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[email protected]: FDA greenlights GM golden rice | Millennial ice cream brand goes brick-and-mortar

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.

Embattled GMO golden rice is now allowed in U.S. food supply

A variety of rice that Time Magazine once declared could save a million kids a year took a small step closer to getting its chance. Golden rice, one of the oldest genetically modified crops, has finally gotten approval from the FDA. Its DNA is altered not to withstand pesticide application or increase yield, like other big GMO crops today, but to produce extra vitamin A. The idea was that it could help prevent vitamin A deficiency, which can eventually cause blindness, in undernourished children who subsist on rice. The effort has been widely supported and funded by the humanitarian community but has gotten caught up in the GMO controversy in America and Europe. The U.S. is the fourth nation to approve the crop. Read more at Futurism…

 

Halo Top completely conquered freezer shelves. Are scoop shops next?

The colorfully packaged, low-calorie, high-protein dessert that took frozen aisles (and Instagram) by storm now has its own brick-and-mortar presence. Halo Top has opened two scoop shops in the Los Angeles area with another pop-up location coming to New York City. Like Chobani and Kellogg’s and other food companies that have opened storefronts, Halo Top is hoping a brick-and-mortar presence can help it reach more people and give customers a more tangible experience with the brand. And it wants that experience to be unique—the shops offer a variety of ice cream treats like cones and sandwiches and soft serve with toppings. “The retail business is a marketing and branding play that supports the wholesale business in terms of loyalty,” co-founder Doug Bouton says. Read more at Eater…

 

Last straw for plastic straws? Cities, restaurants move to toss these sippers

Companies and municipalities are waging war on single-use plastic and the damage it does to the environment. Most recently, foodservice company Bon Appetit, which has 1,000 cafes across the country, says it plans to transition to paper straws by September of next year. Plastic straws—175 billion of which are used and discarded each year—have been banned in Miami Beach and Malibu, and New York City is weighing a bill that would keep restaurants from using them. In Santa Cruz, Calif., food vendors can only provide straws or plastic cutlery if customers request them. Read more at NPR…

 

Behind the avocado boom

The average American consumed seven pounds’ worth of avocado in 2016, with domestic sales somewhere near $1.6 billion. But, as you know, it hasn’t always been like this. Forty-five years ago, per capita consumption was only about a pound. Avocado fell victim to anti-fat attitudes of the 80s and 90s and, as a result, farmers had a glut of the fruit. The California Avocado Commission called in PR experts to create campaigns that would “humanize” the fruit. That was a success—and eventually the health experts came around, too. The USDA lifted its decades-long ban on Mexican avocados in the late ‘90s, and the rest is history. Read more at The Weekly Standard…

 

Future Dayton health food market receives $21K donation from women’s organization

Gem City Market will bring fresh produce and healthy food to northwest Dayton, Ohio—an area that was ranked second in the nation in a 2015 study for food hardship for families and children. Organizers of the future co-op say they’re raised $1.76 million but hope to raise $2.5 million more before breaking ground in 2019. Read more at Dayton Daily News…

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