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Food News

No One’s Really Sure How to Regulate This Hemp Food Craze

Pew Trust | Posted on March 14, 2019

Despite limited research on the compound’s health benefits, hemp CBD has become a nationwide health food craze. Stressed-out people flock to cafes and restaurants that sell CBD cocktails and cookies, doughnuts and dog treats. Martha Stewart is advising a cannabis company on a line of CBD products for humans and pets. Congress recently primed the market for more growth when it legalized hemp farming and sales nationwide. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says businesses such as Hudson’s cafe are unlawfully introducing drugs into the food supply.The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, first passed in 1938, makes it illegal to sell an active ingredient either in dietary supplements or in foods that will be sold across state lines. The FDA has approved a CBD-based drug, Epidiolex, for treating epileptic seizures and is evaluating other drugs that use the compound as an active ingredient.

Gene-edited food quietly arrives in restaurant cooking oil

San Francisco Chronicle | Posted on March 14, 2019

Somewhere in the Midwest, a restaurant is frying foods with oil made from gene-edited soybeans. That's according to the company making the oil, which says it's the first commercial use of a gene-edited food in the U.S. Calyxt said it can't reveal its first customer for competitive reasons, but CEO Jim Blome said the oil is "in use and being eaten."The Minnesota-based company is hoping the announcement will encourage the food industry's interest in the oil, which it says has no trans fats and a longer shelf life than other soybean oils. Whether demand builds remains to be seen, but the oil's transition into the food supply signals gene editing's potential to alter foods without the controversy of conventional GMOs, or genetically modified organisms.

How Can We Use Emerging Technology To Improve Community Nutrition?

Forbes | Posted on March 14, 2019

Technology is bringing to life the ability to accomplish feats that would have seemed science fiction when many of us were children -- like driverless cars and virtual reality. We likely have conversations with bots without even realizing we aren’t chatting with an actual person. These are exciting and important advancements, but if those of us positioned to shape and affect the implementation of technology don't use it to address some timeless human challenges, we ignore much of the power that has been placed at our disposal.One example is the North Market in North Minneapolis, an Inmar client in one of the country’s largest food deserts. North Market will offer digital incentives to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants that will encourage -- and enable -- these shoppers to purchase additional fresh produce. That includes digital coupons like those used in other retailer-operated digital coupon programs. 

North Carolina bill would legalize retail raw milk sales, exempt smallest herds from safety regs

Food Safety News | Posted on March 14, 2019

Following what a raw milk producer described as a visit during which she “met our cows,” State Rep. Michele Presnell introduced a bill in North Carolina to allow retail sales of unpasteurized milk in the state. The proposed measure, House Bill 103, would require warning labels for raw milk available at retail locations, but it would exempt some dairies from sanitary regulations. It’s first line describes the legislation as “an act to promote small dairy sustainability by allowing the retail sale of raw milk for human consumption.”Public health advocates, medical groups including the American Academy of Pediatrics, and agencies from local health departments up to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all have standing warnings about the dangers of unpasteurized, raw milk. Pasteurization kills bacteria, parasites and viruses in milk and other foods and beverages. 

Is milk healthy? Canada's new food guide says not necessarily

BBC | Posted on March 13, 2019

Canada has released a new food guide, and one thing is noticeably missing - a daily dose of dairy. The guide does away with food groups entirely, and instead encourages people to eat a variety of unprocessed foods.The last time the food guide was updated was in 2007, and the version unveiled on Tuesday took three years of consultations.The changes have been praised by advocates for plant-based diets, but have raised the ire of the dairy lobby.Instead of recommending Canadians get a specific number of servings, the guide lumps dairy in with other proteins.Canadians are advised to fill half their plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter with starches or grains and a quarter with protein.

Examining Food Loss and Food Waste in the United States

Choices | Posted on March 13, 2019

Grant, Gallardo, and McCluskey shed new light on how consumers may adjust food waste patterns in the presence of innovations designed to replace or complement other package information about food quality and food safety. This work develops a choice experiment with options involving raw ingredients and ready-to-eat meals as a way to evaluate one dimension of consumers’ willingness to pay for reduced food waste. The authors find evidence that consumers are willing to pay more for initiatives that increase food shelf life which may lead to a reduction in food waste. This work offers insights into consumer acceptance of new technologies that might provide better information about the freshness and quality of food and has implications for the generation of food waste in household settings.

KY sends bill on cultured "meat" labeling to the Governor

Ky Legislature | Posted on March 13, 2019

Amend KRS 217.035 to include any food product that purports to be or is represented as meat or a meat product that contains any cultured animal tissue produced from in vitro animal cell cultures outside of the organism from which it is derived.

New York expands ‘Meatless Mondays’ for school meals

Meating Place (Free registration required) | Posted on March 12, 2019

Schoolchildren in New York City will be dining on all-vegetarian breakfast and lunch meals every Monday, starting with the 2019-2020 school year, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this week. The move follows a pilot program launched in the spring of 2018 at 15 public schools in Brooklyn and ultimately will affect an estimated 1.1 million students.Mayor de Blasio said that “cutting back on meat a little will improve New Yorkers’ health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” while announcing the program. The expansion is expected to be cost-neutral to the city budget and school officials are expected to meet with students to collect qualitative feedback before the menu for this fall is finalized.

25 percent of consumers say no to meaty names for vegetarian items

Meating Place (Free registration required) | Posted on March 12, 2019

In a survey of nearly 1,000 U.K. and U.S. consumers, one in four indicate that vegetarian products should not be allowed to have meat-related names like burger, sausage or steak. The survey, commissioned by public relations agency Ingredient Communications, polled  vegetarians, vegans, pescatarians and meat-eaters to explore attitudes to the way meat-free products are named.The survey also found that 18 percent of vegetarians, 33 percent of vegans and 26 percent of meat-eaters would support a ban on labeling vegetarian products with meat-related names. 

Bill defining meat in North Dakota goes to the governor

Grand Forks Herald | Posted on March 11, 2019

The North Dakota Legislature wants to make sure that when consumers buy meat, they know they’re buying “the edible flesh of an animal born and harvested for the purpose of human consumption,” and not something developed in a lab.The Senate on March 4 also passed a companion to the bill, House Concurrent Resolution 3024, which urges Congress to take similar actions to differentiate meat from lab-produced, meat-like products.