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Food News

Do happier cows make for happier consumers?

Edairy News | Posted on April 11, 2019

Today’s consumers and especially many young consumers have a desire to know more about the products they buy, including food products. Driven by an increased awareness of and empathy toward the care of production animals, products aimed at enhancing the quality of food and/or improving the quality of life on farm animals are becoming more common. This is evident in the increased prevalence of marketing of organic, non-GMO foods, cage-free eggs, free-range chicken and the reduction of use of hormones in dairy production.


Consumer opinions not swayed by JAMA egg study

Watt Ag Net (free registration required) | Posted on April 11, 2019

To better understand consumer awareness and the impact of news, such as the recently reported-on Journal of the American Medical Association study about the potential health impact of consuming eggs, the American Egg Board conducted an omnibus survey. The JAMA study was released on March 15. As part of the study, researchers examined the relationship between the consumption of eggs and heart disease.  The study concluded that increased egg consumption is directly related to heart disease and death. “The researchers found that eating just three to four eggs per week was tied to a 6 percent higher risk of heart disease, and an 8 percent risk of dying from any cause.” As part of the study, researchers examined the relationship between the consumption of eggs and heart disease.  The study concluded that increased egg consumption is directly related to heart disease and death.“The researchers found that eating just three to four eggs per week was tied to a 6 percent higher risk of heart disease, and an 8 percent risk of dying from any cause.” “Overall, the news Americans have seen about eggs in the media has not had a negative impact on their perception of eggs, with 56 percent saying it had no impact, 27 percent saying it had a positive impact and 17 percent saying it had a negative impact,” the AEB said. The 17 percent that were negatively impacted by the news were not considered to be regular egg eaters.


Can the world quench China’s bottomless thirst for milk?

The Guardian | Posted on April 4, 2019

China’s leaders have championed milk as the emblem of a modern, affluent society – but their radical plan to triple the nation’s consumption will have a huge environmental cost.As China opened up to the market in the 1980s, after Mao’s death, dried milk powder began appearing in small shops where you could buy it with state-issued coupons. Jian’s parents bought it for him because they thought it would make him stronger. “It was expensive, I didn’t like it, I was intolerant, but we persuaded ourselves it was the food of the future,” he said. “You have to understand the psychology here – there is a sense in China that we have been humiliated ever since the opium wars, but that now we are no longer going to be humiliated by foreign powers.”


Gene-edited plants aid food security, researchers say

Cosmos | Posted on April 4, 2019

With renewed attention to implementation and regulation, new plant breeding technologies such as gene editing could make an important contribution to global food security, say a group of plant geneticists and economists. The authors, from several institutions including the University of Liege, Belgium, and the National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Pakistan, catalogue several new technologies to edit genes of plant crops that they suggest “may allay fears associated with GM crops”.Because direct gene editing doesn’t involve transferring DNA across species – which creates transgenic crops – the paper, published in the journal Science, suggests the new methods could reduce regulatory costs and accelerate innovation.The technologies include CRISPR-Cas systems: targeted techniques to alter sections of DNA by cutting and replacing specific genes. These represent “an effective suite of applications and molecular tools to precisely and efficiently alter the genome in a user-defined manner,” write Belgium’s Syed Shan-e-Ali Zaidi and colleagues.


Food Waste Is a Major Problem. Confusing Date Labels Are Making It Worse.

Pew Trust | Posted on April 4, 2019

Rummaging through your refrigerator, you come across a jar of mayonnaise labeled “BEST IF USED BY 06/10/19.” If it’s mid-July, are you risking illness by slathering it on your sandwich and eating it? It’s hard to say.Massachusetts and New Jersey are considering measures to clear up the confusion, following a California law that went into effect earlier this year. Several other states also are looking at labeling bills, as anti-food waste groups advocate for clearer signs to indicate when food is okay to eat, even if it’s not the freshest.A bill that would establish federal standards for the labels, first introduced in 2016, has gone nowhere in Congress. Meanwhile, 43 states have their own rules, but they vary widely. Most limit labeling requirements to certain items, such as milk or shellfish. Some states prohibit the sale of past-date foods, and about half restrict donations of them. And the seven states without any laws leave it up to manufacturers.The result: confusion for retailers and consumers, who throw out tons of food that is perfectly safe to eat.


