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Coca-Cola In Belgium Asks Consumers Not To Buy Its Products Unless It Plans To Recycle Them

June 10, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola in Belgium is trying an ambitious approach to raising awareness of the need to recycle plastic, with a summer campaign that asks consumers not to buy Coke products if they aren’t willing to help the company recycle. Some 85% of Coca-Cola packaging in the country is currently recycled, but the company says this rate is not high enough. The campaign is also being adopted in the Netherlands, on TV ads as well as activations in towns and at festivals. Although the campaign ends in September, it will be incorporated in other advertising.[Image Credit: © The Coca-Cola Company]
"‘Don’t buy Coca-Cola if you’re not going to help us recycle!’ Coca-Cola launches recycling campaign", Beverage Daily, June 10, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Aldi UK Replaces Plastic Checkout Bags With Paper Or Compostable Options

June 10, 2019: 12:00 AM EST



Aldi in the UK will from July this year replace plastic bags in half of its stores with paper bags, and biodegradable bags at the other half. After the trial, Aldo will choose the most popular. The Bioplast 100% compostable bags will cost 6p. Aldo is charging 19p for the paper bags. [Image Credit: © Aldi Stores Limited]
Sarah Young, "Aldi announces plans to reduce traditional plastic bags with paper and compostable versions", Independent UK, June 10, 2019, © Independent Digital News and Media Limited
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Organic Farming Has A Plastics Problem Too

June 7, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Organic farming, like traditional farming, has hit an obstacle caused by the move to limit single-use plastic, which is used as mulch to suppress weeds, improve irrigation and water conservation, and support plant growth. Plastic film to cover acres of arable land represents miles of film, which is disposed of in landfills after one use. There are as yet no feasible alternatives. Biodegradable plastic, for example, is disallowed under existing organic rules in the US, and natural mulches are expensive and labor-intensive. Manufacturers of biodegradable options, including BASF, have been calling on the USDA's National Organic Program to change the rules, but the long-term impact has yet to be identified. [Image Credit: © Siggy Nowak from Pixabay.com]
"Organic Farming Has A Plastic Problem. One Solution Is Controversial", NPR, June 07, 2019, © NPR
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ProAmpac Develops FDA-Compliant Flexible Pouch With 25% Post-Consumer Recycled Content

June 5, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
ProAmpac collaborated with purveyor of flavored nut butters, Justin’s, to develop a plastic pouch made of 25% post-consumer recycled (PCR) that is FDA-compliant. PCR is used for 40% of the sealant film, which equates to 25% of the total packet. The pouch will be used for a new line of almond butter covered almonds and cashew butter covered cashews. The packaging ensures product freshness with high oxygen- and moisture-barrier properties. ProAmpac overcame hazy printing common with use of high PCR by combining flexographic inks and coating technologies, and changing the lamination processes.[Image Credit: © Business Wire, Inc.]
"JUSTIN’S® and ProAmpac Pioneer Sustainable High-Barrier FDA-Compliant Flexible Pouch Using Post-Consumer Recycled Content ", Business Wire, June 05, 2019, © Business Wire, Inc.
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Churros On The March, In San Diego At Least

May 23, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Food experts may disagree about its origins, but most concede that the deep-fried, cinnamon-and-sugar-dusted churro fritter has been around since the 16th century. A long-time cheap snack in San Diego and Tijuana, the churro has begun popping up in unique ways at local restaurants, bars, and food stands. Among the offerings:  Punta Mita-style churros (crispy on the outside, soft on the inside; the churro doughnut (rolled in cinnamon sugar and served with vanilla ice cream); churro bagel (coated in cinnamon sugar and paired with dulce de leche cream cheese); churro waffle sticks ( coated in cinnamon sugar, served with maple cream cheese sauce, jalapeño-blackberry jam and fresh fruit); and churro waffles (fresh-baked Belgian waffles dredged in cinnamon sugar, then paired with ice cream). Also available: churro ice cream sandwiches, pancakes, and French toast.[Image Credit: © Daria-Yakovleva from Pixabay]
"San Diego eateries sweet on churros.", The San Diego Union Tribune, May 23, 2019, © The San Diego Union-Tribune
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Company Provides DNA Trace Back System To Assure Origins Of U.S. Food

May 20, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A 2017 survey by Label Insights found that three-quarters of consumers would exchange their favorite food brands for ones that provide more in-depth product information beyond the physical packaging. With that in mind, Virginia-based Performance Food Group Company (PFG) has been working with European technology innovator IdentiGEN for 10 years to align supply chains, building the first complete DNA trace back system to the farm. The idea is to provide greater accountability, improve sustainability, ensure quality, and prevent fraud. For example, Braveheart Black Angus Beef, a premium Midwest-raised beef that is traceable back to its origins with DNA technology, has been added to the menus of 18,000 U.S. restaurants in 900 U.S. cities since its debut. The fastest growing part of PFG's protein program is fresh meat produced under PFG's proprietary PathProven program, PFG's assurance that the product is traceable, auditable, and meets a specific set of farming and processing standards established and controlled by PFG. [Image Credit: © Performance Food Group]
"PathProven from Performance Food Group Providing First-Ever DNA Trace Back System from Farm to Plate in North America", Business Wire, May 20, 2019, © Business Wire, Inc.
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Coca-Cola To Hold On To Majority Stake In CCBA; Will Incorporate Financials In Its Own Results

May 20, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Coca-Cola announced it will retain a majority stake in Coca-Cola Beverages Africa as “a very important part of the Coca-Cola system” for the foreseeable future. The company said it would begin presenting the financial statements of CCBA within its results from continuing operations in the second quarter of 2019. CCBA has been accounted for as a discontinued operation since Coca-Cola became the controlling shareowner in October 2017. As a result of the reclassification, Coca-Cola expects CCBA will provide reclassified prior year financial information before the second quarter earnings release; and depreciation and amortization will be reinstated. CCBA’s results will be reported as part of the Bottling Investments Group segment.
"Coca-Cola Updates Plans for Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, Including Intent to Retain Majority Stake in Bottler", Business Wire , May 20, 2019, © Business Wire, Inc.
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Innovative Ways To Integrate Wheat Products Into Menus

