Eatable News: Eating in space, the first vegan butcher shop and more

At SheKnows Food, we spend a lot of time reading about — you guessed it — food (and drinks too!). And we’ve come across some stories that are too good to not share. Here are the food items from the week that you don’t want to miss.

1. Playing with your food as an adult is totally fine — if you’re in space

The best part of being an astronaut (I assume) is that you can do things in space, and they’re automatically way cooler than they would be on Earth. Sleeping? Sleeping in space! Standing around? Try floating around, simple Earthling. Filing your taxes? Oops, that’s still boring. Anyway, Leland Melvin, an astronaut who was part of the crew of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, demonstrated in a recent video just how much cooler food is in space.

He spills the details on what it’s like to eat in space (fun, basically), his favorite space food (astronaut ice cream is apparently a myth, people) and why astronauts like spicy food (apparently your taste buds can get dulled on board the ship). You can check out the video, and while you’re at it, don’t forget that Melvin has basically the best official astronaut portrait of all time. — Eater

More: Space shuttle food is better than you think

2. First vegan butcher shop in the U.S. opens in Minneapolis

A person named Kale (yes, Kale) is opening the first vegan butcher shop in the U.S., The Herbivorous Butcher, with his sister, Aubry Walch. The shop, located in Minneapolis, will feature vegan “meats” made from non-GMO heritage wheat. They plan to offer meat-free versions of deli classics like pastrami, turkey and bologna, along with more substantial cuts like ribs, steaks and sausages. They’ve even got “cheese,” made from soy milk and coconut oil.

Omnivores may be skeptical, but for vegans and vegetarians who abstain from eating meat for ethical or health reasons, the idea of eating tasty but formerly off-limits “meats” is pretty exciting. And let’s be real — bologna barely tastes like real meat anyway. If you’re interested in trying some of their products, you can pre-order from their website, with nationwide shipping starting in February. — Huffington Post

More: 21 ‘Meaty’ vegan substitutes to help you kick your bacon and sausage habit

3. Pope pizza is the star of the Vatican’s new cookbook

Popes — they’re just like us! Not really, but the existence of the upcoming Vatican Cookbook and its Pope-inspired pizza make us feel a little more kinship with the so-called “cool” Pope Francis. Now that he lives in Italy, his love for pizza isn’t too surprising, but how adorable is this quote? “The only thing I would like is to go out one day, without being recognized, and go to a pizzeria for a pizza.” Me too, minus the whole “being recognized” part.

In honor of Pope Francis’ Argentinian heritage, the book also includes recipes from his homeland. Papal enthusiasts and cooks alike will also be excited to see recipes from the past 500 years in Vatican City, along with foods inspired by Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II. — People

4. Jelly Belly is coming out with a line of organic candies

Health-minded folks with a sweet tooth will be excited to hear that Jelly Belly is coming out with several new organic candies. This winter, it’s debuting a 10-flavor organic jelly bean assortment, a five-flavor sour jelly bean assortment and a line of fruit snacks. All the flavors and colors for the organic offerings come from natural sources too. Here’s to Jelly Belly for respecting our January resolutions and making a candy we can pretend is healthy while we pretend to be healthy too. — PR Newswire

5. Would free food lure you back to Chipotle?

Proving that it knows what America really wants (free food, natch), Chipotle has raised its budget for free food promotions (used at the local proprietor’s discretion) in the hope that it can convince us to return to its stores. Each store can choose how and when to distribute its free food budget, which Chipotle co-CEO Monty Moran said was doubled in a recent interview. Sure, it won’t actually help the stores recover from slipping sales right away, but it might be just the thing to put Chipotle back on people’s radar after a somewhat disastrous 2015. My suggestion? Use the funds to stop charging extra for guac, and I will be there basically every day. — Eater

More: 10 Reasons we’ll keep eating at Chipotle no matter what

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