Soak Your Beans in the Fridge for Faster Meal Prep


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Soaking dried beans is a somewhat controversial topic. Some people swear by it, insisting that it reduces gas (eh, maybe) and removes toxins (it definitely does not), but the only guaranteed benefit is shorter cooking time. Still, that’s not nothing, especially if you need dinner on the table ASAP.

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How to Nail Your First Valentine’s Day Dinner 


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So you’ve decided to stay in this year and cook a nice Valentine’s Day dinner for your sweetie. There’s just one problem: You have absolutely no idea what you’re doing. That’s okay! We’re here to help.

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India’s Swiggy goes beyond food to offer product delivery from local stores


This post is by Jon Russell from TechCrunch


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Swiggy, the Indian food delivery service, has made its much anticipated moved into general deliveries today after it announced its new ‘stores’ product.

The move has been speculated since as early as 2017, but recent developments have taken the company closer towards the expansion. Last September, Swiggy picked up delivery service SuprDaily in an acquisition while the company went on to raise a $1 billion funding round in December. That round was led by Naspers, it put Swiggy’s valuation to $3.3 billion and saw Tencent, the Chinese internet giant behind WeChat among others, join as an investor.

Money in the bank? Check. Expertise on the team? Check. Swiggy now seems positioned to make this major move.

Stores will be available within the core Swiggy app, and it will cover fruit and Vegetables, kiranas and supermarkets, florists, health supplements, medicine, baby care products and more.

But the company is moving

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DoorDash is reportedly raising $500M at a $6B+ valuation


This post is by Megan Rose Dickey from TechCrunch


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Just days after Postmates filed confidential paperwork for an initial public offering, the latest news in the on-demand delivery space is that competitor DoorDash is in the process of raising a $500 million round, the Wall Street Journal reports. The round would reportedly value DoorDash at more than $6 billion and possibly up to $7 billion.

According to the WSJ, Temasek Holdings Pte., Singapore’s state investment firm, is expected to lead the round.

Last year, DoorDash raised a $250 million round of financing that valued the company at $4 billion. In total, DoorDash has raised nearly $1 billion in funding from investors like Softbank, Sequoia, DST Global, Kleiner Perkins and others.

Earlier this year, the food-delivery startup became the first startup to operate in all 50 states. Meanwhile, similar to Instacart, DoorDash has also reportedly been subsidizing worker pay with tips from customers, but DoorDash still has

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Taali takes its popped water lily snacks from Y Combinator to the world


This post is by Jonathan Shieber from TechCrunch


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Aditya and Aarti Kochhar Kaji didn’t set out to start the snack food business Taali Foods when they were studying for their business degrees at Harvard.

The couple both hail from Mumbai and met at the University of Pennsylvania . They were married before starting at Harvard’s Business School and initially were interested in other areas — Aarti was exploring a career in venture capital and Aditya was looking at the food and beverage industry broadly in his classes at Harvard.

Addicted to snack foods like chips and popcorn to fuel her Harvard study sessions, Aarti started making popped water lily seeds as a snack — a food both she and her husband had grown up eating in India, she said.

The seeds, which are high in anti-oxidants and low in fat, have been a staple of Ayurvedic medicine — thanks to their purported anti-inflammatory properties, and are a staple of

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Food delivery service Postmates confidentially files to go public


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Shortly after closing a $100 million pre-IPO round, food delivery business Postmates has confidentially filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an upcoming public offering, Bloomberg first reported and the company confirmed in a blog post.

The company will debut on the stock exchange at a more than $1.85 billion valuation — the valuation it garnered with its $100 million in January. In total, Postmates has raised $681 million in venture capital funding from investors including Spark Capital, Founders Fund, Uncork Capital and Slow Ventures.

The 8-year-old company has tapped JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America to lead its upcoming float.

Postmates, which competes with several large players in the food delivery space including Uber Eats and DoorDash, say it completes 5 million deliveries per month and is reportedly expected to record $400 million in revenue in 2018 on food sales of $1.2 billion.

Currently, it operates in more than

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What Do You Eat to Celebrate the Joys of Dining Alone?


This post is by Claire Lower on Skillet, shared by Claire Lower to Lifehacker from Lifehacker


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During this first half of February, food-focused sites are awash in romantic meals for two but, in a lot of ways, eating with another person is overrated. Not only do you have to worry about stuff in your teeth, but you have to predict how the meal is going to make you feel (or smell). It’s a little exhausting, which…

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Blue Apron hopes lower-cost meal kits, now on Jet in NYC, will help save its business


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Blue Apron is introducing a lower-cost version of its meal kits, initially only for Jet.com shoppers in the greater New York City metro area. The new kits, called “Knick Knacks,” still require refrigeration, but require customers to supply their own protein and produce to complete the meal. But by dropping the two most expensive ingredients from the meal, the company has brought the price down to $7.99, compared with prices that ranged from $17 to $23 for the meal kits that launched on Jet last fall.