May 20, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Can kids be tricked into eating healthful vegetables? One chef’s answer: yes, by creating tortillas made from carrots. Josh Kranz of South Dakota recently participated, along with 12 colleagues, in the Wheat Foods Council’s Wheat Immersion Program, where they brainstormed ways to incorporate more wheat products into menus. The immersion program gave the chefs opportunities to work with wheat in innovative ways. Kranz, for example, used whole kernel grain to blend wheat into a salad much like beans or quinoa are used with leafy greens. He soaked the grain much like you would dry beans, then cooked it, cooled it down, and tossed it with a vinaigrette.[Image Credit: © Pexels from PIxabay]
Janelle Atyeo, "Chefs go against the grain to find new ways to cook with wheat", Tri-State Neighbor (Sioux Falls, South Dakota), May 20, 2019, © AgUpdate
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U.S. Food Exporter Helps West African Farmers Get The Grain Fonio To Market

May 19, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Brooklyn’s Yolélé Foods, which imports the sub-Saharan African grain fonio, is working with SOS Sahel to help farmers in the semi-arid region increase their productivity, improve the supply chain, and in turn enhance their livelihood. The farmers cultivate nutritious fonio – gluten-free, high in protein, iron, and fiber – on land that is sandy, rocky, and generally unfriendly to most crops, hard to process  without good equipment, and saddled with a fragmented supply chain. It’s difficult if not impossible to bring substantial quantities to the marketplace. But Yolélé Foods and SOS Sahel have spearheaded the creation of the first industrial scale mill in Dakar (Senegal) to efficiently process the grain and boost supply. "People should expect to find it on store shelves within the year," says a spokesman for Yolélé Foods. [Image Credit: © Yolélé Foods Inc.]
"Fonio: The most nutritious grain you've probably never heard of", The Boston Globe, May 19, 2019, © Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC
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Ardent Mills Shows Pizza Expo Attendees What Authentic Really Means

May 17, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
As consumer food preferences change, pizza bakers need to adapt to new trends and ingredient choices, including unusual flours like heirloom and ancient grains. The Ardent Mills culinary team recently showcased top flour-and-grain trends at the recent International Pizza Expo, a gathering of pizza-making experts and enthusiasts from the restaurant industry. In the process, the team whipped up a variety of brick-oven style pizzas at the expo, including five that illustrated current ingredient trends (and featured company flours): traditional Neapolitan-style pizza; margarita pizza; farm stand pizza made with whole wheat flour and red quinoa; Mardi Gras pizza with Cajun chicken and andouille sausage; Mediterranean pizza with grilled chicken and roasted peppers; and savory garlic parmesan pizza.[Image Credit: © Igor Ovsyannykov from Pixabay]
"Ardent Mills Analyzes Latest Pizza Flour and Grain Trends", Ardent Mills, May 17, 2019, © Ardent Mills
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Buttery Brioche Stands Out On Menu Of New California Bakery

May 15, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Baker Nubchi Thao, who grew up in France, is known, like her new bakery in Fresno, Calif., as The Brioche Lady. The bakery used to be Le Parisien Cafe, and the new owner continues to sell a few treats from the old menu, including colorful macaron sandwich cookies, mini eclairs, and French pastries. But the headliner is really the brioche, a specialty that is not easy to make, what with the rising and fermentation processes that can take 14 to 16 hours. The bakery offers a variety of loaves, including brioches flavored with chocolate, cinnamon, blueberry cream cheese, and strawberry cream cheese. The brioche is used to make: the croque madam ham and cheese sandwich; waffles and traditional brioche French toast; and a brioche bread and ice cream sandwich. [Image Credit: © ptiloup074 from Pixabay]
Bethany Clough, "This new Fresno bakery specializes in something different - and it takes 16 hours to make", Fresno Bee (California), May 15, 2019, © The Fresno Bee
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History Of Eating Disorders Predisposes People To "Clean Eating" Obsession

May 14, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Researchers at York University's Faculty of Health (U.K.) say those who have a history of an eating disorder, obsessive-compulsive traits, dieting, poor body image, and a drive for thinness are more likely to develop a pathological obsession with healthy eating or consuming only healthy food, known as orthorexia nervosa (ON). Although eating healthy is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, for some people this preoccupation with healthy eating can become physically and socially impairing. The researchers reviewed studies published through the end of 2018 in two databases to determine the psychosocial risk factors associated with orthorexia nervosa. "When taken to the extreme, an obsession with clean eating can be a sign that the person is struggling to manage their mental health," they concluded (McComb et al., Appetite 2019)[Image Credit: © RitaE from Pixabay]
"When does clean eating become an unhealthy obsession? New findings on who is at risk for orthorexia nervosa", Science Daily, May 14, 2019, © ScienceDaily
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Whole Grain Reduces Gut Serotonin Levels – And Risk Of Diabetes

May 13, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A new Finnish study finds that adults who eat whole grain rye products have lower plasma serotonin levels than people eating low-fiber wheat bread, and therefore possibly a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Serotonin, best known as a neurotransmitter in the brain, is also produced by the intestines where it remains separated from the brain. In the gut it serves various peripheral functions. including modulation of gut motility, the ability to move food through the digestive tract. Increased blood serotonin is also associated with high blood glucose levels. The researchers noted that whole grain is known to reduce the risk of diabetes. “On the basis of these new results, the effect could at least partly be due to a decrease in serotonin levels," said researcher Kati Hanhineva from the University of Eastern Finland. (Pekka Keski-Rahkonen et al., The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2019.)[Image Credit: © Couleur from Pixabay]
"Whole Grain Can Contribute To Health By Changing Intestinal Serotonin Production", ScienceDaily, May 13, 2019, © ScienceDaily
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Hey America! Chickpea Flour Is Not A U.S. Innovation

