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5@5: USDA to pilot online grocery shopping with food stamps | Supply not keeping up with demand for natural vanilla

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.

Federal food stamp program to test online shopping for recipients

A two-year pilot program set to begin next summer will allow people in some states who use food stamps to shop for groceries online. As many as five retailers may participate in the program, which experts say could especially benefit seniors, people with disabilities, and those who live in areas where access to fresh, healthy food is scarce. Read more at The Chicago Tribune...


The problem with vanilla

Inconveniently, the food industry's move away from artificial flavors comes at the same time as a shortage of natural vanilla, of which 80 percent comes from smallholder farms in Madagascar. According to Chemical & Engineering News, less than 1 percent of vanilla comes from actual vanilla orchids. So companies are working to increase that percentage and to identify new sources for natural vanillin. Read more at Chemical & Engineering News...


Here's a food wrapper you can eat

Want some edible plastic with your cheese stick? USDA researchers have honed in on an edible film made from the milk protein casein to reduce waste. "This would mostly be for dairy products or food that would likely be used with dairy, like cereal," said one of the lead researchers. Read more at


FDA finds Monsanto's weed killer in U.S. honey

Honey isn't even produced with the weed killer glyphosate, but the FDA found residues of it—in fact, in some cases double the legal limit of residue allowed in Europe (there's no threshold for glyphosate on honey in the U.S.)—on honey samples it tested. Read more at The Huffington Post...


The new 356 by Whole Foods in Bellevue is open. Here's a peek inside

The third location of Whole Foods' new smaller-format store opened this week in a former J.C. Penney store. It offers more than 400 wines and prices its hot bar by container instead of by weight. Read more at Pudget Sound Business Journal...



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