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Food News

Vegetarian diet increases risk of preterm births

UPI | Posted on January 25, 2017

Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology found women who lacked vitamin B12 in their diets were more likely to have a preterm birth.  The study of 11,216 pregnancies in 11 countries showed that low levels of vitamin B12, commonly found in animal products, were linked to increased risks of having preterm births. Vitamin B12 is vital for the production of red blood cells and cellular metabolic energy. Vitamin B12 deficiencies can lead to anemia and damage to the nervous system. "Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient found only in products of animal origin such as meat, milk and eggs," Dr. Tormod Rogne, of Akershus University Hospital and lead author of the study, said in a press release. "Pregnant women who consume too few animal-derived foods increase their risk of developing a vitamin B12 deficiency."


At eye of GMO storm, a non-browning apple

The Washington Post | Posted on January 25, 2017

Fruit, which industry hopes is a breakthrough, may hit some stores soon. After years of development, protest and regulatory red tape, the first genetically modified, non-browning apples will soon go on sale in the United States. The fruit, sold sliced and marketed under the brand Arctic Apple, could hit a cluster of Midwestern grocery stores as early as Feb. 1. The limited release is an early test run for the controversial apple, which has been genetically modified to eliminate the browning that occurs when an apple is left out in the open air. Critics and advocates of genetic engineering say the apple could be a turning point in the nation's highly polarizing debate over genetically modified organisms (GMOs). While genetic modifications have in the past been mainly defended as a way to protect crops, the Artic Apple would be one of the first GMOs marketed directly to consumers as more convenient. "What companies are desperate for is some really popular GMO product to hit the market," said McKay Jenkins, the author of a forthcoming history of the debate. "Any successful product could lift the cloud over GMOs."  Industry executives predict the apple could open a whole new trade in genetically engineered produce, potentially opening the market to pink pineapples, antioxidant-enriched tomatoes and other food in development.  "We see this as less about genetic modification and more about convenience," said Neal Carter, founder of the company that makes the Arctic Apple. "I think consumers are very ready for apples that don't go brown. Everyone can identify with that 'yuck' factor."


Bob Evans Farms to sell restaurant business unit

Meat + Poultry | Posted on January 25, 2017

Bob Evans Farms, Inc. is now a pure play food company. On Jan. 24, the company announced the sale of its Bob Evans Restaurants business unit to the private equity company Golden Gate Capital for $565 million plus the assumption of certain liabilities. Net proceeds from the sale to Bob Evans Farms are expected to be between $475 million to $485 million.  On the same day, Bob Evans Farms entered into an agreement to acquire the Pineland Farms Potato Co. (PFPC), Mars Hill, Maine, for $115 million. Pineland Farms is a value-added potato processor serving the retail and food service markets. The company also operates a cheese processing business.


States See Value in Backing ‘Food Hubs’ for Farmers, Consumers

Pew Charitable Trust | Posted on January 22, 2017

The state of New York has taken notice of its role in the regional food supply chain and in August allocated $15 million of the $20 million needed to build Greenmarket’s new 20,000-square-foot distribution center, commonly known as a food hub. The hub’s staff, which is raising the remaining money from other public and private funders, expects to move in by 2019 and eventually sell $18 million worth of produce, grains, eggs, maple syrup and honey a year.  Like New York, other states such as Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Vermont, and the federal government are investing in food hubs as a way to connect small and midsize farmers, who may not have the volume or do not have the capacity to work with large food wholesalers, with businesses and consumers to increase sales.


Milk is from mammals, say lawmakers

La Crosse Tribune | Posted on January 22, 2017

Got “lacteal secretion, practically free from colostrum, obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows”?Doesn’t quite have the same marketing zing as the traditional four-letter word for moo juice, but according to the Food and Drug Administration rule 21 CFR 131.110, that is the legal definition of milk.But the definition should be upheld, according to 32 members of Congress — including six from Wisconsin — who recently sent a letter to U.S. Food and Drugs Administration Commissioner Robert Califf to crack down on almond-, coconut- and other plant-based fluids.


Consumer demand is best illustrated by providing choices

Watt Ag Net | Posted on January 22, 2017

Activists groups are pushing slower-growing broilers as a higher welfare alternative to modern breeds, but they don't seem to be willing to let consumers demonstrate that they want them at the cash register.  When questioned about what consumers want, Super said, “What the majority of consumers actually want is choice. Slow-grow, conventional, raised without antibiotics – each of these production practices dictate choices about how chickens’ living conditions are managed. And while consumer purchase patterns are based on a variety of factors, it’s clear that single trait genetic ‘solutions’ cannot support or create sustainable food production.”


Nestlé investigating Chinese fake food factories

Food Manufacturer | Posted on January 22, 2017

Nestlé has joined Chinese authorities in investigating factories suspected of producing £12M worth of counterfeit food seasonings and sauces, including fake Nestlé products.


'Raw' milk trend blamed for one of UK's worst food poisoning outbreaks as 65 fall ill

Mirror.co.uk | Posted on January 19, 2017

Low Sizergh Barn Farm, in Kendal, Cumbria, has previously won tourism and National Trust awards for copying a US dairy trend and selling 'ready-to-drink', untreated milk.  With their slogan 'From Moo To You', their fresh-from-the-udder milk is sold from special dispensers at their trendy Lake District farm shop. But now South Lakeland District Council has confirmed that last month alone 12 customers fell ill with campylobacter bacteria, with another 53 suspected cases recorded also in December - taking the total to 65 people laid low by the contaminated batch of raw milk. Sales from the farm's raw milk vending machine have been banned pending tests and farm owner Richard Park said he was co-operating with an investigation led by the Food Standards Agency.


Mass: ‘Everything is on the table’ in sweeping review of state alcohol rules

Boston Globe | Posted on January 19, 2017

Massachusetts Treasurer Deborah Goldberg is throwing open the doors to the most extensive rethinking of how the state regulates alcohol since the end of Prohibition, directing a new task force to create a more cohesive set of rules that “deals with the 21st century.”  With no limits from Goldberg on which issues it may consider, the group of seven legal and political figures — with input from the public and bars, brewers, distributors, and other companies — will have broad authority to set its own agenda when it meets for the first time later in January.  Among the issues that officials and industry executives suggested could be reviewed: extending the hours for package stores, lifting caps on liquor licenses in each municipality, allowing beer-makers to switch distributors more easily, loosening restrictions on consumers bringing alcohol to restaurants or reusing growlers, boosting funding to the chronically understaffed Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, or clarifying rules about so-called pay-to-play incentives.


Study: Slower-growing broiler production has faults

Watt Ag Net | Posted on January 16, 2017

Study reveals negative sustainability implications of ‘slower growing’ raising methods; NCC supports more research on chicken welfare. A study released January 11 by the NCC details the environmental, economic and sustainability implications of raising slower growing chickens, revealing a sharp increase in chicken prices and the use of environmental resources - including water, air, fuel and land.  NCC also calls for more research on the health impact of chickens' growth rates, to ensure that the future of bird health and welfare is grounded in scientific, data-backed research.   


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