May 12, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Indians, Nepalese, Pakistanis, and others have been cooking with chickpea flour for centuries. And now that Americans are getting into the ancient ingredient, some Indians wonder whether their culinary heritage might be getting blurred. The popularity of chickpea flour in the U.S. has been traced to 2009, when it began to appear on gluten-free blogs. In a few years, cookbooks appeared with recipes, for example, like chickpea flour pancakes layered with tomatoes and onions. Gluten-free bakeries popped up, offering treats like chickpea chocolate cupcakes. But freelance food writer Priya Krishna, whose family has long cooked with chickpea flour, wishes cooks and bakers in the U.S. were aware of chickpea flour’s deep roots in South Asian cooking. “I'm not against chickpea flour entering the mainstream,” she writes. “But I wish that more of the stories I read about it, or the recipes I saw that featured it, didn't frame it as a brand-new discovery, and completely ignore its heritage.”[Image Credit: © Alex Dante frim Pixabay]
"How Did Chickpea Flour, A Staple Of Indian Cuisine, Become A Health Food Sensation?", NPR The Salt, May 12, 2019, © NPR
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Suit Alleges “False Advertising” As Panera Launches “Clean Label” Campaign

May 9, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Panera Bread’s advertising campaign touting the restaurant as a place to “eat clean” is “false advertising,” a new class action lawsuit filed in a California federal court alleges. Panera's new ad campaign – featuring in-store advertisements, bags, signs and labels, and an “earthy” green and brown color scheme – promotes its food as “clean” and “100 percent clean,” but the food actually contains glyphosate, the main ingredient in the herbicide Roundup (Monsanto). The restaurant chain, jumping on the “clean-eating bandwagon,” “is deceiving consumers into believing that [its] products are of a higher quality, free from synthetic chemicals, or free from chemical residues from the production process when they are not.” The suit alleges violations of the state's Unfair Competition Law, False Advertising Law, and Consumer Legal Remedies Act, seeking monetary damages as well as a halt to the allegedly deceptive advertising. [Image Credit: © Panera Bread]
Jeffrey S. Edelstein, "Plaintiff Dirties Panera's 'Eat Clean' Claims", Manatt, May 09, 2019, © Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP.
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New Data On Bread Wheat May Help Improve Yield, Disease Resistance

May 8, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
For about 12,000 years, since the dawn of agriculture, humans have been selectively breeding plants with desirable traits, such as high grain yield and disease resistance. Bread wheat (triticum aestivum) during that time emerged as one of the world's most important crops. Together with the growing human population and the changing climate, the demand for wheat with a higher yield and additional resilience is increasing. However, for a few years now the average yield increase of wheat is stagnating. But, according to a new study (Pont et al., Nature Genetics, 2019; 51 (5): 905), high-yielding varieties of triticum aestivum can be found all over the world, each adapted to its growing environment. The study provides a rich genetic data resource that can be used to improve genetic traits in bread wheat, from environmental adaptation to improved yield and disease resistance. [Image Credit: © Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay]
"New Avenues For Improving Modern Wheat", Nature.com, May 08, 2019, © Springer Nature Publishing AG
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USDA Relaxes Obama-Era Rules On Whole Grains In School Lunches

May 3, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Since 2014, U.S. schools have been required to serve only whole grain versions of food as part of the national school lunch program, an important source of free and reduced-price meals for millions of children. But the continuing rollback of Obama-era rules and regulations by the Trump administration has now touched that program, though it appears non-political. After months of complaints about flavor and costs, and lots of uneaten lunches, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the USDA was returning to an old standard: only half of grain foods like pasta and bread must be rich in whole grains. Cafeteria directors who lobbied for the change say they just wanted greater flexibility to serve foods like white bread – more processed and with less fiber – when whole grains don't work. In Vermont, the relaxed rule means white rice will be served with beans again. In Oregon, macaroni and cheese may return. The rollback addresses rules on grains, milk, and salt championed by former first lady Michelle Obama.[Image Credit: © Sornram Srithong from Pixabay]
"With Trump rollback, school lunch could get more white bread", Associated Press News, May 03, 2019, © The Associated Press
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“Natural” Or Not, Use Of Low-Calorie Sweeteners Should Be Limited

May 2, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
As consumers seek to cut down on sugar intake while enjoying a little sweetness, sales of “natural” plant-based sweeteners like monk fruit and stevia are booming, while sales of artificial sweeteners are plummeting. Stevia sales grew 11.9 percent between 2017 and 2018, while artificial sweetener sales slid 6.6 percent. Several studies have highlighted the health benefits – or lack of harmful effects – of using natural sweeteners. But the big question is: Do they help people lose weight? So far, the evidence doesn't support that idea. Are stevia and monk fruit better because they're natural? Remember that "natural" doesn't automatically mean "better." For example, whole stevia leaves and less purified stevia extracts aren't approved for use in food because of concerns related to kidney health. Dietician Christy Brissette says consumers should try to limit the use of low-calorie sweeteners to help taste buds adapt to less sweetness over time. And nutritious foods such as fruit provide fiber and nutrients along with natural sugars.[Image Credit: © Tafilah Yusof from Pixabay]
Christy Brissette, "As zero-calorie natural sweeteners such as stevia surge in popularity, here’s what you need to know", The Washington Post , May 02, 2019, © The Washington Post
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Younger Consumers Love Their Baked Goods

May 1, 2019: 12:00 AM EST


Baked goods are a hit with younger consumers – the Millennial and Gen-Z crowd – the American Bakers Association reports. Nearly three-quarters of these consumers admitted to buying bread “within the past few days” of being surveyed; 60 percent said they’d purchased sweet goods in the past week. Half snack on crackers, tortillas and baked bars every week. Seventy percent associate bagels specifically with breakfast, bread with lunch, and crackers with snacking. Sweets and bars were the favorite baked snacks: 90 percent chose these categories as their favorites, followed closely by crackers (84). The data mirrors ABA and GenHQ’s recent discovery that Millennials and Gen Z consumers rank freshly baked, whole grains and natural ingredients as their top three purchasing factors. More than 1,800 Millennials participated in the online survey in February.[Image Credit: © pisandspices from Pixabay]
Kristine Sherred, "Millennials and Gen Zs buy bread and sweet goods weekly: ABA report", BakeryAndSnacks.com, May 01, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Launch Of German Bakery Will Begin Revitalization Of Wisc. City’s Downtown

