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New study deems dairy “excellent” source of protein for children

University of Illinois | Posted on April 28, 2017

Stein and his team determined standardized ileal digestibility of crude protein and amino acids in eight sources of animal and plant protein: whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate, milk protein concentrate, skimmed milk powder, pea protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, soy flour, and whole-grain wheat. They derived DIAAS scores from those ileal digestibility values. They also calculated PDCAAS-like scores by applying the total tract digestibility of crude protein in the ingredients to all amino acids. All dairy proteins tested in the study met Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) standards as ”excellent/high”-quality sources of protein for people six months of age or older, with DIAAS values of 100 or greater. Soy protein isolate and soy flour qualified as ”good” sources of protein, with a score between 75 and 100. With scores below 75, pea protein concentrate and wheat did not qualify to make recommendations regarding protein quality."Compared with DIAAS, PDCAAS calculations tended to underestimate the protein value of high quality protein sources, and overestimate the value of lower quality sources," says Stein. "Thus, to better meet protein requirements of humans, especially for people consuming diets that are low or marginal in digestible

Consumer animal welfare concerns increase

Meat + Poultry | Posted on April 28, 2017

Animal welfare has become a concern for a growing number of consumers, according to Packaged Facts, which found 58 percent of shoppers may be seeking products with such claims as free-range, cage-free or humanely raised. “Consumer concern over animal welfare issues has reached critical mass in the meat and poultry industries, creating a new generation of challenges and opportunities,” said David Sprinkle, research director, Packaged Facts. Demand for humanely raised meat and poultry products is part of changing consumer perceptions of healthy eating. Preferences have shifted from so-called diet foods to products that are free of gluten, artificial or bioengineered ingredients, antibiotics and growth hormones, Packaged Facts said. Packaged Facts identified three ways in which food companies can capitalize on this growing trend. First, marketing animal-welfare related practices is essential to staying competitive as more companies demonstrate engagement in such issues through labeling, advertising and promotion, Packaged Facts said. Second, companies should leverage the inherent links between animal welfare and the healthfulness and sustainability of meat, poultry and dairy products. Packaged Facts research shows 53 percent of US adults said they believe humanely raised meat and poultry products are healthier. Third, companies should cater to the trend of flexitarian dieting, said Packaged Facts, which found that 21 percent of Americans report cutting back on red meat in the past few years and that 49 percent agree that consuming more vegetarian sources of protein is better for the environment.

Tyson launches sustainability, wage initiatives for plants, workers

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on April 28, 2017

Tyson Foods Inc. has announced separate programs that are expected to boost sustainable food production at its facilities and provide higher wages for workers at its poultry facilities in an effort to retain employees in a tightening labor market.  Tyson said the sustainability efforts will affect the more than 95,000 employees who work in its chicken, beef, pork and prepared foods operations

Feral hog slaughterhouse takes off in New Orleans

The Salt Lake Tribune | Posted on April 27, 2017

In a region that takes food seriously, feral hogs are despised as destructive, but their rich, dark meat is winning fans among Louisiana chefs. A small slaughterhouse is butchering the wild pigs , which cause the state $76 million-plus in annual damage, and selling sausage to grocery stores and meat to restaurants, where chefs are turning it into savory prosciutto, chorizo and meatballs."To me, it is the most interesting thing I have seen in years," said Rene Bajeux, executive chef for the Palace Cafe and three other Dickie Brennan & Co. restaurants in New Orleans. "It is good for everything — good for business, good for cooking, good for the ecology, good for everything. Those bad beasts are a good treat."Springfield Slaughter House 's main business is butchering wild boar, which otherwise would be gobbling crops, competing with local wildlife and ripping up levees, fragile wetlands and other green spaces.Feral hogs probably do more than $1.5 billion damage nationwide each year, according to the USDA, and the problem is only getting bigger: from 1982 to 2012, the invasive species spread from 17 states to 36. Owner Charlie Munford got into the wild hog business in 2015. He'd been working with farmers, slaughterhouses and chefs to provide local beef, lamb, pork and goat to restaurants when he bought the slaughterhouse about 40 miles northwest of New Orleans in 2014.Hunters have to bring the hogs, weighing in at 90 to 300 pounds, to Munford's slaughterhouse alive so they can be inspected before slaughtering. Munford estimates he's killed about 1,000 over the past year.But one small slaughterhouse can take only a bite out of the estimated 600,000 feral swine in Louisiana: Authorities say 70 percent of the population would have to be killed each year just to keep the numbers from growing.

