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Food News

Lawsuit Alleges Meatpacker Conspiracy

DTN | Posted on April 25, 2019

The nation's largest meatpacking companies conspired to unlawfully depress fed-cattle prices paid to ranchers starting in 2015, a national cattle group alleges in a new class-action lawsuit filed in federal court in Illinois on Tuesday. The Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA) filed the lawsuit on behalf of four cattle-feeding ranchers in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Wyoming.The lawsuit alleges the nation's largest meatpacking companies engaged in fed-cattle price fixing, unjustly enriched their businesses, manipulated the prices of fed cattle and as a result the Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures and options, and committed a number of violations of the Commodity Exchange Act, among other allegations.


Labeling bill causing friction among Oregon winemakers

Capital Press | Posted on April 25, 2019

A bill designed to protect Oregon wine from out-of-state imposters is fermenting discord within the industry. Senate Bill 111 calls on the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to adopt new rules for enforcing wine labeling standards under state law, while also ensuring wineries pay a $25 per ton grape tax.The issue arose last year during a highly publicized feud between Willamette Valley winemakers and Copper Cane Wines & Provisions, based in Rutherford, Calif. Copper Cane buys grapes from about 40 Oregon growers to make two brands of Pinot noir — Elouan and The Willametter Journal.The Oregon Winegrowers Association, with help from state legislators, successfully argued those wines had deceptive labels that illegally referenced certain high-value growing regions known as American Viticultural Areas, or AVAs.SB 111 authorizes the OLCC to develop regulations against importing and selling deceptively labeled wine. It allows the commission to enter into agreements with agencies from other states, and would increase the fines for violations from $5,000 to $25,000.


Dairy researchers look for milk-based beverages that don't need refrigeration

WSAU | Posted on April 25, 2019

Dairy leaders from across the state are looking to help UW Madison research new ways to bottle and make the dairy drinks of the future. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin are contributing a million dollars worth of grant money to find a way to create dairy based beverages that don't need refrigeration. The goal of the project is to allow for multiple, smaller research projects in order to prototype the technology, and make it available to the industry once they're done.Governor Tony Evers told a dairy conference in Madison that the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation's share of the funding will be $750,000 ,"to establish the Beverage Innovation Center, a new center for excellence that would be housed in the Center for Dairy Research at the University of Wisconsin campus."


From lab-grown meat to fermented fungus, here’s what corporate food VCs are serving up

Tech Crunch | Posted on April 25, 2019

Like their corporate backers, startups funded by “Big Food” are a diverse bunch. Recent funding recipients are pursuing endeavors ranging from alternative protein to biospectral imaging to fermented fungus. But if one were to pinpoint an overarching trend, it might be a shift away from cost savings to consumer-friendliness.And what does the consumer want? This particular consumer would currently like a zero calorie hot fudge sundae. More broadly, however, the general trends LeClerc sees call for food that is healthier, tastier, nutrient-dense, satiating, ethically sourced and less environmentally impactful.Demand for protein-rich foods, combined with ethical concerns about consuming animal products, has, for a number of years, led investors to startups offering meaty tasting tidbits sourced from the plant world.


Buffalo is launching a food waste composting program to limit waste in landfills

WKBW | Posted on April 25, 2019

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates we throw away 30 to 40 percent of our food. That's about $161 billion worth of food that ends up in landfills every year. But now the city of Buffalo is looking to do its part to change that, by launching its very own food waste collection program.All your leftover fruits, veggies, coffee grounds, tea bags, egg and nut shells will go to the Buffalo River Compost site on Ensign Street."We grind up all the wood and mix that in a carbon-nitrogen ratio, with some fruits and vegetables and monitor all the chemical components of that and with time, turn it into a finished compost product," said Brian Murphy, owner of Buffalo River Compost.


Farmers' share of food spending drops

Daily Yonder | Posted on April 23, 2019

The share of food spending that goes to America’s farmers fell for the sixth straight year in 2017, according to the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS). Farmers earned 14.6 cents in commodity sales on every dollar Americans spent for food in 2017 – about a fifth of a cent less than farmers received in 2016.Farmers’ share of America’s food dollars has been eroding since 2011, when farmers received 17.6 cents for every dollar spent on food in the United States.


World Health Organization drops its high-profile endorsement of the EAT-Lancet diet

The New Food Economy | Posted on April 18, 2019

the World Health Organization (WHO), the arm of the United Nations charged with monitoring global health, has dropped its endorsement of the EAT-Lancet Commission’s planetary health diet—a much-ballyhooed, well-publicized attempt at saving the planet through the food we eat.Gian Lorenzo Cornado, Italy’s ambassador to the United Nations, questioned the diet’s impact on public health. The ambassador stated that radical, drastic limitations on animal livestock production—the commission’s primary recommendation—would cause economic hardship in developing countries. In a press release, the “permanent mission,” as the office is known, also suggested the report was not sufficiently independent, and aimed for nothing less than the “total elimination of the freedom of choice” by consumers.


Del Taco launching meatless tacos with Beyond Meat

Biz Journals | Posted on April 18, 2019

Del Taco Restaurants Inc. is teaming with Beyond Meat to add meatless tacos to its 580 locations beginning April 25. Lake Forest, California-based Del Taco (Nasdaq: TACO) said the launch makes it the first national Mexican fast food chain to offer plant-based meat on its menu The nationwide launch of the new menu item dubbed, Beyond Tacos, comes after Del Taco tested it in selected cities.


Will Hormel suit outcome signal end of ‘natural’ label?

Watt Ag Net (free registration required) | Posted on April 18, 2019

The overuse of labels on meat and poultry products has been the topic of many discussions, and the consensus reached in most of those discussions I have heard is many of those labels are meaningless. Now, the judicial system agrees.On April 8, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), that accused Hormel Foods of being deceptive through the use of the word “natural,” Bloomberg News reported.ALDF argued that products from animals that have been treated with antibiotics or have been raised indoors, are not “naturally” raised by most consumers perceptions.But according to the court, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) allows the use of the word “natural” as long the product carrying the label contains no artificial ingredients and has been minimally processed, and therefore, the Hormel products in question like the Natural Choice pork products, do meet the criteria to legally carry the “natural label.”


USDA, EPA, and FDA Unveil Strategy to Reduce Food Waste

FDA | Posted on April 11, 2019

As part of the Trump Administration’s Winning on Reducing Food Waste Month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the release of a federal interagency strategy to address food waste. The agencies held an event at EPA headquarters to hear from state, local and community leaders and other stakeholders on how all levels of government can work together to reduce food waste.


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