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5@5: SNAP goes online | US farmer income drops most since 2016

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.

SNAP is going online. Will the term ‘food desert’ soon be obsolete?

USDA recently launched a pilot program in upstate New York that will allow Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants to buy food online with their benefits. Should the pilot succeed, USDA plans to extend it to retailers across the country. Here are six things officials must consider before it does, including whether or not online shopping will increase environmental health problems or make participants feel lonely. Read more at Civil Eats …

 

U.S. farmer income drops most since 2016 as trade war losses mount

 

Producers’ income declined $11.8 billion in the first quarter, and the Commerce Department cited on Monday that this decline will be “a key factor weighing on the nation’s overall personal income growth in March, even though agricultural producers represent only about 2 percent of total employed Americans.” Trump holds that his administration’s thus far detrimental trade deals will eventually “be a boon for farmers." Read more at Bloomberg …

 

Your questions about food and climate change, answered

This comprehensive article tackles why meat has such a big climate impact, what easy choices consumers can make to reduce their carbon footprints, alternatives to going completely vegan and more. To quote from one of the article’s main takeaways, “What you eat matters a lot more than whether it’s local or organic, or what kind of bag you use to carry it home from the store." Read more at The New York Times …

 

How grocery shelves get stacked

A lesser-known sore point in the grocery industry are the hefty fees that some manufacturers pay for premium placement on store shelves—in some case by the inch. This, in turn, is putting a not-insignificant amount of smaller companies out of business, and regulators have begun taking action. Read more at NPR …

 

These ‘biosolar panels’ suck CO2 from the air to grow edible algae

Scientists in London are testing the “BioSolar Leaf,” a mechanism that uses carbon-hungry organisms to help clean the air even more efficiently than trees can. As an added benefit, the process creates protein-rich algae which can be used in food products to easily boost their antioxidant and nutrient content. Read more at Fast Company …

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