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5@5: More consumers are growing food at home | Kroger plans COVID-19 rapid testing kit rollout

Getty Images home gardener vegetables
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.

The COVID-19 gardening renaissance depends on seeds—if you can find them

Seed sales are sky high once again, pointing to a longer-term trend of consumers growing their food at home. While fears regarding food shortages are less heightened than they were at the onset of the pandemic, planting one's food provides a sense of stability and control that remains out of reach for the majority of Americans. As one expert interviewed in this article puts it: "In this world, where it feels like anything that can be commodified is commodified, to be able to grow your own food and save your seed and then grow more of your own food—it feels like a revolutionary act." Experienced gardeners are also experimenting with seed saving practices and engaging with others through seed swapping groups. Civil Eats has the full story.

Kroger plans rollout of iPhone-assisted COVID-19 rapid testing kits

Pending FDA approval of the test for public sale, Kroger will soon begin distributing an at-home COVID-19 rapid test kit that uses shoppers' iPhones to display results. Kroger's health arm plans to make the test available to buy online, as well as in its 2,200 pharmacies and 220 clinics across the country. Get the skinny at Apple Insider.

Plant-based burgers aren't a health food. That's a good thing

While most people know that the overconsumption of meat is leading us directly toward irreversible climate disaster, the general public is still eating record-high amounts of it. This is where next-gen meat alternative companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, which prioritize taste over nutrient density, come to the rescue. Expending capital making their products healthier won't do much to capture flexitarian consumer dollars—but bringing down the price point will. Fast Company reports.  

The CDC recommended states prioritize farm workers for the COVID-19 vaccine. Some large agricultural states have not

Agriculture-rich states Texas and Florida have left farmworkers out of their COVID-19 vaccine rollout plans thus far. Similar to safety protocols for employees, there is no federal standard for vaccine prioritization, and immunization is especially difficult when it comes to a migratory workforce that frequently moves across state lines. Many farmworkers have had to choose between their health and a paycheck over the past year. Learn more at The Counter.

The perks of working for delivery apps are dwindling amid scams and scheduling penalties

Employees of delivery companies including Uber, Instacart and Postmates are facing a multitude of challenges including low wages, scams and penalties—all of which have worsened over the past few weeks. Instacart, for instance, has been temporarily suspending the accounts of workers who cancel deliveries even in "no fault" cases. So far, these companies have used the pandemic-driven demand for their services to exploit the gig economy and lobby for legislation like California's Prop 22, which solidified that gig workers could not be considered employees of the apps they work for. Dive in at Eater.

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