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5@5: Pandemic makes Big Meat a bad investment | Budweiser goes alcohol free

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.

Will COVID-19 make Big Meat look like a bad investment?

The risks associated with large-scale animal agriculture have never been more visible. A recent report from Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return (FAIRR) found that 70% of the world's biggest meat companies are highly likely to be vulnerable to another pandemic in addition to potentially contributing to one. Members of FAIRR's network reportedly represent $20 trillion in capital, and the organization has been surprisingly successful in terms of pushing for traditional capital to go beyond financial return in its considerations. Read more at Civil Eats

 

Budweiser's new beer is missing a key ingredient: Alcohol

While regular beer sales shot up 20% when the pandemic hit the U.S. in mid-March, non-alcoholic beer sales saw an even greater increase of 35% in the same time period. Budweiser is getting in on the market with Budweiser Zero, an alcohol- and sugar-free lager currently being marketed toward athletes, health-focused consumers and beer fans alike. Read more at CNN

 

The pandemic could actually strengthen the US food system

Because of the chaos COVID-19 has wrought on the U.S. food system, some members of the food industry surmise that "a thriving regional alliance of farmers, wholesalers and customers" is on the horizon. What this would look like is decentralized, sustainable operations that are both more resilient and adaptable to future changes, be they from a virus or climate change. Read more at National Geographic

 

Union sues to block Trump waivers for faster poultry-line speeds

A food workers' union filed a federal lawsuit this week to block Trump administration waivers that allow poultry plant production lines to move at a faster speed. The suit argues that not only did USDA violate administrative rules when it issued the waivers, but also that faster speeds equal more risk of injury for plant workers that are already at a far higher risk of contracting COVID-19. Read more at Bloomberg

 

‘It's insane’: Millions of kids could lose access to free meals if this program expires

Thus far, the Trump administration has no plans to extend a free meal program that has allowed most families over the past few months to pick up free meals at conveniently located schools without showing proof of low-income status. The School Nutrition Association asked USDA earlier this month to give schools the ability to maintain this flexibility until the crisis subsides, because the process of figuring out which kids are eligible for free food will undoubtedly cause some children to fall through the cracks. Read more at Politico

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