May 1, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A baker who learned his trade in Germany before emigrating to the U.S. in 1988 has opened the Okauchee Baker Meister, an authentic German bakery in Wisconsin. Michael Schuerstedt said Baker Meister will offer strudels, pretzels, kringles, coffee cakes, butter cookies, and cakes. The owner of the building that houses the new bakery said it will help kick off Okauchee’s downtown zoning district revitalization.  Schuerstedt said Wisconsin’s strong German heritage and tradition drew him and his wife back after a stint in Illinois. [Image Credit: © teposu20 from Pixabay]
Alex Nemec , "German couple to open authentic German bakery", GM Today, May 01, 2019, © Conley Group, Ltd.
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Calif. Bakery Celebrates Anniversary With New Founders Breads

April 30, 2019: 12:00 AM EST


Los Angeles-based La Brea Bakery, an Aryzta company, is celebrating its 30th anniversary in business by launching a new bread line: La Brea Bakery Founders, in honor of Nancy Silverton and long-time baking partner Jonathan Davis. The two spent months experimenting with recipes and ingredients before finalizing the three breads that will debut this month. The new breads will be made using Silverton’s original sourdough starter and will incorporate contemporary ingredients and flavor profiles, basked using old-world techniques. The Founders portfolio includes Pain Levain, Sprouted Multigrain and Seed, and Country Wheat Batard. They will be sold nationwide at select grocery stores this fall.[Image Credit: © La Brea Bakery]
Renee Sexton, "La Brea Bakery Creates Founders Breads For 30th Anniversary Celebration", The Shelby Report, April 30, 2019, © The Shelby Report
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Fast Food Restaurants Are Selling Roundup Herbicide With Their Entrees

April 28, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Nonprofit foodservice industry watchdog GMO Free USA published a report detailing the results of food tests for glyphosate residue across fifteen popular fast food and casual restaurants in the U.S. A Panera Bread sample had the highest level of glyphosate of all 44 restaurant foods tested. The irony is that the company’s primary marketing claim is: "100 percent of our food is 100 percent clean." Other restaurants tested include Chili's Grill & Bar, Domino's Pizza, Dunkin' Donuts, IHOP, Le Pain Quotidien, McDonald's, Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, Papa John's, Pizza Hut, Pret a Manger, Subway, Taco Bell, and Whole Foods Market. Glyphosate has been linked to cancer, disturbances in the microbiome and the depletion of our bodies' ability to detoxify." A growing body of peer-reviewed science links glyphosate to numerous health harms at levels found in some restaurant foods tested. [Image Credit: © GMO Free USA]
"Report Uncovers Prevalence of Glyphosate in Restaurant Foods", CSRwire , April 28, 2019, © CSRwire, LLC
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A La Mode Ice Cream Gets Rid Of All Artificial Flavors, Colors

April 26, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Egg-free ice cream brand A La Mode of New York announced it is transitioning to all-natural ingredients while introducing a packaging update to the current upbeat and playful cartons, most notably including color changing spoons. The nut-, sesame- and egg-free line is being revamped with all-natural coloring and ingredients now available in pints and soon to be offered in cups and bars. The company also noted that its cartons will be fully recyclable in an effort to further A La Mode's mission to be fully sustainable.[Image Credit: © A La Mode Shoppe]
"A La Mode Transitions Product to All Natural and Introduces 100 percent Recyclable, Unique Packaging Upgrade Nationwide", PR Newswire, April 26, 2019, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Aryzta Now Selling Frozen Danish Pastries To U.S. Foodservice Market

April 25, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Swiss frozen baked goods company Aryzta has launched Mette Munk branded Danish pastries into the U.S. and Canadian marketplaces. Produced at its bakery in Denmark, the frozen products are for retail, convenience, and foodservice customers. The Mette Munk premium line of Danish pastries is made with real fruit, free-range eggs, certified sustainable palm oil, Bourbon vanilla, and pure maple syrup at the bakery in Odense. Other Aryzta brands include La Brea Bakery, Otis Spunkmeyer, Oakrun Farm Bakery, and Pennant.[Image Credit: © ARYZTA]
"Aryzta Announces New Line of Premium Authentic Danish Pastries", Business Wire, April 25, 2019, © Business Wire, Inc.
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Baked Goods Ingredient Raises Risk Of Obesity And Diabetes

April 25, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine reports that propionate, an ingredient widely used in animal feed, artificial flavorings, and baked goods, may cause a spike in hormones that can raise the risk of diabetes and obesity. Propionate consumption can increase substances in the human body that create excessive insulin and insulin resistance. The researchers observed significant weight gain and a rise in glucose in lab mice, which led to hyperglycemia in the animals. They also tested it in humans, finding that propionate eaters had significant increases in norepinephrine, along with FABP4 and glucagon. These results suggest that propionate could lead to both obesity and diabetes.[Image Credit: © Sornram Srithong from Pixabay]
Tauren Dyson, "Chemical in baked goods, flavorings may increase obesity, diabetes risk", UPI, April 25, 2019, © United Press International, Inc.
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Maker Of Costco-Sold Veggie Burgers Switches To New Plant-Based Formula

