5@5: 'Eco-friendly' confusion | Amazon ramps up Fresh store openings

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.

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Why everyone is confused about what ‘eco-friendly’ actually means

Misleading eco-messaging is everywhere, which has made it that much harder for genuine improvements in sustainable packaging to be embraced. But a well-designed label could help customers make earth-friendlier choices in a way that marketing-driven eco-claims can’t; having a common set of standards that designates certain products as more sustainable than others could also incentivize companies to kick their sustainability efforts into high gear. Can the industry come together to agree upon such a set of standards? That's another matter. Get the full story at Fast Company

Amazon's grocery chain is growing. It isn't Whole Foods

Amazon has opened 11 Fresh locations around the United States over the past year, with one other set to debut this week in Long Beach, California. The company hopes that Fresh stores will help it capture more Amazon Prime members' food dollars, thereby increasing loyalty to the subscription program, as well as attract new sign-ups. It's also targeting lower- and middle-class consumers who may not frequent Amazon's other retail operation, Whole Foods, because of its higher prices. CNN reports.

First study of all Amazon greenhouse gases suggests the damaged forest is now worsening climate change

According to a first-of-its-kind analysis from more than 30 scientists, the Amazon rainforest is now a net contributor to the warming of the planet. Co-author of the report Fiona Soper noted that humans “have really exceeded the capacity of that system to provide reliable service" with regard to countering environmental damage, and that it isn't enough anymore to focus on the single metric of carbon. This is because resource extraction, damming rivers and the conversion of forest for soybean and livestock production all alter the natural systems in varying ways. Learn more at National Geographic.

Toxic chemicals threaten humanity

A family of chemicals known as PFAS are to blame for a shocking drop in sperm counts since 1973 (nearly 60%!), and can unfortunately be found in every nook and cranny on Earth. But legislation isn't moving fast enough to respond to this crisis—and it's no secrety why. The so-called "forever chemicals," Erin Brockovich writes for The Guardian, are still widespread and poorly regulated in large part because of lobbying by chemical industry giants. 

Eager to be vaccinated, California farmworkers face obstacles

California has more than half a million farmworkers, and many appear eager to be immunized against COVID-19. However, workplace vaccination events are still few and far between in California, which has made doing so tricky. Experts say targeting farmworkers at their work sites is the best way to make vaccination efforts within the community successful; this will take more available doses as well as coordination and ingenuity. So far, around 46,000 agricultural workers in California have been infected with the virus. Head to The Counter for the full picture.

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