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[email protected]: Restaurants mix food and mission | Seattle passes soda tax

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.

More restaurants are lining up behind social and political causes—and it's paying off

Food and social-minded business go hand-in-hand, and more food operations are making efforts to do their part to raise money and awareness for causes close to their hearts. Take Falafel Inc., which donates a portion of sales to provide meals for refugees. The owner, Ahmad Ashkar, is also the founder of a nonprofit that sponsors competitions for students launching social enterprises. “I can’t think of another business that touches as many customers on a daily basis,” he says. Read more at The Washington Post...

 

Seattle soda tax to fund education, nutrition programs

Mayor Ed Murray signed a 1.75 cents-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages after the city council passed the measure this week. The anticipated $15 million in revenue collected from the tax will fund healthy food program and education initiatives. Read more at The Seattle Globalist...

 

Following the organic spice trail

A recent report from the Organic Trade Association noted that sales of organic spices were on the rise. For all spices, taste profiles may differ from season to season and year to year, which can make it tough to create a uniform product, but that's especially true for organic spices, for which options are often even more limited and are often single-sourced. Climate change and labor shortages are also having an impact on organic supply in tropical and third-world countries, where many flavorful ingredients are grown. Read more at Food Business News...

 

Kombucha, other probiotic drinks making inroads in Wine Country

Probiotic beverage sales are brewing, even in an area of the country famous for other kinds of fermented drinks. In some local taprooms, they've become popular nonalcoholic substitutes. And brands like Revive Kombucha, for one, saw sales grow more than 40 percent last year. Read more at The Press Democrat...

 

How a simple USB drive can save lives

Vitamin Angels, the California nonprofit, is working to address vitamin A deficiency in impoverished communities. It recently worked with an e-learning firm to develop a training system for local public health workers that works on old computers with or without an internet connection. The tool of choice? A $2 to $4 USB drive. Read more at CNN Tech...

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