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Food News

Online butcher, meat delivery service gets $3.7M in seed funding

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on June 13, 2018

Online whole animal butcher shop and delivery service Porter Road said it has secured $3.7 million in seed funding from multiple investors. Chefs/butchers Chris Carter and James Peisker founded the company as a brick-and-mortar butcher shop in Nashville in 2011 and, after developing a cult following, launched the online business in February 2018.

Cut melons linked to salmonella outbreak in Michigan, Indiana

WNDU | Posted on June 13, 2018

A multistate salmonella outbreak has been linked to cut melons, and most of the illnesses have been reported in Michigan and Indiana. Most people who have been infected with this strain of salmonella bought pre-cut melon at Walmart or Kroger stores, according to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.If you've purchased pre-cut melon from Walmart or Kroger, including fruit salad mixes with melon, you should throw it away.Both stores have removed all cut melon associated with this outbreak, Michigan health officials say.

Five Have Died from the E. coli Outbreak

Growing Produce | Posted on June 13, 2018

The Centers of Disease Control (CDC) announced four more people have died as a result of the Yuma, AZ-linked E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, bringing the total to five.

10 Tennessee Children Have Contracted E. Coli Infections From Drinking Raw Milk

Delish | Posted on June 13, 2018

Officials have warned Tennessee consumers to throw out any raw milk from French Broad Farm after more than 10 children, all under the age of 4, became sick with infections from E. coli in the last few weeks. Most of the children drank raw milk from the farm before becoming sick, Food Safety News reports. The Knox County Health Department has said that the dairy farm has stopped distributing milk, but warns people to still avoid milk from the farm for the time being. "KCHD continues to advise the public not to consume raw milk or any other unpasteurized products they may have from the farm; this includes disposing of all raw milk and unpasteurized products they may have from this farm." Per the CDC's website, "Raw milk is milk from any animal that has not been pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria. Raw milk can carry harmful bacteria and other germs that can make you very sick or kill you. While it is possible to get food-borne illnesses from many different foods, raw milk is one of the riskiest of all."

U.S. per capita disappearance of red meat and poultry is expected to reach record levels in 2018

USDA | Posted on June 13, 2018

Per capita red meat and poultry disappearance (the amount used in domestic markets, including fresh and processed meat sold through grocery stores and used in restaurants) is expected to reach record highs in 2018, eclipsing the previous high in 2007. Based on USDA forecasts, in 2018, Americans will have access to 222.4 pounds of red meat and poultry on a per capita retail weight basis. Average annual per capita disappearance of beef decreased 0.3 percent annually from 2000 to 2015 but has increased since 2016 and is expected to grow by 3.7 percent in 2018. Per capita disappearance of pork is forecasted to grow by 4.2 percent in 2018, well above its average annual growth rate of 0.1 percent since 2000. Per capita disappearance of broilers (young chickens), however, is expected to grow just 1.1 percent in 2018, slightly below its 10-year average. Rising meat demand in the U.S. has been supported by sustained economic growth since the 2009 Great Recession and stable to declining retail prices brought about by low animal feed costs.

California can't require warning labels for glyphosate, judge affirms

Agri-Pulse | Posted on June 13, 2018

alifornia cannot require companies to place warning labels on glyphosate products, a federal judge affirmed in a ruling issued Tuesday that questions the benefits of Proposition 65, which is meant to inform the state’s residents about cancer-causing chemicals. “Given the evidence in the record, the court questions whether California has shown that requiring a Proposition 65 warning for glyphosate directly advances the law’s stated interest in informing Californians about exposures to chemicals that cause cancer,” U.S. District Judge William Shubb in Sacramento said in his order upholding a preliminary injunction he issued in February.

A stampede of meatless products overrun grocery store meat cases

The Wall Street Journal | Posted on June 12, 2018

The “Beyond Meat” patties that offended Mr. Kendig were made with pea protein, canola oil, coconut oil, potato starch and “natural flavor.” They’re part of a posse of look-alikes invading meat country—from plant-based burgers that ooze “blood” at first bite to chicken strips grown in a tank from poultry cells. High-tech startups are building burgers from plant proteins and compounds that grill and taste more like the real thing than old-fashioned veggie burgers.Other firms are using cell-culture technology to grow animal muscle tissue—otherwise known as meat—in stainless steel bioreactor tanks, similar to the fermentors used to brew beer.Even dairy cows are feeling the squeeze, with consumer milk sales threatened by an ocean of substitute “milk” made from nuts, peas and oats. The National Milk Producers Federation has protested beverages made from potato, pistachio, duckweed, canary grass seed and other greenery bearing the “milk” moniker.Cattlemen and dairy farmers are saddling up, and lawyering up, in response. The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association has petitioned the Agriculture Department to bar plant-based products from bearing labels that say “beef” or “meat,” with similar restrictions on meat grown from animal cells.


Mars Is Betting Greener Chocolate Bars Will Be Great for Profit

Bloomberg | Posted on June 11, 2018

Mars Inc., the maker of its namesake chocolate bar and Wrigley’s chewing gum, is spending $1 billion on sustainability with a strategy to make greener practices increase profits. Mars is working to reduce its exposure to environmental, social and governance risks, known as ESG, because it’s next to impossible to track exactly where the huge amounts of raw materials that it uses are from, according to Parkin. The company buys 0.2 percent of the world’s palm oil, sourcing it from thousands of mills.

Good messaging can shift consumer purchase intentions

Watt Ag Net | Posted on June 11, 2018

A recent survey of U.S. consumers about their purchase intentions and willingness to pay premiums for cage-free eggs and breast meat from slow-growing broilers showed that willingness to pay a premium could be affected by information provided to consumers as part of the survey. Information from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and from the Coalition for a Sustainable Egg Supply study each impacted willingness to pay a premium for cage-free eggs, but in opposite directions. The results of these consumer studies, which were conducted on behalf of the Food Marketing Institute, Animal Agriculture Alliance and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, are summarized in the article, "Cage-free eggs, slow-growth broilers: Will consumers pay?," in the June 2018 issue of Egg Industry. These studies once again show how little consumers know about current U.S. poultry husbandry practices. They also demonstrate that messaging crafted to educate consumers on how these birds are raised and housed can influence self-reported willingness to pay a premium for either cage-free eggs or breast meat from slow-growing broilers.

Pork Secure Supply Plan detailed

Pork Business | Posted on June 8, 2018

The National Pork Board and USDA are working to create a Secure Pork Supply plan to help lower the disruption to producers and the marketplace if a foreign animal disease (FAD) event occurs. The plan is intended to help pig farmers prepare and quickly respond if an FAD occurs, and is similar to plans in development for other livestock and poultry producers. The plan enhances communication and coordination of all pork chain segments to help producers keep their farms operating and all related business activities functioning. Currently that plan is being made into producer workbooks that will be available early 2018.