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5@5: Has 'plant-based' become meaningless? | US store closures reach new high

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.

What does 'plant-based' actually mean?

Is 'plant-based' the new 'natural' for product marketers? It appears that the term's usage has broadened from shorthand for a substitute for meat to "refer to just about everything, including products that were already vegan or vegetarian." The move emphasizes many companies' desire to seem nutritious while avoiding using inflammatory words such as "vegan." Read more at Eater

A new high of over 9,300 stores closed in the US in 2019, nearly double the number that closed in 2018

Online shopping represents a growing share of the U.S. retail market, which is partially why a record number of brick-and-mortar retailers closed their doors in 2019. The physical stores that are finding success in this increasingly omnichannel sector, however, are embracing some aspects of e-commerce through programs such as buy online, pickup in-store and grocery delivery. Read more at Business Insider

Mealworms can eat toxic styrofoam safely

Emerging research shows that mealworms can process chemical-laced Styrofoam in a way that safely breaks down its toxic components. The mealworms can even be safely fed to livestock afterwards. Read more at Modern Farmer

Need an excuse to avoid broccoli? Point to carbon emissions

Calorie for calorie, broccoli is (shockingly) a bigger emitter of carbon than chicken is. While animal agriculture is rightfully treated as the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, results from a recent study that factored different foods' emissions by calories rather than weight show that "emissions from tofu, broccoli, tomatoes and 2% milk production all climb relative to their by-weight emissions." Read more at Quartz

Eating in a 6-hour window and fasting for 18 hours might help you live longer

2019 was the year of intermittent fasting awareness, with more studies than ever unveiling the diet's many health benefits. A new report in The New England Journal of Medicine indicates that it can "reduce blood pressure, aid in weight loss and improve longevity." Read more at CNN

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