5@5: Keto and immunity | Ocean farming's future | Prime Day reflection

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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How this low-carb diet might be linked to immunity

A new study indicates there may be a measureable link between ketogenic diets and immune cell activity, although many fervent followers of this popular diet already assumed that it “holds promise as a feasible and effective clinical tool for a large range of conditions intimately associated with immune disorders.” If this finding is replicated in future studies—that simply adjusting what you eat could help alleviate chronic immune diseases—then low-carb diets could offer a promising alternative to expensive medications and other treatments. Inverse reports.

The future of ocean farming

Heard of regenerative ocean farming? You will soon. The system involves growing seaweed and shellfish in small underwater gardens and does not contribute to overfishing; it allows farmers to produce mussels, oysters, clams, scallops in addition to kelp, which soaks up five times more carbon than land-based plants. “What’s unique about the ocean as an agricultural space? When you stop and ask that question it becomes so easy,” says Bren Smith, the current face of the movement and pioneer in the space. “The ocean’s like why don’t you grow things that don’t swim away and don’t have to feed? When you look at the ocean that way, there are hundreds of kinds of shellfish, and thousands of plants we can grow. That opens up a whole frontier of agriculture.” Modern Farmer has the full story.

Against the backdrop of Prime Day, Amazon eyes online grocery sales

Adobe Analytics estimated that sales of this most recent Prime Day (more like days, June 21-22) surpassed $11 billion; groceries accounted for 16% of purchases made during the event. Prime Day has become so big that Amazon's competitors, including Walmart and Target, have been forced to alter the timing of their own sales and deals to align with it. Experts also project that as the pandemic tapers off in the next few months, online grocery adoption will reach 55% of U.S. consumers by the end of 2024. Learn more at The Food Institute.

Earl Blumenauer wants to ban bee-killing pesticides. Is Congress listening?

Here, Civil Eats interviews Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) about the Saving America's Pollinators Act, which he introduced for the third time last Wednesday. On top of establishing a Pollinator Protection Board that is free from pesticide industry representation, the bill would also make sweeping changes to the commodity agriculture status quo by immediately canceling the registration of neonicotinoids until they undergo further review. These systemic insecticides, called neonics for short, are used to coat the vast majority of corn and soy seeds planted in the U.S.

A $90M plant to produce methane-reducing cattle feed using seaweed is being built in South Australia

Construction of the first processing plant to use a seaweed-based feed supplement for cows to reduce their methane production by 90% will begin near Port Pirie towards the end of this year. Emerging research indicates that the red seaweed Asparagopsis mixed with regular cattle feed at a rate of 100 grams per cow per day can reduce methane production by 90%. Once developed, the site will act as “processing innovation hub” with the aim of driving further innovation in sustainable, carbon-neutral processing in the agriculture sector. Get the details at Startup Daily.

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