Walmart Canada Debuts New “Fast Lane” Checkout Option

Chris Albrecht wrote . . . . . . . . .

Oh, Canada, your newest Walmart “Urban Supercentre Concept” in Toronto will feature a host of new retail concepts including a “Fast Lane” version of cashierless checkout for people using the My Walmart app.

According to a press announcement sent out this week, this new Walmart Supercentre lets shoppers use the My Walmart app to scan items as they shop. When they are ready to check out, shoppers go to the Fast Lane and scan a barcode on the app and their credit card on file is automatically charged. The store will have additional associates on hand to help, and, presumably, make sure you aren’t stealing anything.

This isn’t Walmart’s first bout with cashierless checkout. As Grocery Dive notes, last year the retailer had tried expanding its version of “Scan & Go” to 125 stores in the U.S., but later ditched the program because people weren’t using it and the technology didn’t scale. Elsewhere in the Walmart universe, it’s subsidiary Sam’s Club launched a Sam’s Club Now store at the end of last year that required the Scan & Go app to shop there.

More recently, Walmart launched its IRL store in Levittown, NY, which is outfitted with banks of cameras and high-tech sensors to monitor inventory in real time. While IRL didn’t launch with cashierless checkout, the fact that Walmart invested so much in computer vision capabilities for the store suggests that type of functionality isn’t too far away.

Walmart’s moves come at a time when cashierless checkout is heating up. In addition to Amazon Go, which pioneered the field (and was forced into accepting cash), there are a number of well-funded startups looking to retrofit grocery stores with cashierless checkout capabilities.

While cashierless checkout is still a ways away from being mainstream, Walmart isn’t sitting idly by (its proactive nature is one of the reasons we named the company to our Food Tech 25 list). Scan & Go feels like an intermediary step, but it’s a step in the right direction towards our inevitably cashierless checkout future.

Source: The Spoon

Apple and Cinnamon Breakfast “Risotto” with Oat Bran and Almonds


4 large Gala, Pink Lady, or Empire apples
1 teaspoon unrefined coconut oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/4 cup oat bran
2 packets monk fruit extract
10 almonds, toasted and chopped


  1. Wash the apples and cut them into very small dice, or chop them into small pieces, about 1/4-inch dice.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples and cinnamon and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Remove the apples from the heat. Add the almond milk and stir in the oat bran and monk fruit extract.
  4. Place the mixture back on medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring. Cook until the mixture is thick and creamy, about 1 minute.
  5. Divide the mixture equally among four small bowls and sprinkle each evenly with toasted almonds.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The Negative Calorie Diet

In Pictures: Home-cooked Breakfasts

Single-use Plastic Straws and Cutlery Ban Approved by European Council

Gráinne Ní Aodha wrote . . . . . . . . .

The European Council has adopted a directive which introduces new restrictions on certain single-use plastic products, which includes a ban on single-use plastic straws, plates and cutlery by 2021.

They will set strict rules for reducing the type of products and packaging which are among the top ten most frequently found items polluting European beaches.

Where alternatives are easily available and affordable, single-use plastic products will be banned from the market, such as cutlery, plates and straws. For other products, efforts will be made to limit their use through design and labelling, and clean-up obligations for those who manufacture them.

In March, the European Parliament voted by 560 votes to 35 to adopt the new laws, which would ban 70% of marine litters items. The formal adoption of the new rules by the Council today is the final step in the procedure.

After today’s approval by the European Council, the text will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union; the directive will enter into force 20 days after the publication.

EU member states, including Ireland, will then have two years to transpose the legislation into their national law.

Member states have agreed to achieve a 90% collection target for plastic bottles by 2029, and plastic bottles will have to contain at least 25% of recycled content by 2025 and 30% by 2030.

Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune said: “Figures show that plastic production is 20 times higher now than in the 1960s and is set to quadruple again by 2050.

Reducing the amount of plastics in our oceans and on our beaches is vital to protect marine life and also to ensure that fish, and as a result the food chain, are not further contaminated by plastics.

“Ireland has led the way on the fight against plastic when it introduced the levy on plastic bags in 2002, resulting in a 90% drop in the use of plastic bags in Ireland.”

First Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans, responsible for sustainable development said:

“There is a growing sense of urgency in European society to do whatever it takes to stop plastic pollution in our oceans. The European Union is responding to this clear call of our citizens.

The new rules adopted today will help us to protect the health of our people and safeguard our natural environment, while promoting more sustainable production and consumption.

“We can all be proud that Europe is setting new and ambitious standards, paving the way for the rest of the world.”

Source: The Journal

Is It Fatigue — Or a Stroke? Women Shouldn’t Ignore These Warning Signs

Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability in the U.S., and women make up nearly 60% of all stroke deaths.


In part, experts say, women may have symptoms subtle enough to be missed or brushed off in the daily juggle of work-life balance. That can lead to delays in getting time-sensitive, lifesaving treatments.

Men and women who have strokes often experience a similar set of symptoms that can be remembered using the mnemonic F.A.S.T.: face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, time to call 911. Other signs include problems seeing out of one or both eyes and balance or coordination problems.

But some women experience other, more understated symptoms they may hesitate to bring to a doctor’s attention — or to a 911 operator.

“Women more frequently have atypical, vague symptoms. They might start with fatigue, confusion or maybe general weakness, as opposed to weakness on one side of the body,” said Dr. Pooja Khatri, a neurology professor at the University of Cincinnati.

Khatri advised taking note of any sudden change or unusual body function.

She said many women may disregard something like a sudden, unusually bad headache if they’re generally used to getting headaches. Or, they may dismiss difficulty walking, exhaustion, brain fog or an overall malaise and instead blame it on stress or being overworked. Nausea or vomiting often gets explained away to viral illnesses.

It’s critical to zero in on “any sudden symptom or loss in function that you can’t explain. The key is that it’s sudden,” said Khatri, director of the University of Cincinnati Stroke Team.

Studies suggest women are just as knowledgeable as men, if not more, about recognizing the more typical stroke symptoms. Yet because women are more likely than men to minimize their symptoms, they’re also more likely to reach out to their primary doctor or drive themselves to the hospital instead of calling 911, said Dr. Amytis Towfighi, director of neurological services for Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.

“The key to getting the treatments we have available is having the ambulances alert the hospitals that they’re coming with a stroke patient, so that the whole team is activated and ready to give the medication,” said Towfighi, an associate professor of neurology and preventive medicine at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine.

“Whereas if you just walk into the ER, you might be stuck in triage waiting to be seen. And since women in particular may have nontraditional symptoms, the staff may not figure out right away that they’re having a stroke, and there could be delays in getting seen and getting treatment.”

Minutes matter during a stroke, which happens when the brain is deprived of oxygen after blood flow is cut off by a clot or a ruptured vessel. Treatment is extremely time-sensitive, and delays can increase the risk of death or permanent brain damage.

When deciding whether to seek help, Khatri said women — and men — should be comfortable with the idea of a potential false alarm.

“It’s not worth the risk of it being a true stroke that you failed to get treated for quickly,” she said.

“Time is brain, and the longer you take to get definitive treatment, the more brain (tissue) that’s going to die, and the less well you’re going to be in the long run. In fact, fast treatment can even completely reverse the stroke. It’s worth taking that risk of being wrong. You want to err towards being seen.”

Source: HealthDay

Today’s Comic