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Food News

General Mills patents process to create range of dairy-alternatives from legumes

Food Navigator | Posted on January 16, 2017

A patent application from General Mills shows it is experimenting with legumes such as chickpeas, adzuki beans, fava beans and lentils to create non-dairy ‘milks;' eggless mayonnaise and dips; and cultured legume based products such as cheeses, yogurts, kefir and ice cream.

Slow groing birds increase water, feed, land and fuel use.

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

The idea of slower-growing broilers has caught on quickly in both food production and consumption circles as it appeals to consumers’ desire for “simpler,” old-fashioned means of food production. But the National Chicken Council is urging consumers, the foodservice and retail industries, and non-governmental organizations to invest in studying the environmental and financial impact of the growing market for “slower growing” broiler chickens" The industry group says in a news release that the trend promises to end up in a sharp increase in prices and an increase in the use of water, air, fuel and land. The association also isn’t convinced that slower-growing breeds of poultry are more healthy or treated more humanely than their fast-growing cousins.

SNAP Wars: Scott Walker, Tom Vilsack and Drug Testing of SNAP Beneficiaries

OFW Law | Posted on January 14, 2017

For more than 20 years, Federal law has expressly provided that states may test welfare recipients for use of controlled substances free from interference of federal agencies. 21 U.S.C. §862(b).  Relying upon this Congressional enactment, Wisconsin passed Act 55 during 2015.  Act 55 authorized new drug screening and testing requirements for certain SNAP beneficiaries in the Badger State.  These new requirements teed up a conflict with a long-standing U.S. Food and Nutrition Service (“FNS”) food stamp regulation that prohibits states from imposing additional eligibility requirements on SNAP beneficiaries

Giant puts item ratings on sustainability to a test

Food Dive | Posted on January 14, 2017

HowGood ratings will soon be available at Giant Food stores around the country, according to an emailed company statement. Stores will support the HowGood program with in-store communication including signage, education at shelf, and a trained staff member to answer questions. HowGood researches and rates products based on sustainability, including aspects such as fair wages for employees, ethical animal treatment and environmental impact. Once HowGood has the data, ratings are included on grocery store shelves across the U.S. The ratings show consumers which products meet a strict criteria to help make more informed decisions. 

Americans Are Drinking Less Milk, But They Can't Get Enough Cheese

Bloomberg | Posted on January 14, 2017

Americans love their cheese, but maybe not as much as dairy farmers do. Even after people cut back on milk use for decades -- a consequence of more drink options including juices, sodas and sports drinks -- U.S. cows are producing the most ever. While the glut has eroded dairy income, the industry is getting a jolt from demand for high-fat byproducts that have given the world creations like the Grilled Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza and led McDonald’s Corp. to start using butter on its Egg McMuffins rather than margarine. The jump in total domestic cheese consumption over the past two years was the biggest since 2000, with Americans eating the most on average since the government began tracking the data in 1975. Butter demand also advanced, and more gains are expected this year. The sales surge is helping to boost slumping U.S. milk prices at a time when surpluses forced production cutbacks in most of the world’s major exporters.

First GMO apple slices to go on sale in Midwest

Capital Press | Posted on January 14, 2017

A small amount of genetically modified sliced apples will go on sale in 10 Midwest stores this February and March.   The first genetically modified apples to be sold in the U.S. will debut in select Midwestern stores next month. A small amount of Arctic brand sliced and packaged Golden Delicious, produced by Okanagan Specialty Fruits of Summerland, B.C., will be in 10 stores this February and March, said Neal Carter, the company’s founder and president. He would not identify the retailers, saying that’s up to them. “We’re very optimistic with respect to this product because people love it at trade shows,” Carter said. “It’s a great product and the eating quality is excellent.” Carter reduced the enzyme polyphenol oxidase to prevent browning when apples are sliced, bitten or bruised. The apples match the industry norm of not browning for three weeks after slicing but without using flavor-altering, chemical additives that the rest of the fresh-sliced apple industry uses.

U.S. Sen. Baldwin pushes “Dairy Pride Act” to crack down on non-dairy “milk” products

WBAY | Posted on January 13, 2017

How do you define milk? Does almond milk or soy milk count? That question is now the focus of federal legislation. Senator Tammy Baldwin introduced the “Dairy Pride Act”, it fights back against non-diary products that are labeled as milk, yogurt, and cheese — and local dairy famers are definitely behind her. On a farm near Eldorado, Janet Clark has about 130 cows to milk and she’s one of many dairy farmers in the state now fighting for more transparency when it comes to labels placed on food products. “The FDA has already defined that milk comes from a dairy animal. So we’re just asking — or Tammy Baldwin in this act is asking — that they start to enforce that, that definition that milk comes from a dairy animal,” said Clark of Vision Aire Farms. Under the “Dairy Pride Act,” drafted by Sen. Baldwin, the FDA would have to crack down on products that use terms like “milk” or “cheese” in a way that’s misleading.

‘Clean eating’ is a fuzzy term — and that’s why it works

The Washington Post | Posted on January 12, 2017

“Clean eating” is a phrase thrown around a lot in the health-and-wellness scene. I use it all the time. I like it because there’s no formal definition, and it’s not a one-size-fits-all plan.

Nearly 3 million U.S. eggs en route to bird flu-hit South Korea

Reuters | Posted on January 12, 2017

The first batch of fresh eggs from the United States will arrive in South Korea on Saturday to ease the country's egg shortage caused by its worst-ever bird flu epidemic, industry sources and an agriculture ministry official said on Wednesday. South Korea's two major airliners -- Korean Air and Asiana Airlines, will each carry 100 tonnes of eggs, for a total of 2.98 million, said two industry sources with knowledge of the matter. Spokesman from both airlines confirmed the shipments. These are the first fresh egg imports from the U.S. to South Korea and the first fresh eggs imports since 1999. The imported U.S. eggs will be distributed to grocery stores and supermarkets ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday season at the end of this month.

Confusion over cage-free egg pledges continues

Watt Ag Net | Posted on January 12, 2017

It’s been said and blogged before that many, if not all, of the cage-free purchase pledges made by restaurant companies are a little vague, if not confusing.  When a company says it will source “100 percent cage-free eggs” they don’t typically define what cage-free means. They also often don’t specify exactly what products to be sold and served will contain cage-free eggs. A recent press release issued by Taco Bell, a Yum! Brands subsidiary, illustrates the latter. Taco Bell on January 3 announced that it was “expanding its commitment to serve 100 percent cage-free egg ingredients.”The restaurant chain already met its commitment to serve only cage-free eggs by the end of 2016, so what do they mean by that? According to the company’s latest statement, all of the eggs served as part of the chain’s breakfast menu are from cage-free operations, but the goal that was met did not include the eggs used as ingredients in its avacodo ranch sauce, creamy jalapeno sauce, habanero sauce and creamy chipotle sauce. Looking back at the November 2015 press release in which Taco Bell announced its goal to source only cage-free eggs by the end of 2016, it did not address that the goal would only include eggs as part of its breakfast menu.