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5@5: Tom's of Maine founder tries local, sustainably sourced clothing | Berkeley vs. soda

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.

Why the Tom's of Maine founder thinks he can create the next Patagonia

Tom Chappell has spent most of his adult life growing the personal care brand Tom's of Maine from a hippie toothpaste upstart to a $100 million company. The son of a textile mill manager, he turned his focus to the apparel industry after selling Tom's of Maine to Colgate in 2006. He wanted to source high-quality, American-grown organic wool fiber and use it to create apparel that was processed locally, according to strict environmental standards, and without harmful chemicals. It took seven years to build a supply chain for his brand, Ramblers Way, and nearly $15 million of his own investment. After pivoting away from selling the products in independent stores, he (and members of his family, who work on the business with him) opened a store in Hanover, New Hampshire, with plans to open more. Now he's got to convince consumers to pay more for local, sustainably sourced clothes. Read more at Inc...


Berkeley's soda tax is working as it was designed

In the first year after Berkeley, California's one-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages was enacted, soda sales went down in the city by 9.6 percent, according to a new study conducted by the University of North Carolina's Gillings School of Global Public Health and Oakland's Public Health Institute. But grocers haven't been hurt by the tax, the study says, because sales of unsweetened beverages and bottled water were up. Read more at San Francisco Chronicle...


Nearly two-thirds of Americans live far from healthy food, some by choice and some not

Nearly 63 percent of the U.S. population lives more than a half mile from a source of healthy food, while 43 percent lives more than a mile away. Almost 8 percent of households located in food deserts also don't have access to a vehicle, so they rely on public transportation for access to healthy food. Read more at Zillow...


The story about how fake sugar got approved is scary as hell

Aspartame represents a multi-billion dollar industry. But did you know it was discovered by a drug company in the 1960s? The FDA approved it in 1974, but an FDA scientist found shortcomings in all of the studies that the company submitted for review. Here's a look at the long, storied history of aspartame. Read more at Tonic...


86 percent of shoppers care about animal welfare in organic meats and poultry, Consumer Reports says

A new Consumer Reports study found that 86 percent of consumers who buy organic food think it's important that the animal products they buy are made with high standards for animal welfare. The results were released as the National Organic Standards Board opened its public hearings in Denver to discuss standards for livestock and poultry. Read more at Denver Post...

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