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5@5: Food supplies hold up throughout pandemic | Pork plant sacrificed worker safety for profits

Getty Images pork processing plant
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.

Global food supplies weather coronavirus pandemic

The worldwide food shortages economists warned about early on in the pandemic haven't come to fruition, largely because developing countries stepped up to fill supply gaps and some nations' initial protectionist policies have fallen by the wayside. South American companies boosted exports of meat and grains to meet demand in China, for instance, while Egypt and Kenya boosted fruit and vegetable production to help feed European consumers. The Wall Street Journal has the story.

How pork plant execs sacrificed safety for profits

Triumph Foods remained open while hundreds of its workers contracted COVID-19, directly resulting in the deaths of four employees. The outbreak, which was one of the biggest in the country, happened after many other meatpacking plants had shut down to protect their workforces. The company both withheld information on the total number of confirmed cases from the public and prompted state agencies to do the same, as company emails and interviews with employees show. Find out more at USA Today ...

The bittersweet history of diet soda for women

The diet soda category has a long history of gendered marketing strategies. The feminization of Diet Coke, for example, gave rise to Coca-Cola's male-focused Coke Zero product (it supposedly has a fuller flavor, in case your were wondering). Diet soda has long been touted as a way for women to stay slim since it was first introduced in the 1960s, but the widespread shift toward wellness and self care rather than dieting has made flavored seltzers and more natural options far more popular. Jezebel dives deep into diet soda's history.

When it comes to food, consumers confuse beauty with nutrition 

Consumers often fail to distinguish aesthetically pleasing food from food that is nutritious, a new study shows. This finding indicates the enormous damage that fast food and junk food brands' advertising methods can have by subconsciously affecting consumers in a way that makes them believe these products are healthy. Read about the research at Science Blog ...

Washington state Supreme Court rules farmworkers are entitled to overtime pay

Overtime pay is not required at the federal level for agricultural laborers, but a new ruling from the Washington Supreme Court now makes it mandatory for the state's dairy farmworkers to receive it. Farm owners were staunchly against the decision, citing excess labor costs in an already crumbling industry that will make it impossible for them to compete with producers from out of state. Get the lowdown at Modern Farmer ...

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