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5@5: Earth Fare employees file lawsuit against grocer | Direct-to-consumer retailer Brandless closes

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.

Earth Fare employees file class-action lawsuit against bankrupt grocer

Two employees from Earth Fare's Tennessee and Florida locations have filed a class-action lawsuit against the bankrupt grocer for not giving them and their coworkers the required 60-day layoff notice prior to telling them they were losing their jobs. If the company is found guilty it will be required to pay employees and allow them to keep their benefits for up to 60 days. Read more at Tampa Bay Times

Brandless shuts down operations, becoming SoftBank Vision Fund's first failure

Brandless is permanently closing after just 2.5 years, with experts saying that the company was pushed to grow too big too fast by its parent company SoftBank. The direct-to-consumer retailer was also losing money from shipping costs and faced problems in the quality control arena. Read more at Protocol

Embattled WeWork charts a path forward with a tasty proposition for food startups

WeWork had a terrible 2019 thanks to a failed IPO, the departure of its founder and the divestiture of many of its non-essential businesses. Now, the company is looking to reinvent itself by officially launching a work space and incubator hybrid that aims to help cultivate food startups. Read more at Fast Company

Is food freedom the antidote to diet culture?

"Food freedom" is a relatively recent movement that aims to separate the act of eating from the assumption that one should be or is trying to lose weight. The methodology differs from the popular "intuitive eating" approach to dieting in that it emphasizes the emotional and mental components of healing one's relationship to food. Read more at InStyle

Democrats are reaching farmers with an exciting message: Green agriculture

In happy news, the Iowa caucuses revealed that every single leading Democratic campaign endorses "an aggressive approach to conservation that could dramatically reduce greenhouse gases, improve water quality and enhance rural prosperity." Candidates by and large supported renewable energy, a reduction in chemical- and export-driven food production and making climate change mitigation a priority. Read more at The Guardian

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