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Food News

Lab-Grown Meat May Save a Lot More than Farm Animals’ Lives

NBCnews.com | Posted on April 10, 2017

Imagine a backyard barbecue where the parents grill burgers and chicken kebabs they've grown from single cells using a home meat-making machine.  Meat is essentially muscle tissue, so if it grows naturally from a just few cells into a thick chunk, why can't the same process happen in the lab? Over the past few years, scientists have made progress in figuring out how to use self-renewing cells to grow this tissue outside the body, and some hope to scale it up for mass production soon. You can call it lab-grown, clean, or cultured meat — we have yet to settle on a term — but there's a good chance these products will replace conventional meat because of their potential for reducing environmental cost, increasing health benefits for humans, and protecting the welfare of the animals.


Meal kits resonating with consumers: Harris Poll study

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on April 5, 2017

One in four adults bought a meal kit in 2016 and 70 percent of meal kit purchasers are still actively buying meal kits, according to a new Harris Poll.


Hey, You! Stop Eating My Yard!

Wall Street Journal | Posted on April 5, 2017

The rise in popularity of wild vegetation like fiddleheads, mushrooms and seaweed is causing friction between foragers and landowners; ‘fry it up and eat it.’ Such tensions are becoming more common in Maine, where the rise in popularity of wild vegetation like fiddleheads, ramps, mushrooms and seaweed for uses from gourmet cooking to nutritional supplements is causing friction between foragers and landowners. It is also threatening the state’s unusual and centuries-old tradition of allowing public access to private property.


Study: Grocery shoppers 'not informed at all' by labels

Food Dive | Posted on April 5, 2017

Label Insight surveyed more than 1,000 consumers about their dietary preferences and how they use labels to make informed purchasing decisions, according to Label Insight. Of those, 67% said it was challenging to learn whether a food product meets their needs by simply reviewing the package label, and nearly half said they were "not informed at all" about a product even after reading the label. The survey found 98% of consumers believe it’s important to consider the ingredients in the food products in their carts. The report also showed about 50% of consumers are currently following a diet program.


Danone will sell Stonyfield to win federal OK for WhiteWave buyout

Chicago Tribune | Posted on April 5, 2017

French yogurt maker Danone will sell its Stonyfield Farms business to gain approval from U.S. regulators for a $12.5 billion buyout of Denver's WhiteWave Foods. The Justice Department made the deal, first announced last summer, contingent on the sale, citing the potential for reduced competition in the organic milk market if Stonyfield were owned by Danone.


New scandal ensnares JBS

Meat + Poultry | Posted on April 5, 2017

JBS SA, the world’s largest meatpacker, has been named in a new federal investigation into purchases of cattle that were grazed on illegally deforested land. JBS has denied any wrongdoing.  IBAMA, the Brazilian environmental protection agency, released the results of Operation “Carne Fria” which is a three-year probe of more than a dozen meat packers and at least 20 farms that sold cattle raised in Para, which occupies a large swath of the Amazon Rainforest. The state capital is Belem, which is located near the mouth of the Amazon River. In a statement, Cameron Bruett, JBS spokesperson, said, “JBS facilities are not subject to the embargo related to illegal deforestation, pursuant to a preliminary injunction issued by the Brazilian Federal Justice.


Hardees rejects 'antibiotic free' chicken label for 'no antibiotics" label

Watt Ag Net | Posted on April 3, 2017

I’ve grown accustomed to paying close attention to the exact phrasing in press releases whenever a restaurant company announces a change regarding things such as antibiotic use, cages in egg production and slower-growing broiler chickens. In most cases, it signals a lack of understanding about production techniques in animal agriculture and a likely concession to animal rights and other special interest groups.But a recent press release from CKE Restaurants Holdings, the parent company of fast food restaurant chains Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., made me realize that some restaurant company executives do understand, or at least, are making an effort to understand.The company on March 28 announced that the charbroiled chicken filet sandwich would come from birds raised with “no antibiotics ever.”It’s so refreshing to see a company use that phrase, rather than “antibiotic free,” which of course means nothing, since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has strict guidelines that animals be taken off of antibiotics for a period of time before they enter the food supply.


For starters, undocumented immigrants cannot take part in the food stamp program

The Huffington Post | Posted on March 29, 2017

Food banks across the country have been noticing a trend since President Donald Trump was inaugurated in January. In recent weeks, outlets have reported that outreach workers and enrollment assistants who help eligible immigrants enroll in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, say immigrants are canceling their benefits because they fear their participation could flag them for deportation.Such fears appear to stem primarily from a leaked draft of an executive order saying immigrants living in the United States could be deported if it is determined they rely on some form of public assistance — like food stamps.It is important to note, however, that no law has changed — and the official guidance of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the agency that oversees SNAP, remains that there are no immigration consequences linked with participation in the program.Still, that hasn’t stopped some conservatives from applauding the news. One conservative news outlet called the news “excellent!” Jackie Vimo, a policy analyst at the National Immigration Law Center, said her organization has been fielding calls from organizations across the country on the issue of SNAP benefits and deportation fears in light of recent reports.Vimo described celebratory reactions to these reports as xenophobic and reflective of the misinformation that persists regarding who legally qualifies for SNAP benefits and who doesn’t.“The idea that people would be celebrating children going hungry because they feel like an outsider in their country is baffling to me,” Vimo said Tuesday. “These [immigrant] families are a part of our American communities, and an attack on them is an attack on communities as a whole.” According to the strict requirements for the program laid out in detail by the USDA, undocumented immigrants are not eligible to receive SNAP benefits.Even immigrants living in the United States as lawful permanent residents (aka green card holders) must live in the country for five years before they qualify for the program, though some states — like California and Minnesota — run their own state-funded food assistance programs that have slightly different eligibility requirements.Children of non-citizens are SNAP-eligible, however, as are certain groups of refugees and asylees — such as victims of trafficking. Altogether, according to the most recent data from the USDA, only about 4 percent of SNAP recipients are either refugees or other types of non-citizens.


Elmhurst dairy swaps cows milk for nuts

Clearlyveg | Posted on March 29, 2017

92-year-old company Elmhurst Dairy has not only closed down its dairy operation, but has opted for a full rebranding in order to focus on plant-based milks. According to Rise of the Vegan, the decision is based on a lack of customer demand, with CEO Henry Schwartz stating that "there isn't much room for our kind of business." As a result, Elmhurst Dairy has now become just Elmhurst and debuted its new line called "Milked" during the Natural Foods Expo West in Anaheim last weekend. The plant-based milks are described on the website as "minimally processed nutmilks" that are "just as nutritious and pure" as the company's "famous conventional milk," free of any "emulsifiers, thickeners, whiteners or frankenfood proteins."


Daily Access to Local Foods for School Meals

USDA | Posted on March 29, 2017

To examine progress in the use of locally produced foods in school meals and to help identify school districts for technical assistance, this report uses data from the 2013 Farm to School Census to measure the prevalence of school districts that serve local food daily and the characteristics of those districts.


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