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5@5: $125 million invested in food waste prevention | Organic Trade Association takes charge

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.

 

More than $125 million poured into food waste startups in 2018

The first 10 months of 2018 have seen roughly $125 million worth of private investment in the food waste prevention sphere, which is a mere fraction of the estimated $218 billion of food is sent to landfills unused annually. The new technology aims to prevent waste at every stage of the supply chain, from manufacturing to retail to consumers themselves. Several of the companies attracting these investments include Apeel Sciences, ReGrained and Spoiler Alert. Read more at Forbes ...

 

The organic food industry forges its own path to expand growth

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is in the early stages of a “twofold plan to develop a voluntary checkoff independent of the USDA, while also launching their own research, marketing and education initiatives to help strengthen the organic sector right away.” This is part of the organic industry’s efforts to take charge of the power structure of organic, and eventually to implement a voluntary checkoff that is guided by what farmers—rather than food processors or distributors—want. Read more at Civil Eats 

 

Should we regulate cannabis like champagne?

The marijuana industry is still in its nascent stages, but the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation is already considering establishing “appellations of origin,” meaning that marijuana plants grown in specified regions and in certain ways (such as organic) would be afforded a higher status—and price—at retail. This would be akin to how the French government stepped in to stop lesser-quality sparkling wine brands from calling themselves ‘champagne’ in order to preserve the integrity and quality of the product, as well as to shield consumers from being cheated. Read more at The Wall Street Journal  …

 

The golden age of vegan ice cream is here

There is now a seemingly endless array of options for the nondairy, ice cream-loving folks of the world. Which is great, because more and more people are cutting back on dairy, either because of “increased environmental consciousness or lactose intolerance.” All manner of vegan ingredients have been tested for dairy free companies who wish to perfectly mimic the taste and mouthfeel of regular ice cream. While some manufacturers opt for the usual substitutes, like cashew milk, others are successfully experimenting with products such as chickpeas. Read more at Eater …

 

RFID stickers could signal contaminated food

MIT researchers have found a way to check packaged food items for possible contamination using the RFID tags that most of these products already contain. The system they have built, called RFIQ, has so far been successfully programmed to differentiate between uncontaminated and melamine-containing baby food products. Read more at Tech Crunch …

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