More Than 750,000 Could Lose Food Stamps Under Trump Administration Proposal

NPR | Posted on April 2, 2019

Three-quarters of a million people would likely lose their food stamps later this year under a new proposal by the Trump administration. The goal is to encourage able-bodied adults to go to work and get off government aid. But opponents predict people would go hungry instead, if the rule goes into effect. A public comment period has so far drawn more than 28,000 comments overwhelmingly against the proposed rule.Those affected by the proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits are known as able-bodied adults without dependents, or ABAWDs. There were close to 4 million adults in this category receiving food stamps in 2016. About three-quarters of them did not work, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It's part of a broader effort by the administration to impose tighter work requirements on recipients of government aid, such as housing vouchers and Medicaid. A federal judge last week blocked two states, Arkansas and Kentucky, from implementing the Medicaid work rule, calling it "arbitrary and capricious."Others here are struggling with other barriers, such as homelessness, mental illness and drug addiction. Some already work, but not enough to meet the 20-hour-a-week threshold. One man says he has a janitorial job at the Baltimore Orioles' stadium, but only when the baseball team is in town. In the winter, he relies on food stamps.Others here are struggling with other barriers, such as homelessness, mental illness and drug addiction. Some already work, but not enough to meet the 20-hour-a-week threshold. One man says he has a janitorial job at the Baltimore Orioles' stadium, but only when the baseball team is in town. In the winter, he relies on food stamps.


Fresh Deli Cuts Muscle Out Packaged Meats

Wall Street Journal | Posted on April 1, 2019

Meat companies are using the deli counter to showcase new and higher-priced products, as customers eschew prepackaged cold cuts in favor of healthier and more natural foods. Hormel Food Corps, Kraft Heinz,Tyson and other companies are buying smaller deli brand and reformulating their recipes to meet rising demand for fresher cuts.


How eating vegan became a billion-dollar business

Christian Science Monitor | Posted on April 1, 2019

Meat consumption continues to grow worldwide, but so does the number of people considering, carefully, the ethics of eating any product derived from animals.You don’t need to store your grill in the garage just yet. Meat consumption continues to grow worldwide – especially in emerging economies like China. And strict vegans still comprise a fraction of the population in rich countries: just 2.3 percent in Canada, and 3 percent in the United States. But the fundamentals of veganism, centered around plant-based eating, have been promoted by everyone from Beyoncé and Bill Clinton, to environmentalists, doctors, and government officials. The past five years have ushered in a new era for the legume, the pulse, tofu, and tempeh.


'Impossible' meatless patty gets Burger King Whopper test

Reuters | Posted on April 1, 2019

Vegetarian burgers may finally be getting the recognition they need to go mainstream. On Monday Burger King and Silicon Valley startup Impossible Foods announced the rollout of the Impossible Whopper in 59 stores in and around St. Louis, Missouri.


Emails show FDA worry after romaine outbreaks

AP News | Posted on April 1, 2019

After repeated food poisoning outbreaks tied to romaine lettuce, a U.S. food safety official shared his concerns in an internal email, saying the produce industry’s water testing “failed in an epic and tragic way.” How the industry tests water to grow leafy greens is “unacceptable” and needs to change, James Gorny, a senior adviser for produce safety at the Food and Drug Administration, wrote to agency leaders.The message last November, obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request, came days before the agency warned people to avoid romaine ahead of Thanksgiving. Just months earlier in April, another E. coli outbreak linked to romaine had sickened more than 200 and killed five. That was later linked to an irrigation canal near a massive cattle lot in Arizona; the fall outbreak was linked to a water reservoir in California. In both cases, regulators never confirmed how the water became contaminated.


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