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January 31, 2017

Long before FreshDirect and Amazon Fresh, hungry people around the world scratched down their shopping lists on pieces of paper. One such list, dating from 1633, has just been discovered beneath the attic floorboards of a wealthy country residence in Kent, England, Smithsonian reports.

The home's attic used to be filled with trunks and the researchers believe that the grocery list accidentally slipped under the floorboards at some time, where it remained hidden until its recent discovery. "It's extremely rare to uncover letters dating back to the 17th century, let alone those that give us an insight into the management of the households of the wealthy, and the movement of items from one place to another," said regional archaeologist Nathalie Cohen.

The list requests the purchase of unsalted cod as well as two dozen Pewter spoons and a frying pan. Read the full letter at Smithsonian. Jeva Lange

September 15, 2016
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Fast food lover and taco bowl connoisseur Donald Trump promised to put the "FDA Food Police" back in their place by eliminating "specific regulations," a fact sheet released by his campaign Thursday said. In doing so, Trump would effectively "roll back food safety regulations if he wins the White House," The Hill reports.

"The FDA Food Police [...] dictate how the federal government expects farmers to produce fruits and vegetables and even dictates the nutritional content of dog food," the fact sheet warned. "The rules govern the soil farmers use, farm and food production hygiene, food packaging, food temperatures, and even what animals may roam which fields and when."

The Food and Drug Administration has recently implemented new rules to protect Americans from food-borne illnesses — involving controls on manufacturing, processing, packing, and otherwise handling food for both people, pets, and livestock — but Trump called such measures "inspection overkill." Earlier this summer, the FDA ruined everyone's year by recommending people not consume raw cookie dough at risk of getting E. coli; at the same time, there have been several major outbreaks of the bacteria in 2016, including a June recall of 10 million pounds of possibly contaminated flour.

"My plan will embrace the truth that people flourish under minimum government burden," Trump assured. Jeva Lange

May 6, 2015
Courtesy Genie

If the 15 to 30 minutes you wait for food delivery feels like an eternity, Israeli company White Innovation may have the solution to your impatience, Reuters reports.

Meet the Genie, described by its creators as a real-life "replicator" — the popular Star Trek machine that could create meals on command. The Genie operates via a mobile app, on which its user can cue up one of a variety of snacks, meals, or desserts. Pop the corresponding pod into the coffee-maker-size device, and 30 seconds later, breakfast/lunch/dinner is served. The pods hold freeze-dried, all-natural ingredients that stay good for one to two years, giving the Genie's creators hope that in addition to a fun fad for gastronomes, the device could eventually prove useful for troop deployments or in developing countries.

Watch a video of the machine in action, over at Reuters. Sarah Eberspacher

December 5, 2014
iStock

A new study, published in the journal Global Change Biology, found that New York City's bug population consumes more than 2,100 pounds of food each year.

To reach their conclusion, the researchers left hot dogs, cookies, and potato chips in New York City streets and parks. Some were placed in cages, so only insects could reach them, while other food was left in the open, available to rats and pigeons.

The researchers found that the bugs ate as much as three times more food in street medians than they did in parks. And the bugs ate 32 percent of the caged food, while animals, including rats and pigeons in addition to the bugs, ate 80 percent of the non-caged food.

While you might not think twice about what creatures are eating your litter, it matters: Fast Company notes that the ants are "curbing the population of larger pests, which can carry diseases and are more disruptive in general." At least that half-eaten food's not going to waste, after all. Meghan DeMaria