Silicon Valley is rallying around a startup that wants to disrupt the meat aisle. Impossible Foods sells burgers made from plants that sizzle on the grill and "bleed" juices like real beef. The company aims to make meat derived from animals the exception, not the rule.On August 1, the startup announced it had raised a $75 million investment from Singapore-based venture fund Temasek, Bill Gates, Khosla Ventures, and others. The new round brings the company's total funding to over $250 million and will likely serve its plans for expansion.
Wayne County, New York, is the biggest producer of apples in the Empire State. Yet, in 2013 public school children in the county were being served apples from Washington on their lunch trays. At the end of the lunch period, the lovely, whole Washington apples ended up mostly uneaten in the garbage. Tom Ferraro, founder of the Rochester, NY, food bank Foodlink, set about solving the problem. Ferraro was familiar with a recent study showing that children were more likely to eat sliced fruit than whole. Since Foodlink had the facilities to wash, slice and package apples into portions, Ferraro decided topurchase apples from local farmers, process them, and sell them back to local schools. The program has been a success. Since July 2014, Foodlink has purchased 3.8 million pounds of local apples, investing $600,000 into the local agricultural economy. Children are eating the apple slices. And Foodlink uses revenue from apple sales in its own kitchen to prepare scratch-cooked meals for local school lunches, after-school and summer programs.
The U.S. dairy sector is fighting harder than ever on several fronts to halt the European Union’s global efforts to block cheese producers in other countries from using names like Roquefort, Asiago and Gorgonzola on the products they export. The EU has been making progress in countries including Japan, China and Mexico, but U.S.-based groups like the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN) are fighting back.
The link between the use of antibiotics in humans and food-producing animals and subsequent antibiotic resistance has been confirmed, according to a new study by three European food and medical agencies.The European Food Safety Authority, the European Medicines Agency and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control said the results of the study reflect improved surveillance across Europe when it comes to antibiotics consumption.The study indicates that overall antibiotic use is higher in food-producing animals than in humans, but the situation varies across countries and according to the antibiotics. Specifically, the study cites a class of antibiotics called polymyxins used widely in the veterinary sector and increasingly used in hospitals to treat multidrug-resistant infections.
Who are these special cows, you ask? They're snack company Herr's cattle. And you can taste them—as steaks, burgers, and more—at a few restaurants in the Philadelphia area. Herr has long had cattle on more than 1,000 acres of farmland near their eastern Pennsylvania headquarters. The cows graze on grass watered by the company's otherwise unusable gray-hued wash—turned that unpleasant color after scrubbing potatoes—and they're fed a diet made up of the company's unsellable snacks. Don't worry: nutritionists helped develop their odd diet, which even includes cheese curds.
Sanderson Farms announced new television and radio ads called “Old MacGimmick” as the company continues a campaign to reveal what it says are prevalent falsehoods and half-truths in poultry marketing. "At Sanderson Farms, we have made it our responsibility to shine a light on misleading marketing tactics and labeling," said Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., CEO and chairman of Sanderson Farms. "Rather than acquiescing to trending scare tactics and socially driven paranoia, Sanderson Farms has chosen to address the issues using hard science. While there may have been an easier route to take, we have chosen to continue this course of action for the benefit of our customers."
The Good Food Institute is calling on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to respond to a 20-year-old petition and clarify once and for all that soy-based beverages can be labeled as “soy milk.” The nonprofit, which works to promote plant-based meat, dairy and eggs, asked the FDA in a letter Monday to respond to the petition the Soyfoods Association sent on Feb. 28, 1997, asking the agency to allow manufacturers to use the term “soy milk.”The GFI has also submitted a petition of its own.The group asked the FDA in March to amend its regulations to clarify "that new foods may be named by reference to other 'traditional' foods in a manner that makes clear to consumers their distinct origins or properties." The GFI is threatening to sue if the FDA decides to restrict the use of the term “soy milk,” claiming it will have violated the First Amendment.The National Milk Producers Federation is pushing back. The group claims plant-based “milk” imitators are using dairy terminology and imagery to advertise their products as suitable replacements for cow’s milk and urged the FDA in a meeting last week to enforce its food standards.
And investigation into an E. coli outbreak around the twin cities of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Ariz. that killed two children has determined that the likely source of the disease was infected animals, followed by person-to-person contact, according to the Southwest Utah Public Health Department. In a release, the agency said several livestock tested positive for the E. coli strain involved in this outbreak. Meanwhile, tests on water systems, springs, ground beef, produce and dairy products were negative.
The average price has dropped to $1.33 a dozen, down 48% from two years ago, but demand hasn’t rebounded since avian-flu bout. A glut of eggs is putting pressure on suppliers and farmers who are struggling to win back business two years after the worst bout of avian influenza in U.S. history devastated egg-laying flocks. Poultry farms in the U.S. have fully restocked and rebuilt egg supplies since the outbreak but demand hasn’t kept up. Some buyers who found alternatives during the outbreak haven't returned. Egg prices are near a decade low, a situation that cheers shoppers in grocery aisles but is spurring losses for industry giants and farmers alike.
Poultry farms in India are dosing their chickens with antibiotics at such high rates that 94 percent of meat chickens and 60 percent of laying hens tested in a new study harbored multi-drug-resistant bacteria that can cause grave human infections. In the study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, researchers from Washington, D.C., New Jersey, Minnesota and several institutions in India interviewed farmers and collected samples on 18 farms in northern India. Half of the farms raised broilers and half kept hens for egg production, some on solo family properties and others under Western-style contract arrangements in which farmers raise but do not own birds.All told, more than 500 chickens were tested — the largest such study yet done in India, the researchers said — yielding more than 1,500 samples of E. coli that was resistant to drugs that are important in human medicine. The most common resistance pattern was ESBL, which denotes bacteria that are resistant to penicillin and the drug family cephalosporins. The latter includes the common antibiotic Keflex. Eighty-seven percent of broilers and 42 percent of layers carried ESBL-resistant bacteria.“That was truly shocking; I had not expected that level of ESBL resistance,” Ramanan Laxminarayan, an economist and the study’s lead author, said by phone. “When the results first came out I asked the team if they were sure they were right. When we confirmed it, it was mind-boggling.”