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5@5: Amazon pilots own delivery robot | Dicamba hinders US honey production, bee health

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.

Amazon is piloting its own delivery robot

Today, Amazon revealed that its in-house robotics wing has completed production of the first Amazon-branded delivery robot. The electric system, called Scout, is the size of a beach cooler and moves at a human's walking pace. Six of the robots will soon be piloted in Snohomish County, Washington, and could feasibly replace last mile logistics from carriers such as UPS, FedEx and USPS if it is adopted by Amazon on a nationwide scale.  Read more at Tech Crunch …

 

Dicamba debacle spreads to bees

 

2018 may have seen “the smallest crop in the history of the United States for honey production” according to the nation’s largest beekeeping outfit. Bees were already facing threats on multiple counts, from climate change to herbicides, but the latter has proven especially damaging this last year. Scores of beehives perished from contact with dicamba, an herbicide prone to drifting that has also been cited as harmful to local flora and fauna. Read more at The Fern 

 

Canadian meat giant Maple Leaf debuts new plant-based burger

In the wake of the incredibly popular Impossible and Beyond branded plant-based burgers, Lightlife Foods “is joining the looks-like, cooks-like, smells-like, tastes-like-the-real-thing veggie burger fray.” The company, a fully owned subsidiary of Maple Leaf Foods Inc., used in-house expertise to craft the burger from concept to production in only six months. This new pea protein-based burger targets flexitarians, boasts a shorter ingredient length than either the Beyond Burger or the Impossible Burger and avoids using the word “bleeding” in its marketing efforts to appease vegans and vegetarians. Read more at Bloomberg …

 

Retailers are using cameras to keep their shelves stocked. Here’s how

Computer vision startup Trax has developed an AI camera that is able to detect shortages on store shelves and immediately alert management and store employees to replenish product inventory. Depending on scale, some stores may need up to 600 cameras in order to oversee every product with accuracy. Trax has also recently partnered with Google to “digitize every product on retail shelves—basically turning physical objects into online visual data so that they can be more easily monitored by Trax’s technology. Read more at Fortune …

 

Nebraska lawmakers want to ban the word “meat” from vegetarian substitutes

Now that the dairy industry has launched a war on the ownership of the word “milk,” state lawmakers in Nebraska have proposed a ban on labeling any meat substitute as “meat.” A recent bill argues that the word “meat” has a definition that directly ties it the product to its existence as an animal product. However, the bill notably aims to define “meat” as solely livestock or poultry—excluding lab-grown meat and insect meat in addition to plant-based meat alternatives. Read more at Modern Farmer  

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