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[email protected]: European Union approves plant-based eggs | A look back at Vermont's pioneering food waste law

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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.

Fake eggs from mung beans get closer to reality in Europe

The European Union’s food watchdog recently decided that Eat Just's plant-based egg product is safe for human consumption, allowing the company to finally infiltrate Europe’s $10.7 billion egg market; this product is actually the first novel legume protein to be deemed safe under the regime that screens all new food ingredients entering European markets. Eat Just currently sells its vegan eggs in North America, South Africa and parts of Asia including China, and plans to target the U.K. and European markets in 2022. Bloomberg reports.

Vermont law banning food waste leads to more compost—and 'separation' anxiety

Vermont's Universal Recycling Law (basically a total ban of food waste in the trash or landfill) went into effect in 2012 with the unanimous support of the state legislature, but it's taken nearly a decade for communities to develop the infrastructure to make it a reality; in 2012, just 12 haulers offered residential food-scraps collection, but now there are roughly 45. One food expert tells The Counter that the initiative has been so successful because “Vermont’s strategy was thinking about it from a systems perspective—not just the fact that they wanted to get the food out of the landfill, but also how to make sure that it’s not getting wasted in the first place." The Vermont Foodbank has benefited from the law as well; from 2014 to 2017, donations increased nearly threefold, and from 2017 to 2019 they increased by around 20% to 50%.

The food industry's latest plant-based deal is a regenerative mic drop in the face of Big Food

The vertically integrated, plant-based food company Above Food has announced a $30 million-plus deal with Douglas Hines’ Atlantic Natural Foods, a global market leader in plant-based seafood alternatives, meals and egg replacements, adding alternative eggs and seafood to its alternative meat and dairy portfolio of more than 40 plant-based food products. Forbes writes that Above Food’s other recent plant-based acquisitions include Farmer Direct Organic, Only Oats and Culcherd, and adds that the vertically integrated and regenerative backdrop compounds this partnership’s "transformative" value.

It’s no trick, treating animals humanely builds basket size

A new national poll reveals that antibiotic-free labels on meat are important to two-thirds of American shoppers, but only 26% say they believe these claims on meat labels "most of the time." The majority of consumers (75%) are also willing to pay more for humanely raised, better-for-you meat options. Additionally, 65% of consumers rely on verifiable seals such as the American Humane Certified Seal when making decisions in the grocery store. Head to Supermarket Perimeter for the lowdown.

Study finds climate change lowers nutrition, increases toxicity at base of food web

According to ANI News, warming temperatures in freshwater ecosystems as a result of climate change can lower nutrition and increase toxicity at the base of the food web. This is because browning and warmer water results in less nutritious phytoplankton, causing higher-level organisms (zooplankton, fish, other wildlife and even humans) to be exposed to higher levels of toxic methylmercury as they consume more to achieve fatty acid quotas. It has also been established that less nutritious soil can have a similar effect on plants.

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