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5@5: 'Buy Black' effects | Biodiversity and pandemics | PPP farm fraud

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.

2 Min Read
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Has the 'buy Black' movement made a difference for entrepreneurs?

Black-owned businesses across sectors saw a swell of support last year following the Black Lives Matter protests, but did the movement have a lasting impact for Black entrepreneurs? It's been a mixed bag for many; the wave of new customers has died down, but as one entrepreur interviewed by Civil Eats notes, "A lot of us are still getting featured [in the media], I think racism is still very fresh in everyone’s mind. This is the beginning of a process that’s going to take decades.”

How biodiversity conservation can help manage future pandemics—for plants and for humans

Climate change, deforestation and other land-use disruptions can displace certain animal species and, as they come into closer contact with humans, increase chances of cross-species transmission of pathogens; this could spell a new devastating pandemic, and a similar fate awaits crops if biodiversity isn't prioritized soon. The Counter spoke with Dave Hodson, a senior scientist at CIMMYT (the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, identified by its Spanish acronym) in El Batán, Mexico, about the importance of agricultural biodiversity in terms of surviving harsh environmental conditions and offering nutrients not found in conventional crop varieties.

Stop putting your dog on your diet

It's become more common for members of keto, paleo and other food tribes to feed pets in line with their diets. However, a low-carb, gluten-free diet may not be best for Fido; researchers surveyed 3,300 pet owners in five countries and found that nearly a fifth of American respondents seek no-grain dog foods—despite known links between grain-free dog food and life-threatening heart problems in dogs. Those most likely to choose grain-free dog food were also more likely to learn about pet food from pet store staff or online, according to Fast Company.

Rampant farm fraud reportedly plagues PPP loans

A new report reveals that fake farms (one of them a cattle ranch named "Beefy King" that is supposedly located in a New Jersey beach town) have been approved in droves by robots that processed the Paycheck Protection Program submissions during the pandemic. A fake potato farm in Florida even snagged tens of thousands of dollars. Fraudsters were able to do this by creating profiles that meshed some real information (names, addresses, Social Security numbers, etc.) with fake profiles. Modern Farmer reports.

It's easier than ever to get Asian groceries online

Entrepreneurs focused on the Asian American market are making ingredients that once required trips to specialized cultural stores available with a single click. Businesses stepping up to fill the online grocery store void for Asian countries include Umamicart, but large retail chains including HMart are also expanding their delivery options for shoppers. Where the newer online options excel, this Vice article notes, is in their ability to deliver fresh items such as meat and produce.

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