The hot new trend in food is literal garbage

The Washington Post | Posted on April 19, 2017

Flour milled from discarded coffee fruit. Chips made from juice pulp. Vodka distilled from strawberries that nobody seems to want. At one point not so long ago, such waste-based products were novelties for the Whole Foods set. But in the past three years, there’s been an explosion in the number of start-ups making products from food waste, according to a new industry census by the nonprofit coalition ReFED.The report, which was released Tuesday and tracks a number of trends across the food-waste diversion industry, found that only 11 such companies existed in 2011. By 2013, that number had doubled, and ReFED now logs 64 established companies selling ugly-fruit jam, stale-bread beer, and other “upcycled” food products.The companies have diverted thousands of pounds of food waste from landfills, a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. They’ve also become a model for larger, multinational food companies, which are starting to realize that upcycling peels and piths can be good business.“What was once considered 'waste' — or an accepted cost of doing business — is now seen as an asset and revenue generator,” said Chris Cochran, the executive director of ReFED. “As companies begin to track, measure, and understand food loss and waste, the economics of food waste solutions begin to look a lot more attractive.”

Kerrygold Butter Maker Slaps Rival In Wisconsin with Trademark Lawsuit

Fortune | Posted on April 17, 2017

There's a butter war breaking out in America's dairy aisle. A lawsuit has surfaced after talks allegedly soured between Dublin-based co-operative Ornua, the owner of the popular Kerrygold brand, and Wisconsin-based Old World Creamery to develop an Irish-made butter that could be sold in Wisconsin.The case stems from a protectionist law in the state of Wisconsin that essentially bans all butters produced from outside of the United States. The decades-old law has required federal or state graders to sign off on butter brands sold within the state. Kerrygold, however, is graded in the brand's home country of Ireland. Retailers can be fined if they opt to sell Kerrygold in defiance of the law.But Old World Creamery last week announced plans to start selling and marketing a similar-sounding Irishgold butter from Ireland this month within the state. As the Associated Press reported recently, Old World Creamery is tiptoeing around the law by importing Irishgold butter from Ireland, processing and packaging it stateside, and then having state-licensed butter graders rate it in Wisconsin. That would allow Irishgold to be sold legally in the state.

Dannon attacks ‘daisy-chained’ logic in all-natural lawsuit over GM feed and dairy products

Food Navigator | Posted on April 17, 2017

Should brands making dairy products from cows that may have consumed GM feed be allowed to market their wares as ‘all natural’? Absolutely, insisted Dannon in court papers filed this week urging the judge to dismiss the “daisy-chained” logic of a false advertising lawsuit filed in New York.

Activist group sues Calif. schools for serving processed meats

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on April 14, 2017

A national physicians group filed a lawsuit Wednesday against two California school districts seeking to stop them from serving processed meats to students because of research linking the foods to colorectal cancer.   The nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine said serving foods such as hot dogs, pepperoni and luncheon meat violates California’s Education Code, which mandates school lunches be of the “highest quality” and “greatest nutritional value possible.”

Sugar leader looks to spud industry’s example in facing critics

Capital Press | Posted on April 14, 2017

A dietitian who heads the Sugar Association says her experience in defending potatoes from critics’ attacks will come in handy in improving perceptions about sugar. As a former staff member with the consulting firm Food Minds, Gaine assisted the National Potato Council in reversing restrictions on potatoes in the national school lunch program and in the federal Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. Gaine said she helped to “package” the narrative that potatoes aren’t just empty carbohydrates, but deliver crucial fiber and potassium.Gaine said current restrictions could also lead to unintended nutritional consequences by ignoring facts, including that sugar makes healthy foods more palatable. For example, new research for the association finds just 3 calories of sugar is sufficient to mask the bitterness of kale.Both spuds and sugar have been “villainized” by observational studies without cause-and-effect relationships, she said.“The potato folks are probably five years ahead of us, and they’ve done the right things. They’ve had some round tables and had some publications that are important and are working on educating the policymakers at USDA,” Gaine said. “It definitely should be a model of how we look to dispel some of the myths around our product.”

Robots are now doing food deliveries

Vox | Posted on April 13, 2017

Much attention has been paid to flying delivery robot prototypes from Amazon and Google, but a San Francisco startup called Marble just released a product that — while a bit less futuristic — could turn out to win the robot delivery wars. Marble has built a fleet of slow-rolling, washing-machine-size robots that are now doing food deliveries in San Francisco’s Mission District. The robots do the same job as human delivery people: They roll to a restaurant, pick up the food, and then roll along sidewalks to the customer. When the robot pulls up in front of the delivery address, the customer enters a PIN to open the robot’s cargo area and take out the food. The technology is still very much a work in progress. Initially, Marble will send a human minder to walk alongside the robot, eliminating any potential cost savings from this approach. The robots are also monitored at all times by a remote operator who follows along via video camera. Plus, the robot is rather bulky — if these become commonplace, it’s easy to imagine sidewalks being clogged with delivery robots.