April 25, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
California-based Don Lee Farms announced it is switching to a new all plant-based formula in its popular organic veggie burgers and veggie bites sold at Costco. The plant-based ingredients include organic veggies and organic sunflower seeds. The new formula-burgers will be gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, GMO-free, free from artificial ingredients and organic certified, the company said. The plant-based burgers resemble beef patties but "bleed" organic beet juice and sizzle on the grill from organic vegetable-based fats. The company recently announced it was   launching its organic plant-based burger in nearly 2,000 Kroger stores, an expansion of its distribution to more than 8,000 retail markets, including Whole Foods Markets, Walmart, and Publix.[Image Credit: © Don Lee Farms]
I-Chun Chen , "Don Lee Farms replacing formula of veggie burgers sold at Costco", L.A. Biz, April 25, 2019, © American City Business Journals
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At Google’s Cafés, Chefs Pay Close Attention To Food Waste

April 24, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
At its headquarters in Mountain View, California, Google operates several cafés that serve 200,000 free meals a day. In 2014, Google started working with Leanpath, a company that provides equipment to measure and track food waste, and it coaches chefs on how to use that data. Google’s chefs carefully weigh ingredients that can’t be used to determine exactly how much food is wasted. They cook in batches to avoid preparing too much food, and adjust through the meal. By using these methods, Google says, it has kept more than six million pounds of food from going to landfills or compost. “The reality is that the act of measurement is, in and of itself, a very profound intervention,” says Andrew Shakman, CEO of Leanpath. [Image Credit: © Free-Photos from Pixabay]
Adele Peters, "How Google saved over 6 million pounds of food waste in its cafés", Fast Company, April 24, 2019, © Mansueto Ventures, LLC
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New Technology Takes The Stickiness Out Of Bread Production

April 22, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Commercial bread-making machinery typically includes scrapers that constantly push the sticky dough away from the sides of the container. The drawback is that the constant scraping can result in over-kneading and a denser loaf. One answer to the problem could be a more slippery container that requires no scraping and thus produces better-tasting bread. That answer may be on its way, thanks to a team of researchers from MIT that has tackled the problem of how to get much thicker materials to slide without sticking or deforming. The team has developed what are called liquid-impregnated surfaces that are based on a combination of a specially textured surface and a liquid lubricant that coats the surface and remains trapped in place through capillary action. The result? Nearly 100 percent friction reduction for gel-like fluids and sticky pastes.[Image Credit: © Massachusetts Institute of Technology]
David L. Chandler, "How slippery surfaces allow sticky pastes and gels to slide", Massachusetts Institute of Technology, April 22, 2019, © Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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FDA Food Label Changes Could Prevent A Million Cases Of Heart-Related Disease

April 22, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A modeling study published in the journal Circulation (American Heart Assoc.) reports that pending changes to the FDA’s Nutrition Facts label that will require products to clearly label the grams and percent Daily Value of added sugar could prevent or postpone nearly a million cases of cardiometabolic disease and save billions in healthcare and societal costs over the next 20 years. If manufacturers as expected also reformulate their products to reduce added sugars they would need to label, it would triple the cardiovascular disease and diabetes cases prevented during the same time period. By 2037, the label change alone could prevent 354,400 cardiovascular disease cases and 599,300 cases of diabetes – equal to an additional 727,000 years of life and a savings of $31 billion in healthcare costs or $61.9 billion in societal costs,[Image Credit: © U.S. Food and Drug Administration]
Elizabeth Crawford, "Changes to Nutrition Facts label to call out added sugar could save millions of lives, study suggests", FoodNavigator-USA.com, April 22, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Hormel Launches National Ad Campaign To Inspire People To “Choose Good”

April 19, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Austin, Minn.-based Hormel, maker of Natural Choice deli meats, has launched the “Good Feeds Us All” national advertising campaign to “inspire people to choose good whether it's in the food they eat or the actions they take.” The brand will incorporate a Good Feeds Us All national tour to spotlight individuals and organizations who have made it their mission to choose good. However, whether Natural Choice meats are really natural or good has spawned litigation. The D.C. Superior Court on April 8 dismissed a lawsuit by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) alleging Hormel was misleading consumers. But in statements disclosed in the court filing, a Hormel executive said the same antibiotics-treated pigs used to make its Spam meat product are also used in Natural Choice pork products. An ALDF attorney said Hormel was engaged in “a massive attempt to manipulate and dupe the consumer to purchase something they have no intention to purchase.”[Image Credit: © Lloyd's Barbeque Company, LLC]
"The Makers of Hormel Natural Choice Deli Meats Announce New National Ad Campaign Inspiring Others to Choose Good", PR Newswire , April 19, 2019, © PR Newswire Association LLC.
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Naturally Network Spreads Good Food Movement To Chicago

April 19, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Chicago's Good Food movement is linking with the Naturally Network, a natural and organic foods and economic development initiative, to build a diverse food community “within the Chicago foodshed and beyond.” Naturally Chicago follows the Naturally Boulder initiative in Colorado, which organized in 2005 and now has 1,400 natural product members. An affiliate in the Bay Area in California was launched last year. Naturally Boulder was started to help retain the natural and organic food businesses that had started in the region. Connecting people created a thriving ecosystem for entrepreneurs and others in the “good food movement” – local and fresh food produced in a sustainable manner – to come together, organizers said.[Image Credit: © Naturally Chicago]
Karen Binder, "Adding 'naturally' to the Windy City", AgriNews Publications, April 19, 2019, © AgriNews Publications
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Despite Some Blips, Danone Says It’s On Track For Solid Growth In 2019

April 17, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Despite a couple of disturbing first-quarter setbacks, yogurt giant Danone is sticking to forecasts that call for accelerated sales in the second quarter and three percent like-for-like sales growth for the year. The company faced a consumer boycott in Morocco early in 2018 over its strategy of raising prices to counter falling sales; sales of infant formula in China drooped compared with last year. First-quarter sales rose a modest 0.8 percent to $6.9 billion, compared to 2.4 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2018. Nevertheless, the company says it is still on track to achieve three percent like-for-like sales growth for the full year. The major operating divisions – Essential Dairy & Plant-based (EDP), Specialized Nutrition, and Waters – recorded like-for-like sales growth in the quarter. The Waters division grew 3.9 percent, thanks in part to the increased distribution of Evian waters in the U.S.
Martin White, "Danone maintains full-year profit targets following modest Q1", FoodBev Media , April 17, 2019, © FoodBev Media Ltd
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Rebellious Energy Of Teenagers Used To Change Attitudes Toward Junk Food

