Why are people boycotting Trader Joe's?
A former Trader Joe's employee alleges he was fired for sending a letter to Trader Joe’s CEO Dan Bane asking for increased workplace safety with regard to COVID-19, complete with steps the grocery retailer could take immediately to reduce the spread of the virus. The employee, Ben Bonnema, suggested a "three strikes" policy to remove shoppers who consistently shirk the health and safety rules in stores, which in the termination letter Trader Joe's inferred meant Bonnema didn't understand the company's "values." Trader Joe's officials insist Bonnema was fired for the "disrespect he showed toward our customers," not for the contents of his letter, but Bonnema's viral tweets quickly led to calls for a boycott across social media platforms. Dig into the story at Fast Company.
Oatly enters Starbucks cafes nationwide as it prepares for a big year
Today Starbucks announced it will begin offering Oatly oatmilk in all of its U.S. locations. As CNBC notes, a huge part of Oatly's popularity among nonvegan consumers has come from its partnerships with coffee shops; getting consumers to try its signature product in coffee shops before it ever reached retail shelves has helped Oatly hold onto its ardent fan base even as competitors get in on the oatmilk madness. Oatly's recent Super Bowl ad and upcoming IPO both indicate that 2021 will be a huge year for the company.
Meat plant workers COVID-19 cases now 60% lower than general population
New analysis of independent data show that reported new COVID-19 infection rates among meat and poultry workers are 60% lower than in the general U.S. population and two-thirds lower than case rates in the sector in May 2020. This is likely the direct result of a partnership between the Meat Institute and the United Food and Commercial Workers, America’s largest food workers union, which has prompted state governors to follow federal guidance and prioritize frontline meat and poultry workers for COVID-19 vaccination. Read the rest at Supermarket News.
Parents erupt over FDA failure to regulate toxic metals in food
Following a parent-led uproar over the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's abject failure to regulate heavy metals like lead in baby food, watchdog groups are pointing out that heavy metal contamination is relatively common across the food supply, so infants aren’t the only children vulnerable to possible health effects. Even very small amounts of these neurotoxins can impede a child’s IQ, hinder brain development, lead to behavioral problems, increase cancer risk and raise the chances of many other diseases. The FDA did not respond to the criticism that it’s been slow to act on the issue, but did acknowledge “that there is more work to be done.” Politico reports.
Has a startup finally found one of food science's holy grails with its healthy sugar substitute?
Cambridge Glyoscience has achieved the seemingly impossible by creating a sugar substitute that accurately mimics the caramelization and stickiness of real sugar. This is key because most popular sugar substitutes cannot be used as replacements for the real stuff in baked goods and other packaged foods. The product, Supplant, also has health benefits through providing increased fiber in consumers who use it regularly. Head to TechCrunch for more.