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5@5: 71M Americans gained weight during pandemic | Federal inspectors work despite COVID exposure5@5: 71M Americans gained weight during pandemic | Federal inspectors work despite COVID exposure

Each day at 5 p.m. we collect the five top food and supplement headlines of the day, making it easy for you to catch up on today's most important natural products industry news.

New Hope Network staff

December 15, 2020

2 Min Read
covid weight gain
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71M Americans gained weight during pandemic, feel bad about it

Sixty-three percent of Americans reported recently that leading a healthy lifestyle has been made much harder with all the combined challenges of COVID, so it comes as no surprise that 71 million Americans have gained weight during the pandemic (and aren't happy about it). In fact, Americans are roughly as worried about gaining more weight by the end the year as they are about not being able to celebrate the holidays with family. Mothers of young children and women make up the majority of people trying to lose weight during the pandemic. Head to The Beet for more details.

Federal meat plant inspectors reportedly told to work despite COVID-19 exposure

Federal inspectors from the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) are allegedly being told to report for duty even after being exposed to COVID-19, according to a new report. Hundreds of FSIS inspectors have been infected so far, and at least four have died. Obviously, USDA's safety protocols for these workers has been inadequate and spottily enforced, much like how the workers on meat plant lines were affected by poor leadership for months into the pandemic. Modern Farmer reports.

Peanut farmers advance in price-fixing lawsuit against Big Shell

A class-action lawsuit against the three largest peanut shellers in the U.S. argues that they conspired to depress crop prices by 18% and deprive farmers of no less than $57 million. Peanuts are different from your average commodity crop because there is no futures market or public exchange to buy and sell the millions of tons of nuts that are bought and sold each year. What that means is prices are entirely decided upon through contracts between shellers and farmers, and the latter use their dominant player statuses to "roast growers with unfair deals." The Counter has the scoop.

Chefs predict the biggest food trends of 2021

Food and Wine interviewed chefs to find out what they think the future of dining will look like and found that comfort food, virtual cooking classes, diversified businesses and more fermentation are on the horizon. Of course, top-notch hygiene precautions and more ghost kitchens to meet the sustained demand for delivery are also expected to have a strong influence in 2021. 

Can organic farming solve the climate crisis?

Environmental and health concerns are driving organic sales, but more practical advice and research is needed when it comes to aspects of organic farming like carbon sequestration and nitrogen management. It is also a growing problem that just 17% of organic farms sell 84% of the food, because these larger industrial operations tend to do the bare minimum when it comes to organic certifications. Civil Eats delves into the nuance.

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