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301 inc. invests in D's naturals Photo credit: D's Naturals on Facebook

5@5: General Mills invests in protein bar startup | 'Radical transparency' in food tech

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.

General Mills’ venture fund invests in 20-year-old’s startup

Cincinnati native Daniel Katz couldn’t find anything that met his needs for a dairy-free, low-sugar protein bar, so he created his own. His company, D’s Naturals, sells plant-based protein bars and nut butters. It’s just closed a round of funding led by 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners, with participation from General Mills’ venture arm 301 Inc. Read more at Fortune…


Will you eat this yeast-made cheese?

Perfect Day uses cellular agriculture to create dairy products with yeast, rather than with cows, which cuts down on energy and water consumption, and produces less greenhouse gas emissions than dairy production. Considering the anti-GMO stance of many consumers today, any company employing food technology likely has concerns about whether consumers will accept its products. But cofounder Ryan Pandya says the company hasn’t received the kind of negativity it prepared for. His reasoning? "We’re making something with a purpose that resonates with people, especially millennials," he says. And, also, the company believes in "radical transparency." Read more at Forbes…


Watch out, Whole Foods: How Costco became the most important player in the organic produce game

Costco reported $4 billion in organic food sales last year. Part of its power is the ability to make organic food cheaper and available to more people, and sticking to bigger, well-established brands. Read more at Well + Good…


Do we really need to double food production to feed the world by 2050?

An oft-referenced statistic from a 2009 study claims that food production needs to double by 2050 to feed the world’s growing population. But a new study from Penn State suggests that the real need is somewhere between 25 and 70 percent growth in food supply. Read more at Modern Farmer…


In Sri Lanka’s tea paradise, a social enterprise is brewing

Sri Lanka is one of the world’s largest tea exporters. A new certified organic tea plantation run as a social enterprise employs 30 locals and is sharing 10 percent of its revenue with workers. “We wanted to be a model to show co-ops and small farmers that you don't need to be a big factory,” says cofounder Simon Bell. Read more at NPR…

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