April 16, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Research published in the journal Nature Human Behavior urges exposing naturally rebellious teenagers to the food industry’s manipulative marketing techniques to get them to rebel against the devious snack makers contributing to teen obesity. Teenagers can have “powerful feelings of outrage,” one researcher noted, that can be harnessed to promote public health. For the study, researchers designed an intervention in eighth grade classrooms in a Texas middle school, issuing a fact-based, exposé-style article on big food companies to the students. A control group was shown traditional healthy eating education material. The group that read the exposés chose fewer junk food snacks and selected water over sugary sodas the next day. However, the researchers puzzled over why girls who experienced a negative immediate response to junk food after the intervention didn’t really change their daily cafeteria purchases.[Image Credit: © skeeze from Pixabay]
"Teens' Appetite for Rebellion Can Counter Their Appetite for Junk Food", The University of Texas News, April 16, 2019, © The University of Texas at Austin
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U.S. Pastry Chefs Put Their Personal Stamp On Cookies-And-Milk

April 16, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Pastry chefs at restaurants around the U.S. are personalizing an old standby dessert: cookies and milk. A chef at a small plates restaurant in Pittsburgh, for example, serves a selection of 13 cookie creations on a miniature table – a nod to the Ohio/Pennsylvania wedding tradition known as the cookie table – set with four glasses of milk. The cookie selections for the $30 dessert for two-to-four people include, on a rotating basis, lemon poppy swirls; phun-phetti, a cream cheese sugar cookie coated in rainbow jimmies, etc. Southern cuisine restaurant Kitchen Notes in Nashville, Tenn., serves a plate of two cookies – bourbon-soaked oatmeal raisin and caramel pecan chocolate chip – with a carafe of milk for $8. And Washington, D.C. ramen eatery Toki Underground serves a plate of white chocolate and rosemary cookies with matcha milk and matcha buttercream for $7. [Image Credit: © hewq from Pixabay]
Fern Glazer, "Milk and cookies get a makeover", Nation’s Restaurant News, April 16, 2019, © Informa USA Inc.
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New York Enacts Law To Reduce Food Waste, Feed The Needy

April 16, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
New York State has enacted first-of-its-kind food waste legislation designed to direct more healthy food to disadvantaged New Yorkers while reducing climate pollution around the state. The Food Donation and Food Scrap Recycling Act, effective in 2022, will require large food generators – including supermarkets, colleges, hotels, and sporting venues – to donate leftover edible food. Remaining scraps must be prepared as animal feed or compost if a recycling facility is within 25 miles. However, most food generators covered under the law are exempt from this provision because they're more than 25 miles from a recycler. Proponents of the food waste requirements expect that the language in the recently adopted state budget will encourage businesses to open organic recycling facilities in the next two and a half years.[Image Credit: © pasja1000 from Pixabay]
David Lombardo, "New York aims to curb food waste", Times Union, April 16, 2019, © The Hearst Corporation
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Even Vasectomies Deserve A Special-Occasion Cake

April 16, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
For small bakers, making cakes for offbeat occasions is a way to increase profits as the market for traditional birthday-wedding-communion-graduation cakes grows stale. One of those offbeat occasions is the vasectomy: about 500,000 are performed in the U.S. each year. Vasectomy cakes topped with scissors, well-placed blueberries, and fondant sperm have become a social media sensation. One such cake caused a buzz on Instagram: the post by Signature Desserts in Nolensville, Tenn., showcased a buttercream-frosted cake with "100% JUICE NO SEEDS HAPPY VASECTOMY!" written on top. The $30 six-inch red velvet cake featured lemons hand-painted on edible paper. Since then, the bakery has gotten requests for hysterectomy cakes.[Image Credit: © Signature Desserts Nate Clingman]
Zlati Meyer, "Vasectomy cakes are a thing now", USA TODAY, April 16, 2019, © USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC.
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Perdue Expands Processing Operations In S.C. To Meet No-Antibiotics Demand

April 15, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Privately-owned poultry processor Perdue Farms has spent $25 million on expanding its operations in South Carolina to satisfy consumer demand for antibiotics-free chicken. The company enlarged its portioning and marinating facilities, added a shipping cooler, and added installed automated pallet storage and office space. According to Perdue, all chicken, turkey, pork, and beef are now raised in antibiotics-free environments. It also offers a full range of no-antibiotics-ever products for foodservice operators, including restaurants, schools, colleges and universities, and hospitals. "The expansion will help us meet the growing demand for no-antibiotics-ever chicken products, and maintain the high level of customer service and reliability” expected from Perdue, CEO Randy Day said.[Image Credit: © Perdue and its affiliates or subsidiaries]
Dean Best, "Perdue Farms invests in antibiotic-free chicken", just-food.com, April 15, 2019, © just-food.com
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Meat Companies May Be Misleading Consumers By Claiming Products Are “Natural”

April 11, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Although American consumers want “all-natural” meats – with no antibiotics, hormones, or preservatives – the USDA says that in meats and poultry “natural” only means no artificial ingredients and minimal processing. Major meat companies, meanwhile, are catering to consumer desires by claiming or implying in advertising that their products are natural. Those claims are legal, as long as they follow USDA guidelines, even if they mislead shoppers. That was basically the ruling of the D.C. Superior Court when on April 8 it dismissed a lawsuit by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) alleging Hormel was misleading consumers. But in statements disclosed in the court filing, a Hormel executive said the same pigs it uses to make its famous Spam brand meat product are also used in Natural Choice pork products. Those pigs are often given antibiotics and are rarely allowed outdoors. An ALDF attorney said Hormel was engaged in “a massive attempt to manipulate and dupe the consumer to purchase something they have no intention to purchase.” [Image Credit: © Lloyd's Barbeque Company, LLC]
Richard Binder, "Hormel lawsuit reveals that 'natural' meat might not be", Law.com, April 11, 2019, © ALM Media Properties, LLC
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British Food Waste Recycler Tells Foodservice Industry How To Cut Waste

