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Food News

FDA finds euthanasia drug in pet food ingredient

Smart Brief | Posted on May 7, 2019

Pure tallow made by JBS Souderton for use in pet food contained the euthanasia drug pentobarbital, according to an FDA warning letter. The company, which does business under the name MOPAC, said it had cleaned equipment after the FDA and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture found lax testing protocols, but traces of pentobarbital were subsequently found, indicating that measures the company put in place were insufficient to prevent pentobarbital-contaminated ingredients from being used in finished tallow, according to the warning.

Dean Foods Falters in More Concentrated Milk Market

Wall Street Journal | Posted on May 7, 2019

Biggest U.S. dairy maker is losing sales and exploring sale or breakup as milk consumption wanes

40 million Americans struggle to put food on the table

CBS News | Posted on May 1, 2019

Every county in all 50 states is home to people who struggle with hunger. Children are more likely to experience hunger than adults.Rural counties account for 78 percent of the highest food insecurity rates.One study found SNAP benefits aren't enough to cover the cost of a meal in most places in the U.S.The U.S. economy is enjoying nearly a decade of expansion since the Great Recession. Yet food insecurity -- a lack of money or resources to secure enough to eat -- still grips almost one in eight Americans. That's roughly 40 million people. While slowly improving, that figure remains stubbornly higher than before the recession, when more than one in 10 U.S. residents had difficulty knowing when and how they might eat next

Investors at Milken Focus on Food as the Public’s Eating Habits Change

Bloomberg | Posted on May 1, 2019

Food is becoming an increasing focus for institutional investors and family offices, executives said Monday at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California. Jeffrey Housenbold, managing partner at SoftBank Vision Fund, which counts Brandless, Plenty and DoorDash among its food-related investments:SoftBank’s minimum investment size is $100 million and the firm is looking for companies that need capital for R&D and to create infrastructure to distribute globally, among other things.The firm seeks to provide “patient capital” and isn’t worried about near-term profitability.SoftBank is interested in “use of data” across all investments, such as how it informs a company’s go-to-market or customer-acquisition strategies.

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.