As you may recall, Walmart subsidiary Jet announced in October that it would begin selling Blue Apron’s meal kits to its City Grocery customers. Jet had relaunched its site the month prior with a new focus on serving the needs of urban shoppers, which included same-day delivery of groceries. The revamped site is now localized to where shoppers live, with images and

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Little Spoon gets $7M for its organic baby food delivery service


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Little Spoon, a startup producing modular packages of nutritional, direct-to-consumer baby food, has raised a $7 million round of funding lead by Vaultier7.

The subscription-based service delivers meals — a fixed $3 apiece — to customers’ doorsteps. To date, Little Spoon said it has delivered 1 million meals. Other investors in the round include Kairos, Chobani’s executive vice president of sales Kyle O’Brien, Tinder founders Sean Rad and Justin Mateen, Interplay Ventures, the San Francisco 49ers and SoGal Ventures.

Among the business’s co-founders are Michelle Muller, chief executive officer Ben Lewis, chief product officer Angela Vranich and chief marketing officer Lisa Barnett, a former partner at Dorm Room Fund and Sherpa Foundry. The four launched the company a little over a year ago out of New York. Today, the site offers a rotating menu of 50 different recipes and 80 different ingredients.

“Our success is a testament to what we

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Apeel partners with Nature’s Pride to bring spoilage resistant fruits and veggies to Europe


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Apeel Sciences, the developer of a new technology that makes fruits and vegetables more resistant to spoilage, and Nature’s Pride, one of the largest vendors of avocados and mangos in Europe, are partnering to bring longer-lived avocados to market.

Subject to regulatory approval in the EU, Nature’s Pride said it will integrate Apeel’s plant-based preservation technology into its avocado supply chain — bringing avocados with double the edible shelf life to European homes.

Apeel’s technology takes the naturally occurring chemicals found in the skins and peels of plants and applies it to fresh produce, providing what the company calls “a little extra peel” that slows the rate of water loss and oxidation — which cause vegetables and fruits to spil.

The company says that its produce will stay fresh two to three times longer than untreated produce. Apeel touts that its technology can lead to more sustainable growing

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DoorDash partners with food stamp startup mRelief


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On-demand food delivery startup DoorDash has partnered with mRelief, a startup focused on helping people access food stamps. As federal workers — especially low-wage workers like janitors, cooks and security guards — recover from the 35-day partial government shutdown, DoorDash and mRelief are teaming up to offer those eligible for food stamps in San Francisco DoorDash credit.

In San Francisco, about one in four people struggle with hunger, according to the SF-Marin Food Bank. Meanwhile, $13 billion in food stamps benefits are unclaimed every year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Because of the government shutdown, those low-wage workers are likely now eligible for food stamps, mRelief says.

“Our work at mRelief is about bringing the simplicity of technology typically used to provide on-demand services, to things that are critical needs,” mRelief co-founders Rose Afriyie (pictured above) and Genevieve Nielsen told TechCrunch via email.

Through startup mRelief, people with low incomes

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The next big bet for former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick may be cloud kitchens — in China


This post is by Connie Loizos from TechCrunch


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Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick may have been nudged out of one of the world’s most highly valuable private companies by investors frustrated over its troubled culture, but his moves remain of great interest given how far he’d driven the ride-share giant.

One such move, according to a new report in the South China Morning Post, looks to be to help foster the growing concept of cloud kitchens to China.

We’ve reached out to Kalanick for more information, but per the SCMP’s report, Kalanick is partnering with the former COO of the bike-sharing startup Ofo, Yanqi Zhang. Their apparent project involves Kalanick’s L.A.-based company, CloudKitchens, which enables restaurants to set up kitchens for the purposes of catering exclusively to customers ordering in, as that’s how a growing percentage of people is consuming restaurant food. (More on the movement here.) The kitchens are established in underutilized real

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Get Free Domino’s by Taking Photos of Pizza


This post is by Josh Ocampo from Lifehacker


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Free pizza.

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There’s an Easier Way to Cut Cauliflower


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If, like me, you’ve been cutting cauliflower from the florets down your whole life, you probably assumed that those annoying rubbly bits that get everywhere were just part of the deal. They’re not. Thankfully, you can easily banish them for good—just turn that crown upside-down.

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Former Munchery employees sue company, blame CEO for shutdown


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The Munchery saga continues.

