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5@5: New certification for grass-fed dairy | Trans fat ban minimizes coronary disease

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.

There’s now a way to tell if milk is from 100 percent grass-fed cows

Organic Valley and Maple Hill have created a third-party certification standard for grass-fed products—one of the fast-growing categories in dairy. The standards are rigorous: only certified organic farms can participate and cows “must have a 100 percent grass diet with zero grains,” in addition to passing a full supply chain verification. The certification is an attempt to weed out “greenwashing” companies from those genuinely adhering to strict eco-friendly and organic standards. Read more at Bloomberg …

 

A ban on artificial trans fats in NYC restaurants appears to be working

 

A 2006-instated New York City policy banning restaurants from using trans fats appears to have slashed consumers’ trans fat levels citywide by a whopping 57 percent. One in five city residents report that they frequently eat outside the home, but positive results were seen by even those residents who ate out the least. According to a previous analysis, “A 2 percent increase in calories from trans fatty acids in a person’s diet is associated with a 23 percent rise in the occurrence of coronary heart disease,” and areas wherein trans fat bans are in effect have been found to have “fewer hospitalizations for heart attacks and strokes.” Read more at Science News 

 

No single-use plastics here: This new Bushwick grocer wants to cut packaging waste

A new organic Bushwick grocery store plans to be the first packaging-free grocery store in all of Brooklyn. Precycle was founded by Latvian immigrant Katerina Bogatireva after she realized how much plastic waste she began accumulating after moving to the U.S. The store will use a bulk shopping method and sell almost all items by weight to reduce waste, as well as offer “a selection of jars, reusable cotton bags and recycled paper bags for container shopping.” Read more at Edible Brooklyn …

 

The $15 minimum wage doesn’t just improve lives. It saves them.

When low-wage workers receive pay increases, their lives change dramatically. This was proven by a small group of researchers recently who looked into the public-health effects of a higher minimum wage; what they discovered was that pay increases led to fewer unmet medical needs, decreased rates of smoking, declines in teen births and lower rates of teen alcohol consumption—among many other benefits. Another noticeable change was in the diets of those workers who’d received a pay increase—rather than cheap fast food options, one food service worker took the money “straight to the grocery store” and began cooking and eating more unprocessed, whole food-centric meals, which had much larger implications for her overall healt. Read more at The New York Times …

 

Trying to quit plastic? This startup sells soap in milk cartons

Cleaning product startup cleancult this week began selling dish soap, hand soap and all-purpose cleaner refills in milk cartons to give consumers an all-too-rare plastic-free option when it comes to cleaning products. The company’s products don’t rely on synthetic chemicals, but instead use a familiar ingredient list with potent natural cleaners as rosemary extract and coconut oil to ensure a non-toxic environment. Cleancult also donates a single cleaning product to an in-need family in Puerto Rico for every product purchased. Read more at Fast Company 

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