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5@5: Celery powder controversy | Healthier junk food gains traction

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.

Why is celery powder so controversial?

Celery powder has long been touted as an organic, natural alternative to curing meats without the use of artificial nitrites. As a result, manufacturers' use of celery powder has been largely unregulated–even though the naturally occuring nitrite in it affects the human body in the same way that sodium-derived nitrite does. Thanks to a new petition, however, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection service may require processed meat manufacturers to declare "whenever nitrates or nitrites are using in meats, regardless of the source." Read more at New Food Economy

The junk food that wants to have it both ways

An new wave of snack food makers are trying to tap into parents' junk food nostalgia while also providing nutritional benefits for their children. But nutrition experts maintain that ultraprocessed packaged snacks should be minimized and replaced as much as possible with whole fruits, vegetables and grains. Read more at The Wall Street Journal

Dissecting the health benefits of edible insects

Edible insects represent an incredible opportunity to provide the growing human population with environmentally friendly protein–and they might even help improve the human microbiome. Scientists recently found that crickets have a prebiotic effect and several other species tested were shown to contain higher levels of antioxidants than fresh-squeezed orange juice. Read more at IFT

Chinese regulators are pushing American pork producers to remove feed additives

A feed additive called ractopamine will no longer be used by Tyson Foods subsidiary Tyson Fresh Meats in order to appease Chinese regulations. The additive has long been linked to hog illnesses and deaths, but only now that China is in search of new pork sources have American and Brazilian producers begun to scale back on using it. Read more at Modern Farmer

Pumpkin spice has taken over Trader Joe's. Here's why

Food retailers make their most money during the fall, and Trader Joe's takes full advantage of the increased shopper activity by offering a wide variety of specific seasonal products. This includes a pumpkin-spiced product strategy that gives consumers cheap and new ways to experience the beloved fall flavor without giving up its nostalgic-laden familiarity. Read more at Vox

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