In a new class-action lawsuit, former Munchery facilities worker Joshua Philips is claiming the startup owes him and 250 other employees 60 days’ wages, citing The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, a U.S. labor law that requires employers with an excess of 100 employees to give notice 60 days ahead of mass layoffs.

Munchery, a prepared meal delivery company headquartered in San Francisco, announced in an email to customers on January 21 that it would cease operations, effectively immediately. The abrupt shutdown not only came as a surprise to Munchery’s community of customers, but shocked vendors, many whom had been expecting payments from the business for several weeks. Munchery’s own employees were left in the dark, too, according to several former workers who spoke to TechCrunch about their debt and dissatisfaction with chief executive James Beriker.

Munchery ordered mass layoffs on January 21,

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Asian food delivery startup Chowbus raises $4M


This post is by Kate Clark from TechCrunch


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When one food delivery startup fails, another gets funded.

Chowbus, an Asian food ordering platform headquartered in Chicago, has brought in a $4 million “seed” funding led by Greycroft Partners and FJ Labs, with participation from Hyde Park Angels and Fika Ventures. The startup, aware of the challenges that plague startups in this space, says offering exclusive access to restaurants and eliminating service fees sets it apart from big-name competitors like Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash and Postmates.

The Chowbus platform focuses on meals rather than restaurants. While scrolling through the mobile app, a user is connected to various independent restaurants depending on what particular dish they’re seeking. Chowbus says only a small portion of the restaurants on its platform, 15 percent, are also available on Grubhub and Uber Eats. 

The app is currently available in Chicago, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Champaign, Ill. and Lansing, Mich. With the new investment,

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With cybersecurity threats looming, the government shutdown is putting America at risk


This post is by Jonathan Shieber from TechCrunch


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Putting political divisions and affiliations aside, the government partially shutting down for the third time over the last year is extremely worrisome, particularly when considering its impact on the nation’s cybersecurity priorities. Unlike the government, our nation’s enemies don’t ‘shut down.’ When our nation’s cyber centers are not actively monitoring and protecting our most valuable assets and critical infrastructure, threats magnify and vulnerabilities become further exposed.

While Republicans and Democrats continue to butt heads over border security, the vital agencies tasked with properly safeguarding our nation from our adversaries are stuck in operational limbo. Without this protection in full force acting around the clock, serious extraneous threats to government agencies and private businesses can thrive. This shutdown, now into its fourth week, has crippled key U.S. agencies, most notably the Department

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How Jyve secretly raised $35M & built a $400M retail gig economy


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What if instead of just accepting Uber rides, gig workers could pick from higher paying skilled tasks around town like stocking shelves, checking inventory, or driving a forklift at a local grocer? When they work quickly and accurately or learn new trades, they get to choose between more complex jobs. That’s the idea that’s racked up $400 million in staffing contracts for Jyve, an on-demand labor platform that’s coming out of stealth today after 3.5 years.

“I believe the skill economy is way bigger than the gig economy” says CEO Brad Oberwager. He sees Uber driving as just the low-expertise beginning of a massive new job type where people with specializations or experience are efficiently matched to retail work. Jyve’s secret sauce is the work quality review system built into its app for managers and stores that lets it know who got the job done right and deserves even

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After an abrupt shutdown, Munchery’s small business vendors are the ones picking up the bill


This post is by Kate Clark from TechCrunch


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Munchery’s vendors claim the food delivery startup took advantage of them in its final hours, knowingly allowing them to continue making deliveries it couldn’t pay for.

Earlier this week, Munchery surprised customers with an email announcing it would cease operations, effective immediately. It did not, however, notify any of its vendors of the news, according to the owners of several small San Francisco-based businesses, who told TechCrunch they are owed thousands in overdue Munchery payments.

Charles Farriér, the owner of Crumble & Whisk Patisserie, is waiting on a $1,700 payment from Munchery. Lenore Estrada of Three Babes Bakeshop said she’s owed more than $20,000. Melissa Cohen of Salty Sweet Cookies, Jennifer Roy of Dandelion Chocolate and Jennifer Nguyen of Native Baking Co. are expecting a total of $16,417.50.

Munchery was founded in 2010 by former chief executive officer Tri Tran and Conrad Chu, who have both since left the

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Hola Code tackles the real migration crisis


This post is by Jonathan Shieber from TechCrunch


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After spending eight months in an immigration facility in the United States, Abimael Hernandez made the tough decision to return to Mexico.

He had spent 14 years in Florida and was leaving behind his wife and three children to return to Mexico so that he could go through the process of returning to the United States legally.

Hernandez didn’t want to live in fear of being pulled over by police, he longed to own a car in his name and he didn’t want his immigration status to be illegal any longer.  

Upon his return to Mexico, Hernandez had worked in construction, call centers and sold CDs before finally

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