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5@5: Americans stockpile Halloween candy | Amazon unveils Climate Pledge Friendly program

halloween candy Getty Images
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.

Americans load up on candy, trick or treat—or not

While the inevitable restrictions on Halloween trick-or-treat festivities remain to be seen, Americans are leaning heavily into the comfort of buying candy as though this year were no different than any other. In fact, U.S. sales of Halloween candy were up 13% over sales in 2019 for the month ending Sept. 6, with Halloween chocolate sales alone climbing 25%. Brands are also getting creative with their marketing strategies; Mars, for instance, is introducing a Treat Town website that will allow would-be trick-or-treaters to do so virtually and earn digital credits that count toward real candy. Will candy sales plummet come October? AP News has the scoop...

 

Amazon climate pledge: New program makes it easier to shop for sustainable, eco-friendly products

Amazon recently launched a webpage on its e-commerce platform that is wholly dedicated to products containing its new Climate Pledge Friendly label; the Climate Pledge Friendly moniker signifies the brand meets sustainability standards that help protect the natural world. As part of the Climate Pledge Friendly program, the company is also introducing an externally validated certificate to identify products with a greener shipping process and packaging. Find out more about Amazon's sustainability goals at USA Today

 

National farm groups push for increased Black land ownership

The recent push to support Black-owned farming operations comes in the wake of some shocking statistics: Black-owned land that is actively being farmed has decreased 85% nationwide over the past century, and 95% of the nation's farmers are currently white. Black land loss is closely tied to widespread systemic racism, so debates at the state and federal level regarding heirs' property laws could end up affecting far more than just the Southern Black population. Take a look at which states have (so far) enacted the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act at The Counter...

 

Organic food is a 'human right' says leading food scientist

Kendra Klein, a senior scientist at Friends of the Earth U.S., argues that the focus on food with regard to pesticide exposure is too narrow; consumers are exposed to toxic herbicides in city parks, playgrounds and occasionally in their homes on a near-daily basis. And the government is simply not keeping its regulations for these chemicals up-to-date with the many studies that have come out linking them to adverse health outcomes. Moreover, getting pesticides out of the food system doesn't only help the end consumer—farmers and farmworkers often don't have power over which pesticides are being used and are largely in the dark when it comes to effects of this repetitive kind of exposure to them. Head over to New Internationalist to get inspired by Klein's organic advocacy

 

The race to redesign sugar

Corporations are spending millions in research and development with the aim of continuing to sell sweet products in a world that increasingly vilifies sugar. But sugar has proven to be an incredibly difficult ingredient to effectively replace. The current artificial replacements on the market cannot offer a semblance of sugar's range of functionality in baked goods, ice cream or drinks, so scientists are now more focused on retooling the sugar molecule to diminish its dietary drawbacks. Give your sweet tooth some hope for the future by reading the full story at The New Yorker...

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