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5@5: Walmart's outsized effect on the food system | Bayer announces $5.6B investment in new weed control methods

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.

Walmart’s super-sized impact on the food system

Walmart has been using its ability to sell goods at a loss to drive out local, independent competition for over 40 years, and federal agencies have by and large stopped enforcing the laws that prohibit this kind of seller intimidation. As a consequence, Walmart is able to dictate what kinds of food products are available in many communities, which not only shapes what people eat but also how the food is produced and by whom. Read more at Civil Eats …

In panic mode, Bayer-Monsanto announces $5.6B for new weed control

The notoriously troubled company recently announced that it will be devoting $5.6 billion in research to weedkilling glyphosate alternatives. In the same announcement, Bayer also pledged to stop selling pesticides in developing countries that exclusively legally allow them. Read more at Modern Farmer …

Cutting just 300 calories per day may keep your heart healthy

Researchers have discovered that cutting just 300 calories from a person’s daily caloric intake can result in greater protection against heart disease—the leading cause of disability and death worldwide. And weight loss alone wasn’t responsible for a majority of the heart benefits—scientists found that just 25% of the results could be attributed to it, meaning that caloric restriction can have heart-related benefits above and beyond those typically associated with losing weight. Read more at NPR …

EPA expands use of pesticide considered ‘very highly toxic’ to bees

Sulfoxaflor, a pesticide known to be harmful to the bee population, has just been approved by the EPA for use “on certain crops for the first time, and in other areas that were prohibited under the Obama administration.” The agency contends that the pesticide is safer than alternatives currently on the market, but experts doubt farmers will be able to successfully reduce exposure to bees. Read more at The Hill …

BluePlanet Ecosystems’ aquaculture system mimics nature to grow fish sustainably

The U.S. gets more than 50% of its seafood from aquaculture operations, but the current production methods used come with a high environmental cost. Now, one company has devised an aquaculture farm that produces its own food and repurposes its own waste using high-tech water sensors, computer vision and machine learning. Read more at The Spoon …

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