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5@5: Food companies fund organic research | Chipotle tests cauliflower rice

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.

Food companies step up funding for organic farming research

Companies like Clif Bar, Organic Valley and King Arthur are increasingly financing open-source, university research into organic seeds and plant varieties with the end goal of scaling up organic agriculture. Conventional agribusiness currently has an outsize impact on what is studied at agricultural universities, which has stifled the expansion of organic production historically in the U.S. Read more at Civil Eats

 

Chipotle tests cauliflower rice to lure health-conscious consumers

Chipotle plans to begin testing cauliflower rice in 55 of its restaurants across Denver and Wisconsin this week. While Chipotle has historically been opposed to meat substitutes from the likes of Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, it is exploring a variety of plant-based menu options that meet its standards and aims to debut one or two new menu items each year. Read more at Bloomberg

 

The hunger crisis linked to coronavirus could kill more people than the disease itself, Oxfam warns

Emerging research from Oxfam warns that the hunger crisis, which has been significantly worsened by the pandemic, could potentially end up killing more people each day than COVID-19. Widespread loss of incomes, lack of social support and disruptions to the supply chain top the list in terms of affecting factors. And to top it all off, food and beverage industry giants such as Coca-Cola and General Mills are continuing to make large profits. Read more at CNN

 

Grocers urgently need to fix broken online business model, as pandemic shifts more to web, report says

The rise in online grocery shopping due to COVID-19 is squeezing profits from grocers, and many are rethinking the online grocery model to make it more sustainable in the long term. A new report from Bain & Co. details how the pandemic essentially pressed "the fast-forward button on the industry by several years" and recommends that grocers embrace automation and retire their fear of fees. Read more at CNBC

 

Vermont just banned food waste in trash. Here's how it works

Residents of Vermont are now required to compost any unfinished food that they would otherwise have thrown into their trash cans. However, even before the new Food Scrap Ban went into effect, 72% of the state's residents were either composting at home or feeding leftover food to livestock. The state has invested in composting infrastructure to make it easier for residents to comply. Read more at Fast Company

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