love to have Obama back. They added “also you have tiny hands,” just for good measure. The post was pinned to the top of the account’s page, but moments later, McDonald’s deleted the tweet, claiming they had been hacked by an external source. They later released a statement that did not include more details, but added an apology. Following the news, Wired posted an interesting article about the growing number of fast food companies who’ve been using Twitter to “re-shape their public persona” from safe, boring, and sterile to what they called “yakkity oddball.” You know, corporations who want to seem out-of-the-box, somewhat meta and ironic, and like they totally have a pot card, too. Examples include @DennysDiner, @Wendys, and @BurgerKing. There are even parody accounts like @nihilist_arbys, which mock these hipster-corporate attempts to be cool. But as Wired points out, McDonald’s has always played it safe on Twitter, so all our hopes and dreams that Mickey D’s was trying out some new marketing tactic yesterday when voicing resistance to DT are dashed. Still, I’m lovin’ it. (Wired)
– OK, one last Trump food news item for this edition of The UM Reader, and this one’s a doozy. This week, Trump announced his 2018 budget plan and there are tons of cuts to government funded programs and agencies, including, but not limited to, the EPA, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the Community Development Block Grant program. The latter program funds Meals on Wheels, and Trump’s budget proposes to kill the program entirely to save the government $3 billion. Trump’s proposal claims that the CDBG, which provides services to senior citizens, veterans, disabled, and other Americans who often are bound to their homes, is not “well-targeted to the poorest population and has not demonstrated results.” Tell that to the 2.4 million seniors who were fed by Meals on Wheels last year. SAD! (Time)
– Now for some…