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5@5: Packaging industry responds to PFAS | The rise of the wellness beverage

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 packaging industry takes on PFAS 'forever chemicals' in our food supply

In 2019 the issues surrounding the highly mobile per- and polyfluroalkyl chemicals (PFAS) in food packaging really started gaining momentum. As a result, states like Maine and Washington are already passing legislation to ban such products and the $16 billion compostable, environmentally friendly food packaging industry is working together to provide several viable alternatives. Read more at Civil Eats

Drink up, calm down

Functional beverage brands such as Recess and Kin are successfully capitalizing on anxious consumers' desire for an easy calming fix as well as the growing sober-curious movement. However, some herbalists argue that the add-ins common in these products cannot possibly have the advertised effect unless taken regularly and at much higher doses; there are also concerns over whether these products are just commodified wellness Band-Aids that do nothing to fix the far bigger societal problems that are at the root of many younger consumers' anxieties. Read more at Eater

Crowd Cow promised to bring craft meat to the masses. Some ranchers say it's been a bad deal

Startup Crowd Cow is facing criticism from some meat producers after it struggled to create a successful platform for "small family farmers and ranchers to deliver meat directly to the kitchens of eager eaters." While the company raised millions in venture capital, its founders knew little to nothing about the cattle business, leading to a series of financial losses and tarnished reputations on the parts of farmers and processors. Read more at New Food Economy

Your health data isn't as safe as you think

The laws that protect patients' health information aren't evolving as fast as health-focused technology from companies such as Apple and Facebook. These consumer-facing companies often aren't obligated to sign these agreements because the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act doesn't apply when personal information is shared voluntarily by the patient. Read more at The Wall Street Journal

Beyond Meat vs. Zhenmeat: The battle for China's meatless market

Chinese consumers are taking the plunge into realistic plant-based meat substitutes thanks in part to emerging local players such as Zhenmeat and Starfield. Zhenmeat in particular is looking to differentiate itself from U.S.-based alt meat company Beyond Meat by nailing the flavor profile behind pork. China's "free from meat" market has growin 33.5% since 2014 and was found to be worth $9.7 billion in 2018. Read more at Reuters

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