April 10, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
ReFood, the U.K.’s leading food waste recycler, believes the country should be ranked higher than 24th in the world in reducing food waste. The British foodservice industry is producing a million tons of unnecessary food waste annually at a cost of $3.2 billion a year. Research suggests 75 percent of this waste is completely avoidable. The country’s pubs, restaurants and food outlets can implement several ReFood strategies to reduce waste: be sensible with stock, storage and stock rotation; use accurate temperature control to prevent growth of harmful pathogenic bacteria and minimize spoilage; label all stored food clearly; review portion sizes to prevent uneaten food from being wasted; link up with a local charity and donate leftovers; mix up the menu to give customers more choice about what’s on their plate; and expand food safety training to include food waste training.[Image Credit: © Free-Photos from Pixabay]
Philip Simpson, "Is your restaurant throwing away its profits? Seven ways to cut food waste", BigHospitality.co.uk, April 10, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Barley: Not Just For The Farm Trough Anymore

April 10, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A chef in the Pittsburgh area sings the praises of his “favorite grain,” barley – the No. 4 whole grain produced in the world, but the least eaten at the table. Joe Carei acknowledges that barley hasn’t quite made it to the mainstream of home-cooking ingredients – it’s mostly used to feed animals – but home cooks should give it a chance. He suggests, for example, substituting it for side dishes like rice, pasta, and risotto because the healthful grain is inexpensive, filling, a great source of fiber, and easily added to the diet. It can be incorporated into soups, salads or bread. In terms of health, barley can be classified as a superfood: it helps control blood sugar, prevents diabetes, reduces blood pressure and cholesterol, prevents gallstones, and helps with prevention of colon cancer. So “if you are tired of rice or potatoes,” Carei says, “give barley a call. It's waiting.”[Image Credit: © FotoshopTofs from Pixabay]
Joe Carei, "Locally Carei: Barley moving closer to mainstream", Herald-Standard, April 10, 2019, © Herald-Standard
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Rhode Island City Expands Leftover Food “Sharing Tables” To All Schools

April 10, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Pawtucket, R.I., has begun implementing a plan to cut down on food waste and make sure hungry children are properly fed. The plan is based on the concept of “sharing tables,” once an informal way for students to take food discarded by classmates. The method is being expanded to more schools this year. Beginning in April, foodservice provider Aramark will add ice packs and soft-shell coolers, allowing more items to be saved and given to students who need or want them. Company representatives will also be able to track exactly how much waste is being reduced by weighing poundage thrown away. Incorporating coolers, ice packs, signage, and training of staff will help make sharing tables a “routine staple of what we do.” An Aramark rep said.[Image Credit: © Mabel Amber from Pixabay]
Ethan Shorey, "‘Sharing tables’ taking off, reducing waste", Valley Breeze: Pawtucket Edition (Rhode Island), April 10, 2019, © Breeze Publications, Inc.
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Three Federal Agencies To Work Together To Reduce Nation’s Food Waste

April 9, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have joined forces to create an interagency strategy to address food waste. At an event held at EPA headquarters, state, local and community leaders and others shared ideas on how all levels of government can cooperate to reduce food waste. The “Winning on Reducing Food Waste Strategy” includes six priority areas the agencies will focus on over the next year: enhance interagency coordination; increase consumer education and outreach efforts; improve coordination and guidance on food loss and waste measurement; clarify and communicate information on food safety, food date labels, and food donations; collaborate with private industry to reduce food loss and waste across the supply chain; and encourage food waste reduction by federal agencies in their respective facilities. “Our nation’s agricultural abundance should be used to nourish those in need, not fill the trash,” said USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. [Image Credit: © USDA]
"USDA, EPA, and FDA Unveil Strategy to Reduce Food Waste", USDA, April 09, 2019, © U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Company Seeks Quick Commercialization Of Onsite Food Waste Processor

April 9, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Micron Waste Technologies is expanding a collaboration with BC Research Inc. (BCRI) to rapidly commercialize the company's second-generation food waste processing system, dubbed the Organivore 2.0. The equipment is designed for onsite waste processing by commercial producers of food waste, including supermarkets and food processors, producers and distributors. Innovations developed for the Cannavore system, which Micron and BCRI built for the cannabis industry, will be incorporated into Organivore 2.0. Market readiness is anticipated in the second half of this year. Micron says the Organivore reduces air and water pollution by, among other things, using an aerobic process with patented microbes and enzymes to break down food waste without producing methane; and treating organic waste onsite into clean water and reusable biosolids, resulting in diversion of up to 95 percent of the waste sent to landfills.[Image Credit: © Micron Waste Technologies Inc.]
Waste360 Staff, "Micron Waste to Commercialize Organivore System for Food Waste", waste360.com, April 09, 2019, © Informa Markets, a trading division of Informa PLC.
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Japanese Soufflé Pancakes Take Instagram – And America – By Storm

April 9, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The Japanese soufflé pancake is a fast-growing trend on Instagram: more than 50,000 photos of the fluffy concoctions appear there. Long lines at cafés here and abroad wait to be served the delicacies made with an airy vanilla batter, toasted lightly on each side in a pan, then topped with match custard sauce, boba pearls, fresh berries, or maple syrup and butter. Though their origin is a subject of debate, soufflé pancakes are fluffier and taller – at least two inches high – than American pancakes because they are made from a meringue-based batter using egg yolks mixed with flour, milk and sometimes baking powder, and with egg whites and sugar beaten into a stiff meringue and folded together. The mixture is scooped into ring molds on a frying pan. They end up with a marshmallow-like texture because they’re cooked at a low temperature for a relatively long amount of time.[Image Credit: © nobu sato from Pixabay]
Daniela Galarza, "Fluffy Japanese Soufflé Pancakes Have American Fans Waiting in Line", The New York Times , April 09, 2019, © The New York Times Company
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Campus Education Programs Alone Won’t Cut Waste At All-You-Can-Eat Buffets

