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[email protected]: Risks of cheap food | Alt seafood investment | Offshore aquaculture push

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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.

Is cheap food worth the risks?

This Q&A out of Bloomberg with Bartow J. Elmore, author of "Seed Money: Monsanto’s Past and Our Food Future," delves into the history of GMO agriculture titan Monsanto and explains how the makers of these technologies initially had little knowledge about the outsize negative ramifications of their products on the environment. As it became clear their signature compounds were harmful for humans and nature, however, they did nothing to alert the public or cease operations. Plus, the firm was allowed to get away with this conscious endangerment for so long because of a weak "divide between the science that’s being used to decide what the regulations are and the people that are being regulated." Elmore asserts that "biomimicry," or creating technology that acts in the same way nature does, is the future of agriculture.

What's fueling the alternative seafood investment boom?

The alternative seafood space is expanding beyond canned tuna alternatives (finally) to satiate the growing demand for plant-based alternatives to popular seafood such as shrimp, salmon and whitefish. As of June 2021, invested capital through disclosed deals of alternative seafood companies alone totaled $116 million; this figure exceeds the industry’s total funding in 2020. Emerging U.S. companies in the space include Gathered Foods, New Wave Foods and The Plant Based Seafood Co., with global food giants including Nestle, Bumblebee Seafoods and Thai Union are revealing their own SKUs to compete in the space. Notably, while they aren't on the market quite yet, ombined global investments in cell-cultured seafood companies from 2020 and the first half of 2021 totaled $123.06 million. The Food Institute reports.

Bill seeks to standardize and promote offshore aquaculture

A new bill, the aptly named Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture (AQUAA) Act, was introduced in the Senate this week. The goal of this bill is to create a web of legislation that would allow and regulate offshore aquaculture in federal waters. These operations typically involve large, fenced-in sections of ocean in which fish and bivalves mollusks are grown, fed and harvested. Proponents of offshore aquaculture say that it’s a cost-effective way to dramatically increase seafood production, but opponents aren't optimistic about the environmental effects of a large amount of animal waste in one small area of the ocean and how that pollution will affect the ecosystems around the pens. Modern Farmer has the scoop.

I'm not picking on Elon Musk. Just please help, says UN food official

The director of the United Nations' World Food Programme recently stated that if the richest man in the world, Elon Musk, were to donate $6 billion, or 2% of his net worth, that could basically solve world hunger. In an interview with CNN, David Beasley asked billionaires to "step up now, on a one-time basis" to help combat world hunger. Musk responded by tweeting "If WFP can describe on this Twitter thread exactly how $6B will solve world hunger, I will sell Tesla stock right now and do it. But it must be open source accounting, so the public sees precisely how the money is spent."

Earth has 11 years to cut emissions to avoid dire climate scenarios, a report says

The current rate of greenhouse gas pollution is so high that the Earth has about 11 years to rein in emissions if countries want to avoid the worst damage from climate change in the future, a new study concludes. The findings underscore that the urgency of cutting emissions is even greater than previously thought, if the world is to avoid a rise in average global temperatures that is greater than 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit above preindustrial levels, which was the goal set by the 2015 Paris climate agreement and pursued by countries currently gathered for a major United Nations climate summit in Scotland. Per NPR, both India and China have seen emissions increase drastically over the past few years to accomodate growing populations. 

TAGS: General 5at5
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