April 8, 2019: 12:00 AM EST

According to a University of Illinois study, diners at all-you-can-eat buffet-style restaurants or university dining halls have little incentive to pile less food on their plate. The result? They tend to overindulge, but don’t necessarily consume all that they heap on their plates, and a lot of food is wasted. A food waste-reduction campaign might serve as a low-cost way to extol moderation at the buffet line. Unfortunately, however, such campaigns don’t seem to work. Consumer economist Brenna Ellison suggests that for greater waste reduction, education campaigns should be combined with environmental changes such as removing the flat-fee pricing structure or pre-portioning food items.[Image Credit: © University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign]
Phil Ciciora, "Study: Impact of Food Waste Campaigns Muted, But Point Toward Right Direction", Phys.org, April 08, 2019, via University of Illinois System-Urbana-Champaign , © Phys.org
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In Restaurants, The “Gluten-Free” Claim Is Problematic

April 6, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Even tiny amounts of gluten in foods are troublesome for people with celiac disease, and restaurants may be the most difficult places to avoid the protein, according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. More than half of gluten-free pizza and pasta dishes in restaurants, for example, tested positive for the presence of gluten; a third of supposedly gluten-free foods had detectable gluten. Researcher Benjamin Lebwohl used data uploaded by users of the portable device Nima Gluten Sensor, used by restaurants to test foods. The manufacturer supplied 5,624 food tests by 804 users over 18 months. The research showed 32 percent of tests revealed detectable gluten in dishes that were supposed to be gluten-free. Gluten-free pasta samples were positive in 51 percent of tests; gluten-free pizza contained gluten for 53 percent. [Image Credit: © Kurious from Pixabay]
"Gluten-free labeled food have presence of gluten, says new study", Big News Network, April 06, 2019, via Asian News International (ANI), © Big News Network
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Community Refrigerators Reduce Food Waste While Helping To Feed The Needy

April 6, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A British environmental charity is turning to community refrigerators set up in public spaces as a way to reduce food waste and foster more nutritious eating.  The refrigerators, set up in community centers and churches, for example, would give restaurants, supermarkets, home cooks, and others a place to drop off excess food as a donation and ensure it remains fresh. The food would then be picked up by people in need, free of charge. Hubbub, the charity installing the fridges, has placed  50 community refrigerators so far, and hopes to install another 50 across Britain by the end of 2020. On average, a community refrigerator site is visited by more than 200 people a month, though that number could climb to about 1,000 visitors for busier locations.[Image Credit: © https://www.hubbub.org.uk/the-community-fridge]
Shannon Larson, "'Community' refrigerators aim to freeze out food waste", Reuters, April 06, 2019, © Thomson Reuters
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Nigerian Entrepreneur Recycles Egg Shells Into Gold

April 6, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
A Nigerian expert in agricultural waste recycling has developed a “gold mine” of a process for recycling egg shells – donated by bakeries, hatcheries, confectionaries, etc. – for use by a variety of industries. The cosmetics industry, for example, uses egg shells to make body care products. Other examples listed by Ogochukwu Maduako include the pharmaceutical industry (medicine production), the paint industry (as a pigment), and the agricultural sector (for calcium supplementation). Egg shells can also be turned into an effective scouring powder in the home for washing pots and pans, sinks, and bathtubs. Maduako’s mission? “To change the narratives of agricultural waste through eggshells. I want agricultural waste to be seen differently – more like the gold that it is.”[Image Credit: © Corophoto from Pixabay]
Adie Vanessa Offiong, "How waste eggshells became my goldmine - Ogochukwu Maduako", Daily Trust, April 06, 2019, © Media Trust Limited
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FDA Updating “Standards Of Identity” In Foods To Adjust For Healthful Ingredients

April 5, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
The FDA says it is modernizing the standards of identity for many food products so that they can be formulated to be healthier and still use the term that most consumers recognize. An example is cheddar cheese. Under current rules, a company that wants to reduce the sodium and add a sodium replacement, like potassium chloride, it can’t call it cheddar cheese. The FDA says it’s a major priority, but a big endeavour because there are 278 standards of identity and all have to be changed by the long process of rulemaking. The agency says it is exploring ways these can be done more broadly and across different standards in broad categories. It will reopen a comment period on a 2000 proposed rule modernizing the standards of identity.[Image Credit: © U.S. Food and Drug Administration]
Elizabeth Crawford, "FDAs Nutrition Innovation Strategy pushes forward with updates to labeling, standards of identity", FDA Updating “Standards Of Identity” In Foods To Adjust For Healthful Ingredients, April 05, 2019, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Restaurant Industry In Mississippi Keeps Shackles On Home Bakers

April 4, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
Mississippi’s restaurant industry is fighting, successfully so far, attempts to make it easier for home bakers – so-called cottage food operators – to sell their wares online. The state’s lawmakers a few years ago relaxed restrictions on home baking and selling, but left limitations on annual sales ($20,000) and display of images of baked goods on websites and social media. New legislation removing the restrictions passed the House, but died in the Senate, thanks to strong opposition from the Mississippi Restaurant Association, which claimed there was "widespread abuse creating an uneven playing field." Similar battles have been fought in the state, and elsewhere, between established industries and upstarts: food trucks vs. restaurants, small farmers vs. Big Agriculture, Airbnb vs. the hotel industry, Uber vs. taxi companies, etc. “Unfortunately for consumers, too often the response by lawmakers is to agree to protect the established interests rather than letting the market choose the winners and losers.”[Image Credit: © rodolfoguevara55 from Pixabay]
Brett Kittredge, "Little appetite for food freedom in Mississippi", Mississippi Center for Public Policy , April 04, 2019, © Mississippi Center for Public Policy
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